One of the areas of a home that will provide the most bang for your buck when adding additional insulation is your roof. At REScheck.info we are familiar with all types of insulation, and which ones you can use together. In the instance your REScheck does not pass we can suggest ways to beef up insulation around your envelope so that your home can be built for minimal extra cost in your climate zone. This allows you and your building inspector to be happy with a home that will not cost you a fortune in energy bills over the life of the home.
One type of insulation that most people are familiar with is the fiberglass batts of insulation. This can come in a multitude of different R-Values and is stapled in between the conventional lumber of your roof framing. The potential downfall of this type of insulation is that it loses R-value quickly if it comes in contact with moisture. Also the areas of conventional lumber spaced every 16″-24″ act as an insulation gap. Since the wood framing has less R-value per inch than the insulation itself, quite a bit of energy can be lost here. The REScheck reporting reflects this.
Another type of insulation a rigid board. This typically comes different thicknesses, R-Values, and has an array of different backings depending on your climate zones and individual needs. This insulation is typically used on the top of cathedral ceilings, heavy timber roofs, and can be applied in areas where construction calls for the use of a tongue and groove decking. With the 4×8 sheets being placed side by side and then taped at the seams there are minimal breaks in the insulation. This would also be the type of insulation used in structural insulated panels, In the SIPS instance it would be sandwiched between two plywood or OSB boards. A REScheck energy report will consider this type of insulation to be continuous subsequently giving you a better score per R-value than any type of cavity insulation.
The next type of insulation is blown in insulation. With this method, bags of shredded material, typically cellulose, are blown in using a machine. An attic door is opened and a layer of the insulation is blown into your truss or ceiling framing cavities. This is considered a cavity insulation as well. One nice thing about the blown in insulation is that it can be added almost anytime and on top of other insulation systems without minimal intrusions. If you have a leaky attic a 1-hour blown in insulation session can fill in the gaps. As far as new construction goes the blown in insulation works well as long as you get it thick enough and keep a consistent layer across the entire ceiling system.
One of the more modern methods of insulating a roof system is sprayed in foam. This is a foam that is blown onto the underside of roofing plywood and stays there. It eliminates thermal bridging and also will provide what a REScheck report would consider to be a continuous layer of insulation. Again, with any type of sprayed insulation it is good to get a thickness and R-value guarantee for the company that applies it so they are on the hook for mistakes. Also you want to have a product sheet of what they are actually spraying into your attic space to avoid possible dangerous off-gassing from an unapproved spray foam.
In conclusion there are several types of roofing insulation that we see most often at REScheck.info. One of the great advantages of using a REScheck energy report is that you can see how the insulation in your home works together as a system before you ever pay your first energy bill. Another advantage is that you do not have to use just one. With your custom REScheck report we can help you decide which combo of insulation might work best for your climate zone and show you ways to lower your energy bills for the life of your home. Thank you for reading and feel free to share on Houss, Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook, or Google Plus. We have a presence on all of them.
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