At first glance, the construction work might look simple. They say, “What’s the fuss, putting one brick on top of another.” Unfortunately, the truth is a bit different and we may have to live with the consequences of bad implementation for a very long time, knowing that the blame can be largely credited only to our irresponsible selves. And particularly with the roof, a building’s primary defense against environment, this is all the more true. In order to increase the residential comfort, and not vice versa, we should, both in roof renovation and in the construction of a new roof, consider all necessary measures. Among them, also roof maintenance.
We should regularly check all external parts of the building, protecting us from the weather, and examine their condition. Special attention should be paid to moldy areas and wet spots, where roofing is broken or materials are otherwise structurally altered. Wet stains can indicate water leakage or point to the location where, due to thermal bridges, indoor moisture is transferred to external surfaces. Holes in the roof can also result in lower energy efficiency and higher energy costs. Therefore, we must seize the first opportunity to properly repair the flaws, as otherwise, the existing problems will only escalate.
After 2020, roofs will be built with an at least 30 cm thick layer of thermal insulation. If you do not want the market value of your home to plummet, or if you do not want to compromise on lower residential comfort, as is achieved in newly constructed homes, you’d better take action.
Once decided on a roof renovation, it is best to consider the roof as a whole. We may want to discuss our plan with experts and have it repaired once and for all. In this day and age, in addition to the replacement of the roofing and installation of ventilation, a roof renovation should also take into careful consideration the long-term significance of thermal insulation and the role of foils, all of them necessary layers of a pitched roof.
A thoroughly planned renovation can converted your roof into nearly zero-energy standard and thus forever resolve the problem of attic space thermal inefficiency, usually presenting itself in the decrease of residential comfort – impossible heat in summer and additional cooling effects in the winter -, as well as in higher energy costs.
Which are the different possibilities of renovating a pitched roof?
There are several possibilities in roof renovation:
- total renovation,
- renovation from the outside or
- renovation from the inside.
If your attic is already utilized and you would not want to interfere into its space, thermal insulation can be installed above the rafters (joists). You may want to do this also in cases of insufficient attic height. In this way, the original attic volume is preserved. If, however, you can install thermal protection from the inside, this poses no special problems and you can do it by yourself. See more on this here.
Never forget that for good low-energy standards, a complete roof reconstruction with at least 30 cm of insulation material is required. You most probably already know that the installation of this desired thickness is difficult if performed on only one side of the roof. But never mind. The advantage with existing attics is that roof renovation can be carried out in steps. First, from the inside, and later, when we intend to replace the roofing, from the outside.
What to do about a damaged roof?
In damaged roofs, we do the same as described above. The renovation should include adding, where necessary, thermal insulation, and a full replacement of all layers – the inner lining and the roofing-, bearing in mind the benefits of significantly increased residential comfort.
During renovation, be sure to call an experienced supervisor – it might be yourself – who will spot potential errors, such as thermal bridges and insufficiently sealed connections. If correct installation is what you pay for, this is what you should get. If thermal insulation is improperly installed, we are left with the of poor energy utilization forever.
Steps to a pitched roof for highest residential pleasure
The roof is an important and demanding part of a building, requiring a fair amount of executional prudence, especially if we live under it. As each layer plays its dedicated role, we must be familiar with each and every one, with its function and the method of its installation. Only then will we be able to properly install each of the many parts of a roof system. The devil, as always, is in the details, and improper execution may leave us with nothing but problems.
When buying a car, which we replace every few years, we study every detail. Why not use the same attitude when buying a roof? With proper implementation, your roof will achieve durability.
If one of the roof’s layers is inadequate, or is inadequately installed, the entire roof system is liable to fail and suddenly, the attic is either too hot or too cold, we notice incomprehensible leakages and rapid indoor temperature swings at weather changes. With all available knowledge, this is not supposed to happen neither in renovation nor in the new construction of a roof.
Experts advise: What ensures the durability of a pitched roof?
A key factor in the functioning of pitched roofs is the correct choice and application of its layers, as well as a precise and professional execution. If your contractor replaced one of the roof layers, as foreseen in the design, make sure that the replacement is as appropriate as planned, lest the exchange was only caused by the lower price of the replacement. If necessary, hire a supervising engineer with knowledge of energy-efficient construction, to carefully monitor the implementation and require that the contractors do their best job.
If you think that such an expert is too expensive, consider the high price you will really pay for improper construction, and compare it to the value of professional knowledge.
Are you looking for the most appropriate solution for your pitched roof? You can find it in a free article. You can download it at the link below.