Up there on top of your house and out of sight, it’s easy to forget about the roof and the way in which it is exposed to the elements. However, your roof needs to be protected to make sure it stays in tip top condition and does the job it is supposed to.
The parts of a roof more susceptible to erosion and damage are areas such as the joists and the rafters and other areas protected by the cladding. Cladding is added primarily as a means of protection against the weather and outside elements, and is most commonly done with timber.
This is an effective means of protecting otherwise vulnerable parts of the roof, but can sometimes require regular maintenance and is not always the most efficient means of protecting a roof. We take a look at some of the best ways to protect your roof.
Why Not Timber?
Timber cladding is a great means of protecting your roof from the threats posed by the weather; it is a sturdy and reliable material that will do the job well. However, timber is very susceptible to weathering and degradation over time. This is manageable if you are willing to maintain the upkeep of the cladding by repairing and repainting the timber on a regular basis.
This may be fine for those who have the passion, enthusiasm and most importantly the time for regular home maintenance, but for many of us, this is a luxury we may not be able to afford in our busy lives. As such, it may be a better idea to look for a material for use in cladding that is more resistant to the weather and will better stand the test of time.
PVC and UPVC Cladding
PVC cladding is the ideal substitute for timber cladding as it is more resistant to the weather over time. PVC cladding entails replacing any existing timber roof protection with pre-formed boards, strips or sheets of plasticated material; polyvinyl chloride (PVC). PVC can be glued, nailed or screwed into place and has several distinct advantages over conventional timber fixtures which are as follows:
Over time, timber can become weathered and the visual effect can seem tired and old. Also any paint or finish on timber cladding will lose its color and brilliance over time. As such, you can end up owning a discolored, tired and generally very visually unappealing roof. PVC cladding retains its original plasticated finish and doesn’t discolor.
PVC has another advantage over timber in that it is more fire resistant. House fires can be more devastating when they happen in wooden buildings, as wood is the ideal material for feeding and maintaining a fire once it starts. PVC is more fire resistant by a long shot. Therefore if it is possible to substitute any parts of your house that are wood, with a much more flame resistant PVC replacement, it may be seriously worth considering.
Possibly the most important aspect of protection in the long term, when it comes to cladding, is the material’s resistance to the weather. Harsh weather conditions are the primary cause of damage and deterioration to a roof, so any roof cladding needs to be weatherproof. PVC is much more resilient than timber when it comes to withstanding rain and wind, especially in terms of exposure over time.
Last, but certainly not least, PVC cladding is a self-sustaining means of protecting your roof for the long term. By installing PVC cladding, you give yourself the peace of mind that you have found a material that will protect your roof for the long term but more than this, will do so without regular maintenance. PVC offers protection that doesn’t need to check on or maintaining regularly, allowing you to get on with more important things in life.
Not only is a lack of maintenance great in terms of saving time, but it is also financially a brilliant option, as you avoid any costs incurred by tools and materials required for maintenance.
Cladding a roof is a great means of ensuring it stays protected against the elements but to get the optimum benefit, is best done with PVC. If you already have pre-existing timber cladding, it may be a good idea to consider having it upgraded with PVC to make sure your long-suffering roof gets the TLC it deserves.