Radon Resistant New Construction: What is it and why it is important?

With the concept of Today4Tomorrow being the key theme of this year’s Radon Action Month, the construction method of building Radon Resistance New Construction (RRNC) is key to this program’s success. In short, when you build a home today with Radon mitigation as part of the construction process, you are ensuring the homes and buildings of tomorrow are protected against the dangers of Radon gas.

So what IS RRNC? Using common materials and straightforward techniques, builders can construct new homes that are resistant to radon entry. They do so by creating a sealed building envelope that ensures healthier indoor air quality and keeps out not just Radon but other harmful environmental factors such as mold, carbon monoxide, and toxic chemicals.

The cost to include Radon mitigation at the new construction phase is far less than having to mitigate a Radon gas problem in a pre-existing home or building. While the costs may vary, there are added benefits to the homeowner as Radon-resistant features can be an important selling point for health-conscious home-buyers.

How does one build a RRNC home? All of the techniques and materials described below are commonly used in home construction. No special skills or materials are required when adding radon-resistant features as a new home is being built.

Essentially, there are 5 steps to building a RRNC home.

1-Installation of an air flow layer. Historically the code called for 4″ of coarse gravel below the slab. With Radon Guard™ Insulation, you can install your air flow layer and under slab insulation in one step. Radon Guard insulation allows gases to flow freely to the pre-determined location of the vent pipe (step 3) and be removed from the space before it enters the home. Radon Guard insulation is the code compliant one-to-one replacement for a 100 mm thick layer of granular material, the prescriptive solution required by building codes.

2- Installation of an air barrier or approved plastic sheeting over the air flow layer to ensure the harmful gases are on the controlled space.

3-Vent pipe installation. Every system requires a vent pipe in order to direct and remove Radon. With Radon Guard insulation, you simply notch your insulation around the vent pipe and continue on.

4- Tape, Caulk and sealing. This is the most important step as it ties in all the other parts of the system and helps them work effectively. Taping, caulking or sealing the seams of the vapor barrier stops any leaks from entering your healthy space.

5 – Venting the System. In some areas, power vents are required to exhaust the gases out of the home. You want to be able to move the air and direct it outside of the home or building.

Before we wrap up, let’s do a quick recap on the benefits of Radon-resistant construction.

Home builders benefit :
• Increased marketability and positioning as a builder that supports good building practice.
• Fewer callbacks for moisture related problems.

Home owners benefit:
• If radon is detected, a passive system can be upgraded to an active system with little effort.
• Improved resale value of the home.
• Improved indoor air quality and assurance that your family is protected from the health threats posed by radon.

If you are planning on building a new home, consider RRNC, and Radon Guard insulation for your healthy home solution. It’s more cost-effective to plan ahead, than to mitigate a Radon gas problem down the road….

For more information about Radon Guard Insulation, check out https://www.plastifab.com/

Radon Guard™ Insulation: Helping achieve “Today4Tomorrow” in the fight against Radon Gas

Did you know Radon gas is the second leading cause of lung cancer in Canada and the leading cause among non-smokers? Several Canadian provinces have building code requirements in line with the National Building Code, which clearly defines how to mitigate an interior space against radon gas.

The theme for Radon Action Month 2019 is Today4Tomorrow. The goal is that today’s new construction is built with tomorrow in mind. With Today4Tomorrow being the Radon Action theme of 2019, we want to talk about the concept of Radon Resistant New Construction (RRNC). By building with Radon mitigation in mind, and implementing the use of Radon Guard™in the planning stages, by default, you are starting with a healthier home or structure.

 Radon Guard insulation is the code-compliant one-to-one replacement
for a 100 mm thick layer of granular material, the prescriptive solution
required by building codes


Plasti-Fab has a key component within these mitigation systems, with our Radon Guard Insulation. It provides the space under the floor slab for the radon gas to move toward a vent stack, which diverts this deadly radioactive gas around interior spaces to vent harmlessly out the building roof.

