I think we could all agree that there are plenty of things we could – and should – be doing to ensure that our homes are ready for cold spell ahead. This means not only making sure that we have a reliable boiler and central heating ready to go and plenty of thick duvets to snuggle up in, but it also means that we should be thinking about the roof above our heads. An often forgotten about area of our houses or commercial premises.
If you’ve been living with a range of the different roof covering out there, from a traditional tiled or rubber flat roof solution, you may be perfectly happy with the results that you’ve seen – but it stands to reason that you consider an altogether more durable material and covering to protect your home, garage and extensions in order to survive our ever changing and particularly fearsome weather. A warm roof helps hugely towards a warm home.
There are several different ways of creating a flat roof and each has its own pros and cons.The definition of a flat roof, according to BS 6229, is “having a pitch less than 10° to the horizontal.” However, some in the industry would consider up to 15° as their definition of a flat roof.
importantly, correctly built flat roofs will drain rainwater quickly and effectively into gutters without allowing water to pond – a small amount of ponding is still possible but this very much depends on the level of drainage.
Inadequate drainage can result in silt deposits and freezing slip hazards caused by algae, mould growth and ice. In the autumn and winter months your flat roof is particularly at risk.
There are also a variety of types of insulation available for flat roofs including PIR, tapered insulation, vacuum insulation panels and XPS insulation. Let’s look in more detail as is is important to know how your flat roof construction works.
A warm flat roof construction or a built-up roof (BUR) is one where all the insulation is above the joists/deck, making it part of the warm fabric of the building.
In a warm flat roof, condensation is prevented by keeping the deck at a warm temperature, therefore there is no cold surface for the condensation to form on.
The insulation is immediately below the waterproofing layer. The vapour control layer is above the decking but below the insulation. The insulation can be adhered, mechanically fixed or loose laid.
A cold flat roof construction is one where the insulation is between or between and below the roof joists. This is used for refurbishment e.g. refurbishing an existing timber joisted flat roof which has no insulation.
The insulation is below the deck but above the plasterboard. It allows insulation to be added without having to replace the waterproofing on the existing roof or raising the roofline.
In a cold roof, condensation is prevented as the ventilation takes away the moisture vapour before it can form as condensation. In this type of roof, you remove both of these levels of protection – thinner insulation means the deck isn’t kept warm and no ventilation space means the moisture is not removed before it forms as condensation.
It is important to make sure that there is at least a 50 mm air gap for ventilation above the insulation and the roof deck to prevent condensation from occurring.
Another structure is a warm green flat roof or a living roof, is a type of warm roof that is covered with plants or grass on top of a growing medium, all planted over the waterproofing layer of the roof.
It could be a shallow growing medium, planted with sedum for example (sometimes referred to as an ‘extensive’ green roof), or a full-blown roof garden with a variety of different sizes of shrubs and plants (often called an ‘intensive’ green roof).
A green flat roof can provide a habitat for wildlife and creates usable areas for recreational activities. They provide a visually more attractive finish than protected membrane roofs with gravel or paving slab ballast.
GRP fibreglass is arguably the most popular roofing resource amongst professionals and homeowners alike, particularly as it is a long-term solution that works wonders in keeping out weather and unwanted attention alike. Traditional felt, or tile roofing can be extremely susceptible to damage from both the elements and from outside intrusion – meaning that if security, warmth and dryness are at the very top of your agenda, there is every reason you should consider swapping out an older roofing material for bespoke fibreglass – laid on to fit and support houses and homes of all shapes and sizes.
Fibreglass is becoming the most common type of roofing on the residential circuit and it’s thankfully becoming a lot more affordable and easier to provision on the whole. This means that homeowners are now able to make the decision to re-roof their houses and bungalows with a material that is proven to last the years – through wind, snow, hail and regular downpours alike.
It’s guaranteed to withstand unwanted attention across the board – this is tough stuff that we at Merlin offer our customers a 20 year guarantee – you’ll not have to worry about replacing your flat roof or conducting major or even minor repairs for two decades. If that’s not cost-effectively protecting your home against the winters to come, we don’t know what is!
Tile or pitched roofs, while protective and perfectly serviceable as roofing material and standards of old go, simply doesn’t have the resistance and the longevity that having fibreglass installed has proven to hold in testing and continued residential use over the years. With winter fast approaching – and with British temperatures showing no sign of getting any better – it surely makes sense to think about improving your overall roofing coverage for the cold times ahead.
There is never a bad time of year to consider having fibreglass roofing installed in your home – whether you own a townhouse, a mansion, a bungalow or something completely different – Merlin GRP have both the tools and the expertise to hand to make sure that you and your family are completely protected against the elements. We are fully up to date with building regulations and have years of experience of flat roof installation. If you’re considering fibreglass for your flat roof construction but are unsure where to start, why not call us today on 0800 3118 262 – and let us point you in the right direction!