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Beware of conservatory insulation and cladovers

We Have Seen The TV Adverts – What’s The Truth Behind The Offers?

We all know roughly how much it could cost to install a tiled roof to a conservatory, and if you have an old conservatory that needs updating to make it comfortable to enjoy all year round, you have no doubt done your research online. Along the way, you may have come across companies offering conservatory insulation.

Conservatory insulation is a method of cladding an old conservatory roof and many companies claim that this will transform your conservatory into a thermally efficient room that can be used all year round.

This blog has been put together by Greenoak Concept & Design – Essex approved installer of Supalite tiled conservatories – to explain why choosing a conservatory insulation company may not be the most sensible idea. We will explain the many risks posed by conservatory insulation and what other options are available that really will provide you with a new room that is thermally efficient, warm, bright and structurally sound.

Conservatory Insulations – What You Need To Know

There are a number of risks associated with the installation of conservatory insulation onto your old conservatory. Here we will take a look at each of the conservatory insulation risks in turn, and the potential impact they could have on your property.

1 Drilling The Glazing Bars During Installation

The glazing bars on a conservatory roof do an important job. As the name suggests, they hold the glazing in place. However, our glazing bars also have other important secondary functions  – to provide rigidity and assist with ventilation and water drainage.

When drilling into these critically important conservatory components during a conservatory insulation installation, these features and functions can be compromised, resulting in the strength and ventilation of the roof to decrease significantly.

The glazing bars on a conservatory are highly technical components and feature a number of parts, including gaskets, baffles and other important components. These parts provide watertight protection against the elements. By drilling into these glazing bars at several different points, companies open up a component that was designed to create a seal, exposing the conservatory to the risk of leaks

2 Attaching Timber And Weight To The Glazing Bars During A Conservatory Insulation Project

The second stage of a conservatory insulation installation is to attach timber to the length of each glazing bar. When your conservatory roof was originally designed, there would have been a large number of calculations to ensure that it was structurally safe and sound.

These factors include the glazing material (glass or polycarbonate), the size and shape of the roof, the weight of the roof and the geographical location. Location is a crucial factor as a conservatory roof needs to be able to withstand the worst possible wind and snow loads that may be experienced at your exact location.

After considering all of these factors, a conservatory roof is designed and calculations are performed to work out what strength of glazing bars are needed to ensure structural integrity. When a conservatory insulation company comes along and attaches timber battens right along the length of every glazing bar, they are altering the dynamics of the roof by placing a heavy load on it that was not allowed for during the original design calculations.

The worst-case scenario is that this load from the conservatory insulation timber could potentially lead to the collapse of a roof – especially on conservatories that are old.

At Greenoak, we design our high-spec conservatory roof systems to fit your existing roof framework exactly. This helps to ensure that your new roof is able to withstand strong winds and heavy snow loads. Our Supalite roof system removes the risks and problems that are associated with conservatory insulation. This system does not require the use of heavy timber battens and therefore introduces no additional load to your conservatory.

3 Complete Thermal Barrier From Conservatory Insulations

After attaching the timber battens, the next two stages in a conservatory insulation installation are to attach a thermal quilt followed by PVC cladding or even worse plaster. These materials provide a complete thermal barrier, which conservatory insulation companies promote as a positive. However, there is no way of stopping a conservatory from being exposed to heat and heat build-up, it is something that naturally occurs during periods of warm weather or when heating a conservatory in cold weather, and that must be dealt with effectively to ensure adequate ventilation.

With a Greenoak conservatory designed roof, we ensure sufficient ventilation by using the patented Supalite roofing system. This system employs a number of methods such as allowing ventilation through the ridge and twin chambered top cappings. When conservatory insulation is used, this can result in heat building up in the roof space.

The best-case scenario of this heat build-up is that the conservatory could become extremely warm and uncomfortable to be in. The worst case is that this heat build-up could dangerously affect the structural integrity of the roof and the entire conservatory structure. This is because beyond the quilt that the conservatory insulations company applies, the glazing bars are made of PVC. If PVC becomes heated beyond a certain point, the material can swell and warp/twist.

