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Insulating Your House


MrStretch
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Lack of insulation is a huge problem, at least in my house.

I live in a row of connected houses with shared walls.  As near as I can see by popping my head up the access hole through the ceiling, there are only 1/2 walls between my house and the neighbors, so my plan is lay fiberglass down on top of the room's ceilings, since insulating the roof itself would be a waste.

I'm thinking of using 6" wrapped fiberglass from SCG.  It seems to do what I am looking for.

Has anyone done this, had any problems, have any suggestions?

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2 minutes ago, MrStretch said:

I'm thinking of using 6" wrapped fiberglass from SCG.  It seems to do what I am looking for.

Has anyone done this, had any problems, have any suggestions?

Foil wrapped insulation is an ideal insulation media for installation directly atop your ceiling.  Do it. 👍

I could, possibly should write a guide to ' home insulation' in Thailand.  It's a sadly neglected and terribly misunderstood subject.

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5 minutes ago, KaptainRob said:

Foil wrapped insulation is an ideal insulation media for installation directly atop your ceiling.  Do it. 👍

I could, possibly should write a guide to ' home insulation' in Thailand.  It's a sadly neglected and terribly misunderstood subject.

 

About 2008 I had 60 mm insulation sprayed on to the underside of the roof tiles of the house we lived in then, not because there were any leaks rather to act as an insulating barrier.  As far as insulation go there was a definite drop in roof space temp and hence the top floor of the house. I did some checks at it seemed to be around 1 to 11/2 degrees less then before I had it insulated. Not a lot for 72,000 THB !

So two points of note. It was expensive and with the benefit of hindsight I should not have had it done as the insulation referred to by @KaptainRob is possibly better if you go for 100 - 150 mm, as there is less mess and possibly cheaper.  Also as I mentioned I had no leaks, that was until the pressure at which they applied the foam must have pushed up some tiles. Of course with the foam it was then impossible to find the leak as it dripped in around 3 places. They did come out to re-apply over the existing foam but of course never was fixed 100% so will never use that method again on concrete tiles.

 

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48 minutes ago, gummy said:

About 2008 I had 60 mm insulation sprayed on to the underside of the roof tiles of the house we lived in then, not because there were any leaks rather to act as an insulating barrier.  As far as insulation go there was a definite drop in roof space temp and hence the top floor of the house. I did some checks at it seemed to be around 1 to 11/2 degrees less then before I had it insulated. Not a lot for 72,000 THB !

So two points of note. It was expensive and with the benefit of hindsight I should not have had it done as the insulation referred to by @KaptainRob is possibly better if you go for 100 - 150 mm, as there is less mess and possibly cheaper.  Also as I mentioned I had no leaks, that was until the pressure at which they applied the foam must have pushed up some tiles. Of course with the foam it was then impossible to find the leak as it dripped in around 3 places. They did come out to re-apply over the existing foam but of course never was fixed 100% so will never use that method again on concrete tiles.

Sprayed foam is not ideal for regular pitched roof tile installations,  In fact it has many drawbacks as you have discovered.  For starters, Thai's have very little general knowledge regarding various insulations types:- moisture, noise, heat, sound, and even dust ... all require a somewhat different solution.

Sprayed foam acts as a moisture barrier ideally used on the underside of aluminium or steel sheet roofing to eliminate condensation.

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^ The cabling is not much of a problem although roof space access and the downlights are minor concerns.

%E0%B8%95%E0%B8%A3%E0%B8%B2%E0%B8%8A%E0%B9%89%E0%B8%B2%E0%B8%87-Staycool-premium-%E0%B8%9E%E0%B8%A3%E0%B8%B5%E0%B9%80%E0%B8%A1%E0%B8%B5%E0%B9%88%E0%B8%A2%E0%B8%A1-%E0%B8%89%E0%B8%99%E0%B8%A7%E0%B8%99%E0%B9%80%E0%B8%82%E0%B8%B5%E0%B8%A2%E0%B8%A7-%E0%B8%89%E0%B8%99%E0%B8%A7%E0%B8%99%E0%B9%83%E0%B8%A2%E0%B9%81%E0%B8%81%E0%B9%89%E0%B8%A7-fiberglass3-tile.jpg

Insulation in foil sleeved rolls may be pushed open and prodded into position with a stick while sitting on the concrete (top of wall).  If you have access to a length of medium gauge roofing steel/purlin, or an aluminium ladder of suitable length to pass up into the ceiling/roof space, it will allow you to span between walls. 

