We all know that insulating your attic is a good thing, but how much do the details matter? Does the kind of insulation you choose make that much of a difference? And does this really count as a DIY project?
Here at SoDak Insulation, we have made insulating your attic our number one concern. Whether you are contemplating cheap attic insulation or wondering if it is even worth starting the project, we can help. Read on for our top tips and insider advice, and you will be an insulation expert in no time!
Why Insulate Your Attic?
Before we get into the pros and cons of cheap attic insulation, you may ask why you should bother in the first place? This issue is a particular concern in warm climates, where heating the home is less of an urgent priority.
The simplest answer can be found in physics: heat rises. When air is heated, it expands, causing it to become less dense than the surrounding particles. Because the hot air is now less dense than the cold air around it, it rises up and to the top of the house: the attic.
Of course, the hot air doesn’t automatically stop when it hits the attic. If your attic is inadequately insulated, it will simply keep going. As a result, you will have to spend more money heating your home. Without insulation, a huge amount of the heat generated will simply be lost forever.
What Are The Types of Insulation?
There are a range of options when it comes to choosing an insulation material.
Batt or Blanket Insulation
Batt insulation, also known as blanket insulation, is one of the most common selections. It comes in several variations: foil-backed felt, rocks, glass or mineral fiber — and it is easy to install.
This option is perfect for exposed wall cavities and easily accessible spaces, though it may be too bulky for smaller apertures. Any fiberglass insulation needs to be handled with care.
Another popular choice for cheap attic insulation is loose-fill. This option is constructed from granular or lightweight materials. Common choices include cellulose insulation, recycled newspaper, cork granules, or mineral wool.
Loose-fill options are a great choice for obstacles or awkward shapes. They can, however, risk coming loose if the attic is particularly draughty.
Sheet Loft Insulation
Sheet loft insulation is designed for the sloping side of your roof and takes the form of solid boards. Depending on your selection, they can be made moisture-resistant and fire-proof, as well as offering insulation properties.
Options include straw, cork, and wood. These can offer a perfect fit if you are investing in a complete loft conversion. Once complete, the boards can be covered in plasterboard for a neat finish.
As the name suggests, this option involves insulation being blown into gaps between joists. In most cases, the task needs to be carried out by an experienced professional.
Recycled paper and wool can help boost eco-credentials, and this type of insulation is lightweight and easy to handle. On the downside, it is amongst the most expensive options.
How Does Attic Insulation Help?
Attic insulation may set you back the initial insulation cost, but you can soon recoup any losses. Making sure that your attic is securely insulated helps to improve the energy efficiency of your home.
It also helps by reducing air leaks and helping to reduce the heating and cooling costs of your home. You will soon find yourself making serious savings, allowing even cheap attic insulation to pay for itself in a few years.
Additionally, attic insulation is a sure-fire way to boost the value of your home. This is also a great way of making it more appealing to buyers should you decide to sell in the future. A potential buyer will see the value in insulation. In time, this could help you secure your desired asking price with minimal fuss.
What Do I Need To Do Before Choosing Cheap Attic Insulation?
Before deciding on your preferred insulation, there are a few steps to get your attic ready for a transformation.
Consider the current condition.
Before you start, evaluate the existing condition of your attic. This will help you to determine the best insulation for your needs. If you find wet or damp patches or mold or rotten wood areas, you may have a leak.
If this is the case, it will need to be fixed before you insulate. Take a structural engineer up with you to catch any problems and make sure the area is ready to go.
Seal the space.
Once you have evaluated and addressed any issues, you need to ensure that the attic is air sealed. This means sealing up and removing holes, cracks, or gaps — these allow air to transfer from inside to outside. If left untreated, you will be unable to maintain a consistent, desired temperature.
Common options for sealing include spray foam insulation, designed to expand, and caulk. You will still need to leave ventilation after sealing; this is best left to the experts for a smooth, professional finish.
Remember existing insulation.
In some cases, you may be able to simply update or replace your existing insulation. This is an easy way to enjoy cheap attic insulation and can be a great way to save some serious cash if you are insulating on a budget.
Choose your insulation.
Before you decide, there are three considerations: the desired R-value, the available space, and the cost.
The R-value relates to the rating for the thermal resistance per inch of material. The higher this number, the better the insulation.
Different types of insulation will need different amounts of space to allow for effective insulation. As an example, fiberglass batts typically have an R-value of 2.9-3.8 per inch. Therefore, to achieve R 49, you will need 13 – 17 inches thick — this can be tricky in confined spaces.
Cost is another important factor, and this is where cheap attic insulation comes in useful. Fiberglass bats tend to be the most affordable option, but any tears or damage can reduce efficiency.
Ultimately, you need to decide whether you would rather save money now and risk a bill later. Alternatively, you can choose to invest a little more to start with.
Here at SoDak Insulation, we have made it our mission to advise and assist on all insulation matters. Our experienced team has the skills and qualifications to carry out full attic insulations. We can also offer professional advice on the best options.
Why not leave your job in the professionals’ hands, and let us take care of the hard work for you? Get in touch today, and enjoy an estimate or full inspection.