Marley Eternit remind us why working to the British Standards improves the quality of your service, protects your reputation and reassures homeowners.
The damage caused by storm Doris in February reiterates why the revised BS 5534:2014 came into force and its contribution to roofing security is widely acknowledged as best practice. Extreme weather like this is becoming increasingly common and the destruction caused by strong winds stresses the importance of making sure roof coverings and accessories are mechanically fixed to guard against this.
The National Federation of Roofing Contractors (NFRC) estimates that as much as 80% of re-roofing in the UK is not yet done to the correct Standard, putting both people and property at risk. One of the reasons for this is that the Standard is not yet a requirement to sign off Building Regulations, which means that a roof can meet Building Regulations and not be sufficiently fixed to meet BS 5534.
INCLUDING BS 5534 IN BUILDING REGULATIONS
To improve standards and safety, a cross industry group led by the NFRC and supported by companies like Marley Eternit is calling on the government to include BS 5534 into the Approved Documents to the Building Regulations (as part of an update to the standard BS 5534:2014+A1:2015). This means it is very likely that complying with the Standard will soon be a legal requirement. Meaning, if you’re not fixing to the Standard already, you’ll probably need to very soon.
Kevin Taylor, from the NFRC, told us: “BS 5534:2014+A1:2015 sets out some important changes to the safe and secure fixing of roofs and we are working alongside our partners to strongly recommend it is included in Approved Document A of the Building Regulations. Both the NFRC and CompetentRoofer believe that unless roofs are fixed to BS 5534, then there is a real risk of roof failure, or even injury to people and damage to property, especially in high winds.
While members of the NFRC and CompetentRoofer schemes are required to fix to BS 5534 recommendations, many other roofers still aren’t and it’s simply not worth the risk. If roofing is not carried out to BS 5534 and the work is challenged, it will invariably need to be put right (unless there are exceptional circumstances such as heritage work). We have seen situations where roofs have had to be stripped and re-done.”
THE BENEFITS OF FIXING TO BS 5534
Including BS 5534 in the Approved Documents to Building Regulations will level the playing field and make the situation much clearer for everyone. It makes sense to start now so that you are fully up to speed on exactly what you need to do when the law changes. The benefits to you as a contractor far outweigh the alternatives and include:
- Reduced re-work costs with less risk of call backs and claims against warranties
- Protecting your reputation for quality workmanship and reducing risk and liability
- Improved on-site safety with fewer accidents from using non-compliant materials
- Protecting homeowners and occupants by ensuring the roof is safe and fixed to modern high standards
- Creating a level playing field with everyone pricing against the same levels of fixing, making it much fairer for both roofers and consumers
The advantages of fixing to BS 5534 far outweigh the potential costs of not doing so. It’s simply not worth the risk of roof failure and if the work is challenged it will invariably need to be put right. If you change the way you work now, then you’ll be perfectly placed for when the standard becomes law.