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Old 08-19-2011, 11:36 AM   #1
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Cold flat roof construction

I have a cold flat roof over my kitchen extension and the water supply pipes are in the ceiling. The pipes freeze in the winter despite me leaving heaters on all night in there.

I understand that this form of construction is now illegal in Scotland. can i easily convert it to warm roof construction?


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Old 08-19-2011, 12:54 PM   #2
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depending on slope and type of roof you have now (I asume torchdown) you can just add extruded EPS insulation on top of the existing roofing and add ballast rock on top of that. The down side, this makes repairs very hard. But its the cheapest option outside of reroofing.


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Old 08-19-2011, 01:24 PM   #3
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Welcome, I was in Scotland a couple months ago, excellent country!

Is there any insulation in the ceiling? How much space is there between the roof deck and ceiling? Is there any ventilation along the walls of this space?

Adding EPS (styrofoam) and ballast rock is a good suggestion, but you would have to check to ensure your structure could support all that extra weight (doubtful). You might be able to get away with adding insulation and a new membrane to existing, but you would have to insulate the wall space between the deck and ceiling as well (and close off the ventilation). This may be possible from the exterior, but would require new cladding.

If there is room to work, the cheapest way would be to build an insulated box on the sides and top of the water pipes so bring them into the 'heated space'. Moving the pipes may be cheaper (box them in along the top of a wall)
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Old 08-19-2011, 01:40 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by shazapple View Post

Adding EPS (styrofoam) and ballast rock is a good suggestion, but you would have to check to ensure your structure could support all that extra weight (doubtful).
On an install like this you wouldnt need as much as you think. Normal ballast roofs specs are 10 pounds per sq foot. That is to hold the whole system down, EPDM and insulation. plus the wind factor. You just need to hold the insulation down. you could use half or less. Yes it is always good to double check the structure, and you have to figure in snow load and existing roof conditions. There are a number of house around here (US) that have ballasted roofs on them. I wouldnt think building codes would be that much different in Scotland but I wouldnt know for sure.

Now that you mentioned the "heat Box" we did something very similar to that in our new shop when we were building it, we had a pipe that would keep freezing in the walk way connection. So we built a box wraped the water line in heat tape, insulated the line with fiberglass and then insulated the box. Havent had a problem since.
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Old 08-19-2011, 04:09 PM   #5
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it seems strange to me that a cold deck design would be made illegal. It seems more plausible that the outlawing of running the water pipes essentially outside would be more fitting.

Keep in mind any retrofit may be a complete waste of money if there is some kind of ventilation system, which usuallya ccompanys cold deck designs. Any of this ventilation would need to be closed off, which could in and of it's self cause a whole other pile of problems.
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The information found in this post is not to be considered legal advice. All information should be considered relative, not specific. Never attempt any repairs you are not comfortable with. Always maintain safety! The author of this post takes no responsibility for any losses that occur. Use at your own risk.
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cold roof , flat roof conversion , ventilated flat roof.

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