A flat roof presents different challenges from a sloped roof. The biggest challenge is preventing water from puddling or pooling on the roof. Water that sits on a roof can eventually seep through because it has nowhere else to go, and this can cause leaks in the ceiling. Because of this, most flat roofs have a very minor slope to them. If your flat roof does not have a minor slope to it, a roofing contractor may recommend that you use tapered roof insulation to create a minor slope when new roofing materials are being installed. If you have never heard of tapered roof insulation, you may have many questions about it. Getting answers to the questions you have will help you determine if it is right for you.

What Is Tapered Roof Insulation?

Tapered roof insulation is an insulating and sloping material, typically made from foam, that is applied directly to the decking or sheathing of your roof. The insulation is designed to have a minimal slope to it, helping to guide water down your roof. After the foam is installed, a waterproof membrane is placed over the material. From there, your desired flat roofing material, such as built-up roofing, modified bitumen roofing, or rubber roofing, can be installed over the insulation.

What Are the Signs That a Building Can Benefit from Tapered Roof Insulation?

The biggest sign that your building can benefit from tapered roof insulation is water continually puddling or pooling on your flat roof. After it rains, climb up a ladder and take a look at your roof to see if you notice puddling. As mentioned, this sitting water can shorten the lifespan of your waterproof membrane, leak through, and cause damage to your roof's decking or sheathing. It can even leak all the way through your roofing materials and leak inside your home or store.

When a flat roof does not have enough of a slope to drain water properly, you have two options. The first option is to remove all of the roofing materials and reslope the roof. This involves pulling the decking or sheathing from your roof's trusses and basically starting from scratch. If the decking or sheathing is not water damaged, doing this can result in a lot of extra labor and material costs. In this case, using tapered roof insulation to create a slope may be more economical.

Aside from Adding Slope, Are There Any Other Benefits to Tapered Roof Insulation?

Tapered roof insulation can also help to insulate the roof of your building. Air in your home can escape through the roof, and outside air can enter through the roof. This can affect your heating and cooling bills. As you select a tapered roof insulation, look at the R-value of the insulation. The higher the R-value, the greater the resistance to energy flow. This means that the higher an R-value is, the more efficient it will be at keeping outdoor air out and indoor air in.

What Factors Should Be Considered When Selecting Tapered Roof Insulation?

If you and a roofing contractor have decided that tapered roof insulation is ideal for your flat roof, you will have to select the right one for you. There are many factors to consider when selecting this type of roofing material, including the price and the R-value. Other factors include the type of foam the insulation is made from, the thickness of the foam and how that will affect your desired roofing materials, and whether your roof needs a two-, three- or four-way slope. A roofing contractor will work with you to find the best tapered roof insulation for your building based on your budget.

If a roofing contractor recommends you install tapered roof insulation on your flat roof, you may wonder whether this is really necessary or how it can affect your roof. Getting answers to the questions you have will help you to understand what tapered roof insulation is, when and how you can benefit from it, and what factors you should consider when selecting it for your roof. Speak with a representative from a company like Fischer Roofing - Flat Roof Pros for further details.