What Does Roof Void Mean?
The roof void is a space that is situated beneath the roof structure and above the ceiling joists of the top floor in your home, also known as a loft. The condition of the roof void can offer insight into the condition and age of a property and provide more information on the watertight condition of roof coverings and flashings. Some common defects that occur in roof voids and can cause problems with your roof or the entire structure of your home include:
Damaged Roof Tiles and Structure:
It is important to regularly check both sides of the roof and the roof void for any signs of potential water leaks, deflection, and sagging. In an older home, the roof void may have aged tiles that are more susceptible to cracking.
A termite infestation will often start in the roof void, particularly in homes with wooden roof structures. An infestation can be costly since the damage can impact the overall structure of your home, which is why a pest inspection in the roof void is an important factor in any building inspection process.
Loft and Roof Ventilation:
A lack of insulation can lead to the outdoor weather temperatures entering your home through the roof void, which will affect the thermal efficiency of the property. In the winter, this may lead to your central heating system working twice as hard to heat your home, which will increase your costs. Inadequate ventilation can also lead to condensation and moisture in the roof void, with too much warm air circulating upwards from living spaces.
Downlights that have insufficient protection can become a fire hazard in the home. If protections are installed, they should be checked regularly to ensure that the materials are fire-resistant.
Roof Void Ventilation:
A cold roof is a traditional loft space that is seen in the majority of UK homes. They will typically be insulated at ceiling level with fibreglass insulation that is laid across the ceiling joists. Some degree of roof ventilation is often recommended, but it is not always necessary. If your roof void or loft has condensation, then it is wise to fit ventilation yourself or instruct a roofer to install it for you. Many older houses were built without any real form of roof ventilation, and do not have problems. In this case, adding roof ventilation is usually not necessary. However, sometimes problems like stifling heat in the home or loft area or condensation can manifest later on, which is why regular inspection is important.