Developed by architect Randi Fox, Radon Guard™ is currently installed in LEED gold standard buildings in Canada. Radon Guard™ incorporates building science to improve indoor air quality and save lives. 

Radon Guard™ is a Greenguard Gold certified product, meeting strict sustainability certifications (besides being part of the system that keeps your home or business safe from Radon gas) and also on the Holmes Approved product list.

An added benefit of Plasti-Fab Radon Guard Insulation is that it provides under-slab insulation to your building! The typical method of using washed gravel does not – so our product will help in producing a warmer, more energy-efficient building, in addition to protecting against radon gas. Say goodbye to gravel and hello to the insulation that helps you build a healthy home with healthy foam.

At Plasti-Fab, we recognize the importance of healthy environments both inside and outside of a structure. The health and future of not just our customers but the planet serve as a driving force for sustainable products like Radon Guard and many of our other Greengard certified products. Paired with Radon Environmental, Plasti-Fab is the exclusive manufacturer of Radon Guard™ insulation in Canada.

As the largest manufacturer of EPS insulation in Canada, Plasti-Fab has manufacturing and sales offices across North America. Learn More about Radon Guard™ Insulation and how to install it at https://www.plastifab.com/products/insulation/RadonGuard-insulation.html

The Roofing Recap – Why Plasti-Fab EPS is your Choice in Roofing Insulation

If you have been following along with our topics for the month of September, it’s easy to see the value of roofing insulation in any project. From improved energy efficiency, to lowering your project costs with EPS insulation, roofing insulation is integral to the success of your roofing project.  Since 1968, Plasti-Fab has provided Roofing Insulation Solutions to residential and commercial applications with Quality, Service and Expertise. Whether you are a commercial construction manager or a Do-it-Yourself homeowner in the midst of a remodel, we are here to help you

Today, we are going to recap the various solutions we have covered over the last month.

built-up-roofingBuilt Up Roofing:
PlastiSpan®sloped or flat insulation board is used extensively as the
insulation component within built up roof assemblies. Built up roof
assemblies have been used commonly for many years, and are suitable for
new or maintenance requirements. Built up roof assemblies incorporating
PlastiSpan insulation board have been tested for compliance with
requirements for fire rated roof assemblies.

single-ply-roofingSingle Ply Roofing:
Various single ply roof assemblies incorporating PlastiSpan insulation board
have been tested for compliance with requirements for fire rated roof
assemblies. These roofing systems have many years of proven performance
in both new and maintenance roof construction.

sloped-roofingSloped Roofing Insulation:
PlastiSpan sloped roof insulation provides the required positive slope to
drain while retaining the structural and economic advantages provided by a
flat roof deck. PlastiSpan sloped insulation board can be used for new and
maintenance roofing projects of all sizes and is suitable for use with all
types of roofing systems. Because PlastiSpan sloped insulation board is
an expanded polystyrene (EPS) insulation, design thermal resistance
values provided are not subject to thermal drift.

standing-seamStanding Seam Roofing Insulation:
Metal standing seam roof systems incorporating PlastiSpan insulation
provide an energy efficient option for a wide range of applications. The
exterior metal surface can include a variety of profiles and colors to suit many
architectural requirements and the system offers the added advantage of
installation at any temperature.

modified-bitumenModified Bitumen Roofing:
Modified bitumen roofing systems used in Canada incorporating PlastiSpan
insulation board have been engineered to provide optimum performance
in Canada’s harsh climate. This type of system is suitable for either new or
maintenance roofing applications.

cathedral-ceilingCathedral Ceilings:
The roof area can be the area of highest heat loss in buildings. In order to
conserve energy and to make buildings more comfortable, building codes
stipulate higher thermal resistances (R-values) for the roof area compared
to other building components. On traditional cathedral ceilings where tongue and groove timber exposed on the inside is used as an architectural feature, PlastiSpan insulation board is ideal for both single and double layered applications.

flute-fillerFlute Filler Roofing:
Flute Filler acts as the void fill material designed to be installed over
pre-existing metal roofs providing a uniform and level substrate for the
new roof system. PlastiSpan Insulation is a moulded expanded polystyrene (EPS) insulation

In Summary:
As you can see, Plasti-Fab has insulation solutions for several various types of roofing applications. We would be happy to help you plan and design your next roofing project.

