Does your loft have adequate ventilation in place?

Many of us, due to the rising energy prices we are experiencing, are trying to insulate our homes as much as possible including our loft spaces but without enough ventilation in a loft problems with condensation can occur. This is usually first noticed by items in the loft getting damp or even the appearance of droplets of water on the roof beams and underside of the roofing felt.

It is difficult to eliminate condensation completely in a loft, but it can be greatly reduced by ensuring that the ventilation in the loft is good. There should be vents in the eaves which are put in place when the roof was constructed so the first thing to check is that these have not been blocked when insulation has been installed. These vents ensure there is a through passage of air in the loft which will help to prevent issues with condensation.

As condensation occurs when warm air meets cold having the correct insulation between the property and the loft will help to keep the loft cold and avoid the warm air travelling up into the loft. It is worth checking whether the recommended amount of insulation is in place as grants can be accessed in many cases to help with the cost of updating the insulation in a property.

What is the best conservatory roofing to choose?

When you are planning to have a new conservatory at your property one of the decisions you will need to make is what sort of roofing to have. This is quite an important decision as it can affect the energy efficiency of the room and also the need for additional lighting if a solid roof is chosen.

The most common and the cheapest type of conservatory roof is a polycarbonate one as this is relatively lightweight so is easy to install. The disadvantages however are that it degrades over time, and it does not help to retain the heat in the room. If you want a conservatory which allows plenty of natural light to come in then this is a good option.

Some homeowners choose a glass roof which has many of the advantages of polycarbonate roofing but is more energy efficient and can be self-cleaning. This type of roof is more difficult to install as the panels are heavier and will need the framework to be more substantial.

If you want to use the conservatory all year round then a solid roof is possibly going to be the best roof to choose as it is going to be the best at keeping the heat into the room in the winter months and keeping the room cool during the hotter times of the year.

Checking the roof of an older property

Many older properties have issues with the roof as over time this is one area that deteriorates more than any other so if you own an older property it is important to keep the roof in good repair. Roofs that are left to deteriorate can be costly to repair so looking out for and repairing as quickly as possible broken tiles, damaged or missing flashing from under the tiles and investigating inside damp and mould on surfaces is advised.

Although it is difficult to examine a roof for damage one idea is to use a pair of binoculars to look at the roof from the ground. It may be necessary to ask a neighbour whether you could view the roof from their garden so that you can get a clearer view. The tiles that most often are damaged are the ridge and hip tiles as the cement that holds them in place deteriorates. It is usually quite easy to see if these tiles are missing.

Examining the underside of the roof is easier as it can usually be seen from the loft however if the property has loft insulation in place this may have to be pulled back to get a better view.

Checking your roof now could prevent leaks

Spring and summer are the best times of year to check on the roof of a property as the worst of the winter weather is usually over and if any repairs need to be carried out they can be done more easily. An inspection of the roof from the exterior is the first step but it is also important to look for signs of water ingress on the interior of the property too.

When water seeps into a building it can cause instant damage as well as lead to further and more expensive problems in the future such as damage to decoration, fungal decay, and long term issues with damp and so it is important to take measures to prevent water ingress as soon as possible.

Over time roofing materials deteriorate and can become damaged or worn. Guttering can become blocked or broken and rendering on external walls often cracks or is blown so it is vital to look out for the tell-tale signs of damp patches on ceilings and walls and act accordingly.

If you are unable to inspect the roof yourself then it is a sensible idea to get a professional roofer in to do this for you and advise you on any remedial work that needs to be conducted.

Avoid the danger of cowboy builders

When it comes to choosing a tradesperson, a lot of it boils down to trust, but how can a homeowner select a tradesperson that will get the job done to a good standard for a fair price?

Doing your research is crucial and although it may be tempting to choose the first one you find or someone who knocks at your door you do not know the standard of their work and their reputation. Try searching for whichever tradesperson you need on accreditation sites for that particular trade in your area or get recommendations from other customers that have been happy with their work. Social media sites are a good way to ask for recommendations in the local area and it may even be possible to view completed jobs.

All reputable tradespeople should have public liability insurance that will ensure that should something go wrong and there is a dispute you can take legal proceedings against them. It is important to see evidence of this either on their website or in person.

It is always a good idea to shop around for quotes as this will highlight any tradesperson who is much cheaper than others and who may be giving a cheaper quote to entice you to use them.