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Understand Roofing Insulation Terminology

With the high cost of fuel this year, the energy efficiency of your home is becoming increasingly important. Not only are airtight doors and windows important, but having proper insulation is the key to a warm home this winter.

In order for insulation to work properly, it must be installed correctly. This means under the floor, in the walls, and all through the attic. Heat rises, thus the insulation beneath the roof is very important. Not only does insulation work to keep heat in, but it also will help your home to stay cooler in the summer months. Rigid roof insulation is installed under the roofing material.

When it comes to roof insulation, there are a few options for you to choose between.

  • Wood Fiber. This is a board form of insulation normally made out of wood, cane, or vegetable fibers.
  • Perlite. This insulation is also a board, but is made out of silicaceous volcanic glass also known as perlite.
  • Polyisocyanurate. This board has a plastic core that is covered with another material such as felt facers, glass fiber mat facers, or aluminum foil facers.
  • Polystyrene. This one is a bit different from the previous options. The polymer material is combined with a foaming agent that is heated, which causes it to expand. It also comes in flat and tapered boards.
  • Extruded polystyrene. Very similar to the previous material, but this one is run through an extrusion process that changes its cell structure.
  • Cellular glass. This is crushed glass combined with a foaming agent. It comes in flat and tapered boards, and also as flat and tapered blocks.
  • Gypsum board. We’re all familiar with gypsum board as sheetrock, but this one is coated with a non-asphaltic coating and has a water-resistant core.
  • Composite. This board form of insulation has multiple layers of insulation laminated together.

As you can see, there are many types of roofing insulation to choose between. Which one you select should be based upon the advice of your roofing contractor, as well as your roofing manufacturer. You might consult local resources to help determine which material is the most appropriate for your climate. Request free estimates from prescreened roofing contractors in your area.

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