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Role of Commercial Roof Insulation

Commercial roof insulation acts like a thick blanket, sandwiched between the roof deck and the roof’s surface, to reduce heat transfer. In warm climates, the insulation may be paired with cool roof technology to reduce the cost of cooling the building. In cooler climates, the insulation layer can reduce heat loss during cold weather. In all cases, adequate insulation helps the facility maintain an optimal interior temperature.

At North American Roofing, several criteria affect the type and amount of insulation we recommend. In designing a new roof assembly, we take into consideration:

  • Where the building is located (geographic region)
  • Roof deck elements
  • Intended building use
  • Building codes
  • Roof drainage
  • Type of roofing system
  • Roof budget

More Than One Layer?

Thermal resistance (R-value) increases in relationship to its density and thickness. When a high degree of R-value is necessary, it’s standard practice to install more than a single layer of insulation during the roofing process. Relatively speaking, the cost of additional insulation is small in comparison to the potential energy savings over the life of the roof. This is especially true when considering rising energy costs, which can eat up a big portion of a facility owner’s overhead.

Unfortunately, insulation is often the first element on the chopping block during a new roof decision-making process. Owners and managers, eager to cut costs and save a few bucks, often request minimal insulation. That’s understandable, but in the end, that small initial savings could be quickly lost through increased utility costs.

Additional Benefits

While reducing utility costs is usually the biggest reason for choosing high quality insulation, other potential benefits are worth considering.

  • Smaller CO2 “footprint”
  • Reduced condensation inside the facility
  • Consistent temperature reduces roof deck expansion and contraction
  • Some types of insulation offer mold resistance
  • Increased fire rating


Insulation relies on its loft to retain thermal resistance. Crushed insulation is no longer effective and saturated insulation loses its ability to successfully reduce thermal transfer. Unfortunately, facility owners don’t always know when there’s a problem with the roof’s insulation because water can seep into tiny cracks and do substantial damage before the problem becomes apparent. At North American Roofing, we use cutting-edge thermal scanning equipment to pinpoint saturated areas of insulation, which can then be replaced before further damage occurs.

The Best Solution

Insulation plays a vital role in a building’s efficiency and a roof’s longevity, so it deserves a good long look when you’re considering a new roof. Deciding on the type and the amount of insulation can be confusing, and that’s where we come in. At North American Roofing, we assess insulation needs on a building-by-building basis, and we work within our clients’ roofing budgets. Give us a call today at 866-567-2064 to find out more about insulation, and to determine the best solution for your facility.

Posted on by North American Roofing
Role of Commercial Roof Insulation

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