Roof Insulation Tips
LESLIE: Doug in Connecticut needs some help with an insulation project. What can we do for you?DOUG: Yeah. I have a contemporary construction home that’s got open beams on it that my wife and I fell in love with when we bought the house.TOM: OK.DOUG: Realizing that there really isn’t much insulation on my roof. My roof consists of open beams and then some nice tongue and groove wood. And then as far as I can tell, it’s plywood and then tar paper and shingles.TOM: Ha. Well, they missed one layer and that is the insulation layer. When you do an open ceiling like that, there is usually a foam insulation that’s like a sheathing; so you would have the tongue and groove and then on top of that you’d probably have a vapor barrier like tar paper and then you’d have like a two or three-inch – and sometimes even thicker – insulating sheet and then …LESLIE: Mm-hmm. It’s like super-dense foam.TOM: Right. And then you have the shingles on top of that. It’s sort of like a sandwich roof construction. You end up having a very thick sort of fascia at the end because of the sandwich effect but if you don’t have that, Doug – and I’m frankly surprised that they would have built a home in Connecticut without this – there’s no way to insulate that ceiling and still see the beams. You’d have to insulate between the rafters and then, you know put a ceiling underneath of that.DOUG: Yeah. See, the whole neighborhood – I’ve discovered it – it appears to me was built in the 60s and there are about a half a dozen homes that are like mine in this neighborhood. And it almost appears to me like somebody bought the architectural catalogue from some California architect and then built them all up here in lovely New England.TOM: Hmm. Well, Doug, at this point, if you want to insulate that ceiling, what you may have to do is try to, you know give up a little bit of the class and you’re going to have to insulate between the rafters and then perhaps you could use another piece of tongue and groove in between that so you’re still kind of looking up at wood but you’re not seeing the full depth.It’s a lot of work, I’ve got to tell you. It might be easier to think about – the next time you do your roof – strip it off and do it the way it was supposed to be done; with insulation from the outside in.DOUG: Yeah, that’s what I’m thinking about doing just because I’m going to need a new roof anyways within the next couple of years.TOM: (overlapping voices) Well, that’s what I’d do. I mean it’s going to be a big construction project for you anyway.LESLIE: Yeah, but this way you’re not going to lose any of that decorative look that you’re getting from the beam.TOM: Exactly.DOUG: Alright. Thank you.TOM: You’re welcome. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.