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Rigid Insulation
insulation.jpg (13326 bytes) Flat roofs are typically replaced every 15 to 20 years. The time of replacement represents a unique opportunity to increase the R-value of the roof by adding rigid insulation under the new roof membrane. Rigid insulation is made from fibrous materials or plastic foams and is pressed or extruded into board-like forms and molded pipe-coverings. These provide thermal and acoustical insulation, strength with low weight, and coverage with few heat loss paths. Such boards may be faced with a reflective foil that reduces heat flow when next to an air space.

If the roof is being replaced anyway, the incremental cost of adding insulation is relatively small. An upgrade on roof insulation can save anywhere from 5% to 20% of heating costs. Obtain cost estimates from several contractors for the roof work, including insulation R-value, type, thickness, and installation procedure. If you decide to install rigid insulation yourself, follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Take these necessary precautions: wear protective clothing; do not pack insulation around electrical fixtures or heat producing equipment; and do not obstruct air-handling vents.


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