This is the season of ice dams and if your having problems give us a call for a free inspection to see if we can help prevent damage caused by this icy problem. Ice dams are caused by escaping heat from the home artificially melting the snow on the roof, the water flowing down to the eve and re-freezing. Typically homes that are under-insulated and under-ventilated have this problem. In a properly insulated and ventilated home, what little heat that escapes into the attic space is vented out a ridge-vent and the snow on the roof does not melt in freezing weather. Even homes with good insulation and ventilation can get ice dams if they have gutters. Gutters that are clogged with leaves and pine needles can get an ice dam started. Warm winter weather will melt snow on the roof and re-freeze in the gutters and downspouts and begin to back up onto the roof. Unfortunately the only way to prevent this is to have roof and gutter heat cable installed in the gutter and downspouts PRIOR to snowfall.As featured in our article “Radiant Barrier Insulation“, we discuss the positive benefits and ease of installation of R-foil insulation. This product in combination with our vented metal roof system can just about eliminate ice dam problems on homes that are under- insulated and under-ventilated. On some homes, it can be a very difficult and expensive project to re-insulate the attic space and bring the ventilation up to modern building codes. Our Stone-Coated Metal Roof system has a vented air space under the metal roof. If you chose to add R-foil to the project we will install that right over the existing shingles and under the metal roof! In addition to the benefit of preventing ice dams, your home will stay cooler in the hot summer months as the r-foil reflects radiant heat away from the home.
A very inexpensive way to improve the energy efficiency of your home is to have us install R-foil Radiant Barrier Insulation under our stone-coated metal roofing. The labor to install this material during the roof installation is very affordable so most of the cost is just the purchase of the material itself.
Heat travels from a warm area to a cool area by a combination of conduction, convection, and radiation. Heat flows by conduction from a hotter location within a material or assembly to a colder location, like the way a spoon placed in a hot cup of coffee conducts heat through its handle to your hand. Heat transfer by convection occurs when a liquid or gas — air, for example — is heated, becomes less dense, and rises. As the liquid or gas cools, it becomes denser and falls. Radiant heat travels in a straight line away from any surface and heats anything solid that absorbs its energy.
When the sun heats a roof, it’s primarily the sun’s radiant energy that makes the roof hot. Much of this heat travels by conduction through the roofing materials to the attic side of the roof. The hot roof material then radiates its gained heat energy onto the cooler attic surfaces, including the air ducts and the attic floor. A radiant barrier reduces the radiant heat transfer from the underside of the roof to the other surfaces in the attic.
For our customers with newer homes, R-foil is generally not necessary because todays building codes require R-38 to R-50 attic insulation and adding reflective insulation will not improve the energy efficiency of the home enough to justify the additional cost. However, our customers with older homes, homes having ice dam problems, and homes with cathedral ceilings see a substantial improvement both for summertime heat gain and winter time heat loss.
Ask myself or Bruce about R-foil and we can include it as an option on your proposal!
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