What Is Metal Roof Insulation? | Metal Roof Insulation Options

Metal Roof Insulation

Ever wondered what, in colder areas, provides insulation to the entire house? This question may strike your fancy, primarily if you reside in a relatively hotter place.

If it does, continue reading this article until the end, as we will lay down different details relating to metal roof insulation, how it can be installed, why you need it, the pros and cons, and others.

What Is Metal Roof Insulation?

Metal roof insulation, in simple terms, stands for providing insulation to the metal roofs to improve energy efficiency, acoustics, comfort, and in some cases, even living standards in modern and commercial buildings both.

Buildings that aren’t insulated yet, in them the majority of thermal transmission takes place through the roof, which puts insulation high on the agenda.

The question that is probably biting your head off will now be dealt with in the paragraph hereunder.

Why Do We Need Metal Roof Insulation?

This metal roof insulation is needed for plenty of reasons, with the most important being its energy enhancement attribute. With the rise of heat, most of the energy gets lost through the roof of any structure or building.

In such scenarios, metal roof insulation comes into the picture with its energy enhancement feature, which also helps lower your electricity bill.

There are different options to go for while choosing metal roof insulation, and if you happen to vote for stone wool products, they’d yield a number of benefits.

Stone wool products fill the bill between two metal sheets, thus reducing heat transmitting through the roof and simultaneously clamping down on the rain noise from swamping the building envelope. You can choose the density which fits the requirements of your buildings.

Even if you go for any other option, it would act as a barrier and protect the buildings from rain, hail, and overheating when the temperature slightly goes up.

Going for stone wool insulation also brings to the table the benefit of excellent acoustics for metal roofs- the benefits have already been delved into in the paragraph above this one.

Also Read: What Is a Fiberglass Water Tank? | How Long Do Fiberglass Water Tanks Last?

Rigid Foam Insulation Under Metal Roof

A rigid foam board is one of the options, of the many available to the homeowners. Rigid foam board is considered to be more expensive than its competitor batt insulation and understandably so.

The R-values of foam board are placed at a higher level than that of Batt insulation. And we might as well remind you, this is an exterior roofing insulation option and not an interior one. Again, this is also beneficial to block out any sound coming from your neighbors’ place.

The downside of this option would be more or less the same as the batt insulation one, it is rigid, so it won’t be as easy to move it around congested and tight areas. Again, the homeowners won’t be as affected, for this straight-up comes over the insulation, so this problem doesn’t really come into play.

The thing that you must bear in mind while going for this sort is that moisture control is critical. Your roof must allow for air to pass through in and out. Installing a vapor barrier is easily done.

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Metal Roof Insulation Options:-

There are different metal roofs with insulation options to choose from, and those are:

1. Fiberglass Batts:-

Fiberglass Batts

This metal roof with insulation type is one of the most popular types, as it is relatively inexpensive and available in a variety of properties with different R-values.

These come in similar variations, and if you are not well acquainted with what this R-value means, it basically determines the thermal resistance. Therefore, the higher the R-value, the more insulation it provides to any roof.

This is necessary because different areas with different temperatures require different layers of insulation. Now the question arises whether you should insulate your metal roof with fiberglass batts or not?

If its budget is limited then one can compromise on this option as it offers insulation at a bargain-basement price. Again, just because an item is of low cost does not mean that it is of standard quality.

On the flip side of the Betts, this comes with a number of negatives. First of all, it cannot be flexibly moved and shaped around the corners, rafters, and wires in your roof.

And secondly, they do not effectively remove moisture from the roots. However, this does not seem to be a major concern until the surface becomes moist and the moisture disappears immediately, and if the surface remains moist the insulator will lose its R-value.

Professional installation can reduce this type of risk, as they can install moisture barriers based on their own experience and allow moisture to be removed.

They will take care of moisture barriers and ensure that airflow is needed to disperse the moisture. However, if we consider this from the point of view of the majority, these are no longer sufficient forms of insulation for metal roofs.

If one settles on this type, one must certify whether they can breathe in small pieces of glass. And if not, get the right PPE or play safe and don’t take matters into your own hands. Call a professional installer and ask them to install.

