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How to Ensure Your Roof Survives this Summer

How to Ensure Your Roof Survives this Summer

Tips for preparing and upkeeping your roof in the Australian Summer

Regardless of whether you live somewhere on the coast, like Bondi or Manly, or further inland, Australian summers can be brutal – and in Western Sydney suburbs, like Penrith and Richmond, summers can often be just as harsh as far-flung places in central NSW and Australia’s outback and interior!

Homes situated further from the NSW coast may experience more intense heat, sun, UV exposure and damage and less rain during the summer, while homes in cities and regional towns closer to the coast tend to have more rain and leaf litter build up, in addition to having to contend with heat, sun and UV issues. Summer in Australia also brings with it the risk of bushfire – that ever-present threat to life and livelihoods.

So, what can you do to prepare your home for the Australian summer? Here at Sydney Roof & Building Supplies we have compiled a list  of practical thing you can do to reduce heat in your home (keeping it more comfortable during the warmer months) and what you can do to ensure your home is safe and prepared for whatever the Australian summer throws at it.

What can you do to prepare your home (and your roof) for summer?

It is important to make sure you and your home are well-prepared for summer, not least because of the effects the Australian climate can have on our lives and property and the risks posed to our personal safety and the safety of our home by our climate and the changeable nature of our weather.

Ensuring the integrity of your roof is a key part of preparing your home for summer in Australia, requiring you to proactively inspect your roof and guttering, undertake regular maintenance and attend to repairs in a timely manner. With this in mind, here are 3 important steps you can take to prepare your home (and your roof) for summer 2021:

  1. Take steps to reduce the heat in your home.
  2. Have a rainwater management plan.
  3. Bushfire-proof your home and roof.

1. Take steps to reduce the heat in your home

Reducing the heat in your home and controlling the indoor climate can make a huge difference to your comfort level during summer. With a climate such as that experienced by the Sydney region throughout summer, ranging from breezy coastal to humid suburban to stifling, dry inland conditions, it’s important to consider the energy efficiency of your home and the ways in which you can better regulate your home’s temperature. There are several steps you can take to reduce the amount of heat in your home and get a better hold on indoor climate control, including:

  • Plant trees in your garden, to provide shade to your walls, windows and roof and help to keep the air surrounding your home cooler.
  • Choose a light-coloured roof – trees can only do so much for shading your roof and lowering the ambient temperature in and around your home. Simple science tells us that lighter colours reflect more light, while darker colours absorb heat energy – this can be especially problematic if your roof has inadequate insulation. If your roof is due for a restoration or re-paint, consider going for a lighter colour, to increase the thermal efficiency of your home.
  • Ensure your roof is weatherproof – check for and repair cracks in roof tiles, ridge capping and pointing; look for and repair rust holes in metal sheet roofing; make sure there is adequate, well-installed insulation; check that sarking and flashing are intact.
  • Consider roof ventilation – a great way to reduce the temperature in your roof, which will help to regulate the temperature in the rest of your home, is to install roof vents or a powered roof ventilation system.

2. Have a rainwater management plan

The nature of the Australian climate is such that, even in coastal and urban areas, we can experience lengthy dry periods followed by drenching rains that can significantly increase the volume of water run-off. These sudden deluges, where the stormwater system is unable to cope with the additional run-off, can cause damage to waterways and result in flash-flooding.

If you have a rainwater tank installed to your home, summer rainstorms may also pose the risk of flash flooding. In the lead up to summer it is essential to check that your gutters and downpipes are clear of debris, undamaged and intact, and able to effectively channel rainwater into your water tank.

It is also important to ensure that your rainwater tank isn’t too full, to prevent water flowing back into your gutters and eaves. To that end, newer systems allow owners to more easily monitor the level of water in the tank, so that water can be released ahead of any predicted heavy storms.

3. Bushfire-proof your home and roof

Damage caused to homes by bushfire can occur in one of three ways: Ember attack, direct contact with flames and, less frequently, via radiant heat. Most bushfire damage to buildings is caused by embers or sparks being blown through unprotected openings, however, if flames ignite vegetation or flammable materials close to the home, there is greater risk of flames making direct contact with the home.

One of the most effective bushfire protection strategies that homeowners can use to reduce the potential risks posed to the safety of their home and families, is to ensure their home’s roof is well-prepared.

