How to protect liability in roofing specifications

Roof detail showing ridge and hip

With a new Dry Fix standard expected to come into force at the end of 2016, we wanted to find out more about current specification practices and whether enough is understood by specifiers regarding the differences between roof systems. For this reason we undertook some research and the findings present areas of concern along with clear misunderstandings.

Can roofing specifications be reused?

The first finding of note was that the majority (57%) of specifiers admitted reusing roofing specifications on new projects. This approach is concerning as it could put their liability at risk, potentially falling foul of changes to new standards such as BS 5534 and the forthcoming Dry Fix standard. For many of those who admit reusing specifications, the main reason is because they stick to ones that have worked previously. While over one in ten assume all fittings and accessories systems are “pretty much the same” and more than one fifth said it is too time consuming to create a new specification. To overcome this potential challenge and save time, there are systems and services designed to help in the creation of new specifications – for example, our range of technical tools and resources.

Is the quality of dry fix systems important?

We also wanted to find out about dry fix and how this is approached by specifiers. Less than half of those we asked consider the quality and performance of dry fix as an important element of the roof system. When there is so much difference between roofing accessories, this behaviour could prove costly in terms of the impact on a specifier’s reputation if specified products fail and potentially risk their liability.

For this reason we’d recommend that all elements of a roofing system are properly considered. In particular the accessories which often provide an important means of dry fix and ventilation and can vary from manufacturer to manufacturer in terms of quality of materials used and how they’re tested. 

While the systems may look very similar, the quality and performance of the components can vary significantly and this has led to some reported product failures, such as ridge tiles not being fixed securely enough and ridge rolls not sticking to the roof tiles properly.

Not having detailed enough knowledge of the differences between one type of accessory and another was the main reason given for not considering the quality of roofing accessories. But, most said they would like to understand more about the differences in quality and performance of accessories within a roofing system.

For this reason and given the risks posed by using lower quality systems, we’d encourage specifiers to get in touch with us so they can be sure to specify high quality and future-proof systems and ensure they are best-placed to meet the requirements of the new Dry Fix standard. Specifying a full roofing system from tiles to accessories from one leading manufacturer can be a good way of ensuring a quality solution is selected and therefore, liability can be protected.

As well as contacting us to find out more about the quality of roofing systems and other things to consider in the specification process, specifiers can also access easy-to-use information on how to install a roof compliantly and effectively in our new Roofing Sitework Guide and app.

Category: Roofing Technical