DOES YOUR ROOF NEED A HIGH R-VALUE?
Insulation in a commercial building can be a tricky subject. Designing and implementing your roof as an insulator can save you money. Do you need insulation beneath the roof deck, above it, should your roof itself provide insulation? These are all questions that building owners may ask. Let’s look at some details of your commercial building insulation, and what role your roof should play in that.
Should Your Roof be Insulated?
A common value proposition among sellers of various roofing systems is that they provide a high level of insulation for the building. We have made this case for our spray foam product before, and still stand by it as a benefit. However, the question we’re asking now is “does your roof itself need to be insulated?” If you have a roof deck that you can access, then the insulation in your roof can simply go beneath the roof as another layer of your roof. The actual roof itself doesn’t have to provide insulation. It’s a good benefit when your roof can provide lots of insulation (such as with spray foam), but it’s not required.
Roofing Systems without Much Insulation
A good example of a roofing system that doesn’t offer much insulation is a metal panel roof system. These thin panels provide very little in the way of insulation, but they conceal and protect the insulation that lies beneath them. A metal roof can be coated with a silicone roof coating, but that still doesn’t provide much insulation for your building. The bulk of the R-value is coming from insulation material separate from the roof.
Protecting Separate Insulation
If you do have a separate insulation product in addition to your roof, it becomes very important that you keep the roof from leaking so as to prevent the insulation from getting wet. Wet insulation is almost worthless, so the dryer you keep it the better.
It’s also important to keep the insulation in place, as it was designed and installed intentionally. If the insulation moves around beneath the outer layer of the roof, you will get gaps that allow air transfer.
Your roof doesn’t have to provide insulation, though it’s a good benefit to have if it does. Even if your roof provides no R-value, independent insulation can be added. This will help keep your building warm or cool, depending on the season.