Is a light tunnel suitable for my roof construction?

If you are renovating a property or building from scratch you may need to bring more daylight into a specific area and so a light tunnel, sometimes referred to as a sky tunnel could be a good solution. In most situations they can be installed into any roof structure with the exception of thatched roofs. Installing a light tunnel into the external roof surface is similar installing roof windows or Velux windows, so is not a major task for either a professional or a competent homeowner who is used to some simple construction work.

The way that a light tunnel works is by directing sunlight down a reflective tunnel into an area which would previously only have been lit with normal lighting. As any lighting that is provided by a light tunnel is free and does not require any energy to run it is truly environmentally friendly and therefore popular with anyone concerned with reducing their carbon footprint.

Light tunnels offer a great solution to the problem of getting natural light into internal window-less rooms in properties, for example in an added bathroom or utility room. This solves the problem of having to design your renovations keeping in mind that there needs to be a window in the room.

Reduce your carbon footprint and install a green roof

Many people are talking about the issue of climate change and how we as individuals can do something to reduce our carbon footprint in some way. One of the quite innovative ways that people are considering is installing a green roof. The term is used to describe a roof that is seeded, and which grows some variety of grass on its surface and sometimes meadow flowers too. A green roof is more easily installed on new builds in conservation areas but can be introduced on any suitable roof area. They can more commonly be seen on flat roofs, but it is possible to have a seeded green roof on one with a low pitch.

One of the first things to check before you embark on this project is to establish whether there are any council permissions that need to be sought beforehand. Due to the weight of the soil layer on an existing roof structure it could be that the property will need to be checked structurally by a building surveyor before work can proceed.

As long as the relevant authorities are happy for you to install the green roof the next decision will be who to employ to conduct the work. Most people get three quotes which is common practice and ask for references from past clients. Viewing other projects that the company have completed is also advisable.

Maintenance of a thatched roof

If you are fortunate enough to own a property with a thatched roof, the care, maintenance and repair of this type of roof will determine the durability of it. As the cost of replacing a thatched roof is extremely high, preventive care and maintenance is of great importance. If the roof is damaged by birds or by the elements immediate action can reduce the costs involved. For instance, a crack in the masonry of the ridge is easily fixed. However, if you fail to act quickly then water can penetrate the roof and can cause further damage.

Algae, moss and fungi are considered to be the main cause of damage on thatched roofs, so the control of algae and moss needs to be part of the ongoing maintenance.

It is recommended that a thatched roof is cleaned and re-tightened once a year. This ongoing maintenance is essential to the durability of the thatch. A roof that is covered with leaves, moss and algae needs more time to dry than a clean roof. The wet, damp conditions of an uncleaned roof does in turn promote the growth of fungi which affects the thatching reed.

A thatched roof ideally should be cleaned by hand. With the help of different types of rake, the roof can be cleared of leaves and moss during a dry spell as the moss is easier to remove in these conditions.

Choosing the best roof for your conservatory

Building a conservatory onto a house is one of the most popular ways of increasing the living space in a property and if built well it should last for many years. One of the decisions that will need to be made when installing a conservatory is the type of roof to have. Many people do not realise this and simple accept the recommendations of the builder without considering the options.

The colour of the polycarbonate or glass roof can make a huge difference to the temperature inside the conservatory so especially if the conservatory faces south choosing a tinted roof instead of a clear one will help to keep the temperature down. The downside to having a tinted roof is that the conservatory will not seem as light and so this does put some people off.

Cleaning a conservatory roof is a difficult task as the roof will not usually withstand the weight of a person on the roof surface but there is now an ideal solution to this problem and that is self-cleaning glass. The glass is treated so that it repels dirt, and it is washed away when it rains or can simply be hosed off. This means that the job of keeping the roof clean is no longer an issue for the homeowner and although more expensive is worthwhile.

Choosing Rooflights from a Well-known Brand Like Velux

There are many benefits that come with choosing a well-known, established brand, especially with an important purchase like a rooflight. Velux rooflights are some of the best known and the brand name is synonymous with quality – even people who don’t know about rooflights, architecture, refurbishments and construction will often have heard of the Velux name. Therefore choosing Velux is a good starting point when you want to ensure you are getting quality and will receive the best possible value for
money.

What are some of the benefits that come from choosing this kind of well-known brand? The main one is the quality and reliability; brands earn a reputation for the quality of their products. When you buy a rooflight from a leading brand, you are buying into this reputation; it is your assurance that the product will be well made, functional and long lasting.

There will also be the question of what happens if something were to go wrong. Well established brands will usually have good guarantees and assurances of quality, and if something goes wrong, there is good
customer service support available. This is unlikely with a quality option like Velux but it is still worth bearing in mind for your own peace of mind.

What types of rooflights are available from Velux?

As a market leader in the rooflight industry, Velux offer a huge range of rooflight options. There are products for domestic customers running renovations on their homes, or for builders working on smaller
domestic projects. There are also many rooflight options for commercial spaces, which offer excellent value for money and will give a whole host of features and benefits to the installer and the end user.

Some of the popular Velux rooflights available include:

  • Single unit dome rooflights. They are used for low pitch flat roofs and can be installed with any type of roof covering, including EPDM, PVC, bitumen and GRP. There are various different sizes available as well as rooflight shapes and profile options.
  • Venting dome rooflights and AOVs. These are domed rooflights from VELUX Commercial, which offer either manual opening, electric opening or smoke ventilation. They are used in commercial spaces to make them more comfortable as well as to improve fire safety by venting out smoke in the case of a fire.
  • Modular rooflights. Modular rooflights are easy to install when a large expanse of roof is going to be covered by rooflights. They can be easily customised and various configurations are available.
  • Continuous polycarbonate rooflights. These are ideal for larger roof expanses in commercial and industrial spaces.
  • Access hatches and venting/NSHEV rooflights. A more practical type of rooflight, these options will allow for easy access onto the roof, as well as additional safety measures to be put in place through the use of automatically opening rooflights. They can be used for comfort ventilation or for venting out smoke in the case of an emergency.
  • With many Velux rooflights, there will also be the opportunity to specify the glazing and choose from options such as clear, opal, bronze and diffused glass.