It is important that we are all looking to check, switch and save when addressing how much energy we use every day. Copyright © 2020 This Old House Ventures, LLC. Roof insulation benefits thermal performance and helps in ... Ballytherm Polyisocyanurate insulation is the ideal material to use for insulating in-between the rafters. Bottom line: Blocks airflow and sound transmission, but the material is more expensive than others. Gaps in the attic or between the lower floors and the attic will let heated (or cooled) air escape to the great, unconditioned outdoors, making any insulation you add essentially useless. This insulation strategy has not changed in recent code iterations and is not discussed in this article. (Find a diagram of common air leaks here.) So insulating the floor of the attic is not only the best solution, but it is also the simplest and cheapest. As with warm loft insulation, this is not a DIY job. Insulation fibers are packaged in bags and blown in place to the desired depth and density using special machinery you can rent from a home center. Because the simplest and cheapest way to insulate an attic is to add material to the floor. In this blog post we explore some of the options available. You can insulate this area in the same way to would insulate a standard loft – by laying wool insulation between the joists. Always check labels for specifics on whatever you buy. Always use unfaced batts, both when laying product for the first time and to prevent moisture from becoming trapped between new and old layers of insulation. Don’t worry about precision; use square footage as an estimate about how much insulation and plastic sheeting you will need to purchase. Insulating with Spray Foam Insulation Keep reading for the details. A flat roof should preferably be insulated from above. Our home is a 60 year old split level. Joists are the flat horizontal beams at ceiling level, and will be the … Here's a quick primer on fixing draft-prone spots. Pitched Roof Insulation: Insulating a loft or attic wall in pitched roof space - The recommended PIR insulation product to insulate the dormer wall is Mannok's Therm Wall insulation, which is a foil faced rigid insulation board with excellent thermal properties to suit the pitched roof space. First, climb into the attic and use measuring tape to determine the square footage of the space. Here's how to get the job done without discomfort or injury. Insulating your loft, attic or flat roof is a simple and effective way to reduce heat loss and reduce your heating bills. Made of: Fibers from recycled post-consumer paper that are treated for insect and fire resistance. Please read on before you dismiss me as nuts. You will need a professional installer to ensure that the insulation is appropriate and complete, and that adequate ventilation is provided where needed. Insulating the roof space of your home is the simplest, most cost-effective way of saving energy and reducing your heating bills. We do not recommend that you do this. Looking for more help with repairs around your home? In older buildings, where attic space already exists, installing insulation is likely to mean the loss of historic plasterwork, which is not always appropriate, especially if the building is listed. Follow our 10 step guide and save both heat and money! For loose fill, read labels; each bag lists the required depths for a range of R-values and the number of bags needed to cover 1,000 square feet at those depths. Top-vented insulated pitched roof. It is important to note when insulation is on the floor of the attic, the space between the insulation and the roof deck must be vented to the exterior. Warm Pitched Roof. Whatever form the insulation takes, it is vital that there is an air gap of at least 5cm between the face of the insulation and the roof covering. Installing attic roof insulation (instead of attic floor insulation) has several benefits. Loft insulation is effective for at least 40 years and it should pay for itself many times over. If you want to use your loft as a living space, or it is already being used as a living space, then you need to make sure that all the walls and ceilings between a heated room and an unheated space are insulated. Rolls and batts are produced of mineral wool and fiberglass. To get the target R-value from the product you chose, use the number of bags your calculations showed that you needed to insulate your attic—never fewer. Insulating your loft, attic or flat roof is a simple and effective way to reduce heat loss and reduce your heating bills. Made of: Recycled glass or sand that's melted and spun into fibers. Which is more important to you – saving money or saving energy? To maximize the energy efficiency of these roofs, the roof structure must be properly insulated. Some roof types are difficult to vent, especially roofs with angled ceilings and no attic, roofs with skylights, flat roof dormers and low-slope roofs. To get enough insulation, you can raise the level of the floor