Under Wraps – Why Sarking Is Important For Your Roof

Do you know what is under your roof covering?Tiled roof

And in what state it is in?

And why this is important?

Whether you have tiles or tin, you probably have (or you should have) some sort of laminated aluminium foil layer.  Often it is called reflective foil laminate.  In Australia it is called sarking.

Whatever you call it, it is a layer of flexible foil-like material that is put beneath the battens that support the roof.

It has 2 main purposes.

  1. It provides a very basic and cost-effective form of insulation.  It helps keep summer heat from entering your home via the roof…and it helps keep in winter warmth.  It does this by acting as a barrier to heat radiation : it is highly reflective to heat….and that helps keep your energy consumption (and bills) down.
  2. It helps keep your ceiling dry.  By being liquid proof but vapour permeable it helps keep out the water that lands on your roof (usually rain) but lets out any water vapour (or steam) from your roofspace.

As well as keeping your ceiling and wiring dry, sarking helps keep your insulation dry…and therefore insulating properly.  This is because when bulk insulation like batts or loose fill is wet, it compresses and therefore doesn’t have the airspaces that help the insulation.  (Think of a wet cat – it isn’t fluffy and gets cold easily.)

And because of how it is constructed, it is also fire retardant and light…and keeps out a lot of wind.

This means that it keeps out more hot (or cold) air entering your roof space – as well as keeping out a lot of dust.  As well as making being in the roof space unpleasant, dust (like water) can weigh down your insulation, making it less effective.

If you have had any work done on your roofsuch as having an antenna, satellite dish, solar hot water or photovoltaic panels installed – chances are that you have holes in your sarking.Damaged reflective foil laminate

If you are able to, stick your head up into your roofspace during the day and have a look around.

Where you see light, you have holes in your sarking.

And if you’ve got holes in your sarking, it isn’t working properly.

So you need to get it FIXED.

It’s easy, if you are physically able to and have the know-how.

I repaired a lot of the holes in my sarking on a recent cool day this summer.  The difference it made to the heat in the upstairs part of my home was certainly noticeable.

If you would like to know more about keeping your home cool (or warm)…or the most effective way forward for you to live sustainably…subscribe to my blog or contact me for a FREE 15 minute consultation.

Till next time…be gentle to yourself and our world!