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flat roof idea, built up oak floor without insulation

We have an flat roof, tar and gravel roof in Daytona Beach, Fla., and I am considering alternative solutions for roofing that would last longer than the roof we have. Should I consider a membrane roof, or building a metal roofing system, as their is little insulation in this old Florida home above the ceiling. This family home for 62 years, also has oak hardwood floors which are not insulated and my power bills are well above the normal for florida. A new heat pump system in the future might help that somewhat, but with over 40, window crank wooden windows, 3 or 4 payne windows, I am looking for solutions to keep my home in the family for a 3rd or 4th generation a block from the beach. Thanks for any ideas.

Re: flat roof idea, built up oak floor without insulation

Replacing the windows would be a 50+ year payback in energy savings. Better to consider repairing the window seals on the existing casment windows. You can also fit Low-E storm panels on them to reduce heat gain.

I don't know much about roofs. The membranes seem to be a good choice and can usually add insulation after tearing off the old ones.

Not sure about the floors. So they are mounted directly on the slab? For a warm climate, that shouldn't be much of an issue. Your heating season is so short.

When you replace your heat pump, be sure to get it sized correctly. A oversized unit can use more energy than a proper sized on... especially in a humid climate.

Re: flat roof idea, built up oak floor without insulation

I am not sure why you are not at least as concerned about your elcetric bills in the summer? The heat build up in your house must be intense. I assume that you have AC. If so, your AC bills must be sky high. Building up the roof to allow for additional insulation would be of great value. From a leat transfer standpoint, the roof is the gretest loser of heat.

The biggest loser of heat in most homes is actually poor air sealing. Air sealing is usually the quickest, most cost effective cure for heat/cooling bills. The average house leaks like a sieve. The openings through the ceiling, i.e. electrical boxes, exhaust vents, etc. usually are not sealed well. If you have any attic space at all that allows to to crawl around up there, you should go up and seal those voids.

It sounds like you have jalousie windows. These are notoriously bad at sealing well, but as the other post suggests, the payback for new windows is many years. However, if you are in it for the long run, new windows with insulated Low-E glass will seal tighter, look better, require no maintenance and stop alot of outside noise. Jalousie windows can be fitted with inside seasonal storm windows which will dramatically decrease their air infiltration.

Finally, you might want to contact your local gas and electric companies. Many of these utilities around the country offer free or little cost estimates of your house's energy efficiency. They will give you payback estimates for the different possible repairs. The Federal Government and many States offer subsidies in the form of tax rebates for making energy efficiency repairs. I live in Oregon and this State is quite generous is helping improve the local housing efficiency.

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