Broadly there are three kinds of materials suitable for flat roofing: Roofing felt, Figreglass GRP and EPDM ('rubber roofing'). Find out more about these materials here.
Roofing News & Tips
WHICH ROOF TILES ARE SUITABLE FOR A HIGH PITCH ROOF?
Broadly you can use any roof tile up to a pitch of 75 degrees, with concrete and clay plain tiles able to be used for vertical applications at 90 degrees.
In this guide we take a look at how best to remove moss from a roof. We stock & supply Cromar Moss & Mould Remover which kills lichen, moss and similar vegetation resulting in growth free roof tiles and slates. Find out more.
Usually roof tiles and slates are covered by Buildings Insurance, although this may vary between providers and should be checked. Find out more here.
Recently, About Roofing Supplies at Esher were approached by local NHS hospital, St Peter’s hospital in Chertsey, who were looking to purchase some roofing felt to re-cover the roof on their allotment shed that was leaking after the winter storms. Find out more
Customers who are familiar with our company and staff will quickly recognise our long-standing and highly valued team member, Graham Chappell. Graham’s commitment to About Roofing Supplies has spanned the last 14 years, where he originally started out on the Trade Counter in our Esher branch. After a few years, he was promoted to a Sales Representative role, before becoming Branch Manager of our Redhill branch in 2009. Graham strongly believes “people prefer dealing with people”, so you’ll often find him on the Redhill trade counter and telephones, or working closely with our customers on site.
HOW MANY SQUARES OF FELT ROOF SHINGLES DO I NEED TO COVER MY ROOF?
Calculating the quantities of felt shingles required is relatively simple:
Each pack of felt shingles covers 3 square metres.
So,the first step is to calculate the area that you need to cover: Lets assume that you have a conventional shed with a duo pitched roof (an inverted 'v' shape) that measures 2.42m x 1.21m on each of the two sides.
2.42m x 1.21m = 2.93m2 x 2 = 5.86m2 total roof area.
5.86m2 / 3m2 packs of felt shingles = 1.95 packs of shingles required.
Always round up your requirements to allow for cuts and wastage, so we will say that you need at least 2 packs.
You also need to allow for the ridge: We know that the ridge is 2.42m long.
To cover the ridges you cut the shingle strips into the individual tile pieces, giving a coverage of 2.4 strips required per linear metre of ridge.
Therefore 2.42 l/m of ridge x 2.4 strips/lm = 5.8 strips needed = 6 strips required. There are 21 strips to a pack of shingles, so you will need to buy a pack to cover the ridge leaving 15 strips spare.
You may, in fact end up using most if not all of the spare shingles when laying the two sides of the roof as there was very little allowance for cuts and wastage (for which 5% is usually allowed).
ROOF SHINGLES VS ROOF TILES: WHICH IS BETTER?
Roof shingles or roof tiles: which is the best roof covering for your property?
The answer to this varies according to where you live: In the Unites States Of America, over 70% of domestic dwellings have felt roof shingles as their primary roof covering, yet we have not heard of a single instance in the UK!
To comply with UK Building Regulations, you could, in theory, use felt shingles, however it is unlikely that a Local Planning Officer would accept these as being 'in keeping' with the local area.
Traditionally in the UK we have used clay or concrete roof tiles, as well as natural or man made slates to cover our houses. To preserve the perceived value of your house in the eyes of potential buyers it would be unwise to use anything else - not to mention the implications for obtaining insurance cover and a mortgage.
HOW LONG WILL ROOF TILES LAST?
This is in fact two questions: Firstly, 'How long are roof tiles & slates guaranteed for?', and secondly, 'What is the life expectancy of roof tiles & slates'?
Clay roof tiles are, for example, manufactured to BRE standards with a minimum life expectancy of 60 years in normal conditions.
It should be noted however that 'life expectancy' should not be taken as a guarantee or warranty.
Broadly, roof tiles and slates will remain serviceable for many decades - we can supply natural slates with a manufacturer's guarantee of 100 years.
There are a number of factors that affect the length of each manufacturer's guarantee for each roof and the tiles or slates installed: To obtain a full manufacturer's warranty - which varies by manufacturer and product used - the roof will need to be designed by the manufacturer, installed to all the current standards using a complete suite of products and fixings from the manufacturer's own range.
In practical terms, the life expectancy of clay roof tiles will be 60+ years - 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.
The life expectancy of natural slates varies according to the type of slate used and the quality, which will as you would expect be reflected in the price, with life expectancies between 30 and 100 years, whilst man made slates have a life expectancy of up to 60 years.
Enviromental 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 dilligently followed.
ARE ROOF TILES POROUS?
Yes roof tiles are porous - they absorb small amounts of water, which then evaporates harmlessly.
Does that mean that roof tiles leak? No. As long as they are not broken and are laid correctly, at the correct roof pitch, they will not leak.