Also Read: What Is Space Frame? | Components of Space Frame System | Types of Space Frame | Space Frame Structures Examples | Advantages & Disadvantages of Space Frame Structure

2. Rigid Foam Board:-

Rigid Foam Board

This type of insulation has already been probed deeply. To encapsulate it, these ones tend to fall on the expensive side of the cost scale, for the reason it offers more insulation to the metal roof. Again, this is most suitable for exterior application and not an interior one.

Hardened foam boards are more expensive than batt insulation, but the R-value of foam boards is much higher than that of bats. This can be used as an external roofing insulation option. In addition, this material is good at soundproofing.

There’s a common demerit that is shared by both batts and rigid foam insulation, and that is, their insufficiency to adapt to tight areas and rigid corners. Though, this does not really put the monkey wrench in the works.

Also, if you are going for this type, be sure to build a moisture control layer along with it; otherwise, you will have to incur costs to make repairs.

3. Spray Foam Insulation:-

Spray Foam Insulation

Next up, we have spray foam insulation. This, again, is expensive when pit against fiberglass batts. Another thing to worry about is that it does not have a high R-value per inch in contrast to rigid foam insulation.

Nonetheless, one can wholeheartedly opt for this if they are looking for complete insulation as this option seems the best out of all the three.

Talking about its adaptability, we just went over the inability of rigid foam to be installed around tough areas and tight corners/wires. Spray foam, on the other hand, can be effectively sprayed wherever you want, for it is an interior insulator. So, if there’s any tight area, rigid corner, and wires, you can go ahead and install this one.

The mechanism behind spray foam insulation is that when you spray it, it spawns across, filling every crevice, nook, and cranny. This mitigates your stress of the roof’s R-value decreasing in case you missed any spot.

This one is preferred amongst homeowners or construction agents, especially because it eases out on stress for renovations. The disadvantages have already been thoroughly harped on, they are extortionate in price, and you cannot probably find a way out DIYing this spray foam.

Speaking of these forms, spray foam insulation comes in two forms, namely: closed-cell and open-cell. The latter one will cost you much less, though not sufficient when it comes to providing a higher R-value.

This type is suitable for houses built in moderate areas and where the weather is not chilling. On the other hand, closed-cell is costlier, but one can trust it with better insulation.

Regardless of whether you go for the former one or the latter, both of them are inherently moisture resistant, which means they allow for moisture to pass through it without damaging the insulation in any way.

However, before pitching on spray foam, always check in advance with the manufacturer to ensure whether the foam and roofing material are in communion with each other or not.

Also Read: What Is Folded Plate? | Folded Plate Structures | Folded Plate Staircase | Advantages & Disadvantages of Folded Plate Structures

How to Install Metal Roof Insulation?

Installation of metal roof insulation isn’t a difficult process whatsoever, just pay heed to the following points.

1. Using Foam Batting: First and the foremost point worth noting is that the best material, after considering all the sides. These are paper-covered fiberglass and can be side on wherever the owner wants to get it installed. This is a much better alternative to spray or rolled up ones, for they lay flat.

This type of material can be easily installed with metal roof insulation. It is in the form of foam batting for metal roof insulation. This is usually a different design from roll-up type insulation as it comes in panels instead of fiberglass. This metal roof insulation can be used on the outside or inside of the casing.

2. Laying insulation on paper liner: The most common mistake committed by any homeowner is that they don’t bother spreading/laying anything underneath the sheathing. Consider this especially in the places where molds are likely to build their small homes.

This paper wrap holds significance, owing to its efficacy to stop water from building up in space between the metal roof and sheathing. Consider this especially in the places where molds are likely to build their small homes.

3. Install with Staples: This will help the owners to get the installation work over with quick 1½ inch staples. Just go through a few sheets of insulation, and you’d know they are reliable and secure.

One of the proven benefits of using staples is that they don’t result in large holes when penetrating into the sheathing. Also, the removal process is easy too when fixing repairs.

4. Cutting of panels on the roof:- Before you set about the journey of metal roof insulation, bring it up on the roof.

This would avoid unnecessary up and down movement for tools and other gadgets needed for the installation process. Cut foam panels on the roof for precise cuts and easy placement.

