Insulated Roofs Explained: A Key to Lower Heating and Cooling Costs

December 1st, 2023
insulated roof installation

The roof of a home is undeniably one of its most vital structures, continuously working to protect the interior from harsh climatic conditions. It shelters us from rain, resists wind, and snow loads, and, of course, endures the brunt of the hot sun. But, what happens when the regular roof isn’t enough? That’s where an insulated roof comes to the rescue.


Insulated roofs, also known as cool or energy-efficient roofs, are the modern homeowner’s smartest bet against the relentless heat and frosty winters. With recent rising energy costs, the significance of an insulated roof reaches beyond mere shelter. It’s an investment in comfort, energy efficiency, and long-term financial savings.

infographic for Leverage Roofing about insulated roof benefits

The Benefits of Insulated Roofs

An insulated roof, in simple terms, is a specific type of roofing system that includes an added layer of insulation. This layer resides either on the exterior wall or beneath the roof panels itself to enhance the thermal efficiency of the structure. This form of insulation manifests in numerous ways— metal roof panels, insulated panels, etc.— but the driver is always the same: significant advancements in thermal bridging, energy efficiency, energy savings, and overall interior comfort. 


The purpose of an insulated roof cannot be overstated. The addition of an insulation layer to your roof elevates the inner comfort of the structure by moderating the transfer of heat and cold. Your winters will be less chilly, and your summers less sweaty. An insulated roof doesn’t just regulate internal temperatures but also plays a huge role in reducing energy expenditure. With energy costs becoming an ever-expanding portion of expenses, choosing an insulated roof panel can significantly reduce your heating and cooling bills.


Types of Insulation


Now, when faced with the decision to upgrade your roof insulation, it’s crucial to understand the different materials available for insulation. Foam insulation, including rigid foam and spray foam, batt insulation, and cellulose insulation are popular types. Each insulation type has unique properties making them better suited for different situations. Foam insulation, for instance, is particularly effective at providing high-density insulation in smaller spaces, while batt insulation provides an easy, solution for a wide variety of needs.

Components of an Insulated Roof


Having understood what an insulated roof is and why it’s beneficial, let’s now delve into its specifics. What are its components, you may wonder? How is an insulated roof built?


An insulated roof’s construction is a fine meshwork of various elements that collectively work towards enhancing your home’s energy efficiency. It involves careful layering and connection of elements to avoid issues like thermal bridging, a phenomenon that reduces your insulation’s effective R-value.


The construction typically begins from the roof deck, upon which the roof sheathing is installed. This sheathing layer forms the basic surface over which the roof’s final cover is applied.


Next comes the critical part, installing the roof panel. In an insulated roof, these panels are the real game-changer. Made up of insulated metal or sometimes extruded aluminum for patio covers, an insulated roof panel consists of a foam core for insulation sandwiched between two metal panels. These insulated panels not only contribute to the roof’s integrity but also significantly aid in achieving energy savings.


Two other equally important factors while constructing an insulated roof are addressing air leaks and managing moisture accumulation. Proper insulation aids in sealing air leaks in your roofing system, something that is a common challenge with non-insulated roofs. A lesser-known but essential benefit of insulated roofs also includes their ability to manage moisture accumulation effectively. Unregulated moisture can lead to common problems like mold and mildew, which can damage your roof and home’s overall structure.


A key thing to remember here is the insulation layer needs to be continuous and should cover all possible areas where heat loss or gain can occur. In most cases, the rigid foam or rigid board insulation is applied to the interior or exterior of the roof sheathing in a continuous layer.


Leverage roofing employee installs yellow installation

Guide to Choosing an Insulated Roof


When it comes to upgrading your property’s insulation, keep in mind that one size does not fit all. Various factors play into the decision-making process, and knowing these can significantly influence not only the building’s energy efficiency but also your wallet’s health. Here we will walk you through these considerations to help you make an informed decision on selecting the perfect insulated roof.


First, familiarise yourself with your local code requirements and building codes regarding roof insulation. These laws are often established in response to the local climate and energy efficiency goals. Guide yourself by these standards to ensure your new roof falls within regulations and offers you the best return on your investment.


The choice of your insulated roof will also vary depending on your roof type. For instance, if you have a cathedral ceiling, you may face different issues, like the confinement of space, than someone with a flat roof. Each roof type – whether it’s a curved roof, sloped roof, or even an extruded aluminum patio cover, comes up with its own insulation challenges and opportunities. We’ve mastered these nuances for our clients at Leverage Roofing and can help you understand which solution best meets your needs.


Now, coming to the selection of suitable insulated roof panels – these can range from metal roof panels, foam core panels to seam roof panels and beyond. Metal roof panels, specifically, are a great choice because they provide a wider span option and superior protection. Foam core panels are well-insulated and offer a great thermal barrier, making them an excellent choice to reduce your energy costs.


Also, remember to tailor to your individual situation. For example, a patio roof may require specific types of insulation that wouldn’t be necessary for the main structure. Similarly, a non-insulated attic may gain considerable benefits from a conditioned attic approach where insulation is applied directly to the attic’s underside of the roof, transforming the space into a semi-conditioned space.


Construction worker climbing extension ladder to roof

Why Choose Leverage Roofing for Your Insulated Roof Needs


Now that we have unfolded the layered world of insulated roofs, it is time to choose a trusted partner to shepherd you through the process, from making an informed decision to the actual installation stage.


Widely recognized for our dedication to quality and customer service, we offer a full gamut of roofing services to the Carolinas. Our strength lies not just in our deep-rooted knowledge about different roofing systems, but also in our commitment to our community, and this is reflected in our active participation in several local events and fundraisers.


What sets us apart? Our focus on providing tailored solutions. We understand that every structure, be it your home or a commercial establishment, requires a unique approach when it comes to roofing — and especially so when it involves insulation. From metal roofing to asphalt shingle roofing, irrespective of the roofing material or roofing system you opt for, we integrate insulation in our work most efficiently, ensuring you reap maximum benefits in terms of thermal comfort and energy savings.


When it comes to insulated roofs, our prowess lies not only in our extensive knowledge and ability to deliver premium services but also in our commitment to educating our clients. Whether it’s improving your property’s energy efficiency, avoiding higher temperatures, optimizing comfort, or just checking off a home improvement project, partnering with Leverage Roofing is an investment toward a more sustainable and comfortable future. Contact us today to get a free quote!



“Insulation.” Energy.Gov,,contact%20with%20an%20air%20space. Accessed 10 Nov. 2023.