Roofing News & Tips

Can roof shingles be installed in cold weather?

CAN ROOF SHINGLES BE INSTALLED IN COLD WEATHER?

Roof shingles can be installed in virtally any weather.

Broadly they are easier to lay in temperatures over 5 degrees c as they are less brittle, however there is nothing to stop you laying them at sub zero temperatures!

What are the different layers within a roof?

Roofs constructed pre 1950 were usually laid without any felt or insulation underneath the rafters, meaning that the only layer is the tiles / slates themselves. This often leads to the loft space being unusable as dirt, dust and damp gets underneath the tiles / slates into the roof space ruining anything stored there.

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What is the best roofing membrane?

WHAT IS THE BEST ROOFING MEMBRANE?

Many people consider premium roofing membranes by manufacturers such as Tyvek and Klober as the best.

Roofing membranes can be thought of in similar terms to waterproof clothing: you would not expect a cheap 'own brand' waterproof jacket to perform as well as a branded, professional quality jacket at two or three times the price.

Breathable membranes for roofs and walls can be thought in the same way: The more expensive they are, the thicker they are which means that they perform better.

Interestingly, many customers are aware of this - and the potential issues that can occur when the breathable membrane used is not up to the job, and our best selling roofing membranes are our premium membranes such as Tyvek Supro and Cromar Vent 3 Professional.

As in many situations in life - you get what you pay for!

SHOP OUR ROOF MEMBRANE & UNDERLAY

Choosing The Right Roofing Materials For Your Home

Choosing The Right Roofing Materials For Your Home

Choosing the right roofing materials for your home can be tricky. Various factors need to be taken into account when selecting which roofing products to use, in particular the intended look of the finished roof, the available budget, the roof pitch and planning authority restrictions. Find out more.

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Estimates, Quotations & Take Offs

We welcome the opportunity to provide quotations for roofing and building projects. Many customers call or email lists of their requirements, and we can then provide a priced quotation, with VAT clearly displayed, and costs such as delivery charges listed as a separate element giving our customers complete control over the pricing for their projects. Find out more

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A Contemporary Felt Shingle Project

Felt Shingles are a very popular product for roofing sheds, garden buildings, workshops, garages etc, and we sell literally thousands of packs annually. We were contacted by a customer recently who has purchased some felt shingles from us, but had imaginatively used them for an application that we have never seen previously - and we were so impressed that we just had to share what he had to say, and the fantastic images that he kindly forwarded to us

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When Is It Best To Install A New Roof?

About Roofing Supplies - Nationwide Roofing Materials Suppliers

Knowing when the best time is to install a new roof in your property can save you a significant amount of money.

Read our guide below for our money saving tips:

Firstly, let’s look at the three main reasons for having roofing work carried out

1) Your roof has reached the end of its useful life and needs replacing. Signs of this can be obvious such as leaking due to broken or missing roof tiles or slates, however, particularly in the case of concrete tiles (with a life span of around 60 years) the faded, bleached appearance is usually the most obvious sign that your roof needs replacing. In much the same way that you may decide to replace your car because it is rusty and starting to cost too much in maintenance and repairs, a bleached concrete tile roof, or one where the tiles are literally disintegrating is a sign that it is time to replace it.

2) Cosmetic reasons. You may simply not like the look of the tiles on your roof, or perhaps the exterior of the building has had some decorative improvement works carried out and a new roof would set the appearance off nicely.

3) Necessary roofing. You are adding an extension or new wing or outbuilding to your property, and it needs a roof.

When is it best to have a new roof fitted?

There is no “best” time as such!

Roofing contractors tend to be booked well in advance so you will usually have to plan ahead by a few months – if you are looking to have a new roof fitted by a specialist contractor you may have to wait six months or more.

Part of the reason is that because of its physically demanding nature, and dependence on weather, roofing as a trade is less attractive to those wishing to take up a career in the construction industry, and many new entrants decide to become electricians or plumbers instead, leading to a relative shortage of roofing contractors compared to many other building trades, which in turn keeps demand for their services high.

Who should I employ to carry out the work?

If you do not know any roofers personally, or have friends or contact who can recommend one, this can be a tricky decision.

Firstly it is always wise to deal directly with specialist roofing contractors. Lots of other contractors in the general building or maintenance sectors carry out roofing works – and most are very good – however roofers are specialists, and well, you wouldn’t employ a car mechanic to service your motorcycle? Or a Doctor to give you a filling would you?

Checkatrade can be an excellent source resource to identify roofing contractors as you can read written testimonies from local people in a similar position as yourself who can give you first hand feedback on the work carried out and the contractor’s overall professionalism and work ethic.

Membership of a trade body such as the NHBC by the roofer is often a sign of a good roofer.

Should I buy the materials or get the roofer to supply them?

