Along with dynamic development of villages and towns in the sixties of last century, the prices of land as well as the costs of house building have risen. It was then that the need of every living space use has come out. This was the reason for loft conversion into living spaces. Apartments, rooms, living rooms, bathrooms, offices and craftsman’s workshops have been located in attics. Loft conversion has become a trend and it has prevailed till present-day. Only the technology of conversion has constantly been changed and is still changing what is connected with new materials availability, findings about imperfections’ reasons of technologies used and the change of living and working standards.

Because of its localisation, the attic is exposed to precipitations and influence of water. Moreover, due to the fact that the roof barrier is rather poor thermal insulator, the attic is exposed to intense cooling. Furthermore, because of materials used for attic’s structure (mainly timber and its derivatives) it will be exposed to puffs of wind that decrease its thermal effectiveness.

Regardless of availability of up-to-date materials and technologies, in order to create dwelling conditions, the attic has to meet important criteria:

  • thermal insulation
  • acoustic insulation
  • waterproof insulation

Thermal and acoustic insulation

Thermal insulation grants independence of weather conditions, the influence of extreme temperatures (high and low) as well as the influence of noise and puffs of wind. Proper loft insulation will ensure optimal living conditions and comfort. If we want the attic to be in our service for long years without any intervention inside the roofing, it should be properly protected form weather conditions and especially from dampness.

The most popular among thermo-insulating materials (for sloping roofs and attics) are glass and rock wools. Recently alternative materials are used (also recyclable) e.g. cellulose fibres. These materials form thermal insulating layer of low heat-conveying factor what is their chief asset. Thanks to their specificity (fibres structure) they are easy to mould and shape (owing to their resilience). It is especially important when insulating the space between rafters, it enables effectively prevent formation of thermal bridges. At the same time the standards of thermal insulation use are changing – nowadays, the final attic insulation layer of 30 cm thickness doesn’t surprise anyone. It should be stated that tight, even and stable layout of thermal insulation prevents from forming of thermal bridges that cause heat loss and dampness of attic and roof.

Vapour insulation

As can be seen moisture and water vapour are very widespread, it is nevertheless important to avoid the excess of dampness in house which is the consequence of dew point and vapour condensation. Efficient ventilating system will ensure carrying the moisture outside the building. Excess moisture being the consequence of vapour condensation, ineffective ventilation or even its lack, may cause irreparable consequences. Moulded walls and ceilings, unpleasant atmosphere in interiors, gradual deterioration of finishing materials can result in situation that major renovation is the only solution. Health aspects also should be noticed. Moulds by using oxygen, give off toxic compounds that have adverse influence on our health. Many of them may cause serious alterations in human organism.

For the strong penetrative properties of water and vapour, the roof effectiveness in carrying out excess water and the durability of roof system will depend on specificity of thermo-insulating and building materials used in sloping insulated roof technologies. Tight roof is a dry one, and a roof with proper ventilation is the one that effectively carries the vapour to the outside. Facebook B2B Platform