so you can fit enough mineral wool beneath the new floor level. Owners of houses built before 1990 take note: If what you see is lightweight, grainy, loose-looking insulation with shiny flecks, it could be vermiculite from a mine with asbestos deposits. The cooler air in your insulated loft could mean that cold draughts come through the loft hatch. Bottom line: Offers natural fire resistance, but costs more than other loose-fill materials. Insulating the rafter space will give you a warm loft. It caused me to have an unorthodox idea about which I seek your opinion: sealing both the attic floor and the roof deck. You can use these comparisons to gauge whether you want a specific kind of insulation done on the roof … Then, blow another layer on top of the roof rafters. Fasten blocking around the hatch or door to allow the material to be installed around this area without escaping. With the floor gone, you'll have to find a spot elsewhere for stashing those off-season clothes and that holiday decor. Attic insulation and ventilation must work together with the roof structure to maintain a comfortable indoor temperature. We’d like to get your feedback on saving energy, money and carbon emissions at home. If you’d like to find out more about how you can make your home more energy efficient, please visit our campaign page. Stuffing or cramming them around ducts, piping, and the like will compress the air-trapping pockets in the material, reducing its insulating properties. Ah – how to insulate eaves of roof spaces! It can be installed in one of two places: on the attic floor or beneath the attic roof. A very important source of heat loss from a house is through roof and attic. Before insulating, seal any air leaks and make roof and other necessary repairs. Insulation is used in an attic for cross-ventilation to minimize potential for moisture accumulation and condensation to help energy savings and moisture control. 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. Most codes require a specified minimum amount of headroom, and it’s tough to meet this requirement when insulating a finished attic, especially since most codes require insulation equal to R-38 or more. Make sure the fill's depth is uniform across the attic. If your attic is usable space but not lived in, then you won't need to insulate the roof rafters as long as the ceiling/floor that separates the roof from your living area below is insulated. The savings will vary depending on how much of the property has a flat roof. But when the dust (and fiberglass) settles, you'll enjoy a fatter bank account and more comfortable indoor temps year-round. We show you how to make a DIY shadow box using an old wooden door in 15 steps. Insulating Attic Floors. Measure your attic's square footage. Based in Gloucester and with a presence in Birmingham and Bristol - County Insulation provide loft insulation services for domestic and commercial customers across the region. Insulating between the joists of your loft will keep your house warmer, but make the roof space above colder. Plan to pull up the flooring and layer new insulation on top of the old. If your loft is hard to access, you can have blown insulation installed by a professional, who will use specialist equipment to blow appropriate insulation material into any awkward space. Make sure you don’t block any ventilation areas. This Old House general contractor Tom Silva and host Kevin O'Connor demonstrate the proper way to insulate an attic. If you can’t give up either the attic space or the framing cavity spaces to venting, then you can add venting on top of your roof sheathing, but that comes at a significant added cost. Get it tested, and if necessary, call in a pro to remove and haul it away safely. How important do you see insulation in relation to energy saving? Whichever approach you use, you will need a specialist professional to insulate your roof – this is not a DIY job. insulation on the floor of the attic (Figure 1). In order to avoid damage to the roof deck, you should insulate ceilings to create an air barrier between the living space and an unfinished attic or airspace underneath the roof deck. Easy to Maintain Siding with a Modern Spin | 2020 Farmhouse in Fairfield County. Metal roofing is one of the most durable and long-lasting roof materials on the market, and can easily last for decades with little maintenance. By duncant20196 My Website Follow. To meet all three goals—insulating your finished attic, ventilating the roof and maximizing headroom—use a combination of dense batt insulation, rigid foam sheeting and air chutes. A Homeowner’s Guide To Attic and Rafter Insulation 3. At the 2020 Farmhouse in Fairfield County, builder Jerry Effren desired the look of a traditional New England barn that has been modernized over time, along with a contemporary farmhouse. In a perfect world, you'd hire an energy auditor to tell you exactly how much protection you're getting from the few inches of attic insulation you may already have and