Comparing Structurally Insulated Roof Panels to Regular Roof Panels

Structurally Insulated Roof Panels in CanadaNowadays people are doing all they can in order to conserve energy – whether it’s for the planet or for the wallet. Advances have been made all over the home to try and improve insulation, and structurally insulated roof panels in Canada have proven to be popular. Here’s a guide on what they are, and how they compare to regular roof panels.

What are Structurally Insulated Roof Panels in Canada?

Structurally insulated panels, or SIPs, are a form of sandwich panel that has become more and more popular in construction due to their effectiveness compared to regular roof panels. Resembling an ice cream sandwich, the two outside pieces are usually some sort of rigid wooden board whereas the “ice cream” filling is usually an effective, lightweight insulator like Styrofoam, polystyrene or another similar material.

Benefits of Structurally Insulated Roof Panels in Canada

These kinds of roof panels come with a range of benefits.

  • Perhaps the greatest benefit is just how effective they are when it comes to energy efficiency. Given that they are layered, there’s greater heat retention than conventional wooden panels. Both the outer and inner parts of structurally insulated roof panels are effective at retaining heat, and so when they are used together it well outperforms conventional roof panels in this regard.
  • Not only does that help to keep your property warmer, it can help to save you money too. By minimizing heat loss through the roof, this means you won’t have to run your heating as long or as high, saving on your fuel costs and eventually paying for themselves.
  • A further way that they can save money is in labour costs. SIPs are lighter than regular roof panels and easier to install, meaning fewer men are needed to install them and that the job should be completed much quicker than you might have expected.
  • Not only that, but they come with a high life expectancy of around 50 years. Given that they are airtight, this reduces the possibility of mold occurring on your roof or the elements causing problems such as nail pops or twisting and warping.

Drawbacks of Structurally Insulated Roof Panels in Canada

Whilst they are a quality product, they do come with some drawbacks that you should be aware of.

  • Whilst it may be rare, it’s not unheard of for rodents and insects to bore through the lightweight centre of SIPs, causing potential problems, thought applying insecticides and keeping humidity levels low can help prevent this.
  • Performance during fires is also a concern, fearing they may be less effective than regular roof panels. However, covering them with a substance like gypsum can help them perform better.
  • They’re more expensive than regular panels.

Cost vs. Quality

When it comes to deciding on roof panels for your property, it comes down to cost vs quality. Whilst regular roof panels may be cheaper, SIPs perform better and have more benefits which helps justify their cost – but in the end, that choice is yours to make

Common Mistakes Made When Buying Structurally Insulated Roof Panels

structurally insulated roof panels in CanadaA structurally insulated roof panel is a panel composed of two layers of metal or another rigid material sandwiching a thick layer of rigid insulation. Structural insulated roof panels serve a variety of functions simultaneously and eliminate the need for having several different trades involved in your building project. Simplicity aside people still make mistakes when purchasing structurally insulated roof panels (SIRP) and in this post we’ll look at a few of those mistakes.

Structurally Insulated Roof Panels Canada: The Devil’s in the Details

Here are 5 of the most common mistakes people make when buying structurally insulated roof panels in Canada for their home or business.

  • Not making sure the fasteners are compatible – Using the wrong type of fastener can and will lead to the SIRP coming loose and/or a negative reaction between incompatible metal types in the fastener and roof panel. It’s crucial to make sure you’ve got the right type of fastener and that you don’t simply grab the first thing that looks good.
  • Failing to specify a colour – In some cases the solar heat absorbed by the outer layer on the SIRP may be significant enough – and the temperature difference between it and the inner layer great enough – that stress can come to bear on the panel as a whole. The situation can be exacerbated by using the wrong colour on the outer layer; one that absorbs heat rather than reflecting it. Make sure you specify the colour early on in the process.
  • Ignoring the manufacturer’s joinery guidelines – In order for structurally insulated roof panels to do their job as an effective air and water barrier as well as insulator the quality of the joinery is critical. Some manufacturers use proprietary joinery systems that can be quite detailed. Ignoring the manufacturer’s joinery guidelines and purchasing any old sealant or gaskets for instance will likely result in joint failure and worse.
  • Failing to account for expansion/contraction – The nature of their construction means SIRPs can be more susceptible to expansion and contraction than other construction materials like masonry or wood. This movement must be accounted for in the overall design and will influence the size of the panels and the joints between them. Failure to do so could again lead to failure of the panel system as a whole.
  • Buying SIRPs with an insufficient R-value – Since SIRPs can be up to 90% more airtight than conventional roofing techniques and materials their ability to insulate is sometimes overestimated and customers will wind up with panels with an inadequate R-value. Make sure you consult closely with the manufacturer to determine the proper R-value for your panels before purchasing.

Structurally insulated roof panels are revolutionizing the construction trades in Canada. But the fact that they seem so straightforward and simple often masks important considerations that should not be taken for granted or forgotten when purchasing SIRPs for your home or business. Talk to the insulated roof panel experts at Eco-Insulated Panel Manufacturing to learn more about structurally insulated roof panels in Canada.