Your Ultimate Guide To Reflective Foil Insulation

As insulation suppliers in Melbourne, we want to give you the best insulation options for your home. Sometimes, that means more than just glasswool and other common insulation products. There are other items that add additional thermal value to your home and can really make a noticeable difference – such as reflective foil. Today, we’re going to be exploring the details of reflective foil – what it does and how it can add value to your home.

So, what is reflective foil insulation?

Simply put, reflective foil insulation (sometimes known as a house’s radiant or reflective barrier) is a type of insulation that has a thin layer of reflective foil on one or both sides of it. However, it can also just come as thin sheets of foil that can either be used for sarking or attached to insulation batts separately. The primary purpose of reflective foil is to reflect heat. Reflective insulation is predominantly installed in the roof – but can also be used in walls and underfloors.

How does it work?

The reflective foil reflects heat – turning it away from your home. Whilst normal insulation traps the heat and allows it to slowly pass through – the reflective foil adds another layer of defence by redirecting it outwardly. When installed correctly, reflective foil insulation can reflect up to 97% of radiant heat.

Installing it

Reflective insulation should be installed during the building phase and can be difficult to retrofit afterwards. There must be a minimum of 25mm of airspace between the reflective side of the insulation and any other material otherwise the effectiveness will be reduced to zero. No air space means no thermal value. The reflective side must be facing downwards when in roofs, upwards when installed underneath a floor and inwards when installed in walls.

For roofs, it should be positioned on a downward angle to stop mass amounts of dust from settling on it as this can also dull its reflective properties. Extra care should be taken when installing reflective foil insulation beneath the floor or above ceiling/ceiling joists as the foil acts as an electrical conductor. Because of this, you should use non-conductive staples for extra security.

Sarking and other uses

Sarking can be another name for reflective foil – but without the insulation attached to it. The piece of foil is fitted under your roof, acting as a thin membrane, and can add multiple benefits to your home. One of the main benefits is that it can be a vapour barrier – especially for metal roofs.

This will prevent condensation from dripping from the underside of your roof – especially in humid climates or when your roof space is poorly ventilated – leading to the mitigation and prevention of potential mould growth. It can also limit the amount of dust that enters your home as well as reducing heat flow from your roof – improving thermal performance.

As Melbourne-based insulation suppliers, we think you should keep in mind that reflective foil insulation has its own R-value. Whilst it may not be a very high one compared to some glasswool batts, for example, it can still make a difference and will stack – improving your overall R-value.

Perforated reflective foil in walls

If your home is being built with porous materials (which is any material that features holes or void space within it) – then you should consider using perforated reflective foil. Whilst insulation usually doesn’t get wet – it can occasionally happen. The wet insulation, if not dried, will rot and attract vermin between your walls – which can spell all sorts of trouble for your home’s integrity. The perforations in the reflective foil will allow insulation to dry in the rare case that it does get wet, as well as prevent water droplets from penetrating.

Are you looking for insulation suppliers in Melbourne?

Reflective foil insulation can bring a myriad of benefits to your home and is extremely effective at reflecting radiant heat – not to mention they make great vapour barriers. If you’re looking to purchase some reflective foil for your home, then Insulation Essentials is your best bet.

As premium insulation suppliers in Melbourne, we understand insulation inside and out and stock a large range of insulation products and accessories for you to choose from. Not sure what you need? One of our specialists will be happy to have a chat with you to gauge your needs and requirements. We also offer delivery and installation services to make things more streamlined for you.

So, if you’re looking to purchase reflective foil from a Melbourne-based insulation supplier, give us a call on 03 8339 7111. Alternatively, you may contact us via the enquiry form found on our website.