  • Ensure trees are properly trimmed – retain a 2m gap between your roof and any trees or tree branches and properly trim all trees on your property, paying particular attention to those close to your home. Don’t allow any branches to hang over your roof and remove lower branches on larger trees.
  • Clean leaf litter and other debris from your guttering and roof – remove leaves and debris from roof valleys, gutters, and downpipes. This task can be made much easier by installing gutter mesh to your gutters.
  • Ensure openings or gaps in your roof meet fire safety regulations and guidelines – make sure that all gaps beneath corrugations in metal sheeting are sealed or protected by sarking, mesh, a neoprene seal or compressed mineral wool; make sure your tiled roof is fully sarked. Make sure openings in the roof, such as roof vents and ventilators, or gaps in the eaves and fascia or surrounding skylights, through which embers may enter the roof space, have been constructed in accordance with fire safety requirements and/or are adequately protected.
  • Ensure roof insulation is fire-resistant – any insulation you install in your roof should be fire resistant, to provide an additional layer of protection from heat and fire. Bradford Fireseal roof batts and Gyprock Fyrcheck are excellent fire-resistant insulation products that have been specially designed and constructed for fire separation and use in fire rated wall and ceiling systems.
  • Consider a roof-mounted sprinkler system – Roof-mounted sprinklers operate during bushfire conditions to cool the area around the home and extinguish embers. These systems create a wall of water around your home and keep your roof and gutters wet, to protect against flying debris that may end up on the roof or in the gutters and downpipes. They can even be connected to a swimming pool or water tank, to minimise the demand on mains water in an emergency situation.
Contact Sydney Roof & Building Supplies for all your roof protection and maintenance needs

Sydney Roof & Building Supplies carries a wide range of high-quality roof materials and roofing supplies, including hand tools, roof primers and paints, flashing, cowling, gutter mesh and roof insulation. Our fantastic team of knowledgeable staff are committed to providing all our clients with superior service – expert advice, fast delivery, and wholesale prices. For more information, call the team at Sydney Roof & Building Supplies today on (02) 8090 3483 or click here for further contact details.

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What Are The Best Roof Insulation Options?

What Are The Best Roof Insulation Options?

Why Use Insulation in A Property?

Apart from being a building legislation requirement, insulating your property by adding insulation to your ceiling, walls, and under-flooring has plenty of benefits for your house or office but, in case you aren’t up to speed with the most important reasons to insulate a property, he team at Sydney Roof & Building Supplies are here to give you a run-down:

1.      Increased thermal efficiency

This is the most obvious benefit of installing insulation - you can maintain your desired temperature indoors. Property insulation must be of good quality and well-fitted, so you can enjoy the kind of climate that you want inside your home regardless of the season.

2.      Lower electricity and gas bills

When you insulate your home, there will be less need to run your air conditioners and heaters. This could mean lower gas and electricity bills – and more savings in your pocket.

3.      Soundproofing

One of the incredible advantages of insulation is its capability of soundproofing your home. That extra layer of insulation material keeps outside noise out and indoor chatter in.

4.      Efficient building process

If you install insulation while building your home, the project would be easier and faster to complete. Construction work can proceed uninterrupted because the insulation covers the interior of the building.

5.      Reduce your carbon footprint

Since you’ll be turning on your heating and cooling appliances less frequently, you will be better able to help the environment, because you will be more energy efficient with insulation, keeping your house warm or cool without spending as much energy. This means less power is required by your property, which in turn means less Carbon is created and therefore you are helping the planet heal.

Where Should You Install Insulation?

The objective of installing insulation is to seal your entire house from draughts. Therefore, it is best to fit the material in key areas where air seeps into your home – mainly through the ceiling, walls, and under the floors. Insulating your ceiling, walls and floors can dramatically reduce the need for expensive cooling and heating systems. You should install insulation in the following places:

  • Ceilings: Hot air rises, so heat tends to escape through your ceiling during winter, but good insulation can stop this from happening. Similarly in the summer, reflective insulation can prevent the sun’s rays from penetrating your house through the ceiling.
  • Walls: Modern homes now have wall insulation to create a more balanced indoor climate all year round. Insulation can be placed in between wooden wall batons, or in brick wall cavities.
  • Underfloors: Air can also escape through gaps your floor boards, floor coverings or just through thin material, so it’s crucial to have proper insulation that improves the thermal efficiency of your house.

