How to Install Radiant Barrier Roof Decking

Radiant barrier roof decking is a material installed in roofs to reduce the heat gained in summers and the heat lost in winters. Radiant barriers usually consists of a thin sheet of reflective material applied to one or both sides of the roof. They are durable, as well as easy to use or apply. They are widely used in residential, commercial and industrial buildings and can enable you to save up to 17 percent on your energy bills.

Installing radiant barrier roof decking is only a moderately challenging project. Using the tools and equipments below, as per the steps explained, you can go about the task with little difficulty.

Tools and Equipment Needed:

  • Radiant Barrier
  • Staple Gun
  • Ladder or Step Stool

Step 1: Understand the Safety Precautions

Although the installation process is fairly simple, the safety precautions to be considered while you undertake the project are mandatory. During the project, the use of a dust mask or respirator and taking special caution while working around electrical wiring (particularly junction boxes and old wiring) is advisable. The installer should see to it that he wears protective clothing, hand gloves and eye protection in order to protect himself from any possible damage. The ladder or stool to be used for the installation should also be reliable enough to support your weight. Also, see to it that you work in a reasonably moderate temperature so that a ventilation problem does not arise. You should preferably have a helper along with you so that getting immediate assistance in case of a problem is not an issue.

Step 2: Select the Material

Most roofs provide some sort of attic or airspace that can accommodate an efficient radiant barrier system, and it is especially easy to install them in newly constructed houses. Moreover, while choosing the material for your radiant barrier roof decking use material that is heavy duty, damage resistant and perforated so that it can hold the staples effectively.

Step 3: Unroll and Staple

Once the material has been selected, unroll the Radiant Barrier over the roof trusses or joists and staple them periodically (every 12 inches to 24 inches apart) with the help of a staple gun. Typically, it is easier to install it in one direction, usually an installation perpendicular to the direction of roof rafters. However, that may change as per your attic’s configuration, for it might be more convenient to install a 26-inch wide material running parallel to the trusses if your roof is a truss framed variety.

Step 4: Installation

Start the procedure from the floor and work your way up, making each layer overlap the previous one by about 2 inches. See to it that you leave a gap of approximately 2 inches between the insulation and the radiant barrier towards the base and the crest of the roof. Also make sure that you cut openings below the roof vents to provide an exhaust for the attic air.


Step 4: Important Considerations

Covering the ridges or gable vents with radiant barrier material is advisable. If your attic lacks it then the installation of one would be highly recommended. Also, it is important to ensure that a proper attic ventilation system is present so that the best results of the radiant barrier can be achieved.