At About Roofing Supplies between our four branches and our website at aboutroofing.com, we receive and deliver literally tens of thousands of tons of roofing materials every year - in fact we estimate that on an average day we deliver over 200 tons of roof tiles alone!
We are concious that we have an impact on the enviroment - the production of concrete (from which many roof tiles are made) is the largest single emitter of CO2 globally, roof tile manufacturing is the largest industrial user of gas (to fire the tiles in kilns), and of course the delivery lorries running to and from our depots emit exhaust fumes. Add onto that cardboard and plastic packaging, and our enviromental footprint is significant.
We have been taking steps for many years to mitigate our impact where ever possible, and this post will update you about the steps that we are taking.
We operate a large fleet of HGVs which are replaced every three years or sooner.
Most of our current fleet are Euro 6 compliant, with the handful that are Euro 5 being due for replacement shortly.
We are upgrading our company car fleet to the latest hybrids - two of our staff have just taken delivery of Kia Niro Petrol - Electric low emission hybrids.
We generate waste cardboard from packaging, which we compress into bales, and is then collected for recycling.
At any one time we have around a thousand pallets in stock or on the backs of lorries going out for delivery - each pallet is wrapped in plastic, which can't be reused once the pallet has been opened.
We recycle this plastic, which we then pay a specialist recycling contractor to take away, sort and recycle responsibly.
Our commitment to recycling even extends to small details, such as drinks machines! Every day our customers enjoy free tea, coffee and hot chocolate from machines in our branches. Each drink was supplied in a single use plastic cup which was then thrown away.
We have recently replaced these machines with new drinks machines that do not use single use cups.
We have kitchens in our branches where our staff can make themselves hot drinks, cook food etc - just like at home, these activities generate packaging, however unlike at home, local authorities do not have schemes in place to collect and recycle this waste when it is generated commercially. Our solution? Rather than simply throwing it away, our staff members simply take it home and add it to their domestic recycling.
Roof tiles & slates are supplied to us on pallets by the manufacturers, many of which we reuse for delivering to our customers.
However, we are not always able to reuse these pallets as not all types of pallets are suitable for delivery by the cranes fiitted to our lorries, so these are either returned to the manufacturers for reuse by them or passed onto a pallet recycling company for reuse in other industries.
In this, the first of the special interviews that we will be sharing to celebrate our 20th year in business, we have spent some time with Mark who is the Branch Manager at our Dorking branch.
At only 45 he has been with About Roofing Supplies for most of his working life!
Q: About Roofing Supplies opened the doors of our branch at Esher in Surrey to customers in February 1999 – when did you start working for the company?
It would have been in March or April that year.
Q: And you were the first employee?
Yes, I was the first member of staff apart from the Directors who started the company to begin with.
Q: So you have been with the company for 20 years: What job did you start doing, and how have you got to where you are now?
I was actually taken on to work part time for two days a week, as the company had not been open for long and no one was sure that there would be much for me to do.
Initially I was helping in the yard and delivering goods on the small truck that we had then – by hand of course as we did not have a lorry with a crane to begin with.
In my second week I worked for three days, and in my third week I went full time – it got very busy very quickly!
After a few months I was put through my HGV training, and I then drove HGVs for the company for the next four years.
I left briefly, before coming back to work with Garrett (Courtney our Sales Director) at our new, as it was then, Redhill branch.
After a spell driving again, I was promoted to Assistant Manager of our Redhill branch, and then became Branch Manager of our Dorking branch three years ago.
Q: What is it about the company that has made you stay for so long?
I like that it is family run and still independent. I knew two of the Directors when we were all at school together, so it feels that I am working with the guys who own About Roofing rather than for them. It’s a family, which although it is a cliché is true in this case. I also like that you are valued as an individual – too many people work for companies where they are ‘just a number’. At About Roofing I matter……we all matter.
Q: What, in your opinion, is the best thing about this company?
Apart from my answers to the last question, I like the opportunities that I have been given to advance personally. As the company has evolved, I have been given the chance to do jobs that are different than the job that I was originally employed to do – not many companies do that these days.
Q: What would you say is your proudest achievement at work?
Becoming Branch Manager of our Dorking branch. I never dreamt when I started in the yard at our Esher branch as a young lad that one day I would be the manager of another branch.
Q: What does this company mean to you?
Everything really! There is nothing worse than waking up and dreading the working day ahead – I enjoy coming to work. Every day has its challenges, but I enjoy that – it’s never boring!
