roof insulation types for any homes

Various materials are available for roof insulation. Talk to an ironmonger who stocks a good range, and ask his advice about how much will be needed for your home. Take along rough measurements of your loft-you can measure the ground floor from front to back and side to side as a guide. Arrange to have the packs of insulation on a sale or return basis it is far better to have too many packs and have to return one than to take too few, and have to finish the job another day. Insulating the loft is a job which most people can accomplish quite easily, but it is not a comfortable job, and may involve crouching and bending to reach the furthermost points of the sloping roof. Use a short length of board to balance between the joists, so that you have somewhere to kneel. Never tread in the space between the joists.

Wear your oldest clothes, most lofts are extremely dusty. If you are allergic to dust, wear an improvised smog mask, made from gauze, or a handkerchief. Some form of lighting is necessary if you have no light in the loft, borrow f buy a electric lamp holder on a long flex, which can be plugged in to a light-socket outside the loft. If the entrance to your loft is small, be sure to choose a form of insulation which you will be able to get into your loft. For loft insulation you have the following materials to choose from: Loosefill Granules or pellets of vermiculite, loose mineral wool or glass wool. Loosefill is fairly easy to put down you buy it in bags and pour the granules or pack the loose material into the space between the joists of the loft to a depth of two inches. That’s not as difficult to judge as it may sound, as you use a specially shaped piece of cardboard or wood to level off to the correct depth.

wool blanket roof insulationFibreglass or mineral wool blanket
This is an excellent insulation material, especially if the house is not your own property, as you can simply roll it up and take it with you when you move. The blanket is usually 1-inch thick, though it is also available in 2- to 4-inch thicknesses, giving of course, even better thermal insulation. To lay insulating blanket you unroll it between the joists, tucking any extra width up each side of the joists. It’s a good idea, if you are intending to buy insulating blanket, to first have a look at your loft and measure the distance between the joists. If the joists are set at irregular widths, as may be the case with some older houses, you would be better advised to use one of the loosefills. It is essential that you wear old gloves when you lay fibreglass, otherwise minute fragments of glass may penetrate the skin and produce a most uncomfortable effect.


aluminium foil roof insulationAluminium foil
This involves putting down a layer of thin crumpled foil between all the joists, and then tacking a second layer of reinforced foil over the top of the joists, sealing all the spaces. This method may take longer, and if you will be going up into the loft occasionally and stepping across the joists, it may prove too fragile. If you use the loft as an extra room and have close-boarded the Hoor, you can still insulate the roof. Use either insulating boards, nailed to the rafters and then painted, or reinforced aluminium foil, also tacked to the rafters. There is another method of roof insulation by the use of expanded polystyrene, applied in liquid form. But this is not something you can do yourself.

roof types styles and shapes

Pitched roofs are normally clad with slates or tiles. Such Roof types have to be strongly constructed to support the immense load of the states or tiles as well as any snow that settles. Moreover, the roof is exposed to the wind, which can exert a large force in exposed areas. How they are built? There are two common roof types for a pitched roof. If the roof has just a simple slope on each side, meeting in a ridge like a tent, it is said to be two—way pitched. The walls at the ends of a two-way pitched roof are the gable walls, and are often triangular in shape at the top. It is usual for the roof to project slightly beyond, and be supported by, the gable wall. The end of the roof is concealed behind bargeboards, which are nailed to the end rafters. The roof projection beyond the gable is the verge which shields the top of the wall from the rain. On some houses, the gable wall extends higher than the ridge. In such cases the gable is square at the top, capped oft with a stone coping or rendering. This type of wall, against which a roof abuts, is an abutment wall. The other common roof types of roof shape is called a hipped roof. It is formed when the roof has a third slope, rising from the end walls to the top like the side of a pyramid. Some houses have both types of roof joined in one: for instance a house that is L-shaped in plan may have a two way roof on one leg of the L, but a hipped roof on the other; a T-shaped house, too, may have hips at the two ends of the roof covering the top cross-member, but a two-way pitch at the end of the main T-section; a hipped roof may have a dormer window with a two-way pitched roof; and there are other variations. Another type of pitched roof you may see occasionally is the mansard. In this the pitch is at two angles a gentle one at the top and a steeper one below, nearer the outer wall. Often, these roof types were designed to allow a room in the attic. They were, in fact a cheap way of getting an extra storey, for the lower parts of such a roof are more easily and cheaply built than a brick wall.