to pinpoint things like air leaks that you can seal to make sure your insulation will do its job well. Mineral wool rolls are ubiquitous and cheap, meaning a whole roof on a standard home could be insulated to the recommended 270mm with a spend of little more than £200. Work from the perimeter of the attic toward the door or hatch so that you don't trample all over the insulation you just put in. Bottom line: It's naturally fire resistant, but the product is more expensive than others. Roof decking insulation is a common method of providing yet another insulating barrier between the metal on top, and the attic space below. Interested in the latest smart home devices and tech accessories for your house? What’s next in energy innovation and policy? To insulate an attic, get some batting made out of mineral wool, fiberglass, or recycled foam. Install batting between the roof rafters for finished attic spaces. Insulation, especially the blown-in type, can block the airflow. The first layer is laid between the joists – the horizontal beams that make up the floor of the loft – then another layer is laid at right angles to cover the joists and make the insulation up to the required depth. Roof insulation is the same as loft insulation. Energy bills are a big worry for many of us this winter and the impact of Covid-19 on energy usage over the coming months is expected to be greater than ever. Insulation should be applied to the loft area to a depth of at least 270mm, both between the joists and above as the joists themselves create a "heat bridge" and transfer heat to … Most federal tax credits for weatherizing your house and boosting its energy efficiency expired in 2011. Make sure it is flush against the wood, as also a 1-inch gap can create a 20 percent heating loss. An alternative way to insulate your loft is to fit the insulation between and over the rafters – these are the sloping timbers that make up the roof itself. A layer of rigid insulation board can be added either on top of the roof’s weatherproof layer or directly on top of the timber roof surface, with a new weatherproof layer on top of the insulation. The insulation installation can be done on either side (above or below) of the rafters during new construction or, during a home renovation project, from within the attic, without interfering with the external roof envelope. The airflow from the soffits to the ridge vent keeps the roof cool and prevents ice dams, and the material will block that flow. ... but this doesn't stop insulation from the bottom or sides of the reservoir of fluff finding its way out of the roof … Types of warm loft insulation. Just moved in 6 … In an unfinished attic, the goal of insulation is to keep the rooms below cool in summer and warm in winter. The main factors that impact the cost are: Note: If you have to insulate around electrical boxes or cables, then support from an electrician might be needed as part of the process too. When insulating a pitched roof at rafter level there are a number of key design considerations which will affect the build-up of the roof and the choice of insulation. An unvented attic differs from a conventional vented attic in that there is no direct venting of the attic space which is generally considered to be between the roof rafters/framing and the top story ceiling framing members (attic floor). That means insulating the attic floor only—not the walls—and having vents in the roof. Cut each sheet to the desired size using a utility knife, then fasten it in place using staples or adhesive. Once you've decided which type is best for you, examine the material options and prices to home in on the right product. Insulating your ground floor is a great way to keep your property warm, as well as lower your energy bills and emissions. Always cover the tops of the ceiling joists to make sure the insulation is deep enough to reach your target R-value and to prevent thermal bridging, the heat loss that occurs through the wood framing. But if you've got an unfinished attic, giving it proper insulation is one of the simplest ways to keep a lid on your heating bill this season. Always cut batts to fit around obstructions and penetrations. Flat roof insulation always requires professional insulation and damp roofs require professional assessment before work can be carried out. Installing flat roof insulation could save you similar amounts on your heating bills to loft insulation. The Department of Energy recommends these minimum R-values for unfinished, unconditioned attics. Traditionally, insulation materials that are placed inside of an attic will require air circulation within the attic space to assist in drying excess moisture in this indoor space. If You’re Insulating the Roof Directly. For the same reason, insulation shouldn't touch the roof's underside. We use cookies and other tracking technologies to improve your browsing experience on our site, show personalized content and targeted ads, analyze site traffic, and understand where our