018 BP 1016

BP 10 October 2016

NEW BUILD & SOCIAL HOUSING eventually rust or even break down. Nails used for fixing slates should, in my opinion, be copper. Yes, they do cost more, but if the client is spending many thousands of pounds on a new roof, it is worth spending the extra on copper nails. To put it in perspective, a slate roof will last for 80-100 years and copper nails will last the lifetime of the roof. For that reason they are a very sound investment for anyone who takes pride in their job and thinks for the future. Cutting tiles or slates is an important part of any roofing project and BS5534 recommends that small tiles cuts should be mechanically fixed or bonded. While speaking of cutting, it is worth noting that when installing roof tiles, controlled cutting is required, and roofing contractors are required to work with full wet cutting systems and respiratory protective equipment to limit the amount of dust created. The recommended way of supplying water is by using a portable polypropylene hand pump bottle that contains 18 BUILDING PRODUCTS | OCTOBER 2016 around 8 litres of water with a minimum flow rate of around 0.5 litres/min.. Contractors are expected to follow this procedure on the ground or on the scaffolding around the property, as opposed to being undertaken on the roof slope. Working in this way requires that arrangements for equipment availability are in place, putting an additional burden on the time-pressed contractor. Care should also be taken to ensure that enough water is available. Furthermore, dedicated cutting areas need to be established and set up on the surrounding scaffolding before any work begins. For the architect, it is now essential to give due consideration to these issues and possibly look for alternative roof coverings if the demands of the legislation cannot be satisfied. Fibre cement slates are an excellent alternative to concrete tiles as they can be cut with hand tools. The advances in the production of fibre cement slate now mean that a wider range of projects can benefit from a slate roof. Fibre cement slates come in a uniform size, thickness, and shape eliminating the time needed to sort on site, as well as offering added versatility when architects want to use complex roof designs on buildings. Budget considerations may lead some to fibre cement slates, since they are cheaper than natural slate. Although natural slate may be favoured in conservation areas the visual quality of fibre cement slates means that nowadays they can blend seamlessly with historic surroundings when natural slate cannot be sourced or is too expensive. In less sensitive areas fibre cement slates can offer the architect versatility on complex designs as well as a huge variation in colours available, with high quality products having an appearance close to that of natural slate. Ged Ferris is Marketing Manager at Cembrit Small tile cuts should be mechanically fixed or bonded


BP 10 October 2016
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