Though seemingly useless apart from extra storage (or sometimes a room conversion), insulating your attic is just as important as the rest of your house. Due to being located at the top of your home, it is essential to add a layer of protection in the place that is the most susceptible to energy loss. The climate in which you live, the design of your home, R-value (level of insulation), and your own personal preference all factor into choosing the right insulation. Here are the pros and cons of the three most widely used types of insulation for your attic.
Fiberglass is the traditional pink (also comes in blue or yellow) fluff you see in most homes and home improvement stores. It is ideal for DIY or a low-cost solution. “Batts” refers to the multi-layered quality they possess. The thicker the batts, the higher the R-value, which controls the amount of heat that escapes and/or enters your home.
- Can last for up to 50+ years.
- Fire retardant
- Most cost-effective option.
- Relatively easy installation due to being precut.
- Poses some hefty health risks.
- Does not provide a 100% seal and the R-value degrades over time.
What About Loose Fill Fiberglass?
Loose fill fiberglass is different from fiberglass batts in that it does not come in layered rolls. Rather, loose fill fiberglass must be blown into the walls by means of truck-mounted machinery. The quality is relatively the same, but the difference is that loose fill fills in gaps or tricky corners better than batts due to its more flexible nature.
Cellulose is the most eco-friendly option as it uses shredded newspaper to be blown into the walls of your home.
- More airtight than fiberglass.
- Contributes to the environment by cutting down on waste and reusing materials.
- Easy installation in that there is no need for cutting and measuring.
- Though it contains Boron, an insect repellant, it is not necessarily a pro due to limited supply of the material.
- It is not the cleanest process when installing and removing.
- Its fire retardant properties lose strength over time, making it highly combustible.
- It’s better for the environment, but not much better for your health when compared to fiberglass.
Spray Foam (Open and Closed Cell)
Spray foam is the most energy-efficient insulation option. It provides a powerful, airtight barrier that stays fully in place and does not degrade over time like the above options. It is also the most customizable, providing both open and closed cell levels of sealant.
- Seals off all gaps and corners that other forms of insulation can’t reach.
- Reduces heating and cooling costs by 50%.
- Durable and impermeable to water, effectively abolishing mold and mildew growth.
- Essentially lasts forever, as it does not lose its R-value over time.
- Requires a high level of expertise for proper installation.
- Though it does not lose its r-value, it may start to shrink as it ages.
- The process is more time consuming and invasive.
- Spray foam does not meet building code requirements in some areas.
Which One Do I Choose For My Attic?
As stated in the introduction, it all comes down to what your needs and preferences are. However, we acknowledge that it can be daunting to examine your attic and thoroughly research your options. That’s why we suggest setting up a no-cost estimate with a professional to help break everything down. Located in Ottawa, Ontario, Ottawa Insulations are the ones for the job! Proudly sporting 40+ five star reviews, a reputation such as theirs is sure to put anyone’s mind at ease. Check out their website and schedule a free in-home estimate so you leave it to the professionals!