If you are considering adding a roof dome to your property we have put together a helpful guide to get you started. Not only are they easy to install, they bring a long list of benefits to any property, making them a cost-effective and stylish choice. Read on to find out how adding a roof dome to your flat roof can be one of the best additions you can make to the roof of your property.
What is a Roof Dome?
Roof domes are an alternative to roof windows that are used on flat roofs to allow more light to enter the space below. When a conventional window cannot provide enough daylight or ventilation, roof domes are often seen as the ideal solution.
They come in a variety of different shapes and sizes, from circular and pyramid, to square and rectangular. Roof domes are available with access, opening and ventilating options. This roof lighting solution is installed using upstands – or pre-formed flashings – which can easily blend in with the existing roof system.
What are the Advantages of Roof Domes?
Roof domes bring a wealth of advantages to flat roofs, helping to bring out the best in the room or space immediately below.
- Enhanced lighting: Rather than relying on artificial lighting to illuminate the room, roof domes provide a direct source of natural light to brighten up darkened spaces. This will also convert into lower energy bills as less electricity is being used to light the room.
- Improved ventilation: This helps to control the build-up of condensation that occurs in kitchens and bathrooms. Ventilation in the property will ensure no mould or damp can develop, leading to structural damage.
- Improved sound insulation: Rather than let external noises disturb life at home, the installation of a roof dome helps to insulate the room. This will block out noisy neighbours or the sound of nearby traffic and works well in conjunction with soundproofed walls, ceilings, windows and floors.
- Increased thermal efficiency: In addition to lowering energy bills by using less artificial lighting, installing a roof dome also helps to further insulate the room. This improves the retention of heat during the winter and keeps the space cooler during the hotter months of the year.
- Use of more space: With more daylight coming into the room below this allows it to be used more frequently. With more people converting spaces as a cheaper alternative to moving home the installation of a roof dome opens up places that were previously too dark and less habitable.
What Roof Dome Options are Available?
There are a variety of different shapes to choose from, with plastic (acrylic or polycarbonate) and glass being the most common materials. If security is one of the main concerns polycarbonate is advised over acrylic as, although it is more expensive, it provides a far more robust defence against potential intruders.
Acrylic Roof Domes
This is also called 'plexiglass' and, at first sight, has the appearance of standard glass which also ensures higher levels of light transparency. Acrylic roof domes can be purchased with a transparent or opal surface. This depends on how much light transmission is desired in the room below. Transparent domes work better with sun blinds as they help to block out UV rays during the summer. Oval domes have a stronger filter in place to reduce this.
Polycarbonate Roof Domes
Polycarbonate is an extremely tough material. It's a great way to not only improve security on a flat roof but also enhance safety. It is far less likely that this material will shatter and break. This means people living or working underneath don't have to worry if an object suddenly hits the dome with force. To further improve safety, polycarbonate roof domes can also be combined with glass to create an even thicker surface area.
You can choose between rectangular, domed, square or pyramid styles. Of course, this depends on what fits in with the aesthetics of the roof area. The Solatube DS Flat Roof Kit is dome-shaped and easy to install, bringing all of the benefits discussed in this article into darkened spaces and rooms.
Roof Domes with Sun Blinds
A sun-blind is an additional component that can be installed either internally or externally. This is essentially a screen that helps to control the number of UV rays coming into the room. It also deters the many flying insects present during the summer and can be easily controlled by using a remote.
Remote Control Roof Domes
Rather than having to manually open the roof dome, a remote-control device makes it much easier to manage. Some also come with timer options so they will open automatically at designated times. This ventilates the space as you need throughout the day, so you never forget to close it. This also makes it a good option for elderly homeowners who would find it more difficult to manually close the roof dome every time.
Roof Dome Alternatives
Roof lanterns are the perfect alternative to flat roof domes. They bring the same benefits to the property, including increased light, thermal efficiency, sound insulation and ventilation. They also add a unique visual style to the roof. This approach to roof lighting also acts as a centrepiece to the room below. It can even add value to the property due to an aesthetic that sets them apart from standard roof windows.
How to Maintain Roof Domes
As with any transparent surface, care should be taken with the materials and products used to clean the dome. This can avoid scratches and long-lasting damage. Wetting the surface before cleaning will help to ensure this.
It also prevents abrasive rubbing from cleaning products that have not been prepared for use. Roof domes are constantly exposed to the outside elements. This means they will naturally pick up dirt and dust over time. How much will depend on the immediate environment and how many pollutants the roof is exposed to.
- Materials: A soft sponge or cloth is the cleaning material of choice for flat roof domes. This will help to avoid scratches will effectively cleaning the surface area.
- Cleaning products: Standard domestic cleaning products are ideal as they will not be too harsh for the material. Avoid using products such as white spirit, turpentine, chlorine or even glass cleaners.
- How to clean: Warm water (not boiling) will help to rinse the surface of the roof dome. This should be done before you apply the cleaning product. It will help to clear away dirt and bacteria before you rinse once more to finish.
- Algae and moss: There are specialised cleaning products available to remove the growth of moss and algae. These are common occurrences on every roof.