When you think of your roof, you probably picture the visible, outer material which forms your roof surface. On many homes, this is asphalt shingles. Sometimes it’s tile or metal sheets. This part of your roof is vital, but your roof does have some other important components, too. Insulation, for example, is a very important part of your roof. Keep reading for a closer look at roof insulation, what it’s made from, and the important functions it serves.
Roof Insulation: Defined
Generally speaking, insulation is a material meant to reduce the flow of heat through a surface. Roof insulation is a type of insulation that is specifically associated with your roof. Its core function is to reduce the flow of heat through the roof. In the summer, it reduces the amount of heat that flows into your home through the roof. In the winter, it reduces the amount of heat that your home loses through the roof.
The Importance of Roof Insulation
There are a few key reasons why it’s good to have insulation in place to reduce heat transfer through your roof.
A More Comfortable Home
If your roof is not well insulated, the top floor of your home will get quite hot in the summer. Your air conditioner may struggle to keep up. Then, in the winter, those same rooms will likely be chilly. You may find yourself reaching for an extra layer or a blanket on colder days.
When your roof is well insulated, the temperature differential throughout your home will be less dramatic. Your upstairs rooms should better maintain their temperature all year round.
Lower Energy and HVAC Bills
If your top story is extra hot in the summer and cold in the winter due to poor insulation, your HVAC system will be working overtime to keep up. This means higher energy bills. Insulating your roof can therefore save you money on energy during the heating and cooling seasons.
Reducing the burden on your HVAC system is also good for your furnace and air conditioner. These appliances will last longer if they are not running constantly to keep your upstairs cool.
Less Wear on the Roof
Shingles and other roofing materials are designed to be installed alongside good insulation. If they’re installed without insulation, the accumulated heat transfer and frequent temperature changes will cause premature wear and deterioration. You may need more frequent roof repairs, or your roof may need to be replaced sooner due to shingle deterioration. Shingles that go through a lot of heat cycles often lose their granules prematurely. Once shingles lose their granules, their water-repelling abilities are compromised.
Where Roof Insulation Is Located
Roof insulation is typically placed on the underside of your roof. In other words, it is placed on the attic side of your roof deck. Typically, your roofer will leave an inch or two of empty space between the roof deck and the insulation. This will help prevent any condensation which forms from coming into direct contact with the insulation. A vapor barrier is then installed over the insulation for additional moisture protection.
Roof insulation can be accessed without having to remove or replace the roof. So, if your roof insulation has become worn or compacted over time, consider having a roofer replace it – even if you don’t need a new roof yet.
Common Insulation Materials
The go-to material for roof insulation is fiberglass batts. These are affordable, easy to install, and have a fairly good insulating capacity, or R-value, for most climates. The fiberglass comes in a big roll, and your roofers cut it to length before installing it between the attic ceiling joists.
A good alternative to consider is spray foam. Spray foam insulation has to be applied by a professional, and it does cost more than fiberglass insulation. However, it is water-resistant, does a great job of sealing cracks and crevices, and has a higher R-value than fiberglass. Spray foam also won’t appeal to rodents, who sometimes like to nest in fiberglass insulation.
If you’re having a new home built or having an extensive roof replacement done, you may want to talk to your roofer about rigid insulation boards. These can be a convenient alternative to fiberglass, but they do have to be installed during the re-roofing process and aren’t really able to be retrofitted to an existing roof. They are especially common with metal roofs.
Good insulation makes for a good, durable roof and lower energy bills. If you’re replacing your roof or want to discuss ways to improve your current roof insulation, contact Mark Kaufman Roofing in North Port, Florida. Our friendly, knowledgeable roofers offer several roof and attic insulation services and can recommend the approach best suited to your home.