Can I insulate the underside of my roof?

Can I insulate the underside of my roof?

Ceiling heat insulator

When a sound wave with an energy (Ei) strikes the surface of a material, a portion of its energy will be specularly reflected (Er), another portion of the energy will be ‘absorbed’ by the material (Ea) and finally another portion of the energy will be transmitted through the material (Et).

As we observe in the following balance, when we increase the absorbing capacity (pj we double it), we only reduce the amount of energy reflected, the amount of energy transmitted remaining practically unchanged.

For both families this is a very generic description; in practice, within each of them, there are different subclasses, and in some of them materials are even used, with very specific characteristics, which basically belong to the opposite family.

Thermally insulated roof

In this regard, we will rely on a documentation of the Instituto Valenciano de la Edificación (IVE) that contains 10 informative documents; 3 on pitched roofs and 7 on flat roofs. Each document is structured:

If we want to see more information, from the article on the types of constructions and their technical solutions we will find more details but referred by periods and epochs. And in the case of a more complex roof from the perspective of landscaped roofs, we can consult the article on landscaped roofs where you will find several valuable manuals and technical documentation.

As it can be verified in the previous scheme (The %), the main causes do not always respond precisely to a certain old age in the cover, in its greater part they are previous causes, derived from the project and its construction. If we go a little deeper into the information, we have a diagnosis of roof pathologies as a scheme:

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The two previous schemes are from the document Manual de Patología en Edificación HERE of the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid. In addition, for its usefulness we also recommend to see the following two articles:

How to insulate the heat from the zinc roof

Although you cannot start building a house from the roof, it is true that it is a fundamental element because it protects the interior from external inclemencies. Therefore, it is important to know which roof and roofing you should choose for your home; know the different varieties and the advantages of their roofs to select the most appropriate ones taking into account the location, budget, function and weather conditions.

Similar to the previous ones but instead of vegetation they have water. Recommended for places with a large temperature difference between night and day. The disadvantage is that they can leak to the lower parts.

Suitable for flat and sloping roofs. They can be made of tiles or panels. They are relatively inexpensive and their installation is very simple since they can be placed over the existing roof.

With this type of roofing you will not have problems of mold or corrosion and they provide a great climatic insulation. In addition, they are very light and with them the space is optimized to the maximum because the beams and supports occupy very little.

Thermally insulated shingles

Since you don’t really need the insulation while you’re moving, why not build a quick-install temporary skirt around the base of the truck? Then you’ll have a huge air space under the car. Park the van, attach the skirt and use the still air as insulation.

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Is it possible to replace the roof with a higher or extendable roof? That would solve the clearance problem and also give more room for cabinets. You can always use more storage space, esp. if you live in the van full time.

@Hobbes I just installed a new high ceiling. I figured I’d have 2 inches of clearance after insulating the roof (I imagine insulating the top of the van is a higher priority than insulating the bottom.

@enderw88 Not a bad idea, but I’m trying to build a “stealth van” in case my travels take me into a city late at night and I need to park on the street. A skirt would be quite conspicuous, as well as cumbersome to put on, take off and store.

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