After reading this far into our blog series on the technical terms and essential components that make up a roof, hopefully, you are beginning to see just how essential each aspect of a roof is, and how these components all work together to form one beautiful, fully formed jigsaw puzzle. Without any one piece, you may inevitably find your home lacking in wind and water protection, with preventable structural damage on the way. The piece of this jigsaw puzzle that we are going to discuss today in our Professional Roofers blog is: insulation.
Roof insulation, particularly in a varied temperate climate like Toronto where hot can be very hot and cold can be very cold, is an important component of your home as it helps to maintain constant temperatures within your house. In the summertime, insulation helps to keep the hot summer sun and warm air out of your home, while in the wintertime it does just the opposite – it keeps the warm air in and the cold air out!
Roof insulation is especially important because excess heat in the attic space can lead to excess condensation and moisture. Since this area tends not to see as much physical human traffic as the other areas of your home, you, your family members, or your roommates likely won’t see the signs of damage until it is too late. Moisture can easily weaken rafters and beams that are integral to the structural integrity of your house with rot.
Likewise, in the summer months, the large flat plain of your roof can easily attract the sun’s harmful rays and boost the overall temperature of your house significantly without proper insulation. This will not only make an uncomfortable environment that feels more like a sauna than a home, but will also likely cause drastic energy expenditure when you cool your house with air conditioning – costing much more money in the long run. If you don’t believe us, send out a tweet to one of our twitter followers and I’m sure one of our previous clients will quickly tell you how they saved money as soon as their attic or roofing insulation was installed!
There are various forms of roofing insulation available to homeowners, each with their own pros and cons. Some examples of common roofing materials include: cellular glass, wood fiber, gypsum board, perlite, polystyrene, and polyisocyanurate. Your contractor can help you decide on the right insulation form for your budget and home. Each type of insulation is graded on a very specific scale, the R scale (otherwise known as the thermal resistance scale), which helps contractors determine just how efficient that particular material is at resisting heat.
Each form of insulation is given an R-value, which indicates how well it can insulate. R-values can change due to a variety of factors including the: density, composition, and quality of materials in your insulation. The higher the number, the better the material is at resisting heat and therefore at insulating your home. Generally, the higher the R-value, the more expensive the material is; however, this also usually means that less material can be used in the construction process as well.