Regardless of how well your house or commercial property is built, the Florida climate can take its toll on any structure. High humidity, the high salt concentration in the air, and hot temperatures can penetrate the roof and damage the attic area, eventually making their way into the main rooms.
To protect your home or business and save money on energy costs, it is important to install, maintain and replace the roof insulation as necessary. Insulation protects your home from drafts, leaks, and humidity. It acts as a barrier that makes your living or workspace more comfortable.
Below, we take a closer look at roof insulation and why it is an important component in any residential or commercial property. If you have any further questions about insulation, call Quality Roofing. We are your premier roofing contractor on the coast.
What is Roof Insulation?
Roof insulation is a thermally insulated interior lining that is installed along the attic floor, wall, or ceiling. It prevents temperatures, humidity, or drafts from entering or leaving the building. During the summer, it keeps the cool air in and the hot air out. Likewise, during the winter, it keeps the hot air in and cold air out.
Insulation can be made of phenolic foam, polyurethane foam, rock wool, or fiberglass. Different types of insulation are engineered specifically for sloped and flat roofs. They are also designed to block certain temperatures. For instance, cold roof insulation is installed close to the joists (the horizontal framing in the roof framework). Warm roof insulation is implemented between and under the roof rafters.
What Are the Benefits of Roof Insulation?
Insulation does more than just protect your house from the outside elements. There are several benefits of roof insulation, including:
- Increased fire rating
- Lower carbon footprint
- Mold resistance
- Reduced humidity or condensation inside
- Less roof deck expansion and contraction
Insulation controls both the temperature, airflow, and humidity – three elements that can damage the components in your house or office. Insulation, such as spray foam, has a high heat and fire rating, protecting commercial properties. Other types of insulation can prevent mold and keep the roof deck from expanding and contracting. As a result, your residential or commercial property lasts a lot longer, with less need for maintenance or repairs.
Types of Roof Insulation
There are essentially two types of roof insulation:
- Blown-In or Loose-Fill Insulation
Loose-fill insulation is blown into the attic using a high-powered blower. Fibrous materials such as fiberglass wool or cellulose are blown into the roof cavity until the entire area is filled. It creates a ‘loose’ layer across the entire attic. The three main types of insulation include stone wool, fiberglass wool, and cellulose
Stone wool consists of natural minerals that come from dolomite, basalt, or volcanic rock. Fiberglass wool is made from fibrous fiberglass textures that are bound into a wool-like material. Cellulose is constructed from recycled paper products such as newspapers. Since the insulation is blown into the attic, it can conform to any space.
- Spray Foam Insulation
Spray foam is popular for both residential and commercial applications due to its ability to block high heat and humidity. Like loose-fill insulation, spray foam is also blown into the attic. The advantage of spray foam, as opposed to loosening fill, is that it can fill the smallest cracks and spaces, eliminating any air or moisture from getting into the building.
Once the spray foam lands on a surface, it expands 30 to 60 times its liquid volume. While the cost of spray foam is higher than fiberglass wool or cellulose insulation, it is also far more effective.
The two main types of insulation include closed-cell foam and open-cell foam. Closed-cell foam is high-density insulation that reinforces the structure of the building. Open-cell foam is filled with air, which gives it a spongy texture. It is ideal for wood structures and buildings that require a sound barrier.
What is the R-Value in Roof Insulation?
The most important quality in any type of insulation is its R-Value. The ‘R’ in R-Value stands for thermal resistance. The more thermal resistance that roof insulation offers, the higher the R-value rating. As a business or homeowner, you want an insulation product with an R-value that meets or exceeds the minimum residential or commercial building codes.
Which type of insulation has the highest R-Value?
Insulation Type R-Value (per inch)
Fiberglass Wool 2.2 – 4.3
Stone Wool 3.0 – 3.3
Cellulose 3.2 – 3.7
Open-Cell Spray Foam 3.5 – 3.6
Closed-Cell Spray Foam 6.0 – 6.5
Keep in mind that the thickness of the insulation is not the only factor in determining the R-Value. All factors for determining R-Value include:
- Insulation materials
- Thickness of insulating materials
- Thermal conductivity of materials
- Difference in inside and outside temperature
- Location in the building
- The type of walls used in the building
What to Consider When Buying Roof Insulation
Overall, closed-cell spray foam has the highest R-Value. However, it’s not effective (or even practical) in every residential or commercial application. Make sure you consult your local roofing contractor in Florida before you decide what type of insulation to buy. Here are some things to consider when buying roof insulation:
- Your budget
- Local and state building codes
- Geographic region of the building
- Intended use of the building
- Roof deck elements
- Type of roofing system (asphalt shingles, metal, etc.)
- Roof drainage
Of all the things to consider, you should prioritize the intended use of the building. For example, if you are installing insulation inside a house, your intended use for the insulation is comfort, safety, and energy efficiency. Insulation can give you greater climate control so that you are more comfortable. If you are using the insulation for a storage unit, you may not need the same type of insulation as you would in a living space.
Get a Free Roof Replacement Estimate
Quality Roofing offers premier roofing services for homeowners in Florida. To find out more about our roofing replacement solutions, call (850) 204-0443 or fill out the quick form on our contact page.