Dangers of Conservatory Insulation and Cladovers

Older conservatories tend to leak or they are too hot or too cold to use as a functioning room, so it’s no wonder that most homeowners start looking at different ways to turn a tired old conservatory into a useable space again, a room that can be enjoyed by the whole family the whole year-round. If this sounds familiar to you, then you have probably been doing research online and may have come across advertisements from numerous companies offering conservatory insulation.

Conservatory insulation is being advertised as a cheap method of making a conservatory thermally efficient. Conservatory insulation and cladovers are not regulated, they are dangerous and will usually end up causing more issues further down the line.

As specialist conservatory installers in Cornwall, we have witnessed first hand the dangers of conservatory insulation and cladovers. Best Glaze LTD has created this article to raise awareness of the dangers of conservatory insulation and cladovers, and to make homeowners aware of the false economy involved.

During this article, we will highlight the dangers of conservatory insulation along with the common problems that occur and other options that are available that will provide you with a new, thermally efficient room that is safe, bright, and useable the whole year-round.

Conservatory Insulations – The Dangers

The main danger of installing conservatory insulation onto your old conservatory structure is, of course, overloading the lightweight frame which in turn could cause it to collapse putting your and your family’s lives in danger. There are other risks of installing conservatory insulation which we will look at in more detail.

conservatory roof collapse
Conservatory Insulation , know the pitfalls

1. Fixing into glazing bars whilst insulating a conservatory roof

Most homeowners will be unaware of the fact that glazing bars serve more than one purpose, besides holding the polycarbonate or glass roof panels in place. However, glazing bars also provide other important functions within the conservatory roof structure.

Glazing Bar Functions:

Provide Support and strength to the conservatory roof
A ventilation source preventing condensation
A guttering system for water drainage.

  • Provide Support & strength to the conservatory roof structure
  • A ventilation source preventing condensation
  • Draining excess water

During the process of installing conservatory insulation and cladovers, the glazing bars integrity is compromised when they are screwed into to attach the conservatory insulation. Besides affecting the primary function of the glazing bar, the ventilation and drainage are also affected.

A conservatory roof is designed to be a lightweight structure that serves many purposes. The design process is very technical and a lot of factors are taken into consideration, weight, strength, environmental load, waterproofing and ventilation.

Glazing bars are actually technical components composed of numerous elements to ensure that a conservatory roof can provide adequate support for the intended roof panels, gaskets, baffles and other components to provide a watertight seal. Conservatory insulation companies compromise every one of these integral features when fixing into glazing bars whilst insulating a conservatory roof.

2. Overloading glazing bars during a conservatory insulation project

Companies installing conservatory insulation will attach lengths of timber to the glazing bars which run the full length, adding a considerable amount of extra weight to the conservatory roof. Adding this extra weight will exceed the load limits which were factored in during the design process of your conservatory roof.

Roofing material, glass or polycarbonate, size, and shape of the roof even geographical location are all factored in during a conservatory roof design. The location of a conservatory roof is important, the effect of the weather such as wind, rain and snow all need to be calculated and factored during the design process as they all add strain to the structure.

Designing a conservatory roof is a technical process when you consider how the conservatory roof is designed and all the calculations that are performed in order to work out the strength of glazing bars required for each and every individual roof to ensure structural integrity. Companies installing conservatory insulation exceed these calculations when they start attaching the extra weight of roofing batons to all of the glazing bars.

Overloading the conservatory roof structure with the conservatory insulation timber poses a risk of the conservatory roof collapsing, older conservatories are particularly at risk of collapse. A lot of homeowners may know someone that has had a conservatory roof insulated and not reported any problems, but a roof could collapse at any time which puts you and your family at risk of being injured or worse.

3. Conservatory insulations total thermal block

Companies installing conservatory insulation and cladovers will often promote a total thermal barrier as a selling point for conservatory insulation. Homeowners looking to create a warm useable conservatory all year round may also believe this is a good thing, but it is not.

Once timbers are attached to the glazing bars the company installing conservatory insulation attach a thermal quilt and then clad over it with PCV cladding. The installation of these materials creates a total thermal barrier, which conservatory insulation companies claim is good. Once a cladover has been installed there is no way of regulating heat building up in the conservatory. During summer conservatories naturally build up heat and in the winter conservatories are usually heated inside which must be ventilated in an adequate manner to prevent numerous issues from occurring.

Best Glaze supply and install Ultraframe conservatory roofs, we know just how much work goes on behind the scenes when designing a replacement conservatory roof that is going to stand up to the elements, and stand the test of time. We recommend Ultraroof conservatory roofs to all of our customers because we firmly believe that they are the best on the market.

