Sarking may interest you if you’re looking for a way to further protect your roof.
A sarking sheet goes under your existing roof and is useful for decreasing the amount of moisture and condensation your roof is subject to.
It also plays a role in preserving the temperature within your home.
While it has some benefits, you may not be sure how to install sarking on your existing roof.
We’ll help you by laying out a step-by-step guide to install sarking on an existing roof.
How To Install Sarking In Existing Roof (Step-By-Step)
Step 1: Buy High-Quality Sarking
The first step to take is to look at your local hardware stores for sarking.
Several brands offer sarking sheets.
Not all of them use high-quality materials, however.
Considering that sarking helps reflect the sun’s light away to control the temperature of your home and absorbs moisture, then you don’t want to settle for a poor quality product.
Do a little research beforehand to find the brands in your area with the best reviews.
Then set aside the name and look for it when it comes time to buy your sarking sheets.
Step 2: Measure Your Roof’s Dimensions
To know how many sarking sheets you need to buy, you’re going to need to know your roof’s dimensions.
Measure the length and width of your roof.
A little overhang from the sheets is acceptable.
Then consider the measurements that the sarking sheets come in and buy the appropriate number of them.
You may even find that some sheets come in the exact size that you need.
It’s also good practice to buy a few extra in case you measured wrong, or some receive damage during the installation process.
Step 3: Use Safety Measures
Since you’re going to be working on a roof, you need to put in place a few safety measures.
Invest in fall protection.
Anchor the fall protection to secure parts of your home to keep from falling to the ground.
You should also wear sturdy shoes with grips on their bottom to prevent slipping.
If you haven’t inspected your roof lately, then you don’t know if there are any soft or slippery spots.
Finally, put together an emergency plan for someone at the home to follow in the event of a fall.
You may not be able to tell them what to do otherwise.
Step 4: Climb The Roof And Remove The Ridge Capping
Make your way to the top of the roof and head to the edge of your roof first.
The angled peak of your roof houses the ridge capping.
This is a series of tiles that sit over the edge of the roof.
They help to connect the tiles together at the joint and provide protection.
Remove the ridge capping piece by piece and set them aside.
This will allow you to access the tiles underneath them.
Step 5: Remove The Roof Clips
Tiles connect to your roof in a few different ways.
One of those ways is with roof clips.
Also called cleats, roof clips keep your tiles attached to the roof.
They’re often hidden and anchor each tile to the roof.
Take your time in locating and removing them.
It’s also an ideal time to inspect the clips.
Look for deterioration and corrosion.
Consider buying roof clips to replace any worn ones before you finish sarking.
Step 6: Remove The Roof Battens
Roof battens run horizontally across your roof.
They’re used as an anchoring point for your tiles.
Remove each network of batten carefully.
You don’t want to damage them and have to replace them.
The sarking sheets go below the batten.
The batten will take the tiles with them, so be careful when moving them down to the ground.
Place the battens on a tarp on the ground to prevent moisture from the soil from encouraging mold growth on the tiles.
To make this process easier, enlist someone’s help or use a lift.
Step 7: Install The Sarking Sheets To The Rafters Or Trusses
Place the shiny side of the sarking sheet facing down.
There is a practical reason for this.
The shiny side reflects sunlight.
If you’re attempting to install the sarking sheet with the shiny side up, then you’re exposing yourself to serious sun glare and sunburn.
As a safety measure, install the sarking sheet with the shiny side facing downwards.
It also helps make the sheet last longer.
Once the sheet is in place against the rafter or truss, use either a nail gun or galvanized staples to attach them.
Let the sheets sag a little to help them drain water into the gutter.
There also needs to be enough space between its back and the rest of the attic cavity.
Space creates a drying path.
It allows the sarking sheet to dry itself off instead of remaining wet.
This helps it remove moisture from the roof instead of retaining moisture and exposing the roof to it.
You’ll notice a vertical overlap of the sheets as you place them down.
Tape the overlap to keep the water from spilling down into the attic cavity.
Step 8: Place Battens And Clips Back
Once you’re done installing the sarking sheets to the rafters or trusses, it’s time to put the roof back together.
Start by putting the battens back in place.
They’ll fit over the sarking sheets, and you can attach them the same way as you would if you were attaching them to the rafters or trusses.
Then return the clips to their places.
Replace the ones that are old or deteriorating.
Step 9: Put Ridge Cap Back On
The final step is to put the ridge cap back over the ridge of the roof.
Make sure it’s tight to the roof to prevent water from escaping below it.
The installation of your sarking is complete, and your roof is back in one piece.
Tips To Install Sarking Correctly
There are a few tips you can use to make installing sarking easier and more effective.
Consider these tips to get the most out of the sarking sheets.
1. Leave A 25-mm Gap
Each sheet needs a 25-mm gap between itself and other materials.
In particular, the gap needs to be on the side of the reflective surface.
The gap ensures the sheet can dry out over time.
2. Install Shiny Side Downwards
A common mistake installers make is to install sarking with the shiny side upwards.
The thinking is that the shiny side reflects the sun better.
While this is true, it also makes installing it unsafe.
The shiny surface is going to be reflecting radiant heat.
You’re in the path of that radiant heat.
It’s an easy way to develop a sunburn and heat exhaustion.
Put the shiny side towards the attic.
It will still do its job well, and you’ll be safer during its installation.
