With ever rising house prices there has been a huge increase in loft conversions or the building of extensions as people look to maximise the value of their property or to gain more space when moving house is not an option.
Very often these have been constructed with a flat roof as the initial costs are much lower than constructing a pitched roof (or in a loft where a flat roof offers more usable space than a pitched roof). However flat roofs do require maintenance. A typical lifespan of a felt flat roof would be about 20 years. Traditionally the renovation of this would require stripping back of the old felt and new layers being put on.
Due to changes in the Building Regulations in 2010, stripping of any layers on a roof constitutes “Renovation” and must now include a thermal upgrade of the insulation to the latest standards. This is usually achieved by altering the roof to a “warm deck” construction typically by applying a 126 millimetre layer of a Polyisocyanurate (PIR) type insulation above the joists and then applying the new weatherproofing layers.
Repairing the roof:
As of the 15 July 2010 the definition of ‘renovation’ in regulation 2(1) of the Building Regulations 2010 has been amended. This means that the repair of an existing flat roof, for instance by the laying of a liquid sealant to the roof surface will no longer fall within the definition of ‘building work’ in regulation 3(1) of the Building Regulations as it is a repair not a renovation and so is not notifiable building work.
Liquid waterproofing systems have been improving and the latest products offer increased lifespans and some even come with 20 year guarantees. Providing the the roof has not deteriorated to the point of failure, this can be done over the existing roof coating to form a completely seamless, waterproof coating and does not require the insulation upgrade under the building regulations which can offer considerable cost savings.
Contact us to discuss repairs