Important Aspects of Roof Assembly
Roof Insulation: Insulation controls heat flow both into the building and out of the building. There are many different types of thermal insulation that are used in roofing. Keep in mind that moisture resistance is an important property to consider when selecting roof insulation because water has a much higher thermal conductivity than air. Insulation options include cellular glass, polystyrene, polyurethane, polyisocyanurate, phenolic foam (air filled/gas filled), wood fibre board, and mineral fiber.
Vapour Barriers: The vapour barrier is responsible for limiting diffusion of moisture from inside the building into the roof assembly. Generally the vapor barrier is located on the warm side of the thermal insulation so that its temperature will not fall below the dew point temperature of the inside air. This is how condensation in the roof is controlled. There are several different materials to choose from.
Top Cover: The top covers are responsible for protecting the underlying roof components from UV radiation and physical damage. They come in several types including liquid applied coatings, factory applied mineral and metal surfaces, gravel and pavers. Keep in mind, liquid applied coatings require a certain amount of maintenance. Also, gravel and pavers are more resilient but have the disadvantage of adding to the vertical load on the structure.
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