Insulation of Your Roof for Winter

Even in a state like Florida, the weather can get quite cold during winter nights. Homeowners are always looking for ways to better heat their homes during these cold nights while keeping their heating bills to a minimum. The best way to keep your home warm and not overextend your budget is through insulation.

Keep Up Roof Maintenance

To start the process of insulating your roof, you will need your roof to be in good shape. This can easily and inexpensively be achieved by keeping up your regular roof maintenance. Regularly having your roof inspected and immediately taking care of any repairs that may be needed is the most important step to roof maintenance. This will ensure that there are no leaks or damaged or missing shingles that could potentially open your home to problems such as water damage. Common roofing issues such as loose, curling, or cracked roof shingles as well as any rotting wood or gaps in your roof’s fascia, soffit, and flashing should be fixed to keep those problems from getting worse. Another aspect to roof maintenance that will help you keep your roof in peak condition is a professional roof cleaning.

Cold or Warm Roof

When talking about whether or not you have a cold or warm roof, it is not talking about temperature but rather where the roofing insulation will be installed. A cold roof will have the insulation installed at the joist level while a warm roof will see the roofing insulation installed adjacent to the rafters. For northern areas of the country that see harsher winters, a cold roof is much more appropriate as it is less likely to melt the snow on the roof and refreeze to form ice dams. It is also more simple and less expensive to retrofit with insulation. Warm roofs, on the other hand, allow for a much higher level of heat retention.

Blanket Insulation

If you have a cold roof to keep your home safe during the cold winter months, one of the most common methods for insulating such a roof is blanket insulation. This type of insulation is traditionally done using fiberglass but that is the less environmentally-friendly option. An alternative option is recycled or sheep’s wool insulation. Recycled insulation is made from post-consumer cellulose that is recycled from old newspapers, out of cotton mill scraps, or from recycled fabric. Sheep’s wool insulation is made from just that, sheep’s wool. When installing the insulation, a vaper barrier will be installed which will be followed by the blanket insulation being rolled out over the barrier. Important aspects of the blanket insulation is ensuring that it is flush with the roof joints and that any gaps between the lengths of insulation are closed.

Spray Foam Insulation

Spray foam insulation is versatile in that it can be used on either warm or cold roofs. If this is the insulation choice for your home, the roof must be in good shape before the treatment is attempted and all rafter and trusses should be thoroughly coated with the foam in order to prevent any heat transfer via the wood. The most common way to install spray foam insulation is to spray it on a type of plastic, usually polyurethane or polyisocyanurate. The foam will harden and turn into a rigid thermal insulation barrier.

Spray foam insulation does bring environmental problems into the situation as it releases harmful VOC gases for 24 to 48 hours after being sprayed on. During that one to two-day period, residents of the home need to find an alternative place to stay until the fumes have dissipated. Another concern of these gases is when the foam is removed. An alternative to this type of spray foam is cellulose insulation, which also comes in spray-on form. This option is more environmentally-friendly, though it is a less effective insulator.

Part of preparing your home for winter is making sure that your home is warm during those cold nights. The proper roof insulation can ensure that your home remains warm while keeping your heating bills to a minimum. But before you have insulation installed on your roof, you need to make sure that your roof is in good condition. A professional roof cleaning from the experts at Beacon Roof Cleaning will help to ensure that your roof is prepared for such an installation.

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