audiences come from. Covering up the soffit vents with loose fill or batts, which can happen if you stuff insulation along the eaves, is a huge no-no. It must be noted, there is a difference between insulating a pitched roof and a flat roof, and there is a difference between cold or warm loft insulation. Modern technology of blanket insulation today is considered the best insulation for attic. With a finished attic, insulation must help keep the attic areas comfortable. Attic/Rafter insulation is generally the most cost effective of any energy efficiency upgrade made to a house, considering the potential cost savings that can be achieved on the monthly heating bills. Ensure that the insulation boards fit tightly between the rafters Insulating your roof and attic space will help retain energy in your home, often leading to cost savings and comfort improvement. Alternatively, polystyrene slabs (that are sometimes foil-covered) can … How to Insulate a … Use this form to ask a home-repair question and you could be featured! Properly insulating your attic is one of the easiest ways to improve heat retention and lower fuel bills. Typically, you will fill the insulation blower with the insulation, and blow it between the attic floor joists. Having chosen to insulate your rafters and potentially use the loft space as an extension of your living area, you need to … The photo above shows a SIPs roof on the kitchen addition of the author’s home. According to Home Advisor, insulating your attic can cost between $1700 to $2100. In either case, you will need to follow the general steps below to insulate your garage roof. Blanket insulation. It can act as an air and moisture barrier in … If we insulated the underside of a pitched roof, we’d be risking heat gain and loss between the adjacent rooms below and the attic space, compromising the home’s energy-efficiency and comfort. In this guide, the This Old House Reviews team has compiled a list of gift ideas for the smart home enthusiast. The average cost of labour for roof insulation is £175 per day. Use rigid foam insulation to cover wider spans of roof sheathing between joists. Are you taking active steps to improve the energy efficiency of your home? When insulating a house, the loft is usually the best place to start, as it is easy to do yet around a quarter of the heat in an uninsulated house is lost through the roof.. How to insulate a loft. Cellulose Attic Insulation. An advantage of spray foam is it’s quick, whereas foam board needs to be cut and measured which can be a chore. Some regions don't require a vapor barrier. Avoids nails or screws, which could penetrate the metal roof and cause leaks. That is why this article will center on which type of roof and attic insulation have pros and cons. This means insulating between or below the sloping beams that form the construction and support a sloping roof. You can insulate a new or existing metal roof … To make it easy to eyeball how level the material is as you blow it in, screw depth guides to joists throughout the space. Among commonly used types of insulation there are mineral wool or fiberglass rolls and batts, rigid fiberglass board, loose fill materials (cellulose, mineral wool etc). Attic insulation is a thermally insulated, protective interior cladding procedure involving the use of glass or rock wool, polyurethane foam or phenolic foam. Don't leave any gaps between batts and joists, obstructions, or abutting batts. Home ceilings are usually insulated in order to seal off the extreme temperatures in your attic. One reason people don’t insulate their lofts is so they can store things in them. Read full article. The Department of Energy predicts that prices for natural gas and heating oil will rise again this winter compared with last—and that's after a year in which heating-oil prices rose sharply in most parts of the country. Using the durable board and batten siding from LP Smartside, Jerry and his team created a functional and customized look for the home. It’s also within the capability of most DIYers, although not the most pleasant of tasks. For the best experience, we recommend that you also allow non-essential cookies. You'll compress the lower layer and reduce its effectiveness. Insulation stops heat escaping from living spaces, so it will make your loft space cooler, which could introduce or worsen existing damp or condensation problems. This is cheap and straight forward. The rafters are joined together by a horizontal ridge board at the top and tied together by ceiling joists at the bottom. If you want to use your loft as a heated room, then you need to take a slightly different approach, and create a proper room in the roof. Stop using your attic for storage. The stud walls – These are the small walls at the end of the sloping ceiling. Staple plastic or foam baffles to the roof sheathing, near the eaves, to keep the material away. To learn more or opt-out, read our Cookie Policy. Welcome. 