5 Types of Roof Insulation for Attics

Several roof insulation types can help your house retain cool air in summer and prevent heat loss in winter.

Whether your home is small or large, you need to install proper attic insulation to help you save on heating and cooling costs during winter and summer.

Since there are many types of roof insulation for attics, finding an option that works best for your house can be challenging.

The good news is that reliable roofing companies like https://www.roofmasterlubbock.com/ can help you find what suits your house best.

worker adding attic insulation

This guide explores the pros and cons of each type of attic insulation to help you make an informed decision. Here are the different types of roof insulation for attics.

What is the R-Value of an Insulation?

Before we look at the various types of insulation, it’s vital to understand how the R-value can affect the effectiveness of insulation material.

Simply put, the R-value is the ability of a material to resist heat transfer. Its standard unit is a “per-inch” unit. The higher the value, the better the resistance to heat transfer.

The factors that can affect the R-value of an insulation material include the type and thickness of the material. The material’s density will also affect its R-Value.

Types of Roof Insulation for Attics

Now that you know how the R-value can affect insulation material properties, let’s look at the various roof insulation types, including their features, pros, and cons.

1.     Fiberglass Batt Insulation

fiberglass attic insulation type

This insulation is one of the most popular types of insulation in many homes. It has an R-value of 2.2 but can go up to 4.3 for high-density fiberglass.

Pros of Fiberglass Insulation

Here are the few advantages of fiberglass insulation:

  • Fire-Resistant: Since fiberglass is non-combustible, you can rest easy knowing that it won’t catch fire when installed on your wooden house.
  • Moisture-Resistant: Fiberglass can resist moisture effectively, making it more resistant to mold and mildew growth.
  • Easy to Install: You can quickly unfurl the fiberglass batts during installation. It will also cover a large area, making it the number one choice for many people.

Cons of Fiberglass Insulation

Here are a few disadvantages of fiberglass insulation.

  • Not Eco-Friendly: Fiberglass particles in the batts can loosen up when chewed by pests or manipulated over time. The particles can cause respiratory issues.
  • Vulnerable to Moisture: When fiberglass gets dampened by moisture, it loses its insulation properties, which will only return when it dries out.

2.     Spray Foam Attic Insulation

spray foam roof insulation type

Spray foam’s R-values are one of the highest, making it a suitable insulation material for attics. The two types are open-cell (R-value of 3.5) and closed-cell (R-value of 6.5).

Closed-cell foams have cells filled with gas to expand the foam to fill the spaces around it. Open-cell foams are air-filled, which gives the insulation a spongy texture.

Pros of Spray Foam Insulation

Here are the advantages of spray foam insulation.

  • Airtight Seals: Spray foam expands very fast and locks air tightly, preventing heat loss or transfer. It provides a vault-like seal.
  • Moisture Resistant: Since it’s impervious to water, it’s highly resistant to mold and mildew growth. Moisture doesn’t affect its R-value.
  • Highly Durable: Spray foam can remain effective for many years without doing any maintenance.

Cons of Spray Foam Insulation

Here are the drawbacks of spray foam insulation.

  • Shrinks over Time: Although spray foam insulation can’t lose its R-value, it tends to shrink over time in some cases.
  • Expert Installation: You have to hire a roofing expert to install the spray foam insulation. Doing it by yourself exposes you to many risks.

3.     Cellulose Attic Insulation

cellulose roof insulation

Cellulose insulation can be in the form of wood or recycled paper, and that’s why many people call it a green product. It’s usually treated with anti-flammable chemicals.

Pros of Cellulose Attic Insulation

Here are the reasons some people would install cellulose insulation.

  • Cost-Effective: Cellulose is one of the most affordable insulation for attics, despite having a higher R-value than fiberglass
  • Chemically Treated: Cellulose contains a chemical treatment of boric acid to repel insects and pests. However, that may not be true in some products.

Cons of Cellulose Attic Insulation

Like other insulation materials, cellulose also has a few drawbacks, such as:

  • Vulnerable to Moisture: Cellulose may lose its effectiveness when it gets into contact with water. The boric acid treatment may also make it corrosive.
  • Very Dusty: Since cellulose produces a lot of dust, you must put on a respiratory mask and goggles when it’s being installed in your attic.

4.     Loose-Fill Attic Insulation

blown in attic and roof insulation

If your attic is hard to reach, consider installing loose-fill attic insulation. A professional will blow the insulation into the gaps between the joists using specialist equipment.

Pros of Loose-Fill Insulation

Here are the advantages of loose-fill insulation.

  • Ideal for Inaccessible Spaces: You can quickly install loose-fill insulation in points that are hard to reach.
  • Highly Versatile: The insulation is available in cellulose, fiberglass, and mineral wool. However, cellulose is the most effective material for this type of insulation.

Cons of Loose-Fill Insulation

Here are the few disadvantages of loose-fill insulation.

  • Requires Skilled Expertise: You have to hire a professional or rent a special blowing machine to apply this type of insulation to your roof, which can be costly.
  • Unsuitable for Drafty Attics: If your attic seems drafty, the loose-fill insulation is not a perfect choice.

5.     Blanket Insulation

batt insulation attic roof

The insulation comes in the form of rolls or batts, and it’s the easiest to install. It is available as plastic fibers, mineral wool, and natural fibers.

Pros of Blanket Insulation

Here are the advantages of blanket insulation.

  • Ideal for Many Buildings: You can use blanket insulation in a vast range of buildings, including residential houses and commercial buildings.
  • Easy to Install: If you’re looking for a DIY insulation material, consider blanket insulation because it’s easy to install.

Cons of Blanket Insulation

Here are the disadvantages of blanket insulation.

  • Not Durable: Blanket insulation tends to wear out and break quickly, reducing its effectiveness in thermal protection.
  • Lower R-Value: Since blanket insulation has a lower R-value, you’ll have to use a thicker layer to achieve the desired thermal protection.

Final Words

Now that you know all the pros and cons of different types of roof insulation, you need to select an option that matches your style.

Consider working with a reputable roofing contractor to help you install the insulation of your choice correctly.

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