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Energy-Efficient Roofing Insulation: Houston, New Orleans & Denver Guide

Apr 8, 2023
Min of reading

Energy efficiency has always been a concern among homeowners when seeking to cut down on monthly costs and optimize energy expenditure. Discover how effective roofing insulation can transform your home’s energy efficiency. Learn to diagnose a poor insulation and what to do about it.

Energy efficiency has always been a concern among homeowners when seeking to cut down on monthly costs and optimize energy expenditure. Discover how effective roofing insulation can transform your home’s energy efficiency. Learn to diagnose a poor insulation and what to do about it.

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Energy efficiency has always been a concern among homeowners when seeking to cut down on monthly costs and optimize energy expenditure. However, energy efficiency has quickly become one of the foremost concerns for homeowners that influences myriad decisions regarding their property. Every possible opportunity to reduce energy costs and boost efficiency is actively sought out and implemented. One crucial factor that might come as a surprise to many homeowners is roofing insulation. Every homeowner understands the importance of insulation, but they might not know the sheer extent to which this component can drastically impact your home’s energy efficiency.

Why roof insulation matters in energy efficiency. 

Why exactly are roof and attic insulation so critical for ensuring optimal energy efficiency for your home? Great question! It's easy to forget about attics due to their out-of-sight, out-of-mind placement, and their general lack of use. Although they're not being actively thought about or used, you can rest assured they're playing an active role in your home's energy expenditure. 

Roof Impact on Energy Efficiency in Numbers 

It's one thing to hear about how roofs have an impact on whole-home energy efficiency. However, it's completely different to see the numbers for yourself. Here, we'll outline some crucial and eye-opening stats demonstrating just how influential roofs can be to energy optimization:

Roof insulation can cut energy costs by up to 50%. 

Sounds nearly too good to be true, right? Well, it's real! According to the Department of Energy, a roof with proper insulation can cut your house's energy costs between 10% and 50%. For example, if you’re spending $120/month (roughly the average monthly energy expense for US homeowners), proper roof insulation can push that down to $60, saving you a whopping $720/year.

40% of a home's heat can be lost through the roof.

You read that right! A roof with outdated, subpar, or damaged insulation makes for a cooler home and higher energy costs when the heat is on. That’s because a staggering 40% of your home’s overall heat can escape through the roof. This is sometimes why rooms on upper floors are cooler than downstairs because the heat higher up in your property is escaping through insufficient insulation. 

90% of US homes are improperly insulated. 

There’s a tendency for homeowners to think they’re in the clear when it comes to home issues. However, this stat is sharp enough to pop anyone’s bubble. Builder Magazine reports that around 9 out of 10 homes in the US are underinsulated. That means there's a 90% chance your home isn’t up to snuff when it comes to roof insulation which opens you up to a host of energy efficiency issues.

Understanding Thermal Envelopes

It might sound like a strange phrase, but the thermal envelope is a crucial concept when understanding your home's energy efficiency. It's especially important for comprehending how roofing insulation impacts energy efficiency. A thermal envelope is an industry-specific term referring to "everything about the house that serves to shield the living space from the outdoors," according to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. Still a bit too technical? No problem! We’ve got you covered. 

Your home needs a layer of protection against the outdoors to maintain a comfortable temperature. Whether you’re trying to stave off the heat of the summer or the biting dips in the winter, any opening will make it harder for your HVAC system to control the temperature indoors. Insulation within your walls, floors, and roof help to prevent air from escaping or entering your home, essentially enveloping your home. That’s where the term thermal envelope comes into play.

7 Signs Your Roof Insulation is Bad

High energy bills.

If you've been scratching your head, wondering why your heating or cooling costs have been going up, you might have a roofing issue. A telltale sign of poor roof insulation is higher-than-expected energy bills. As discussed before, the natural tendency for air to escape and enter your home puts stress on your HVAC system. Whether you’re heating or cooling, these temperature control systems are forced to work overtime to keep your house at a comfortable temperature. Don’t wait until your bills double or even triple to deal with the issue. Even a minor bump in costs could point to an insulation issue. 

Moisture issues. 

Roof insulation does much more than simply staving off energy transfer. It also prevents moisture from entering your home. Roofs are the primary defense protecting you and your family from rain, snow, sleet, morning dew, and other forms of moisture. If you're noticing moisture build up in your home either in mild forms, such as higher humidity and condensation, to more serious forms, such as mold and mildew, you might have a roof insulation issue. Water damage is incredibly destructive, so it's in your best interest to solve that problem quickly. 

Inconsistent temperatures. 

Unless you're using mini-splits to heat and cool individual rooms, your HVAC system is working to achieve a single temperature throughout your home. When everything is working properly, you should be able to walk through each room in your home, from the basement to the attic, without feeling much of a temperature change at all. As a result, if you do notice a significant change in temperature, your roof insulation might be to blame. This is especially true if temperatures change drastically from the bottom to the top floors. 

Temperature fluctuation. 

Similar to inconsistent temperatures, a fluctuation in temperature throughout your home could be a sign that your property’s roofing insulation is compromised. Not only should your entire home be the same temperature, but it should remain the same temperature (unless, of course, you adjust the setting on your HVAC system). A home-wide temperature fluctuation might suggest that it’s being impacted by outdoor temperatures. This would mean that air is escaping and entering your home. The roof is an incredibly common place for this issue to occur due to its sensitive location. If you’re noticing your HVAC struggling to maintain the set temperature, you might want to have your roofing checked. 

Unwelcome guests.

