Roof & Attic Space Insulation Options, Costs, and Pros & Cons

Why Bother Insulating Your Roof and/or Attic Space?

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

Insulating in and around your roof attic space also prevents long term damage from moisture build up or ice damming, which results from the warm air trying to escape through the apex of the roof, but instead heating up the snow. Additionally, insulation serves as a way to enhance sound proofing on the uppermost envelop of your house.

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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.

Loose-Fill Insulation

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

R-value for loose-fill per-inch is between R2 and R4, higher value with fiberglass

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 between R30 and R50, and to achieve that for loose fill over 1,000 sq. ft. the cost amounts to $500 to $900 installed.

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