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What is roof sarking?

Roof Sarking, also known as Sisalation Paper, is a layer of material installed underneath the roofing material, typically on the rafters or trusses. It provides extra support and protection for the roof.

Sarking can help to prevent water from entering your property, provide insulation, and add structural support to the roof. It is made of a strong and durable material such as plywood, fiberboard, or metal.

Several new home inspectors have recently observed metal roofs without sarking on several newly constructed properties. It’s important to understand what roof sarking is so you’re able to make an informed decision when signing the building contract for your new home.

Benefits of roof sarking

1. Moisture control

It acts as a protective barrier that helps to prevent moisture and mould growth in the roof cavity. This is because sarking is typically made from a moisture-resistant material that acts as a vapour barrier, effectively managing condensation and preventing water damage. This can help to ensure that your home stays dry, safe, and free from mould and other moisture-related issues.

2. A barrier to wind and dust

Sarking acts as a protective barrier for your roof, helping to keep out dust, wind, and other external elements. This can be especially beneficial to prevent wind draughts, which can cause discomfort and increase energy costs. By acting as a second layer of protection for your roof, sarking can help to keep your home warm, dry, and comfortable.

3. Protection from fire

Made from fire-resistant material, such as fibreglass or mineral wool, it’s designed to provide additional protection for a building during a bushfire. In areas where bushfires are common, such as in rural Australia, the use of sarking is mandatory for all homes located in bushfire-prone areas with a Bushfire Attack Level (BAL) of 12.5 to 40. This means that all homes in these areas must have sarking installed to reduce the risk of ember attack.

4. Improved thermal performance

Reflective sarking is used to help shield a home from the sun’s radiant heat. This can help improve the overall comfort of the home by keeping it cooler during hot weather and help increase energy efficiency by reducing the amount of heat that enters the home. Reflective sarking reflects the sun’s rays away from the roof and the home, rather than allowing them to absorb and be transferred into the home. Made from a durable and long-lasting material means that it can provide these benefits for many years to come.

5. Protection during building construction

As sarking is installed before the roof itself, it can protect the exposed frame of your home during the construction process. Materials such as polyethylene or fibreglass are used for sarking and installed over the exposed frame of a house before roof installation. This serves to protect the frame and the interior of the building from dust, wind, and rain during the construction phase.

How long does roof sarking last?

The lifespan of roof sarking can vary depending on the material used and the conditions it is exposed to. In general, roof sarking made of high-quality materials and installed properly can last for many years.

It’s important to regularly inspect the sarking and the roof as a whole to ensure that it is in good condition. There can be general wear and tear over the years which may need repair or replacement. If you are unsure about the condition of your roof sarking, it’s best to consult a professional roofing contractor for advice.

How to replace roof sarking?

To repair roof sarking, you will need to first identify the source of the problem. If the sarking is damaged or torn, the damaged section may need to be removed and replaced with a new piece of sarking material. If the sarking is loose or has come away from the rafters or trusses, you will need to reattach it using nails or screws.

While this can be done by someone who is D.I.Y savvy, we recommend contacting a professional. There are several reasons why it is best to use a professional to replace roof sarking.

Why use a professional to replace roof sarking;

  1. Replacing roof sarking can be difficult and dangerous. Especially with a steep roof or sarking located in a difficult-to-reach area.
  2. A professional will have the experience and equipment necessary to replace the sarking in a safe and efficient way. Additionally, a professional can identify any underlying problems with the roof or sarking.
  3. Using a professional will also ensure that the replacement sarking is installed correctly. This is essential for the overall performance and durability of the roof.

Our roof sarking recommendation:

We strongly advise all our clients to have sarking installed under their metal roofs. Excessive moisture is often not identified for long periods of time and can cause costly structural damage to your property.

Sarking also has the added benefit of providing an extra layer of insulation to your home, typically at an R-value of .7, which can really aid in the energy efficiency of your property.

Excessive moisture can lead to more than just structural damage. Condensation aids in timber pest activity, this includes fungal decay and termite action as they just love to chew on some damp timber. This is another reason we recommend taking all steps to prevent as much water entry into your building as possible.

Consider installing sarking as a fairly affordable insurance policy to ensure the long-term condition of your property is not sacrificed. Contact Landmark Inspections today and make the most of our special price to conduct a roof sarking inspection at your home or property you’re looking to purchase.