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Denver Roofing: Article About R Value and Roofing

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Maintaining proper rooftop conditions can be difficult, especially for first time homeowners who are not sure what goes into the maintenance process. While inspecting the surface of the roof can be an important part of its regular upkeep, homeowners should be sure to keep track of what goes on underneath it as well. The attic is a crucial section of the roof to take care of because the sensitive support structures are located just above it. If moisture damage occurs in the attic, the underside of the deck will suffer for it. Denver roofing professionals can help homeowners with attic maintenance tips and procedures, but it is important for all individuals to learn about R values and their importance.

The R value of a material is a measurement of its ability to resist heat transfer. Before 1945, the material's resistance to heat flow was measured by its U factor. The lower the U factor was, the better the material was at resisting heat transfer. However, this resulted in homeowner misconceptions, where individuals would think that the higher the number was, the better the heat resistance was.

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The system was changed to better reflect such a concept, and now homeowners are more comfortable with R values, where the higher the number is, the better the insulation is.

When insulation in the attic is tested, the heat flows from the hot side of the insulation to its colder side. Where the individual fibers will touch each other, the heat is transferred fiber by fiber through the conduction process. When the fibers are separated by air, heat is transferred according to a radiation process and then by a conduction process through the air. During the testing procedure, convective loops are also documented and observed. The R value is determined as a measurement according to a material's resistance to all three heat flow mechanics, which are radiation, convection and conduction.

While this is important to keep in mind, homeowners should remember that air flow also makes a difference. If there is not a proper degree of ventilation available to balance out the insulation system, the attic may retain moisture. A good system will not only prevent air from leaking through the insulation, but it will keep air circulating according to a ventilation process. This can help dry out moisture and prevent it from developing in the future. Roofing professionals can help homeowners balance the two systems until a pleasant degree of equilibrium is reached.

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