One of the more telltale and problematic signs that your home’s roof insulation is compromised is the presence of pests. Homeowners usually don’t think of roofs as good entry points, but you’d be amazed just how skillful vermin can be. Even the smallest gaps in your roof from damaged or outdated insulation can act as a wide open door for termites, ants, wasps, bees, and even larger critters like mice and even raccoons. If any kind of unwelcome guest has made your attic home, poor roofing insulation might be to blame. Make sure you get an official diagnosis of the root problem from an exterminator.

Cold ceilings, walls, or floors. 

Ceilings, walls, and floors are the first lines of protection, keeping your home's indoor spaces secure from the uncomfortable temperatures outdoors. With proper insulation, these essential components of your home's structure act as an envelope to prevent air from escaping or entering. However, when roofing insulation is improperly installed, damaged, or nonexistent, your home's internal temperature is more vulnerable to outside temperatures. During cooler months, if you notice cold ceilings, walls, and floors, there might be a hole in your roofing insulation. 

Older homes. 

Roofing insulation is designed to last for 10 to 15 years if you’re using top-quality materials. However, poor installation, weather damage, and other issues can decrease this lifespan. If you've been living in a home for over a decade or you recently moved into an older home, it might be safe to assume that the roofing insulation isn't in prime condition. You can get ahead of any issues that might arise from this issue by having your roof assessed by an expert. They can determine if you need a roof replacement or repair.

How to Fix Your Roofing Insulation for Optimized Energy Efficiency

Now that you understand the importance of roofing insulation when it comes to your home’s energy efficiency and how to determine when you have a roofing insulation issue, it’s time to focus on what you should do when a problem arises. At Roof Squad we work with top manufacturers such as Owens Corning, which allows us to offer a full protection system for our customers.

As a general rule of thumb, the quicker you can react to a weakness in your roofing insulation, the better off you are. You’ll save money on roof repairs or replacements, your energy costs will drop quicker, and your home will be more comfortable. Follow these steps if you have a hunch that your roofing insulation might not be up to snuff:

Monitor the issue. 

Before assuming you have a roofing insulation issue, you should monitor a potential symptom to determine its prevalence. You should notice a repeated issue before assuming it's a sign of a structural issue in your home. For example, a singular cold draft in your home or a slight temperature fluctuation that occurs once might have other explanations. 

However, if you’re noticing the issue time and time again or multiple symptoms at once, this is when you need to contact a roofing professional. While you don’t want to jump the gun by drawing assumptions from a lone incident, you also don’t want to wait too long to solve the problem. 

Contact a roofing professional. 

Once you’ve determined that an issue is present, it’s time to contact professional roofing contractors. These experts have the specialized skills, tools, and knowledge needed to accurately assess the issue and provide the essential repairs to get your home in optimal energy efficiency. 

If you're looking for roofing contractors near you, we highly recommend going with a company that's experienced, has plenty of positive reviews, and offers extensive roofing services. The higher the quality of the business you work with, the better the results you'll see, which means better energy efficiency. 

Isolate the issue. 

When you’ve identified the best roofing companies in Houston or New Orleans, the nitty and gritty steps begin. A roofing specialist will start by examining the issue to determine the exact site of the problem and the fundamental cause. This assessment is essential for successfully isolating the issue so the proper remediation can be identified. 

Depending on the extent of the issue, you might need a roof repair or a complete roof replacement. Regardless, this initial phase is essential for making sure you’re getting the right services needed to drastically improve your home’s roofing insulation for optimized energy efficiency. 

Get a roof repair or replacement.

After honing in on the issue, the roofing company will debrief you on the problem and the solution. You’ll need to give the go-ahead before the process begins. Now is the time to ask all the questions you might have. Only work with a roofing specialist who is more than happy to take the time to answer these questions for you. 

The extent of the roofing insulation damage will determine how long the project takes. Obviously, a minor roof repair would only take a fraction of the time that a full-scale replacement would take but in the end, only a thorough inspection will tell you exactly what you need. The damage also determines whether or not you’ll be able to say in your home when the work is being done. 

Monitor your bills.

There’s a direct correlation between an improvement in your roofing insulation and a reduction in energy bills. As we explained before, roofing insulation makes it easier for your heating and cooling systems to maintain a consistent temperature which leads to more reasonable energy expenses. After receiving a roof repair or replacement, you should monitor your monthly bills to make sure the problem is solved. 

Right away, prices should fall back to normal levels. If the job is done correctly, your energy bills are going to remain at reasonable rates. On the other hand, if you’re not seeing an expected reduction in prices, you’ll want to contact a roofing specialist again to make sure the problem is solved successfully. 

Enjoy better energy efficiency.

When the job is completed successfully, all you have to do is bask in the enjoyment of having an energy-efficient home. With properly installed roof insulation, you don’t have to worry about any air escaping or entering which means your HVAC systems will work like a charm. No more surprise energy bills, no more overly cold or warm temperatures, and no more poor indoor air quality. 

Plus, you'll have the peace of mind of knowing your roofing insulation and the quality of your roof are good for an extended period of time, barring any major damage from inclement weather, of course. Over time, these savings will compound, resulting in some major changes. 

Looking for roof repair or roof replacement in New Orleans or Houston? You're in the right spot! At Roof Squad, we offer premium-quality, full-service roofing solutions for homeowners. Feel free to contact us today to schedule a free consultation, during which we'd be happy to answer all your questions. Our Houston and New Orleans roofers can handle any project, no matter the size or complexity. We've already helped thousands of satisfied clients optimize the comfort and energy efficiency of their homes. We look forward to hearing from you.

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