An Overview of Traditional Safranbolu House Roofs and Suggetions for the Rehabilitation Problems

Wooden Houses of Anatolia

An Overview of Traditional Safranbolu House Roofs and Suggetions for the Rehabilitation Problems

Roofs are particularly critical because they protect the rest of the house from rain and weather. Once the roof starts to leak, the rest of the house will be damaged substantially in a very short time. Therefore, it is imperative to correct any deficiency promptly.

If we look at the types of Safranbolu houses three types of roofs can mostly be seen. The most common one is the four-sided-pitched roof (80%), the second one is the three sided (12%) and the last one is the three sided ((12%) and the last one is the gable type roof (%8). Generally high slope roofing (20% slope) has been used in Safranbolu houses. Some of them have gable dormers and generally have 30% slopes. As roof coverings we can usually see wood shingles or tiles. Unfortunately roof sheathing is not usually applied under tile coverings.

The Most Common Construction Problems of Roofing Applications:

1. Inappropriate use of nails: Corrosion resistant nails add slightly to the initial cost but reduce maintenance costs. Use of galvanized or other rust-resistant nails reduces the need for frequent treatment or refinishing. Stainless steel or aluminium nails are necessary for siding having natural finish. In areas of severe winds, using metal strapping may be beneficial.

2. Careless and insufficient wood joinery applications: Care should be taken with the proper angle cuts of the rest on the top plates of exterior walls.

3. Insufficient roof coverings and insulations: A wide variety of roof coverings are available today, and most of them can be used for the rehabilitation in the same manner as for new constructions. In most houses, the roof is a major design element, so the covering material must fit the house design. Using heavy materials such as tile or slate, the roof framing must be strengthened to support the additional loads.

An underlay of 7 kg or 15 kg. asphalt saturated or roll roofing can be used in moderate and lower sloped roofs covered with slate shingles or tile roofing.

With proper flashing and ventilations, we can also eliminate the formation of ice dams and even excessive moisture.

Nowadays, the modern world faces a very serious shortage of high quality wood for construction, and new ideas and products are needed to supply this high demand. Instead of using solid wood we can now use engineered materials such as laminated veneer lumber, laminated strand lumber, parallam, glulam etc. Studies show that engineered wood materials have equal or better strength values than solid wood. Therefore, the rehabilitation of old houses would be more efficient and reliable by using engineered wood materials.

Roof systems are generally made of either the joists-and-rafter systems or trusses. Joists-and-rafter systems are usually found in most buildings constructed before 1950. However, engineered trusses reduce site labor, uses less material and can span greater distances without intermediate support, thus eliminating the need for load-carrying interior roof partitions. Instead of using common nails, metal plate connectors have become a popular means of joining, especially in trussed rafter and joists.

Wood has been a preferred material for home constructions and its popularity reflects its availability, moderate cost, attractiveness, high suitability for numerous uses in house construction and high durability.

A well built and properly maintained wooden house will maintain its strength and structural properties for hundreds of years as it can be seen in traditional Safranbolu houses.

Prof. Dr. Ramazan ÖZEN
President, Zonguldak Karaelmas Universiy

Saadettin M.Onat
Research Assistant, Bartın Faculty of Forestry