Safety in numbers

The choice and variety of roofing options means there is always a safe product solution for site safety.

Fire is one of the major causes of roofing accidents, putting both people and jobs at risk. Financially the cost can be crippling, and in personal injury terms the price is always too high.

However, help is available. The flat roofing sector has a rich seam of product options to choose from and some of the most cutting edge manufacturers on hand to provide the knowledge, training and skills needed to install these products safely, professionally and quickly. Since the 1990s the number of fires has dropped significantly, and that is largely down to manufacturers designing products that reduce risk and help you support safety on site.

Here are some of the options to choose from…

Cold-applied liquids are in more demand than ever and depending on the warranty required, you can choose from a number of high quality solutions such as:

  • FIX-R Classic Liquid 10 (10 year Warranty)
  • FIX-R Liquid Waterproofing (15 year Warranty)
  • Hydrostrop EU AH-25 (25 year Warranty)
  • GRP Roofing Systems (10 & 25 year Warranty)
  • IKO Polimar (10-20 year Warranty)

Ideal for roofing, cladding and balconies, they’re versatile and meet the high-spec fire resistance requirements.

If liquids aren’t right for the project there are other options to choose from. Membranes bonded in cold-applied adhesives or self-adhesive membranes are an increasingly popular choice with contractors. If you’re familiar with the system they are quick to apply and can save you time and money on site. For example, IKO’s Easyseal Self-Adhesive System is a BBA approved, high performance, robust and a long-lasting built-up felt that doesn’t require hot bitumen, gas torches or liquids.

Using Hybrid Reinforced Membranes, which can be self-adhesive or torch on, such as SIGnature Self-Adhesive Vapor Control Layer or Underlay (warranties of between 20-25 years dependent on the Cap Sheet used), means combustible materials are encapsulated within the built-up system. This means you can install the underlay without having to torch it on to the deck, avoiding having to use naked flame next to the insulation. You can then use a Torch On Cap Sheet to finish the job.

Some of the latest bitumen membranes such as SIGnature Cap Sheet or IKO Mach One Single Layer System minimise the spread of flames with built in fire retardants – with Graphite Firewall Technology, tested to the highest current standards. Graphite expands through the coating, forming a heat-shield if exposed to high temperatures and flames. In addition IKO’s range also includes Permatec Hot Melt and Permaphalt Mastic Asphalt, which use heat as part of the install, but are flame-free.

It’s clear there are a growing number of products available specifically designed to combat the risk of fire. Fortunately they are all backed up with superb manufacturer training so you know exactly how to install them. Whichever product is the most suitable for your project, it’s good to know the range of choices means there’s safety in numbers.