If you're very careful, you can also use a lightweight plank or composite wood shelf to span across the inverted-V shaped gyprock/drywall battens which will give you a light-duty footrest. 

image.png.68ebf5e1a4e13d00e7f98ca5447edc76.png

Most insulation suppliers offer an installed price per m2 which could save you the trouble but shop around for a reasonable price.  They often access the roof space from above by removing several roof tiles.

Some cables can be lifted up for rolls to pass under, other cables can have insulation rolled out across them, but not the lights ....

Most of the cheap downlights get very hot and are vented accordingly.  The vents allow dust and vermin to enter rooms below.  I highly recommend replacing them with flush mount LED's sourced for a same size cut-out hole.  Insulation can then be rolled out over the top.

VIBENESS PRODUCTS INC LED Recessed Ceiling Panel Down Lights Bulb Slim Lamp  Fixture Panel Light | Wayfair

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Tiled roof foil insulation also known as sarking.

c1_293504_120516022332_700.jpg

Sarking is extremely important in Thailand for 2 reasons:- 1./ insulates against moisture and dust which may blow under tiles, and 2./ reflects 90% radiant heat* from the roof tiles.

*Thai's will usually refer to foil sarking as 'insulation' and most home owners infer that as keeping the house cooler.  It actually has very little heat insulation effect on living spaces.  One can easily test radiated heat by standing on a stepladder and feeling the temperature of the ceiling during the middle of a hot day.  And that heat trapped in your roof space takes many hours to dissipate after dark!

Roof ventilation is an age-old means of cooling the roof space to reduce heat transfer to living spaces.  Traditional Thai roof designs are often modernised to incorporate natural ventilation via vents in the gable ends or under and between a double-pitch design.

Mechanical ventilation is popular and may be via solar powered fan units or Whirlybird such as below.  The latter is driven by breezes and hot air convection.

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Ceiling insulation - fibreglass matting, also known as batts - are installed directly on top of the ceiling board and truly insulate living spaces from the roof space.  Air-conditioning efficiency improves and you'll save on power bills. 

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Tips:- IF BUILDING a NEW HOUSE 

1./ select a light to medium coloured roof tile to reflect heat - dark colours like above will absorb ~85% heat compared with say, orange/terracotta at just ~60%

2./ use an AAC/Q-con/Hebel block for thermal insulation of walls in lieu of red brick.  Single skin red brick walls facing south and/or west and unshaded by trees, absorb daytime heat and store it well into the night.  The stored heat acts as a radiator.  Double 7.5cm, or single 20cm AAC blocks will save you money and make life far more comfortable.  Can be employed only on sun-affected walls to save your budget.

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@KaptainRob When travels permits I will be returning to Thailand for some maintenance for our single story Thai style red brick three bedroom house. The outside walls are painted pale blue. The house has red tiled roof with no eaves for installing powered air ventilators. I did install two whirlybirds which seemed to make no difference whatsoever for lowering the temperature in the living areas. The house living area is approx 150 square metres, If aircon not turned on the living spaces were uncomfortably hot day and night in the summer season. 

I wish to address the internal heat problem, can you provide some suggestions to resolve? BTW would painting the roof tiles with a reflective light colour make any difference?

Thanks for any recommendations.

 

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1 minute ago, PBS said:

@KaptainRob When travels permits I will be returning to Thailand for some maintenance for our single story Thai style red brick three bedroom house. The outside walls are painted pale blue. The house has red tiled roof with no eaves for installing powered air ventilators. I did install two whirlybirds which seemed to make no difference whatsoever for lowering the temperature in the living areas. The house living area is approx 150 square metres, If aircon not turned on the living spaces were uncomfortably hot day and night in the summer season. 

I wish to address the internal heat problem, can you provide some suggestions to resolve? BTW would painting the roof tiles with a reflective light colour make any difference?

Thanks for any recommendations.

Whirlybirds help lower temperature in the roof space, say from 65c to 50c and have little effect on living area temps, maybe 2 or 3c.  They do need a source of air from eave or barge-board vents, depending on roof style.  

There are reflective roof paints available in Australia, not sure about Thailand.  I assume your 'red' is the usual deep red and I would only suggest a repaint if badly weathered and in dire need of re-surfacing for aesthetic reasons.  The Thai repaints I've seen leave a lot to be desired and often fail due to improper preparation.

You are best off installing ceiling fibreglass batts/Staycool - type insulation.

No eaves, ie: Hip roof with no roof overhang?  Or no gable ends? 

Ventilation grilles can be installed in masonry gable ends by cutting out the brickwork for a precise fit.  Not desirable on the weather side of a house as severe storms can blow water in through unprotected vents.

image.thumb.png.01df0fdeee475d1b1604851bdef2b769.png

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6 minutes ago, KaptainRob said:

You are best off installing ceiling fibreglass batts/Staycool - type insulation.

