Roofing Work - BS 5534 and BS 8612 Standards Explained

June 14 2018 0comment

Roofing Work - BS 5534 and BS 8612 Standards Explained

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Dry fix roofing systems have become increasingly popular, especially since the BS 5534 was revised in 2014 to reduce the dangers of working at height.  Today, we’re going to take a look at these two British Standards which should be understood by anybody working in roofing today.

BS 5534

This is the code of practice for tiling and slating, for pitched roofs and vertical tiling application.  It was updated in 2014 to include improvements to working practices and introduce fundamental changes to product selection.  The standard requires that all single lap tiles must be mechanically fixed with either a clip or a nail to reflect changes in wind load calculations.  Mortar is no longer acceptable as the only means of fixing roof tiles.

Lightweight underlays are subject to guidelines to ensure that they are installed securely.  Roofing battens must also meet requirements which include being appropriately marked and accompanied with documentation which includes the name of the supplier, origin (species code), basic size, grading and the type of preservative and method of treatment used.

Dry fix systems solve the problem of mortar fixing failure but only works effectively if all of the components are reliable and of high quality.  While many housing developers and roofers viewed dry fix as the best way forward, there was no industry-wide method of assessing their fitness for purpose which led to systems and components of varying quality appearing on the market. 

BS 8612

BS 8612 Dry fixed ridge, hip and verge systems for slating and tiling is a specification that was issued in January, 2018.  It addresses the above-mentioned problem by making sure all dry fixed ridge, hip and verge systems meet agreed standards.  The standard focuses on mechanical resistance of the dry ridge, hip or verge products and has introduced new testing to determine the mechanical resistance to wind load. 

The standard describes clearly how this data can be used to determine the suitability of a product for any given project, depending on the design wind exposure of the site and the building.  This data enables specifiers and contractors to ensure that they select products that are fit for purpose for the design requirements of an individual roofing project.

The standard also introduces a new test to ascertain the ability of dry verge products to shed water off the verge without staining the gable wall, an issue of particular importance with rendered walls. 

New tests check the ability of ridge-roll products to fit to the profile of the roof tiles without breaking or splitting.  Some tests consider the durability of ridge-roll products in exposure to both UV light, freeze-thaw and heat/humidity ageing.

BS 8612 will be enforceable from 1st July, 2018 so the National Federation of Roofing Contractors advises that any project commencing after that date should comply with both BS 8612 and BS 5534 unless contractors have received written confirmation from the client that it is not required.

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