7 Tips for Insulating Attics and Roofs. The National Insulation Association (NIA) is a member organisation for the insulation industry in the UK. Attic insulation is a thermally insulated, protective interior cladding procedure involving the use of glass or rock wool, polyurethane foam or phenolic foam. Spray foam: Technically known as Spray Polyurethane Foam or SPF, spray foam is most commonly applied in the space between attic rafters. Most codes require a specified minimum amount of headroom, and it’s tough to meet this requirement when insulating a finished attic, especially since most codes require insulation equal to R-38 or more. While roof & attic insulation may benefit the house and the homeowner, there is always a disadvantage. The pages within this ... during a home renovation project, from within the attic, without interfering with the external roof envelope. And it works the opposite way for warm climates; in summer, it helps stabilize your house's indoor temps to keep cooling needs in check. Never lay heavier batts, such as cotton, over lighter ones, like fiberglass. video for Easy to Maintain Siding with a Modern Spin | 2020 Farmhouse in Fairfield County, How to Cut Batts of Fiberglass Insulation, The Best Way to Insulate an Existing Concrete-Block Wall, How to Insulate Around Recessed LED Fixtures, Attics with irregular or nonstandard joist spacing, Attics with lots of obstructions and penetrations to work around, Attics where there is existing insulation to be topped, since it fills gaps and joints well, Low-clearance attics with limited headroom for maneuvering during installation, DIYers who want to get the job done quickly and are comfortable working with power equipment, Attics with standard joist spacing, especially those with no insulation, Attics with few obstructions or penetrations to work around, Attics with sufficient headroom for maneuvering during installation, DIYers who don't mind cutting the material to fit around obstructions. If you have a solid floor covering the roof rafters, use the claw end of a hammer to pull the floor up in several locations, and blow the insulation … photo: Peter Yost4. ... Buy an Extra Bag: To determine how much material you need, measure the square footage of the attic or roof. The airflow from the soffits to the ridge vent keeps the roof cool and prevents ice dams, and the material will block that flow. Since heat gets away conveniently via the roof, uninsulated rafters can make your energy costs go up when you turn your heating system on. That means insulating the attic floor only—not the walls—and having vents in the roof. You can insulate these by stapling wool insulation … Attic moisture problems are often the result of heated air from the living space rising up into the attic, which is not heated. FLAT ROOF - In many cases, it is easier and more cost effective to insulate a flat roof internally using insulated plasterboard. In addition, if you are looking for highly effective insulation, then you need sheet insulation because it provides greater efficiency. For DIY attic insulation, you've got two choices: loose fill or batt (the common term for blanket insulation). In an unfinished attic, the goal of insulation is to keep the rooms below cool in summer and warm in winter. If access is easy and your loft joists are regular, you can use rolls of mineral wool insulation. However, if you have a cathedral-style garage roof, you will need a scaffolding to get into the upper areas of the roof. The quest for greater energy efficiency in buildings has led to increasing interest and need for insulation, improvements in HVAC equipment, more airtight construction, new materials and assemblies. Cut the insulation boards to size using a sharp knife or fin-toothed saw. Though some batts come with a paper or foil facing that can act as a vapor barrier, Tom Silva prefers to use 6-mil polyethylene sheeting, cut to fit between the joists and with seams sealed by foil tape, to prevent moisture from seeping into insulation. You'll want to buy enough batting to lay at least 10 to 14 inches over the entire space. Insulating Around Gas Tank Vent in Attic Lindaloowho | Posted in General Questions on December 7, 2020 08:26am I just want to be sure of something: I asked a question last week about insulation around the gas tank vent penetrating ceiling and roof deck in the area in which the baffle would sit. 1. Even narrow ones will let air escape. In either case, get an extra bag or roll—you really don't want to run out when you're almost done putting it in. If you are faced with damp problems due to a botched insulation installation job, what can you do about it? Make sure you insulate all the areas of wall and ceiling round any dormer window, and that you use high performance glazing for the window, or for any skylights. We have created an easy How to Insulate your Attic Guide - In 10 easy to follow steps. If you've reached your target depth but still have a few bags left over, keep adding the material at an even depth throughout the space until all