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The Benefits of Different Insulating Materials Like Double Glazing and Sarking

Properly designed and installed insulation brings your home and other buildings immediate and long-term benefits, including reducing energy costs and increasing the occupants’ comfort. Insulation creates a barrier that helps to keep your home warm in winter and cool in summer, cutting heating and cooling costs in many cases by half, which reduces greenhouse gas emissions. In years past, homeowners increased their insulation, laid carpets and bought better heating systems to deal with seasonal extremes. Now, designers are adding double glazing and roof sarking for more efficient and cost-effective insulation even in areas of Australia where it isn’t mandatory.

Why Choose Double Glazing?

Whereas a single glazed window is manufactured using one pane of glass, double glazing is achieved by using two panes separated by a spacer. With a single pane, there is just one piece of glass between the inside and the outside of your home, which means the heat inside is not preserved as well as it is with double glazing. Glass thicknesses usually range from three to 12 mm, so a single pane provides very little insulation, in fact, about 20 times less than double glazing. It’s the spacer used in double glazing that acts as an insulator and some come with UV tinting added to the glass. Installing double glazed windows into existing homes improves the preservation of heat by up to 79 per cent.

The Benefits of Double Glazing

As mentioned, double glazing will improve your home’s thermal insulation. Without it, your heating systems have to be ramped up to maintain comfortable levels of warmth, and you power bills rise as well. If double glazing is installed, heat loss can be reduced, and when other forms of insulation are combined with double glazing, the loss can be reduced by 50 per cent. If you add an insulated curtain or blind on your double glazed window choice, heat loss will be reduced further. As for initial costs, the lower energy consumption means your power bills are more economical, which pays for the double glazed windows over time. Double glazing can also increase the value of your property and soundproofing is increased, and because the glass is incredibly tough, so burglars would have a hard time breaking it to enter your home. Most new energy-efficient eco homes include double glazed windows in their design for all of the above reasons.

The Benefits of Roof Sarking

Under the Building Code of Australia (BCA), it’s mandatory to sark all tiled roofs on residential buildings, whatever the roof pitch might be if the rafter length is greater than 6 metres. It’s generally seen as good building practice to sark all tiled roofs anyway because it covers a requirement within the BCA to protect the building from any moisture entering the roof cavity.

What is Roof Sarking?

Roof sarking is a flexible second skin or membrane fitted during the building of a metal or tile roof beneath the battens. The sarking material is rolled out in sections either perpendicular or parallel to the eaves, with an overlap between the layers. It provides thermal insulation, stops dust and water from entering the roof space, and in bushfire-prone areas, embers can’t get through into the roof. In heavy storms with driving rain, roof sarking channels moisture into the gutters, so the home is protected from water seeping in. Energy efficiency is increased in the house through roof sarking, so its benefits include energy saving and lower electricity and/or gas bills. It can be installed during the construction of a new home, a home renovation or extension, or a roof restoration.

Other Advantages of Roof Sarking

During home construction, roof sarking protects the frame from the weather. Depending on the building, the location, and other circumstances, roof sarking may or may not be mandatory. As per BCA 2008, it depends on the length of the rafter, whether you live in a bushfire prone area, what the likely wind speed reaches, and the roof pitch. The Terrain Category is the most essential section to consider, not just the N-rating. Other factors include whether the building is within 500 metres of a golf course, a large body of water, an airport, a major highway or freeway, national parks, other parklands, or farmland.

In a nutshell, the various kinds of roof sarking benefits may include:

Protecting your home from ceiling stains, hidden mould, and permanent damage from driving rain getting into the roof cavity.

Reducing draughts that can blow dust into the roof through downlights, vents and gaps.

Improving thermal efficiency by reducing heat that can escape through the roof.

Helping to prevent condensation by allowing moisture to escape while stopping water from entering the roof cavity.

Giving a secondary form of ember protection for BAL (12.5 to 40) areas.

Alpine Living is owned and operated by Michael Evans who work in Canberra and Wollongong and surrounding areas. Michael is a licenced carpenter and builder, with more than 20 years of experience in the building industry. He has an Advanced Diploma in Construction Management, and a Certificate IV in NatHERS Assessment, which allows him to ensure maximum energy efficiency in the homes he builds. Alpine Living produces minimal waste in the construction process and recycles, and all materials are sourced from sustainable forests. Call Michael today on 0408029850, email michael@alpineliving.com.au or fill in an online contact form.

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