Warm Roof Vs. Cold Roof Differences

March 1st, 2022.

Cotswold Roof Co.

When it comes to insulating a roof their are generally two options. The differences in the two are laid out in this article for you to decide what option best suits you.

Cold Roof

Traditionally the most common roof build would be a cold roof. This is where insulation is installed in between the rafters of a roof, which means the buildup of the roof does not need to be so high.

So why is it called a cold roof? Although most of the roof is insulated, the roof structure (rafters – timber) are uninsulated. This means that on a cold day the cold with conduct through the timber roof rafters and into the property below. If you were to look at a cold roof on a thermal imagining camera you would see where the roof rafters are. This is become wooden rafter conduct heat much better than insulation, which is called thermal bridging.

Warm Roof

A warm roof can be a more simple construction method in most cases. It offers a better thermal value vs. a cold roof. As apposed to insulating between the rafters, the warm roof insulation is simply installed on top of the existing surface. If the roof structure is still in good order insulation can be laid straight on top with adhesive and finished with the new roofing system.

The warm roof system ensures the whole roof structure is insulated and therefore the building achieving a lower U value, thus reducing the cost of heating your home.

The Breakdown – Cold Roof Vs. Warm Roof

A cold flat roof insulation requires more work, taking off old boards and replacing them and the roof surface. The thermal efficiency isn’t as good as with warm roof insulation.

A warm deck roof is much easier to install, offers great thermal performance but adds height to the flat roof. As a result of the height difference, warm roofs cannot be used on balconies and flat roofs extensions with doors leading onto the roof. In these cases, a cold roof is a preferable alternative to warm roof insulation

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