If you are a Bexley homeowner with an old leaky conservatory, it is high time to bring the structure into the 21st century. If your extension was built in the 1980s or 90s, it probably has a polycarbonate roof.
Polycarbonate was commonly used to make conservatory roofs as it’s inexpensive and will do the basic job of keeping the rain out and the room’s contents dry.
However, the relatively low cost of polycarbonate is the only advantage of using this material, as it isn’t practical from an insulation point of view or aesthetically appealing. Polycarbonate can be difficult to keep clean, which over time makes the conservatory look old and worn.
After 30 or 40 years, it is to be expected that a polycarbonate roof is reaching the end of its lifespan. Heat in a room with an old polycarbonate roof is lost through the ceiling as heat rises, so a conservatory roof must be insulating. The roof is also an essential element of any construction, so it can compromise the entire conservatory if it’s impaired.
If your conservatory is Edwardian or Victorian it could have a glass-panelled roof. While glass is perfect for those who like plenty of natural light, a glass conservatory roof will make the space too cold to use in winter and way too hot during the summer, meaning you can only use the conservatory comfortably during Spring and Autumn. Like polycarbonate, glass is not an effective insulator, and heat will exit through the roof in wintry weather, yet contrarily, it traps warmth inside on sunny days.
One way to improve this situation and make the room more comfortable when temperatures drop or rise is to use insulated curtains. These help control heat transfer, block out light and dull noise. But since a conservatory is commonly used to enjoy the outdoors, adding dark curtains, and blocking out the light and views will transform the feel of the conservatory, and not in a good way.
So, the most sensible answer is to replace the glass roof with a solid insulating roof. A solid conservatory roof provides much better insulation to save energy than glass.