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roof insulation types

Insulation is an essential energy-saving feature for any home. In this post, we cover a few roof insulation types. My aim is to give readers the information to make the correct choice in selecting roof insulation. In years gone by there were only two or three roof insulation types on the market. As a result, selecting the roof insulation of your choice was simple. It is important to select a roof insulation product ideal for your application.

Today all homes must insulated; new building regulations insist on insulation, and that insistence should apply to all households. From the foundation or even the basement up to the roof, installing the correct insulation is vital. In South Africa, the new Building Legislation (SANS Legislation.) Requires roof insulation for all homes specific to the region. Some homeowners have questioned the legislation. However, the reason for this shift is energy efficiency and global warming and climate change.

As all South African know, we are in a major energy crisis with load shedding being implemented regularly. Insulated homes require far less energy for heating and cooling. It is a fact that insulated houses have an improved indoor temperature of 4 – 8 degrees in summer and winter.

Roof Insulation Types For Your Home

With insulation being compulsory in all new homes, a good deal of unscrupulous insulation manufactures have appeared on the market with many insulation types. The aim is to cash in on what many assume is a lucrative market. Likewise, the number of insulation types imported from countries like China has increased exponentially.

Is this good or bad for the insulation industry?

Well, considering all the facts over the last few years I believe it has been both good and bad. In most cases it has been poor insulation types trying and massive margins on what we would call rudish insulation. On the other hand, it has forced reputable installers to look at the quality of insulation products that they promote.

What many did not take into account when importing insulation is that all insulation products must now be at the very least tested by the SABS and TIASSA? These tests cost as much as R 80 000 for TIASSA and R 150 000 for SABS testing for all insulation variants and thickness.

Why is this important you may ask? The tests required are to ensure a minimum level of safety and insulation effectiveness. It relates the safety aspect of insulation to fire rating and the insulation required R-value.

Roof Insulation Types in South Africa

The major insulation types available in South Africa are:

  • Roll type insulation: Isotherm Insulation, Aerolite Insulation, Knauf Insulation an imported insulation for roofs.
  • Insulation Batts: Used extensively in the USA as well as the UK and Europe. Our problem in this country is every roof space have beams at varying width apart. As a result wastage of insulation is a major factor increasing the insulation cost substantially.
  • Loose Insulation: A blow in type insulation that has not been very succesfull. Mostly because our winds tend to blow the insulation in all directions in the roof space. Cellulose is newspaper converted into insulation so the wors problem is water absorbtion and ceiling dammage.
    • Loose Fill Insulation is also available in glasswool. However with the wind factor in the country we do not install this type either.

Loose-Fill Insulation

Loose-fill insulation recycled newspaper that is a fine paper like dust with a host of chemicals. The paper will be highly flammable in the roof space, and this could become a fire hazard.

Added to the cellulose is a 25% chemical compound of fire retardants, rat repellants, etc. The downfall cellulose insulation is there is no way of knowing what thickness is installed.

It is difficult to compare the thickness of blown-in cellulose. As the thickness of cellulose will be achieved by what the installer assumes to be correct. Loose-fill insulation has not been a very successful roof insulation type. One reason is cellulose shifts with the wind leaving you exposed in terms of insulation.

The other problem is rain or water damage as cellulose will absorb water. The result will be the inevitable ceiling collapse. If you have this in your roof space and need it removed because of allergies or water damage, call us as we have a massive roof vacuum machine that removes this paper.

Loose-fill insulation would not be regarded as eco friendless; the product can’t be recycled and contains a substantial amount of chemicals.

Isotherm Insulation The Most Popular of The Roof Insulation Types

The Isotherm is very popular as the insulation is dust-free and allergy-free. This makes Isotherm one of the most popular roof insulation types.

Matt or Batt insulation such as ISOTHERM does not settle easily. ISOTHERM is a 100% green insulation product soft to touch and quick to install in the roof or attic space. Roof Insulation products like Isotherm are eco-friendly insulation products.

The 145mm Isotherm insulation is SANS compliant and is the best insulation for your roof. When deciding on the thickness of Roof Insulation to install always read the Isotherm technical specifications.

Think Pink Aerolite a Fibreglass Roof Insulation Types

The Aerolite Roof Insulation comes in several roof insulation sizes. Think Pink Aerolite is another very effective roll type insulation. In fact, Aerolite insulation is one of the oldest forms of roof insulation.

The Aerolite insulation is also very effective because it is a roll form of insulation, so the thickness is consistent.  The 135mm Aerolite is the most popular insulation in the Aerolite range and is also SANS compliant.

