Attic Insulation Fiberglass Vs Cellulose | How To Install Attic Insulation | Maintenance of Attic Room
Attic Insulation Fiberglass Vs Cellulose |How To Install Attic Insulation | Types of Attic Insulations | Fiberglass & Cellulose Attic Insulation Advantages and Disadvantages
The attic is the space that is located above the highest ceiling point in your house. It is a space in the roof of a building, which is usually used to store items and for ventilations.
The attic is also typically used as storage in homes where the basement of the house is flooded or infested.
If the house does not have an attic, builders will add a dormer and include an accessible window to the space.
When the attic is roofed with a vented roof, it can include insulation and air gaps that make it an energy-efficient storage space.
The attic roof of a house is often located in the top of the house. It can also be located in the space between the rafters. The roofing materials that are used may include shingles or tar paper.
The attic can be insulated and heated or cooled to provide a comfortable environment for the homeowner’s belongings or to hold the temperature of the house.
Attic roofs are very important because they allow natural light in the home and it allows for more space as well.
The attic roof is a key part of the roofing design for a house, as it provides a structure that allows for extra space for storage or even a living space.
Maintenance of Attic Room/Garret
The attic is the space that is located above the highest ceiling point in your house. This is the part of the house that is often neglected. The attic is also known as the garret room.
Here are a few ideas that may help you revitalize the air quality and appearance of your attic.
- -Keep your attic ventilated by opening the window whenever possible and also be sure to use fans to keep the air circulating.
- -Do regular check-ups on your roof. If your roof is leaking, fix it immediately!
- -Clear out all of your old stuff. This could mean getting rid of anything that you haven’t touched in years.
- -Paint the walls of your attic. The color scheme for the attic is mostly a matter of personal preference but red is the most common color. If you paint your attic walls, refrain from painting in other parts of the house at the same time. Painting a room at the same time as your attic can create some unpleasant color conflicts.
- -Use accessories that are designed for restorations such as insulation and drywall panels. Tape these panels together in large sheets to protect them from moisture during installation, and to make it easier to install them around attic joists. For large areas, you may want to purchase panels that are double-sided and cut them into multiple sections.
- -Check the baseboards of your walls for signs of peeling paint. Fixing a few small holes will keep the paint from peeling completely off, and will also increase the value of your home.
What Purpose Do Attics Serve?
The attic is the extra space created by a pitched roof. Pitched roofs are designed to reduce stress loads from things like snow and rain by shedding or spreading the weight in such a way that the roof does not collapse.
The result is an attic space left between the roof and the ceiling. The attic space is used as a bedroom place in dwellings such as log cottages.
Modern homes have flat ceilings and elevated roofs, which close off a space known as the attic.
The fundamental architectural purpose of attic is to divide the roof from the rest of the structure, making it easier to insulate on top while permitting airflow beneath the roof sheeting, which is vital for roof health.
Many homeowners also use the space for storage, but this use is declining as code standards for attic insulation strength have increased (it’s difficult to store items in an accessible manner if the attic is inches deep in cellulose insulation).
What we’ve discovered is that by insulating that space, we can keep the hot or cold in the area we pay to heat or cool, and by ventilating the attic, we can extend the life of the roofing material.
How To Install Attic Insulation
Attic insulation is an important part of a home’s energy efficiency, but not all insulation packages are created equal.
Some types of insulation, like fiberglass, can produce airborne particles and create a dusty environment in your attic. Other types include; cellulose insulation, Styrofoam sheets or wool batting
Here’s how to install insulation membrane:
- Prepare the attic access by using a ladder and an electric drill. This will make it easier to get into the attic space.
- Remove all the old insulation and debris from the attic. This will prevent old insulation pieces and dust from falling on the homeowner or roofing during installation.
- Install new insulation (which should come pre-cut) with the help of a friend or family member. This will make it easier to work on the roof.
- Attach the insulation to the metal roof joists with metal roofing nails or screws. Be careful not to expect the nails too deep into the roofing material.
- Nail the insulation to the roof. Use a hammer and nails or screws to attach it to the rafters, so it stays in place securely.
- Use a blow dryer to remove excess dust and debris from the attic floor. A broom can also be used as an alternative.
Types of Attic Insulations
There are several types of attic insulation: Batts, rolls and spray foam
Fiberglass Batt Attic Insulation (Batts)
A batts or fiberglass insulation is made of paper or plastic fibers that form a thin layer on rafters, sloping ceilings and attic walls.