What depth do you recommend? What anticipated approx internal house temperature reduction could I expect? Thanks...

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20 minutes ago, PBS said:

What depth do you recommend? What anticipated approx internal house temperature reduction could I expect? Thanks...

150mm thickness is essential for Thailand high pitched (~30°) roof designs.  The 75mm rolls are suited to installation directly under low pitched steel roof sheeting where a drop ceiling is to be installed - common for commercial/industrial construction.

Temperature reduction will depend on other factors such as room size & window glass area but in my experience I've seen ~32c in a 4m x 4m bedroom on a 40c degree afternoon.  Roof space was likely 55c average and could have raised uninsulated room temp to say 36c or more.

The thing to remember is that aircon will have a more immediate cooling effect, consume far less power and the insulated room will remain cool long after the a/c is turned off.

Note:-

Regular Thai window joinery, especially sliding, is cheap and nasty.  Gecko's, ants, dust, noise and heat can easily pass through when closed.

Quality aluminium windows* will carry a rating of ~IP55, dust and water spray resistant.  Double glazed joinery may also carry a thermal rating and is highly desirable on south/west facing living rooms in a new build.

*This company supplies Thailand using Aus/Nz designed products https://www.doorandwindow.asia/

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1 hour ago, KaptainRob said:

150mm thickness is essential for Thailand high pitched (~30°) roof designs.  The 75mm rolls are suited to installation directly under low pitched steel roof sheeting where a drop ceiling is to be installed - common for commercial/industrial construction.

Temperature reduction will depend on other factors such as room size & window glass area but in my experience I've seen ~32c in a 4m x 4m bedroom on a 40c degree afternoon.  Roof space was likely 55c average and could have raised uninsulated room temp to say 36c or more.

The thing to remember is that aircon will have a more immediate cooling effect, consume far less power and the insulated room will remain cool long after the a/c is turned off.

Note:-

Regular Thai window joinery, especially sliding, is cheap and nasty.  Gecko's, ants, dust, noise and heat can easily pass through when closed.

Quality aluminium windows* will carry a rating of ~IP55, dust and water spray resistant.  Double glazed joinery may also carry a thermal rating and is highly desirable on south/west facing living rooms in a new build.

*This company supplies Thailand using Aus/Nz designed products https://www.doorandwindow.asia/

Great - thanks for your guidance

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We installed the stay cool stuff from home pro when we enlarged our bedroom. We did the ceiling and walls. My sister in law thought we were craze but I insisted. We also put on a new roof and replaced the cement tiles (some cracked) with foam backed steel roof. It seems cooler but it’s hard to tell. I do know that it significantly quieted outside noise. In fact I can barely hear if it’s raining unless if very hard. 

We live in a teakwood home. Unlike many wood houses it is double walled throughout, including the downstairs ceiling. 

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On 10/1/2021 at 3:15 PM, KaptainRob said:

Whirlybirds help lower temperature in the roof space, say from 65c to 50c and have little effect on living area temps, maybe 2 or 3c.  They do need a source of air from eave or barge-board vents, depending on roof style.  

Do you have a source here in Chiangmai  where i can get the whirlybird which will fit my tiles ( dra pet ....diamond brand)  ?

thanks .....

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8 minutes ago, ninja said:

Do you have a source here in Chiangmai  where i can get the whirlybird which will fit my tiles ( dra pet ....diamond brand)  ?

thanks .....

There's a store on Hangdong Road, northbound > https://goo.gl/maps/Jxqg4GDNximeNNPs5

Heading south you pass a Shell servo (it's opposite the store) and you'd do a U-turn just before the DLT office.

They install.

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  • 4 weeks later...
On 9/30/2021 at 8:51 PM, thai3 said:

I would like to do it but with all the wires, light fittings and large areas you cannot stand on I don't real see a way to do it

loft2.jpg

loft1.jpg

Realize this thread is a month old, but wanted to pitch in that having existing attic electrics organized into conduit is, in my admittedly layman's opinion, a solid project to accomplish on its own, and in my case, a precursor to installing insulation batts. 

Ours is the typical 3bed/2bath single story house, about 15-years old at the time of purchase (second hand) in an average Thai moo baan development.  Brick/cmu walls, usual crap windows and concrete  roof tiles.  Attic looked like yours (in above photos). 

