As in the case of roofing materials, roof insulation materials are also available in a wide range, often confusing the customers in selecting the right one. A well insulated roof can keep the home warm during the winters and cool during the summers. So, quality insulation is one of the basic requirements of the roof. The quality and efficacy of the insulation material is graded in R-rating. The higher the R-value the greater the efficiency of the product. There are many materials which are meant for the purpose of roof insulation. They include glass fiber (fiberglass), mineral wool, plastic fiber, polyurethane foams, nitrogen-based urea-formaldehyde (UF) foam, phenolic foam, cementitious foam, concrete block insulation, natural fibers and straw panels.


Fiberglass is one of the most popular materials used for the purpose of roofing insulation. They come in the form of rolls or sheets to be installed on the loft of the roof. There are also square cut sections of rigid fiberglass rolls, which are available in a range of R-values, according to the need of the customers. The newer versions of this insulation material include its loose fibers, which has to be mixed with adhesives and blown into the area. Some manufacturers have introduced another version, which uses two types of glass to form a blown variety which can curl naturally. There is no need of adhesive as the fibers stick together when they curl. It has been observed that this new entrant is much safer to work with and is safe for the environment as well.

Cellulose Fibers

Cellulose insulation, which is available in many forms, is mainly made of recycled paper treated with some fire retardant. In case of roof insulation, cellulose is the second most popular after fiberglass and is believed to be more effective than the other. The stabilized form of cellulose is mainly used to insulate roofs. Even though the quality of the product may vary with the brands, cellulose is one of the cheapest among the various types of insulation for roofs and is also easy to install.

Foam Insulation

Foam insulation is another common type of insulation that is used for roofs. One type is rigid foam insulation boards, whereas others are in the spray form. The former are cut into the required sizes and are fixed in place, but those which are sprayed, expands gradually to fill the loft. Polyurethane is the most commonly used foam insulation. Most types of foam insulation come with the added advantage of fire resistant properties.

There are many other types of roof insulation like sheep wool, recycled denim, soya fiber, cotton, hemp and straw. The manufacturing process of recycled denim involves the mixing of denim and cotton, which is later treated with fire resistant materials. Recycled denim is available in rolls, which facilitates easy installation. Among the other natural fibers used for roof insulation, the most expensive is sheep’s wool, which is also one of the best materials for insulation. Natural fibers have an additional advantage of being environment friendly, as compared to other types. It is better to go for materials with higher R-values for better efficiency and to avoid the need of additional insulation.