Roofing Aluminum Sunroom Roof Cooling, sunroom

Roofing Aluminum Sunroom Roof Cooling, sunroom

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Question

Sunroom (Long Island,

QUESTION: I was hoping you could help me with this question. We have a long standing, structurally sound, aluminum sunroom (3 windowed sides) which we love to use. The recent hot weather has made it impossible to enter! The guy at Home Depot is suggesting that we install Super Tuff-R insulation between the beams on the inside roof (with the silver side visible). In your opinion, will this product actually cool our sunroom down to at least a bearable stage? I’ve attached a picture to give you a better idea.

Thanks for taking the time to answer — I really do appreciate it.

Maryann

ANSWER: Maryann,

Thanks for the question and trust me when I say your not alone in wanting to keep cool. The sunroom that you have made of aluminum materials is one of the strongest and most durable sunrooms compared to other materials that are used. The draw back to a fully aluminum structure and panels is heat transfer. The picture that has been attached is very helpful. I see that you get a lot of sun on that side of the home and this will definitely cause the roof to get hot and also this will radiate through the aluminum beams. The product that your local home improvement store would be a good material to use but in my opinion the foil side up towards the heat would be better.

By using the Super Tuff R or any other insulating material on the surface going across the aluminum beams would help reduce heat transfer greatly. This is what is called a thermal break. If you use insulating products cut to go in between the beams the heat will still radiant through the structure.

The other thing to keep in mind is how will this material be fastened to the sunroom. A long self drilling metal to metal fastener with some type of a washer would be needed to go through the insulating board into the structure.

Make sure to tape the seams so that it will be well sealed. When using an insulating board material look for at least a 1" thick material. This will typically give you an insulating factor of R-6 on average which will help reduce heat transfer and also help retain heat in the winter months the best.

By doing these things it will help lower the temperature in that space. This is my opinion on your question and I am sure there are better ways to lower the temperature but in regards to the suggestion from the guy at home depot this seems like a viable solution.

Thanks

QUESTION: I can’t thank you enough for taking the time to answer my question above so quickly and so thoroughly! It is indeed greatly appreciated. I should make clear that this home and sunroom belongs to my 88 year-old parents who I am currently staying with due to my Mom’s ill health. My Dad is still fit and feisty at 88 (mowing his own lawn 3 times a week!) and is planning on doing this work himself with me (God help us) as his trusty apprentice.

He seems to think that he is going to cut the Super Tuff R (1") insulating material into the required internal spacing between the beams. By doing this, I think he is hoping that the insulation board will simply be held in place by the "lip" of the beams. Are you instead recommending that the material should be laid flat up against the internal roof and drilled into place there? Walking on this roof for either of us is kind of a no-no. Being that it’s made of aluminum, I would question whether it would support the weight of someone up there. Or am I completely wrong there too? Or are you suggesting that we lay the insulating boards over the internal beams — in effect creating a flat-like roof/ceiling?

Doing this project the way my Dad proposes would mean that no taping of the seams would be necessary since it would be individual pieces between each of the supports/beams. I’m attaching a photo of the internal roof/ceiling so you get a better idea of what I’m talking about.

One other question for you: seeing that we would absolutely follow your advice to place the material silver side facing UP, we are going to be left with the lettering of the insulating material as a new decoration on our ceiling! Obviously plaster board would be too heavy to attach to the beams to cover this. What would you suggest to make this more visually appealing?

And I also get what you say about other ways to lower the temp in this room. I’m looking into the option of tinting the glass and also adding more shades. There is already a ceiling fan in place (picture 1). I’ve looked into portable AC units, but they are really quite costly.

Roofing Aluminum Sunroom Roof Cooling, sunroom

My two parents really enjoy this space from March thru November since they have full view of all that is happening on the street, there is great light for reading, and more importantly for me and my Dad — with my Mom having Alzheimers and having a fondness for wandering, this seems to be one area where she is quite content to sit and stay in one place.

Thanks again for ANY advice you can offer. My Dad does love projects and I like to keep him busy with them. But I don’t want us to go down the wrong track with materials or the installation of the materials — or just be wasting our time and money doing this project with little projected benefit.

Thanks again!

Maryann

Answer

Maryann,

The insulating material that you use could be placed in between the beams if this is the best method for the person installing it. The method I was speaking of would be on the underside across the beams for maximum insulating performance.

As for the looks from the underside there are other insulating board material that are more appealing and do not have as much lettering. Another suggestion would be to use a light weight paneling over the insulation for a more finished look. By also using a lightweight paneling this would be a good option if placing the insulating material in between the beams and also help keep that material in place.

If looked at from an investment viewpoint it would bring more value to the home to go ahead and do a complete job and go for a finished look.


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