We opened our doors to our Esher branch for the first time in February 1999 - 3 more branches, thousands of customers and tens of thousands of deliveries later we are celebrating our 20th anniversary.
We started trading online in 2009 - amongst the first roofing and building materials suppliers to do so - so 2019 is also the 10th anniversary of aboutroofing.com.
We will be featuring interviews with our three founding directors on this blog shortly - they still run the company, and their story of how they turned a dream into a successful business is remarkable.
We will also be featuring an interview with our first ever employee - who is still with us - and our first ever customer - who is also still with us - as well as interviews with customers and staff over this special anniversary year.
About Roofing Supplies is more than a 'just a company': To many of the staff and customers it is a family and a part of everyday life. We look forward to sharing some of the stories about who we are, how we got here and where we are going in the coming months!
About Roofing Supplies Dorking branch improvement works
About Roofing Supplies Dorking branch has been undergoing improvement works over the last few months, the latest of which was the laying of a new heavy duty tarmac surface at the front of the branch, which will make loading and unloading our customers and suppliers much easier!
We have also been increasing the range of stocks held at our Dorking branch recently - in particular we are carrying more roof tiles, roofing batten and building aggregates than ever!
Why not pop in and meet the friendly Dorking branch team soon! The branch is open between 7.30am and 5pm Monday to Friday, and 8am to 12pm on Saturdays.
Alternatively, you can call them on 01306 770490 or email them at Dorking@aboutroofing.co.uk
When it comes to buying a new roof for your home there are many decisions to make, from the materials you choose to whether you need to employ roofing contractors to carry out the project for you.
The choice of materials to use for your new roof is vast: Natural materials such as slate, traditional roof tiles manufactured from clay, to man made products such as GRP, bitumen or concrete roof tiles can all be used to create a roof, and each has its own merits and will have a different impact on the design and appearance of your home.
When it comes to choosing the materials for your roof, here are some of the things you should ask yourself:
How long will the roof last?
Durability is extremely important. Installing a new roof is costly, even if you go for the cheapest options, therefore it is essential that you trust the roof will last a long time.
Broadly clay and slate products will look better for longer and have a longer service life – for only a small price premium over concrete products.
How much does it cost?
Price, of course, is a major factor when deciding which roofing materials to choose.
Roofing materials vary greatly when it comes to cost, so make sure you know exactly how much you will be paying out for your new roof before you decide on the materials.
Everyone has their own budget that the need to will work to, so make sure that you stick to that, and that there are no hidden costs you haven’t considered before you start work. Calculating costs before you begin means you don’t end up paying out more than you can afford.
How durable are these materials? What are the installation costs such as labour and scaffolding?
Your new roof should last a long time. However if unexpected, violent weather occurs you need to know that your roof will stand up to it. If you live in an area at high risk of adverse weather, take this into consideration when choosing your roofing materials.
Will the end result look the way I want it to on my home?
Of course you want to be pleased with the end result. Make sure you choose a material that complements the style of your home, and the buildings that surround it.
There are links on our website from which free samples can be ordered – we encourage customers to take advantage of this service, particularly because colour reproduction on websites and in brochures is never 100% accurate, and there is no substitute for actually seeing and holding a physical roof tile or slate in the colour that you are interested in.
Which supplier should I use?
Make sure you do your research before selecting a supplier and go with a reputable, experienced supplier who understands the products and can offer help and advice.
Whilst price is an important factor, make sure that your supplier has experienced staff and are authorized manufacturer’s distributors – many sellers give the impression on their websites of being stockists, but in reality simply pass the order onto an authorized distributor such as us.
Do I need planning permission and what are the local regulations?
Make sure that you know what the rules and regulations that apply to building a new roof on your home in your area are before you start.
Find out whether you need planning permission and whether there are any local regulations in place that might restrict what you do, this means you won’t run into any trouble further down the line.
You also need to take into consideration your existing roof, in particular the roof pitch, as this may mean that some materials are not suitable and can be ruled out in the first instance.
To assist you with your choice we have broken down the pro’s and cons of the most common roof tile types.
Concrete tiles are a popular choice. They are very durable and will last a long time. They are cost effective and quickly and easily laid. Some are manufactured to resemble more expensive clay tiles giving your home a similar look for less.
Clay roof tiles are eco-friendly as they are made from natural materials.
Clay is long-lasting and stylish design-wise, with a wide range of styles to choose from, and is seen as a very desirable feature – hence most “new build” properties have clay roof tiles as feature conscious buyers are actively seeking features such as these on modern, as well as traditional properties.
