Tapered Roof Insulation: What Is It & How It Can Help Your Home
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Tapered Roof Insulation: What Is It & How It Can Help Your Home

Posted on August 25, 2023

Estimated Reading Time : 5 Min.

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Tapered Roof Insulation: What Is It & How It Can Help Your Home


At All Around Roofing, Siding & Gutters, we not only offer the best roofing services in the Dayton area, but do our best to make sure property owners understand their roofing systems. In our last few blog posts, we have covered the basics of insulation, including some of the different types. Today we will go over another kind of insulation that has been gaining popularity: tapered roof insulation. 


We’ll explore how tapered roof insulation works, its benefits, and how it contributes to efficient drainage and enhanced energy efficiency in flat roofing systems.


What Is Tapered Roof Insulation?


Tapered roof insulation involves installing insulation boards that are gradually sloped towards the end to create a gentle incline on the roof’s surface. The insulation panels have varying widths across one board, with one side being thicker than the other. 


This tapering is strategically designed to guide rainwater toward designated drainage points, preventing pooling and potential water damage. You’ll often find this insulation on flat or low-slope roofing systems to manage rainwater runoff and optimize thermal performance.


Where Can You Use Tapered Roofing Insulation? 


Tapered roof insulation is most commonly used for flat roofs in need of a slight slope. But there are several other applications as well. These can also be used in other configurations to ensure effective water runoff.

  • Flat commercial roofs
  • Larger retail structures
  • Flat roof structure that is sagging

Understanding The Layout of Tapered Roof Insulation 


Tapered roof insulation is not your regular insulation that involves batts and rolls that fit between the rafters and joists. First, these go directly over your flat roof deck. Second, they are a bit more complex to install compared to traditional insulation used for flat roofs


Tapered roof insulation is made from a dense, closed-cell foam called polyisocyanurate. These insulation panels can be installed quickly without requiring additional framing support.


The tapered insulation installation involves various designs, fitting together like a puzzle. For proper installation, a professional team will decide how the insulation will be laid out to ensure the best fit. 


Benefits Of Tapered Roof Insulation


Now you know what tapered roof insulation is, let’s discuss the various benefits of installing tapered flat roof insulation on your home or commercial building.  


Improved Drainage


The primary purpose of tapered roof insulation is to ensure efficient drainage. In fact, this is one of the main reasons why it is used for flat roofs. 


By creating a slight slope, rainwater is directed away from the roof’s surface towards gutters or drains. This prevents water from pooling, which could lead to leaks, sagging, or even structural damage over time. 


Energy Efficiency


Tapered roof insulation doesn’t only address drainage, it also contributes to energy efficiency. The tapered insulation provides a thermal barrier, minimizing heat transfer between the interior and exterior of the building. This insulation layer helps maintain a consistent indoor temperature, reducing the workload on heating and cooling systems, and ultimately lowering energy costs.


Enhanced Roof Longevity


Proper drainage and reduced exposure to standing water significantly extend the lifespan of your roof. A flat roof’s lifespan is shorter than pitched roofs, with most of the materials lasting between 20-40 years. So taking care of your roof is even more important if you want it to last longer than predicted. 


Tapered insulation guides water down its tapered surface. By preventing water-related issues like leaks, rot, and deterioration, tapered insulation plays a crucial role in preserving the integrity of your roofing system. When your roof does not sustain damage, it has a higher chance of lasting even longer. 

Tapered Roof Insulation



Process Of Installing Tapered Insulation 


Here are some of the steps involved in installing tapered roof insulation, along with some important precautions to keep in mind.


Taking Safety


Before starting the installation process, it’s important to take certain precautions to ensure your safety. First, make sure you have the necessary safety equipment, such as gloves, goggles, and a hard hat. It’s also crucial to work on a dry and stable surface to prevent slipping or falling.


Prepare Your Flat Roof


Once you have taken the necessary precautions, you can proceed with preparing your flat roof for installation. Begin by cleaning the roof’s surface thoroughly to remove any dirt, dust, or loose particles. It’s crucial that you install the insulation on a smooth and even base.  Next, inspect the roof for any damages or leaks and make necessary repairs before proceeding further.


Start Laying The Tapered Roof Insulation


Start by laying down the first layer of insulation at the lowest point of the roof. Ensure that it is positioned properly to create a gradual slope towards the drains or gutters. Use adhesive or mechanical fasteners to secure the insulation in place, making sure it is firmly attached to the roof’s surface. Take accurate measurements and use a sharp utility knife to achieve clean cuts.


Installing Additional Layers


Once the first layer is installed, continue adding subsequent layers of tapered insulation, making sure each one overlaps with the previous layer to achieve a seamless finish. Depending on the slope requirements, you may need to cut and shape some of the insulation panels to fit them properly. 


Protecting Your Tapered Insulation Roof


Finally, once all the layers of tapered insulation are installed, it’s important to protect them from damage and weathering. Apply a protective layer, such as a roofing membrane like TPO, over the insulation to provide additional strength and resistance against UV rays and moisture.


Best Tapered Roof Insulation Brands


When it comes to tapered roof insulation, there are a few brands that stand out from the rest. Let us look at some of the best types of tapered insulation: 


Let’s start with GAF’s EnergyGuard™ Tapered Roof Insulation. These panels are made from glass fiber and are reinforced with polyisocyanurate. You can use them with multiple kinds of roofs, such as modified bitumen roofing systems. 

EnergyGuard™ Tapered Roof Insulation
Image Source: EnergyGuard™ Tapered Roof Insulation


GAF is a well-known brand in the roofing industry that offers multiple tapered roof insulation solutions. With over 130 years of experience, GAF has built a reputation for quality and innovation.


Next up is another industry leader: Owens Corning’s FOAMULAR® Tapered insulation. This product excels at delivering both moisture resistance and energy efficiency for low-slope roofing systems. The insulation is meticulously crafted for application over structural roof decks, ensuring optimal functionality and cost-effectiveness.


Consult Professionals for Optimal Results


Installing tapered roof insulation requires precision and expertise. It’s advised that you consult our experienced roofing professionals at All Around Roofing, Siding & Gutters to ensure the proper slope, drainage, and installation of the insulation. 


Our knowledge will help you achieve the desired energy efficiency, drainage, and aesthetic goals for your roofing system. Contact us today at (937) 902-2839 to learn more. 

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