An insulated patio roof is a smart outdoor improvement to your home.

You might be thinking, “Why insulate over outdoor space? After all, I’m not trying to trap any heated or cooled air below, as I am inside my home.”

True, but remember this: Insulation works both ways. Unlike a thin aluminum pan roof, an insulated roof will help you keep heat away from your patio. And that will make your patio much more comfortable than it’s ever been.

An insulated patio roof will:

  • Look better.
  • Add more value.
  • Keep you in touch with the outdoors.
  • Shade completely.
  • Shed rain, and in most cases, channel drainage so it doesn’t splatter.
  • Prevent heat from penetrating the roof and reaching the patio.
  • Safely conceal electrical cabling for ceiling lights and fans.

High-End Appearance of Insulated Roofing

An insulated roof looks more substantial because, quite simply, it is.

An insulated aluminum patio roof uses aluminum-clad foam panels. They make the roof panels 3 to 6 inches thick—not just at the edges, where the fascia on a pan roof may be that tall, but all across the panels.

A pan roof has a less-finished look, with the pan roof sections either corrugated or creased to add rigidity. They may be painted or unfinished. By contrast, the insulated panels on a quality patio roof—the Renaissance Patio Products Moderno and Classico are good examples—have factory-finished aluminum facing on the top and on the underside. That means your view when siting or standing on your patio is neat and uncluttered. The finish is the same 3-mil powder coat that you see on all the other framing members.

Because of the more permanent, more finished look of insulated patio roofing, you can expect that an insulated roof will retain more of its value than a pan roof. Neither, to be honest, will return 100 percent.

In Touch with the Outdoors

Under an insulated roof, you’ll still feel very much outdoors, though much cooler than if you were in the sun. The sides are open, so you’ll have a view of the lawn and garden, and you’ll even smell the blooms.

Deep Shade Cools

An insulated roof shades completely and deeply. The shade itself lowers patio temperatures by preventing the concrete pad from acting as a heat sink. Although the air may be the same temperature as it is beyond the patio, the patio itself will feel 10-15 degrees cooler than if it were exposed to the sun.

What’s more, heat will not radiate through the insulated roofing panels as it would a non-insulated aluminum roof.

Solid Roofs Protect from Rain

An insulated roof, once properly assembled, is solid from front to back and from side to side.

Insulated roofing panels interlock, and the joints between panels are sealed to discourage leaks. A properly designed and executed insulated roof—such as the Renaissance Moderno or Classico insulated patio roofs—will carry the rain away and deposit the water into a drainage system in the end caps. The gutter system is completely, stylishly hidden but totally effective at preventing splatters.

Hiding Electrical Lines

Some insulated patio roof panels, such as those from Renaissance patio products, are engineered to safely carry and hide electrical lines from view. That means your contractor can run lines to a ceiling fan or ceiling light, but you’ll never see the electrical cables, as you might on a wooden structure. Extending the lines to a switch makes operation easy. Installation of fans and lights that are remote–controlled add convenience.

You might also want to have ground-fault outlets installed, to power hot plates, slow cookers, an outdoor refrigerator and phone/laptop chargers.

Disadvantages of Insulated Patio Roofs

Color choices may be limited. Aluminum patio roofs typically come in white, off-white, or beige.  They seldom come in tones that mimic stained wood.

It’s rare, but occasionally a municipality or community with a homeowners association requires a patio roof to be made of wood. You’ll pay more for wood than for insulated aluminum, with less insulation capability.

Finally, there’s the cost compared with non-insulated aluminum pan roofing. You’ll pay perhaps 30 percent more for insulated aluminum roof panels than for thin aluminum pan roofing. Once you feel the comfort delivered by the insulated roof, however, you’re bound to decide the upgrade to insulated roof panels is worthwhile.

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