roof types styles and shapesLean-to buildings, verandahs and porches often have a single sloped roof covered by tiles and slates. These are known as mono pitch roofs. Traditionally, the frame for a pitched roof was built up on site by skilled joiners. On pitched-roof houses built since about 1950, however, the triangular frame is of a missed rafter construction. With these, the triangular frames are constructed as a whole in a factory, and brought to the site looking much like giant coat hangers. They are strengthened by lengths of timber known as trusses. The difference between a trussed frame and the traditional type is crucial if you ever think of building a loft extension. It is impossible to erect a room in an attic formed by trussed frames, for you cannot remove any of the middle trusses to clear a space for a loft conversion without seriously weakening the whole structure. lt is possible, however, to remove sections from an older-style roof, provided that compensating support is added elsewhere. But the subject of loft conversions is complicated and you should never attempt it without expert advice. Whichever construction method has been used, the frames are broadly similar. The lower member of the triangle is the joist, to the underside of which the ceilings of upstairs rooms are fixed. These joists are fixed to wall plates at the top of the main walls of the house, the two sides of the triangle are the rafters, and these are joined both to the wall plates and to the sides of the joists. At the top end, the rafters are joined to a horizontal length of timber known as the ridge board. Intermediate support for the rafters is provided by purlins, which are usually braced. Two methods of bracing are used.

There may be struts supported on an internal load-bearing wall, or hangers fixed vertically to the joists and further strengthened by runners extending vertically between the hangers. The purlins may be notched into the rafters, or just beveled to suit the angle at which they meet. The rafters project well beyond the eaves and are finished off by two lengths of timber. The one underneath the rafters is the soffit board, and the other to which the gutters are fixed is the fascia. Sometimes the eaves are left open. Never block off open eaves as a draught-proofing or insulation measure. They are left open to keep the loft well ventilated and dry. Blocking off might encourage condensation, which will dampen and rot the roof timbers and saturate any loft insulation, rendering it ineffective. Houses built with blocked off eaves have compensating ventilation elsewhere. Older houses often have a front external wall extended to form a parapet. This is sometimes topped with a stone coping. The parapet has a damp-proof course, two or three courses from the top to stop moisture being conducted from the parapet to the main walls of the house. In such instances, a gutter as such is not installed; gutter boards are used to form one artificially. A parapet wall hides the roof from view. Often the roof types behind it consists of two small pitched roofs which are joined to form a valley, which serves as a gutter to collect water from the two inner pitches. The two parts of a valley roof do not need to be as high as would a single, pitched roof covering a house of the same size. This, with the fact that they are concealed behind a parapet, ensures that they are sheltered from some of the effects of the weather. An unfortunate consequence of the lower height, however, is that there is not much headroom beneath them should you ever have to do work up there.

roof insulation loft type | reduce heat lost

About 20 per cent of the heat lost from the average house goes through the roof. So while you are considering your roof you should ponder on how well your loft is insulated. To minimize heat loss, a thickness of 100mm or even 125 mm of insulation called roof insulation loft type in centrally heated homes is today more desirable than the mere 25 mm that was recommended previously. If you insulate your loft or top up the insulation already there you should recover your outlay, by way of reduced fuel bills, in about a couple of years. Although it is an unpleasant task carried out in cramped conditions, doing it yourself will guarantee that the work has not been skimped. Roof insulation loft type is available either in the form of a blanket that is rolled out between the joists or a loose fill material, that you pour from a sack. Both types are equally effective, but in an odd shaped loft with lots of nooks and crannies, it can be quicker and easier to pour out a loose material than to fit blanket. lf you are starting from scratch use whichever you wish. When topping up, it is better to use the type you already have. Take care not to place any load (even a foot) on the ceiling while you are in the loft, or it might break through. It is a good idea to take a plank with you and stand on that. Opinions vary about the clothes you should wear. Some people believe that if you wear as little as possible, you can take a shower afterwards and quickly wash away all the scratchy fibres. Others say you should protect yourself with long sleeved shirts buttoned at the collar, trousers tucked into socks and sleeves into gloves.