The price differential between clay and concrete products has narrowed significantly in recent years meaning that clay roofing products can be purchased for a very similar price to concrete, however clay roof tiles look better, lasts longer and add value to the property many people feel that this is a wise and worthwhile investment.
Cembrit tiles are man-made from fibre and cement. These tiles are popular due to their low price and high durability, and are easy to install. Cembrit tiles are among the most lightweight of all the tiles and therefore can be used on a frame that cannot withstand the greater weight of slate, concrete or clay tiles.
Slate is a traditional roofing material and has been used for many centuries.
It is made from natural materials and therefore eco friendly, with a grey or green irregular appearance.
By carefully considering the the factors above and doing thorough research you should be able to make an informed choice about the type of roof that will work best for you and your home, and hopefully be delighted with the finished result.
Roof replacement varies according to a number of factors such as the age and condition of roofing materials used on the roof, the exposure of the roof to the weather and the construction of the roof.
When to replace a felt flat roof
Flat roofs were, until the 1990s, usually constructed from roofing felt - either torch on roofing felt, or pour and roll roofing felt (usually nailed down onto the roof).
The lifespan of roof felt varies widely depending on the grade and quality of flat roof felt used, and can be anything between 2 years and 20 years.
Often, felt flat roofs are laid with the emphasis on keeping costs down, so the most economical grades of felt are used which, as you would expect, have the shortest lifespan.
The premium grades of roofing felt, are supplied by specialist roofing materials suppliers such as About Roofing Supplies, and are usually laid by professional contractors.
Roofs constructed using the premium, professional grades of roofing felt will be built up using multiple layers and types of felt. These will typically be guaranteed by the manufacturer to be durable for 10 years to 20 years, with an expected lifespan of another 5 years to 10 years. Find out more about these products here.
The areas most prone to leaking on felt flat roofs are the joints, known as 'laps'. Water gets in through the joints over time - particularly if rain pools into puddles on the roof and does not drain away, Once water has penetrated onto the boards below, these expand, trapping the moisture and as they do so the roofing felt pulls away from the roof boards which only makes water ingress more likely, eventually leading to failure.
Ideally a flat felt roof should be regularly inspected for leaks (at least annually) and these should be repaired as soon as they are identified.
Over time the roofing felt will deteriorate and will become more brittle and prone to cracking and leaks, due to the action of the sun, UV exposure and weather, and replacement of the felt, and the boarding underneath, will be unavoidable.
Typically, when felt flat roofs start leaking, this is an indication that they are reaching the end of their lives and replacement should start to be considered, as repairs should be viewed as a short term solution.
When to replace a GRP flat roof
GRP flat roofs - often known as fibreglass flat roofs - have enjoyed enormous popularity over the last 10 years to 15 years.
GRP roofs typically have a manufacturers guarantee of 20 years, and an expected lifespan of at least another 10 years.
Assuming that these roofs were laid correctly in the first place they are very resistant to leaks, however the initial laying of a GRP flat roof is more challenging than many installers anticipate and leaks are usually due to installation errors rather than the GRP roof reaching the end of its useful lifespan.
Assessing the cause of a leaking GRP flat roof can be quite challenging due to the seamless construction of a GRP roof, however where the leak has been identified, repair can be relatively straightforward. Find out more about these products here.
If repairs to small areas of a GRP roof do not resolve the leak, then consideration should be given to replacement of the entire roof, as it is likely that the root cause of the issue is installation error (use of boards that were not completely dry during installation for example), and the only solution will be replacement of the entire GRP roof.
Temporary repairs to flat roofs
We supply a range of products which can be painted onto flat roofs to extend their lifespan.
Products, such as Cromapol, are waterproof paints that are liberally painted onto areas where leaks are known or suspected, or the deterioration of the roof is visible, and are short terms solutions used to address leakage temporarily (for a few years only).
These products do not have a guarantee because they are dependant upon the condition of the existing roof, however typically they will extend the lifespan of a flat roof by up to 5 years. Find out more about these products here.
When to replace a pitched roof
Pitched roofs can be constructed from a wide variety of materials such as clay roof tiles, concrete roof tiles or roofing slates.
A leaking pitched roof can be caused by failure of the tiles or slates due to ageing, leaks from flashings, or water ingress through the verges.
When to replace a clay tile roof
Modern clay roof tiles are typically supplied with a 30 year manufacturers guarantee, however in many instances clay roof tiles are in usable condition after 100 years, and we have seen examples of clay roof tiles that are in excess of 200 years old and still have many years life left in them!
