This is a very common question from customers who are considering EcoFoil radiant barrier for their attic. To give a little background, since 1989 the US Department of Energy has funded many studies to learn more about radiant barriers and there have been no conclusions so far that suggest there is any risk to your shingles. The short answer is no, radiant barriers will not harm your shingles.
First of all, shingles are designed to withstand years in the hot sun. On average shingles can reach peak temperatures up to 160°F and sustain temperatures of 140°F for many hours. Studies have shown that, at peak temperatures, on average a radiant barrier can raise shingle temperatures a mere 2-5°F, which is pretty insignificant in comparison to how hot it actually is up there.
Secondly, there is no new heat energy that is generated by the presence of the radiant barrier. The increase in temperature is likely due to the fact the shingles are actually retaining more heat; whereas without the radiant barrier that shingles would radiate that heat into the attic below thereby lower the shingle temperature.
Will a radiant barrier void my shingle warranty?
Again, the answer is no. Many of the major shingle manufactures such as Owens Coming and Certain Teed Corp., have confirmed this.
It is important, however, that the radiant barrier to be installed correctly. Do not cover any soffit, ridge, or any other vents when installing your radiant barrier. To do this, leave 6” uncovered along the ridge and where the rafters meet the floor joists. This will allow the air to move freely, and allow heat to escape. For more information see our page How to install radiant barrier.
In conclusion, there is no reason to worry when installing a radiant barrier in your attic. Installing EcoFoil radiant barrier in your attic will keep your house cool and decrease your energy bills while minimizing your family’s footprint. If you have any questions or would like to learn more visit www.ecofoil.com or call 888-349-3645.