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The Roofing Recap – Roofing Insulation Solutions by Plasti-Fab

March 26, 2018

Since 1968, Plasti-Fab has provided Roofing Insulation Solutions to residential and commercial applications with Quality, Service and Expertise.

In today’s blog post, we provide a recap of previous articles which highlights the various solutions and links to the website:

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:

Insulate Cathedral Ceilings with PlastiSpan® or DuroFoam® by Plasti-Fab

March 19, 2018

Insulation is important in a variety of areas in your home. It is what helps create the all important thermal envelope. This month we have really been focusing on roof insulation, and how it helps your home. A lot of insulation solutions are well suited or new construction, but today, we are going to talk about insulating a cathedral ceiling, which can be done during the new construction process OR as a renovation/improvement to your home.

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 R-value  for the roof area compared to other building components. On traditional cathedral ceilings where tongue and groove timber is exposed on the inside and is used as an architectural feature, PlastiSpan or DuroFoam Insulation is ideal for both single and double layered applications.

Step 1: First layer of insulation
Use nailers the same thickness as the first layer of insulation. Starting at the bottom of the roof slope lay first row of nailers horizontally across the roof slope, then insulation working your way up the slope of the roof with all joints tightly butted. Fasten nailers to the roof deck as work proceeds.

Step 2: Second Layer of Insulation
Lay a second layer of insulation perpendicular to the first layer. Lay insulation with joints tightly butted. Lay nailers over insulation spaced to support roof sheathing.

Step 3: Fastening Layers of Insulation*
Fasten the second layer nailer to the first layer nailer where they intersect. If the thermal resistance requires extra layers of insulation, add layers to the bottom of the system changing the nailer direction as required so that the top nailer runs vertically up the roof slope.

*Multiple Layers: if the thermal resistance required extra layers of insulation, add layers to the bottom of the system changing the nailer direction as required. The top nailer must always run from the bottom of the roof slope to the ridge.

Step 4: Finish
Nail rood sheathing to nailers taking care that air movement is unobstructed in ventilation space.

Step 5: Roofing cover
Install roofing cover in accordance with manufacturer’s instructions. Adequate ventilation must be insured using an acceptable method to the applicable building code and/or local regulations.

For additional information on Cathedral ceilings, visit

Green Roof Transformation: Repairing & Redefining Space with Plasti-Fab GeoSpec®

March 12, 2018

Plasti-Fab_WTagline_surveyCalgary, Alberta
Plasti-Fab® EPS Product Solution provides compressive resistance and quick installation

When the city-owned roof covering a portion of a local fire hall and hotel began to leak, the task of repairing the 300 s.f. area began, and with it came the re-imagining of the space overall. Up to that point, the ill-defined and publicly-accessible rooftop patio was not regularly maintained. Over time, it became unkempt, was used primarily as a smoking area, and attracted too many late-night visitors. After leveling the existing structures that served as seating or planter boxes, the city elected to gate the area and turn it into an outdoor venue for hotel functions.

calgary-firehall-project-2016-01Repairing the space and redefining its purpose required special consideration for the materials to be used. The city engaged a local landscape design firm that contacted Plasti-Fab for a solution. Aaron Rennie, Director of Market Development at Plasti-Fab, explained the firm specified “the project needed a fill material that could add height, be used across a wide area, have compressive resistance to withstand weight from snow, landscaping and people, while minimizing additional weight on the structure below.”

calgary-firehall-project-2016-02The answer was Plasti-Fab’s GeoSpec® lightweight fill material, also referred to as expanded polystyrene (EPS) Geofoam. Plasti-Fab’s GeoSpec blocks are designed to support heavy compressive loads, but has a density of less than 1 percent of traditional earth materials. It was ideal for this project given the uniform elevation requirements above the roof deck would level changes in the roof line and create the desired public space. Adding thousands of pounds of material to achieve that could have exceeded the capacity of the concrete roof structure beneath.

calgary-firehall-project-2016-03Not only did GeoSpec address the weight issue, it checked another construction box as well: speed of installation. EPS Geofoam can be cut with a handsaw, and certainly a power ripsaw, thereby allowing for “field fitting,” Aaron points out. “It can be easily cut to fit in the typical areas – like corners and edges – but allows installers to easily accommodate changes in elevation.”

For more than 50 years, EPS Geofoam has been used in projects involving roads, bridge approach fills, slope stabilization, embankments, foundations, and landscaping. Plasti-Fab is proud to add this project to our profile list, and contribute to a new, beautifully designed public space that offers hotel guests and event attendees stunning vistas of downtown Calgary.

