Although termites feed on wood, many, if not all, species cannot digest it on their own, so they have protozoa in their digestive tract that break down cellulose in their place. Without them, termites would die. They are not born with them and young people acquire them in the pre-digested food provided to them by other members of society. Every time the termite molts, it loses its protozoa, but as it shares its food with its congeners, it is infested again.
Despite the propensity of some species to devour wood, not all termites are undesirable. In nature, they recycle wood into compounds useful to other living beings. In the tropics, they play the same role as earthworms in temperate regions; stirring the organic matter of the soil, they aerate it and dig galleries where water loaded with minerals can circulate.
What Are The Termites That Do Not Live In The Wood?
Termites that eat wood do not necessarily live in it. Dry wood species, which form small colonies (a few hundred individuals), can actually nest there, but the harmful species of temperate climates live mainly in the ground, and their workers circulate in tunnels from the earth to food sources.
Dry savannah termites build impressive dome-shaped termite mounds, or pyramidals, sometimes lined with needles or chimneys up to 9 m high. Most of these dwellings have a double wall. The outer wall, hard as concrete, is made of cemented grains of sand. The internal partition and galleries are lined with a kind of cardboard.
In humid tropical regions, termites build their nests in trees. These nests, made of cardboard, may have a kind of roof on which rain flows, but covered galleries connect them to the ground.
Compass termites in northern Australia build termite mounds in the shape of a flattened wedge. The wide, flat sides are always directed to the east and west, while the thinnest ends are to the north and south, an orientation that is believed to facilitate temperature control inside the nest.
You are lucky to have convertible attic and want to know if it is worth undertaking insulation work? Here we explain what the advantages of this approach are and how to do it.
Convertible attic and lost attic: how to differentiate them?
Before we get interested in the insulation of convertible attics, it is important to remember what exactly this term means and how to know if this is the case in your home.
What is convertible attic?
Convertible attic, also called habitable attic or accessible attic, refers to the space located just below the roof that can be arranged to serve as a place to live. To be considered convertible, the attic must meet certain criteria. The first concerns the average clear height between the floor and the roof. It must be at least 1.80m in order to allow an average individual to stand. Then, it is also necessary that there is enough free surface to make the place habitable and that the inclination of the roof is at least 30 °.
What is lost attic?
To put it simply, the lost attic is the opposite of the convertible attic. They can also be called non-convertible attic. Here it is very difficult or impossible to make the space habitable because the attic does not meet the conditions we mentioned earlier. This may be due to insufficient height, a too small roof angle or a bad configuration of the frame. For example, if the latter is of the industrial type (with beams that intersect), it is often impossible to arrange the attic. They are then considered “lost”.
The interest of properly insulating convertible attic
Being able to arrange the attic of your house and enjoy an additional room is a great asset. That said, the quality of insulation must be irreproachable if you want to enjoy it in the best conditions. Here’s why.
Energy and money savings
Attic insulation is one of the most efficient energy renovation works. Indeed, a poorly insulated roof can cause up to 30% of a home’s heat loss. A good insulation of the attic can therefore make it possible to make sacred savings on its bills by having less need to solicit your heating, especially in winter. In the case of convertible attic, insulation is all the more important because it is more difficult to heat a room directly in contact with the roof. Keeping the heat inside is essential here so as not to have to overconsume.
Proper insulation of the attic will significantly increase the comfort felt inside the room. The first obvious reason is that as we were able to mention earlier, it will be much easier to heat the room. On the other hand, in summer the heat will come in less easily and cooling the room will also be less tedious. You will be able to enjoy a pleasant place to live whether in cold or hot weather. Finally, insulation also reduces external noise such as wind or rain hitting the roof.
A real estate capital gain
Having one more room in your house thanks to convertible attic is good, but with good insulation it is better! Indeed, it can have a real impact on the real estate value of your home. The diagnosis of the energy performance of a home is now mandatory and is very important in the eyes of buyers. The better this diagnosis, the lower the energy bills will be. Thus, by investing in the renovation of your attic, you will always be a winner since it will increase the selling price of your home.
