Radiant Barrier Sheathing or Spray Foam Attic Insulation

October 28, 2022

As homeowners are more product savvy and looking for ways to make their homes more energy-efficient, there are many factors to consider when looking at radiant barrier sheathing or spray foam attic insulation. For example, health concerns, cost, and effectiveness.

Radiant barrier sheathing consists of a reflective surface bonded to a sheathing material usually installed in attics. This reduces radiant heat and tends to be much more effective in warmer climates like Southeastern North Carolina. The cooler the attic space, the cooler the home, and the less air conditioning will have to run which also prolongs the life of the AC unit. Radiant barrier sheathing (installed with typical types of attic insulation) is very cost effective and does not require special skills to install. It can also be retrofitted when replacing a roof. Traditional vented attics with radiant barriers have a long history of reliable performance and can reduce the temperature by up to 30°.

Installed throughout a home, spray foam insulation regulates the flow of heat. Essentially, it protects in the winter by retaining heat and then keeps the heat out in the summer and provides a greater R-value home rating. Spray foam insulation helps reduce the temperature difference between the home and the attic, so it doesn’t protect attic spaces from radiant heat, but does protect from convection and conduction. In the summer, radiant heat is the biggest contributor to heated attics, so spray foam insulation is not as effective. It is also expensive and costs thousands of dollars over conventional types of insulation. Installation requires trained and skilled installers wearing protective bodysuits, chemical resistant gloves, eye/face protection, and respirators. The application can be messy and spray foam may contain some toxic chemicals (source: EPA) that if not properly mixed or cured, can lead to numerous lung and skin illnesses.

Spray foam installed to the underside of your roof system has the potential to trap moisture caused by roof leaks which could lead to unidentified leaks, rot, and decay of the roof framing. Spray foam insulation applied to the underside of the roof system also leaves no way for the attic to cool. With no way to cool, this may cause your shingles to overheat which can reduce their longevity and require you to replace them sooner than necessary. Some shingle manufacturer warranties may even void or limit warranties when spray foam is used in the attic.

Kent Homes includes radiant barrier sheathing for all homebuyers to help keep your home build costs down while keeping your home energy-efficient and more importantly, you don’t have to worry about your home negatively affecting your health!

The Bluffs or Scattered Site questions contact:
Kate DaSilva 910-742-5736 or

St. James, Oyster Harbour or Scattered Site questions contact:
Carol Hobbs 910-619-0777 or

Compass Pointe or Brunswick Forest questions contact:
Kayla Paladino 910-599-6739 or

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