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Old 11-19-2012, 12:19 AM   #1
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Cold in winter and hot in summer


Hello everyone,

I live in an apartment situated at the top floor. There is nothing else on top of my apartment so its the roof. The 3 sides of the apartment are exposed and the fourth is a common one with another apartment. My windows are double glazing but might not be of the best quality, although I believe they are good enough. My apartment is hot during the summer and cold during the winter and I was thinking to invest some money in improving the situation. Although there might be many options out there, I am aware of just the two:

1. Insulate the roof
2. Install external aluminium window shades

The one thing that I am concerned with is which one of the two will make the most difference and I believe it is the second one since people can feel a cold draft when sitting in my apartment, even though I have unsuccessfully tried to locate any spots on windows that allow air in. Furthermore, to insulate the roof is much easier but since the roof is accessible by almost anyone, certain damages may occur on the insulation which I will need to fix each time.

What are your suggestions?

Thanks

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Old 11-19-2012, 05:49 AM   #2
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Cold in winter and hot in summer


Window shades will help in the summer but not in the winter.

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Old 11-19-2012, 06:46 AM   #3
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Window shades will help in the summer but not in the winter.
Will they not prevent the cold from coming inside?
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Old 11-19-2012, 06:49 AM   #4
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Will they not prevent the cold from coming inside?
No. The shades will be as cold as the outside air, so they won't stop it from becoming cold inside. They may slow down some air infiltration, but not a lot.
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Old 11-19-2012, 06:52 AM   #5
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Cold in winter and hot in summer


If there is a draft you must find where it is coming in at. Invest in a pack of those incense sticks light one and walk around the room and watch the smoke trail and try to locate this way. A windy day would probably be best. Also has the HVAC unit been tested, it may be inadequate (thanks spell check) or need cleaned or repaired. Also on a cold day feel your ceiling, does it feel real cold if not roof insulation may not be needed. Do the walls feel really cold. All i'm saying is do a lot of checking before investing a lot. Hope this helps.
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Old 11-19-2012, 06:54 AM   #6
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Cold in winter and hot in summer


So you are saying roof insulation is better than external shades?

Please forgive me for being persistent but if I use external shades will they not stop drafts?
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Old 11-19-2012, 06:56 AM   #7
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So you are saying roof insulation is better than external shades?

Please forgive me for being persistent but if I use external shades will they not stop drafts?
If they aren't sealed air tight to the window or building they can't stop drafts.
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Old 11-19-2012, 06:58 AM   #8
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Cold in winter and hot in summer


It should not be your job to be adding insulation in the attic, and may cause issues with the landlord. May want want to clear that with them.
There's a few things that you could do. Adding foam outlet and switch seals behind the switch plates is an easy DIY.
Making sure all windows and doors are caulked around the trim.
Check for air leaks around doors.
Adding shrink wrap film over the windows.
Sealing up any holes where plumbiing was run in the backs of the cabinets.
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Old 11-19-2012, 06:59 AM   #9
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Cold in winter and hot in summer


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If they aren't sealed air tight to the window or building they can't stop drafts.
I was thinking for something of the likes of this:

http://www.decopvc.ro/en/rulouri-exterioare/
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Old 11-19-2012, 07:02 AM   #10
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Cold in winter and hot in summer


So your willing to spend thousands on a building that does not belong to you?
Not likly any landlords going to go for that one.
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Old 11-19-2012, 07:06 AM   #11
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So your willing to spend thousands on a building that does not belong to you?
Not likly any landlords going to go for that one.
Sorry for the misunderstanding...

The apartment belongs to me, I bought it. There is no attic, my ceiling is the roof. The roof is flat with no ceramics, its just waterproofed.
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Old 11-19-2012, 07:07 AM   #12
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Cold in winter and hot in summer


First find out why it's happening before you start throwing money at it. It may be a simple fix.
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Old 11-19-2012, 07:16 AM   #13
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First find out why it's happening before you start throwing money at it. It may be a simple fix.
This is one problem I have found in all my windows and balcony doors:

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Old 11-19-2012, 07:22 AM   #14
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Cold in winter and hot in summer


They don't include air sealing as part of the reason they will help with heating or cooling. So they are not going to seal off air infiltration.

You may own the apartment, but probably don't own the roof. Do you have a condo or Home owner Association.
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Old 11-19-2012, 07:27 AM   #15
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They don't include air sealing as part of the reason they will help with heating or cooling. So they are not going to seal off air infiltration.

You may own the apartment, but probably don't own the roof. Do you have a condo or Home owner Association.
Yes we do have an association which is useless. At the moment no-one pays their communal charge to fix/maintain the building because most apartment owners just rent the apartments out. I am the only owner that lives in the building and even though I have tried my best to improve the quality of living in the building, I have failed since no-one is interested. Since I live in the apartment though I need to make it habitable and the first thing that I need to do now is to keep warm from the cold winter.

So first step is to seal air leaks. I have gone round with an incense stick and found a few air leaks which I will try to fix, one being the picture posted above.

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