What is Radiant Barrier?


What is radiant barrier?

Radiant barrier is a product we use to reduce heat flow. There are several different types of radiant barriers:

  • The spray-on or paint-on type that comes in a can.
  • The decking type. A lot of new homes are coming with decking. You can also get a decking barrier when you replace your roof. You can also get TechShield, which adds a laminated foil piece to the decking.
  • Then there’s the foil itself. This is what we’ve always installed because it works the best.

 How We Install It:

We use a foil or copper film, or sheet, that’s pulled up to the rafter underneath the roof. The reason this is more effective than the other two types of barriers is that it has some space to breathe.

Our radiant barrier is stapled up with air compressors and staple guns, with the right air pressure and the right length of staple. It’s stapled up below the rafter so you have some separation between the material and the roof deck. When you have that separation there’s no risk of increasing roof temperature or voiding shingle warranty, or mold or mildew, or any of the many other things that can happen when you put something right up against the roof.

Why You Need Radiant Barrier in Texas:

Any radiant barrier is a heat reducer. You’ve got heat coming through the roof all day long, making your attic heat up all day long. It’s the same idea as putting the fold-out visor in the windshield of your car: You put the visor up when you get out of your car and go into a store. When you come back, your car is still hot, but it’s not as hot as it would have been without that protection. The car cools down a little quicker when the A/C kicks on, and you get down the road a little more comfortable more quickly.

The reason attic temperature is important is that typically here in Texas (or anywhere in North America), your air conditioning equipment and/or your ductwork is in the attic. When your attic is at 150 degrees, you’re counting on a mechanical system to produce cold air to your house in that environment. Radiant barrier at the source, the roofline—not at the floor—can reflect that heat and slow down that heat transfer, and slow down that process where the attic is getting so hot and cooking your system.

Results To Expect:

Typically we see 20-40 degrees of temperature reduction with our barriers. If it’s 100 degrees outside, and you’ve got a foil radiant barrier with that separation, you can get 30-40 degrees of relief in your attic. We’ve seen this, summer after summer! And if it’s 80 or 90 outside, our barriers can get your attic close to outside temperatures.

 Please give us a call if you have any questions about radiant barriers. We’d love to talk with you!

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