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What are Roof Cowls?

What are Roof Cowls?

Find out the benefits of roof cowls.

Firstly, have you ever gone up into the attic and smelled that old, musty smell? That can be a sign of mould and mildew, and severe infestations can be a health hazard.

Similarly, have you ever had soot blown into your home from your chimney? Or had rain washing soot down into your fireplace? Soot can be hard to clean and gets into every nook and cranny.

Roof Cowls exist to prevent these problems. They are fittings that sit on top of a chimney in order to improve efficiency, soiling and air flow.

5 Types of Roof Cowls

Roof cowls come in all shapes and sizes, and all of them have their own uses. If you’re looking for a cowl to install, it will help to know the basic types first. Some of the most common roof cowl types are:

  • Standard Cowls
  • Vertical and Jet Cowls
  • Copula styled Cowls
  • Wind Directional Cowls
  • Spinner Cowls (also known as Whirlybirds or Turbines)

1.      Standard roof cowls

Standard roof cowls have a sheet covering placed on top of the exhaust output area. These are an excellent choice for homes or buildings with no unique ventilation requirements. If, for example, your exhaust only comes from your attic or fireplace, then this may be for you.

2.      Vertical and jet cowls

Even though they look like they’re for industrial use, these cowls are suited to residential purposes as well as industries. Vertical and jet cowls transport air further away from the rooftop to prevent contamination. These are especially useful for exhausts that contain large amounts of soot or other materials. Another excellent design feature is that even though these cowls spew air upwards, they’re still well-protected from precipitation.

3.      Cupola-style cowls

Cupola-styled cowls are often used for their aesthetic value, especially in residential buildings. These can either be used for topping off chimneys or for decorative purposes. Cupola-styled cowl designs are flexible, and there is a variant that’s sure to fit any type of home.

4.      Wind directional cowls

Strong winds can be a problem for chimneys since they can cause a downdraft, blowing soot back in. Roof cowls can somewhat help with this problem, but there’s none more effective than wind directional cowls. These are equipped with hinges that allow them to swing based on wind direction. This effectively blocks off wind from entering your chimney, therefore preventing downdrafts from happening.

5.      Spinner cowls/whirlybirds/turbines

Spinner cowls, also known as whirlybirds or turbine vents, are usually spherical in shape. These are made up of metal blades inside an encasement, with the blades spinning to allow ventilation. The spinning motion of the blades pulls air out from underneath and ejects it outward through the encasement, allowing proper circulation of air inside the building.

The Benefits of Roof Cowls

You may already have an idea of the many functions that roof cowls have based on the types we mentioned but installing roof cowls can benefit your home or building in many other ways that you may not have considered, including:

  • Roof Cowls help your roof last longer.

Roofs are prone to wear and tear, perhaps more so than other parts of your home. As such, you need to take proper care of your roofs to minimise damage. Using roof cowls is an excellent way of doing this as they can somewhat help protect from precipitation. Some types of roof cowls, like jet and vertical cowls, also protect your roof from contaminated air, which allows your roof to require less frequent, thorough cleaning.

  • Roof Cowls help regulate building temperature.

Roof cowls, like ridge vents, are also excellent at keeping the temperature inside buildings at favourable levels. Temperatures fluctuate depending on the season, and some types of roof cowls help prevent temperatures from reaching extremes. This can help the rest of your home regulate temperatures more efficiently.

  • Roof Cowls help you save on electricity costs.

Air conditioning and temperature control can potentially consume a lot of electricity, driving up your electric bill. Since your roof cowl helps in regulating temperature, this eases the burden on electricity consumption. You’ll get to save on energy bills which make the cowls a good investment in the long run.

  • Roof Cowls improve air quality in buildings.

One of the primary functions of roof cowls is to allow better ventilation. Some types of cowls, such as whirlybirds and jet cowls actively pull air from inside the building. This allows air to circulate better, ejecting stale air and allowing fresh air to circulate.

  • Roof Cowls protect chimneys from precipitation.

Some cowls are specially shaped to redirect precipitation away from your chimneys. This means that water and snow can’t get in, keeping the chimney and the inside of your home protected. You wouldn’t want rain getting in your fireplace, after all – this means that roof cowls help to keep your home clean.

  • Roof Cowls prevent downdrafts.

We’ve mentioned earlier that wind directional cowls help prevent downdrafts from entering your chimney. If you live in an area that’s always windy, you may want to get one of these. A wind directional cowl helps keep your chimney and house clean, so it’s an excellent choice. It’s also a pretty cool bonus to see these cowls swaying with the wind

  • Roof Cowls add aesthetic value.

Do you live in an area where precipitation and winds aren’t a problem? Don’t let this stop you from getting roof cowls since some of them are installed for aesthetic value. All you need to do is find a design that would fit your home, and you’re ready to go. 

Find Out How Roof Cowls Installation Can Improve Your House

Roof cowls aren’t just useful and extremely functional; they can also look great. If you would like to learn more, or would like some help in choosing Roof Cowls in the Sydney area, you’re in luck. Sydney Roof & Building Supplies is here to serve you regarding your roofing needs. Please visit our website at srbs.com.au/ or call us on 02 8090 3483 and we will be glad to help you.

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Basic Roof Maintenance You Can Do Yourself

Basic Roof Maintenance You Can Do Yourself

These roof maintenance tips can help you save money now and in the long run.

