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Albany Roofers: Article About Roof Insulation

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While radiant barriers are often installed onto a roof's sheathing in order to reflect heat from the sun, another important structural component that assists in preventing unwanted thermal buildup is the home's insulation. Insulating a home involves the application of one or more types of heat resistant barriers to the walls, floors and ceilings. Walls and roofs require different amounts of insulation due to their differences in sun exposure and surface type. Experienced Albany roofers can help homeowners install the right insulation and maintain the proper R-value for all the parts of their homes.

Most exterior home walls are relatively smooth. They are often finished with a light colored paint, stucco or stain. Even brick and mortar homes consist of colors that reflect the majority of a sun's light. These advantages increase the solar reflectance of the walls. In addition to all of this, the vertical nature of exterior walls and the overhang of the roof means that they do not experience as much of the sun's direct rays as the rooftop does. On a hot and sunny day, the outside walls of a house could reach temperatures of 110 to 120 degrees Fahrenheit, while the roof, with its dark shingles made from granular asphalt, can easily reach a temperature in excess of 200 degrees.

Another difference in how walls and roofs experience the sun's energy relates to the timing.

The roofing experts at Ideal Construction of Albany can assist you with any questions regarding siding or windows.

Eastern walls get sunshine in the morning while southern and western facing walls get direct sunshine in the afternoon. This is in contrast to the roof, which gets sun from sunrise to sunset. This constant exposure to UV rays allows the shingles to absorb solar energy all day long. Roofs made of asphalt, for example, will soak up 95 percent of the sun's energy and reflect only about five percent of it.

These differences mean that roofs and walls need different types and amounts of insulation. While walls would do fine with 8 to 12 inches of rolled fiberglass, this amount would be insufficient for roofing systems in northern New York. To satisfy the U.S. Department of Energy's recommended R-value for the region, a house would need around 18 inches of fiberglass or loose fill in the attic. Because this amount of insulation could be unfeasible, most roofers will use a few types of insulation in this part of the house.

Closed cell sprayed foam insulation has R values of 7 to 9, making it ideal for protecting the home from unwanted solar heat gain through the roof. Applying this pricier type of insulation into the attic gives homeowners the best return on investment.

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