Buying and installing radiant barriers
Radiant barriers are used to minimize the transfer of heat from the outdoors to an indoor location. It is important to note that radiant heat barriers only prevent transfer via radiation processes; they cannot prevent the transmission of thermal energy via convection or conduction.
Most radiant barriers are placed beneath a structure's roof. One crucial element of a radiant barrier is a gap of air between the roof and the barrier, which gives the resisted hot air a place to go.
Types of Radiant Barriers
There are two main types of radiant barriers used in residential buildings: decking and attic radiant barriers. Typically, decking is used when a radiant barrier is built during the construction of a new home, and attic radiant barriers are constructed when a homeowner wishes to add a radiant barrier to a house that wasn't originally built with one.
Foam and foil are both used in the construction of radiant barriers. Foil radiant barriers reflect the heat away, while foam radiant barriers provide a means of passing trapped air moisture – both these processes must be incorporated for the structure to have the desired effect.
Installing Radiant Barriers
If you're building your own new home and want to include a radiant barrier, you're going to use the radiant barrier decking method. You install this radiant barrier between the roof decking and the rafters, with the foil side facing the attic. This facilitates the creation and maintenance of the crucial air gap. Get a perforated barrier if this part of the building is exposed to high humidity levels on an ongoing basis.
As for attic foil radiant barriers, you'll have to get material that is laminated both on the top and bottom side. You have your choice of two ways to install radiant barrier attic foil: you can either staple the foil to the existing rafters, or you can spread it out so it covers the insulation you've already got in place.
While installing radiant barriers is generally a fairly straightforward process, it is very important that you do it correctly. If you're experiencing any trouble, don't be afraid to consult an expert at a home improvement store or a roofing or insulation professional.