Give us a call or email today to talk to a roofing specialist.

Learn more about Plasti-Fab’s Roofing Solutions by visiting:

EPS or GPS for Insulated Roofing Applications – How Do You Choose?

When you embark on a roofing project, there are many layers (literally) to your project. Selecting the right insulation to meet your goals is one of them. So when you evaluate the type of insulation you require, it is important to measure what matters. Cost, R-value, thickness, on-time deliveries, and design flexibility of your insulation are just a few factors taken into consideration.

At Plasti-Fab, we have different products to choose from ranging from EPS Type 1 insulation, higher compressive resistant products like PlastiSpan 20, 25, 30, 40 and even 60, and then our EnerSpan® product line (GPS), manufactured with Neopor graphite bead. So let’s take a look at how you choose between EPS insulation and GPS insulation for your project.

When to use EPS insulation for your roofing project

EPS insulation has long been the go-to product of choice for residential and commercial roofing contractors due to its design flexibility, best cost per R-value, long-term thermal resistance, and large product offering.

According to Professional Roofing Magazine, “Roofing contractors who use EPS for their insulation layer are able to achieve higher R-values with fewer EPS layers, reducing labor time and cost. … Built-up roof (BUR) systems: To taper or increase the slope of an existing low-slope roof, using EPS can reduce insulation costs up to 30 percent compared with other rigid foam insulations.”

As EPS insulation offers the highest R-value per dollar, many building professionals choose it for their roof insulation needs. For those who specify EPS for its cost effectiveness, moisture performance and stable long-term R-values, product options are available that reduce costs even further.

While roof insulation is required by code, and as a practical necessity, it doesn’t have to break the bank. Readily available EPS insulation options can help you save money on commercial roof jobs, in both new construction and building retrofits.

SBC Magazine

When to use GPS insulation for your roofing project

Before we get into the option of using Graphite Polystyrene, first lets talk about exactly what this option is. GPS is a Expanded polystyrene product that has been manufactured using Neopor graphite bead (made by BASF). The result is a silver grey foam that provides an R-value of 4.7 per inch. While various EPS insulations range from R3.75 per inch up to 4.27 per inch, the Neopor based product enhances your R-value per inch, allowing for a thinner insulation layer in your project.

GPS is a great insulation solution for your roofing project when you require a higher R-value but are limited to your thicknesses of the insulation layer. Like EPS, the graphite enhanced EPS maintains its R-value for the life of the product, so the R-value you install will never diminish over time like other insulation options.

Because GPS is manufactured the same way as our expanded polystyrene, you have the same flexibility in your design for thickness, tapered or sloped insulation as needed. Our staff of roofing experts can assist you in the development of the designs for your project. Or if you are looking for a simple solution for flat roofing material, you can order the GPS in a variety of thicknesses to meet your project goals.

In the end, both options are a good solution for roofing insulation. The use of Neopor in the EPS simply provides you with a wider range of potential solutions to achieve the roofing insulation you require.

Click here to learn more about our EnerSpan® insulation (GPS).

Residential Roofing Insulation Solutions for New Construction and Renovation Projects

Fully insulating a home to provide the best thermal envelope adds a value that is counted not just in the dollars saved from energy bills each month. A well insulated home is comfortable, quiet, and secure, adding a peace of mind & value that cannot be measured in dollars.

Last week we talked about commercial construction roofing applications, and today we will be covering something (literally!) closer to home: Residential roofing insulation.

