Deviling for attic: which is better to choose

Selecting the appropriate roofing material for your attic is essential to keeping your house strong and functional. Your decision has an effect on your home’s longevity, insulation, and even energy efficiency in addition to its visual appeal. Depending on your priorities, metal roofing and asphalt shingles are two common choices for attic roofing, each with unique benefits.

Perhaps the most popular roofing material in North America is asphalt shingle, which is prized for its variety of styles and colors, ease of installation, and affordability. They offer a classic appearance that complements a variety of architectural designs, giving homeowners flexibility in their choice. In addition to their reasonable longevity, asphalt shingles can last anywhere from 15 to 30 years, depending on quality and environmental factors.

On the other hand, metal roofing has grown in favor due to its remarkable robustness and environmental friendliness. Metal roofs are often much more durable than asphalt shingles, lasting up to 50 years. In addition to being extremely resistant to wind, rain, and snow, they also withstand fire. Long-term, metal roofing is a more energy-efficient option because it reflects solar radiant heat, which can lower cooling expenses in warmer climates.

Think about your long-term objectives for your house, your budget, and your aesthetic preferences when choosing between metal roofing and asphalt shingles for your attic. For those who want to combine affordability and durability, asphalt shingles provide an affordable option with a variety of design possibilities. For homeowners who intend to remain in their homes for a long time, metal roofing is a worthwhile investment because it offers superior longevity and energy efficiency benefits despite its initial higher cost.

Insulation Type Pros and Cons
Spray Foam Pros: Excellent insulation, fills gaps, water-resistant. Cons: Expensive, requires professional installation.
Fiberglass Batt Pros: Cost-effective, easy to install, widely available. Cons: Can sag over time, may not fill gaps completely.

Criteria for choosing insulation for attic

You can convert an attic into a space that is suitable for year-round living with high-quality insulation.

It’s important to consider the functional properties of materials when selecting a heat insulator, such as comparing:

  • noise insulation properties;
  • convenience in installation;
  • moisture resistance;
  • resistance to biological destruction;
  • lifetime;
  • economy;
  • environmental friendliness;
  • Fire safety.

However, the primary factor used to assess an insulation material is its thermal conductivity coefficient, which determines how well the material can hold onto heat in a space.

Universal materials should be preferred when it comes to the ease of installation and usage of insulation. All structures’ insulation will last the same amount of time if the same heat insulator is used for the walls, roof, and floors.

If the roofing floor is composed of metal (corrugated board, metal tiles, or folding roof), then soundproof qualities are an especially crucial factor. The "sound" of the wind, rain, and hail is audible from the roof, and staying in the attic can be uncomfortable.

Using a heater that is fire resistant and doesn’t spread flames is advised because roof frames are typically mounted on wood. If not, an unintentional fire will cause the roof and the entire attic to quickly cover the fire.

It is vital to warm the attic room and moisture-proof material, or use dependable hydro and vapor barriers, in order to prevent condensation from forming on the wooden structures of the rafter system and pediments and to prevent the insulation from losing its thermal insulation properties due to moisture penetration.

This influences preferences when selecting a material, as well as the complexity and speed of the insulation layer installation.

The thickness of the insulation

You can use the values listed in the table below to determine the appropriate thickness for a thermal insulation layer.

Thermal conductivity coefficient, W/(m*K) The thickness of the insulation layer, mm
0.035 150
0.04 180
0.044 200
0.045 205
0.046 210
0.047 215
0.05 225

Table 1: The relationship between the heat conductivity coefficient and insulation thickness

The material’s packaging is indicated by the manufacturer’s thermal conductivity coefficient. The manufacturing technology and insulation density have an impact on this indicator. The average values can be seen in the table below:

Type of thermal insulator Thermal conductivity coefficient, W/(m*K)
Glass wool 0.033 – 0.05
Basalt cotton wool 0.032 – 0.05
Mineral wool 0.048 – 0.070
Styrofoam 0.031 – 0.05
Extruded polystyrene foam 0.036
Poliuretan foam 0.02 – 0.041
Ecowata 0.040

Table 2: Some insulation’s thermal conductivity coefficients

Modern materials like ecowata foam and poliuretan can be used to insulate attic spaces from heat, but installing them calls for specific tools and expertise. The remaining widely used heat insulators are made from rolls or plates with different densities and thicknesses.

