Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Can You Put Radiant Barrier Under Shingles

How Climate Affects Radiant Barrier Efficiency

Will a radiant barrier work under the shingles?

That is not to say a radiant barrier can prove efficient in every scenario. The climate has a significant impact on its efficiency:

Hot climates You can choose from three types of radiant barriers if you live in a hot environment. They will block and reflect heat keeping the attic cool for days.

Cool climates Radiant barriers work well in colder climates as well. Besides keeping heat out, they can also retain the heat generated by your HVAC system, so you wont have to increase it every time the temperature drops. This will lead to savings that you can invest elsewhere, like a college fund.

Mild climates Radiant barriers are not as efficient in temperate climates. Thats because homes do not require massive amounts of energy to maintain a comfortable temperature. However, a barrier can maintain comfortable homeostasis within the home.

The fact is that a radiant barrier is a wise investment if your monthly energy bill is bleeding you dry. It also makes existing insulation options more efficient by trapping air within fibers, reducing convection heat transfer. Some also block radiation heat transfer.

Both types of insulation work together to maintain the attics temperature at comfortable levels and reduce your overall energy costs. As your existing insulation regulates the temperature of your attic, the radiant barrier reflects heat outward.

In other words, you get the best of both worlds.

Is Radiant Barrier Osb Worth It

Is Radiant Barrier OSB Worth It? If you use OSB radiant barrier sheathing, you can reflect up to ninety-seven percent of solar radiation. This amount of solar heat reduction can reduce your attics heat by up to thirty degrees Fahrenheit. Radiant barrier roof sheathing can also improve comfort in other areas.

Install The Battens/furring Strips Over The Foil

After the roof is covered with the RoofingFoil, it’s time to install the spacers to the roof. How you install battens can affect the how well the roof drains and cools, so make sure you consider that when you’re adding them. Additionally, the battens will create the air space that is required for the foil to work to reflect radiant heat back. A simple batten system where the strips are staggered horizontally or spaced apart will work too. The main idea is that you want a system where air can easily flow and water can easily drain.

The RoofingFoil is strong and will not rip or tear. So you can walk on it as you’re installing the battens without worrying about destroying the product. Get the battens in place and then you’re ready for the final step!

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How Far Should Shingles Hang Over Roof Edge

The edge of the shingles should hang over a roof between an inch and an inch and a half or between a half inch and three-quarters of an inch if drip edge flashing is installed. Too much overhang and the shingles could blow off in high winds, too little can allow water to seep into rake or fascia boards.

Will Radiant Barrier Damage Shingles


Asked by: Dave Steuber

By blocking the mass insulation from absorbing heat and emitting it back to the roof, a radiant barrier can decrease the roof temperature at night by over 5 degrees. … In short, radiant barrier should not void any shingle manufacturer’s warranty and will not damage roof shingles or any other roofing material.

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My Material Has Only One Foil Side Should The Foil Face The Roof

No. In attics, single-sided radiant barrier material should be installed with the foil side facing down. Even if you use a double-sided radiant barrier material, it is best to install it at the rafter level so that the bottom side faces the attic airspace and will not collect dust. This may run counter to our intuitive feel for “how things work,” but it does work, and work well. To understand how it works, remember the two properties of aluminum foil from our Thanksgiving turkey and light bulb analogies foil reflects radiant energy very well but does not radiate heat well. It does not emit heat to the cooler surfaces around it. If you install a single-sided radiant barrier with the foil side facing up, the aluminum will reflect the thermal energy radiated by the hot roof. If you install a single-sided radiant barrier with the foil side facing down, the aluminum simply will not radiate the heat it gains from the roof to the cooler insulation it faces. At first, a single-sided radiant barrier will work equally well with the foil facing up or down. However, over time, dust may accumulate on the surface of foil facing up. The dust will reduce the radiant barrier effect by allowing the foil to absorb rather than reflect thermal radiation. However, a radiant barrier with the foil side facing down will not collect dust on the foil and will continue to stop radiant heat transfer from the hot roof to the insulation over the life of the installation.

Benefits Of A Radiant Barrier

A radiant barrier is superior in giving us high-quality performance when it comes to energy saving. Additionally, radiant barriers are undoubtedly beneficial since they can offer you a lot of benefits, such as:

  • They can reduce the attic temperature by up to 30 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Radiant barriers do not degrade over time, far from any other type of insulation.
  • They have greater control over air conditioning, heating, and humidity.
  • There is no maintenance required.
  • Radiant barriers work to keep warm air in during the winter.
  • They also reduce both summer heat gain and cooling costs.
  • If the duct systems and HVAC situates in the attic, radiant barriers will substantially improve energy efficiency and lower utility costs.
  • They will put a stop to solar radiation for up to 90 percent.
  • Radiant barriers can offer us a more comfortable, more accurate air cooling and heating.
  • They can provide you with immediate cooling and heating with a small number of cycles. Radiant barriers will also benefit you reduce the demand for repairs. In addition, it can extend the lifespan of your HVAC units.
  • Another great benefit is that it is not prone to mold and moisture build-ups.

