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As the weather turns hotter or colder, homeowners without energy-efficient roof insulation may find themselves dreading their upcoming energy bills. Fortunately, a proactive approach could help you save big on these bills in the long run.
One great way to reduce your energy costs is by making sure your roof insulation type is up to date. This post will explore some of the best roof insulation available in the market that effectively prevents heat transfer between the inside and outside of your house.
Now let's look at the different types of roof insulation to aid you in making an informed decision about which kind is best for your home.
Common Types of Roof Insulation
Fibreglass insulation batts are the most common insulation materials used in residential homes. It consists of tiny fibres made from either glass or rock bound together with a resin binder.
Fibreglass has a high R-value, meaning it's very effective at keeping heat out during hot summer months and trapping heat inside during cold winter months. The downside to this type of insulation is that it's not very durable; over time, it can break down and lose its insulating properties.
Cellulose insulation is similar to fibreglass in that it is commonly used as ceiling insulation and comes in the form of tiny fibres. However, cellulose insulation uses up to around 85% of recycled paper instead of glass or rock fibres as its main ingredient. It has a high R-value, so it does an excellent job insulating your home from both extreme temperatures and moisture build-up.
The benefit of cellulose? It's much more durable and less likely to break down over time, which means less money is spent on repairs and replacements every few years. Moreover, cellulose insulation is treated with boric acid, which increases its resistance to fire and insects and makes it less prone to mould growth. Finally, you could retrofit it to your existing house if it's not in construction.
Spray foam insulation
Spray foam insulation is another popular option for roofs because it does an excellent job of insulating against both temperature and noise pollution from outside sources like traffic. Spray foam consists of two chemicals mixed before being sprayed onto walls or ceilings.
When the chemicals mix, they create a foam-like material that expands to fit perfectly into cracks and crevices. This provided superior coverage compared to other insulation materials like fibreglass or cellulose.
Spray foam has air-sealing properties, significantly reducing the likelihood of condensation, moisture build-up, mould growth, or corrosion. However, this type of roof insulation tends to be expensive, making it best suited for new construction projects or major renovations where your budget isn't an issue.
Factors When Picking Roof Insulation for Your Home
If you're like most homeowners, you likely don't give much thought to your roof insulation—that is, until there's a problem. Then, all of a sudden, you're dealing with expensive energy bills, drafts, and other issues that you could have otherwise avoided.
The good news is that by choosing the proper roof insulation for your home, you could avoid these problems and keep your family comfortable all year. Here are some considerations when choosing roof insulation.
The R-value is the first thing you need to consider when choosing roof insulation. This makes it possible to gauge a material's capacity to allow heat to flow through it. The R-value is important as it determines how effectively an insulation block can keep the heat outside on hot days and inside on colder days.
Generally, the higher the R-value of an insulating material, the better it will be at insulating your home. However, if you include new roof insulation to the existing one, you could use one whose R-value is lower.
The climate in your area will also play a role in determining the ideal roof insulation type for your house. If you reside in an area with extreme temperatures—hot summers and cold winters—you'll need a higher R-value material to withstand extreme temperature changes.
Of course, the cost is always a factor when making home improvement decisions. However, when it comes to roof insulation, it's important to remember that cheaper isn't always better. If you choose roof insulation based solely on the fact that it's cheaper, you might spend more in the long run on unnecessary energy bills and repairs.
Once you've chosen the correct type of roof insulation for your home, the next step is to have it installed correctly. This is not a do-it-yourself job; therefore, you are advised to hire a professional with experience installing this type of insulation.
Lastly, you must consider maintenance when choosing roof insulation for your home. Some types of insulation require more maintenance than others—for example, fibreglass batting will need to be replaced every few years as they settle and compress over time.
Other kinds of insulation, such as spray foam, are virtually maintenance-free once installed. Consequently, go for a roof insulation type that matches your willingness to undertake maintenance.
How to Maintain Your Roof Insulation
It's essential to understand how to maintain your roof insulation to ensure you get the most out of it for longer. Here are some practical maintenance tips you could apply:
Monitor the temperature in your attic
One way to ensure your roof insulation is performing correctly is to monitor the temperature inside your attic throughout the year. In the winter months, when temperatures outside are colder than usual, ensure that the temperature inside your attic remains above freezing.
Similarly, check if temperatures remain cool when outdoor temperatures start rising during the summer. A large discrepancy between indoor and outdoor temperatures could be a sign that your insulation needs repairing or replacing.
Insulate exposed pipes & ducts
Pipes and ducts that go through attics should be insulated with materials specifically designed for this purpose; otherwise, you risk losing heat through these pipes. This heat loss will affect both comfort levels within the home as well as heating bills.
Additionally, check for any holes or gaps in walls where pipes enter or exit buildings, as these need to be sealed up with silicone caulk or expandable foam sealant. Sealing will help prevent further heat loss in winter when temperatures drop drastically outside.
This will also ensure the temperature remains relatively stable indoors due to proper wall/ceiling/floor insulation techniques being applied beforehand. Thus, you spend less on energy bills while still providing comfortable living conditions indoors at all times.
Check insulation levels regularly
Lastly, regularly check existing insulation levels within your attic using a thermometer or infrared camera. This will show you how much more you need before installing additional layers onto existing ones already in rooms/areas where extra warmth/cooling is required.
Additional insulation layers might be necessary if extreme temperatures are outside during different seasons throughout the year. However, more often than not, simply adding another layer onto existing ones already installed should do the trick here.
Choosing a Reliable Roof Insulation Contractor
If you're in the market for a roof insulation contractor, there are a few key factors you'll want to consider before making your final decision. Here are some of them.
You don't want to leave your project to amateurs regarding roofing insulation. Consequently, be sure to ask each contractor you are considering how long they've been in business.
You should also find out how many projects they've completed that are similar to yours in scope and size. The last thing you would want is for your roofing insulation project to be used as a learning opportunity for an inexperienced contractor.
In addition to experience, you'll also want to ensure that the contractor you choose has a solid reputation. One way to gauge this is by reading online reviews from past clients. Another option is to ask the contractors themselves for references that you could contact directly. Either way, you must get a sense of what other people have thought about working with the contractor before making your final decision.
The cost will always be a factor when choosing any type of contractor. However, it's essential to always remember that the cheapest option isn't always the best option.
Make sure to get quotes from multiple contractors and compare the bottom line and the value each one is offering for the price. In general, you should balance cost and quality to be confident you're getting a fair deal on a high-quality service.
Another critical factor to consider is the schedule each contractor is working with. If you have a deadline for your project, communicate this upfront. This way, the contractors can let you know if they can complete the work by then.
Sometimes, hiring a contractor who can complete the job faster is worth paying more. If you go this route, you don't have to wait longer than necessary for your roofing insulation project to be finished.
Lastly, don't forget to ask about warranty options before deciding. A good contractor will stand behind their work and offer a guarantee in case anything goes wrong after they finish the roof insulation job. This will provide you peace of mind knowing that any issues will be taken care of without costing you any additional money out of pocket.
Let the Experts Solve your Roof Insulation Issues
As you have read in this post, it falls on you to improve your roof's insulation. With the various types of roof insulation mentioned in this article, you could significantly reduce your home's energy consumption and lower your carbon footprint.
However, it is vital to work with and consult experts in roof insulation to find a long-term solution. Contact a roof insulation professional near you to get help.