If you have old conservatory that needs updating to make it into a room that is comfortable to enjoy, whatever the season, you’ll more than likely been doing some research online and you may have come across companies offering conservatory insulation services.

Conservatory insulation companies offer a cladding method to an old conservatory roof which they ‘claim’ will convert it into a more practical thermally efficient room.

There are many risks associated with the addition of conservatory insulation to your old conservatory. Here they will explain each of the conservatory insulation risks and the possible impact each would have.

1. Drilling into the glazing bars whilst insulating a conservatory roof 

The glazing bars on a conservatory roof are there principally, as the name suggests, to hold the glazing in-between in place. However, Ultraframe glazing bars also have fundamentally important secondary functions – to provide rigidity and assist with ventilation and water drainage.

By drilling straight into this vitally important conservatory component both of these functions are compromised, meaning that the roof will be less strong, and ventilation will decrease.

The glazing bars are a highly technical component which feature gaskets, baffles, and other components to ensure they provide a watertight seal against the elements. By drilling into the glazing bars at numerous points, conservatory insulation companies are exposing the conservatory to the risk of leaks as they have opened up a component that was designed to be completely sealed at all points.

2. Attaching the weight of the timbers to the glazing bars 

The next stage is to attach timber to the length of the glazing bars, but when your conservatory roof was originally designed, a large number of factors were scientifically calculated to ensure that it was structurally correct and, therefore, safe.

These factors include the roof glazing materials (glass or lightweight polycarbonate sheets), the size as well as the shape of the roof, the weight of the roof and the geographical location. Location is often overlooked but it 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.

Devon and Cornwall residence experience either severe or very severe weather conditions.

After considering all of these factors, a conservatory roof is designed, calculations are performed to ascertain out what strength of glazing bars are required to confirm structural integrity. When conservatory insulation companies come along attaching timber batons across the length of the glazing bars, they alter the structural dynamics of the roof by placing a heavy load on it that wasn’t calculated for in the original design.

The very worst-case scenario is that this increased load from the conservatory insulation timber could potentially lead to the roof collapsing – especially on the older conservatories.

Ultraframe are the only conservatory roof company to design every conservatory roof to the exact postcode location ensuring it can withstand the worst wind and snow loads. This means that conservatories bearing a roof other than Ultraframe could be even more unstable following the installation of conservatory insulation especially if there is heavy snow or wind, and even more, likely to fail structurally once the additional weight loading of conservatory insulation timber battens is placed upon them.

3. The thermal barrier with conservatory insulations

The next two stages in a conservatory insulation installation are to attach a thermal quilt followed by PCVu internal cladding. These materials provide a complete thermal barrier, which conservatory insulation companies promote as being a positive. However, there is no way of stopping a conservatory from being exposed to heat as well as heat build-up, as it’s something that occurs naturally during periods of warm weather or when heating a conservatory in cold weather, this needs to be dealt with effectively to ensure adequate ventilation.

In Ultraframe conservatory roofs, this is done via a number of patented methods, which include trickle ventilation through the ridge and twin chambered top capping. The conservatory insulation method shows that when heat enters the conservatory, it will be unable to leave, resulting in heat build-up in the roof space. The best-case scenario of this heat build-up is that the conservatory becomes extremely warm and uncomfortable to be in following a conservatory insulation installation.

The worst case, this heat build-up dangerously affects the structural integrity of the roof including the conservatory structure as a whole. This is because, beyond the quilt applied by the conservatory insulation company, the glazing bars are made of PVC. If PVC becomes heated beyond a certain point, the material can swell, twist or warp. On an altered conservatory roof with conservatory insulation, the swelling/warping of the glazing bars could result in the bars no longer being strong enough to hold the glazing material any longer, with the large sheets of polycarbonate or glass possible moving or falling from the roof. 

4. Conservatory insulations invalidate your conservatory guarantee/warranty 

Drilling into your conservatory structure, attaching quilting and cladding as part of the conservatory insulation installation process will completely invalidate any guarantees. The problems you may experience with your conservatory after it has been insulated mean you will no longer be covered under any warranty/guarantee.

Conservatory insulations are a bad idea – So what are your alternatives?

I’m sure you now realise that conservatory insulation are a bad and potentially dangerous idea. If you have an old conservatory that needs updating to make it into an all-year-round useable room, whatever the weather, there are much better options available that are safe, strong, thermally efficient and light.

These include the UltraRoof and LivinRoof Ultraframe systems. These solid warm roof systems can be used to transform an old conservatory roof, and often in just a couple of days!

These systems do not clad over your old roof as conservatory insulations do – Your old conservatory roof would instead be removed then replaced with a new roof to ensure structural integrity. Your new roof is structurally calculated to the specific weather requirements of your location, the window and doors frames it sits on as well as 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.

UltraRoof and LivinRoof are the strongest solid warm roofs on the market, and everyone is bespoke engineered specifically to the requirements of your existing conservatory providing you with complete peace of mind.

Unlike clad over conservatory insulation, UltraRoof and LivinRoof can be personalised with the option of full-length glazed panels to ensure that your new room, and those adjoining, are flooded with natural light. 

UltraRoof and LivinRoof offer unrivalled thermal performance far superior to that of conservatory insulations.

UltraRoof offers a stylish tiled finish externally, available in a choice of 3 colours to complement your existing roof, while LivinRoof features a contemporary grey panel finish. Both systems can have multiple full-length glass panels at various points in the roof, and internally you will be looking at beautiful, plastered ceiling, just like those in the rest of your home.

UltraRoof and LivinRoof are fully compliant with Building Regulations and have been approved by JHAI and LABSS – the government approved Building Regulation certification companies.

If you require more information about UltraRoof or LivinRoof, visit the products section of our website.

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