Learn more about Plasti-Fab’s GeoFoam solutions now at 

PlastiSpan Sloped Roof Insulation Solutions

March 7, 2018

PlastiSpan Sloped Roof Insulation
Written by Guest Writer: Neil Henrikson, Plasti-Fab Roofing Sales Expert

Moisture infiltration is a contributing factor to the premature failure of buildings. The roof of any structure is the first line of defense against rain or melting snow and ice.

Plasti-Fab manufactures sloped insulation products for almost any roofing system used in today’s roofing industry.

Plasti-Fab has manufacturing facilities across Canada that are equipped to supply sloped insulation. PlastiSpan sloped insulation provides positive drainage to any drains located on the surface of the roof structure, including scuppers located at parapets or gutters. The percentage of slope can range from 1/16” per foot (1/2%) to 2” per foot (6%) and beyond in custom applications. A wide range of insulation physical properties are available to accommodate your needs.

The Plasti-Fab roofing sales representative experts work closely with design professionals and roofing contractors to ensure that the sloped insulation design matches the necessary requirements for any individual project. Experts at Plasti-Fab use a proprietary roofing CAD program to provide layouts for evaluation by designers and installation instructions for roofing contractors. The layouts can be easily adjusted in the event that drains are moved or structural limitations are exceeded.

Another added benefit of using PlastiSpan sloped roofing insulation is the energy efficient R-Value the product provides. Average R-Values or RSI are calculated with each design. This gives the design professional the ability to adjust insulation requirements to coincide with the needs of the mechanical system.

The large majority of older buildings do not have insulation in the roofing system or the insulation is not sufficient for today’s cost to operate the building energy efficiently. Using PlastiSpan sloped roofing Insulation in a retrofit of an older roof, not only provides positive drainage protection but also contributes to long term savings in operating costs.

Contact your Plasti-Fab Sales representative for more information. Find yours here!
Learn more about Sloped roofing insulation now.

What are…

Scuppers: A scupper is an opening in the side walls of an open-air structure, for purposes of draining water. Buildings with railed rooftops can construct scuppers to let rainwater drain off, instead of pooling within the railing of the roof. Scuppers can also be placed in a parapet, for the same purpose. 

Parapets: A parapet is a wall-like barrier at the edge of a roof, terrace, balcony or other structure. Where extending above a roof, it may simply be the portion of an exterior wall that continues above the line of the roof surface, or may be a continuation of a vertical feature beneath the roof such as a fire wall or party wall.

Gutters: Gutter, the trough or duct under the eaves of a building.

Precast Concrete Tilt-up Walls for Energy Efficiency Commercial Construction

February 19, 2018

Plasti-Fab_WTagline_surveyAnother energy efficient wall solution in commercial construction is the precast concrete panel option. Also known as tilt-up walls, they can be easily and economically insulated by incorporating Plasti-Fab PlastiSpan insulation into the panel when they are manufactured. The panel can then be easily placed during the construction process, providing a fully insulated finished wall or floor section. You can imagine how much time this saves in commercial construction.

Precast-DiagramThe precast concrete panel is usually constructed so the interior shell of the panel is structural and will support wind loads or any other loads expected. Since it is insulated from the weather it will not be subjected to extremes of thermal expansion and contraction and will be a more suitable unit. The windows are mounted on the interior shell which is more stable. The interior shell acts as a heat source for the window, warming it and allowing for a higher relative humidity in the building before condensation occurs on the window.

How are the walls made?
The panel is usually poured exterior face down so any architectural details can be incorporated into the mould. Concrete is poured over the exterior shell reinforcing to the depth required for the thickness of the exterior skins, then vibrated as necessary. Shear ties are worked into the wet concrete or in some cases the shear ties are placed as the concrete is poured.

precast02Some designs require a bond breaker between insulation and exterior shell. 2 mil polyethylene will provide this requirement. PlastiSpan insulation boards are placed over the wet concrete allowing space for concrete web around perimeter where necessary. Reinforcing for the inner shell is placed. To complete the wall, concrete is poured to finished thickness of panel, again vibrating as necessary. The surface of concrete is troweled as required. The concrete is allowed to set and cure as normal, and then the panel is ready to be handled as usual.

