Author Archives: Burell Built Roofing

What is the Best Form of Roofing Insulation?

Two roofers installing insulation

Consider the Benefits of Roofing Insulation

The roof of your home is an important and necessary component. It protects your belongings, family members, and most of all, the home itself. An important component of that roof is the roof insulation, it is the key component of your home being comfortable and energy efficient. During the cold winters of Chattanooga and Knoxville, Tennessee, it is an extremely important component! 

What are the most common types of residential roof insulation? 

There are different types of residential roof insulation, among the common ones are: 

  • Fiberglass
  • Cellulose
  • Spray Foam

Each of these has its own benefits and each has its own downsides. What are the benefits of these three types of roof insulation? Read on for information: 

Fiberglass Roof Insulation: 

There are tiny pieces of recycled glass that are melted down and combined with limestone, sand, and other materials. The cotton-like appearance comes from this substance being woven into long strands. Fiberglass roof insulation comes in three forms: 

  • Batts

These are the large rolled-up sheets you see at your local home improvement stores. Aluminum is used to hold the batts together. This is an easy and quick way for roof insulation If is easy to fit between standard roof joists but can be challenging to customize around pipes and odd-sized roof joists. 

  • Loose-fill 

Similar to batts, this type is also made from recycled glass but is blown into the attic with a special machine. The advantage of this type of insulation, it gets in and around those hard-to-fit places that the batts can’t. 

Cellulose Roof Insulation: 

This roof insulation is clumpy, dense, and thick, with a down feather-like consistency. In this shape and size, it fits well in enclosed areas like inside walls and conforms around obstructions in the attic and walls. 

The loose-fill type of cellulose roof insulation is a dry material, as it is blown into the areas needed. Some benefits of this type of roof insulation: 

  • It settles and conforms around obstructions.
  • A relatively inexpensive roof insulation with an R-value of 3.5 per inch of thickness. 
  • Easier to install in finished walls than batts.
  • Fairly insect and vermin resistant. 

Spray Foam Roof Insulation

Spray foam roof insulation has the highest R-value in roof insulation, delivering air, moisture, and thermal barriers. During the summer months, it keeps the heat out and during the winter, it keeps the heat inside. 

What type of insulation is best for my home? 

When the budget is a concern, the batt type of roof insulation is better than nothing! Where budget isn’t an issue closed-cell foam roof insulation is the most effective with an R-Value of 6.2 per inch. 

Can I insulate my roof myself, or do I need a professional? 

Because roof insulation is made from particles of glass, it can be highly irritating to the skin. Professional roof insulation is recommended because they have the equipment and gear to protect their eyes, skin, and most of all, their breathing. 

How often should I inspect my roof insulation? 

An annual inspection of your roof insulation is recommended.  Additional times for roof inspection would be if you have any roof damage that requires roof repairs or replacement. 

What are the signs of failing roof insulation? 

Yes, your roof insulation can become less effective over time, usually because of moisture in the attic. If moisture comes in contact with roof insulation, it weakens the integrity, mold forms, and the fibers break down. 

1. Higher Energy Bills

If your energy bills are increasing more than they normally do during the summer or winter, you should have your roof insulation inspected. 

2. Temperature Constantly Fluctuates

Poor roof insulation makes the HVAC system work harder, but it isn’t keeping the rooms consistently comfortable.  

3. Freezing Pipes

Winters in Tennessee get cold and poor roof insulation can expose the plumbing to extreme temperatures, resulting in busted pipes. 

4. Condensation In the House 

Warm air is moist with water and when it reaches a cold surface, the heat vapor turns back to the water, like when you get out of the shower and the mirror fogs. 

5. Rodent and Pests Infestation

If pests and rodents get into the insulation, they’ll nest, leaving their feces and disease behind to spread throughout your house.  

6. Roof Top Ice Dams 

When the roof insulation isn’t sufficient in the attic, heat escapes, and melts the ice and snow during the day. Then as temperatures drop at night, that refreezes because the water can’t run off, forming an ice dam. 

7. Drafts 

If your home seems to be drafty, you should have the roof insulation inspected and consider upgrading your windows. 

8. Water Dripping from the Attic

Water dripping from the attic could be because of poor roof insulation or a roof leak, which will damage the roof insulation. 

To Top Off Your Home

In addition to the unseen things like the sewer line and water heater, the roof insulation is unseen and often underappreciated, but all are very much important.  If you haven’t had a new roof installed recently, getting an inspection of your roof insulation may be a money saver down the road! You can reach us at 865-238-2628 to schedule a personalized consultation regarding your roof insulation in Louisville and Chattanooga, TN.