We are going to take a look at two different ways to finish off an energy efficient home with roofing insulation. The first is to apply EPS rigid foam to a conventionally framed roof. For this application we recommend DuroFoam Insulation, a closed cell-moisture resistant product that meets all building code requirements and is laminated on both sides. DuroFoam is easy to install and provides a cost-effective solution for your roofing insulation.

View the step by step guide to installing DuroFoam insulation for your roof

An additional solution to your roofing insulation needs is to use our EnerSpan insulation. EnerSpan is also a rigid foam solution, that is non-laminated. Since it is made with NEOPOR from BASF, it provides a higher R-value per inch, allowing you to use a thinner sheet for your roof. EnerSpan provides an R-value of R4.7 per inch, meets all building code requirements, and is installed the same way as the DuroFoam insulation noted above.

Learn about the features & benefits of EnerSpan Insulation with NEOPOR

While the rigid foam solutions mentioned above can be used in both new construction and remodeling/retrofit projects, the next and also last energy efficient roofing product we will cover is used mainly in new construction as it is a building system.

The Insulspan SIP System, made with PlastiSpan EPS foam and laminated structural grade oriented strand board is another way to complete your thermal envelope. The Insulspan SIP roof assembly contains less dimensional lumber than standard stick framed construction. This SIP System provides higher R-values than the wood-framed counterparts as there are significantly fewer thermal bridges. (Thermal bridges = potential heat loss)

Insulspan SIP roof panels are available in a range of thicknesses usually between 8″, 10″ and 12″ thick. Need more R-value but not the thickness? Insulspan also offers an Insulspan R-Plus series that is made with the EnerSpan Insulation containing NEOPOR. Below are the R-values for comparison.

Insulspan SIP System: 8 1/4″=R29.2 | 10 1/4″=R36.8 | 12 1/4″=R44.4
Insulspan R-PLUS SIP System: 8 1/4″=R35.9| 10 1/4″=R45.3 | 12 1/4″=R54.

Learn more about Insulspan SIP Roof Assemblies

To learn more about Plasti-Fab’s roofing insulation solutions for your next project visit https://www.plastifab.com/

PlastiSpan EPS Roofing Solutions for Commercial Construction

There are many roofing applications that benefit from the use of PlastiSpan’s EPS Rigid foam. Today we are taking a general look at commercial roofing applications.

PlastiSpan Insulation is a common roof insulation for all Commercial, industrial, institutional roofing applications. PlastiSpan is a well accepted roof insulation for all Provincial and National Roofing Association warranty programs across Canada as well as the United States. With a code-listed roofing insulation material, you can take comfort in the quality and long-lasting benefits that EPS (expanded polystyrene) and GPS (graphite polystyrene) insulation provides.

IMG_1945PlastiSpan Roofing Insulation is available in both FLAT and TAPERED (sloped) Insulation profiles.

  1. FLAT INSULATION is utilized for roof decks that are structurally sloped or as a base layer for tapered insulation projects where additional R value is required.
  2. TAPERED INSULATION is utilized for roof decks that are structurally flat and provide both positive slope to drain and additional R value. Tapered Insulation is also utilized for backslopes and saddles where water flow is impeded by various roof top units or where roof drains are located away from the perimeter walls and requiring a counter slope.

PlastiSpan Insulation can be used in a variety of different Roofing Applications.

1. Standing Seam Roofs

  • Allows a variety of profiles and colors.
  • Installs at any temperature
  • Easily installed over thermal barriers on steel decks

2. Built up Roofing

  • Economical for High Thermal Resistance
  • Fiberboard/Asphaltic board provides an excellent and familiar surface for the application of built up roofing
  • Easily installed over thermal barriers on metal decks or direct to deck.

3. Fire Rated Assemblies

  • Thermal Barriers on steel decks tested to demonstrate compliance with Building Code
  • Steel deck with suspended ceiling can provide 1-hour fire rating

4. Single Ply Roofing

  • PlastiSpan insulation can be loose laid for ballasted membrane systems.
  • Economical for high thermal resistance
  • Easily installed over thermal barriers on steel decks or direct to deck.

