The roof is often not thought about until it starts to leak. But water is not the only thing that can leak through a roof. Another thing that leaks through is heat. Without proper insulation in place, this will continue to happen.
Furthermore, without roof insulation, it will cost you a lot more to heat up and cool down a house or a building. Take a look at the diagram on the left. There are a couple of “weak” spots you need to insulate to prevent heat from entering or escaping your home.
A home that has been recently insulated will demand a higher resale value. Insulation can be one of those upgrades that help increase the saleability of a home. Many people who buy a home would rather know that they have insulation in the roof than find out during a cold winter.
Best Roof Insulation Products
There are many different roof insulation products available in South Africa to choose from. Some of them are not SANS 10400-XA compliant. Make sure to use the name brand insulation products. Always check the R-value and density of the roof insulation materials before you buy a product. Substandard products will be disappointing at best.
Roof Insulation In Winter – Having your home insulated will keep the warmth you generate from heaters and fireplaces inside. Heat rises it’s just a known fact, and if it doesn’t meet any resistance on its trip upwards, it’s just not going to stay around and keep the house warm. Having a roof insulated or reinsulated can help keep heating costs down by keeping the heat in the home during the winter months.
Roof Insulation In Summer – Heat is not only a winter concern when it comes to insulating your home. During the summer months, the sun beats down on our roofs causing it to heat up. When the roof starts getting hot, and there is not a proper barrier of bulk insulation, the heat will radiate down into the house. Having fibreglass insulation or polyester insulation installed can help to control cooling costs during the summer months by keeping the heat out.
Acoustic Insulation and Soundproofing
Aerolite insulation in a roof will help to cut down on outside noise. It has exceptional acoustic properties and will dampen all external noises. Many people enjoy hearing the rainfall on the roof. However, the sound rain makes on a tin roof without insulation is far from pleasant. What might have sounded soothing is now something that can wake you up and make it difficult to go back to sleep.
Roof Insulation Materials and Moisture
In addition to keeping household heat in and outside heat and noise out insulation can keep moisture out. Fibreglass insulation can help keep the moisture that builds up from humidity in check. This moisture can cause mildew, having mildew can increase the chances of wood rotting. Mildew also can cause mould, and the troubles that can go along with mould are many.
Decreases Power Consumption
In short, whether the home is new or been around for a while having roof insulation is a benefit that all homeowners and renters can enjoy and benefit from. Holding the heat in during the winter and keeping the hot air out in the summer can have a definite effect on the utility bill. In a lot of cases replacing old insulation will pay for itself in utility bill savings in a relatively short time frame.
Gaps in Roof Insulation Materials
Gaps need to be avoided when installing all types of insulation. Small gaps in the product can greatly decrease the insulating value. The insulation materials need to be overlapped and fit snugly. No gaps are to be left around pipe and ducts. Holes and joins in reflective insulation need to be taped up properly and sealed. Make sure that in the corners of ceilings, floors and walls are insulated properly. A large amount of heat can be leaked from these areas if the insulation is not installed properly.
Minimum clearances need to be left around all hot objects. This applies to downlights and transformers, for safety reasons. As they can overheat and cause a problem. Make sure there is sufficient space left in the insulation around these lights.
When installing wall insulation, it must fit snugly into window and door frames. As a matter of fact, in really cold areas, metal frames should have thermal breaks to reduce heat loss around glazing. Internal walls between the house and spaces such as garages need to be insulated properly.
Bulk Roof Insulation Products
Bulk insulation should never be compressed once installed. This will reduce its ability to insulate properly. It will, however, increase the acoustic value of the material. Make sure the product has sufficient space to retain its full thickness. The best bulk insulations on the market are aerolite and isotherm. You can also combine bulk insulation like aerolite and isotherm with a reflective foil insulation to enhance the insulating performance.
Bulk and Reflective Combined
Reflective and bulk insulations are very often combined into a single roll form product. Additionally, this increases the insulating properties of the product on its own. Fibreglass insulation aerolite insulation combined with a reflective foil is called factorylite. Polyester like isotherm combined with a reflective foil is called isofoil.
Moisture needs to be kept away from bulk insulation, or you will get a decreased performance from the material. Make sure to use vapour barriers such as sisalation and spunsulation where condensation may occur. This will help to minimize a decrease in the materials R-value.
DO NOT use loose fill insulation materials in ceilings or roof spaces with a 25-degree slope or more. It can’t maintain the thickness of loose fill insulation on angles. Roll form insulation is the best route to go here. Keep the density of the material consistent and not reduce the R-value. Please note that loose fill insulation will settle by 25% over a period of time.