Older (pre 1980s) clay tiles can be susceptible to frost damage, which leads to the tile cracking and leaking. This is because older roof tiles were rarely manufactured to the high standards that modern roof tiles are subject to. The rigorous UK and EU standards that we rely on in the 21st century are in place to ensure that modern roofing materials provide a log service life.
If your clay roof tiles are breaking up, this is a sure sign that the roof needs replacing, and often once a few tiles start cracking, examination of the rest of the roof reveals that many of the other tiles are cracking and need replacing promptly.
When to replace a concrete tile roof
Concrete roof tiles are cheaper than clay roof tiles, and were the primary roof tile of choice for rebuilding the roofs of Britain after the Second World War, right up until the 21st Century, when the benefits, and narrowing of the cost differential, lead to clay roof tiles becoming as popular as concrete tiles.
The cost saving made on concrete tiles is reflected by their much shorter service life than clay roof tiles. Whilst still being in good condition after 50 years is not uncommon, concrete roof tiles in serviceable condition after 60 years to 70 years are a rarity.
Concrete tiles are vulnerable to frost in the same way as clay roof tiles, but are also far more susceptible to erosion due to wind and rain which leads to thinning and cracking of the roof tile.
Concrete roof tiles are inherently brittle when new and become increasingly fragile with age, meaning that contractors fitting satellite dishes, solar panels or repairing chimneys often break them inadvertently, leading to leaks.
Usually the first indication that concrete roof tiles will need replacing soon is when they look very pale. This is because the surface coating has worn away leading to gradual delamination, usually due to the effects of the wind and weather.
When to replace a slate roof
Roofing slates, like clay roof tiles, have very long lives with many roof slates from leading manufacturers such as SSQ, currently being offered with guarantees between 75 years and 100 years.
Older slates - particuarly Welsh slates can often last in excess of 200 years, and are relatively unaffected by the weather - after all they have survived millions of years underground before being quarrieed and shaped into roofing slates!
However, when roof slates start to delaminate or crack - often as a result of frost damage - this should be seen as a clear sign to replace them.
Usually just replacing the cracked slates is just a temporary solution, as usually they all fail at a similar time, so cracking and delaminating should be seen as an indicator that the roof will need to be replaced.
Roofs often leak for reasons other than the clay roof tiles, concrete roof tiles, roofing slate or flat roof felt failing.
A common cause of leaks is from lead flashing around windows, bay windows and chimney pots, where it is chased into the brickwork and the chase is then filled with mortar.
Over a relatively short period of time, the thermal expansion of the lead leads to the mortar cracking and water gets into the joints. This is easily repaired using Flashpoint Lead Sealant - further details of which can be found here.
The brickwork that chimneys are constructed from is vulnerable to both damp and to leaks from the soakers and flashing around the edges. This is often treated with a masonry sealant to waterproof the brickwork - details of which can be found here.
A common cause of leaks on tiled and slate roof is from the verges: Until recently the verges on tile and slate roofs were filled with mortar which cracked over time leading to leaks - indeed this used to be the leading source of warranty claims on new properties submitted to the NHBC.
The Building Regulations were amended in 2018 with the addition of BS 8612: Dry Fixed Ridge, Hip And Verge Systems to require all new properties, and re-roofing and repairs of existing properties, to be constructed with plastic dry verges, which are mechanically fixed to the roof and will stay waterproof for the life of the roof. Further information on these products can be found here.
Where can I buy roof tiles near me?
Is your roof in need of replacing? About Roofing Supplies stock a large range of roofing materials including concrete and clay roof tiles. Our roof tiles are not only hard wearing and versatile but are offered at affordable prices.
Why not visit one of local branches below, or we also offer a nationwide delivery service:
Chimney pots are made from clay, and are then fired in a kiln to make them resistant to the heat from the smoke and fumes that will travel through them when in use.
Replacing a chimney pot requires a tall ladder, and a head for heights - if you are in any doubt at all, the you would be wise to pay a roofing contractor to carry out the work for you.
Selecting the correct chimney pot
If there is an existing chimney pot you will need to measure the external dimensions at the top and the bottom of the chimney (as many styles of chimney pots taper inwards from the bottom up), and the height of the chimney pot, so that you can purchase a direct replacement, which will not only look right but will also be easier to fit as you will be replacing like-for-like.
If you are fitting a new chimney pot you need to take into account the ratio of the opening at the top of the fireplace to that of the top opening of the chimney pot, which needs to have a ratio in the range of 1:8 to 1:10 (the top of the chimney pot needs to be smaller than the opening at the top of the fireplace).