Insulation of convertible attics: how to go about it?
Although it is possible to insulate convertible attic yourself, it is always better to call on a professional to be sure that the job is well done. Also favor craftsmen certified RGE (Recognized Guarantors of the Environment) who are specialized in energy renovation. Attic insulation can be done in two ways: from the inside or from the outside. The advantage of doing it from the inside is that it is generally simpler and cheaper, but insulation from the outside will not lose exploitable surface and not impact the aesthetic appearance of the frame.
Project owners can testify to this, unforeseen events on construction sites are commonplace in the sector.
No client can validly boast of having carried out construction or building renovation work without ever having faced unforeseen events. Hazards are indeed an integral part of all construction projects. However, project owners and stakeholders on the site try to reduce them as much as possible in the execution of the work, because they can have disastrous consequences on the financial management of a construction site. Unforeseen events can be of a very different nature: technical climatic, economic, but also administrative. The most common hazards are bad weather, theft and vandalism, construction site accidents, failure of companies or supplies, errors in design, planning, and administrative slowness.
The general contractor in charge of carrying out the work, which also manages subcontractors, is at the forefront of these potential obstacles to the smooth running of operations. Therefore, it is necessary to reduce the risk beforehand and define the actions to be taken to overcome these unforeseen events when they occur.
Site preparation: anticipation
In order to avoid having to deal with a significant amount of setbacks, the first step, which is also the most fundamental, is to plan for them in order to better avoid them.
Carefully choose the various stakeholders in the construction industry
Anticipating difficulties begins as soon as companies are consulted. The choice of the various bodies of state of structural work and second work that the company will make to constitute its teams is decisive for its organization and its site management. It must rule out any uncertainty as to the seriousness of the subcontractor but also as to its financial soundness.
Conscientiously draft contractual documents
To carry out the project, rigor in the drafting of work contracts with service providers must also be required. It is indeed necessary to provide for modifications to the provisions of the contract following the possible occurrence of hazards (extension of the duration of the work, application of penalties, price variation …).
Clearly organize schedules and supplies
Organizing the construction sites also means coordinating the work of the various trades that will intervene successively. The provisional schedule includes the progress of the work. It is to be established with precision and rigor and must include the supply of materials necessary for each company. The construction site has an interest in starting at a favorable time of the year in view of the bad weather. The products must be easily substitutable.
Establish a rigorous Risk Prevention and Safety Plan (PPRS)
The safety of workers and all persons who have access to the site is an important factor in the occurrence of unforeseen events, especially in terms of accidents at work. This is why compliance with safety rules is a decisive aspect of site management. A risk prevention plan is mandatory in the coordination of the work of all construction companies operating simultaneously or successively.
Site monitoring: monitoring and action
Despite all the anticipation that the company shows, the work on the site can give rise to difficulties that it must face anyway.
Control the work according to the technical file
The architects design and then propose a preliminary project to the client. As soon as the latter accepts it, the general contractor holding the contract must comply with it in such a way that upon receipt of the work, the work carried out complies with the customer’s expectations. Strict adherence to implementation plans removes many of the possible difficulties.
Monitor work through regular site meetings
To carry out this project and ensure the proper execution of the work, nothing beats constant monitoring. In the building and public works sector, the mobilization of people and technicalities is such that scrupulous monitoring of construction sites is essential until their completion. The construction manager, in collaboration with the project manager, must organize very regular site meetings in order to detect the slightest error or complication.
Have a high level of responsiveness to the unexpected
Most often revealed during a weekly meeting, unforeseen events can however occur at any time during the completion of a construction site. In either case, the person who directs and coordinates the work has no choice but to be reactive to deal with it and prevent the situation from getting worse. A small setback can easily become a significant delay on the schedule if it is not treated in time.
Invoice according to the progress of the work
The contract signed between the general contractor and each of its subcontractors necessarily established a billing schedule corresponding to the progress of the work. In this way, it retains both a means of pressure towards all the state bodies and a sufficient cash flow to face possible hazards such as additional work or additional purchases.