Benefits of Commercial Roofing Insulation for Your Building and Your Tenants
When a new roof is being constructed for a commercial property, the building owner has to take many factors into account; these include the type of roofing materials/membrane to be installed, selecting the roofing contractor, and of course, budgetary considerations, to name but a few. And though it might not immediately be top-of-mind on their specific list, another important decision to be made relates to the choice of insulation.
Commercial roofing insulation offers several benefits from a structural standpoint as well as for the building’s owners and occupants; these benefits include:
- Energy efficiency
- Temperature control
- Fire retardation properties
- Noise reduction/sound dampening
While it goes without saying that a layer of insulation must be part of any commercial roofing system, the failure to select the correct type of roofing insulation for a particular structure can have adverse effects, not just on the roof but on the building envelope too.
There are essentially three main types of roofing insulation:
- Polyisocyanurate (or polyiso)
- Extruded Polystyrene (or XPS)
- Expanded Polystyrene (or EPS)
All of these materials are manufactured in the form of rigid foam panels, and they should be installed by skilled and experienced flat roofing contractors; one firm that can capably deliver such insulation installation services is Can-Sky Roofing in Toronto.
This brief synopsis provides a comparison of these commercial roofing insulation options:
- Has an R-value of 6 per inch of thickness under ideal conditions
- Provides effective insulating properties, but must be kept warm
- Foil layer on both sides can remove the need for a vapour barrier
- Performance deteriorates as temperatures drop toward 150 Celsius
- Poor thermal protection if temperatures reach a level of -200 Celsius
- Could be a source of moisture damage due to its lack of permeability
- XPS (Extruded Polystyrene)
- Has an R-value of 5 per inch of thickness
- Can act as a vapour retarder and air barrier (when seams are taped)
- Effective in most conditions; above or below grade and when wet or dry
- Can/will degrade over time – diminished performance will become evident
- EPS (Expanded Polystyrene)
- Has an R-value of 4 per inch of thickness
- EPS is the least expensive of the three options
- More permeable to moisture and air than XPS insulation
- Can be added to existing insulation (low risk of trapping moisture)
- Performance can temporarily decrease by 10-15% when and while wet
There are short-term and long-term implications that have to be weighed when deciding on such types of roofing insulation: cost, climate, permeability, and overall performance.
This important decision is another reason for consulting with the experienced commercial roofing experts from Can-Sky Roofing; in addition to guaranteeing that the insulation will be installed correctly, these specialists in flat roofing can provide valuable insight on the type of insulation that will best suit the needs of the respective property owner/business.
To learn more about the flat roof systems installed by the crews from Can-Sky Roofing in Toronto.
Adequate Commercial Roofing Insulation is a Vital Element in Green Buildings
As mentioned at the beginning of this discussion, when a new roof is being constructed for a commercial property, the building owner must take many factors into account; two such factors that should be part of that equation are the overall impact of the building on energy consumption and on the health of its occupants, i.e. creating a green/sustainable building or structure.
And the selection of roofing insulation plays a prime role in these circumstances as well. Inadequate insulation can result in an increased use of energy to heat or cool a building, and can also cause mold-related issues due to the excessive build-up of condensation; in essence, choosing the right type of roofing insulation, whether it be polyisocyanurate or polystyrene (XPS or EPS), will be most important in terms of protecting the integrity of the roof and the building envelope as well as producing a resource-efficient facility (or a green building).
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