Selecting the best Roofing Insulation for your home is essential. In fact, for most homeowners, their home are their biggest investment. The facts are that most South Africans are aware of the new SANS building legislation. As a result of this legislation, all new homes must comply with the new legislation. However many homeowners and some officials are still confused about what this entails. So the question is How to Select the Best roofing insulation for your home? Ideally all insulation materials should be formaldehyde free however this is not the case at this point in time. However the New Aerolite Insulation and the Ecose Insulation from Germany are formaldehyde free in terms of the binders used..
Three Major factors should be taken into account when insulating your home
Firstly the Fire Rating of the insulation material is important. Ask yourself the question is the Roof Insulation you want installed in your home safe for Hospitals and Schools and public areas?
Secondly the R-value of any insulation installed in your roof is very important. The R-value requirements are 3.70 Upwards.
Thirdly the lifespan of the Roofing Insulation is important. Insulation should not collapse with time and must not have water absorption problems.
The picture on the right shows the heat loss areas of the home. As one can see the highest areas of loss via heat gain is via the roof space.
How to Select the Best Roofing Insulation for Your Home or Building
Importantly one must consider a number of factors. Let’s have a look at these factors.
Required Fire Rating Of Insulation for Roofs
- Hospitals must be insulated with Non-Combustible Roofing Insulation Materials. Safe to install Aerolite Insulation and Ecose insulation.
- Entertainment and public Assembly points must be insulated with Non-Combustible Roofing Insulation.
- Places of detention must be insulated with Non-Combustible Roofing Insulation.
- Hotels and Dormitories must be insulated with Non-Combustible Roof Insulation.
- Homes CAN be insulated with classified combustible insulation. Typically found in Cellulose Paper and Polyester type insulation products.
As a direct result of the fire rating and insulation benefits the legislation is specific that all high traffic areas like Shopping Malls Hospitals etc must be insulated with Non-Combustible Insulation materials.
Types Of Roof Insulation Available In South Africa
Most importantly remember all Roofing Insulation material in South Africa must be tested by Tipsasa in
order to check fire rating and R-value. Most homeowners are aware of the legislation so be sure to select carefully.
Ecose Thermal Insulation For Roofs
Imported from Germany Ecose Insulation is a Formaldehyde Free insulation. As a result the Ecose thermal insulation is one of the few insulation materials for roofs that is safe to all including Hospitals and Schools Etc. Formaldehyde free means their is no cancer potential in the binder of the insulation. In fact, Ecose is manufactured from volcanic rock and naturally occurring silica sand.
Aerolite Insulation For Roofs
Aerolite with Ecose above are the only Thermal Insulation products that are regarded as the safest products available for schools Hospitals and high traffic areas like Shopping Malls.
Manufactured by arguably one of the largest Insulation manufacturing plants in the World Isover St Gobain with manufacturing plants in many countries and now in South Africa. In fact, the modern-day Aerolite Insulation or (Think Pink ) as it was called in the old days is regarded as one of the safest and best Roof Insulation products for the home. Therefore Aerolite is now one of very few Ceiling Insulation products that are proudly FORMALDEHYDE Free. The modern-day Aerolite has a 30 to 50-year lifespan.
As a result of more than 70 years of evolving as new technology developed in making Aerolite the brand that it now is. Considering that Aerolite is the oldest brands in the world. In fact, in the early days, many insulation products even had Asbestos in the mix. As we all know Asbestos is now illegal in all homes and buildings including Roof Sheeting.
- Isover St Gobain celebrates 350 years in 2o15 The Largest Insulation manufacturer in the world by far. With Manufacturing Plants in 64 countries.
- More than 180 000 employees Worldwide
- In South, Africa Isover employ 1361 employees
Clearly, a far cry from the old so-called Think Pink that was manufactured in South Africa by Acoustical Fiberglass Insulation.
Polyester Insulation For Roofs
In fact, there are a number of Polyester Insulation manufacturers in South Africa. Most Polyester Insulation plants are medium size plants. However, the Brits Non-woven plant that manufactures the Isotherm Insulation is many times the size of the far smaller little factories that manufacture polyester insulation.
Polyester insulation manufactured from recycled PET plastic bottles. Unfortunately, the Polyester Insulation materials are rated as COMBUSTIBLE with a BB 1/2 FIRE RATING. Therefore Polyester insulation products may not be installed in Hospitals and Shopping malls. However they can be installed in homes.
Isotherm Insulation is by far the more consistent of the polyester insulation products on the market in SA. As a result, Isotherm is the only polyester insulation that has a SANS compliant insulation product for all regions. As mentioned earlier the only drawback of all polyester insulation materials is the Combustible fire rating.
Cellulose Insulation For Roofs
Cellulose Insulation is a relatively new insulation material. Manufactured from recycled newsprint with all the inks and dyes and approximately 25% chemical compound. Unfortunately, because of this being a dust like cocktail pumped into the roof it would be a favorite for rats etc. Chemicals include fire retardants and rat repellents in order to create a reasonably safe environment.
Cellulose Insulation is regarded as COMBUSTIBLE with a BB 1/2 FIRE RATING. Therefore unlike the Aerolite and the Ecose the Cellulose may not be installed in Hospitals or Schools or Shopping centers.
Pitfalls of Cellulose include water absorption if you have a roof leak it can end up being a disaster as the inevitable ceiling collapse will result. Hopefully, no family members are below at this time. Added to this is the Wind factor in the Cape. When we are removing the Cellulose with our industrial vacuum trailers we often find large quantities of the insulation has shifted with the wind to the opposite side of the home.
Pumped in Glass wool Insulation
In fact, Glass wool pumped in insulation is one of our products. However here again we would not install this in any roofs as the wind factor will also come into play with the insulation shifting with time.
Factors To Consider When You Select The Best Roofing Insulation For Your Home
- Firstly Fire Rating would be the first factor to consider. Most home owners lean toward the safety of the AA 1/1 Fire ratings of the Ecose Insulation and the Aerolite insulation.
- Importantly make sure that wherever possible all wires are laid above the insulation installed in your roof. From a safety point of view this is very important.
- All down light must have a small breathing hole even with the class A1 Non Combustible insulation. However with the BB 1/2 Fire ratings however with the BB 1/2 fire rating ideally these breathing holes should ideally be a little bigger for home safety. Note it is not ideal to fit down light cones over down lights as these cones can melt into the wiring as we often see in homes when we are removing the cellulose.
- If you have insulation installed that will absorb water be aware of the affects of water absorption with the fine paper dust.
- Roll form insulation is not affected by wind in the roof space so the insulation will not shift.
- Lifespan of the home insulation is important.