What are the fixing requirements of BS 5534?

Stack of JB red batten BS5534 BS 5534 is the Slating and Tiling for Pitched Roofs and Vertical Tiling – Code of Practice, the latest major revision, of which, came into effect on the 31st August 2014.

Fixing specifications are one of the main elements that have changed in this revision.

Due to the adoption of Eurocodes for the calculation of wind loads, specifications have been upgraded to ensure roof coverings are fixed more securely. When it comes to roof coverings, all single lap tiles and slates are required to have two mechanical fixings (nail and clip) around the perimeter of the roof, with all other tiles and slates on the roof being required to be at least once mechanically fixed with either a nail, a clip or a nail and a clip.  The exact fixing schedule, which is site specific, will be calculated based on the roof dimensions and wind loadings and pressures of the area the property is in.  Our Fixing Specification tool (Roof Fixing Specification) will calculate the suitable fixing schedule that will counter any wind loadings in line with the calculation method set out in BS 5534.  
More stringent fixing specifications will introduce an element of clipping on all roofs laid in single lap tiles. Clipping, in particular, is widely acknowledged as the most time consuming means of mechanical fixing and traditionally involves the use of either two-piece aluminium or stainless steel clips and nails. A quick guide to the minimum fixing requirements is as follows: 

Single-lap tiles

For all roof areas and rafter pitches, every tile should be mechanically fixed with at least a nail, a clip, or a combination of these options that provide adequate combined resistance to the wind uplift loads on the tiles.

For roof pitches of 45° and above, each tile should be fixed with at least one nail. For pitches of 55° and above, including vertical, the tail of each tile should be mechanically fixed.

Double-lap tiles

For nibless tiles, two nails should be used to secure each tile.

For nibbed tiles at roof pitches below 60°, two nails should be used to secure each tile in at least every fifth course.  These are minimum requirements and will always be superseded by a fixing specification which may state twice nail every tile in every third course, for example.  The fixing holes should normally be placed 20 to 25mm from the head of the slate. For roof pitches of 60° and above, including vertical, two nails should be used to fix every tile.

Double-lap slates

Double-lap slates should have a minimum of two nails to every slate when centre nailed.

Double-lap slates without nail holes should be fixed by hooks engaged on the centre of the tail of the slate. Special considerations may apply when they are used at pitches steeper than 75° and lower than 30°.

Double-lap fibre cement slates should normally be secured with two nails and a copper disc rivet connecting the tail on the centreline of the slate to the two slates below through the gap between them.

Wooden shingles and shakes

Wooden shingles and shakes should have a minimum of two nails or staples to every shingle or shake when centre-nailed. Special considerations may apply to other types of fixing. Fixings should be in either Stainless Steel (Type 304 or Type 316) or Silicon Bronze.

Hips and ridges

All mortar bedded components must be fully mechanically fixed and secured to the roof structure by a minimum of two mechanical fixings. The tensile strength of mortar bedding should not be taken into account as part of wind uplift calculations.

More details are available in NFRC Technical Bulletins and in our guide to BS 5534.

Frequently asked questions

Q: What are roof tile clips?
A: Roof tile clips are designed to ensure roof tiles are mechanically fixed in accordance with BS 5534.

Q: How do you use roof tile clips?
A: There is a wide variety of roof tile clips available to ensure correct fixing to all areas of the roof, in line with BS 5534. To ensure that you have the correct tile clip seeking advice from the roof manufacturer is recommended. 

Learn more about roofing British Standards and how they may affect your next roofing project. 

Category: Standards Technical