Roof insulation may seem like a simple process - measure, cut, and install. But effective insulation installation requires a professional to consider a number of issues, like the building frame, ventilation, air gaps, and vapour barriers. Your installers will then choose the best type of insulation for your climate and home and organise installation for you. Here are some common types of insulation service and what you can expect from each:
Bulk insulation is the most common type of insulation because of its availability and effectiveness. It works by trapping millions of air pockets that resist heat. This type of insulation can come in batts, boards, or loose-fill, and can be produced from a variety of materials. Your installer will climb into your roof cavity to access the ceiling and measure the required dimensions. Next, they’ll cut the material to the right size and install your insulation. They’ll be careful to avoid compressing the bulk insulation, as the compression can reduce air pockets and compromise the material’s insulation ability.
Many consider batts insulation as the best format for bulk insulation. This type of insulation often comes in rolls and is easy to transport and carry. Ceiling batts insulation can be made from a range of materials, including natural wool, polyester, fibreglass, and rockwool. Your installer will help you choose the best option based on your budget, environmental concerns, the potential for fire hazards, and other factors. They’ll install your insulation batts, ensuring no gaps between insulation. When they’re finished, they’ll clean up the area and any tools used.
Board insulation has a high insulating value for a relatively small thickness. This type of insulation is useful in buildings where there is very little space between the ceiling and the roof. It’s most popular for commercial buildings. Board insulation usually comes in polystyrene or polyisocyanurate (PIR). Polyisocyanurate is a thermoset, rigid foam, typically with reflective foil laminate on one or both sides, and has excellent fire and moisture absorption properties. Polystyrene is generally used for buildings where thermal performance is required because of its exceptional compressive strength. Your installer will recommend the most suitable materials for your building.
Loose-fill can be used in ceilings, however, it can settle over time and lose effectiveness. Loose-fill is best used for adding insulation to the nooks and crannies around irregularly shaped areas and obstructions. The most common materials for this type of insulation include cellulose, fibreglass, and mineral wool (rock or slag). Your installer will recommend the best type of loose-fill depending on the weather conditions and temperature ranges in your home.
Reflective foil insulation
Reflective foil works by reducing the heat transfer across enclosed spaces. This material works most effectively when the shiny surface faces inwards towards an enclosed space - like in most roofs. Your installer may use reflective foil on its own or with bulk insulation for an effective ‘hybrid insulation’. The roof insulation installation process is similar to the ceiling insulation installation, however, the installer will use a staple gun to apply the material to the roof. The most commonly used materials for this type of insulation include wall wrap, aluminium foil adhered to paper or plastic substrate, concertina batts, foiled cardboard, and/or foiled bubble wrap.