Attic Insulation – A Necessary Source of Heat Loss

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The addition of heat insulation material material is essential for every home. A significant source of heat loss from a home is through the attic and the roof. Attic insulation is an insulated protective interior. The cladding procedure involves the use of polyurethane or phenolic foam. It also uses rock or glass wool. There is a significant difference between the insulation of a flat or pitched roof. The same applies to warm or cold loft insulation. Warm roof undergoes under and between the roof’s rafters. Cold roof insulation needs the joist level of insulation. This can stop heat from escaping the unused roof space.
Roof insulation has the purpose to cut heat transfer. This gets completed through the addition of materials. These materials have a low thermal conductivity. In buildings, attic and roof insulation is essential for its occupants. It can provide them with thermal comfort. Moreover, roof insulation can reduce unwanted heat gain and heat loss. Adding this can cut energy demands. This is for cooling and heating systems. There may be no available material that can prevent heat loss completely. You may only be able to cut heat loss.

Spray Foam Insulation

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Here is an insulation type that gets sprayed in place by a gun. The spray foam insulation may get blown under floors. It may also be onto concrete slabs, into walls, and on attic surfaces. This can cut leakage of air and insulate it. It creates an effective air barrier as it can fill the smallest cavities. Foam often expands 30-60 times the liquid volume after spraying. This provides wonderful resistance to infiltration of air. It superior compared to some loose-fill types and is not like blankets. That is because they can leave air pockets and bypasses. Yet, spray foam insulation’s cost may be higher. This is in comparison to most foams and traditional insulation.

The two kinds of spray foam insulation:

Open-cell foam. These may not be as dense and are full of air. It allows the insulation to have a spongy texture. It has porous open-cell foam. This allows liquid water and water vapor to penetrate the insulation. Open-cell foams can be twice as efficient as a sound barrier. It also allows the breathing of structural wood.

Closed-cell foam. Here are better insulators. They have closed high-density cells. These get filled with gas that allows the foam’s expansion. It fills the spaces around it. Closed-cell foam reinforces the insulated surface and is very strong.

The following are the foam insulation materials available:
  • Polyisocyanurate
  • Phenolic
  • Polyurethane
  • Cementitious.
Most of these are often made with isocyanate or polyurethan. Cementitious foams are the same. They may get applied in the same manner but not expand. The foams have fire resistance which is higher. This is in comparison to isocyanate and polyurethane foams.
Blown-In and Loose-Fill Insulation
Loose-fill materials may get blown into finished wall cavities and attics. Existing buildings that do not have insulated cavities have a fibrous material. It may be a glass wool or cellulose insulation. This gets blown through holes drilled. It gets into the cavity and fills the whole wall space. Small particles of foam, fiber, or other materials make up the loose-fill insulation. Rock wool, glass wool, and cellulose are the materials. These most common for loose-fill insulation.
  • Fiberglass or Glass wool is a material for insulation. It came from the glass fibers arranged with a binder. The texture is the same as wool.
  • Stone wool is also known as rock wool that has basis on natural minerals. These are present throughout Earth in significant quantities throughout the earth. Some examples of this are dolomite, basalt, and volcanic rock.
  • Cellulose insulation came from recycled paper products. These are newspapers with increased recycled material content.
Made from these materials are small particles that create insulation. It can conform to any space without disturbing finishes or structures. Wet-spray cellulose insulation is one of the methods. This type of insulation is the same as loose-fill insulation. Yet, it gets applied with water in small quantities. This can assist in binding the cellulose inside the open wall cavities.

