If you are in the process of choosing new roofing materials, you likely have questions about roof and attic insulation. One of the most common inquiries has to do with radiant barriers. Continue reading to review some of the most frequently asked questions about radiant barriers and how to find the best options for your home or building.
What is a Radiant Barrier?
A radiant barrier is a layer of material that shields the sun’s radiant energy, which subsequently reduces the heat levels in the attic, as well as the rest of the home. When the outdoor temperatures are high, the heat levels in an attic are much higher because it absorbs all the sun’s radiant energy. With solar panels, this radiant energy is turned into electricity; but in terms of attics, the energy is only turned into heat.
What are the Types of Radiant Barrier Products?
Radiant barriers are installed below roof decks as traditional sheathing, however, they also come in other versions. Alternatives include rolled aluminum sheathing for existing roof decks, and even paint spray-on products that are also applied underneath roof decks. Most professionals would not advise using these barrier options for low sloped roof systems.
Why are They Helpful?
Because radiant barriers block the sun’s inclement energy, they control indoor temperatures and help to reduce energy bills. This saves money by decreasing the need to up the air conditioner during the hot summer months. Not only does this save money, it maintains a comfortable indoor air environment all year long.
How Much Money Can it Save?
All homes and buildings are different, and there are various factors (i.e. the amount of insulation needed, the price of electricity, etc.) that influence the need for certain roofing materials and products. For these reasons and more, it is difficult to say just how much a product like radiant barriers can save a property owner. You would need to discuss these numbers with a licensed Indianapolis roofing contractor who has the credentials to provide accurate calculations and professional recommendations.
Is it the Same as Attic Insulation?
Radiant barriers are not attic insulation. Home insulation is used to prevent interior heat transfer from one space to another. This regulates the temperature inside a home regardless of the outdoor climate. In contrast, radiant barriers prevent a home from absorbing heat by forcing UV rays to bounce off the roof.
Should I Replace My Roof Decking and Sheathing?
It is not common for property owners to opt for wholesale roof deck replacement. If you were to replace your existing roof sheathing for the primary purpose of adding a radiant barrier, it would be a very expensive renovation. However, there are several properties that could highly benefit from this type of sheathing upgrade, such as homes with vaulted ceilings and no attic space or homes with cheap 3/8 inch decking. Talk to a trusted Indianapolis roofing company for advice on roof deck replacement. They have the information you need to make an educated decision regarding your home’s roofing system.