Tag Archives: roof

Insulating the Eco-Friendly Way

We are expecting a typical Québec winter this year. That means cold weather, snow storms, and humidity. Should you reconsider your home’s insulation? If so, this is the perfect occasion to take your first Eco-friendly step. Plus, you will save on heating costs.

Good insulation means improved comfort, protection against outside noise and energy efficiency; hence, the importance of having an adequate insulation system.

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First off, here is some basic knowledge. Since hot air tends to rise to make room for the cold air that is flowing down, the roof’s insulation is a top priority. Do not overlook the insulation of the piping system, even if it seems trivial. And remember, properly installed insulation means zero heat loss; therefore, no seams nor openings.

According to many experts, ecological insulation materials are more energy efficient than mineral wool insulators. You can expect less condensation because the ecological insulator is more breathable. In addition, they are less irritating to the skin during the installation. Ecological insulators are not as energy intensive to make as mineral wool, with a few exceptions. Continue reading

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Buying an Ecological Home Is Profitable

This article is intended for two types of buyers. Those who favour the resale value of the property they want to buy and those who wish to go green and buy a sustainable and ecological home, usually Gen Y first-time buyers (Millenials).

Who would have thought that we would see the words “ecological” and “profitable” in the same sentence someday? Within the next 20 years, sustainable and ecological homes will see their value increase. They have a good resale potential.

Ecological homes have many characteristics. First off, its size is equivalent to the household’s needs, it contains healthy and sustainable materials, its energy consumption (heating and cooling) is considerably reduced and its materials have a high recycling potential.

According to Écohabitation, metal roofs, made of painted or galvanized steel, have a life expectancy of more than 50 years. They require no maintenance and are 100% recyclable. Wood, composite wood, and EPDM roofs are almost as durable. Other materials are also recommended, but stay away from asphalt shingles! Continue reading

Before you knock down a wall

Abattre Mur Construction ISTOCKPHOTO renovation
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Many of us dream of expanding a room the easy way: by knocking down a wall. It’s not a bad idea, but it does require a careful examination of the building structure.

A loadbearing wall is an outside wall that supports a building’s roof structure—the gable wall for example—and the floor structure. When the wall is part of the frame, it’s called a loadbearing wall.

Loadbearing walls are built solidly with resistant materials. Their static function forces them to bear weight at all times.

Used only to separate rooms, interior walls are generally called partitions. For obvious reasons, they’re built lighter than loadbearing walls. Continue reading

Under Sibiu’s watchful eyes

It’s often said that the walls have ears. In Sibiu, Romania, the roofs have eyes. The effect is so striking that a paranoid person could panic while strolling the medieval city streets. ‘Why are the roofs watching me?!’ they’d think.

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Look closely at the photo. Do you see that the roof is sleepy? Its eyelids are heavy; they’re going to close any minute now. Too much bad weather perhaps? Centuries of heavy rain, beating sun, freezing and thawing—it’s a lot for a roof to handle. And that’s not counting the weight of hundreds of years of history. Continue reading

Imagine that on your roof!

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No, not a Trabant, the odd East German car affectionately dubbed the Trabi, but an enormous stork nest!

In Europe, three species of storks prefer to make nests on rooftops rather than in trees according to Wikipedia.

In the GeoGuide de la Croatie, you discover that there’s even a European stork capital in the Lonjsko Polje National Park, in the small village of Cigoc. How many years do you think a stork nest can remain attached to a roof? 1, 5, 10, 25, 50, perhaps 100 years?

If you guessed 50, you’re right. That’s half a century!

And how much does a nest weigh on average? 10, 50, 100, 500, 700 or 1000 kilograms?

700! That’s 1,543 pounds!

Imagine that on your roof! The structure of the house better be solid if you don’t want to have storks landing in your living room like Santa Claus. Continue reading