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Insulation is a critical consideration when it comes to maximizing the performance of your metal roof. Proper insulation helps to keep your energy bills down, and it helps to keep your home feeling comfortable throughout all four seasons.

There are several metal roof insulation options available, so it’s important to weigh the pros and cons in order to make an informed decision that addresses your needs and suits your budget.

Batt insulation

Batt insulation is what you probably think of when you picture insulation– it’s that fluffy pink stuff, often made from fiberglass.

  • Pro: Batt insulation is a pretty affordable option.
  • Con: Batt insulation can potentially absorb moisture, which might lead to reduced effectiveness and even mold growth.
  • Pro: Availability. Batt insulation is incredibly common, which means that it’s widely available. Plus, it comes in standard sizes that are easy to trim in order to fit into the spaces where it needs to go.

Spray foam insulation

Spray foam insulation expands to fill gaps and cracks, which effectively creates a seamless, airtight barrier.

  • Pro: Spray insulation acts as a moisture barrier. Because it fills spaces completely, they’re watertight– preventing moisture from creeping in and causing problems.
  • Con: Typically, spray insulation requires a professional to install it. It’s a specialized technique, which can be difficult for an untrained individual. Because of this, it might also be more expensive than other types of insulation.
  • Pro: In addition to being great at keeping out water, spray insulation provides effective thermal resistance. That is, it keeps heat from entering your home during summer, or from leaking out during winter. In other words, it’s great insulation!

Reflective foil insulation

  • Pro: As you might guess from the name, reflective foil insulation works by reflecting heat outward. It’s installed underneath the roof deck, and reflects radiant heat back outward, keeping the home cooler.
  • Con: Reflective foil insulation has to be installed in certain conditions to work effectively. For example, if it’s installed right below the roof deck, it probably won’t be as effective. It needs some airspace to do its job correctly.
  • Pro: Reflective foil insulation comes in rolls, or sheets, which makes it easy to install even for a DIY-er or beginner.

Rigid foam insulation

  • Pro: Rigid foam insulation offers a high R-value (which just means that it’s an effective form of insulation). It provides great thermal resistance.
  • Con: Because of the nature of the material, rigid foam insulation has to be installed precisely and correctly for maximum effectiveness. If it’s not installed precisely, it won’t offer the same level of thermal resistance.
  • Pro: Rigid foam insulation is moisture-resistant, and it doesn’t avoid water, which can help to prevent issues that occur if the roof has been damaged or incorrectly installed.

Loose-fill insulation

  • Pro: Loose-fill insulation is often made of fiberglass or cellulose. It looks exactly how it sounds– just a pile of loose insulation material. Because of its loose nature, it can conform to an irregular space– allowing a custom, effective fit.
  • Con: Over time, loose-fill insulation is subject to settling and shifting, which can lead to uneven insulation coverage, making it much less effective.
  • Pro: Often, cellulose loose-fill insulation is treated with fire-resistant chemicals, which helps to keep your home safer in the event of a fire.

Which insulation material should I choose?

In order to make the best possible choice of insulation material for your roof, you’ll need to carefully consider your local climate, your budget, and your specific insulation goals.

Every material comes with advantages and drawbacks. To make the best decision possible, we’d recommend consulting a professional roofing contractor who can assess your specific needs and advise you accordingly. If you’d like to talk insulation, or have any other questions about getting a metal roof, give us a call today!