5. Sloped Insulation

  • Provides the positive slope to drain while maintaining the structural and economic advantages of a flat roof deck system.

Other roofing applications that benefit from the use of Plasti-Fab’s rigid foam insulation are Modified Bitumen and Flute Fill.

sloped_roofing02PlastiSpan EPS roof insulation is incorporated into a roofing system in order to reduce the energy loss through the roof. Building Codes require minimum thermal resistance requirements for various types of construction in various geographical locations. PlastiSpan insulation board conforms to CAN/ULC-S701 and ASTM C578 EPS insulation types. The choice will depend upon the characteristics required by the roofing system.

The insulation application may vary based on the membrane material used or the material and equipment used to apply the system. Application clauses specific to the types of membrane are listed in the applicable PlastiSpan Roof and Deck Insulation Brochure, available on the Plasti-Fab website.

Facts about PlastiSpan EPS Roof Insulation

  1. – Low slope commercial, residential, industrial and institutional.
  2. – Lowest cost per R value, in most cases.
  3. – Conforms to CAN/ULC S701, (National Standard of Canada for Moulded Expanded Polystyrene Insulation.)
  4. – Accepted EPS Insulation for Provincial and National guarantee programs. ( Various Provincial guarantee programs differ from Province to Province )
  5. – Proven track record, 45 years plus.
  6. – Available Nation wide.
  7. – Available in various sheet size, thickness and slope.
  8. – Stable long term thermal resistance.
  9. – Compatible with various roofing systems.
  10. – Manufactured in both Canada and the U.S.
  11. – Direct to deck acceptable in a metal roof assembly.
  12. – Contains no CFC’s or HCFC’s


For more detailed information on the specific roofing insulation assemblies discussed in this blog, visit our Plasti-Fab web site.

Coming up

In our next blog, we will cover roofing insulation solutions for residential applications. Whether you are building your new home or renovating an existing one, Plasti-Fab’s insulation solutions help you achieve your project goals.

The Importance of Roofing Insulation for your Home or Commercial Building

No matter where you live, it is important to maintain a comfortable temperature for your home or commercial building by ensuring the installation and maintenance of insulation. Proper insulation in the structure is important to establish a thermal envelope for the most effective energy efficiency. This month, we will be looking at roofing insulation and the different solutions for this application.

Your roof’s insulation acts like a protective blanket. It is wedged between the roof’s surface and the roof deck and is used to reduce the transfer of heat. A structure will experience approximately 25% heat loss through an un-insulated roof.

The Benefits of Roofing Insulation

A properly insulated roof will reduce your utility costs due to the R-value of the insulation you choose. However, there are many more reasons as to why insulation will truly be a benefit.

• Increased fire rating
• Lessened carbon “footprint”
• Mold resistance in EPS insulation
• Reduced condensation inside the building
• Less roof deck expansion and contraction from having a consistent temperature

The first rule of building performance is that heat moves from warm to cold. By insulating the your attic spaces or roof deck, you are creating a thermal barrier that helps eliminate that heat loss. When you consider that heat rises, insulating your roof is integral to maintaining your interior temperatures.

Not only does insulating your roof reduce heat loss, but it also helps you with moisture control in your structure. Similar to heat, moisture also moves from warm to cold. So interior warm moisture can cause problems at the roof line when it hits an un-insulated surface, creating potential for mold issues. Avoid these potential issues with properly insulated roofs and attic spaces.

Coming up

Stay tuned as we cover the various types of roof insulating applications for both residential and commercial construction in this month’s series. You will learn about the various types of commercial roofing assemblies and how Plasti-Fab’s EPS or our graphite-enhanced GPS is used to complete a building’s thermal envelope.

We will be looking at both new construction and renovation solutions, and how to select a product that best suits your home or building’s needs.

For more information on roofing applications for residential applications, check out our Residential Solutions.

For information on commercial roofing assemblies and the use of EPS and GPS, check out our Commercial Solutions.