Solutions for loft conversions and roof insulation from Saint-Gobain

At a time where there is a lack of housing and increasing demands are made on living comfort, it makes good sense to open up an often unused space in the house: the loft.

One of the most important measures in loft conversion is roof insulation. It is the basis for a healthy room climate - and makes a significant contribution to the energy efficiency of the entire house. The heat loss with a roof without thermal insulation amounts to up to 30%.

Sound insulation is also decisive for the living and utility value of the loft rooms. Optimal roof drainage ensures that even large volumes of rainwater can be transported away without noise.

However, some preliminary work must be done before the loft is converted.

First of all it is necessary to examine the legal requirements of the respective federal state, to consider the requirements of the EnEV Energy Saving Ordinance, and to agree on the plans - if the roof is really suitable for a conversion: an architect or structural engineer must answer the question of whether the roof can bear the additional static loads. Are all systems go? Then you can make a start.

Roof insulation

The most important prerequisite for loft conversions and a healthy indoor climate

On sunny summer days hot as an oven, in winter cold as a refrigerator: Without optimal thermal insulation which regulates the room temperature and climate, a loft is neither habitable nor suitable for use as an office. As a result, roof insulation is a prerequisite for further conversion of the loft as a living or working area. For the dry construction and the aesthetic lining of the roof insulation, Rigips plasterboards are recommended.

The most important components of roof insulation are the insulating material and the vapour barrier.

The so-called vapour barrier provides moisture protection. By protecting the roof construction and insulation material from moisture and condensation water, the vapour barrier protects the thermal insulation effect of the insulation and prevents mould formation. The decisive factor here is an airtight bonding of the vapour barrier.

The manufacturers offer insulating materials made from both synthetic and natural materials. Stone wool and glass wool are particularly popular: in addition to the heat-insulating property, the mineral insulation materials have a sound-insulating effect and are an effective fire protection.

The three most important variants of the roof insulation are the above-rafter insulation, between-rafter insulation and beneath-rafter insulation.

In the case of above-rafter insulation, the roof insulation is located between the pantiles and the rafters. This insulation method is considered to be space-saving and particularly effective, especially since heat bridges are avoided. Disadvantages are the comparatively high costs and the work involved: the roof must be covered during the above-rafter insulation.

The between-rafter insulation fills the gaps between the rafters with insulating material. As the rafters interrupt the insulation, heat bridges can be created - a disadvantage of between-rafter insulation.

As the name implies, beneath-rafter insulation is installed below the rafters. Although this method is inexpensive, it takes up roof space and delivers comparatively low insulation values. As a rule, beneath-rafter insulation is therefore used as a supplement to the between-rafter insulation - the combination maximizes the insulating effect.

The versatile insulation system Integra AP from Saint-Gobain ISOVER is a complete solution for loft insulation which is both economical and effective. As an above-rafter insulation, the system solution combines all the advantages of the Integra AP PIR roof insulation panel with the Integra ZSF-032 insulation, the Vario KM Duplex UV climatic membrane and the inner lining from Saint-Gobain ISOVER. The complete system is characterized by high insulation values and is easy to process.

ISOVER Integra AP PIR is a complete range of system components which are precisely coordinated with each other for roof insulation – both for the classic form as well as for the supplementary above-rafter insulation.
Above-rafter insulation with the ISOVER roof insulation system

Attic Insulation

Keep the warmth in the inhabited part of the house - and save lots of energy

If you would like to take time with your loft conversion, you should still get started quickly. A roof installation, is worthwhile immediately and in any case - regardless of whether the loft remains permanently unused or sooner or later will be converted into additional living or storage space.

The reason for this is clear: the warmth of the heated floors drains through the uninsulated top floor into the loft. In this way, an enormous amount of energy is pointlessly lost. A well insulated roof, however, keeps the heat in the inhabited area of the house.

The fact that a loft insulation can be achieved quickly, with little effort and cost-effectively compared to a pitched roof insulation, makes the decision for this measure easier.

But be careful: before making a start on the actual work, it is important to consider a few points, including the legal requirements and the provisions of the current Energy Saving Ordinance EnEV 2014. Consultation with an expert will provide the right answers.

Also the selection of the best insulation method and the appropriate insulation material should only be done with professional support. Otherwise, the attic insulation may fail - for example, if hollow spaces in the ceiling are not filled by an air discharge insulation or an insulating material is selected that cannot be walked on.

There are three options for the roof insulation: the decking insulation, the intermediate deck insulation and the under-deck insulation. The insulation is located on the roof-side insulation while the under-roof insulation is installed on the underside of the top floor. A false ceiling is installed inside the ceiling. This option is only suitable for an appropriate construction such as a wooden beam ceiling.

The Saint-Gobain ISOVER insulation system is particularly flexible and therefore particularly practical with flexible system components. This makes it possible to achieve insulation for a wide variety of storey ceilings. A main component is the flooring insulation element EPS 032/035 DEO from ISOVER EPS, which is suitable for solid ceilings, wooden beam ceilings and floorboards - the roof space can be walked on after the attic insulation.

Which roof insulation is suitable for which purpose? What components are required and how should they be installed? The video explains the basics of the loft insulation and shows how the insulation materials are professionally laid.
Insulation of the upper floor ceiling

Roof drainage

Protection against moisture penetrating exterior walls - and protection against disturbing noises

Behind the ambitious term roof drainage system is usually a simple but effective solution to direct rainwater and melted snow into orderly channels: roof gutters catch the water and lead it to vertically-mounted drainpipes, through which the moisture flows or, depending on the amount of water, thunders.

The drastic choice of word points to a detail that only a few people are aware of. Rainwater generates sounds which can lead to considerable noise pollution. This applies to precipitation, which spills onto the roof as well as to the rain which flows through the downpipes - the condition of the downpipes and their attachment to the wall have a decisive influence on the development of sound.

Therefore, when planning a loft conversion, a roof drainage system with optimum noise protection should be considered. It ensures that whatever the weather the loft is a comfortable place of peace and calm.

PAM house drainage systems made of coated cast iron are the best choice for soundproofing: they make low-noise rainwater drainage possible in accordance with DIN 4109. The cast iron pipes largely absorb the air sound waves. A connection with PAM-GLOBAL acoustic dampers makes the system even more effective. In addition, the PAM house drainpipe systems are non-combustible, insensitive to heat and cold, and particularly durable.

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