Roof insulation is not the most glamorous part of your home and in fact, very few people will ever see it or think about it. It is important, though, for making your home energy efficient, comfortable, and more resistant to loud noises outside. Many homeowners focus almost their entire remodeling budget on things like fixtures, carpets and other more visible aspects but they should really divert some of that money to make sure they have the best insulation possible.
Traditional roof insulation is made of fiberglass and comes in large rolls that resemble rolls of carpet. It is laid down between the rafters to help keep the house warm in winter and cool in summer. The thickness of this kind of insulation varies, and so does the density of the fibers in the material. The thickness combined with the density determines the effectiveness of the insulation, or R-value. The higher the R-value the better it is at insulating your roof and home.
Most homeowners can install traditional fiberglass insulation on their own, with just a few safety precautions such as gloves, a long sleeve shirt and a mask. This is to prevent the small glass fibers from getting onto your skin or from being inhaled into your lungs. If you have little or no experience with home improvement projects, it is always a good idea to find a contractor who can do the project for you. HVAC contractors are specially trained to complete roof insulation installations.
Another type of roof insulation that is growing in popularity is made of foam. The foam is sprayed into the area needing insulation, where it immediately starts to expand and fills up the available space. Spray foam insulation is especially good at filling up small cracks and air leaks because it does such a great job of expanding into those small areas. Foam insulation should only be applied by a professional because it involves the use of specific chemicals and protective gear. Because of this, it costs a bit more than traditional insulation but the better insulating performance means you will save more in energy costs. This almost always makes foam insulation the most economical choice over the long run. Regardless of the type of roof insulation you choose, the important thing is that you install it so that you will benefit from energy savings.