Common Types of Residential Roof Insulation for Toronto Homes

Roofing construction with roofers working

Having proper roof insulation is essential. Too much or too little can leave your home at uncomfortable temperatures. Poor insulation can leave your home exposed to critters and wildlife. It can also be responsible for cold drafts and cause energy bills to increase.

Roof insulation is particularly important in places like Toronto, where we experience a varied temperature climate with extreme highs and lows. When roof insulation is at a recommended level, it helps maintain a consistent temperature in your home, keeping the heat out in the summer and the heat indoors in the winter.

When roof insulation is lacking, attics can experience excessive heat, leading to excessive condensation and moisture, which can cause significant damage to your home. This is why when you’re planning roof repairs in the fall, it’s a smart idea to have a professional inspect all aspects of your roof to identify any issues before they grow.

So how do you tell what type of insulation for the roof you have and how much you need? Below, we’ll discuss the common types of roof insulation, what insulation level is recommended for Toronto homes, and how Professional Roofers in Toronto can help.

Insulation R-Value

R-Value is the standard of measurement for the effectiveness of insulation. It measures the thermal resistance or the amount of conductive heat flow the insulation prevents from passing through it. The higher the R-Value, the better the insulating properties. The R-Value of a material depends on its type, thickness and density.

Remember, insulation work must be done in accordance with the Ontario Building Code, the legislative reference for Ontario. The building code is updated regularly, which means that even if the insulation in your home was done according to code when it was installed, it might no longer meet the current recommendations. The updates are made to improve energy efficiency and building safety standards.

Recommended R-Value for insulation varies across the country and according to what part of the house you’re insulating. Roof insulation requirements in Ontario have been raised from R-50 to R-60.

Older homes often have poor roof insulation if they haven’t had new insulation added. Depending on when your home was built, the roof insulation could be as low as R-10, or the equivalent of 2 inches of insulation. To find out the exact level of insulation in your home, it’s best to get an assessment from a professional.

Roofer tearing up old roofing materials

Common Types of Roof Insulation

When it comes to residential roof insulation, different materials can be used as types of roof insulation, and they each have different R Values. Additionally, R-Value can be influenced by a variety of factors, including:

  • Brand name
  • Installation
  • Other roofing issues
  • Thickness and density

These issues are why it’s so important to have a properly trained professional to help identify the correct type of insulation and properly install it. The main types of roof insulation are:

Loose-Fill Insulation

This type of insulation can be used for walls and floors but is best used in attics and enclosed spaces like roofs, where there can be irregular space between joists. It can be used to top up existing layers of insulation or to fill in cracks and gaps. Types of loose-fill insulation include:

  • Cellular fibre (R-3 to 3.8 per inch)
  • Glass fibre (R-2.2 to 3.7 per inch)
  • Mineral fibre (R-2.5 to 3.7 per inch)

Spray Foam Insulation

Spray foam insulation is a type of insulation for the roof made from plastic resin and is prepared and applied on-site. This spray-formula insulation is available in both low-density and high-density forms. Spray kits are available directly to consumers but should be applied by certified installers for the best results.

Types of spray foam insulation include:

  • Closed-cell polyurethane foam (R-5.5 to 6.5 per inch)
  • Open-cell polyurethane foam (R-3.6 to 3.8 per inch)

Rigid Board Insulation

Rigid board insulation, also known as insulating boards, is typically made from materials with a high insulation value per unit thickness, such as mineral fibre or foam plastic. It is a particularly lightweight type of insulation for roofs and is easily handled and cut, but fitting the boards into irregular spaces is awkward and tedious.

Types of rigid board insulation include:

  • Expanded polystyrene (R-3.8 to 4.4 per inch)
  • Extruded polystyrene (R-5 per inch)
  • Mineral fibre rigid board (R-2.3 to 4 per inch)
  • Polyurethane (R-5.5 to 6.5 per inch) and polyisocyanurate boards

Batt Insulation

Batt or blanket insulation is easily installed in accessible spaces, including some attics. Because it does not settle, it conforms to irregular surfaces and can be cut to fit into surfaces of different sizes and shapes. This type of insulation for the roof is typically made of:

  • Glass fibre (R-3.1 to 4.3 per inch)
  • Mineral fibre (R-3 to 4 per inch)

Getting Insulation Installed

At Professional Roofers, we know the importance of a properly insulated house, which is why we offer insulation installation services. We can discuss the types of roof insulation and which one is right for you based on your home and budget to bring it in line with the new Ontario Building Code recommendations.

We can also help with repairing your roof, from missing shingles to animal damage. Our roofing experts will come up with an effective solution to any of your roofing issues and will provide efficient and quality work. Contact us today to discuss your roofing needs.

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