There is no right or wrong answer to this question! In many cases it is more convenient to let the roofer source and supply the materials – he will know where to go, and can charge you one overall price for the job: Labour & materials all in one bill, which is convenient

However, an increasingly popular approach is for the property owner to source the materials themselves. Once they have engaged the roofer, he can provide a list of what is needed, or the materials supplier can carry out an estimate from drawings or a site visit.

Often, if the property owner is seeking a particular “look” for their property, or if they are working to a budget, or simply don’t know what is available, it is better for them to research and purchase the materials themselves so that they are in control of costs and decisions made.

Is there a good or bad time to buy the materials?

The short answer is no. Prices tend to remain fairly stable – roofing suppliers don’t have often have sales or special offers as such, although roofing tiles are priced according to quantity: The more that you buy the cheaper that they get!

It is worth bearing in mind that traditionally, many roofing materials manufacturers apply price rises in the first month or two of each year, so you can usually save money by ordering and having your roof tiles or slates delivered before Christmas.

Where is the best place to source roofing materials?

Specialist roofing suppliers such as us is the answer!

You would think that the large chains of builders merchants would be the place to go, but in fact these businesses specialize in other building materials and rarely keep, or even have direct access to roofing materials – they will usually source them via a specialist supplier such as us.

The reason for this is that the estimation of roofing materials is remarkably technical, and that you need specially equipped lorries to deliver them. Similar to the analogy used earlier in this article, you would not go to an optician for a haircut, so why not go to a roofing merchant for roof tiles?

Roofing Materials suppliers know their products and pricing inside out. Traditionally staff are paid a flat wage so they have no incentive to sell you any particular brand or type of tile. This means that the advice, guidance and pricing that you receive will be impartial, and will simply be tailored to your requirements and will be the best advice under the circumstances.

A specialist supplier will also have an understanding of legislation & Building Regulations applicable to the roofing sector so they will be in a position to give you technically correct advice.

PLEASE NOTE THAT INSTALLATION OF VELUX WINDOWS REQUIRES A VELUX FLASHING KIT SUITABLE FOR THE CORRECT TYPE OF TILES & SLATES FITTED ON THE ROOF - AVAILABLE SEPARATELY

Selection of the correct type of flashing for your roof pitch and roofing material is essential - please do not hesitate to check with us before ordering if you are unsure

Do I Need Ventilation In My Roof?

Welcome to our short guide to roof ventilation for properties that were build pre-war, post-war and after the mid-1990s.

About Roofing Supplies - Roof Tile Vent Range

We are often asked by our customers, both trade and public, about whether there is a need for ventilation in their roofs.

The answer is almost always YES!

Almost everything that we do generates moisture in the home from cooking, bathing and showering to washing up, drying our clothes and even breathing!

Over time this moisture naturally percolates up into the loft space, and this is where problems with a lack of ventilation in the roof occur.

The moisture gets trapped in the roof space, leading to mould, damp and damage to items stored in the loft space – and more importantly to the roof structure itself, which can prove extremely costly to remedy.

Often this situation goes unnoticed – however in certain circumstances, such as when the roof is insulated, or there is snow on the roof, or it is cold outside – the moisture condenses on surfaces and become more noticeable.

By the time that this happens, you have a serious problem and steps need to be taken swiftly to address the situation. Even if you do not have condensation issues now, you should consider a pro-active approach and take steps to ventilate your roof sooner rather than later.

Depending on the age and construction of your property, how you will address this situation varies considerably:

Ventilation for roofs on properties that were constructed pre-war

Properties of this age were usually constructed with clay tiles laid straight onto the rafters. Often the tiles were handmade, or, at best, were manufactured in factories using techniques that resulted in the tiles fitting together rather loosely.

Because of this the roof is naturally porous, so ventilation is rarely an issue. However, because there is no roofing felt (often called “sarking felt”) underneath the tiles, the loft space will be cold, dusty and windswept and not at all suitable for storage.

The solution in this case is often dictated by the condition of the roof tiles, that by now, will often need replacing: When the roof is re-roofed, this is the ideal opportunity to replace the tiles with modern roof tiles or slates, with appropriate underfelt and ventilation meeting the current regulations such as BS5534 & BS5250.

Ventilation for roofs on properties that were constructed post- war, but before the early 1990s

Properties of this age are those that are most likely to experience issues with condensation, damp & mould.

Building practices during this period used modern roof tiles (which because of modern manufacturing processes fit together with fine tolerances, resulting in an almost airtight roof) usually with a bituminous non-vapour permeable underfelt.

The problems with roofs constructed in this fashion are two-fold: The bituminous sarking underfelt, because it is non-breathable, creates a nearly airtight seal, and any moisture the does get past then struggles to get out past the tight fitting roof tiles resulting in the moisture effectively having nowhere to go, condensing and causing problems.