Is a TPO Roof Good?

applying TPO

Flat roofing for your property

If you aren’t that well versed in TPO roofing, you may not know what TPO roofing material is precisely, so we’ll start this article off with TPO roofing explained, then answer some questions. Once you have read this piece, including TPO roofing benefits, you’ll have a better understanding of why it is approximately 40% of roofing market share.

TPO is the acronym for Thermoplastic Polyolefin, a single-ply roofing membrane. TPO roofing material is gaining popularity in the world of commercial roofing systems for several reasons. Starting with a single layer of synthetics, it is reinforced scrim, creating a membrane manufactured in lengths of 10 feet, 12, feet, and 20 feet wide sheets. The sheets are then rolled up and delivered to the job site.

TPO roofing has shown to be one of the best materials for roofing flat roofs, typically commercial structures, because of its naturally reflective surface that reflects UV rays. This reflectiveness helps in cutting down on the energy costs for cooling a commercial structure.

Is TPO better than EPDM?

Commercial roofing is unlike residential roofing in the fact that commercial roofing is typically flat roofing that covers larger areas than residential roofing. A flat roof doesn’t do well as a shingled because of water drainage. Therefore, they are either an EPDM (ethylene propylene diene monomer) or a TPO (thermoplastic polyolefin) roof system. 

For 50 years or longer, the leader for commercial structure roofing has been EPDM roofing systems, but with TPO roofing on the scene now, it has gained popularity industry-wide. Why has TPO roofing gained this much attention? Because of the advantages and benefits, it offers:

  • Energy Efficiency: TPO roofing reflects the sun’s UV rays, easing the workload on the air conditioning. In areas of the country where summers are brutal, the dark surface of EPDM roofing absorbs the UV rays and heat, and the air conditioner has to work harder and longer.
  • Puncture and Tear Resistant: TPO roofing has three times higher puncture resistance than EPDM, meaningless leaks when it rains.
  • Less Expensive Installation: business owners choose TPO roofing because of the low cost to install. There are fewer seams, making the install job quicker, meaning it requires less labor.
  • Durable: TPO roofing has a permanent resistance against algae, bacteria, chemicals, debris, and dirt.

How thick is TPO roofing?

The TPO roofing membranes that are on the market today are “mid-reinforced,” making it a thicker layer that provides greater puncture resistance and strength. Most TPO membrane products are produced in 45-mil and 60-mil thicknesses, and some manufacturers offer 72-mil and 80-mil widths based on where the reinforcement is placed within membranes’ cross-sections.

The placement of reinforcement is the dimension or “thickness over scrim” and identifies the quantity of membrane material beyond the reinforcement that is subjected to weathering, providing waterproof integrity.

  • A 45-mil thick TPO membrane is equal to a scrim range between 15 mils to 19 mils.
  • A 60-mil-thick TPO membrane s is equal to a scrim range between 21 mils to 27 mils.
  • A 72-mil-thick TPO membrane is equal to a scrim range between 26 mils to 30 mils.
  • An 80-mil-thick TPO membrane is equal to a scrim range between 30 mils to 38 mils.

What is the life expectancy of a TPO roof?

With the changes made in TPO compounds in recent years, there isn’t any data to tell us the life expectancy of TPO roofing. In general, life expectancy right now stands between 10 years and as long as 20 years when maintained properly, having repairs done as needed, and keeping the top layer of laminating clean.

dirty tpo roof

How do you clean a TPO roof?

TPO roofing is easy to care for and clean with this process: After taking steps to protect base flashings, low curbs, plants, shrubbery, and points where water can enter, rinse debris and dirt off with a low-pressure setting on the power washer. Then using a long-handled broom or brush with soft-bristles and a mild, non-abrasive cleaning solution, clean the roof surface with care. Then rinse with the power washer with the same low-pressure setting.

How do I know if I have EPDM or TPO? EPDM roofing will be visible by its natural color of black. TPO roofing is generally white and reflective. When choosing, which is best, TPO roofing vs. PVC if those are the two roofing materials in consideration?

While TPO, ethylene-propylene rubber, and polypropylene with superior weathering and better resistance in breaking and tearing compared to PVC, which is made with ethylene and chlorine.  PVC roofing characteristics include it is more flexible, making it a favorite of roofing contractors.  PVC and TPO are both weldable materials.  PVC has been around since the 1990s, while TPO is the new product on the market.

With your recent purchase of a commercial property, if the roofing material decision isn’t one that you’re clear about making, find a roofing contractor that you can trust.  They can provide you the information on each product with the pros and cons that will help you make the right choice. Call 865-238-2628 today for your TPO roofing needs in Louisville and Chattanooga, TN.