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BUILDING FABRIC 35


Even roofing materials manufacturers have to admit that ‘flat’ roofs are not always seen as being attractive, and can be perceived by some as troublesome. There are many common pitfalls when specifying and installing flat roofs that must be addressed to avoid these issues, including: • Inadequate or inappropriate design • Low levels of insulation • Inadequate ventilation • Unsightly edge details • Poorly sealed junctions and abutments • Fitting by under-trained roofers


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ATTRACTIVE AND RELIABLE What most specifiers, housebuilders and owners want is a good-looking, reliable roof. It doesn’t seem a lot to ask, does it? Sometimes however, what they get is a


disappointing, problematic and not to mention expensive liability. Poorly installed and badly finished roofs not only put a property at risk, but can also let down its appearance, possibly leading to expensive running repairs and reduced property value. How many times have you seen an uneven felt roof which looks like a child has installed it? Poor details in roof construction are


among the most common causes of water ingress into a building – as with many roof covering systems, the detailing has to be decided upon as the job progresses, leading to solutions which have not been fully thought through.


GRP ROOFING Glass reinforced polyester (GRP) is a robust, lightweight material, which is naturally watertight, aesthetically pleas- ing and has great longevity. Its bulk strength and weight are better than many metals, meaning that it can be readily moulded into complex shapes and can be used for a wide variety of roof coverings. The material also benefits from good


fire retardancy, is easy to handle, and, as it is UV resistant, is ideal for roofing installations. Being a flexible material, it is versatile and easy to repair, and – providing it is offered by a responsible


BEING A FLEXIBLE MATERIAL, GRP IS VERSATILE AND EASY TO REPAIR, AND CAN BE FULLY RECYCLABLE AT THE END OF ITS SERVICE LIFE


manufacturer – can be fully recyclable at the end of its service life. GRP was initially developed for widespread applications by the British military during WWII. The plan was to use GRP for several applications, includ- ing building the minesweeper fleet because of its light weight, strength, and lack of magnetic footprint. Later, the benefits of GRP were recognised as ideal for a variety of uses across the boat build-


ing, motor manufacturing and construc- tion industries. As the name suggests, GRP is produced by combining glass fibres with thermoset- ting polyester resin consolidated under strictly controlled factory conditions. The glass fibres are embedded into the resin with several layers of fibres facing in different directions, allowing the stiffness and strength of the finished material to be controlled.


WWW.HBDONLINE.CO.UK


ow many times have you heard it said: ‘flat roofs never last more than 10 years’?


REINFORCING THE GRP MESSAGE


Andy Fell of Hambleside Danelaw explores how housebuilders and developers can avoid the common pitfalls of flat roofing by specifiying glass reinforced polyester (GRP), explaining its various benefits.


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