 

Types of Roof Installation for Australian Homes

There are three types of insulation in Australian homes today:

  • Reflective insulation
  • Bulk insulation
  • Spray foam

Traditional bulk and reflective insulation are still the most common, but cellulose spray foam is fast catching up. Here is some more detailed information about each type: 

Bulk insulation: Trap heat in tiny bubbles

Readily available in hardware stores, bulk insulation is the most popular form of building insulation. It works by trapping air inside millions of tiny bubbles to prevent heat from entering the building, because air is generally less thermally conductive than solid materials. You can choose from a wide range of materials, available in rolls, boards and batts.

A disadvantage of bulk insulation, however, is that it cannot be compressed, because the air pockets will be compromised.

Reflective insulation: Bounce heat away

If you are looking for cost-efficient home insulation, then reflective insulation is your best option. Reflective insulation is made of a top foil layer backed by a sheet of plastic or paper, with the shiny surface deflecting heat away from your home.

For reflective insulation to work properly, the reflective foil must be installed facing down and should be kept clean at all times. Builders can combine bulk and reflective insulation to create hybrid configurations that ensure maximum insulating performance. 

Cellulose spray foam: The future of insulation

Relatively new to the world of insulation, spray foam can be very effective and offers insulation like no other material can. Its R-value is higher than traditional forms of insulation and it is highly resistant to moisture so it is less likely to sag over time.

Cellulose insulation is a form of bulk insulation that is seamless, durable, and environment-friendly. This insulation is applied by spraying or blowing into the ceiling, walls, or under the floor and the foam expands to form a thick layer of insulation. Cellulose insulation is perfect for hard-to-reach places that are difficult to seal with traditional insulation materials.

Cellulose insulation is fantastic for stopping heat transfer as it fills all gaps around the sprayed area, helping your home maintain its indoor ambient temperature all year round – so you save more money on heating and cooling.

Spray foam insulation is mostly made of pulverised recycled paper treated with boric acid and borax to make it fire and pest resistant and can also be combined with batts and foil to form a hybrid.

What Are The Types of Roof Insulation Material? 

Fibre Glass

Roof insulation is made from several different materials, with glass wool as the most common in homes and commercial buildings. Some glass wool roof insulation options include:

  • Knauf earth wool ceiling batts
  • Pink glass wool ceiling batts
  • Gold Bradford Hi-Performance ceiling batts
  • Black Bradford hypoallergenic ceiling batts

Polyester

Polyester insulation is made from recycled PET plastics, bonded together by heat for a rigid, flexible and hypoallergenic structure. Polyester roof insulation options include:

  • Greenstuf polyester ceiling insulation
  • Bradford Polymax thermal ceiling batts

Foil

Foil insulation creates a reflective barrier against the sun’s rays. The R-value of reflective insulation will ultimately depend on how it is installed and what climate you have in your location. Foil roof insulation options include:

  • Kingspan Air-Cell Insulbreak 70
  • Sisalation Metal Roof Sarking

Hybrid

Hybrid options combining bulk and reflective roof insulation include:

  • Knauf earth wool blanket roll with foil facing
  • Fletcher Permastop blanket insulation

Should You Install Batts or Rolls in Your Roof?

Batts and rolls are both effective at sealing crevices in your home, but the main difference is how they are cut and installed. Insulation rolls can be rolled out in large ceiling spaces that have few obstacles. Meanwhile, batts are easier to install in small ceiling spaces since they are pre-cut to fit any space.

How to Choose the Best Insulation

Choosing the best insulation for your home will depend on factors such as roof type, thermal resistance required, climate and budget. Some insulation types are not suitable for damp places while some materials are designed to work as a moisture barrier. Make sure that the insulation you choose is suitable for your ceiling, walls or underfloor.

Here at Sydney Roof & Building Supplies, we stock many different types of insulation panels to suit your property design and construction. Our roof insulation materials combine an insulating core with a radiant barrier that protects your interiors from excessive heat transfer.

If you are installing or upgrading your home or building’s insulation, talk to our friendly and knowledgeable roofing team today by visiting us at SRBS.com.au, by calling us on 02 8090 3483, or alternatively you can email Mark or Marie by clicking on their names here.

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The Importance of Insulating Your Roof

The Importance of Insulating Your Roof

Proper insulation can significantly impact your comfort, as well as the energy efficiency of your house. Australia has an extreme range of climates, and your residence should be prepared for scorching days as well as freezing ones.

During cold months, heat can be lost through your ceiling, and during the summer season, heat can penetrate your home through the roof. That’s why aside from insulating your floors and walls, you must also insulate your roof.