3. Dust Reduces Its Reflective Properties
Before you put the battens back on, take the time to clean off the sheets.
Dust prevents the sheet from reflecting radiant heat as efficiently.
A clean cloth is your best option.
Do You Need Sarking Under Your Roof?
No, you don’t need sarking under your roof to be compliant in most regions.
Those who live in BAL 12.5 and 40 rated areas do require sarking.
It’s a safety requirement in Australia for areas that experience frequent bush fires.
The sarking can help prevent embers from entering the home through the roof and attic.
However, installing sarking to the roof can give you some benefits.
Here are some benefits of choosing to add sarking to your roof.
One of the best aspects of sarking is that it adds further durability to your roof.
It’s one more layer to take the brunt of wind, solar, and water damage.
Many homeowners choose to install sarking because it’s water-resistant.
While enough water exposure can eventually damage it, the sarking is water-resistant enough that it protects the roof from condensation.
Your roof is always under attack from water.
Rain isn’t the only type of water that can damage your roof.
Moisture from condensation caused by humidity or even fog can also threaten it.
Without sarking, the condensation can form underneath the tile.
The molecules are small enough that they can fit in places where rainwater can’t.
As condensation lingers, it promotes the growth of mold and starts to soften wood.
While a little bit of condensation won’t cause a lot of damage to your roof, it’s the length of time that’s a concern.
Over the course of several years, the damage from condensation can start to add up.
That’s where sarking helps.
It prevents condensation from building up in the first place.
It helps keep the roof dry, strong, and free from mold.
3. Thermal Protection
Sarking can reflect 97% of radiant heat away from the home.
That can help you save on energy costs.
Without sarking, your roof traps the heat.
Hot air has nowhere to go.
The dark tiles are especially prone to absorbing radiant heat.
Since sarking reflects heat away from the home, it takes less time and energy to cool your house.
That can save you on energy costs.
You can improve cooling further by adding cross-circulation of air and breezes through windows and vents.
4. Reduction Of Interior Roof Deterioration Through Water Damage
The angling of the sarking is also ideal.
Because it’s slanted towards the gutters, any excess water it collects is released through the gutter system.
This extra layer of protection from water damage can prevent water from pooling at the underside of your roof.
You’ll experience fewer cases of interior roof deterioration.
5. Slows The Spread Of Mold
If your roof is damp, then you can expect mold to start growing on it.
One of the first signs that you need a roof repair is the presence of mold.
Sarking helps stop the spread of mold.
It does so by reducing the amount of water in the area.
With less mold in the area, it also has less of a chance of reaching the habitable areas of your home.
Since mold carries with it health risks and allergies, you never want it around.
If someone in your home suffers from respiratory illness, then mold can make the problem even worse.
Sarking is essential if you want to prevent the growth of mold in your attic and roof.
6. Reduces Allergies By Limiting Dust
If you’ve ever explored your attic, then you know how dusty it is.
Dust forms over time because of the roof.
The tiles can drop granules and gradually flake over time.
The wooden structures can start to flake and cause dust, too.
This can make those with allergies have an even more difficult time in their home.
Sarking can help.
Sarking acts like an extra layer of protection that catches the dust.
Instead of the dust falling into the interior of your attic, and the rest of your home, the sarking holds it.
With less dust floating around your home, you can get some relief from your allergies.
7. Protection During Roof Repairs And Replacement
One final benefit you can experience with sarking is that it offers protection during repair and replacement projects.
Sudden weather changes are the bane of any roofer.
If it rains while roof repair or roof replacement is happening, then it can completely ruin the project.
Sarking can change that.
Because it’s water-resistant, it can protect the roof further after you tarp it off.
There’s less of a chance of needing to do the project over or start from scratch.
How Does Sarking Help With Moisture Control In Roofs?
Sarking prevents the buildup of moisture and condensation in your roof.
There are a few advantages your roof and home will experience because of this feature.
1. Mold Prevention
Without moisture, mold cannot grow.
It relies on moisture to stay alive.
Without mold in your home, the air quality in your home is safer and healthier.
Your family will avoid developing health problems and respiratory illnesses common with mold exposure.
2. Improves Appearance Of Plasterboard
If you use plasterboard in your home, then water is a serious threat.
Moisture can make plasterboard swell and stain in its presence.
Sarking keeps moisture from the home which also keeps it from making contact with plasterboard.
As a result, the plasterboard doesn’t develop stains or swells.
It maintains its beauty and attractive qualities.
3. Increases Structural Support
Sarking supports your roof by reducing condensation.
The presence of water vapor and moisture can cause structural supports to erode.
Structural supports made of wood are susceptible to moisture.
With the removal of moisture in the area, the structural supports are able to maintain their integrity.
The home remains durable and intact.
4. Saves Energy Costs
The presence of moisture also impacts the thermal control of your home.
When there’s moisture in the air, the home can feel cooler or hotter depending on the temperature.
It causes you to run the HVAC system longer.
That uses more energy which reflects in your bill.
Sarking makes the thermal performance of your home more efficient by removing moisture.
You won’t have to use your HVAC as much.
You can save on energy costs in the long run.
Sarking isn’t required for most roofs, but it can add an extra layer of protection.
It increases the durability of your roof and prevents water damage from condensation and water vapor.
Follow the steps above and consider the tips to install sarking on an existing roof the right way.