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Batts of attic insulation being rolled out into pre-existing spaces built in the floor of a residential attic.

What to Know About Attic Insulation in Dallas

Is your home adequately protected against fluctuating weather patterns and moisture from top to bottom? Do your energy bills seem high, and you're worried you are losing money due to indoor heat loss? If so, you should carefully check to see if you have proper attic insulation installed. Without attic insulation in Dallas, your house is more vulnerable to uncomfortable temperatures and excess humidity that can cause a wide range of issues.

Attic insulation is one of the most important ways your Dallas home can stay dry and cozy year round. It keeps the temperature within your property more consistent, so it's more comfortable regardless of the temperature outdoors.

Without it, your home would be blistering hot during the summer—especially the upper floors and attic, as hot air rises—and cold in the winter. Another benefit to having proper attic insulation in Dallas is that it will help lower your heating bills by keeping your home warm during the winter. Also, if you have an air conditioner, it will help lower energy bills in the summer by keeping cool air inside.

All around, heat-proofing is an important part of any Dallas home. Yet, some houses are built without this necessary addition. And, many older homes may have insulation that is starting to deteriorate or not perform correctly. In these situations, it's essential to install attic insulation to keep your house comfortable and mitigate the cost of your energy bills.

That is where the Dallas handyman professionals at Mr. Handyman of Dallas come in. Our team can expertly and efficiently install attic insulation. Our team put together the following blog to help you learn more about the different types of attic insulation available in Dallas and discover more about this integral part of your home.

Why is Attic Insulation Important?

Insulation is considered one of the most efficient ways to save energy at home, as it mitigates your indoor temperature and keeps your house cool in the summer and warm in the winter. As we touched on, it helps to lower energy bills as well. In fact, a house that is properly protected against temperature changes is incredibly energy efficient and requires very little additional heating during cooler seasons. This lowers your energy costs.

How much you can save on your energy bill by correctly heat-proofing your house varies depending on various factors, such as the size and age of your home and what type of insulation you have. If you live in a new or recently built house, chances are your insulation is still in great shape—permitting it was installed properly. Yet, if your home is more than 10-years-old, you'll probably need to consider installing new insulation and replacing the old—if there is any to begin with.

Attic insulation is especially important, as the roof accounts for roughly 25% of total heat loss in your Dallas home. If you're currently using your attic for storage, it may be worthwhile to move those items to a shed or storage unit. Many houses that use the attic as storage have floorboards down where attic insulation could go—adding a further layer to protect your home.

Did You Know?

As an added benefit, attic insulation helps to reduce noise pollution as well. This is especially useful if you live near a busy road in Dallas, as it serves to keep the interior of your living space quieter.

How Does Attic Insulation Work?

Insulation is a thermally resistant barrier that decreases the migration of thermal energy, or heat, into and out of your house. You may have even seen it behind your walls or other areas during an appointment for Sheetrock repair. Heat always seeks cooler areas to escape to. Thus, in the winter, heat flows outside. In the summer, heat flows inside. Since this is the exact opposite of what you want to keep your home at a comfortable interior temperature, you need attic insulation in Dallas to mitigate this process.

What is the Best Type of Attic Insulation in Dallas?

There are many different options when it comes to installing attic insulation and decreasing unwanted heat flow. Each variety has its own pros and cons and is best suited to being used in certain situations. To help you make the best choice, we've outlined these pros and cons below.

Fiberglass Batt

Fiberglass batts offer the easiest way to add insulation to just about any part of a home in Dallas, including the attic. It is a very popular option because it's so straightforward to install. It comes in long blankets or batts and as loose-fill (see below).

Pros:

  • It's inexpensive and effective.

  • It will not shrink over time.

  • It's supplied already sealed, so there are no issues with breathing in the fibers.

  • This plastic covering also acts as an effective vapor barrier.

  • Fiberglass attic insulation does not burn.

  • Insects don't eat it.

  • Some types of fiberglass attic insulation use recycled glass, this reduces its environmental impact.

Cons:

  • Fiberglass in the lungs can cause a wide range of issues, including cutting skin, lung disease and cancer.

  • Batts do not seal ceiling spaces very tightly.

  • It will settle and sag over time, decreasing its R-value.

Loose-Fill Fiberglass

Similar to fiberglass batts, loose-fill fiberglass shares many of the same pros and cons. However, there are a couple of key discerning factors to note. Loose-fill does not come with a plastic cover, so it needs to have a vapor seal installed as well. Also, it can fit into smaller nooks and cavities, enabling it to cover more areas than its counterpart, fiberglass batts.

Cellulose

Cellulose is a loose-fill option for attic insulation in Dallas. It comes in two types: dry and wet. Made out of recycled paper (primarily newspaper and cardboard), it is the best environmentally- conscious option available due to its recycled nature. However, it's important to note that cellulose is treated before being used to insulate your house.

Pros:

  • It helps reduce the amount of paper waste.

