best roofing insulation

Select the Best Roofing Insulation For Your Home

Selecting the best Roofing Insulation for your home is essential. Most South Africans are aware of the new SANS building legislation. In fact, for most homeowners, their home is their most significant investment. 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 Non-Combustible; however, this is not the case at this point. 

Three Major factors should be taken into account when insulating your home.

Firstly the Fire Rating of the insulation material is essential. Ask yourself if the Roof Insulation you want to install in your home is safe for hospitals, schools, and public areas?

Secondly, the R-value of any insulation installed in your roof is essential. The R-value requirements are 3.70 Upwards.

Thirdly the lifespan of the Roofing Insulation is essential. 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 several factors. Let’s have a look at these factors.

Required Fire Rating Of Insulation for Roofs

Insulation in Hospitals, Schools and shopping malls must be Non-Combustible. Safe to install Aerolite Insulation and Ecose insulation is installed in these buildings. We must insulate Entertainment and public Assembly points 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 are insulated with Thermal Insulation classified as combustible, typically found in Cellulose Paper and Polyester type insulation products.

As a direct result of the fire rating and insulation benefits, the legislation specifies 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, Tipsasa must test all Roofing Insulation material in South Africa 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.

It is arguably one of the largest Insulation manufacturing plants in the World Isover St Gobain with manufacturing plants in many countries and South Africa.

As it was called in the old days, the modern-day Aerolite Insulation or (Think Pink ) 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 non-combustible. The modern-day Aerolite has a 30 to 50-year lifespan.

More than 70 years of evolving as new technology developed in making Aerolite the brand it now is and considering that Aerolite is the oldest brand in the world. The modern-day Aerolite is produced with the new TEL FIberizing technology. It is increasing the insulation performance and lifespan, improving the indoor temperature in summer and winter.

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. Manufacturing plants in 64 countries.
  • More than 180 000 employees Worldwide.
  • In South Africa, Isover employs 1361 employees.

A far cry from the old Think Pink manufactured in South Africa by Acoustical Fiberglass Insulation.

Polyester Insulation For Roofs

There are several 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 often the size of the far smaller little factories manufacturing polyester insulation.

Polyester insulation is manufactured from recycled PET plastic bottles. Unfortunately, the Polyester Insulation materials are rated as COMBUSTIBLE with a BB 1/2 FIRE RATING.

Polyester insulation products may not be installed in Hospitals and Shopping malls. However, Isotherm 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 with a SANS compliant insulation product for all regions.

As mentioned earlier, the only drawback of all polyester insulation materials is the Combustible fire rating.

Insulation For Drywalling

For drywall partitioning, we recommend installing either CavityBatt or Cavitylite insulation.

Cellulose Insulation For Roofs

Cellulose Insulation is a relatively new insulation material. It is manufactured from recycled newsprint with all the inks and dyes and approximately 25% chemical compound.

Unfortunately, because this is a dust-like cocktail pumped into the roof, it would be a favourite for rats, etc. Chemicals include fire retardants and rat repellents 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, schools, or shopping centres.

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 remove the Cellulose with our industrial vacuum trailers, we often find large quantities of the Insulation have shifted with the wind to the opposite side of the home.

Pumped in Glass wool Insulation

Glass wool pumped in Insulation is one of our products. However, we would not install this in any roofs again 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 homeowners lean toward the safety of the AA 1/1 Fire ratings of the Ecose Insulation and the Aerolite insulation.

Install the best roofing insulation you can afford. The right Insulation will reduce the need for heating and cooling. As a result, energy saving is expected with SANS compliant insulation installed.

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 downlights must have a small breathing hole even with the class A1 Non Combustible insulation. However, with the BB 1/2 Fire ratings with the BB 1/2 fire rating, ideally, these breathing holes should be a little bigger for home safety.

Note that it is not ideal to fit downlight cones over downlights as these cones can melt into the wiring, as we often see in homes when we remove the Cellulose.

If you have Insulation installed that will absorb water, be aware of the effects of the fine paper dust.

Roll form insulation is not affected by wind in the roof space, so the Insulation will not shift.

The lifespan of home insulation is essential.