Top 5 Roof and Attic Space Insulation Options in 2021: Costs, Pros & Cons

Why Bother Insulating Your Home’s Roof or Attic Space?

Insulating your roof and attic space will help retain energy in your home, often leading to cooling cost savings and overall home comfort improvement.

Properly insulating in and around your roof attic space can make your home healthier and more durable. It can also help prevent costly long-term damage from moisture build up or ice damming, which often results from poorly insulated/ventilated attics that allow warm air escape through the attic and reach the apex of the roof, thus heating up and melting the snow in winter).

Additionally, roof and attic insulation serve as a way to enhance sound proofing on the uppermost envelop of your house.

Attic space insulation and ventilation illustrated
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There are five primary types of insulation for roofs, with their own advantages and disadvantages. The key value is always the capacity of insulation to resist heat flow. — This is also known as thermal resistance and is often measured in terms of R-value. The higher that value, the better the insulating power.

Blown-in or Loose-Fill Insulation

This is one of the two most common types of insulation. Often installed into wall cavities as a way to retrofit walls lacking insulation, it can also be blown into unfinished attic spaces. Typically, fiberglass or cellulose are the most common material choices.

R-value for loose-fill insulation can range between R2 and R4, with higher R-value for fiberglass loose-fill.

Pros: relatively low expense, fairly easy to install (blown-in or poured in).

Cons: as the material settles over time, the R-value is (slightly) lessened, needs vapor barrier as the material is prone to moisture absorption.

Cost: Generally, homeowners seek R value between R30 and R50, and to achieve that for an area of 1,000 sq. ft., the total cost would be between $800 to $1,400, depending on the project specifics, ease of access, and property location.

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Are your ready to make your home greener and more energy-efficient? If so, consider the following five home improvement upgrades that can be completed by a professional remodeling contractor, as well as by an experienced DIY enthusiast working collaboratively with a handy friend. 😉 1. Cool Roofs vs. Traditional Asphalt Shingles and Dark EPDM Rubber … Read more

Spray Foam Insulation Cost: Closed Cell SPF vs. Open Cell, Pros & Cons

Spray Foam Insulation, also known as Spray Polyurethane Foam (SPF), is considered one of the best insulating, and air sealing, and weatherization materials on the market today. In fact, there is no other material available that comes close to providing the insulation and weather-proofing benefits of SPF.

Spray Foam (SPF) Insulation Overview

Open Cell Spray Foam Insulation Application in between the Wall Cavities.
via GreenBuildingAdvisor.com

SPF is frequently used to insulate and air seal residential, commercial, and industrial buildings. A professionally done spray foam insulation application can completely insulate your home including walls and wall cavities, basements and crawlspaces, roof deck and attic space, as well as help seal those key spaces from the air leaks and moisture penetration.

Did you know? Home insulation upgrades including SPF can result in a more comfortable, healthier, and more energy-efficient home, with an average annual reduction of 15% in home heating and cooling costs. Such an upgrade can be especially consequential for homes located in areas that experience extreme temperatures, whether it be the blistering cold of winter or the sweltering heat of summer.

Once cured and hardened, spray polyurethane foam can actually help strengthen the walls and the roof structure of a house, as well as help protect against moisture, dust, pollen, insects and mold.

Spray Foam can be used in a variety of applications, not just for insulation, and will self-adhere to almost any material including concrete, wood, steel, and most existing roofing materials when spray foam is used as a roofing material for Spray Polyurethane Foam (SPF) roofing applications.

Fun Fact: SPF can even be used to create a tapered roofing system, in which the pitch or slope of the roof is created by the insulation itself!

Before you contact a professional, it’s always a good idea to know something about SPF and which type will best suit your project.

Beyond the Basics:

In this guide, we will answer the following questions:

  1. Cost to Install Spray Foam Insulation
  2. What is Spray Foam (SPF)
  3. Where Can SPF Insulation Be Used
  4. Pros and Cons of SPF
  5. Open Cell and Closed Cell Foams (Structure and Density)
  6. Two-Component vs. One-Component SPF
  7. High vs. Low Pressure Installation
  8. Application and Installation Considerations
  9. Cost Savings and ROI Benefits

Cost to Install Spray Foam Insulation: Closed Cell vs. Open Cell Foam

The national average cost to install spray foam insulation can range between $1.00 and $3.00 per square board foot (1 inch thick) of SPF insulation installed.

For example, to install 1,500 square board feet of one inch-thick Closed-Spray foam insulation in the attic space of a house, it will cost between $1.50 and $2.50 per square board foot, on average, with the total project cost ranging from $2,250 to $3,750, fully installed.

With the Open Cell Foam (a less-costly option), your cost will likely range between $.5 and $1.50 per square board foot (1 inch thick), depending on the size and type of application, accessibility, and your home’s location.

Note: The average cost per square board foot will largely depend on the type of spray foam insulation being installed (closed-cell foam is more costly than open-cell foam), project size (the larger the project the less you will generally pay on per square board foot basis for spray foam), your home’s location (local real estate market and demand for remodeling services), ease of access, and other project-specific variables.

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