  • It's treated with boric acid, which increases its fire, mold and insect resistance.

  • It's generally less expensive than fiberglass options.

  • It also has a higher R-value than most standard fiberglass options.

  • There are fewer health risks from cellulose than fiberglass.

Cons:

  • It has higher installation costs than for fiberglass.

  • It must be installed while using a breathing mask, as it creates a lot of dust when installed.

  • Dry-blown cellulose settles and sags over time, reducing its R-value.

  • It absorbs moisture more easily, which reduces its long-term efficiency.

  • Both dry and wet-blown cellulose need a vapor barrier.

Mineral Wool

Mineral wool is similar to fiberglass, but it's made out of natural materials instead of glass. There are two types of mineral wool: rock wool, made out of natural stone fibers, and slag wool, made out of fibers from iron-ore waste. Just like fiberglass, mineral wool is sold in loose-fill and batts.

Pros:

  • It is naturally moisture resistant, so it retains its insulating qualities when wet.

  • It has much better sound blocking abilities.

  • It won't burn unless it reaches temperatures higher than 1,800°F. Thus, it acts like a fire barrier and slows down house fires.

Cons:

  • Similar to fiberglass, the tiny slivers of mineral wool can lodge in the skin and cause lung disease and cancer.

Spray Foam

Spray polyurethane foam is a spray-applied plastic. It can be sprayed into all manner of nooks and crannies, making it a high-performance product increasingly adopted by builders across the country for new homes. Not only does spray foam seal airtight and have a high R-value, but it also adds structural strength when installed.

Pros:

  • It acts as an air, vapor and insulation barrier all at once, which results in very high energy efficiency.

  • It virtually eliminates air leakage.

  • It provides an airtight seal to prevent heat loss.

  • Spray foam lowers seasonal energy bills.

  • There is no need to install a vapor barrier.

  • It can seal even the toughest to reach spots.

  • It reduces moisture accumulation in your Dallas house.

Cons:

  • As a premium product, spray foam is sold at premium costs—making it the least budget friendly option.

What Does a Vapor Barrier Do?

As you've learned from reading the above, some types of heat-proofing need a vapor barrier. But what exactly does a vapor barrier do? Also called a vapor retarder, it's a material used to prevent water vapor from diffusing into the wall, ceiling or floor during the winter. Without a vapor barrier, you're exposing your house to the risk of mold, wood rot and water damage.

A vapor barrier works by reducing the movement of water vapor by diffusion. It's very important that the vapor barrier does not have any holes or damage, otherwise humid air may be able to seep through your walls (particularly if your insulation of choice is not airtight). Typically, a vapor barrier is made out of a plastic or foil sheet.

What is an R-Value?

Insulation ratings are measured in R-values per inch of thickness. The R-value lets you know how well a given kind of attic insulation can prevent heat from leaving or entering your home. There are many factors that influence R-values, specifically, the type, thickness and density of the material. The higher the R-value, the better climate control and energy efficiency it offers. With that said, usually, the higher the R-value, the higher the price as well.

While it may be tempting to go out and buy the highest R-value you can find, this is not always necessary. The R-value you need in your house depends on its geographical location. For Texas, the average R-value needed is R30 to R60.

R-Values, Lowest to Highest:

  • Loose-fill

  • Batts and rolls

  • Spray foam

How Much Should I Buy for My Attic?

The amount of attic insulation recommended for your property varies depending on a couple of factors, including:

  • Where you live: Dallas's climate typically requires a lower R-value than a house in Montana, although many homeowners choose to opt for the safe side.

  • Your house's age: If your house is more than 10-years-old, you will likely need more attic insulation.

  • How large the area is. Naturally, larger houses will need more attic insulation than smaller properties.

Your professional technician will be able to advise you on how much you need to purchase to ensure your Dallas home is comfortably insulated.

Need Help to Install Attic Insulation in Dallas?

If you need help to install attic insulation, then trust the experts at Mr. Handyman of Dallas. Our team of pros has years of experience completing a wide range of home improvement tasks. Each of our talented and hardworking technicians has the industry knowledge and tools required to get the job done right the first time.

In addition to our excellent workmanship, we're also known throughout Dallas and the surrounding areas for our outstanding customer service. Our team always puts the needs of our customers first. We will be transparent with you from start to finish, listening to your questions and concerns and answering them to the best of our abilities. We'll also take care to keep your property clean and tidy during the job, even wearing booties on our feet to protect your floors. Our team will ensure we clean thoroughly before leaving, so you can enjoy your new insulation in safety and comfort.

The team at Mr. Handyman of Dallas has had the honor of working with a wide range of residential and commercial clients throughout Dallas and in many nearby areas. Some of the communities we've brought our outstanding services to include: Highland Park, Las Colinas, Balch, Rose Hill and Lancaster.

To get started on installing attic insulation in Dallas or learn more about our full range of services, we invite you to give our friendly customer service representatives a call at 972-627-4518. We look forward to hearing from you and assisting with your next home improvements!