Roof Care 101: What You Need to Know About Roof Insulation

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A well-functioning roof leads to a happy home. However, you must also do your part as a homeowner by maintaining the roof so that you can live comfortably and safely in your humble abode. Just because the roof is out of sight doesn’t mean it should be out of mind! 

Of course, your doors and windows, and walls are crucial to having a safe and secure home, but the roof ensures that you and your family are protected from the harmful environmental elements.

Roof Insulation

Not seeing any leaks or holes forming in your roof doesn’t mean that all is well. Like the other areas of your house, the roof is also susceptible to various issues. If you want to have a happy home life without encountering any costly and life-threatening problems, you must invest in caring for your roof!

Take a look at what you can learn from this article:

Table of Contents

Minding Your Roof

No matter how minor it may seem, damage to your roof could lead to costly repairs and further damage to your home. Although roofs are supposed to last for more than a decade or so, several factors could affect and threaten their expected lifespan, putting your property and family’s safety at risk.

Roofs aren’t meant to be cleaned as often as your home’s interior, and it is dangerous to attempt to do so on your own. However, like other parts of your house, it requires regular roof repair, inspection, and care. You’ll only have as much of a happy home as long as you take care of your roof. 

As the most critical aspect of the house, your roof provides protection, helping create a comfortable home. Since your roof is supposed to take the brunt of the external forces threatening to ruin your home’s peace, it must be able to withstand the seasonal and temperature changes. 

Maintaining the Home’s Integrity With Roof Insulation

Although the roof is meant to protect you and the rest of the house from external elements, it also requires a layer of protection—insulation, to be exact. Yes, roofs are made to be highly durable and last for decades, but you shouldn’t overestimate their capacity to withstand extreme temperatures.

When your roof is constantly exposed to UV exposure, it could age and decay at a faster rate than expected. Moreover, high temperatures cause your roofing materials to break down quickly. To put it simply, a roof that’s constantly under extreme heat has a greater risk of warping and ultimately breaking down.

Falling roofs aren’t only seen in cartoons—you could also someday notice your roof slowly breaking down over your head when you’re not careful. Roof insulation can prevent this situation from happening! By wedging a protective barrier between the roof’s surface and roof deck combined with new cool roof technology, your home can feel cooler and safer.

Why You Should Insulate the Roof

Residential roof replacement isn’t always the answer. Sometimes, all you need is to enhance the roofing system with sufficient insulation. A reputable roofing company may have installed your roof, and its structure is extremely strong, but you can’t rely on its durability forever. If there’s extra reinforcement available, then why not take advantage of it?

The benefits of having roof insulation are endless! By investing in roof insulation to protect your family, the roof, and the house itself from adverse weather effects, you’ll get to enjoy these advantages and more:

1. Save on Energy and Costs

Technology has come a long way—you no longer need to endure the extreme temperatures during the peak of summer and winter. Thanks to highly advanced HVAC systems, you can lounge comfortably in your home without having to worry about feeling too hot or cold!

However, although air conditioners and heaters have undoubtedly been instrumental in enhancing the comfort of homes and commercial buildings worldwide, they can also be harmful to the environment and take a large percentage of your monthly house expenses. But what if you can’t afford to turn up the air conditioner or the heater?

With roof insulation, you don’t have to choose between your energy bills or comfort anymore! When you have efficient insulation installed for your roof, you will save up to 20% on your energy bills since your HVAC system won’t have to work as hard. 

2. Add a Layer of Protection

Even the roof needs to be protected to ensure its quality and longevity. Yes, the roof is meant to withstand extreme temperatures and weather conditions, but it helps to prevent any damage in the long run with an insulation system.

Depending on the type of roof insulation you choose for your home, your roof will be protected from prolonged exposure to heat and cold. Thanks to the extra protection, your roof can withstand the effects of years-long exposure to natural elements. Instead of calling for expensive residential roof replacement, the right insulation system can keep your roof in good condition for much longer than expected.

3. Retain and Prevent Heat

Heat plays a vital role in the condition of your house and the level of comfort you get to experience in your humble abode. Unfortunately, unlike inside your residence, the temperature outside can’t be regulated using a device. However, you can do something to manage the heat within your home: through roof insulation!

Suppose you live in an area that’s exposed to significantly lower temperatures during the majority of the year. In that case, you may already rely on a heater or fireplace to keep the home warm. Sadly, the heat produced won’t last long and will eventually escape your home through the roof.

With an insulated roof, you can prevent this from happening! You’ll be able to have a warm and toasty home throughout the winter without worrying if the house will grow cold.

On the other hand, if you suffer from high temperatures during the summer months, you must ensure that as little heat as possible enters the home. Roof insulation ensures that no excess heat seeps into your house, keeping your house temperature lower.

What Kind of Roof Insulation Do You Need?

The installation system for your roof is meant to protect it and increase its lifespan, but to enjoy the benefits of roof insulation, you must make sure to choose the right type for your needs. Recognizing that you need to invest in roof insulation is only the first step—now, you must select the proper roofing insulation, but this is easier said than done.