Also, you need to ensure that the internal dimensions of the base of the chimney pot that you are looking to purchase should always be equal to or greater than the external dimensions of the flue.
Replacing a broken chimney pot
If you are replacing an existing, damaged or broken chimney pot you will need to completely remove what is left of the existing pot, and any mortar holding it in place.
You will need to be very careful, as chimney pots can be surprisingly heavy - many older pots were manufactured from very substantial clay and subsequently can be disarmingly heavy.
It will be a tricky job to remove the chimnney and the mortar holding it in place (assuming that it is still fixed in position) and you will then need to carefully and safely get the broken pieces down to ground level.
Fitting a new chimney pot
Firstly, carefully lift the chimney pot up to the roof - the safest way to achieve this is by using a length of rope to haul it up.
Attempting to carry the chimney pot up the ladder is unwise and should not be attempted.
Once the new chimney pot is up on the roof it should be placed over the flue opening in the chimney stack, which will allow you to judge if the base will correctly fit.
If the base of the pot does not match the size of the opening, pieces of slate can be used to narrow the opening, which will provide a secure base for the chimney pot.
Using a 3 inch (75mm) layer of mortar (made from four - rather than three - parts of soft sand to one part of cement to reduce the risk of mortar failure) around the flue opening, bind the base of the chimney pot into the mortar, pressing firmly into place once you are happy with the position of the pot.
Dampening the area around the base of the pot, any slate used over the flue opening, and the stack stops the mortar from drying out too quickly and gives you longer to make adjustment to the positioning of the chimney pot.
Once the chimney pot has been correctly positioned you need to taper the mortar away from the base of the pot using a trowel, at an angle of approximately 45 degrees, to allow rain to run off - this is known as 'flaunching' the base.
You should then leave the pot, and not use the fire, for 24 hours to allow the mortar to set, and then it should be inspected to confirm that there are no cracks in the mortar or fissures that could allow water or bird ingress.
Maintenance of chimney pots
Chimney pots require very little maintenance other than an inspection every 5 years or so to check it for cracks and to ensure that the mortar is also in good condition and that the chimney is still held securely in place.
Where can I purchase chimney supply near me?
About Roofing Supplies stock a wide range of clay & metal chimney pots, cowls, chimney caps & chimney flues to prevent drafts and encourage airflow. For a chimney supply solution that is reliable and affordable, look no further.
All of our local stores are listed below but we do also deliver nationwide:
How long does it take Cromar Cromapol roof coating to dry?
Cromar Cromapol Acrylic Waterproof Roof Coating is a fibre reinforced liquid acrylic resin dispersed in solvent, and is designed to prevent the ingress of water.
Cromapol is suitable for general waterproofing and sealing of roofs, pitched surfaces & for sealing flashings, will waterproof instantly even in damp or wet conditions, and will not wash off while curing.
Following surface preparation, one coat only is required.
Cromapol should be applied in temperatures between 5 degrees c and 25 degrees c.
Drying time can be up to 1 week depending on the ambient temparature, and the thickness of the coating as applied.
It is worth noting that Cromapol may remain soft for a further period, but this is not detrimental to its waterproofing abilities.
As the countryside has been built on, and our national (and indeed global) landscape has become increasingly unrbanised, many species of wildlife have been displaced.
The most numerous of these are birds, and being amongst the most adaptable and intelligent of creatures they have found places to live and nest in the built enviroment - often in the stucture of houses, and usually in the roof area.
Some view the colonisation of their properties by birds as a positive thing, others see it as a nuisance and seek to prevent the birds living and / or nesting in the roofspace.
Broadly, birds enter the roof in one of two areas: the chimney or underneath the roof tiles in the eaves: There are easily installed, economical solutions to both situations!
Birdguards are supplied with a bracket that easily clips around the chimney pot, allowing the chimney to continue to be used, but preventing the entry of birds. These are available in either Terracotta or Buff finishes over a durable metal body and are weather resistant as well as bird resistant and will have no effect on the performance of the chimney - if it is in use.
Birdguards also act as chimney caps limiting the effects of wind and weather down the chimney. Easy to fit and inexpensive, these are an extremely popular solution to birds nesting in the chimney or entering properties down the chimney. For further details please click here.
If the chimney is not in use, a discreet and popular alternative to Birdguards are Chimney Caps.
These allow the chimney to 'breathe' (preventing the build up of damp, whilst keeping rain, drafts and birds out.
