Summer heat takes a big toll on your energy budget, so you need all the help you can get. Radiant barriers such as foil-backed plywood sheathing can make a difference in your utility bill, especially in hot, sunny climates. They work by preventing the heat in a roof or wall from radiating into the interior of the building. Although it's not necessarily worth tearing your house apart to retrofit, if a new roof, room addition or remodel is in the plans, foil-backed sheathing is just as easy to install.
Things You'll Need
- Level or straightedge
- Shims (optional)
- 8d ring shank nails
- 10d common nails
Use a level or straightedge placed across the rafters or wall studs to make sure the mounting surface is reasonably even. Shim if necessary.
Inspect the foil backing for damage. Clean the face of each panel prior to installation. Install roof and attic gable-wall sheathing with the foil facing in toward the interior of the building. Install living space wall sheathing with the foil facing out toward the exterior of the building.
Attach the sheathing using 8d ring shank nails. Drive a nail every 6 inches on each edge of the sheathing, and every 12 inches on the studs or rafters in between. Leave a 1/8-inch space between each of the panels where they meet at the edges and ends. The 10d common nails make convenient 1/8-inch spacers.
Install roofing felt or shingle underlayment over roof sheathing as soon as possible to protect the sheathing from moisture. Consult the manufacturer when installing siding over foil-backed sheathing. In general, furring strips should be used to provide an air space between radiant barrier sheathing and siding.
Tips & Warnings
- Check the manufacturer's data sheet to make sure the type and thickness of sheathing you use is rated for your application and installed to proper specifications.
- Foil-backed plywood sheathing is not intended as a vapor barrier or a replacement for house wrap.
- Photo Credit Photos.com/Photos.com/Getty Images
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