5. Necessary to leave gaps between gaps:- One point is that when there are holes or small rifts between the insulation pieces, there’s an easy and quick outflow and inflow of air, provided the gaps are within ⅛ inch. They are important for the health of the whole and the insulation sheets.

6. The use and placing of purlins:- The most popular method of placing metal roof insulation on any roof is to lay out purlins across the shingles that the across may already be having.

However, you could just lay down the insulation between these purlins. Bear in mind, the thickness of the insulation you have pitched on should be the same size so that the metal roof hugs it better.

Also Read: What Is the Well Point System? | Types of Well Point System | Advantages & Disadvantages of Well Point System

Pros and Cons of Metal Roof Insulation

The pros and cons of insulation are contingent upon the type of insulation you are going for. If the owner happens to go for batts, they are inexpensive, but they provide lower thermal resistance values. Conversely, if someone plumps for a rigid foam insulation alternative, they would be charged more, the reason being its high thermal resistance values.

The last option, i.e., spray foam, could be immoderate with low R-values. The only merit of this is they are easily moved around small and limited corners, where the former ones prove to be relatively inefficient.

Also Read: What Is Porch Foundation? | Porch Foundation Options | How to Build a Porch Foundation?

Pros of Metal Roof Insulation:-

The Pros of Metal Roof Insulation:-

The pros of metal roof insulation are as follows:-

  1. Metal roof insulation lasts for a longer time.
  2. It is lightweight.
  3. The installation of the roof insulation is very fast and easy.
  4. It does not catch fire.
  5. It is environmentally friendly.
  6. Metal roofs are energy efficient.

Cons of Metal Roof Insulation:-

The cons of the metal roof insulation are as follows:-

  1. The Initial cost required is high.
  2. There may be chances of expansion and contraction.
  3. Metal roofs can be dented.

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Metal Roof Insulation Cost:-

The cost entirely depends on the material you are opting for. The installation process can cost you anywhere from $4 to $6.50 per square foot, these are the cost of the panels you are choosing. The entire insulation material and installment process will set your wallets back by $10,000 to $17,000 total.

There could be cheaper alternatives as well, and there is also an option to completely get away with installing it. But in the long run, it won’t be beneficial, whether you plan on staying in the house or selling it.

This method packs a punch by acting as acoustic insulation, keeps moisture and water at bay, and also adds curb appeal to those who are planning on buying your property.


The aforementioned article deals with the metal roof insulation process. This article has everything you may be looking for, including different insulation options available to any homeowner, the cost of getting these metal roof insulation installed, pros & cons of having such insulation built onto your roof.

For those of you who are not well familiar with metal roofs, insulation can run your eyes through the section where we discussed its definition at length.


How Much Is an Insulated Metal Roof?

The cost entirely depends on the material you are opting for. The installation process can cost you anywhere from $4 to $6.50 per square foot, these are the cost of the panels you are choosing. The entire insulation material and installment process will set your wallets back by $10,000 to $17,000 total.

What Is the Most Effective Roof Insulation?

Polyurethane spray foam is one of the most effective ways to insulate your roof. Its use works effectively to seal any cracks as well as to resist wind and heat.

What Is a Good R-Value for Roof Insulation?

In cold climates, it is usually advisable to install at least R-49 in the attic of the house. Which is usually equivalent to 16 fiberglass insulation. Only R-38s are needed for warmer climates.

How Much Do Insulated Metal Roof Panels Cost?

Typically, buyers only pay for foam-insulated panel materials in the range of 7 to $ 14 per square foot. The installation fee can add $ 1 per square separately.

How Much Does an Insulated Aluminum Roof Cost?

Standard aluminum insulated roofs can cost from $ 12 to $ 14 per square foot. Which varies depending on the roof span and size requirements.

Is It Recommended to Insulate Under Metal Roof?

Yes, providing a layer of insulation under a metal roof is imperative because metal is naturally a better heat conductor than wood. Quality insulation helps a home retain heat in the winter and keep cool when the temperature dips.

What Is the Best Thing to Put Under a Metal Roof?

Materials known by many different names include field paper, roofing tar paper and asphalt-soaked fill. Field underlayment is an underlayment material used on a sloping metal roof.

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