These are the most cost effective solution, and either clip inside the chimney pot, using the integral four flexible wire legs pre-fitted to the cap, or clip around the chimney pot using the supplied bracket.
Chimney caps are so quick to fit that roofers often joke - quite correctly! - that it takes longer to pitch the ladder and climb it, than it does to fit the actual Chimney Cap! For further details please click here.
Small birds in particular, such as House Sparrows and Starlings, often enter the roofspace through gaps between the roof tiles and the bargeboard or fascia.
Double Roman and similar profiled 'wavy' tiles are particuarly prone to this. The solution is to fit Comb Filler which is easily fitted by removing the eaves course of the roof tiles and then nailing the comb filler along the top of the bargeboard, before re-laying the tiles. Easily fitted, these 1 metre strips are simply nailed into place. Further details can be viewed here.
WHAT ARE THE MOST COMMON CAUSES OF A LEAKING ROOF?
Leaks in roof are usually caused by one of three reasons:
CRACKED TILES OR SLATES
Roof tiles / slates are often cracked by contractors when work is carried out on the roof such as the installation of solar panels or cleaning windows.
Roof tiles / slates should not be walked on, and rarely survive this happening - if left, even a hairline crack will permit the ingress of water.
CRACKED POINTING AT VERGES
Many roofs have cement verges. These will eventually crack allowing water into the property.
All new build properties, and many refurbishment projects, use plastic verges which are a 'fit and forget' product that seals verges permanently against the effects on water ingress.
Lead flashings, particularly on older properties, are chased into the wall, with the gap, or 'chase', then filled with mortar. The expansion and contraction of the lead as it warms up in the sun and then cools at night, leads to mortar failure which in turn leads to water entering the property.
The use of silicone sealants is little better than cement, as these products will rarely last for more than a year under these conditions.
The solution is the use of a proper Lead Sealant which is specifically designed for this purpose and will provide many years of leak free service!
WHERE CAN I FIND MATERIALS FOR ROOF REPAIR NEAR ME?
Do you have a roof that’s leaking? About Roofing supplies roof repair materials in each of our branches listed below:
Can’t make it to one of our branches? Don’t worry, we offer a nationwide next day delivery service delivering roofing materials & supplies to West Sussex, Mid Sussex, Surrey & South London, as well as parts of Kent & East Sussex using our own fleet of vehicles. If you’re not based in these areas, we also use parcel and pallet carriers.
Alternatively, another solution to the challenge of which roof tiles to use at low pitches is to use Klober Permo Extreme breathable membrane instead of standard breathable membrane.
Klober Permo Extreme breathable membrane enables the use of roof tiles down to pitches as low as 12.5 degrees (depending on the roof tiles being laid). This is a very popular option, indeed the only viable solution, where an exact match to the existing roof tiles on the main roof is essential, such as clay handmade tiles where the minimum roof pitch that the tiles can be installed at, being 35 degrees typically, precludes their use normally at such low pitches.
It is worth noting that the rafter length of a low pitch roof can have a bearing on whether particular tiles, even if they are suitable for that particular pitch, can be used.
WHERE CAN I FIND ROOF TILES FOR SALE NEAR ME?
You can find roof tiles suitable for a low pitch roof in any of our branches listed below or we deliver nationwide to you:
Our own brand felt shingles are manufactured in Russia, and we also supply the Dakota Felt Shingle range which is manufactured in Canada. Many people consider these two ranges of felt shingles as the best available in the UK - which is why we supply them!
These felt roofing shingles are more than capable of withstanding anything that the British weather can throw at them, and have long service lives.
We strongly advise our customers to beware of cheap felt shingles, usually manufactured in China, Italy or Spain, which have a reputation of being made with poor quality bitumen and rarely last more than a handful of years.
What are some roofing shingle suppliers near me?
Here at About Roofing, we stock and supply heavy duty Canadian & Russian Felt Shingles, as well as Eastern White Cedar roofing shingles imported from Canada. Available to purchase online or from one of branches listed below:
Most of us research products and shop online these days. When ordering Christmas presents, clothes, and even our weekly food shopping, the process is straightforward and the order will be delivered in a small box, or a few bags, a day or two after the order is placed online.
But what if you need 10,000 roof tiles for your extension roof, five bags of gravel for the drive or a number of large tins of waterproofing paint for your flat roof? These products will be delivered on big lorries with cranes, or by pallet couriers - surely it's not straightforward?