These are usually polyurethane-based insulation sandwiched between 2 layers of cardboard coverings.
Fiberglass is by far the most commonly purchased type of attic insulation material.
The most popular kind of fiberglass insulation is batts, which are huge rolled-up sheets held together by an adhesive vapor barrier such as reflective foil backing or paper.
Fiberglass batts are the most convenient way to add insulation to your attic or any other section of your home. However, batts often provide the poorest insulation performance for any task.
However, because picking up a bundle at the shop and rolling it out requires no work, people use them frequently.
Fiberglass Batt Attic Insulation Advantages
Fiberglass batts provide some advantages, particularly for new construction with attics that have no prior insulation (as well as gut renovations). The benefits of using fiberglass batts include:
- Moisture Resistance – While fiberglass is not impenetrable to water, it does efficiently repel moisture. This makes it less susceptible to mold and mildew growth.
- Fire Resistance – Because fiberglass is noncombustible, you can install it next to your attic’s timber construction with confidence.
- Simple Installation – Bats are simple to pick up and unfold. And, because of their size, they can cover a lot of ground in a hurry. As long as they are correctly installed, they are an excellent candidate for new construction.
Cellulose Attic Insulation
A roll or cellulose insulation is made is made from recycled paper instead of polystyrene core with continuous fiberglass filaments to form a fluffy, solid sheet to rest on the rafters.
This type of insulation is more expensive and heavier than the rest.
Cellulose, which is made from recycled paper and contains boric acid for pest control and fire resistance, is a superior attic insulation choice than batts.
If you want to install cellulose insulation yourself, you can buy it in bags from your local home improvement store.
If you buy enough, they’ll almost certainly let you borrow an insulation blower for free. Do not attempt to buy a single bag and spread it out by hand for spot insulation, it is just too thickly packed.
The cellulose insulation method produces a lot of dust, but it does the job.
When you employ a professional, they will use wet-spray cellulose, which adds a little amount of water to help prevent dust and somewhat improve the insulation value per inch.
Cellulose has an R-value of roughly 3.5 per inch. While it does not produce an air barrier, the dense material does prevent most air movement.
This aids in the control of frost in attics. Of course, not totally, but it comes close.
Cellulose Attic Insulation Advantages and Disadvantages
Here are a few reasons why people believe cellulose is a good alternative;
- More affordable – Despite having a greater R-Value than most fiberglass, cellulose is significantly less expensive. In general, blown-in cellulose will cost up to a quarter of the price of blown-in fiberglass. Even while cellulose is a low-cost choice, it is so for a reason…
- Chemical Treatment — Manufacturers of blown-in cellulose prefer to advertise that because the cellulose has been treated with boric acid, it repels rodent and insect activity. This is absolutely not the case. The amount of boric acid in cellulose is practically ineffective at preventing rodent and insect activity. This is yet another marketing ploy that cellulose makers have been instilling in customers’ minds for many years.
It should be noted that cellulose is designed to retain and absorb moisture. As a result, it’s a haven for mold, mildew, and probable rotting.
All cellulose insulation must be accompanied by a vapor barrier to discourage this.
Spray Foam Attic Insulation
Spray foam is a type of insulation that is sprayed into attic spaces. It comes as a mist and is applied to the rafters or ceiling, creating a blanket of insulation.
At times it is sprayed on walls also. This kind of insulation works well for attics where there are leaks around the roof edges, otherwise known as R-values near the rafter/joist area.
Some people will misunderstand this section since spray foam might be more expensive than other types of insulation.
But it does not need to be more expensive. Spray foam is very good insulation, and most of the time the cost/inch is cheaper than other attic insulation.
Spray foam can absorb a great deal of water, but due to its occurrence in use, it does not retain as much air as batts. This means it loses a lot of its energy as it expands (either too much or too little).
Advantages of Spray Foam Attic Insulation
- It is especially good at protecting your house from leaks by sealing out the water. This means, for example, that a roof leak in the attic will not mean the water seeping down onto your living space.
- It is lightweight which allows it to be spread out quickly and easily around your attic space
Disadvantages of Spray Foam Attic Insulation
- Spray foam is very expensive for a small amount of insulation. It has a high R-value, but for a short time.
