INSULATE YOUR ATTIC TO PROTECT YOUR ROOF
The winter months may be behind us, but now is the perfect time to take care of your roof and attic. Did your heating bills fly through the roof? Find your home a bit drafty? Do the summer months leave you sweaty despite high electric bills? The problem may not be your roof, but your attic. A properly insulated attic prevents the weather from infiltrating your walls and keeps your indoor temperatures stable. Instead of jumping into a northern VA roof replacement, start with insulating the space. Chances are, you can kiss those expensive utility bills good bye.
The simplest—and cheapest—way to insulate your attic is to add insulation material to the floor of your attic space. Unfortunately, this means you will need to find a new home for the Christmas tree and off-season clothes. Plywood floors, used for storage space, get in the way and don’t allow for the right amount of insulation.
There are two types of DIY insulation: loose fill and batt, or blanket insulation. These allow you to layer the material over existing insulation. Each has pros and cons, so you’ll want to do your research and talk to professionals about what is best for you.
Loose fill is packaged in bags and blown in place using rentable special machinery. It can also be poured in a spread manually, but it is much more labor intensive and the results won’t be as effective. Loose fill is excellent for topping existing insulation because it fills gaps, and works well in attics with irregular joist spacing or low-clearance spaces. With the right machinery, loose fill gets the job done well, quickly.
Batt insulation comes in rolls of varying thickness and widths, and is cut to fit the attic space. A paper or foil facing is often included to act as a vapor barrier. It is most effective in attics with no existing insulation. If you have plenty of headroom in the attic, and don’t mind cutting the rolls to fit, this is an excellent way to insulate. No fancy machinery required.
During the insulation process, all air leaks need to be sealed and any roof leaks need to be repaired. This process is more than just laying down insulation. Whether you live in NOVA or need roofing in Santa Cruz California, you need to protect your attic and home from the elements.
If your dream is to one day convert the attic to an air conditioned storage or living space, it’s better to insulate between the rafters instead of the floor. This, however, requires a professional. A roofing professional will install spray foam insulation between the rafters and wall joists, giving you more protection. Or, it’s a great alternative if you just can’t give up the storage space, even without the air conditioning.