Foam Roof Insulation:
What You Should Know

Heard all the excited talk about foam roof insulation?

With heating and cooling costs rising year by year as well as inflation and economic concerns, one of the first things you may choose to do to upgrade your home and improve your financial bottom line is to improve your home insulation.

One of the best ways to increase heating and cooling efficiency is to be sure your roof is properly insulated. One way to do this is by using expanding foam insulation.

Spray foam insulation is easily applied to existing roofs and carpentry details. Projects can be completed either by seasoned contractors or, if you prefer, as Do It Yourself projects.

Advantages of Foam Roof Insulation

The advantages of expanding foam insulation include a reduced need for accuracy. Old fiberglass batting and foam sheet insulation require close, accurate fitting and careful sealing of seams to accomplish the necessary precision for increased temperature management.

Foam roof insulation, however, can be applied directly to the existing roof deck without measuring, cutting, or other rigorous skilled labor.

Foam roof insulation is formed when two separate chemical components are blended through a spray system shooting the resulting mix directly on to a structure. The foam clings to the surface of the underside of a roof deck, expanding like super-powerful shaving cream, spreading to fill all crannies and spaces. Within five minutes the expanding foam insulation becomes rigid.

At this stage further shaping can be performed if necessary. If you are going to create a finished attic space a utility knife or light hand saw can be used to create an even surface against which to apply drywall or other surfacing substances. The foam, once rigid, is easily cut and shaped, making minor errors in placement of less concern than they might otherwise be.

To accomplish a perfect air-block seal, a preliminary coat of expanding foam insulation can be applied, allowed to set, and trimmed, followed by a careful application of similar foam formulas designed for sealing around framing features such as bay windows, skylights, door frames, and under the lay of baseboards.

Special Use of Expanding Foam Insulation
Under Tile Roofs

A special use of foam roof insulation involves tile roofs. By using a nozzle extrusion, head foam can be injected under tiles. As it expands, it creates a fitted bed under the tiles, providing greater waterproofing and insulation while stabilizing and securing tiles.

Hire It Out Or Do It Yourself?

The choice between handling expanding roof foam as a DYI project and bringing in contractors should be based on your skill level, available time, and amount of work to be done. The job is within the range of the average home fix-it project, though, so don’t hesitate to experiment with the methods and materials. You may surprise yourself with the outcome.

Icynene: Is It Green?

Is there a "green" option for expanding foam insulation - whether in the roof or in the walls?

You may have heard of Icynene insulation. Below is an excellent video explaining more about it.

You really can be energy efficient and green at the same time!

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