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What Is A Radiant Barrier

A radiant barrier is a building material that reflects thermal radiation from the sun and reduces heat transfer into the attic and therefore into the house. Radiant barriers reflect thermal radiation thanks to a low emittance surface, typically a thin, mirror-like layer of aluminum foil on one side.

As the original and #1 brand of radiant barrier sheathing, LP® TechShield® panels have been installed in more than two million homes. Its the perfect example of a high performance radiant barrier.

With a thin, durable layer of aluminum pre-laminated to an OSB panel, LP TechShield sheathing blocks up to 97% of radiant heat transfer through roof sheathing, which can lower attic temperatures by up to 30° F.

Keeping a homes attic cooler with a radiant barrier keeps the home itself coolerand that can translate to lower energy bills.

Your Roof Isnt Shaded

Radiant barrier installation: pros and cons, cost benefits and drawbacks of spray foam.

A radiant barriers main job is designed for is to reduce heat gain. A roof exposed to the sun completely will get way hotter than a shaded one.

So if you live in the northern hemisphere and your home faces south, get a radiant barrier installed to offset the heat. Besides a house, you can also install it over a barn or outbuildings with poor or no insulation, including buildings with metal roofs that can bake under the sun.

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How Does It Work

As we already mentioned, this type of roof works primarily through the reflection of heat. The inside of the attic lined with a highly reflective material such as aluminum. Under normal circumstances, attics tend to be very hot. This happens because of the suns heat bearing down on those roofing tiles/shingles.

As the sun raises the temperature of the roofing tiles, these tiles absorb all the heat that they can. Remember: Heat is energy, and a given object can only absorb a certain amount. So, when the tiles are fully heated, that extra energy needs somewhere else to go. Usually, it will be absorbed by the closest material, which is the ceiling of your attic. When that ceiling cannot absorb any more heat, the heat begins to transfer to the walls, and so on. This sets off a chain reaction whereby your entire house becomes hotter than it should be.

Radiant barrier roofs prevent your house from transferring heat by simply reflecting that heat away. Hot air has a tendency to rise under most circumstances, so it doesnt take a whole lot of reflection to do the job. A shiny material is generally all that you need, though some materials are better than others.

What’s The Easiest Installation Method In New Construction

There are three widely accepted methods of installing attic radiant barrier systems in new construction:

  • Attach the radiant barrier to the roof decking before it is installed on the trusses, or
  • Attach the radiant barrier to the roof deck or truss chords after the roof decking is installed, but prior to the installation of the ceiling drywall.
  • Perhaps the easiest way to install a radiant barrier in a new house is to use one of the foil-faced roof sheathing materials on the market. The price increase for these products should be minimal, and the installation does not differ from regular decking, except for a little additional care in the handling of the product.

Note: When installing a single-sided radiant barrier material, remember to face the foil side down toward the attic floor/insulation.

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How To Install Radiant Barriers Under Shingles

Believe it or not, thats not such an unusual question. A lot of builders arent sure about how to install a radiant barrier orfor that matterhow a radiant barrier works.

Although radiant barriers have been around for a couple of decades now, some builders have yet to discover the remarkable advantages that they offer.

So lets look into radiant barriers, how they work, what they do, and how to install them.

A Cooler Roof: Radiant Shingles And Radiant Barriers

3.6 Envelope Features

I put a new roof on my house last year and installed radiant barrier under the shingles. I can feel the difference in my upstairs rooms. Check out the article below from Chris Curles and Associates of InfraRED Home Inspections of Atlanta.

There are several ways to keep your cool when electrical bills make you a little hot under the collar during warm weather months. A cool roof lowers electrical bills and keeps a home more comfortable by reducing the amount of heat that is transferred inside. Cool roofs are designed to maintain a lower roof temperature while the sun is shining.

There are a number of ways a cool roof can be created, including the installation of radiant barriers within the attic as well as radiant shingles on top of the roof.

Radiant heat travels in a line and heats anything solid within its path. When the sun heats a roof, it is the suns radiant energy that makes the roof hot. A large portion of this heat is conducted through roofing materials to the attic side of the roof. The hot roof material further radiates the heat energy onto the cooler attic surfaces, including the air ducts and the attic floor. This heat will continue to be conducted down through a homes walls and ceilings into the rooms below.

Radiant barriers in an attic.

Some of the most popular names in radiant barriers/solar foil include Attic Foil, eShield, Prodex, Green Energy Barrier, SolarGuard and Reflectix.

Landmark Solaris, a new solar reflective roofing shingle.

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Will A Radiant Barrier Damage My Shingles

I have had this question asked many times and I see no evidence that a radiant barrier damages shingles. The Florida Solar Energy Center has measured the temperatures of roof shingles above attic radiant barriers on hot, sunny summer days. Depending on the color of the shingles, their peak temperatures are only 2-5° F higher than the temperature of shingles under the same conditions without a radiant barrier. Since roofing materials are manufactured to withstand the high temperatures to which they are frequently exposed. A 2-5° F increase in peak temperatures that normally reach 160-190° F should have no adverse affect.