The insulation is inserted after being cut to fit the width of the space between adjacent rafter legs (or the space between the wall-mounted crate’s rails). Bars with an appropriate cross section are packed on the rafters from the side of the room if the computed thickness of the heat-insulating layer is greater than the width of the rafter leg.

The most efficient type of insulation consists of two layers: first, a heat insulator is placed between the rafters; next, a second layer of roll material with an external foil vapor barrier is attached over the rafters, creating solid coastal stripes. Cold bridges won’t occur as a result of this.

Let’s take a closer look at the principal benefits and drawbacks of common heaters that are appropriate for attic roof and pediment thermal insulation.

In order to ensure longevity and functionality, it is important to consider a number of factors when selecting the type of roofing for your attic. Every choice has advantages and disadvantages of its own, whether you choose long-lasting metal roofing that provides exceptional durability and energy efficiency or classic asphalt shingles that are well-known for their affordability and simplicity of installation. Making an informed decision that adds value to your home and offers long-lasting protection from the elements will be made easier if you have a clear understanding of your climate, spending limit, and aesthetic preferences.

Fibrous roller and slab insulation

This group consists of:

  • glass wool;
  • mineral wool;
  • Stone (basalt) cotton wool.

The ability to pass steam is both a major advantage and a drawback for them. In theory, the breathing internal casing, the heat insulator, and the roofing system will allow the moist, warm air from the attic to escape, preserving the room’s ideal microclimate.

In actuality, the following challenges arise:

  • increasing the moisture content of fibrous insulation leads to a sharp decrease in its thermal insulation properties;
  • The insulation that has gained moisture (in particular, glass wool) is crushed, deformed, forming the bridges of the cold;
  • The wood of the rafter system from contact with moisture begins to rot.

It is essential to install a vapor barrier barrier on top of the insulation from the interior of the space in order to prevent these issues. Additionally, waterproofing material needs to be installed between the thermal insulation and the roofing.

Only when specific gas-permeable membranes are used for the waterproofing and vapor barrier layer will air exchange through fibrous insulation occur. Air should pass through the vapor barrier, but moisture from the room should be delayed.

In addition to keeping water out of the insulation, the gas-proper waterproofing barrier should also release moisture from the material.

The cost of membrane materials is significantly higher than that of pragmine, roofing material, or conventional or reinforced film. However, the longevity of the roof’s rafter system and insulation will make these expenditures worthwhile.

The cost of construction will go down if the film is used as a vapor barrier, but the key benefit of fibrous insulation—gas permeability—will be eliminated. It is not advisable to use the perforated film because it allows steam to pass through, which will build up in the insulation.

Operational characteristics of fiber insulation

Glass wool

Among its advantages are:

  • fire safety (2 degree of fire resistance);
  • environmental safety (does not contain resins);
  • unattractiveness for mice (do not build nests and moves);
  • affordable price.

The primary disadvantage is that the material creates staring glass dust during handling, and installing the heat insulator calls for precision and the use of protective gear.

Furthermore, glass wool is prone to crushing and deforming over time, particularly when moisture seeps in.

Mineral wool

Fibers from different sources are included in the material’s composition (manufacturing material: quartz sand, stone, clay, glass, etc.D.). The multilayer heterogeneous structure of mineral wool is distinguished by the presence of air lenses. As a result, the material effectively eliminates sound waves.

Selecting mineral wool (mainly ISOVER, URSA) is advised for individuals who have chosen to construct a metal roofing flooring.

Such a fire-resistant, non-rotting heat-insulator is readily mounted. However, rodents can live in insulation and build nests, movements, and life products that diminish its functional qualities.

Basalt cotton wool

Consists of fibers that were obtained through rock melting. resists heating to a maximum of 1000 degrees and prevents combustion.