The total thickness of concrete in the panel is usually accepted in order to determine the fire rating of the panel. Fire testing to verify this rating has been completed in other countries. Where the panels are designed for long spans it is desirable to separate the PlastiSpan insulation along the length of the panel to divide the flammable component into two or more compartments.

precast01Finish Solutions
A spray-on finish is standard for a ceiling finish on the underside of the panel. When used as a roof panel the insulation on the panel may be used to calculate the thermal resistance over the area to be covered by the roof. Additional insulation over the slab is often required in conjunction with the roof membrane to reduce the effect of the thermal short at the concrete webs. We will cover the Plasti-Fab roofing insulation solutions a little further along in this blog series.

To learn more about these Tilt-up walls as a solution to your commercial construction project, contact us today. 1-88-THINK EPS® or visit

Under slab Insulation Using PlastiSpan® Insulation

February 9, 2018


Cold weather seems like it is here to stay, and if you listen to the groundhog – we have 6 more week of winter! Why endure the cold with your basement slab or commercial slab? Insulating under your concrete slab using PlastiSpan insulation is another excellent way to reduce thermal loss from your commercial building, keeping it warmer and energy efficient.


As in many other commercial building applications, Plasti-Fab offers a range of PlastiSpan insulation types that can be used for this purpose. Typically for underslab insulation a minimum of PlastiSpan HD INSULATION is recommended, to provide the required compressive resistance to support loads on concrete slabs for commercial building applications. There are also higher compressive resistance PlastiSpan insulation types available if the engineering design for the concrete slab requires it. These products would include PlastiSpan 20, PlastiSpan 25, PlastiSpan 30 and PlastiSpan 40 insulation. Plasti-Fab provides Product Information Bulletins with material properties to help designers choose the appropriate product for the application.

So how do you go about making your commercial project energy-efficient with the PlastiSpan insulation under your concrete slab? First, you place and level a layer of granular fill over the floor area. Then cover the leveled granular fill material with moisture barrier. A 6 mil polyethylene is often used as the moisture barrier. When you have completed this, lay PlastiSpan HD insulation over the moisture barrier. Ensure that the joints are tightly butted together. Trim around the perimeter and openings as required.

underslab high compressive

Reinforcing steel or mesh as required by the engineering design for the concrete slab is placed using chairs or supports that distribute the weight of the reinforcing steel/mesh on the surface of the insulation and ensure the reinforcing steel/mesh  is located within the slab thickness as required.  Your concrete is then placed and finished over the insulation layer . You now have a continuous layer of insulation below your concrete slab, which will reduce thermal loss through the slab.

  And there you have it, a very easy way to make your commercial project more Energy Efficient with PlastiSpan insulation. Learn more about under slab insulation – check out both our commercial AND residential applications.

Homeowner heats up his basement with PlastiSpan HD Hydronic Insulation

January 19, 2018

Plasti-Fab_WTagline_surveyLike most homeowners, Philippe Clairo disliked cold basements. So when he and his wife Cat Hackman had the chance to design a 2,300 sq. ft. custom residence, they went for a radiant heating system in the basement for complete comfort and energy performance.


“Coming from a house where our basement was always cold, we knew we wanted to heat the basement,” said Clairo. “I turned to Plasti-Fab and asked them if they had any products that could help us out.”


Plasti-Fab provided Clairo with PlastiSpan® HD hydronic insulation, a specialty product for radiant heating systems. The closed-cell rigid foam insulation is equipped as the first component in the radiant heating system to lessen heat loss beneath the floor system and provides uniform heat distribution. Unlike traditional radiant heating assemblies that depend on rebar and metal ties to affix the hydronic tubing, PlastiSpan HD hydronic insulation has pre-routed channels that hold tubing in place without any mechanical fasteners. Clairo, who saw the installation, observed the apparent advantage of PlastiSpan HD hydronic insulation over the traditional approach.

“With the floor installation, there was a little frustration from the trades at first, because they were not used to it,” he said. “But as soon as they got it, they installed it really fast. They said it took two hours instead of four to install the insulation.”


The efficiency of the radiant heating system backed by PlastiSpan HD hydronic insulation was paired with DuroFoam® insulation on below grade walls to produce a warm, comfortable basement that the whole family can enjoy. The lower level holds a recreation room, a small home theater, exercise area, and guest bedroom.

“In the basement, it is night and day with what we had before in terms of heat,” said Clairo. “Working with Plasti-Fab has been great,” he added. “The product was always on time, it was easy to install, and all the trades working here have been very impressed with it.”

Learn how you can use Plasti-Fab’s Hydronic Insulation for your home!