Choosing the proper roofing insulation is much more complicated than some roofing contractors let on. The task may sound simple, but when you consider the several factors involved in the decision process, you may find yourself unable to choose between the many types of roof insulation.

The Different Types of Roof Insulation

Although roof insulation is the easiest and most cost-effective way of reducing your home’s energy costs and significantly impacting your seasonal heating and cooling costs, choosing the wrong type of insulation can lead to less than pleasant results.

Before you go roof insulation shopping, the first thing you must do is explore all of the available types and understand the purpose of each one. In learning about the types of roof insulation, you’ll get to reach a decision that you’re confident is good for your roof and your home life.

Some of the most common types of roof insulation include:

1. Spray Foam Insulation

If you’re looking for one of the most effective ways to insulate your roof, you can never go wrong with polyethylene spray foam! Also considered among the most common types of roof insulation, protecting your roof with this spray-applied plastic can seal any cracks.

By bonding the slates and tiles together, the spray foam insulation prevents unwanted heat, wind, moisture, and cool air from seeping in and entering the home. With this type of roof insulation, you can rest assured that your roof is protected from the wind and heat.

If you opt for spray foam insulation, it’s crucial to differentiate between high-density closed-cell insulation foam and low-density open-cell spray foam. Closed-cell foam has completely closed cells that are pressed together, making them more stable and rigid. This type of foam will keep moisture out of your home.

On the other hand, the cells are left open intentionally to make the foam softer and more flexible with open-cell spray foam. Open-cell foam is perfect for indoor applications, such as soundproofing.

2. Rigid Insulation Boards

As its name suggests, rigid insulation boards are durable. Made from dense sheets of closed-cell foam, this type of insulation can be used in not only the roof but also your basement, attic, and living space.

The best thing about rigid insulation boards is that they’re environmentally friendly and have a high R-value. When you invest in this insulation system, you’ll be able to protect your roof from extreme heat while also doing your part in saving the environment by using cork, wood, or straw insulation boards.

Rigid insulation boards come in a variety of types, three of which are:

  • Polyisocyanurate or Polyiso: Polyiso foam comes with a foil facing to act as a radiant barrier. This insulation board is the most expensive variant, but it has the highest R-value.
  • Extruded polystyrene (XPS): XPS foam comes in blue or pink and has a plastic surface. This type of foam is water-resistant, but polystyrene, its primary insulating material, is flammable and can deteriorate due to sunlight exposure.
  • Expanded polystyrene (EPS): This foam is similar to XPS, except it has a lower R-value. However, this is a good enough insulation option for homeowners looking to save money on roof insulation.

3. Batt Insulation

Batt or batt blanket insulation is perhaps the most commonly used insulation for the roof and attic across the country. This type of insulation is among the top choices for owners because the rolls are manufactured and pre-cut in various sizes to fit most rafters and ceiling joints. To install this type of insulation, it is blown into hard-to-reach areas.

Insulation batts are available in two kinds:

Fiberglass

Since these rolls are usually constructed using fiberglass, they are also one of the least expensive roof insulation available in the market. In addition, fiberglass batts can also resist moisture, making them a perfect option for homes located in humid climates. 

Since fiberglass is completely fire-resistant, you won’t have to worry about your roof insulation causing accidents to your home. However, although non-flammable, fiberglass insulation loses about 50% of its R-value when the environment reaches below freezing temperatures.

Cellulose

Cellulose insulation is completely safe, unlike fiberglass insulation that may irritate your skin and cause lung cancer over time! However, although good for your health and the environment, it is flammable. Although treated with fire retardants, it is also non-combustible and difficult to extinguish. 

Since cellulose loose-fill insulation comprises paper or recycled newspaper, it doesn’t pose any health concerns and is environmentally friendly. Moreover, cellulose insulation is perfect for cold climates, as it retains its R-value over time in extreme temperatures.

4. Structural Insulated Panels

Structural insulated panels or SIPs are steadily rising in popularity among insulation products. Since these prefabricated boards are available in various shapes and sizes, you can use these panels in different ways, and not only for roof insulation.

Thanks to their extreme durability and stability, SIPs can even replace wood frames and handle dead loads weighing up to ten pounds per square foot and live loads of up to 70 pounds per square foot.

However, although undoubtedly durable, SIPs are vulnerable to moisture. Since they’re not designed to get wet, they need a vapor barrier or exterior sheathing as moisture protection.

Conclusion

If you want to live comfortably and safely in your humble abode, you must pay attention to the state of your roof! When it comes to lengthening the lifespan of your roof and maintaining its quality, you must invest in roof insulation! As long as you choose the right type of insulation and work with the best roofing contractor, you’re sure to have a durable roof that will protect your home for the decades to come!

Have you been looking for the most skilled roofing company in Raleigh to help you with your roof insulation? Then, our team at Southern Premier Roofing may just be who you need! Southern Premier Roofing is a national brand serving clients in Raleigh, Charlotte, and Fayetteville, NC, as well as Boise ID. We can’t wait to help you meet your roofing needs with great quality. Our project managers and on-site insurance adjusters ensure each project is done thoroughly, so your roof lasts its full expectancy. Schedule a free estimate today!

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