Using trickle ventilation which flows through the ridge and twin chambered top cappings purges build-ups of unwanted heat in a controlled way. When conservatory insulation is cladover existing conservatory roofs heat can enter the room but it can’t leave because it is not adequately ventilated. The roof space will build up heat which subsequently heats the conservatory until it becomes unbearably hot and uncomfortable, once again making the room unusable. Being unusable because of the heat really is the best-case scenario following a conservatory insulation installation.

The worst thing that could possibly happen is heat build-up could dangerously compromise the structural integrity of the conservatory roof and even the whole conservatory structure. This happens because the thermal quilt that the conservatory insulations company installed traps heat around the conservatory glazing bars which are made of PVC which begins to twist and warp if it becomes overly hot. Conservatory insulation installed on a conservatory could affect the integrity of the glazing bars that could result in the bars not holding the glazing material as it should do and large sheets of polycarbonate or glass could potentially slip causing leaks or worse, fall from the roof. 

4. Conservatory insulation installation doom & gloom

The main selling point of any conservatory whether it be a brand new installation or an inherited room that comes with a new home is that it is a light and airy space. A conservatory is a peaceful room to wind down and relax in with a good book and a glass of gin.

Conservatory insulation creates a solid barrier between the roof that once flooded your room with natural light and the area below it becomes a dark and gloomy area. Not only is the conservatory turned into a dark area but the adjoining rooms are also affected, all of the natural light that once flooded into the adjoining rooms will also be blocked out by the cladover.

5. Fire safety in conservatory insulations Non Existent

The additional materials added to your existing conservatory roof when having a conservatory insulation installation will without doubt add to the risk of fire spread should a fire start. As conservatory insulation companies can not fire test the products on conservatory roofs they can not guarantee how the extra materials used in a conservatory insulation installation will perform should a fire break out and spread to the conservatory.

The replacement conservatory roofs we supply and install are the only fully fire tested roofs on the market, this is important to us being a family run business, you can have peace of mind knowing that your new roof is safe and secure for both your home and your family. 

6. Conservatory insulations voids guarantees

Companies installing conservatory insulation will make your conservatory guarantee null and void. Fixing extra materials to your conservatory roof by drilling and screwing into your conservatory roof goes against the warranty as it makes the structure unsafe. The fact that drilling into or fixing onto the conservatory roof structure will void any guarantee or warranty should give you an indication that this kind of conservatory insulation is a bad idea…

Conservatory Insulation is a bad idea – here is the solution

Throughout this article we have highlighted the dangers of having conservatory insulation, we did not touch on the condensation, mould, and smell issues also created by having conservatory insulations. After reading through all of the information, you will have realised that conservatory insulations are not a money-saving way of insulating your conservatory, in fact, it will cost you more money in the long run. You are now also aware of the fact that conservatory insulation cladovers are potentially dangerous.

So if you have an older conservatory roof that gets too hot or too cold, or maybe it leaks, then you would be much better off doing the job right the first time and creating a room that you know is safe, secure, and comfortable to enjoy, whatever the season, whatever the weather. If you are looking for a conservatory roof replacement in Cornwall we can supply and install a strong, lightweight, and thermally efficient conservatory roof suitable for new builds or existing frames.

The range of roofs we supply and install includes the market-leading solid tiled roof Ultraroof and the contemporary hybrid Livinroof systems from Ultraframe. Both of these replacement conservatory roofs are solid roof systems that can transform a tired old conservatory into a beautiful extra room in as little as two days.

The benefits of a replacement conservatory roof

Conservatory Insulation
Conservatory insulation the safe way.

We have highlighted the dangers of conservatory insulations & the false economy, so what are the benefits of a replacement conservatory roof? A replacement conservatory roof does not use your existing conservatory roof structure – we take the old conservatory off and it will all be recycled.

The replacement conservatory roof that you choose would be designed and constructed for the specific environmental requirements of your location, the existing window and doors frame the roof will be installed, the shape of the roof, the size of the roof and any glazing requirements you may have. Already the benefits of a replacement conservatory roof are becoming apparent compared to conservatory insulations.

The solid roofs we offer are designed to be the strongest and lightest replacement conservatory roofs on the market. Each and every roof is designed and engineered bespoke to meet the exacting needs and requirements of you and the existing conservatory, offering you complete peace of mind that you have chosen a safe and secure roof system.

