Log homes are built in some of the most beautiful, mountainous landscapes in the world. Typically, such “mountain architecture” incorporates high-pitched ceilings and complex rooflines with multiple transitions, presenting builders with unique and challenging details, such as varying roof-to-wall conditions. These problematic areas are time-consuming to construct, materials intensive, and are the areas most likely to create issues as the home ages through multiple seasons and years of enduring freeze/thaw cycles.
Developed as a way to prevent ice damming, cold roof construction is intended to ensure that the roof sheeting and finished roofing stays consistently cold from the ridge to the eave. However, cold roofs are more costly to build and typically incorporate a vented insulation system using fiberglass or cellulose. Consequently, the exposure of the insulation to moisture and dust from the ventilation significantly reduces the R-value of the insulation.
“In cold roof construction, you’re trying to accommodate the natural effects of uneven freezing temperatures by maintaining an evenly cold roof span,” Edgewood’s founder and president, Brian Schafer, explains. “However, you’re also using a system that’s unnecessarily creating thermal loss and added cost.” After exploring the issue, Schafer realized there was significant room for improvement within the typical cold roof approach.
Standard roof framing consists of rafters, insulation, sheeting, fascia, and the finished ceiling materials. Schafer and his team of engineers developed an alternative, using an expanded polystyrene foam non-structural roof paneling material that combines the insulation itself with the roof sheeting. This material is highly builder-friendly, stays in place, and, unlike traditional fiberglass insulating material (which can vary in effectiveness depending on the moisture level of its environment), will maintain its R-value under all weather conditions.
“Our process begins by laying down our proprietary, heavy natural edge decking (NED) over the log/timber structures,” explains Schafer. “Next, our team installs the fascia system around the roof and finally lays the foam panel material on top of the heavy decking for insulation and finished roof sheathing. Using this approach, we can eliminate rafters, which are time-consuming to install and allow for a thermal break every sixteen inches across the roof. We effectively run the insulation all the way out to the fascia line—not just to the wall line, as in typical cold roof construction. This eliminates the cold un-insulated soffit areas and allows Edgewood Log Homes® to maintain an even roof temperature from peak to fascia. We virtually eradicate the problem of ice damming, significantly reducing heat loss via the ceiling. And through the use of Edgewood’s proprietary, ultra-low moisture level Edgewood Natural Edge Decking™, we eliminate shrinkage in the tongue and groove at the ceiling line, meaning no gapping over time.”
Like other Edgewood innovations, the Thermal Blanket™ Roof System steps outside of the box and, rather than accepting the status quo, re-thinks the challenge, eliminating the problem. “I’ve always heard that expression, ‘You can’t solve a problem with the same mentality that created it’,” says Schafer. “To me, getting to the root of the problem and solving it is where fun and creativity lie. Delivering a better product to my clients in the process is what makes Edgewood stand out.”