The solution in this case is relatively inexpensive if the roof tiles are still in good condition. However, roofs built in the 1940s and 1950s often need replacing or will do soon, as concrete roof tiles have a shorter life span than clay tiles and most concrete tiles of this age will be crumbling and well past their best – particularly in high pollution areas such as cities or industrial areas.

If the roof does need re-roofing, then this will be the ideal opportunity to construct the roof to modern regulations such as BS5534 and BS5250, using BBA approved breathable membrane under the tiles, ventilated eaves (using fascia vents) and ventilation near the top of the roof (using either vent tiles and / or dry fix vent kits at the ridge).

If the roof tiles do not need replacing then vent tiles can be installed into the roof replacing existing roof tiles, ideally coupled with ventilation at the eaves in the form of soffit or fascia vents.

Ventilation for roofs on properties that were constructed after the mid 1990s

Properties built in this period would have almost certainly been built with breathable membrane under the tiles: At the time this was seen as a simple solution to ventilation & condensation issues.

However, during the cold winters of 2010 -2011, 2011-2012 and 2012 – 2013, many people discovered to their horror that because of the covering of snow on their roofs or the cold weather outside that the breathable membrane was being overwhelmed and they were experiencing issues with damp in the roof space that they had not anticipated.

Again, the remedy is the addition of vent tiles near the apex and ventilation at the eaves – many homeowners and contractors have routinely fitted them believing that the modest costs incurred are far outweighed by the benefits of peace of mind.

Warm roofs, Cold Roofs & Loft Conversions

If your loft has been insulated, or even converted into living space, then this can affect the type and amount of ventilation that you will need, however the principles are broadly the same in that the roof space will need ventilating to ensure the movement of air.

Building Regulations for Roof Ventilation

In this article we have made reference to Building Regulations, such as BS5250 the Code of practice for control of condensation in buildings and BS5534 Slating and tiling for pitched roofs and vertical cladding code of practice. These are mandatory regulations that apply in England and Wales, and are issued by the Department for Communities and Local Government, and are administrated by Local Authority Planning Departments.

Similar regulations apply in Scotland and Northern Ireland, which are overseen by the relevant national authorities.

Building Regulations are law, and must be complied with for all new build projects, and most refurbishment projects. Because they have been carefully thought out, and are seen as “best practice” in most cases they are followed, even where the law does not make them mandatory simply because it is very prudent to do so!

Compliance with the Regulations is the responsibility of the designer of the building, the owner of the building and the building contractor - often this is the same person in the case of self-build properties, however it is worth noting that the responsibility falls on multiple parties rather than just being the responsibility of, for example, the builder alone. Of course if you are the house owner and the house was not built by you, then the responsibility is yours!

About Roofing Supplies - Breathable Membrane range View our 

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 About Roofing Supplies - Roof Vent TilesView our 

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 About Roofing Supplies - Roof Slate Vent rangeView our 

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About Roofing Supplies: A Family Run Company Investing In Staff

About Roofing Supplies – the people behind the name.

About Roofing Supplies | Staff

Many companies go to great lengths to promote themselves as ‘family businesses’ that value their staff and customers.

The feedback on our website and elsewhere reflects how much we value our customers and our successful approach to customer service.

However, we value our staff as well: We have a policy of training and developing all of our staff, giving each team member the opportunity to develop as individuals and within the company.

At About Roofing Supplies we really are a family company – our three directors (two of whom are brothers) founded and still own the company (no faceless shareholders here!), and are based and work at the branches. They believe that our staff are our greatest asset and that individuals should be given chances to grow and develop and to reach their potential.

Since we started trading nearly twenty years ago, many staff who joined have stayed: myself and two colleagues will shortly be celebrating our fifteen year anniversaries, and we are by no means the longest serving!

Because we value our staff and train and develop them, not only do they stay with us – which gives us consistency and experience, unlike many of our competitors - it results in a better service for our customers, many of whom get to know our staff and value dealing with ‘real people’ on an ongoing basis who know them as individuals, not just as 'another' customer.

One of our drivers, Gary, is a recent example of this: Gary joined us in 2016 as an experienced van driver, to drive one of the smaller vehicles in our fleet.

Gary immediately shone as a concientous individual, and was popular with our customers, whilst completing his deliveries promptly and efficiently.

He expressed an interest in progressing his career and skills, and driving one of our 18 ton crane lorries – driving an £85,000 vehicle on the busy roads of the South East is a big responsibility, and one not to be taken lightly. However, Gary was keen and we felt that he was an ideal individual to invest in.

About Roofing Supplies funded Gary’s HGV training, his advanced CPC training and his HIAB crane training (which represents a significant investment by the company in him as an individual) and he passed his tests earlier this month, and having had a period when he was accompanied by one of our Transport Managers, is now out driving one of our fleet – perhaps delivering to your site!