Solid roofs that are light and airy

Our solid conservatory roofs give the homeowner a choice of glazing or Velux windows which means despite being a solid roof, it is not a dark, gloomy space like those created by conservatory insulation. Both the Ultraroof and the Livinroof can be installed with full-length, high-performance glass panels giving you full control over where the natural light floods the new living space, along with the adjoining rooms.

conservatory insulation
A beautiful slate roof design

Create a thermally efficient conservatory the right way

The whole reason homeowners start looking at conservatory insulation is because they want an extension of their home that is thermally efficient, a room that can be used the whole year-round. Both the Ultraroof and the Livinroof solid conservatory roofs are not only the strongest and the lightest replacement conservatory roofs on market, but they also offer superior thermal performance unrivalled by any conservatory insulations installation.

Another bonus of a replacement conservatory roof is that you will never have to look at your tired old conservatory roof again. Conservatory insulation installations are simply screwed to your existing roof which means from the outside you would still be looking at your old conservatory roof, whilst inside you would be looking at a shiny plastic-clad ceiling. Aesthetically choosing a solid conservatory roof replacement is a no brainer.

Ultraroof solid tiled conservatory roof offers a choice of 3 different coloured tiles designed to complement the roof of your house. With an Ultraroof solid tiled conservatory roof, you can choose between Charcoal Grey, Harvest Brown, or Terra Brick colours.

Ultraroof Carbon Grey Tiles
Conservatory Insulation & Cladover Installations

Carbon Grey

Harvest Brown Ultraroof Tiles
Conservatory Insulation & Cladover Installations

Harvest Brown

Ultraroof Terra-brick tile
Conservatory Insulation & Cladover Installations

Terra Brick

If a tiled look isn’t your thing the Livinroof features a contemporary panel finish that would suit any modern home. Livinroof is a hybrid roof which means you can choose any glass & panel configuration to suit your needs, in fact, both of the solid roof systems support multiple full-length glass panels being installed at various points in the roof, the polar opposite to conservatory insulation which creates a dark, and an oppressive room. The integral strength of both the Livinroof and the Ultraroof means that you can create beautiful, plaster finished ceilings which can be complemented with LED downlighters.

Building regulation compliant conservatory roof

When considering a conservatory roof upgrade one of the first things to consider would be the safety aspects of replacing the roof. There are many questions you should be asking any company that quote to replace your conservatory roof.

  • Will my existing frames take the weight of a replacement conservatory roof?
  • Are my conservatory foundations strong enough for a solid roof?
  • Is the conservatory roof fire tested?

Both the Ultraroof and Livinroof solid conservatory roofs are fire tested roof systems that comply with current UK fire safety legislation. In order to check the roofs compliance, the roofs are tested as full and complete roof systems, testing as a complete structure is the only way to monitor how the full roof would perform in the event of a fire, rather than guessing how each individual component might perform.
Conservatory insulations add untested quantities of combustible materials that have not been risked assessed for fire performance.

The Ultraroof and Livinroof replacement conservatory roofs we supply and install are fully compliant to the latest Building Regulations as well as being JHAI and LABSS approved, these are both government-approved Building Regulation certification bodies.

As a family-run business, we hope that we have highlighted all the reasons why conservatory insulations are a potentially dangerous way of transforming your old conservatory. Families are important, now more than ever, conservatory insulation may seem like an inexpensive way of insulating your conservatory, but what price do you put on your family’s safety?

Whats the best conservatories for bungalows?

There are many different designs of conservatories and we can advise you on the most suitable conservatory for your bungalow during a consultation which can be carried out via video call or socially distanced. During a consultation, we will find out what you want from the new space, and from there we can tailor a conservatory to suit your needs and your property.

Is all overclad conservatory insulation unsafe?

There is no way of installing any clad over conservatory insulation that is safe. Not only does it affect the structural integrity of the conservatory roof, but it is also a fire hazard. The extra materials fixed to the conservatory roof run the risk of collapsing the roof, they also make the roof a fire hazard.

Whats the safest conservatory insulation?

The safest conservatory insulation would require a replacement conservatory roof. There is no safe way of adding extra material to an existing conservatory roof without the risk of the roof collapsing and creating a fire hazard.
Our replacement conservatory roofs have amazing thermal efficiency, are designed to be strong and lightweight, and fire-rated to comply with building regulations.

Are vented conservatory roofs draughty?

Conservatory roofs with ventilation are designed to purge heat build-up and prevent condensation. Conservatory insulation cladovers have no ventilation at all and heat builds up inside the conservatory due to the thermal block that is created.
Conservatory roofs are designed to provide trickle ventilation which is concealed inside the roof structure and therefore is not draughty.

Which conservatory roof is the best?

The question is, which conservatory roof is best for you? When thinking about extending your home with a conservatory you need to consider the style and design of your home, and what you want the extra space for. Once you have an idea of what you want, we can help bring your vision to life. Every conservatory is built bespoke to our customer’s needs.

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Once you’re done here, you can return to our conservatory roof replacement information hub to explore your options.