On a conservatory roof which has been altered with conservatory insulation, swelling/warping of the glazing bars could result in the bars not being sound enough to hold the glazing material any longer and large sheets of polycarbonate or glass could move or fall from the roof.

4 Fire Safety In Conservatory Insulations – Or The Lack Of It!

The materials used in a conservatory insulations installation will undoubtedly add to the risk of fire spread and penetration in the event of a fire. This is because they were not part of the original conservatory structure and have not been tested for performance in the event of a fire in conjunction with the materials of the existing roof.

Supalite conservatory replacement roofs by Greenoak are fully fire tested, so you can be sure that your new roof is safe for your home and your family.

5 Invalidating Your Conservatory Guarantee With Conservatory Insulations

By drilling into your conservatory structure and attaching the quilting and cladding as part of the conservatory insulation installation process, this will completely invalidate any guarantees. In the event that you do experience any problems with your conservatory after it has been insulated, you will no longer be covered under warranty/guarantee.

Conservatory Insulation Is A Bad Idea – So What Is The Solution?

Having read this information, I’m sure you will now have realised that conservatory insulations are a poor and potentially dangerous idea. If you have an old conservatory that needs updating to make it into a room that is comfortable to enjoy, whatever the weather, there are far better options available than conservatory insulation that are safe, strong, thermally efficient and light.

These include the Supalite Lightweight tiled roofing systems from Greenoak. These are solid roof systems that can be used to transform an old conservatory into an all year round usable room, often in just a couple of days!

The systems do not clad over your old roof as conservatory insulations do – we would remove the old roof and replace with a new roof to ensure structural integrity. This new roof would be calculated for the specific property requirements of your location, the window and doors frames it will sit on and other factors such as shape, size and whether you wish to include areas of glazing, to ensure you get a replacement conservatory roof that is safe and a far better option than conservatory insulations.

The Supalite system offered by Greenoaks is one of the strongest solid roofs on the market and is engineered to meet the individual requirements of your existing conservatory. We also provide a 10 year guarantee and will manage all Building Control requirements.

Conservatory insulation can turn your once bright conservatory into a dark and gloomy space. A Greenoak solution, on the other hand, can be personalised with full-length glazed panels. We can also fit your roof with Velux windows and LED spotlights to ensure that your new space and any adjoining rooms are flooded with natural light during the day and soft LED lighting in the evenings.

Supalite by Greenoak is also one of the warmest solid roofs on the market, offering unrivalled thermal performance far superior to that of conservatory insulations.

From an aesthetic point of view, your roof will also be transformed on the outside. We install a beautiful tiled finish externally and offer a choice of 3 colourways so that you can complement your existing roof. We can also fit full-length glass panels at various points in your roof and avoid the dark and oppressive environment that conservatory insulation can create. On the inside, you will have a beautifully plastered ceiling complete with LED spotlights that come with a full P-Part Electrical certificate. Not only are these amazing alternatives, but they can also increase the value of your home too.

From a fire safety point of view, Supalite roofs have both been fire tested as full systems and meet current UK legislation for fire safety. This means that they have been tested in terms of how all the components act together as a complete structure in the event of a fire, rather than how each individual component performs. With conservatory insulations, you are adding in materials that have not been assessed for how they would perform in relation to the rest of your existing conservatory in a fire – so adding to the risk. Also, Greenoaks roofs are fully compliant to Building Regulations and have been approved by JHAI – government approved Building Regulation certification companies.

If you require more information about Greenoak tiled roofing systems visit the products section of our website.

We hope that this blog has been useful in explaining to you why conservatory insulations are a potentially dangerous way of transforming your conservatory. Our families and homes are the most precious things we have and conservatory insulation presents a real danger to both.

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Greenoak Concept & Design have been raising the standards for more than 10 years.

More about us: We’re an independent Essex-based specialists in high quality UPVC Windows, Doors, Tiled Conservatory Roofing, Wall Cladding, and Fascias, Soffits and Guttering.


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