roof insulation loft type, reduce heat lostIn any event, you should protect your hands with gloves, and wear a cap or something to cover your head. Roll out the blanket, making sure it is well tucked down at the eaves so that wind cannot blow underneath it. If you use loose fill, simply pour it into place. It is, however, surprisingly easy to misjudge the depth to which you have filled a gap, so make a gauge from a length of wood with a notch cut out of each end of the lower edge to form a T with a short stubby descender. The depth of this descender should equal the distance from the top of the joists to the required top of the insulation. Rest the cross piece of the T on top of the joists, and drag it along to spread the granules to the correct depth. A well roof insulation loft type is cold, so make sure the water pipes and tanks are well protected, either with lagging or, if the pipes are low enough, by laying the blanket over them and draping it on top of the tank. Leave the space under the tank clear, however, so that warmth can penetrate up to it from the rooms below, as a further aid to stop it from freezing. One problem with attic insulation is that it can make the loft so cold that condensation develops and soaks the insulation, rendering it ineffective. Most lofts have sufficient ventilation to stop this from happening. lf not, lay polythene under the insulation as a vapour barrier, or install ventilating grilles.

Repairs to flashings | roof repair

The repairs to flashings for the main roof are intricate. Where a two-way roof meets an end wall, for instance, a stepped flashing is required to follow the slope of the roof. Much more complicated is the arrangement round a chimney stack, with an apron flashing on the lower side, stepped flashing on perhaps two others, a back gutter, and perhaps even soakers – small pieces of lead, copper, zinc, or bituminous felt used to weatherproof the joints between these or bituminous felt. Given all these complications, and considering the difficulty of access, it is perhaps better to employ a professional when renewal is necessary, although you might feel confident about tackling the minor repairs of flashings. Renewing a straight, horizontal flashing, especially on the roof of a small lean-to building where access would be easy and is certainly much simpler. For the new repairs to flashings, you could use lead, but bituminous felt is less expensive. Remove the old flashing, and rake out the mortar joint to a depth of about 25 mm. Clean the brickwork and tiles, a wire brush is suitable for this.

Roof FlashingIf there is a small mortar fillet where roof and wall meet, inspect it for damage, and repair it if necessary, as described in the next section. Bend the flashing over then push it into the join and wedge it there. Next bend it over the tiles, sealing it with mastic to stop it from curling. Then repoint the mortar joint. You may prefer to use a proprietary flashing, which is sold in home improvement stores and builders merchants. The method of applying such flashing strips varies, so always follow the manufacturer’s instructions. These strips usually have a backing tape, which you peel off to reveal an adhesive. Some are in grey plastic, to simulate lead; others have an aluminum foil covering. The fault in a flashing may not be so drastic as to call for complete renewal. For instance, the repairs to flashings itself may be sound, but the mortar in the joint might have deteriorated, causing the flashing to fall away. In that case, rake out the joint, put the flashing back into place, and re-point. Cracks in an old flashing can be sealed with bituminous mastic. The method for doing this is as for dealing with cracks in a valley.