When selecting basalt cotton wool, be sure to carefully review the quality and safety certificates. Some manufacturers use resins that release toxic substances in an effort to lower the cost of their products.

Rats can harm basalt wool, but it is resistant to the fungus. Installing this noise insulator is easy and it works well. However, you must consider a sizable weight of stone wool plates when selecting an insulation material for the rafter system.

If selecting a fibrous heat insulator for attic insulation is necessary, consider the material’s density. Long-term use shouldn’t cause the heat insulator to lose its shape. The density of mineral wool, such as basalt, should be between 40 and 45 kg/m3.

Polymer materials for insulation

Select a polymer insulator for the attic’s walls and roof. This can be a foam, polyurethane foam, which is sprayed onto the design, or extruded polystyrene foam (both types of insulation are made as sheets and plates of varying thicknesses).

Low thermal conductivity coefficient and light weight are two benefits of polymer insulation. This kind of thermal insulation can effectively handle the job of preserving heat without overtaxing the rafter system.

Among polymer insulation’s drawbacks is its incredibly low vapor permeability. Since gas exchange does not occur through insulated structures, an attic ventilation system needs to be carefully considered.

There is no need to install a vapor barrier barrier from the room because the extruded polystyrene foam (foam) and polyurethane foam thermal insulation will not lose heat or steam to the roof’s rafter cage. Moisture that poses a threat to wood won’t condense even though the dew point during internal pediment insulation will move in the direction of the heat insulator.

To ensure that the thermal insulation layer is hermetic, mounting foam should be poured into all joints and areas adjacent to the foam. Once the excess foam has been removed, the joints should be glued together using reinforced tape.

Different densities of foamyx are produced by manufacturers. The attic’s walls and pitched roof, which experience significant heat loss, are good places to use plates with a density of 30-35 kg/m3.

In the event that foam at a low cost is selected, insulation should be installed using the same methodology as fibrous slab materials. In contrast to extruded polystyrene foam, which has a single, closed-skinned structure, this foam is made up of numerous tiny granules that are compressed within the plate.

Technological gaps exist between structural components that allow steam to bypass wooden structures.

35 kg/m3 is the proper density for the foam; the material shouldn’t crumble into individual balls on the fracture.

This is not the best material for internal insulation because the foam smolders when it ignites, releasing toxic substances and making mice easy prey.

Raindrops will not be deterred by the polymer insulation in the attic, so it should not be used as a soundproofing material for the roof. However, by insulating the floor, you can lessen the vibrational load caused by the steps and improve the acoustics in the rooms beneath the attic.

The chosen type of insulation will endure for many years provided you buy high-quality materials and pay attention to all the small details during installation.

Selecting the appropriate attic insulation is essential to preserving your home’s comfort and energy efficiency. Depending on your preference, spray foam, cellulose, or fiberglass insulation all have advantages that should be taken into account.

It is commonly known that fiberglass insulation is inexpensive and simple to install. It is easy to use for both professional installation and do-it-yourself projects because it comes in rolls or batts. Its effectiveness is dependent on proper installation, though, as gaps or compression can lower its thermal performance.

Made from recycled paper or wood fibers, cellulose insulation is prized for its superior filling of voids and gaps compared to fiberglass, as well as its environmental friendliness. Its ability to be blown into position guarantees a tight fit, minimizing air leaks and raising the overall effectiveness of the insulation.

Even though it costs more, spray foam insulation has excellent sealing qualities and high R-values per thickness inch. Applying it causes it to expand, filling in even the smallest voids to form an impenetrable barrier that stops heat loss and air infiltration.

The ideal option for attic insulation ultimately comes down to your needs, your budget, and the particulars of your house. To determine the amount of insulation your attic needs and to make sure your selection complies with regional building codes and energy efficiency requirements, think about speaking with an expert.

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Insulation of the attic roof, which insulation is better and the Mauerlat zone

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Alexandra Fedorova

Journalist, author of articles on construction and repair. I will help you understand the complex issues related to the choice and installation of the roof.

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