The Power of Polyisocyanurate Insulation for Commercial Roofs in Chicago
With rising energy prices and a worldwide emphasis on energy conservation, optimizing your heating system and minimizing structural heat loss is more crucial than ever. Insulation is one of the most effective ways to achieve this, and one of the most economical insulation solutions for the structure you’re constructing or designing is a polyisocyanurate (polyiso) roof installation.
Polyisocyanurate, affectionately known as “polyiso,” is one of the globe’s most prevalent construction materials, representing more than 75% of insulation utilized in North American commercial building construction.
Polyiso is typically used as continuous insulation for roofs or as a shielding roof cover board. It’s a closed-cell, firm foam board linked to facers on both sides, primarily consisting of organic substances, including polyol, a blowing agent, and polymeric methylene diphenyl diisocyanate (MDI).
This composition, in conjunction with its use with diverse facers, offers several advantages:
- Compatibility with numerous roofing systems
- Certified long-term thermal performance
- Low global warming potential (GWP) blowing agents
- Industry-wide Environmental Product Declaration (EPD)
These factors make polyiso the preferred product for low-slope commercial roofing.
Polyiso essentially matches gypsum, a common alternative, in aspects like moisture resistance, fire resistance, and uplift properties. However, polyiso’s benefits are clear: it is lighter, easier to transport, and simpler to handle on a roof. Polyiso cover boards even protect the underlying insulation from roof traffic and facilitate the use of renewable energy systems, like rooftop solar power.
The high R-value, indicating the material’s insulation effectiveness, of polyiso is another advantage. High R-values signify better performance, an inherent attribute of polyiso cover boards. With current energy codes setting minimum insulation standards, polyiso is a superb choice to meet and even surpass these requirements.
Easy Installation and Environmentally Friendly
Mounting polyiso insulation on any roof enhances the building’s overall thermal efficiency, increases fire resistance, and helps reduce energy expenditures. The GWP of the blowing agents used in manufacturing polyiso insulation is crucial in assessing its environmental impact.
GWP evaluates gases to establish their impact on global warming, specifically the energy absorbed by the emission of one ton of a gas compared to one ton of carbon dioxide over a given period.
Manufacturers in North America utilize pentane, a hydrocarbon with zero ozone depletion potential (ODP), and low-GWP blends, known as pentane, to produce polyiso insulation products. Pentane’s GWP value of less than ten ensures polyiso insulation products align with climate regulations limiting the manufacture or installation of products with higher GWPs.
This means contractors, such as the team at Third Coast Exteriors, can recommend polyiso insulation products with confidence, knowing they comply with any regulations. By forming effective air barriers on top floors, isolating a building from external elements, and reducing the need for large heating and air conditioning units, polyiso contributes to energy conservation in more ways than one.
The unique structure of polyiso grants it excellent fire-resistant properties. Isocyanurate chemical bonds allow a high-temperature resistance of nearly 390 degrees Fahrenheit, more than double that of most insulation foams. This makes polyiso less prone to surface burning and can help inhibit the spread of fire. With rigorous code standards regarding fire performance in commercial buildings, contractors have significantly more flexibility when insulating roofs with polyiso.
Polyiso insulation has always been a top choice for commercial roofs in Chicago, and recent technological advancements in its formulation continue to make it more cost-effective and eco-friendly.
Third Coast Exteriors recommends considering polyiso insulation for your roofing projects this winter. This insulation option will not only help you save on energy costs but will also keep you cozy during the chilly Chicago winter months