(A-One) Preparing your Commercial Roof for the Summer

Having a well-maintained roof is essential for just about any commercial building out there. After all, this ensures that your building’s structural integrity remains intact even in the harshest conditions. This also keeps all the people in the building safe and secure at all times, as well as the equipment and products in it.

With this being a key component in your industrial building, learning how to choose the right commercial roof insulation is important. Take a look at this article to guide you through choosing the insulation for your roof. Here’s what you need to know.

What is Commercial Roof Insulation?

Commercial roof insulation is simply the layer of material that is installed directly under the roof’s membrane. This is designed to help reduce fluctuating temperatures as the weather changes and other elements outside by serving as a thermal barrier against these.

Importance of Commercial Roof Insulation

Having the proper commercial roof insulation can do wonders for your building. It can make or break the internal building temperature and can make all the difference in making the space comfortable. Of course, this also aids in reducing the overall costs of heating and air conditioning in your building.

In areas or locations where drastic changes in weather and temperature can cause fluctuations, such changes can impact the state of your roof, which is why commercial roof insulation should be observed. This can reduce the effects on your roof and help you extend the overall life of your commercial roof.

Commercial roofing insulation likewise lowers your energy bills. With the correct roof insulation, your building can run more efficiently. It can prevent heat exchanges between buildings and can help maintain the right temperatures throughout the changing seasons.

Roof insulation also makes your building easier to maintain over time, especially when you reduce the risks of leaks and cracks through proper insulation.

Different Types of Commercial Roofing Insulation

There are a number of commercial roof insulation materials available on the market. These vary based on the material, its method of installation, and the R-value it provides. Learn more about some of the common roof insulation types here.

Mineral Wool

Mineral wool or rock wool commercial roof insulation panels are made out of rigid material. This particular material is noteworthy since it is fire-resistant and isn’t made using petroleum. What’s more, this has an R4 rating which is quite high on the R-value scale.

Moreover, mineral wool is quite hardy, especially in batt form. This is why it’s often seen as a great alternative to fiberglass. Mineral wool is also less like to pick up moisture and vapor. Its ease of installation makes it a breeze to put in.

Spray Foam

One of the hardier commercial roof insulation materials out there is spray foam, otherwise known as polyurethane. Because of this, spray foam has a higher value of around 7.2 per inch. This material is highly valued for its structural integrity, and stability, as well as its moisture-resistant and fire-resistant features.

In addition to these, the main highlight of spray foam materials is that they can be used on even the most irregular surface across different types of substrates. Bear in mind, however, that the application temperatures and humidity may affect the window time when you’re applying spray foam insulation.

Polyisocyanurate (ISO)

With an R-value of around 6.8 per inch, polyisocyanurate, otherwise simply called polyiso, is a rigid thermal foam material. It is distinguished by foil covering or facing both sides and the varying layers of foil actually help trap the gases in, allowing you to keep costs low since it doesn’t require you to install vapor barriers.

Polyiso is a high-density material that’s often used for cover boards. While this material tends to be lighter, it’s strong enough to withstand the elements and foot traffic on the roof.

Although polyiso has one of the highest-rated rigid foam products out there, this rating and protection tend to drop and change during colder months or seasons. This is why this is better suited for warmer climates.

Extruded Polystyrene (XPS)

Otherwise known as styrofoam, extruded polystyrene has a rating of R5. It comes in different colors, such as pink, green, or blue, and this is commonly used for below-grade applications and inverted roof membrane assembly or protected membrane roof systems.

While this has a mid-ranking on the scale, this ranking does go down over the years. This is because this can retain moisture at times, especially in more humid areas.

Expanded Polystyrene (EPS)

Breathability is the main come-on of expanded polystyrene. Although this ranks at an R4, the permeability and breathability it brings to its rigid material means that it is much more resistant to moisture. By extension, this also entails that it can dry out much faster.

Expanded polystyrene essentially uses the same polystyrene base as its extruded counterpart, but the manufacturing process and outcome sets it apart. This is a lightweight material that can be cut to your building roof’s specifications.

EPS, however, is combustible and has a tendency to shrink over time due to high temperatures. Since it is lightweight, frequent foot traffic can damage this material on the roof.


Also known as glass wool insulation, fiberglass is a type of commercial roofing insulation that works by slowly spreading out the temperatures and sounds across the structures. It is made up of fine glass fibers that either come in batts and rolls or even in loose-fill options. These can also come as rigid boards.

Fiberglass materials for insulation are great since they are not only flexible and durable, but are also highly resistant to fires and combustion. Thanks to its material, this is also resistant to mold.

The Bottom Line

Choosing the right commercial roofing insulation is more than just picking the material. You should also ensure that this matches your roofing membrane and it matches the application you want.

With many factors going into choosing the proper roofing insulation, consulting professionals in the field may just be the right answer. These experts can lead you in the right direction and give your commercial building the protection it needs.

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