Safe2Torch with SikaBit

More than two years after the Grenfell disaster and over a year on from the Hackitt Report’s call for greater clarity of guidance and regulations for the construction sector, safety has become a primary factor in specification decisions. Whether a building is residential, commercial or a public facility, those who own, operate, specify and construct our built environment have a duty of care to embed safety in specification decisions.

So, how can a specifier ensure that their bituminous roofing system meets high standards of fire safety, both during the build and the operational phases?

A new generation of bitumen technology is now enabling specifiers to manage risk by specifying torch free, self-adhesive bitumen membranes where flammability or confined spaces makes this a preferable option.

Recently launched by Sika, a global leader in construction solutions from basement to roof, SikaBit offers specifiers a full roof build up incorporating both torch-on and self-adhesive products, backed by technical support and a range of guarantees. The new bitumen system complies with Safe2Torch guidelines; a best practice framework created by the National Federation of Roofing Contractors (NFRC).

What is Safe2Torch? The Safe2Torch Guidelines were published by the NFRC in 2017 to provide clear and consistent guidance for specifiers and contractors, ensuring safer installation of bitumen and hot-melt roofing systems.

The guidance ensures that all fire risks are identified at survey stage and factored in to the specification - meaning that in areas that fire risks have been identified or cannot be ruled out, the specification should default to a torch- free solution. For example, torch-free zones include timber roof decks and areas of the roof with timber details, rooflight kerbs and upstands, areas of cladding or hanging tiles and any confined space. Full details of the Safe2Torch guidelines are included in the SikaBit brochure and on the NFRC website: safe2torch

How is SikaBit different?

Sika worked closely with the NFRC when developing the new SikaBit range to ensure that the range answers the requirements of Safe2Torch while providing a bituminous system that offers significant benefits in terms of ease of installation, durability and service life. The company also leveraged the bitumen manufacturing capabilities and expertise within Sika Worldwide to ensure development of the system was specifically focused on the UK climate conditions and building a stock. This means that the system is based on proven technology and offers specifiers a reliable, traceable supply chain.

The SikaBit system combines the flexibility and tensile strength of an SBS bitumen membrane with the durability and U/V stability of APAO technology, delivering a next generation hybrid solution that provides all the traditional benefits of a felt roof, underpinned by an emphasis on quality, service life and safety. Durability is enhanced with the use of a triple layer reinforcement system. Older systems rely on a single layer reinforcement, which is now out dated.

Building on Sika’s roofing expertise, which includes the company’s existing range of Sika Liquid Plastics cold applied liquid membranes, Sika Sarnafil and Sika-Trocal single ply systems, SikaBit has addressed the need for a high quality, technically advanced system from a trusted specialist for use on the higher percentage of UK flat roofs that are specified with a bitumen system.

Developed within the Sika Group thanks to in-house R&D and manufacturing capabilities, the system allows specifiers working on both refurbishment and new build projects to upgrade the existing roof with improved performance and longevity while maintaining a like-for-like specification strategy. It also offers the peace of mind of a safety-based approach to specification, installation and quality assurance with Safe2Torch technical specification support from Sika’s expert team.

SIKA LTD TEL: 0800 112 3837

How does SikaBit deliver a Safe2Torch System? The SikaBit range offers a complete solution for Safe2Torch installations, including a self-adhesive underlay, AVCL (air & vapour control layer) and cap sheet for torch free zones, and a conventional torch-on underlay, AVCL and cap sheet for Safe2Torch areas. The SikaBit range also includes an inverted roof build-up for buried roof applications and can be installed with SikaTherm insulation for warm roof build-ups.

The system has been designed as a specification-led offering by Sika, leveraging the expertise of the entire team from applications, through to technical, who produce the technical specification, which includes a clear breakdown of the torch-free zones where the self-adhesive components will be required.

SikaBit’s national network of trained and experienced contractors will then carry out a Safe2Torch installation, overseen by SikaBit’s applications team, who will carry out regular inspections during the works to ensure quality assurance and Safe2Torch compliance.

Game changer The introduction of Safe2Torch has been a game changer for roof refurbishments. Built to comply with Safe2Torch guidelines, the arrival of SikaBit offers a modern, safe, and quality-assured answer to bitumen roofing systems from a trusted provider.



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