Roof Insulation – Not As Simple As It Sounds

Roof insulation is almost out of sight

 

It’s just out of convenience and really doesn’t get much consideration or regard. But roof insulation has a very important purpose by significantly reducing the heat transfer coefficient through adding low thermal conductive materials to the roof. This keeps the temperature constant throughout the day, even in summer. Also, roof insulation provides great thermal comfort for the whole family in both the summer and winter by effectively reducing heat transfer from the roof to the house and also reducing heat absorption by the household. This helps keep the house at a constant indoor temperature, even though it gets hot in summer, which is of great benefit to those people who work all day inside.

In most homes you will have two roof structures and these are the ridge roof, which has three main beams connecting the main attic to the other two stories of the house, and the main roof, which is the roof over the ridge structure and the attic. The attic is really the main area to look for signs of leakage, which could indicate the area of the roof where the bulk of your home’s heating is being wasted. In order to avoid this you need to make sure that the attic is not damp. If there is any moisture there is the potential for a rapid spread of rot, mildew and mould, this can cost you thousands to repair. Also when the attic is damp, it is much harder to insulate properly, this is why in some areas it is a good idea to use an attic insulation to avoid this problem.

roof insulation is done with the same material as the roof deck, cellulose or polystyrene

When you are insulating the roof, you have two choices of insulation, which are cavity wall and attic insulation. Both systems are effective, and both do a great job. However, they differ on one critical aspect, the ventilation. The insulation is more effective in colder climates, but in hot climates both types perform equally well. So if you are in a particularly hot area then it may be worth investing in both types of roofing materials.

In most cases the attic roof insulation is done with the same material as the roof deck, cellulose or polystyrene. This is held taut against the rafters of the attic floor and creates a strong seal. The basic strategy is that the hotter air rises and the cooler air descend, so if you can keep the attic floor roof dry then you will be better off. However, if the attic becomes wet this can lead to rot and mildew so if you live in an area with high levels of humidity then you may need to choose a different roof insulation material.

Roof insulation works by creating a barrier

If you choose to go down the more traditional route, such as cavity wall, fiberglass batt, and rakes, then you will probably also need some form of ventilation in order to keep the system running effectively. In some cases you can install an insulated roof vent but this usually only works for a single blockage and may not be suitable for larger areas. Even if you do get a system installed that uses ventilation, it is important to make sure that the ventilation system can cope with the amount of carbon monoxide in the attic.

Roof insulation works by creating a barrier between the interior of the building and the external environment. It is often considered the most economical way of improving the energy performance of a building, because the system reduces the amount of heat lost through the roof. The higher the R-value (effective resistance to heat) of the roofing materials the better the roof insulation will perform, but there is no single material which offers a universal solution to this problem. So, when looking for your roofing replacement insulation provider make sure that they give you a full disclosure as to what roofing R-values they consider appropriate for your type of building.

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