Another of our drivers, Steve, is having HGV training currently, and we are confident that he too will be out delivering on another of our crane lorries soon.

In fact, of our HGV driving team, the only drivers who have not been trained at About Roofing Supplies’ expense are two individuals who learnt to drive whilst serving in the Army.

Similar tales of investment and advancement can be told by all of the members of our Management team, our Accounts team – even our yard team have opportunities to advance: a number of them have progressed into either the driving or sales teams over the years.

Roof Tile Availability - Separating The Fact From The Fiction: Summer 2017

Roof Tile Availability: Separating The Fact From The Fiction: Summer 2017

A related post entitled 'Roof Tile Availability - A Permanent Change To Roof Tile Availability?: Autumn 2017' is available here.

We receive calls and emails every single day from roofing contractors, developers, commercial Facilities Managers, householders, and even other roofing suppliers desperately trying to source roof tiles. Many have been told snippets of truth, half heard rumours, and occasionally complete fiction as to why roof tiles are "hard to get" or "discontinued", so the point of this blog is to separate the fact from the fiction, and to shed some light on the situation as we know it.

Firstly, lets dispel some myths: Many roof tiles are readily available, none of the manufacturers are going bust and nothing has been discontinued. Honestly.

Secondly, it is rare that we are unable to find a suitable product that can be supplied quickly, to enable our customers to complete a project. We may suggest or offer a different colour, a different tile, or even another solution altogether, but there is almost always a solution that enables jobs to be completed.

So what is going on? The reality seems to be that some popular roof tiles are on long lead times, which puzzles people. All we hear on the news is that new houses are not being built, that there is a lack of affordable housing and that many of us, especially those in their twenties and thirties, have become "generation rent" because they can't afford to buy the few houses that are being built.

However, the truth is that far more houses are being built that people realise, as the following statistics released by the Department for Communities and Local Govenment in March 2017 illustrate: 

House building; new build dwellings, England: March Quarter 2017

  • On a quarterly basis, new build dwelling starts in England were estimated at 43,170 (seasonally adjusted) in the latest quarter, a 3 per cent increase compared to the previous 3 months and 21 per cent increase on a year earlier.
  • Completions were estimated at 39,520 (seasonally adjusted), 9 per cent higher than the previous quarter and 21 per cent higher than a year ago.
  • Annual new build dwelling starts totalled 162,880 in the year to March 2017, up by 15 per cent compared with the year to March 2016. During the same period, completions totalled 147,960, an increase of 6 per cent compared with last year.
  • Private enterprise new build dwelling starts (seasonally adjusted) were 4 per cent higher in the March quarter 2017 than the previous quarter, and completions were 12 per cent higher. Starts by housing associations were 2 per cent higher compared to the last quarter and completions 5 per cent lower.
  • All starts are now 152 per cent above the trough in the March quarter 2009 and 12 per cent below the March quarter 2007 peak. All completions are 57 per cent above the trough in the March quarter 2013 and 18 per cent below their March quarter 2007 peak.

All of those new houses need roofs - and that is what is causing some supply issues.

One of the major manufacturers recently revealed - off the record - that they can manufacture 1 million roof tiles a week, but they are actually taking orders for 1.4 million roof tiles on average every week - so every month they have back orders of 1.6 - 2 million roof tiles!

So, demand is oustripping supply? Well, yes and no.

With a handful of exceptions, all brands, types and colours of roof tiles are still being manufactured and are being supplied by the manufacturers, albeit with a wait of a few weeks to a number of weeks, depending on the tile and colour.

It s certainly true that the traditional roofer's practice of turning up on site, stripping the roof and ordering the replacement tiles that day, for delivery the next working day is inadvisable at the moment, and may well be for the forseeable future, because with supplies not as readily available from the manufacturers as they used to be, every tile, in every colour is not always available on demand.

However, plenty of tiles are available, and we have large stocks - this is because we are placing large orders with all of the manufacturers to ensure that we are receiving regular deliveries to keep our stocks topped up.

One solution to this situation that many prudent customers are adopting, is to forward order the tiles that they require. Particuarly with new build projects and re-roofs, as they are not emergency jobs, roofers and developers often know when they are looking to carry out the work months before, so they wisely order the tiles that they require in plenty of time to ensure that the brand, type and colour of tiles that they require are on site exactly when they want them to be!

Alternatively, many customers come to us with an open mind, knowing that even though they may not actually be supplied with their original choice of tile or colour, that we will work hard for them to ensure that we can supply an alternative product that will fulfill their requirements.

So, we suggest that you don't listen to the doom and gloom stories, but contact our friendly sales team instead to see how we can help!

We are able to offer prices tailored to your exact requirements & project: Please call us on 01737 763008 or email us here for a free quotation.