The Importance of Roofing

Your roof is one of the most critical aspects of your home. It protects you against rain, snow, bitter cold, intense sunlight, and the wind that causes both.Roofing

Any part of a home can get assaulted by wind, rain, hail, bitter cold and strong sunlight. The roof, however, takes the brunt of most weather insults. That’s why a well-maintained roof is so important. It can protect a building, help reduce energy costs and even reduce the chances of property damage during extreme or everyday weather.

Depending on where a home is located, different roofing materials are better suited to its climate. For example, flat cement tiles that reflect the sun’s rays and help regulate indoor temperature are ideal for warmer areas.

In colder areas, a self-adhering membrane that’s designed to withstand harsh winter conditions is critical for reroofing projects. Traditional asphaltic shingles can become brittle and crack in extreme temperatures, but cold-weather self-adhered membranes, made from Styrene-Butadiene-Styrene (SBS) modified asphalt with a strong polyester reinforcing mat and an elastomeric adhesive compound, offer a stronger alternative.

Another type of roof that’s ideal for cold climates is a green or sod roof, which utilizes cut turf and other plant material to serve as living insulation. Such roofs also have the added benefit of reducing air conditioning costs.

Other types of roofing help protect a home against weather damage, especially from falling debris. Roofing products can be tested for impact resistance, with the more durable materials earning higher class ratings. This type of testing can help homeowners determine the strength and durability of a new roof, and in some cases, it may even qualify them for an insurance premium reduction.

It’s essential that builders and contractors take the time to choose quality construction materials for their projects, especially when it comes to weather protection. While it’s tempting to skimp on costs and reduce the number of steps in a construction project, these decisions can cost a company in the long run when the product doesn’t perform as intended or is prone to failure due to sub-par materials.

Thermal Insulation

Insulation helps keep buildings and homes warm in winter and cool in summer. It prevents energy loss by slowing the transfer of heat from hot to cold surfaces. It also helps reduce energy costs because it takes less energy to heat or cool a well-insulated building. There are many types of insulation available, from fiberglass to foam to cellulose. Choosing the right type for your climate is important. Fiberglass is best for colder climates, while foam and cellulose insulation work well in either cold or warm climates.

There are also many insulator materials that combine nonmetallic and metallic elements with small air spaces. These are often made from materials of plant or animal origin, such as cotton, wool, wood, cork, and goose feathers. These are good thermal insulators, but they can be expensive to use. Other insulators combine nonmetallic material with small metal particles to provide electrical insulation. These are sometimes made from magnesium carbonate or a mixture of aluminum and copper.

The thermal properties of a particular insulator are described by its R-value. The higher the R-value, the more effective it is at slowing the transfer of heat from one surface to another. R-values are determined using a number of factors, including the thickness and density of the insulation. Generally, thicker and denser insulation will have a higher R-value than thinner and lighter insulation.

Most insulation materials are tested for their ability to resist conductive heat flow. This is typically measured using a heat flow meter or guarded hot plate apparatus. These standardized testing methods directly yield the thermal conductivity of insulation materials and their steady-state heat resistance properties.

When used as roof insulation, rigid foam insulation is usually topped with a cover board such as gypsum wallboard or glass mat gypsum roofing board, preferably pre-primed. This provides additional physical characteristics, such as fire and water-resistance, prevention of delamination of the facers due to traffic on the roof, uplift strength for wind warranties, and compatibility with the roofing system. The cover boards should have sufficient compressive strength to support the roof membrane and resist lateral forces, as well as shear strength to prevent compression of the foam insulation cells and deformation of the facers.


When it comes to the elements, few parts of a building receive as much abuse as a roof. Every year it takes a beating from wind, rain, snow, hail and bitter cold, not to mention the sun’s UV rays. A roof that can take the hits and keep on protecting and looking good, year after year, is a major investment worth making.

Many different types of roofing materials are available, and they all offer varying degrees of durability. For instance, a metal roof made from copper and zinc can last 50 years or more. On the other end of the spectrum, a roof constructed from PVC plastic can last 30 to 40 years. The Chemical Fabrics and Film Association – Vinyl Roofing Division says this is due to the roof’s heat-welded seams, combustion resistance, watertightness, and wind uplift rating.

Another type of durable roofing is EPDM rubber, which has a life expectancy of 30 to 50 years or more. This material is resistant to the effects of UV radiation, and its lifespan has improved due to improvements in shingle manufacturing technology and sealing. EPDM can be reinforced with the addition of a cover board, which also increases its durability.

For the facility manager, a roof’s durability is an important factor when considering its Life Cycle Cost (LCC). A lower-durability roof may require frequent replacement, which adds up over time. On the other hand, a more durable roof can reduce maintenance and replacement costs over the life of the system.

Of course, no matter how durable a roof is, it must be maintained properly. Even the best-performing roofs will not live up to their full lifespans if they are not properly cared for and maintained.

For this reason, many facility managers consider roof maintenance a high priority when selecting a roofing system. Unfortunately, a roof that is installed and then completely ignored is destined to fail early. For this reason, a well-maintained roof is an essential component of any facility’s sustainability efforts. While it is difficult to quantify the impact of a poorly-performing roof, it is still a significant issue.