The Aerolite insulation is also very effective because it is a roll form of insulation, so the thickness is consistent.  The 135mm Aerolite is the most popular insulation in the Aerolite range and is also SANS compliant.

Before installing any form of roof insulation, checking the insulated space for air leakage, cracks, gaps and other issues that could hinder the insulation process is essential. Insulation measured by an R-value, ensuring the right product with the highest R-value is used is necessary. Do not neglect hidden areas such as where decking placed over rafters.

Do not neglect hidden areas such as where decking placed over rafters. This is one of many examples of where to insulate that is easily missed, thus reducing the efficiency of insulation.

Geyser and Pipe Insulation

Insulating around water pipes and installing a geyser blanket are both important areas to insulate that will maximise the energy saving in your home. Hot water cylinders are energy-intensive, and a geyser blanket will improve its efficiency. Hot water pipes lose heat when not lagged, and this again saves energy for a little extra cost. Wrap your Geyser with 145mm ISOTHERM insulation for best effect. Do not use commercially bought geyser blanket as they are useless

Hot-water pipes lose heat when not lagged, and this again saves energy for a little extra cost. Wrap your Geyser with 145mm ISOTHERM insulation for best effect. Do not use commercially bought geyser blanket as they are useless.

If your home has central air-conditioning, do not forget to insulate the ducts. Installing insulation reduces the dependency on air conditioning, but when air conditioning is used, insulating the ducts increases its efficiency.

Open Ceilings or Cathedral Ceilings

Cathedral ceilings are open ceilings that extend above wall height toward the apex of the roof. Often Cathedral is built to expose the rafters and create more space in a room or home. These ceilings can be challenging to insulate without disturbing the aesthetics of the room. Adequate space between a home’s ceiling and the roof deck must be provided to ensure optimal insulation and ventilation.

These ceilings can be challenging to insulate without disturbing the aesthetics of the room. Adequate space between a home’s ceiling and the roof deck must be provided to ensure optimal insulation and ventilation.

As with all insulation, the insulated area should be fully sealed, and any cracks or areas where warm air can escape addressed. Properly seal the roof space to avoid condensation or moisture build-up.

Cathedral ceilings are challenging examples of where to insulate and the solution is straightforward. Foil-backed is the ideal insulation material to use in this situation. Rigid foam insulation can also be used that must be covered with a fire retardant material. It is recommended that insulation is professionally installed in homes with open ceilings to ensure optimal results.

Rigid foam insulation can also be used that must be covered with fire-retardant material. We recommend that insulation is professionally installed in homes with open ceilings to ensure optimal results.

Insulating your exterior walls

Another example of where to insulate is the walls of a home. Walls may seem well insulated, but the vast majority are far less energy efficient as thought. Insulating the walls of a house is an area that many South African would not consider as an example of where to insulate.

The walls are a relatively straightforward place to insulate a home or any other building. The walls are a relatively straightforward place to insulate a home or any other building.

When building or planning to build a new property, wall insulation should be considered from the outset. Building insulation into a home from the construction phase is vastly more effective than insulating at a later stage.

The CAVITY BATT is the most effective insulation for cavity walls. We can insulate wall cavities with a variety of insulation materials. Blowing insulation into the cavity is a quick and effective insulation method. Rigid board insulation cut to size makes insulation affordable and effective. Another option is to spray insulating foam into the cavity.

Insulating the walls is an example of where to insulate that is an overlooked area but an area that can bring tremendous energy and cost savings to the home.

In a new home, it is easy to install wall insulation and areas that out of reach once constructed can be insulated. A new home built with energy-saving in mind makes the entire house an example of where to insulate from the ground up.

From the ground up

An example of where to insulate that many won’t even believe is the foundation of a home. Insulating the foundation is not practical for existing homes, but when building a new property, it is a valuable addition to any property. Insulating foundation walls and a basement, if a basement is being built, introduces considerable energy savings to the new home.

When building a home with a basement, there are several advantages to foundation insulation. The benefits and advantages include:

  • Thermal bridging is reduced, and it minimises heat loss through the foundation
  • The damp course is protected when backfilling.
  • Reduced moisture intrusion

Energy-Efficient Homes use Less Energy

Energy-efficient homes even if they use wood-burning fireplaces or other forms of heating, will absorb less energy. The same applies will cooling and the running of energy-efficient air conditioners in summer. The need for both hot and cold energy will reduce substantially. Many energy-efficient products for heating and cooling are on the market now.

Many energy-efficient products for heating and cooling are on the market now. In fact, Energy-efficient stoves, as well as many other energy-efficient appliances, are being produced worldwide in an effort to save energy.

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