Roofing and insulation – What you need to know for your home?

Home interiors are protected from the elements with proper roofing and insulation.  Roofing and insulation decisions can be informed by understanding key principles. While serving distinct purposes, your roofing system and insulation have complementary roles:

  • Roofing creates a weatherproof barrier keeping water, snow, leaves, and pests outside the home. Materials like shingles, tiles, and membranes shed precipitation.
  • Insulation creates a thermal barrier reducing heat transfer in or out of the home. Materials like fiberglass batts trap air to control temperature. 
  • Ventilation allows excess heat and moisture to escape through your roof system so it doesn’t penetrate insulation. 
  • Proper installation is crucial so insulation remains in full contact with roof decking for ideal thermal performance. 

When roofing and insulation components work together cohesively, your interior stays protected year-round.

Home insulation types and recommended levels

There are several common insulation types and materials, each offering different properties and benefits:

  • Fiberglass batts: Cost-effective traditional batts fitted between studs and joists. R-value of R-15 to R-30.
  • Loose fill: Loose materials like cellulose blown into cavities. R-value of R-25 to R-40.
  • Rigid foam: Polystyrene or polyurethane foam sheets adding insulation and sealing air leaks. R-value of R-10 to R-20. 
  • Spray foam: Foam sprayed directly into cavities to fill gaps and seal up leaks. R-value of R-25 to R-30. 

For most homes, an insulation R-value between R-30 to R-50 is recommended for thermal comfort and energy savings. Upgrading attic insulation delivers a big bang for your buck. 

How much roof ventilation is needed? 

Proper roof ventilation allows warm, moist air to escape rather than condense. Recommended levels are:

  • At least 1 square foot of ventilation area for every 150 square feet of attic space. 
  • 50%-75% upper roof vents, 25%-50% lower roof edge vents for cross airflow.
  • Use a mix of vent types like roof turbines, ridge vents, and soffit vents.

Ensure insulation isn’t blocking air channels and attic vents aren’t obstructed. It improves roof durability and insulation effectiveness.

When to upgrade your roofing?

Even with solid insulation, an aging, failing roof compromises efficiency. Plan roof replacement when:

  • Shingles or tiles are cracked, missing, buckling, or showing granule loss
  • Leaks or signs of interior water damage appear despite patching
  • The full roof surface appears worn, faded, or covered in debris 
  • You need to replace 50% or more of the total roof covering

Ideally, homes should get new roofing every 15-25 years depending on materials and climate exposure. Preventative re-roofing also lets you upgrade insulation simultaneously. For more info, check out here local roofing company in ajax

Roofing material choices and considerations

Common residential roofing options include:

  • Asphalt/Fiberglass Shingles: Budget-friendly and familiar, available in different durability levels and colors. Lifespan of 15-30 years.
  • Concrete/Clay Tiles: Heavy and durable tiles in Mediterranean style. Upwards of 50-year lifespan but higher cost.
  • Metal Roofing: Steel, aluminum, or copper panels and shingles. Long-lasting but prone to denting from hail.
  • Slate Roofing: Highly durable natural slate roofing that lasts 50-100+ years. Very heavy so requiring reinforced roof decking.

An asphalt shingle roof is affordable and long-lasting. Compare material warranty periods when deciding on replacement roofing.


Jack Herold