Protection from the Elements
The principle task of the roof is to prevent the ingress of water. Rain, sleet, hailstones and snow can all cause considerable damage to the interior of a property and its contents and it is essential that the roof keeps out water efficiently. Although a pitched or sloping roof is the most efficient in draining the water away, it s not always possible to build a pitched roof. In these cases it may be necessary construct a flat roof. This term, however, can sometimes be a little misleading as the roofers that you employ to construct it will try to create a small slope to allow water to drain off the roof. Whether you have a pitched or flat roof, it will need to be constructed using waterproof material that will prevent the permeation of water. Any breaches that occur as a result of broken or cracked tiles or slates or damage to the flashings should be repaired immediately, not least as some of the consequences of water infiltration include damage to the timbers, penetrating damp, wet rot, mould growth, short-circuiting of the electrics and irreparable damage to property contents.
If you live in a locality that suffers heavy snow falls you will need to have a reinforced roof structure that is capable of bearing the weigh of a large snowfall. To protect against wind the roof sates or tiles must be securely battened down.
Another integral part of the work that any roof carries out is the insulation of the property. For this reason, insulating efficiency is a key factor in the design of a roof and also the choice of construction materials. Whilst certain roofing materials are, by their very nature, naturally efficient insulators, other materials are not so effective and require an extra layer of insulating material. This is why most properties do not have a roof that is directly exposed to the interior but, instead, are constructed with a ceiling. Between the ceiling and the roof, insulating material is positioned to keep the heat in. This is commonly known as loft insulation. If a roof is not properly insulated, there is the risk that it will be damaged by ice formation and, of course, it is likely to be uncomfortable for the occupants. Furthermore, there will be a direct effect on the amount of energy required to heat the property and a corresponding increase in the household energy bills. Finally, this increase in energy use causes additional carbon emissions, which, over time, contributes to the climate changes that affect the planet.
Of course, as well as insulating against the effects of cold weather, the roof also has to protect the house and its occupants from hot weather in certain countries. This means that, in addition to the employment of insulating materials, the roof has to be constructed using reflective materials to keep out the worst excesses of the sun’s heat.
Your roof is an essential tool in providing your property – and you – with protection from the elements and insulation to keep you safe from the excesses the climate that you live in. Make sure that your roof is performing these tasks well by employing a local roofing contractor to carry out the necessary survey. It will save you money in the long run.