Thinking of insulating your roof? We’ve put together a guide to help you get it done properly.
Does roof insulation make a difference?
The roof is one of the most important areas of your home to insulate. A good proportion (some say up to 35%) of your home’s heat loss and gain occurs through the roof. So leaving it uninsulated or poorly insulated will have a dramatic impact on temperature regulation in your home.
There are so many benefits of having a properly insulated roof, including:
- Effective thermal regulation – helping you keep your home cooler in summer and warmer in winter.
- Save on energy bills – with better thermal regulation, you won’t need to rely on the heater or air conditioner as much, leading to increased savings on your power bill.
- A greener home – less dependence on artificial heating and cooling is not just good for your wallet, it’s good for the environment.
- Acoustic properties – roof insulation can help dampen loud noises that travel into your home through the roof such as strong winds and heavy rain.
Types of roof insulation
There are two main types of roof insulation: bulk and reflective.
Bulk insulation, such as insulation batts or rolls, works by trapping millions of tiny pockets of air which help slow down the rate of heat transfer. For this reason, it’s important that bulk insulation is not compressed in the installation process. Leaving gaps between batts will also reduce the effectiveness.
Reflective insulation has a thin layer of foil on one side, backed by a layer of paper or plastic. It works by reflecting radiant heat from the sun away from your home, and is particularly effective in hot weather. When installing reflective insulation, the foil layer should be facing downwards, and should be kept clean because any dust or damage to the foil layer will compromise its effectiveness.
Getting the R-value right
Whichever insulation product or brand you choose to insulate your roof with, selecting the right R-value is one of the most important factors. The R-value of an insulation product refers to how effective it is at slowing the rate of heat flow. So products with a higher R-value will be more effective at thermal regulation than those with a lower value.
For optimal energy savings and really effective thermal regulation, it’s best to go with the highest R-value you can afford. At Pricewise Insulation we recommend a minimum of R4.0 for roof insulation. If you live in colder places such as Sydney, Melbourne or Adelaide, we recommend upgrading to an R-value of R5.0 or R6.0.
Can you put too much insulation in an attic?
When it comes to insulation, more is generally better. However, without proper ventilation, an attic is at risk of building up moisture which can lead to mould problems and poor air quality. To avoid this, insulation should be installed properly with adequate ventilation.
If you are planning to DIY, make sure you do your research about the dos and don’ts of insulation installation so that you protect your home and set yourself up to reap the full range of benefits of roof insulation.