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Changes to BS 5534

Written On by RTA Member

The revised British Standard code of practice BS 5534 brought with it some major changes to roofing practices in the UK. The need for the reform came about due to the increasingly erratic weather patterns across the UK and the effect it is having on the integrity of pitched roofs. 1st March 2015 marked the end of a roofing era as the first deadline of the phased implementation passed and all new roofing work must be now compliant with the new code of practice.

The changes are affecting different sectors of the industry in different ways, from the roofers who have to change their working practices, to the manufacturers who have to revise their technical advice and in some cases – add new product lines to ensure their customers are provided with the tools they need to be compliant. The revised practices will affect the wider industry in such an encompassing way and it is more important than ever that everyone pulls together to make sure that no one is left in the dark.

The changes are grouped into three main areas:

– There is now an increased wind load of up to 100% in some cases, meaning that more tiles will need to be nailed, clipped or both.

– The new code does allow for the use of mortar, but only when it is accompanied by mechanical fixings.

– The third area of change relates to underlay products and the issue of wind uplift resistance or ballooning.

Now if the terms are not met, the roofer risks having to pull everything down and start again at their own expense. However, it’s not only the roofers that have to be aware of what the changes to BS 5534 are and what they entail, specifiers, architects and merchants will also have to make sure they are on the ball and up to date.

As time moves on and the different phases of the implementation have all passed, those involved with roofing will no longer be able to carry on working in the ways they have grown used to. Everyone has to expand their knowledge base and adjust their working practices in one way or another to ensure they are doing the best job they possibly can for their customers.

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