Harvesting simple but effective solution to condensation

Poor SAP ratings are being addressed simply yet effectively in social housing stock through a logical approach to the problem….

Harvest Housing Group inherited over 120 homes built almost 40 years ago on the Newlands Gardens estate in Workington as part of a stock transfer; the mix of flats and terraced houses all had a poor SAP rating, and were suffering from condensation issues, especially in the roofs.

The housing provider’s solution was to call in leading roof ventilation specialist Glidevale, who worked closely with Harvest to design a strategy which would resolve the roofspace condensation problems as easily and effectively as possible, enabling subsequent upgrading of loft insulation and installation of cavity wall insulation.

The solution has been to install Glidevale’s G5 tile ventilators at low level, at 2.0m intervals, supplied through Jewson to contractor Mossam & Sydney. The ventilators have the smallest cowl available on the market, enhancing the overall roofline aesthetics, but still deliver up to 20,000mm2 net free ventilation per ventilator. To make the vents even more discreet, they were colour matched to blend with the existing roof covering. The G5 vents are suitable for use on pitches from 20° to 60° making them even more appropriate for the Newlands Gardens properties’ roofs, which have a shallow pitch..

Each ventilator is fitted with Glidevale’s Universal Extension Sleeve, to ensure direct air penetration through the existing roof covering into the roofspace, providing a continuous weatherproof path for the moisture-laden internal air from roofspace to the outside in accordance with both BS5534 and BS5250.

Harvest Housing Group’s Jeff Hunt explained, “The roofs had no ventilation at all; levels of condensation in the roof void meant we could not practically upgrade the loft insulation of cavity wall insulation until it was resolved. Glidevale are widely known as the experts in ventilation products, and gave me a very positive and rapid response on both the specification and supply of the ventilation.”

Adds Glidevale Sales Director Nick Beswick, “Preventing harmful condensation with roofspace ventilation has historically been a major consideration in housing specification, but one somewhat forgotten as our climate has been more temperate for a few years. The severity of 2009 and 2010 winters has seen a significant increase in incidence of roofspace condensation, as the warmer, moisture laden air in the roofspace comes into contact with very cold surfaces.

“By installing proper tile ventilators, Harvest is ensuring not only can it bring the homes up to modern standards, but is taking a long-term view to property maintenance, eliminating the risk of harmful condensation which- undetected and unaddressed- can cause major structural damage to a building.”

Glidevale slate and tile ventilators are purpose-designed to ventilate from the outside atmosphere directly through the roof covering and into the loftspace as an integral part of the roof covering, whether new build or refurbishment/retrofit, without adverse impact on its performance. They are AA fire rated, allowing unrestricted use across the roof, regardless of proximity of adjacent buildings.

Uniquely, Glidevale offers a site survey service to give property managers a detailed review of what type and quantity of ventilation products, if any, are required for individual properties. The company has also just published a white paper addressing roofspace ventilation.

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