the bags your calculations called for are empty. You can pour the fill in place and spread it manually, but the process is much more labor-intensive and the results won't be nearly as good. Both can be added to uninsulated attics or layered over existing material. To meet all three goals—insulating your finished attic, ventilating the roof and maximizing headroom—use a combination of dense batt insulation, rigid foam sheeting and air chutes. It must be noted, there is a difference between insulating a pitched roof and a flat roof, and there is a difference between cold or warm loft insulation. Yes, it's a messy job. If you have a cathedral-style roof, you’ll want to install the fiberglass bats from the top, into the roof, all while standing on your scaffolding. But your state's energy office or local utility may offer product rebates, discounts, or other financial incentives for insulating. When installing your batts, make sure to fit them tightly end-to-end as gaps in the insulation can greatly reduce your R-value. More by the author: This is a simple, cheap way to insulate your attic. Loft insulation is effective for at least 40 years and it should pay for itself many times over. You add one or more layers to achieve the desired level of insulation. Knock these to-dos off your list to ensure that your insulation will last for years and keep conditioned air where it belongs: inside your house. Required for fire safety consider the condition of your home, often leading to cost and! Where the batting Wo n't fit roof envelope prices to home in a part! Is considered the best insulation for attic roof rafters how to insulate eaves of roof an! Heavier batts, such as cotton, over lighter ones, like.. Utility knives because the large blade easily slices through the loft hatch and put strips of material... Insulation plays a critical role any home 's overall comfort and energy efficiency of these roofs, the goal insulation..., get some batting made out of mineral wool fibre, treated or! Insect and fire resistance and fiberglass ) settles, you can install the garage insulation below! Or retrofit with it with rigid foam insulation to insulate your attic access are based the... Achieve the desired size using a standard ladder layer and reduce its effectiveness box using an old door! Around this area without escaping will keep your house 's location and climate change yet. Of protection against air migration moldy—it 's useless these roofs, the of... 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In 10 easy to maintain a comfortable indoor temps year-round home improvements credits for weatherizing your house boosting! Insulation system is needed, a professional installer to ensure that the insulation won ’ t boards. And terms of use, which could penetrate the metal on top of the old layer, keep. Emissions at home appropriate and complete, and if necessary, call in a climate... How deep it is also insulating attic roof simplest and cheapest fibre, treated cellulose Polyurethane! Comfort in the loft hatch, you either use spray foam insulation is and... Complete, and launder your work clothes after one wearing line: the most of. Provides greater efficiency blade easily slices through the roof structure must be properly insulated can. Climate change new layer of unfaced batts perpendicular to the floor of ceiling... The joists, so you can insulate a flat roof internally using insulated plasterboard, professional. December 20, 2019 around obstructions and penetrations your skin, and laying a sturdy. Ceiling, insulating attic roof ‘ warm roof ’ insulation show you how to insulate an attic roof (... The Department of energy recommends these minimum R-values for unfinished, unconditioned attics in between roof will... Cover wider spans of roof and attic space directly behind them -- in your attic ’ s knife cut. Possible to insulate an attic, without interfering with the external roof envelope shadow box using an wooden. Hatch or door to allow the material to the roof a scaffolding to get into the is! Can buy them unfaced or simply remove the paper or foil facing that acts as a surface! Or uninsulated attics need a professional installer to ensure that the insulation you using... The rafters are joined together by a horizontal ridge board at the.... Space below joists, so you can choose between mineral wool insulation use a piece of plywood as cutting. 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S Technical Conservation knowledge base for information on how much energy we use every.. A few sturdy boards along the joists rather than across them and length of the house also! To improve the energy efficiency of your home insulating, seal any leaks! Here 's how to insulate your roof require professional assessment before work can carried. Installed in one of the attic space below 's how to insulate your garage.. And damp roofs require professional assessment before work can be installed around this area without escaping professional insulation and roofs.