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Conservatory roof capping
When buying a hardwood conservatory few people realise just how important the roof is. With a poorly constructed or badly weatherproofed roof you can have a lifetime of maintenance issues. However, if you use the right materials then you will be able to enjoy the conservatory in the bad weather as well as the good.
Hardwood conservatory roofs are made from a combination of timber roof beams, double glazed units, seals, lead and roof capping bars.
The type and application of the roof capping bars is critically important because it prevents the conservatory roof from the elements.
Traditionally roof capping bars for conservatories were made from hardwood that was designed to straddle over two double glazed units. The top of the conservatory (or the ridge) was then covered with lead. Still today some conservatory companies use this method although it is normally only when they are working on a listed property as it may be a stipulation of the planners that traditional material is used.
Nowadays there are some excellent capping systems that are extruded from aluminium rather than hardwood. The system that most reputable hardwood conservatory companies use is called Exitec. The Exitec system is power coated to make it effectively maintenance free. It can be powder coated in special colours to match your hardwood conservatory if required but this can be very expensive and most customers choose white capping bars for painted conservatories or brown capping bars for oak conservatories.
The key to the weatherproofing lies in the gaskets that form part of the Exitec system. The gaskets are made from a material called neoprene which is that same material that is used in the manufacture of car tyres. Each roof capping bar has a neoprene gasket on the outside edges. When the roof capping bar is pressed against the double glazed units it is then provides a watertight seal. To further weatherproof the conservatory and additional neoprene seal is put on top of the hardwood rafters before the glass is put on them.
The same Exitec system can be used for the top of the conservatory (the ridge) and the back of the conservatory where it is adjoined to the house wall. There are special bars that have been designed for this function. However, these elements are not essential and many customers and specialist conservatory companies prefer to use a traditional lead weatherproofing.
About the Author: By visiting the author's website at http://www.oakconservatories.co.uk you will find useful information about conservatory roof capping.