Materials for Insulation of Heat

Thermal insulation has basis on the use of substances with low thermal conductivity. These are famous as insulation materials. Common materials for insulation include goose feather, polyurethane, and polystyrene. The others are rock wool, fiberglass, and wool. These are great thermal insulators as they are poor heat conductors.
This insulation has basis on the gases and their low thermal conductivity. Gases have poor properties in thermal conduction unlike solids and liquids. Because of this, they are good for insulation when trapped. This may apply in a foam-like structure. They are beneficial because of the absence of convention. Hence, lots of insulation materials function well as they have a lot of gas-filled pockets. This can prevent convection in a large-scale. In every type of thermal insulation, the air may evacuate into the void space. It can further cut the insulator’s thermal conductivity.
Solid material and gas pocket alternation may allow the heat to get transferred. It could be through many interfaces. This may cause an immediate decrease in the heat transfer coefficient.
Three general categories may get defined for insulation materials. The basis of these categories are their base material’s chemical composition. This is from which the creation of insulating material begins.
Organic Insulation Materials

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Organic insulation materials got derived from renewable or petrochemical feedstock. Almost every petrochemical insulation material come in polymers. Every petrochemical insulation is cellular. It is cellular the material’s structure consists of cells or pores. Lots of plants have fibers for strength. Since almost every bio-based insulation material is fibrous, it is cellular.

The following is the classification of organic insulation materials:

  • Renewable materials (plant/animal derived)
    • Cork
    • Cellulose
    • Hemp Fiber
    • Wood Fiber
    • Sheep’s Wool
    • Cotton Insulation
    • Flax Wool
  • Petrochemical materials (derived from coal or oil)
    • Polyisocyanurate foam (PIR)
    • Polyurethane (PUR)
    • Expanded polystyrene (EPS)
    • Phenolic foam
    • Extruded polystyrene (XPS)
Inorganic Insulation Materials

The following is the classification or inorganic materials:

  • Cellular materials
    • Cellular glass
    • Calcium silicate
  • Fibrous materials
    • Rock wool
    • Glass wool
Other Materials for Insulation
  • Vacuum Panels
  • Cellular Glass
  • Aerogel

Glass Wool: An Attic Insulation Material

Fiberglass glass wool is an insulation material. It has glass fibers arranged by a binder into a texture like wool. Mineral fibers produce stone and glass wool. Because of this, people call them ‘mineral wool.’ The general name for fiber materials is mineral wool. These formed through drawing and spinning molten materials. Molten glass’ furnace product is glass wool. This came from a temperature of around 1450 °C. Fibers get spun from melted glass. The basis of the process is high-speed spinning that is like cotton candy. As the glass fibers spin, the binding agent gets injected. Glass wool then gets produced in slabs or rolls. These have different mechanical and thermal properties. It may also get produced as a sprayed material. This may also become insulated on the surface or applied in place.

Glass wool has applications that include soundproofing, filtration, pipe insulation, and structural insulation. This versatile material may be in use for insulation of floors, walls, and roofs. It is possible to be a loose fill material that gets blown into attics. It may also go with an active binder that gets sprayed on the structures’ underside. Glass wool should must be dry during installation. An increase in moisture content may increase thermal conductivity.

Lost Heat through a Bare Wall

The walls of the house is a major source of heat loss. Up to half of the lost heat comes from the walls of a home without insulation. Adding wall insulation can cut two-thirds of the loss making the home a lot more comfortable. In case the walls have cavities, you may fill them. You can use foam, beads, or insulating fiber. Whenever you have solid walls, you may apply internal insulation. Using a fixed insulated board to the wall is effective. Yet, you may have to add decoration because they may lose details in architecture. Competent DIYers can create internal wall insulation for every room. They can even decorate the room at the same time. It is also possible to insulate solid walls. Despite that you need to plan for external insulation. That is because only specialist companies can do this.

Thermal Insulation on a Composite Wall

Adding a thermal insulator may lead to a decrease in heat loss. But, it may not cause increased savings. It will be better to look at the thermal resistance method. This may be in use to calculate the transfer of heat through composite walls. There is steady heat transfer’s rate between surfaces. It may be the same as the difference in temperature. This is then divided by the two surfaces’ total thermal resistance.

In case you need any attic or roof repair in Alexandria, VA, contact the Alexandria Roofing Company The Home Doctor. We are an Alexandria roofing company that provides roof inspection and roof repair in Alexandria, VA.