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What You Need to Know about Correct Commercial Insulation

Insulation in commercial roofs contributes to the energy efficiency and proper drainage of your company’s facilities. Very often, the insulation must be shaped to provide the vital low-slope pitch needed for speedy drainage. Choose a roofer who knows commercial roofing and you will be sure your commercial insulation is done correctly. 


Flat roofs are never truly flat. They are low-slope roofs and very often the slope that allows efficient water drainage depends on the roof insulation. Unlike steep-slope residential insulation, commercial roof insulation is applied atop the deck and forms the support for the final roofing material, such as EPDM, PVC or TPO. In many cases, the roof deck itself is truly flat and the roofing insulation creates the slope. 

This expanded polystyrene (EPS) insulation is taper-shaped from the high point or edge of the low-slope roof down toward your building’s internal drains or parapet scuppers. If the slope of the insulation is wrong, if the selection of insulation material is wrong, or the insulation is installed poorly, your building may never drain adequately. Suddenly you are looking at ponding issues and water infiltration. 


A good commercial roofer will know not only how to select the optimum insulation material for the roof, but how exactly to shape it. One technique is to use crickets, or raised, triangular-shaped insulation pieces to move water swiftly away from HVAC curbs, sanitary stacks, and other roof piercings. Chimney crickets are often found on residential roofs, but commercial roof crickets are more expansive and must be designed carefully to accommodate drainage.  


Commercial roof insulation has to be installed well, as it forms the vital thermal barrier beneath the final roofing product and the roof deck itself. Whether installed over a concrete, wood and plywood, or corrugated steel deck, rigid insulation must be adhered either chemically (adhesive) or mechanically (plates and screws). 

Once installed, the tapered, rigid foam insulation is remarkably sturdy. It can be walked upon during roof installation. It is not water soluble, but of course the insulation should not be permitted to get wet, as that moisture will be trapped between the roof’s top surface and the roof deck. That forms a breeding ground for mold and mildew. 

From deck to vapor barrier to insulation and beyond, turn to the trained professionals of Yellowhammer Roofing for your commercial roofing needs. Contact us today to learn more about commercial insulation. 

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