- Noise is also a factor when using spray foam. The spraying of the foam can be heard inside the attic space, but it is not loud enough to bother you in your home (unless there is already some noise happening due to other sources). It would certainly annoy people if you were using it while they were home… and this goes for all insulation types.
Cellulose Insulation versus Fiberglass Batt Insulation
Selecting the right material for attic insulation in your house can have a long-term impact on your comfort as well as you’re heating and cooling expenditures.
It is critical to understand the qualities of your attic insulation before selecting an insulation material.
Fiberglass Vs Cellulose Attic Insulation
Cost of Insulations
The cost of insulation is determined by your insulation contractor, their suppliers, and market conditions.
Fiberglass can be less or more expensive than cellulose. This however may not be the case with all insulation contractors. And it’s possible that this isn’t always the case with us. All you have to do is compare prices.
If one insulation material turns out to be less expensive than the other, the price difference can range from insignificant to significant.
Simply put, it is dependent. Aside from cost, you might pick cellulose or fiberglass for additional reasons.
R-value of the materials
The resistance of heat flow through a material is measured by R-value; the greater the R-value, the better the material resists heat flow.
The R-value of blown-in cellulose is 23% higher per inch than that of fiberglass batts, at 3.5 per inch of material. In most cases, cellulose’s air and heat flow resistance to that of fiberglass.
To suit a place correctly, fiberglass batts must be precisely cut. Failure to do so results in a poorly insulated – or even uninsulated region. Cellulose is much easier to install.
Breaks in the thermal barrier
Air leakage through cracks, cavities, and gaps in your home insulation accounts for roughly one-third of the heat loss in an average home.
Because batt insulation is so difficult to install correctly, batts rarely produce constant, continuous insulation levels.
Essentially, your home will have thermal barrier breaks. There will be hot and cold patches throughout your home.
Heat and comfort are also lost due to convection, which occurs when drafty air currents within the house, wall cavities, or attics carry heat to other regions.
Unlike batts, which might leave gaps, cellulose is blown in and fills all the gaps, cracks, nooks, and crannies in your attic. When compared to fiberglass, cellulose is an excellent air-blocker.
Wind-Washing Effects & Wet Insulations
Wind-washing occurs when air passing through a ventilated attic deposits dirt and dust into fiberglass batts. The R-value of dirty fiberglass batts is drastically lowered.
Because cellulose is denser than fiberglass, it is far more resistant to wind-washing.
Cellulose is prepared with borate minerals, which keep insects and rodents away from it. It will not rot, decompose, or mildew, and it will not support fungus or mold growth.
Wet insulation, in general, is a negative thing. However, cellulose is hygroscopic, which means that any moisture it comes into contact with gets disseminated throughout the material.
This prevents liquid from pooling in a single location. Cellulose can aid in the drying of other materials that come into touch with it and does not support mold growth.
Despite the fact that cellulose is comprised of paper, extensive mineral treatment provides it with long-term fire resistance. It does not burn like ground up paper, unlike fiberglass batts with paper backing.
Better For the Environment
Whichever one prevails, it’s most likely cellulose. However, fiberglass isn’t as damaging as you might assume.
Cellulose is created from recycled newsprint; around 80% of any given sample of cellulose insulation is made up of nothing but straight-up paper.
Aside from that, the only additional properties of cellulose are that it is a fire retardant and an insect repellant.
Some manufacturers add additional chemicals to the materials to bond them together.
Fiberglass is created by combining sand with glass. Because sand is a natural resource, the raw materials used to make fiberglass originate directly from the soil.
However, according to the Department of the Interior, the three main US fiberglass manufacturers use 20% recycled glass in their insulation.
What’s the bottom line?
Cellulose is primarily created from recycled materials, whereas fiberglass is primarily made from natural resources extracted from the ground.
Keep it in mind if you want to make an environmentally sound decision. Remember that any insulation is good for the environment because it minimizes the amount of energy used by your air conditioner and furnace.
Attic Insulations FAQs
1. Is cellulose insulation cheaper than fiberglass?
When blown-in insulation prices are compared, both fiberglass and cellulose are practically equal, costing roughly $0.60 to $0.80 per square foot for 6 inches of insulation.
batts, on the other hand, are less expensive, costing $0.40 to $0.70 per square foot for 6 inches of insulation on average.
2. What kind of insulation should I choose?
Regardless of your choice of attic insulation, make sure to have it installed professionally.