Refelting a flat roof

To make sure you comply with local bye-laws, find out from your local authority what type of felt you should use and the fixing method (there are fire precautions as well as waterproofing considerations to take into account). Generally the refelting a flat roof procedure is to buy the felt in advance, cut it to size with a sharp knife, and let it lie flat for a day or two to uncurl. If you have the most common type of flat roof, one with a decking of planks, the old felt will be fixed with nails. Removing this will be a dirty job, so beware blocking the downpipes. Prise up the top layers of felt with a tough paint scraper, an old chisel, or a long-bladed knife. lf you have any trouble, try a garden spade. Its sharp blade will probe under the layers and the long handle gives plenty of leverage. The bottom layer is almost certain to be fixed with clout nails. Remove these with a claw hammer or a tack lifter (a tool that looks like a screwdriver, but with a V-shape cut in its blade).

Once the nails have been removed, you should be able to lift the felt clear. Inspect the timber decking for faults. You may have to replace missing nails; there should be two per board, per rafter. All heads, on old or new nails, should be punched well home. Some of the boards may have swelled slightly, because water finding its way through the defective felt has soaked into them. lf the swelling is slight, plane the board down flat. Where it is severe, the board may have to be replaced. Any boards that are damaged, or any areas affected by rot, should be removed and replaced. New wood should be treated with preservative; old wood may need this too.

refelting flat roofDo not use creosote, because this reacts adversely with the bitumen that is used both for the manufacture and the bonding of the felt. On a flat roofed lean to, look at the flashing. If it is sound, roll it back carefully so that it can be repositioned once the job is done. Should it be defective, remove it and install a new piece after the felt is in place. The first layer of refelting a flat roof is fixed with galvanized clout nails. Use 20 mm extra large headed nails, spaced at 150mm centres. Begin nailing in the centre of each sheet and work outwards, to make sure that it lies completely flat and there are no air pockets, otherwise bubbling might occur later. Overlaps should be at least 50mm wide and here the nailing should be at 50mm (2 in) centres. Subsequent layers of felt are bonded in place. Professionals use a hot bonding method, but a do-it-yourselfer might prefer a cold bonding method, using a suitable mastic adhesive sold at builders’ merchants. Each length is stuck down in two halves. With the length laid flat in position on the roof, take one end, and roll half back on the other half. Apply the mastic to the roof, and roll the felt back, carefully bedding it into position. Work from the centre outwards to all edges to make sure no air pockets are trapped underneath.

Now roll the second half back on this first one, apply adhesive to the roof and stick the felt down in position, using the same method. Carry on in this way with subsequent lengths, until the roof is covered. The cap sheet, as roofers call the top felt, is fixed similarly. Make sure, though, that the joins do not coincide, as described in the introduction to this refelting a flat roof section. The edges are finished off with welted aprons. The apron at the eaves needs to project well into the gutter so that rainwater will be thrown well clear of the structure. Do not try to economize by cutting these aprons across the width of a roll. Cut along the length so that the material folds easily. Finish off by bonding chippings at the rate of 100 kg per 5 sq. m (122 lb per 9 sq. ft) of roof. The chippings should be about l3 mm across and can be of limestone, granite, gravel, or calcinated flint. Do not skimp on these, for the sun will damage the felt if you do. Other decking may have been used on a recently built flat roof Plywood or chipboard is treated in the same way as planks.

Where other materials are used, however, some points are worth noting. Joints between sheets of compressed strawboard need to be sealed by tape. If, when you refelting a flat roof, you rind that the tape has been damaged, you should renew it. The tape, which is l00 mm wide, is sold at builders merchants. The surface of the board should be clean, dry and free from dust. Seal it with a special primer; do not fix this board with clout nails. Instead, nail the first layer with aluminium serrated nails; or bond it in the way described for the top two sheets on a plank decking. Top layers are bonded in this way. A concrete decking needs a thorough brushing to remove any bits that are loose, and any holes or depressions should be filled. For this you can use an exterior-grade filler, or a sand and cement mix. The concrete should then be treated with a primer, which will be sold at the outlet where you buy the roofing felt. This seals the surface and ensures good adhesion. When the primer is dry, you can fix all the layers of felt by the cold bonding method already described.