The roof over your head is your main barrier against the Washington elements, not only the freezing cold of winter but also the heat of summer. Unfortunately, your roof alone cannot battle against the serious problem of heat transfer, both in summer and winter. The heat will leak into your home during the scorching summer days, and during winter when you need warmth in your home it seeps out through your roof. Because of this you end up with lower efficiency and higher energy bills, as well as a shorter lifespan for your roof.
Luckily this problem can be overcome by properly insulating your roof and attic space, and in that way reducing energy loss and helping your roof to last for many years to come. Unfortunately, when it comes to insulating their roof and attic space many people are really not sure what to do, resulting in air gaps and ineffective sealing that does not help to stop the heat loss. Here are some tips on how to avoid mistakes and insulate your roof properly.
The first thing to do is estimate how much space needs insulating. Simply measure the length and width of your attic to get a good estimate of how much blown or rolled fiberglass blankets to buy. Add a bit extra, just in case.
Next, using plastic sheeting, you need to cover the entire attic floor between the rafters and several inches up the wall. It is perfectly fine to use multiple pieces of plastic as long as they are secured with duct tape and all air gaps sealed. Be careful to NOT BLOCK THE ATTIC VENTS while you are sealing all the gaps. These vents are critical for the condition of your roof and also for preventing the growth of mildew and mold in your attic.
Installing blown insulation requires the use of a blower. It is important to carefully read the manufacturer’s instructions because each brand may be different. A layer needs to be blown between the attic joists and after that another thin layer over the top. It’s a good idea, if your attic has floorboards, to blow a full thick layer beneath the boards and then replace them. For greater efficiency top it all with another thin layer.
You need to be accurate when installing rolled insulation. Just a one-inch gap will cause you to lose as much as 20% in heating and cooling efficiency, so make sure your insulation has no gaps or cracks and that it sits flush with the floor joists. Rolled insulation is most effective if you also put it between the roof rafters. Any exposed wires or pipe should have insulation placed under it and then sealed with plastic sheeting over the top.
Due to its remarkable effectiveness and quick installation, spray foam insulation is gaining popularity. If you are considering this type of insulation, we recommend hiring a professional for the job because special tools are needed, (usually an air powered paint gun), and the mixing of the chemicals must be accurate for the best results. It is usually worth the extra cost.
Do you need someone to do roof repairs? Or install a new roof? At Four Seasons Roofing we are more than ready to be of service in Snohomish, Bellvue, Everett, or all across the Puget Sound area. Contact us today for an estimate.