A growing number of property owners are becoming interested in conditioning their attic using a hot roof process. It is first important to understand that a hot roof isn’t substantially warmer than a standard roof. Research indicates a maximum of a five degree increase during hot days, whereas in the evening the temperature of the surface will drop faster than is the case with a vented roof. However, hot roofs do provide a number of key benefits.
A hot roof is one which consists of a foam spray. Standard attics utilize a floor that is insulated with ventilation. Exterior air is allowed entry via the soffits and then escapes through the roof’s top. With a hot roof, spray foam will be added directly to the roof’s sheathing, which means the attic space is not unconditioned. A thermal envelope will move against the roof’s underside. No ventilation is necessary with hot roofs.
When setting up hot roofs, the contractor can use spray foam in the interior or they can setup foam boards in the exterior. The first method is the most popular, due to its speed. However, it is important to make sure the roof is free of water damage, mold, or related issues. The biggest advantage of adding foam boards in the exterior is that it eradicates thermal transfer. Both the trusses and rafters must be completely coated in foam, otherwise the heat will move to the wood and sheathing.
A traditional attic in New York which is unconditioned requires greater insulation, since the area is subject to temperature extremes both in the summer and winter. Furthermore, in many NYC buildings the air ducts, water and electrical lines extend through areas which make locating junction boxes difficult, and a water line is subject to freezing or leaks which results from expansion due to temperature fluctuations.
Since hot roofs involve placing ducts within spaces that are conditioned, the air will not become too hot or too cold. Additionally, should duct leakage occur it won’t be lost outside, but will remain within the building. If the frame or roof trusses are sufficiently robust, hot roofs will also allow you to store more stuff in the attic, without giving up insulation. Hot roofs also do an outstanding job of preventing ice dams, which can be a major problem in the Northeast during winter.
A. Stewart Roofing and Waterproofing is a highly respected New York roofing firm that has operated in the area for more than forty years. When working on your attic we will ensure that it is correctly sealed and conditioned, so that ice dams are prevented from forming during cold weather. We can apply a hot roof process to either new or older homes, and can repair any structural issues which are present beforehand. In some cases it may be necessary to install multiple layers of foam instead of a single one. Contact us today to receive a free estimate.