Actually, ordering roofing materials online is very simple - you add your goods to the basket on the website, and they are then delivered shortly after in much the same way as your delivery from other online sellers - it's that easy!
Often our customers are unsure of the types and quantities of the materials that they need, or they have architects drawings which require specialist quantification - in these scenarios the order cannot easily be placed online as it is not readily apparent which materials are required, or they may even be items that need to be specially ordered and supplied directly from the manufacturer: so what happens in these instances? Here at About Roofing Supplies we deal with these kinds of situations on a daily basis - all we ask our customers to do is to forward us their plans or drawings by email or in the post, we quantify the materials required, and then send the customer a pro forma invoice setting out which materials are required, the cost of delivery etc and payment details.
Unlike our competitors, here at About Roofing Supplies we have experienced staff who are available in person, via email or by phone, to ensure that your order is dealt with by a member of staff that you can actually speak to regarding your order, and who will know who you are and will know all about your order - no call centres here at About Roofing we promise!
Ordering roofing materials locally
There are pros and cons to ordering your roofing materials locally.
On the positive side, you can deal with your supplier face to face, see samples of the actual tiles that you are buying, and the delivery costs are sometimes lower than ordering online, however there are drawbacks too: Are you sure that you are getting the best price? Online suppliers are often cheaper than your local supplier, however ordering online from a website, rather than a human being, is not the way that everyone likes to purchase goods - especially expensive, bulky and often complex building materials, such as roof tiles.
Also your local supplier, particuarly if they are a builder's merchant, may not have the experience to process your order and to supply the right products for your project - unlike a specialist roofing supplier, such as About Roofing Supplies. They might be local, but you will get none of the advantages of dealing with a local specialist.
Where can I buy roofing materials near me?
Using a specialist roofing supplier such as About Roofing Supplies gives you the best of both worlds: Friendly experienced staff in real branches with actual stock to see and purchase, at online prices - the best of both worlds, both online and local!
Our local branches are listed below but we do also deliver nationwide:
In practical terms, clay roof tiles and natural slates last the longest, with usable examples over 100+ years being relatively common - on occasion customers bring in clay roof tiles or slates to be matched that are much older.
We have seen clay roof tiles that are estimated to be at least 250 years old that still had plenty of life left in them.
Concrete tiles degrade over time in both appearance and integrity, and they will certainly be approaching their 'twilight years' after 60 years - having said that we are regularly asked to match concrete roof tiles laid just after the end of WW2 - over 70 years ago - that are still in fair condition.
Environmental factors such as pollution or severe weather (such as in coastal locations) can have a marked effect on roof tiles: when we see old roof tiles from within the M25 boundary surrounding London, it is readily apparent how much worse their condition is than those that we see of a similar age from the Home Counties.
Roof tiles and slates are not designed to be walked on - doing so, when installing solar panels for example, leads to many breakages and leaks.
Pressure washing of roof tiles and slates is arguably the worst thing that can be done to a roof, and it is strongly advised against. If moss is a problem or unsightly then we recommend the application of a proper Moss & Mould Remover (such as the Cromar Moss & Mould Remover that we supply), and that the instructions are diligently followed.
WHERE CAN I FIND LONG LASTING ROOF TILES NEAR ME?
You can find long lasting clay roof tiles and natural slates in any of our branches listed below or we deliver nationwide to you:
Tom joined us 3 years ago, fresh out of college, initially to start work in the yard. His likeable personality quickly shone through and it wasn’t long before he moved into a sales position at our Redhill Branch. At About Roofing Supplies, we encourage career progression and personal development and take great pride in allowing our team members to move into positions which build on their skills and showcase their strengths. Tom is a great example of this.
As a relatively new addition to the team, Morgan joined About Roofing last June just after completing his A-levels. Morgan, who is currently working within the sales team, will be eventually taken on formally as a member of the Redhill Sales Team.
Greg is our Transport Manager and is responsible for coordinating our delivery fleet of 12 crane lorries and vans. He ensures that our customers get their complete orders on time, from roofing tiles and home and garden supplies to VELUX roof windows and roof vents.
As a dedicated employee, Woody’s career with us has spanned the last 10 years, making him an expert across all About Roofing Supplies branches and services. Beginning his 10 year career in our Esher branch, Woody has worked on the sales teams in our East Grinstead and Dorking branches and is currently a key member of the Sales team at our Redhill branch where he is able to put his wide experience to excellent use.
