Last week whilst speaking to a close business associate of mine Mr. Joe Sparrowhawk, I was inspired to write about the ‘Roof’ a very extraordinary area for an energy expert to topic, but high on my list regarding energy waste and making a difference to saving energy and of course saving money.
The roof is the second area I will focus my time on regarding my energy assessment after I have reviewed the external area. This goes without saying that whilst I feel the energy assessment has no order, by doing the external areas first (while the weather is good) is a wise thing to do, this actually ensures we cover these areas as part of the assessment.
When I am up on a roof what am I looking for? well the obvious comes to mind regarding the siting of solar possible wind and the property orientation. But the review needs to take the next level. For instance, what do you see?
- Puddles of Water gathering
- Skylights that require cleaning
- Roof deterioration
- Lighting still turned on
- Lofts with no insulation or poor insulation
- Solar influencing areas
There may be more but what this is leading to is providing a true assessment of the roof and identify areas where the roof would benefit from a significant review regarding maintenance or refurbishment.
I want to explain why these areas impact on energy savings:
- Puddles of Water gathering – This is indicating a problem with the water drainage and if we do not focus on the water, the water will start to damage the roof and long term create leaks and damage the insulation that has been designed to keep heat in.
- Remedy – Request for a roofing specialist to come and review as a matter of urgency as this problem will escalate and the cost to repair not to mention the energy waste will be significant.
- Skylights that require cleaning – Why are skylights installed on a property? They are installed to provide ‘natural light’ now I have noticed this on my many years of carrying out an assessment especially with an engineering company that skylights need cleaning internally and externally. By putting this into your ‘Planned Preventative Maintenance’ Schedule your lighting consumption could be reduced especially in the summer when the Sun is shining.
- Remedy – deploy a ‘Roof Cleaning’ specialist or an FM Company to clean the skylights annually. One it looks nice and secondly your lighting costs could be reduced by using natural daylight.
- Roof deterioration – This will lead to heat loss eventually and an area we need to focus on. Like Point 1, the water will start to damage the roof further and long term create leaks and damage the insulation that has been designed to keep heat in.
- Remedy – Request for a roofing specialist to come and review as a matter of urgency as this problem will escalate and the cost to repair and the energy waste will be significant.
- Lighting still turned on – Lighting on the roof gets forgotten and we often find lights that have been left on for many days (dare I say weeks).
- Remedy – Calculate the savings that will be impacted if you implement a simple timer that will provide dusk to dawn control that will also follow the sun and deliver BST and GMT time adjustment. This will pay for itself within 12Months. Or even create signs to tell people to turn off and manage the process. By checking more regularly the roof areas, lights can be turned off more. Therefore if the lights are left on they will be then turned off automatically.
- Lofts with no insulation or poor insulation – I often find this when I have found a building that has just gone through a refurbishment and it is always left as an afterthought or even forgotten. This is an area that must be pounced on because it is an area where we will see significant heat loss or in the summer heat gain. We say heat gain as I have seen insulation now that deflects the heat and though it is simple it is an area to reduce electricity costs for trying to reduce the cooling cost in the building which can be very high.
- Remedy – Request for a building specialist to come and review as a matter of urgency to provide a solution to avoid the energy waste.
- Solar influencing areas – Because the roof in most cases is exposed to the Sun, I am often being asked about how we can deflect the sun in any way, whether be from the skylights or from the roof itself. There are products and technologies, I have seen that provide film to cover the glass to deflect the sun in summer and keep the heat in, during the winter. Regarding the roof itself there are also ‘magic paints’ now that can be introduced to the roof that provide sealant, insulation and they will deflect the heat.
- Remedy – Request for a roofing specialist to come and review your roof and provide you with proposals to implement energy management and savings schemes.