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Home | Our Blog | Insulation Roof: Types and Materials Guide

Insulation Roof: Types and Materials Guide

posted on Oct 11, 2019

You probably don’t give it much thought, but insulation is one of the best and easiest ways to reduce your cooling and heating costs while keeping your home comfortable throughout the year. Even those living in areas of the country that don’t face extreme temperature fluctuations will benefit from having insulation in their home. Fortunately, there are plenty of cheap roofing insulation material options available on the market today, and you can install many of them yourself if you want to.

In this blog, you’ll read about some of the most common types of roof insulation as well as their differences and pros and cons to help you determine which one would work best for you. You can also get our opinion at Legacy Service by calling us at 215-798-9790.

Insulation Roof Types and Materials

Types of Insulation Materials

Whether you’re looking to add insulation to the ceiling or the walls, you need to look at the different types to figure out which one would be best for you. Learn more about them below:

Loose-Fill Insulation

This kind of insulation is typically made from fiberglass or recycled fiber materials. The fluffy strands of fiber are blown into walls and attics with special machines to fill nooks and crannies and help eliminate cold spots.

Pros include cheap and easy installation and the fact that it’s good for filling up large spaces like attics.

Cons include how its installation can pose health risks, how it can deflate eventually, and that it may trap moisture in the event of a leak.

  • Fiberglass – It’s lightweight, which is a good thing, but since it’s so fluffy, loose applications can lose up to half of their effectiveness at cold temperatures unless they’re topped with higher-density loose fill or blanket insulation. It’s best to use this type in ceilings.
  • Cellulose – Once of the best things about loose-fill cellulose insulation is that it’s effective at all temperatures and can perform even better as it gets colder. However, it can be too heavy for attic installations and can settle almost 20% over time, which reduces its effectiveness. It’s best to use in ceilings, wall cavities, and unfinished attic floors.

Batts and Blankets

This is the most common type of insulation for the roof as well as the rest of the home. It’s suitable for Do-It-Yourself projects and comes in rolls that are easy to carry and transport. The prefabricated chunks are made from rock wool or loose materials.

Pros include cheap and easy installation as well as a practical way to fit insulation between small spaces.

Cons are exactly the same as for loose-fill insulation.

  • Fiberglass – It’s widely available and designed to fit between rafters, joists, and studs. Some versions also make installation easy. The downside is that it can be itchy to install, so you’ll need protective clothing. It also compresses easily, so it could lose insulating properties. It’s best to use in ceilings, walls, and/or floors.
  • Rockwool – The good thing about Rockwool is that it’s more fire-resistant than fiberglass, its installation is quick and staple-free, and it doesn’t itch. However, it’s not widely available, and since it retains moisture, it can harbor mold growth. It’s best to use in walls, floors, and ceilings.
  • Cotton Batts – This type of material comes in easy-to-handle rolls, and it doesn’t itch. It’s also easy to cut for fitting around pipes. But it’s also not widely available and can be pricier than the other types of batts.

Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs)

This roofing insulation type has superior energy savings, but it’s also pricier than the other types. The panels typically come in 4 ft. by 8 ft. sheets, but some manufacturers also make them as large as 8 ft. by 24 ft.

  • Polystyrene SIPs – This SIP has two versions: Expanded (EPS), which is the least expensive, and Extruded (XPS), which is stronger and blocks moisture better. They’re both lightweight and easy to install, but they must be cut to fit around pipes and other wall penetrations. It’s best to use them in new walls, floors, ceilings, and roofs.
  • Polyisocyanurate SIPs – This type is another one that’s easy to install. It has the highest R-value per inch among the roof insulation materials, and its thickness ranges from 1/2 inch to 2 inches. Its foil acts as a moisture barrier, so it shouldn’t be used in an area that already has one. It can also be expensive.

Spray Foam

Spray foam may cost more than batt insulation, but it also has higher R-values. Since it goes on as a liquid, it seals cracks and gaps to stop air leaks.

Pros include that it’s waterproof and weather-insulating, and it can be used in place of caulking jobs.

Cons include that it must be installed by a professional and it’s the most expensive way to fill large empty spaces.

  • Open-Cell Polyurethane Spray Foam – The good thing about open-cell is that it stops the movement of air. However, it also allows water to pass through, so you may still need a moisture barrier. It’s best to use in ceilings, floors, and walls.
  • Closed-Cell Polyurethane Spray Foam – Closed cell is advantageous because it stops the flow of moisture as well as air. The downside is that it requires professional installation and it’s relatively expensive. Like open-cell, it’s best to use in ceilings, floors, and walls.

Roof Insulation

Best Areas to Insulate

Use insulation to protect your attic and basement as well as your external walls and garage. These areas are the most susceptible to temperature change. You can also use insulation to protect water heaters, helping to extend their lifespan and reduce the amount of energy needed to heat water.

What is the Best Roof Insulation?

There’s not necessarily one type of material that’s superior; it’s about whichever works best for you. We hope that our comparison of the different types of roof insulation materials helps you decide which type is best for your home. At Legacy Service, we’ll not only help you make that choice, but we’ll also install it for you. To learn more about choosing the right type of insulation for your home, contact us today at 215-798-9790.

Posted on Oct 11, 2019 in Roof

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