Attic Insulation Installs Expert
Help your home and your wallet, with some essential tips to know regarding your roof insulation! Winter is coming. Is your home ready for the upcoming season? If you start to notice that your heating costs are higher than usual, then it might be time to look into what’s causing this. While it could be higher electricity prices, take the proactive approach and check your roof. You might find that your home has poor or inappropriate attic insulation and you might be correct.
According to the Carbon Switch website, you can save up to $600-$800 per year on your electricity bill with proper attic insulation. Additionally, the reduction of your household carbon footprint increases, at an estimate of 500-1,000 kilograms or 0.5-1 metric ton each year.
Not only that, but proper insulation maintains the life of your roof intact and helps avoid future issues, such as leaks or wood rot.
From the sounds of it, insulating or updating your attic can bring many benefits in the long run. When planning to work with a contractor or doing it yourself, its a good idea to follow these tips.
Attic Insulation Types
There are various types of insulation to choose from. The best fit for your home depends on your roof structure and how much room you have. The most common types include Batt, Blown-in and spray foam insulation.
1.Fiberglass Batt Insulation
Is one of the most flexible materials and comes in prepackaged rolls. Fiberglass comes from recycled paper, recycled glass fibers, silica sand, soda ash and limestone. Certain types of fiberglass can include magnesite syenite, feldspar and different types of clay. These are usually 16 inches or 24 inched wide. We tend to use the Owens Corning PINK Next Gen Fiberglass attic insulation due to the shed resistant quality. Fiberglass looks like pink cotton candy.
Batt insulation is the best fit for:
- Attics that contain the standard joint spacing
- Attics that have no little to no penetrations or few obstacles so that its easier to work around them
- Comes in different sizes and thickness selections
- Great for areas between attic rafter beams
Advantages of Fiberglass Batt
- Is fire resistant due to the added components at the time of manufacturing(fiberglass is not fire combustible)
- Can be cut to fit certain areas and sizes, and is a great choice for homeowners who are trying to do the installation themselves
- Can be cut to fit between attic rafter beams
- More cost effective for homeowners who want the basic insulation at an affordable price
- Resists moisture and makes it harder for mold to grow, however, it is not water resistant
Other Types of Batt Insulation
Fiberglass isn’t the only option for this type of insulation. If you are looking for other material options, read below.
- Cellulose – Is made from recycled paper and doused with fire resistant components. The drawback is that its made in limited quantities and can be a little more tedious to find/
- Mineral Wool – Mineral wool is made from rock fibers or recycled slag from furnaces. It is also fire resistant and can continue to do its job even when wet, will not deteriorate. Mineral wood is one of the most expensive materials on this list.
- Cotton/Denim – Did you know that denim insulation comes from recycled blue jeans? Now you do. The fibers from denim cloth make cotton insulation possible. While being another extremely expensive option, denim is an environmentally friendly one too!
2. Blown-in Insulation
Blown-in insulation is a fluffy, pink material that is made of cellulose, rockwool and fiberglass. It is a loose-fill attic insulation and the installation process is done by a machine blower and the hose spreads the insulation into the attic. It is typically one of the easiest installations and takes around 4 hours for a 1,000 square feet attic.
Blown-in Insulation is best fit for:
- Attics that contain a lot of obstacles in their structure, have irregular joist spacing and small or almost no headroom
- Open attics or crawl spaces
- New attics or new homes
Advantages of Blown-in Insulation
- Is eco-friendly and fire resistant. Due to the airtight seal, air is not able to flow through small areas.
- Can be a quick installation, often taking a few hours. Since the material moves through a hose, there’s easier access. Thus, the material is able to reach and cover electrical wiring, crossbeams and multiple pipes.
- Fills more space evenly and thoroughly, thus making sure that the attic is airtight
- Acts as a sound buffer and is able to reduce outside noise from coming in
3. Spray Foam
A less popular option due to their price and the fact that it can be hard to remove, spray foam comes in two types – open and closed-cell- and these have different R-Values. While spray foam is one of the best options, it does have two important drawbacks. The first one is that it is one of the more expensive options on this list. From the material to installation, the cost of spray-foaming your house is a hefty one. The second drawback is that once installed, it can be hard to remove it from its place. Especially if it covers wires, pipes, etc. This is why spray foam is best fit for commercial buildings or high ceilings.
Advantages of Spray Foam:
- Airtight seal – the spray foam is able to expand as soon as it settles onto an area and locks in a tight seal.
- Water tight – unlike other materials, spray foam will not absorb water or get wet.
- Helps strengthen the home or building’s structure
- Sound proofs the whole are and building
Attic Insulation and R-Values
The R-Value in insulation is the measure of resistance of a material to heat flow by the thickness of the material. The higher the R-value, the higher the resistance. The R-values vary based on the type of material, density and thickness. For example, a R-20 insulator is twice as strong as R-1o material. Determining the proper value depends on the structure of your home as well as where you live. In states prone to warmer weather all year round, you won’t need a high R-value. For Indianapolis and Bloomington homes, we recommend an R-value of 49-60 for an attic with no current insulation.
If there is current attic insulation, then we recommend to replace with R38 to R49. If you live in other areas of the country, check out Energy Star’s chart, it shows numerical recommendations for R-values in different areas.
Older homes typically have lower R-values and therefore, are not able to insulate homes as well as newer ones. Updating your insulation could be the solutions to higher electrical costs. Removing water stained, compressed or moldy insulation and updating with a new one is also important.
Questions to Ask your Roofer About Insulation
While installing insulation inside your home is doable although strenuous task, consulting a local roofing contractor to provide an estimate and insight is not a bad idea. Especially if the material you want to work with is a harder one to install.
Here are some questions to ask before having your insulation installed:
- Can you provide a detailed estimate? By having a detailed estimate, you are able to see what services your roofing contractor is able to offer, what materials they work with, and an exact time frame of their work.
- Does the estimate include removal of current insulation? This depends on the state of the current attic insulation. If there are traces of mold or asbestos, then this requires a professional removal company.
- Will my family and I have to be outside of the home during installation? Normally, you can stay home if its a routine installation.
- Are there any warranties? A manufacturers warranty comes with all materials, ask the contractor for the information and see which material option is best for you. Its also a good idea to ask the roofing contractor if they provide labor warranties.
- Which installation is the most economical? Typically, fiberglass batt insulation is the less expensive of all products. However, more material needs to be in use due to the lower R-value of each square in order to get the desirable results.
- What is the average cost per square foot? Generally, it can cost from $1 to $2 per square foot for blown-in insulation. Essentially, it would cost from $2,000 to $4,000 for a 2,000 square-foot attic. This is an average estimate, the final costs depend on the type of insulation, R-value and labor.
Bloomington Insulator Installers
Investing in appropriate attic insulation is one of the best things you can do for your home. Not only do you save money in the long run, but you are also helping to keep your roof intact. Proper insulation helps to avoid mold, leaks and keeps electricity costs at a minimum. Consult with a roofing contractor and see what they can do for your attic.
As stated above, there are different options to choose from for a proper installation. Depending on the adequate R-value, location of your home and your budget, you can get the best insulation that will work years down the road. In Indiana, a normal R-value is around R38 at a minimum.
Oscar Roofing not only provides insulation services, we also provide siding, gutters and painting services for all types of residential and commercial buildings. Fill out our contact form for more information. We serve all of south, central and north Indiana areas, such as Bloomington, Indianapolis, Fishers and Carmel.