Jason has been a dedicated employee at About Roofing Supplies for nearly 15 years. Initially, Jason started working in deliveries where he was responsible for driving a small van. His excellent driving skills and outgoing personality made him very popular with our customers. To further Jason’s career, we invested in HGV and crane training, which resulted in him delivering many hundreds of tons of roofing materials across the country, for over a decade!
Five key factors to consider before bulk buying roofing materials
There are five main points that should be considered before bulk buying roofing materials:
Will they suit my property?
Not all roofing materials suit every property - a factor that is sometimes overlooked by buyers seeking to purchase roof tiles or slates for their property.
Older properties - pre 1940s for example - are often best suited to handcrafted or hand made clay plain tiles, whilst concrete plain roof tiles, for example, just would not look right!
On modern properties, a contemporary roof tile such as a clay machine made roof tile, or large format concrete interlocking tile are the most suitable option, whereas a handmade clay roof tile would simply look out of place.
Here at About Roofing Supplies we are experts in roofing materials and are available to help you to make the best decision for your project.
Do I like the look of them?
This is a simple point, but a very important point! The roof tiles and slates that you choose are not easily changed in the same way that a pair of shoes that you regret buying can be returned or easily replaced.
Time spent looking at samples, weighing up the features and benefits of the different roof tile types is essential, and we strongly encourage our customers to talk to us before purchasing roofing materials so that we help them to come to the right decision.
Do I have planning permission for them?
Local Authority Planning Departments should always be consulted before purchasing roof tiles - they are there to make sure that properties are in keeping with the local area, and carry out a very important job protecting both your, and your neighbours' interests, and the look of the area.
Are they from a reputable manufacturer?
Not every manufacturer who's products are sold online or through roofing materials suppliers, subject their roofing slates and tiles to the full range of UK and EU testing and certification processes.
Rigorous testing of building and roofing materials is essential to ensure a long service life, satisfactory performance and safety.
Sadly, we are aware of products that are available on the UK market that have not been tested properly, do not meet standards or have warranties that are frankly worthless.
At About Roofing Supplies, we only sell products from manufacturers in whom we have complete confidence that not only do their products meet and / or exceed every relavent standard, but are backed up by a manufacturer who will deal with any issues.
You can rest assured that we would not sell any products that we would not fit onto our own homes!
Am I ordering them from a trustworthy supplier?
Not all supplier of roofing materials are the same!
Many so-called 'suppliers' such as Builders Merchants simply order the roof tiles and slates through merchants like us, rather than stocking them, adding yet another layer of cost, and leaving the buyer exposed to supply errors.
Some roofing materials suppliers - particuarly online suppliers - do not actually stock any of the products that they sell, and rely on ordering the products directly from the manufacturer leaving the buyer effectively relying on the actual manufacturer to have the products that they require in stock.
Few roofing materials suppliers offer a Click & Collect facility and even fewer operate lorries with cranes on them to make unloading easier.
At About Roofing Supplies we have four branches that you can collect from, one of the largest delivery fleets in the industry - and large stocks! Check out our Facebook & Twitter feeds to see our staff and branches!
What Are The Most Cost Effective Roofing Materials?
This is not a straightforward question as the answer depends on your definition of what you view as 'cost effective'.
This question should perhaps be asked as below:
What Roofing Materials Are The Cheapest To Buy And Lay?
Concrete interlocking roof tiles are the cheapest way to cover your roof assuming that you are looking at the purchase cost of the tiles per square metre, not forgetting the 'hidden costs' of the roofing batten and the nails.
In terms of square-metres-covered-per-pound, then either the 15 x 9 concrete interlocking roof tiles (such as the Redland 49, Sandtoft Standard Pattern and Marley Ludlow Plus) or the large format interlocking roof tiles (such as the Redland Double Roman, Sandtoft Double Roman, Sandtoft Double Pantile amongst others) are always going to the cheapest option.
What Roofing Materials Are The Most Cost Effective Overall?
From this perspective - where we now include the useful lifespan of the roof tiles in our thinking - clay machine made plain tiles are the most cost effective roof covering.
Although slightly more expensive per square metre to initially purchase (including the 'hidden costs' of batten and fixings), clay roof tiles will last at least double, if not three or four times as long over time as concrete roof tiles, so if looked at from the perspective of cost-per-square-metre-per-year, then clay machine made plain roof tiles win hands down.
Clay roof tiles also have an aesthetic advantage over concrete roof tiles, and are looked at as a postive feature that adds value to a property by many people so they should, perhaps, be viewed as not only a more economical long term option, but also one that may well yield a return on the original investment in terms of a higher selling price achieved for the property when it is sold.