Why Cant This Be Done

It gets a little tricky, but we will attempt to explain it in simple terms. Radiant heat by definition is heat transfer from one object to another object by NON-CONTACT. We really wish you could put foil between shingles and roofing felt or roof deck because we would sell a ton more foil. However, physics is physics and it just wont work.

If you take radiant barrier foil and sandwich it between the shingles and roof felt, you have now created one solid assembly. Aluminum is a unique element, it is both reflective and very conductive. This is one example why we cook with aluminum cookware it conducts heat very well, which is good for cooking, but not so good for living spaces.

Here is an illustration most people can relate to: Have you ever picked up a hot potato that was wrapped with foil? It feels super hot, right? Why is that? Well, when your skin touches the foil it creates direct path so the heat flows directly into your hand, making your hand very hot. The idea is that heat doesnt care what objects its traveling through to carry heat flow, as long as objects are touching and there is no air space, the heat might as well be traveling through one, large object. When an air gap is present, the heat is then forced to convert to its radiant form so it can jump the gap and continue traveling via conduction.

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Safety Tips For Installing An Attic Radiant Barrier System

  • If you use a ladder for access to the attic, make sure it is stable and tall enough for easy entry and exit.
  • Work in the attic only when temperatures are reasonable. Attic daytime temperatures can rise far above 100°F during much of the year in the Sunbelt. Install your radiant barrier system early in the morning, or wait until cool weather sets in.
  • Work with a partner. Not only does it make the job go faster, it also means that you’ll have aid should a problem occur.
  • Watch where you walk and use a movable support surface. Step only on the attic trusses or rafters and your working surface. Never step on the attic insulation or the ceiling drywall below it.
  • Step and stand only on the center of your movable working surface. Don’t step on the edge it can cause the surface to tip.
  • Watch your head. In most attics, roofing nails penetrate through the underside of the roof. If you bump your head, it can cause a serious cut or puncture. If your skin is punctured by a nail, an up-to-date tetanus vaccination is a must. Avoid potential problems by wearing a hard hat.
  • Be especially careful around electrical wiring, particularly around junction boxes and older wiring. Never staple through or over electrical wiring.
  • Make sure that the attic space is well ventilated and well lighted. Bring in fans and extra work lights if necessary.
  • If your attic has blown-in insulation, direct fans upward, away from the insulation material.
  • Radiant Barrier Under Shingles Scams & Bad Information

    LP® TechShield® Radiant Barrier Installation Process

    At first it sounds reasonable. You are getting a new roof, so why not scrape off the shingles, put down roofing felt, THEN radiant barrier foil and THEN shingles right on top. What an easy way to install a radiant barrier, right? I also get asked if eShield, SolarGuard or Bubble Foil Insulation will work.

    Unfortunately you just wasted time and money for virtually NO additional benefit.

    Radiant Heat by DEFINITION is electromagnetic radiation that travels in a waveform ACROSS a void, either an air space or a vacuum. Without this space you CANNOT have RADIANT HEAT. Therefore, if NO radiant heat exists you CANNOT have a radiant barrier.

    If you have items sandwiched together, you will get conductive heat. It is usually impossible to have radiant heat through solids.

    I keep hearing of some roofers starting to push foil products installed between the shingles and the roof deck as radiant barriers.

    If you are getting a new roof, beware of roofing companies who are selling radiant barriers under shingles. Radiant barriers without an air space dont exist, they cant exist, and they will never exist. They laws of physics always apply. Remember: No Air Space = No Radiant Heat = No Radiant Barrier.

    Attention roofing companies: If you wrote on your invoice that you installed a Radiant Barrier in this method you should contact the homeowners, and make good on your mistakes.

    I’ve written several other posts on this that you might be interested in. Check these posts below:

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    Installation Of Radiant Barrier

    Installing a radiant barrier during your roof replacement aids in effective heat reduction in your attic. The reflective surface of the radiant barrier faces an air space and is installed in a way that effectively minimizes any dust accumulation that would reduce its reflective properties. The barrier is most effective when installed perpendicular to the energy hitting it.

    When there are cooling air ducts located in the attic of a home in a hot, sunny climate, installing a radiant barrier can reduce cooling costs up to 10%, according to some studies.

    Can You Install Radiant Barrier Under Shingles

    • Post published:March 5, 2022

    Radiant barriers contribute a lot to our home. And we know you are wondering if you can install it under shingles. That is why we thoroughly researched via the internet to give you the answer you seek.

    Yes, you can install a radiant barrier under the shingles. In addition, it is your choice to put it either on top of or below the battens. To install the radiant barrier easily, you need to run the foil out over the roofing felt paper. After that, tack it down and put the battens next, followed by the shingles.

    If you are curious if radiant barriers are worth the investment, we encourage you to read throughout this article. We’ve got the answers to some of the additional questions that might be running through your head.

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