Types of Roof Insulation

There are different types of roof insulation for you to choose from. Your choice will depend on the type of roof that you have, the insulation that you need, and your budget too. Each comes with its own sets of benefits and drawbacks, so it’s vital to understand them before you decide.

·  Spray Foam Roof Insulation

Polyurethane spray foam, aside from helping you reduce a maximum of 20% off your energy bill, can also lower your carbon footprint. This type of insulation is applied directly to the slates of your roof, tiles, or roofing felt.

Spray foam roof insulation helps extend the life of your roof, provides acoustic insulation, and helps prevent pests from entering your loft space. This type of insulation, however, should be installed by a contractor.

·  Rigid Insulation Boards

If you are using your loft as an extra bedroom or as an attic, then you can use rigid roof boards for your insulation. These boards are placed between your roof rafters and are then covered with insulation plasterboards for a cleaner finish. The walls of your loft must also be insulated in the same way. Just make sure to keep the loft well-ventilated.

The use of rigid insulation boards with insulation plasterboards can be more costly than other types of roof and loft insulation.

·  Blanket Insulation

This type of insulation comes in rolls of foiled-backed felt or mineral fibre. One of the main benefits of blanket insulation is that you can apply it on your own. Of course, if you are not confident, you can always call a professional roof insulation installer.

·  Loose-Fill Insulation

Loose-fill insulation that is blown and installed in the gaps between your roof joists is the perfect choice for lofts that are not easy to access. Your professional roofer will use special equipment to blow loose and fire-retardant insulation materials. The loose insulation materials may be cellulose fibre, cork granules, mineral rock wool, or recycled newspapers.

·  Structural Insulated Panels

These refer to prefabricated panels that you can use to insulate your roofs. They provide better insulation than other insulation methods. Although you can add some insulation to existing structures, these panels are preferrable for new structures.

Benefits of Roof Insulation

Here are some benefits of insulating the roof of your home.

·  It makes your house more comfortable.

Your comfort is fundamental. Your home is a place of rest and relaxation, and the quality of your rest will depend on the comfort of your house. Your resident is a place that provides you with protection against extreme weather conditions. However, if your home is too cold or too hot, you sacrifice the quality of your sleep and rest.

Roof insulation can perform either heat retention or heat prevention. During the cold months, efficient roof insulation keeps the heat from escaping through the roof, keeping the interiors of your home cosy and warm.

During summer months, you want your roof insulation to do the opposite. Excess heat entering your home can make your home feel like a blistering oven, especially when the temperatures are soaring high.

If you want your home to be a comfortable haven, ensure that is well-insulated from the heat and cold.

·  It makes your home more efficient.

Efficient roof insulation keeps the temperature in your home more stable. This puts less work on your heating and cooling devices, allowing you to save on your utility bills. The initial cost of installing insulation can soon be rewarded with savings on your power bills. Some types of roof insulation materials can help you save up to 20% off your usual energy bills.

·  It helps extend the life of your roof.

Some roof insulation materials can help extend the lifespan of your roof and help reduce the need for roof maintenance. Spray foam, for instance, gives you a more stable roof. Roof insulation reduces the temperature within the structure during summer and keeps it dry and moisture-free as well. Consequently, this reduces the risks of moulds and mildew, which can affect the integrity of your roof.

Extreme temperature changes can slowly take its toll on your roof. A poorly insulated roof will be more susceptible to damage and you will end up with more costly repairs and replacements.

·  It helps make your home more sustainable.

Your house can be made more sustainable with proper insulation and ventilation. It will not be too dependent on heating and cooling equipment. Not only does this help you save on energy bills, but this also helps reduce pollution and carbon footprint. It’s the first step that you can take for a greener home and lifestyle.

·  It makes your attic liveable and more comfortable.

Without proper roof insulation, your attic will be unbearably hot or cold. With insulation in place, your attic becomes a more comfortable space that you can use. Instead of just a storage space, you can even convert it into an additional bedroom that you can still use for the children or your guests. It’s an efficient use of space that big families will appreciate.

Visit Sydney Roof and Building Supplies for your roofing needs in Sydney.

Sydney Roof and Building Supplies is your one-stop-shop for all your roofing needs in Sydney and the Central Coast. We offer a wide range of roofing products, from paint, flashing, roof tiles, scaffoldings, to your insulation. In case you cannot visit us, give us a call and we can deliver your purchases right at your footsteps.

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