Your guide to insulating an attic
Proper insulation is one of the most critical factors in a durable roof system. Without the necessary insulation, heat and moisture can build up in an attic area. They combine to cause rafters and sheathing to rot, shingles to buckle, and ventilation to lose its effectiveness of helping to control the temperature in the house.
Ideally an attic should have:
- A gap-free layer of insulation on the attic floor
- A vapor retardant under the insulation and next to the ceiling
- Enough open, vented space
- Minimum of one inch between the insulation and roof sheathing
There are various different kinds of attic insulation out there for you to choose from to lie in your home. The rule, as outlined by the Department of Energy, is that if you can’t see floor joists because of the insulation, adding more isn’t cost-effective. Otherwise, you should do so. You should also make sure the insulation is evenly distributed. It should be laid depending on the R-value of the attic heat flow. The average insulation should be 10 to 14 inches, depending on the materials used to do so.
There are a lot of different materials to choose from when insulating your attic. Depending on where you live and how much insulation is already laid in your attic, you can choose from any of the common insulation materials out there for consumers:
- Fiberglass: Has the most ventilation
- Blown-In Insulation: Allows the installer to reach areas that remain inaccessible by hand
- Spray Foam: Best way to seal a room
- Standard Foam: Balance between good insulation and ventilation
- Batt or Rolled: Good for fitting into hard to reach spaces, can be hand-cut
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