An Attic Insulation Guide from Your Arlington Handyman

Is your home protected against extreme temperatures and moisture from top to bottom? Are you losing money to indoor temperature loss? Double-check your home to see if you have attic insulation. Without a layer of protection under your roof, homeowners in Arlington and nearby areas are vulnerable to issues that have a simple remedy.

Attic insulation is important no matter where you live, even in Texas. Homeowners in warmer climates sometimes disregard features that are designed to protect people against temperature fluctuations, but Arlington attic insulation installation does more than just protect people from cold weather. It's an important precaution for every house.

If you have questions about Arlington attic insulation, Mr. Handyman of Arlington, Mansfield and Grapevine has answers. Not only do we have the skills to help with proper installation, but we've also got all the information you need about why protecting your attic is important, how the types of attic insulation differ, and what the installation process involves.

Why Arlington Attic Insulation Installation Is Important

The most obvious reason that people have insulation in their homes is to stay warm during winter, but it's not totally correct to think of attic insulation's job that way. Rather than thinking of it as trapping heat, it would be accurate to say that it helps regulate indoor temperatures. That means stopping all types of heat flow. During winter months, it keeps you warm; during summer months, it keeps you cool.

Inadequate insulation often causes indoor discomfort in Arlington, and it also raises energy costs. If it's easy for heat to leave and enter your home, your HVAC system will have to work much harder than necessary to maintain your comfort. All that extra air conditioning or heating performance will have a noticeable effect on your energy bills.

Adequate attic insulation will make you comfortable at home, but more importantly, it will protect you and your house against the effects of extreme temperature fluctuations, heat gain, and constant heat loss. That effective temperature control also naturally reduces the humidity levels of Arlington attics, which helps prevent issues like moisture damage and wood rot.

A Quick Warning for Arlington Homeowners

While energy efficient insulation has many benefits, it's not suitable for all areas in Arlington houses—especially older houses. Many older buildings in Arlington were built with special gaps for moisture to collect and dry without causing damage to other parts of the building. If something is added to those gaps, it could collect moisture and cause the issues that those spaces are meant to prevent.

Older roofs—and those with wood shingles—are designed to get wet and dry naturally. They need to breathe, which means that adding products to the ceilings of those attics is not recommended. Doing so could significantly increase your chances of needing wood rot repair services in the future.

Don't Forget About Ventilation

Effective ventilation works with attic insulation to improve your level of defense against moisture and humidity. It's important that you have adequate roof vents, and that your current insulation isn't covering those vents.

Types of Insulation

Common Types of Attic Insulation:

  • Blanket/Batt Insulation: This is one of the most common types in homes across Arlington. It comes in large rolls—batts—that need to be cut into separate pieces. It's important to wear a breathing mask and gloves while working around this type, as it may irritate lungs or skin.

  • Spray Foam Insulation: This type is great for completely filling spaces without the careful cutting required for the batt variety. However, that doesn't mean it's easier to install. It's easy for amateurs to make mistakes during installation, and as this variety is both difficult to remove and expensive, it's always recommended that you seek out professional services for effective installation.

  • Radiant Foil: This is the only type that isn't measured with an R-Value. Radiant foil is designed to reflect heat rather than absorb it, which makes it great for limiting heat gain in hotter areas—like Arlington. It's one of the most affordable types in Arlington too.

  • Foam Boards: This is an alternative to the blanket variety that's generally easier to use and less costly. It's more moisture resistant too, which means you'll worry less about wood rot. The downside to foam board is that it isn't as effective at controlling attic temperatures, which makes it less popular than other types.

Types of Materials:

When it comes to materials, the classic pink, fluffy stuff—fiberglass—is what most people know. You might also be familiar with polystyrene or cellulose insulation. The former is used to make foam board products. The latter is gray, fluffy, and more traditional. There's also mineral wool and liquid polyurethane, the latter of which is used for spray foam.

R-Value Explained:

R-value is a rating that represents the effectiveness of a particular type of insulation. Technically speaking, the number represents its heat resistance. R-value is often represented with two different types of figures.

For example, you might see products with an advertised value of R30, while specific materials might be rated according to their R-value per square inch. For this latter type, inch refers to the thickness, or layers, of the material you're using. If you're working with a batt of fiberglass, which has a general R-value range of 2.9-3.8 per square inch, you'd need around ten inches to reach a value of R30.

It's also important to know that the R-value of different materials or types will effectively combine. Accordingly, if you have batted or blown-in products backed with foam board, the individual values of those two materials will combine to give you a higher total value for your attic.

In Arlington, the recommended R-value for attics is generally R30-R60, but there are specific considerations that affect the ideal R-value for each home. If you're unsure about which type is best for your house, consider consulting professionals for advice—and installation services.

How Does Arlington Attic Insulation Installation Work?

Installation methods vary depending on the type and materials being installed. For most situations, it's best to utilize a professional handyman or Arlington attic insulation team. There are both safety factors and specific installation methods that need to be strictly followed if you don't want future complications as a result of poor installation.

If you have enough DIY experience, it may be reasonable to attempt DIY installation for blanket products. However, ensure that you're careful to protect yourself against contaminants, choose something with the correct R-value for your attic, and cut the pieces for a precise fit. Avoid squishing any pieces to force a fit, as doing so will reduce the effectiveness of that section.

With blown-in products, installation requires using a special machine. While that machine is available to rent in Arlington, it's still best to let a professional handle blown-in installation if you're inexperienced with this particular type of work, as there are specific methods required for effective installation.

Are You Looking for Arlington Attic Insulation Service?

If you're looking for a way to increase energy savings, Arlington attic insulation installation could be what you need. You should be aware that cooling costs could also be increased by issues with your windows or doors. Your energy issues may just as easily be solved by window repair or exterior door repair services. Luckily, Mr. Handyman of Arlington, Mansfield and Grapevine can handle any and all of those projects—and much more!

If you need professional service for attic insulation, repairs, or anything else a handyman might help with, call 817-567-2433. We proudly serve Arlington, Grapevine, Mansfield, and many nearby communities.