Moisture Safety in Prefabricated Roof Renovations: Causes and Strategies




moisture safety, flat roof, prefabricated renovation, deep renovation, serial renovation


Achieving carbon neutrality by 2050 requires extensive energy renovation of the existing building stock. In this study we focus on deep renovation with prefabricated insulation elements as a potential solution to attain the required renovation speed and volume. The use of such elements without a proper moisture safety strategy can, however, lead to moisture-related problems, including mould growth. Here we examine the causes of moisture and mould damage in a case study of a building that has been renovated to near-zero energy standards using prefabricated insulation elements.

The study elucidates the reasons for the moisture damages detected and proposes two moisture safety strategies to improve the situation. The first strategy emphasizes the importance of ensuring dry construction conditions by either using a full temporary roof or avoiding rainfall during installation. The second strategy addresses localized water damage to the attic floor and involves the use of protective measures, active ventilation and a correct installation sequence. In the case of local moisture damage, the required amount of ventilation air flow during summer is 0.5–0.55 l/(s·m²). During cooler periods, heating is needed.

The employed methods include modelling the case-study building with the IDA Indoor Climate and Energy software, as well as mould growth risk assessment based on temperature and relative humidity measurements. The results highlight the effectiveness of both strategies in preventing mould growth if applied correctly, and emphasize the need for thorough planning, moisture safety regulations and rapid response to ensure successful renovation with prefabricated insulation units.

The study provides valuable information on moisture safety strategies for serial renovations with prefabricated elements. The existence and proper implementation of a moisture safety strategy is important for achieving the desired energy performance goals while maintaining building durability and occupant health, and it needs to be applied throughout the chain of site management: from the main contractor down to the skilled worker.