Actis Insulation Hybrid system

Actis comes to the rescue after mouse causes roof fire at barn conversion

A builder who has been using Actis insulation products for the past 17 years has just reroofed a Northamptonshire barn conversion after a mouse caused a fire in the eaves.

Chris Brooks said he was hugely relieved when the architectural firm he worked with specified the entire Actis Hybrid system when they were appointed to carry out the remedial work after the blaze.

The owners too are delighted, after a tumultuous few months, because after 20 years of shivering in a poorly insulated home they will benefit from a massive thermal improvement, thanks to the amazing 0.13 U-value the refurbished roof enjoys.

Chris, whose company Chris Brooks Carpentry oversees all aspects of general building work, explained the journey from mouse to new look house.

“The barn was converted into a home about 20 years ago by builders who only installed 50mm of PIR board in the roof. It was a nightmare for the owners to heat. Other than that, it was a lovely house. Then in January the owners were at home in the evening when the fire started in the roof. It turns out it was an electrical fault caused by a mouse nibbling through some cables under the eaves. The PIR board melted and caught fire. To make it worse, the roof tiles were made of thermoplastic reproduction slates. And they melted and added fuel to the fire, destroying the roof.

“When I was offered the job, I was praying that the architects hadn’t specified PIR board. That’s the staple option. I find it hugely aggravating and I made my views clear. Fortunately, they were of the same mind and specified the whole Actis Hybrid system. That’s 125mm Hybris insulation, plus the insulating vapour control layer and breather membranes HControl Hybrid and BoostR Hybrid Roof which has laps to make it even easier to install. We’ve added yet another membrane as well, just in case, because of continued weather exposure.

“I’ve been using Actis for the past 16 or 17 years and always loved the products. The technical team are so helpful. You can just tell them details of your project and they come up with the calculations. What I love about Actis is that it’s so easy to use. It’s literally roll out, staple, counter batten, job done.

Hybris – which is a sort of honeycomb PIR equivalent - is great. You just cut it with a proper saw. If it’s a little bit too big it pushes in. With PIR, when you cut it you get dust in your eyes, then you put it in and find it’s too tight, cut a bit off and then it’s too loose. It takes so long. With Actis you just cut it and push it in. Easy.

“The lack of dust with Actis makes such a difference. We did a big job a couple of years ago – a two storey flat on an equestrian yard. Because of all the horses, dust would have been a a mega issue. Not with Actis.”

Watch drone footage of the reroofing take shape here, here, here and here.