The materials needed to get the job done and the know-how gained through experience will save you time and money in the long run.
If you choose cellulose, however, be wary of a number of issues: insect infestation, rodent activity, mold growth or rotting wood. Make sure you plan for these issues before deciding on your best approach.
3. How much insulation do I need?
This depends on the effectiveness of your attic insulation. R-30 is the minimum standard for insulating an attic, but many experts recommend installing an R-30 or even an R-40 roof.
Note that you’ll need a varied R-Value depending on where you reside and what area of your home you’re insulating (walls, crawlspace, attic, etc.).
R-13 to R-23 are common external wall recommendations, while R-30, R-38, and R-49 are standard ceiling and attic space requirements.
4. How can I increase my attic’s insulation value?
To increase the effectiveness of your existing attic insulation, you must improve ventilation. Venting your attic will help prevent moisture buildup and promote airflow.
To keep a constant flow of fresh air, make sure to open the roof whenever possible. Install attic vents even if you do not plan to have insulation installed in your attic.
5. How can I improve my attic’s air circulation?
You can improve your existing insulation by upgrading the quality of the fiberglass insulation in your attic.
The insulating properties of fiberglass insulation are relatively poor, with R-values ranging from R-3 to R-5.
To increase the insulation value of your attic, contact your local home improvement store and ask if they sell fiberglass or blown-in cellulose.
6. How can I control insect infestation?
Fiberglass insulation is highly attractive to pests such as cockroaches, ants, and silverfish; they will use it as shelter and food sources.
However, cellulose insulation is even more appealing to them because it is a source of food and moisture.
As such, cellulose insulation should be installed along with a plastic vapor barrier — especially if you have pets or young children in your home.
7. How can I prevent insect infestation?
Installing a plastic vapor barrier is the most effective way to prevent insect infestation. The plastic keeps moisture in and prevents pests from taking refuge in your attic insulation layer.
The best way to seal the vapor barrier is by laminating it with a vapour barrier blanket
Vapour barriers are also useful in preventing moisture buildup and mould growth.
8. How can I prevent rodents from taking refuge in my attic insulation?
Keep a tight lid on your food supply — store away any nuts, grains, seeds or other staples that might attract rodents — and keep hard surfaces free of clutter that would provide nesting areas for mice and other animals.
9. How can I prevent water damage?
Water damage and mould growth are the worst of all possible situations since they can make your home uninhabitable.
Therefore, it is important that any attic insulation installed is installed correctly, with a vapor barrier, and sealed both inside and out. Flooded insulation must not be touched, as it will expand and will trap more water inside the insulation.
10. How can I prevent mould growth?
Mould spores are readily found in some common types of insulation and can grow inside your insulation.
Mould will ruin your finished ceiling plaster, and it will also cause havoc in an attic.
Even when the moisture is hidden from view, a mould infestation can seep into your walls: through plumbing, through wall ducts or any other means that connect to the outside world will allow mould to grow inside your walls.
11. What are the pros and cons of cellulose insulation?
Pros of Cellulose Insulation
- Doesn’t lose its R-value in extreme cold
- No health concerns
- Can be dense or loose as needed
- Does not degrade
- Fills cavities well
Cons of cellulose Insulation
- One insulation style
- Not an air barrier
- Not moisture resistant
12. Why is cellulose better than fiberglass when compared?
- The R-value of cellulose is 3.5-3.7 per inch, while the R-value of fiberglass is 2.1-2.7 per inch.
- Cellulose has a 38% higher air infiltration rate than fiberglass.
- Cellulose is more efficient than fiberglass at retaining its R-value over a wide range of temperatures.
- Cellulose insulation is the best material to use in attics with cracks.
- Cellulose insulation hardens into a dense mat. As a result, it helps to reduce noise from outside.
Both cellulose and fiberglass are excellent materials. However, before making your selections, keep the following in mind:
- Your desired R-value
- Impact on the environment
- Fiberglass disadvantages when compared to cellulose
13. What are the pros and cons of fiberglass insulation?
Pros of Fiberglass Insulation
- Easy installation for DIY
- Does not promote mold and mildew
- Different styles of insulation available
Cons of Fiberglass Insulation
- In extreme cold, it may lose the R-value
- Not moisture resistant
- Not an air barrier
- May lose its R-value if compressed
- Health concern to installers