Brought in an 'electrician' crew to inspect and organize all the wire runs into conduit and junction boxes, and in the process, found a group of wires leading down to kitchen and exterior laundry area wall outlets that needed replacing.  Verified 3-wire installation to wall outlets and major appliances and Earth connection, and had them wire up a new junction/breaker box with safety feature.  All day job, finishing about 9pm that night. 

Overall, gave me some piece of mind about the state of the electrics, and simple satisfaction knowing there wasn't a rat's nest of exposed wires up there anymore. 

Then moved on to Phase 2, installing the attic insulation, slotted eaves and 1 SCG fixed roof tile vent adapter, with favorable results noted over the first summer/hot season compared to previous years without insulation and venting.

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  • 1 year later...

My house heats up in the afternoon from the back wall. The wall can be insulated from the outside with styrofoam, but it is hard to find a reliable company plus some of the materials needed for the finishing. I live south of Pattaya. Does anyone have experience with a suitable company?

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2 hours ago, Terratrader said:

My house heats up in the afternoon from the back wall. The wall can be insulated from the outside with styrofoam, but it is hard to find a reliable company plus some of the materials needed for the finishing. I live south of Pattaya. Does anyone have experience with a suitable company?

Have you thought of rasing the wall, our bedroom when we first moved into this house was very hot, I put concrete sheeting that looks like wood all around the house and it's made a huge difference. 

IMG_20230110_103303.jpg

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4 hours ago, Terratrader said:

My house heats up in the afternoon from the back wall. The wall can be insulated from the outside with styrofoam, but it is hard to find a reliable company plus some of the materials needed for the finishing. I live south of Pattaya. Does anyone have experience with a suitable company?

My wife just did it at the house she bought, her brother installed it all, he's a general contractor

 

The house went from boiling hot to them being cold!

 

I am sure he could drive down to you if you guys agree on a deal

 

Do you have a Thai gf/wife? He doesn't speak English that well

He just did a big job for Toyota, so he is a good contractor

 

PM me if interested

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I installed EWI (external wall insulation) on a house in Australia many years ago and it's quite easy to do although one does require a fibreglass mesh and acrylic-based render for the finishing.  It's quite common in USA and UK I believe.

Another way to go, depending on house design, is to install insulation on the inside of a sun-affected wall and brick it up, thus creating a double-brick wall with polystyrene sandwich.  It can also 'hide' the ugly corner posts common to Thai construction.

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Despite the many favorable reviews about Whirlybird extractors, which was my first thought for active attic venting, I wound up opting for a fixed vent contraption made by SCG, mounted on a tile adapter mated to the tiles I had.  Simply removed one section of tile up near the top of the roof peak, and slid the fixed vent unit in its place.  No leaks that I'm aware of after 3 rain seasons and IMHO, no need to have moving parts in the way of heat that wants to escape up and out naturally. 

Ideally, the full monty is a heat barrier (often foil application) on the underside of roof tiles (Kaptain refers above as "sarking", didn't know that term until now), passive or active attic venting, insulation, shrubs and/or slats to keep direct sun off the house walls, soffit and eave vents to allow air volume into the attic void from the bottom then out the top vent(s).  Like to paint my roof tiles with light colored reflective paint, and while I know from past experience in other parts of the world this is useful, it wouldn't be very appealing here.  Then again, seeing the color choices for some houses here are pink, baby blue or lime green, maybe I'm being too precious about aesthetics.  😋

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On 1/20/2023 at 4:15 AM, Marble-eye said:

Have you thought of rasing the wall, our bedroom when we first moved into this house was very hot, I put concrete sheeting that looks like wood all around the house and it's made a huge difference. 

IMG_20230110_103303.jpg

I'm pretty hands off when it comes to the house we bought

I will give suggestions 

 

But the one thing I put my foot down on is they wanted to put that sheet metal type roof all over the house

 

Your pic looks to be in the back?

 

I just don't like the look when it covers the whole front of the house 

 

It will end up costing us more I told her to do retractable awnings on the side of the house and two of those sail canvas tarp like sails covering the front yard and driveway 

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Right, that expanded metal roofing gets hotter than Hades.  Some folks get it with a layer of insulation applied to it, or glue it to the underside themselves.  It certainly works, but the ones I've seen where the insulation is exposed, it degrades and looks unsightly after 4 to 5 years. 

When we did our roof line extension around the house, used the common metal roof sheeting, applied a layer of insulation on the underside, enclosed it with SMART board instead of the usual gypsum board, then painted to color scheme.   5 years on still looks good, no issues, and the insulation effect is noticeable.   Also tossed a few white fiberglass sheets along the side and back section to let some natural light in vs. it looking like a black hole of Calcutta.

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