How Insulating Metal Roof Panels Can Improve Building Performance

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In recent years, contractors have been pushing to insulate metal roof panels in commercial and residential buildings. As a general contractor, you have probably seen this push but may not know its reasoning. You understand that metal panels are a long-lasting, durable roofing material but may not understand the hype around adding insulation. In short, insulating metal roof panels are still flexible and work on standard roofs but go the extra mile by insulating being inherently environmentally friendly. If you want to learn more about the benefits of insulating your metal building and how it can impact your next project, keep reading! 

An Improvement to Building Performance

While metal panels are long-lasting and durable all on their own, insulating them increases those qualities while maximizing energy efficiency. It can increase strength and be easily repaired if damage occurs. While panels alone offer high performance, they do not neglect aesthetics and style. They come in various shapes and colors to fit any roofing style. If you want to impress your clients with high-quality metal roof panels, go the extra mile and insulate your building for your next project. 

Exceptional Metal Panel Insulation 

Let’s investigate why insulation adds value to your metal roofing system. 

1. Key Aspects

Insulation of your metal panels is ideal for walls and roofing and can be done over multiple structures. The panels can be used for an easy metal roof installation while providing a strong thermal barrier once you insulate them. Using metal panels can streamline the whole job site by reducing the number of steps in the roofing process. Insulation can be required, and reducing the overall cost of materials while maximizing the space in the building will be beneficial to any project. 

2. Numbers That Show a Difference With vs. Without

Insulation has an r-value, representing the material’s resistance to heat flow. This measurement is often used to ensure the roof is energy efficient. However, there is not a blanket r-value that will cover every roof. The R-value depends on the type of insulation, its thickness, and its density. When those things are different, the r-value will change accordingly. The greater the R-value, the better the insulation. To determine the amount of insulation you need, consider the local climate and the heating and cooling systems in the building. 

3. The Best Insulation for Metal Roofing

When it comes to metal roofing, there are multiple kinds of insulation that you can use. Here are the top three best insulation options for metal roofing. 

Fiberglass Batts 

What pops into your mind when you think of insulation? If it is the standard big rolls of padding, then you are thinking of fiberglass batts. This material uses fine glass particles and tightly weaves them together with other materials until it creates that thick pad. Fiberglass is the most budget-friendly option, costing around $0.55 to $0.60 per square foot for an R-2.9 to R-3.8 per inch of thickness. Since it can be cut to fit any shape, it is ideal for an oddly shaped roof. However, installation can be more dangerous due to the tiny glass particles. Whenever you are installing fiberglass batts, make sure you are wearing the proper protective gear. 

Rigid Board 

This insulation material also comes in padding sheets but is made of polyurethane. You can purchase this type of insulation in sheets or panels. Based on the size of your roof, you can choose an insulation sheet size that will fit the shape best. As you lay the insulation, you must seal the sheets with caulk to ensure maximum results. The r-value for rigid foam boards can be extremely high, around R-4.0 to R-8.0 per inch. This option is also great for soundproofing. 

Spray Foam 

Spray foam is known for its quick and highly effective installation. What is initially applied as a heated liquid quickly turns into a dry, hard foam once exposed to oxygen in the air. If you are adding insulation to a pre-existing roof, this is a great option. The spraying element allows you to reach every nook and corner of a roofing system to ensure optimal insulation. It comes in two different types; open-cell and closed-cell. While both options will effectively create an airtight seal, open-cell is more flexible and has a higher expansion rate. The r-value of open-cell spray foam ranges from R-3.0 to R-4.0 per inch, while close-cell has an R-value of R-6.0- R-8.0 per inch.

4. Maintenance

Metal roof panels are already favored for low maintenance requirements; adding insulation does not change that. If a problem arises, repairing or replacing the panel is simple and easy. This saves you money as the roof will experience natural wear and tear. Additionally, it is perfect for owners who may want to add on or remodel in the future. The roofing is flexible, and sections can be reworked without replacing the whole roofing system. This is important to keep in mind as a contractor. If there is damage to a panel that has been insulated, check to ensure it is not an easy fix in an isolated area. 

5. Savings

Regarding budgeting, metal roof panels save both you and your client money. During the actual metal roof installation process, panels go up quickly and easily. Since the material is lightweight, it reduces the number of people and hours needed for the installation process, reducing the overall labor costs. Cutting back on time and resources, it can be a happy addition to your budget. Meanwhile, long-term savings are sure to make your clients happy. Insulation makes a home more energy efficient, cutting down on monthly bills. The advanced polyurethane core will last as long as the metal roof panels, ensuring savings for years. 

Changes That Don’t Go Unnoticed

These metal roof panels are revolutionizing the construction industry, and the demand is projected to increase in the foreseeable future. If you know how to install panels properly, you will set yourself up for success in the industry. To get you started on the right food, ensure you have all the necessary tools and materials before you begin your next project. Download our free Builder Materials Checklist for Contractors to ensure your next metal roof installation is completed correctly, on time, and within budget.  Builders Materials Checklist for Contractors