Your home’s roofing protects you from different harsh environment conditions like heavy rains, strong winds, and extreme heat of the sun. Regardless of the season, your roof is exposed to extreme hazards that may cause damage if it’s not given the proper maintenance it needs. Neglecting these roof hazards may result in:

  • Corrosion
  • Denting
  • Scratching
  • Leaking

If not mitigated, you will be left with no other option but to replace your roof.

Fortunately, there are things you can do to maintain your roof without the cost and hazards. After all, hiring a roofer can result in exorbitant fees, and it might not be the safest right now given the COVID-19 pandemic. If you can take care of these issues yourself, you can avoid putting your roof and yourself in a dicey situation.

Here are some basic roof maintenance tips to keep in mind. Just a caution: always take appropriate safety measures in whatever you do! If in doubt, have a licensed roofing specialist do it for you.

Regular Roof Inspection

A regular roof inspection can be quite helpful in knowing the status of your roof and the potential problems that might eventuate. The roof’s surface can be damaged by several factors, such as exposure to the extreme heat of the sun, presence of water, and accumulation of debris falling from nearby trees.

It is imperative to check the gutters for shingle granules as these are an indication that your roof is starting to wear and needs extra care. You also need to check the roof for the presence of algae or fungi, which could cause damage to the roof if they remain overlooked.

A study on roof weathering revealed that algae commonly grows on the surfaces of roof materials, which include asphalt shingles, concrete and clay roof tiles, and even slate. Moss, lichens, and algae can all build up on a roof.

Metal roofs, on the other hand, are prone to rusting due to harsh weather conditions and the presence of elements like iron oxide. Rust may result in corrosion and can cause leaks that are detrimental to your home.

Washing Off the Damage-Causing Elements

Clearing off hazardous elements from your roof will surely extend its life. Common elements that find their way on to your roof include dirt, leaves and twigs, water, acid rain, and mould. These elements should be eliminated as soon as possible before they cause damage to your roof.

· Using water

You can use plain water to get rid of the accumulated dirt on your roof. You may use a bucket to splash water and wash off the dirt, or you can take advantage of your hose to make it easier for you. Using a hose can be awkward, but it is much more effective because the water pressure is stronger and controllable.

· Using detergents

Most people prefer using detergents on their roof because these materials are readily available in their homes. You can use mild laundry detergents and dish soap or other commercial detergents like those for cars. Just make sure they are mild as there are detergent types that can damage to your metal roof.

· Using solvents

Sometimes, water may not be enough to eliminate the hazards that accumulate on your roof. For tougher elements like oil, grease, tar, and rust, you can use solvents. But bear in mind that solvents should only be used to clean a portion of the roof. Avoid applying them to the whole roof as their strong chemical content could be dangerous to living things. Also, to protect yourself from harmful chemicals that come with these solvents, you must wear eye protection such as safety glasses.

Brushing the Gutters

Gutters are usually where debris like leaves, twigs, and algae accumulate. You have to regularly check the gutters to prevent them from clogging. Cleaning the gutters is something you can do yourself if you have the right tools.

Necessary tools like a brush and a ladder should be available at the hardware. Just place the ladder on one spot at a time, so you can start clearing the gutters of any debris.

Debris like twigs and leaves that collect in the gutter can block the waterway and prevent the water from going to the downspout. A high volume of water build-up could overflow on the gutter or come back up the shingles and down your house. It’s something you want to avoid.

Monitoring the Pipe Jacks

You have to pay close attention to your pipe jacks. A pipe jack is simply a flashing that sits at the base of any pipe that comes out of the roof. The flashing may start degrading over time due to harsh conditions. When broken, this can cause water leaks to enter through your roof.

Moreover, the rubber on the base of the pipe may start to contract and pull away from the pipe, which will cause leakage inside your house. It’s best to keep an eye on your pipe jacks to prevent further damage.

Check for Exposed Nail Heads

Nailheads are usually visible on your roof, especially on the flashings, at the bottom of the pipe jacks, or the ridges. Your roof is going to have exposed nails, especially on the flashings. These nail heads should not be exposed and should be sealed to prevent water from entering the shingles to the wood decking and your attic.

Use silicon coverage products to seal off these nail heads. You can find these products in hardware stores.

Keep Valleys Clean

A valley is where two downward-sloping roof pitches intersect. Although most modern houses do not have exposed valleys, some still do. Open valleys can accumulate twigs and debris that may cause clogging and rusting, so it is important that you clear out the valleys from time to time.

Check the Flashing and Seals on Skylights

Some houses have skylights that give natural light to a room. This part of the roof, however, is not immune to the accumulation of dirt and debris and also needs special attention. A skylight will have a flashing at the top and the bottom.

For the bottom part, you should check out the exposed nails and make sure that they are properly sealed off. The flashing along the side and the top of the skylight should be maintained well because this is where dirt and debris collects.

The seal between the frame of the skylight and the glass can degrade over time, which may cause water to enter through the roof. Check your skylight from time to time as you might need to have it resealed if the initial seal has degraded.

Get the best roofing materials from Sydney Roof and Building Supplies.

Your roofing serves as your protection from the effects of global warming — the extreme weather conditions and high temperatures, among others. That is why it’s important to keep it well-maintained. A lot of hardware stores offer roofing materials, but for some of the best for maintaining your roof, Sydney Roof and Building Supplies is your one-stop-shop!

SRBS has a wide array of roofing supplies for all your roofing needs. We stock high-quality roof materials that have been tested and proven to be quite effective by Sydneysiders. From cowls, fixings and fasteners, flashing, paints, gutter to hand tools and workwear, we have them all for you! Call us on 02-8090-3483 or email us at mark@srbs.com.au or at marie@srbs.com.au to enquire about our products and services.

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