You’re Investing in a New Property or Extension…So Don’t Let a Cheap Flat Roof Spoil the End Result
Your new flat roof could be almost anything. An extension – like a new kitchen, home study or extra bedroom. A new property, like a self-build or garden flat. Or even a whole new development, with multiple units planned.
Whatever it is, the flat roof could easily make or break it.
You’ll either have a warm, watertight space with no maintenance worries…or a money pit that leaks or lets in the cold, until you rip it out and replace it.
It all depends on the decisions you make now, at the start of the project. Chiefly:
• Which waterproofing system are you going to choose?
• And who can you trust to supply the roof – and install it?
These decisions can’t be taken lightly - there’s too much at stake. So before we go any further, let’s explode a few myths…
Your Waterproofing System
There’s so much conflicting advice on waterproofing. So many options, so many opinions…so where do you even start?
Talk to us. As roofers who’ve worked with every system, on every type of flat roof, we’ve seen all the pros and cons – and come down in favour of one single system:
Before we explain why, let’s take a quick look at the alternatives:
Traditional Felt is mostly recommended by amateurs posing as roofers - because it’s cheap and it can be installed without specialist training.
But you get what you pay for, and the truth is…felt doesn’t last.
It breaks down after 10 years or so, and lets water onto the roof deck. And without constant maintenance, it will crack and peel through the seasons and start to fail much sooner.
So, unless you want a short-term fix (like preparing a house for sale), a felt roof won’t do you any favours in the long term.
EPDM Rubber is strong and sturdy, if a little basic in appearance. But it’s often botched by installers who skimp on the specialist glues that bond it to the roof deck – so seams can come apart and let water in to the roof.
It’s also easy to puncture, and awkward to repair. So a slate falling from a pitched roof can do a lot of damage. Especially if the breech in the membrane is only a pinhole. It’s hard to detect, so you could be none the wiser until the roof starts to fail.
These are the risks you take with any EPDM product. And if it’s a cheap, flimsy imitation, the problems multiply. We’ve seen cheap EPDM roofing as thin as pond liner, fitted over people’s homes! Letting water in, letting heat escape, and failing in next to no time.
GRP Fibreglass is a stylish system, but highly temperamental – doomed to fail unless it goes on under perfect conditions. The weather has to be just so, and the resin that’s mixed on the rooftop will spoil if proportions are out.
So it’s a gamble - even pro installers have a high failure rate.
That’s not all. Once it’s down, it can develop hairline cracks, and even pull away from the building edge when the roof expands and contracts.
And that’s with a quality GRP product – the cheap versions are a nightmare. Every few weeks, we’re asked to rescue dud roofs built with cheap GRP, so we get to see the damage it can do to the roof deck. Invariably, the whole roof has to come out, to be rebuilt from scratch.
PVC Single-Ply is everything these systems should be. Purpose-designed for flat roofs, it’s strong and resilient – lasting up to 50 years, with the first 20 years guaranteed.
Plus, as you’ll discover, the system is:
- Watertight – with double-welded joins and a 1.5mm reinforced membrane.
- Highly resistant to impact and puncture – and easy to repair.
- Strong enough to walk on, or build over with a balcony, terrace or green roof.
- Flexible enough to cope with natural building movement.
- Weather-proof – resistant to sunlight, frost, snow, wind and rain.
- Vapour Permeable – expelling any moisture that gets trapped on the roof deck.
- Safe and easy to install in almost any weather.
- Stylish – with a clean, sleek finish.
- Low Maintenance – check it once a year, but it shouldn’t need any work.
- Eco Friendly - when you come to replace it, it needn’t go to landfill.
- Excellent “Whole-of-Life” Value. It’s not the cheapest system, but it makes sound financial sense as a long-term investment.
We’ll be happy to tell you more, and answer all your questions, when we meet to discuss your flat roof in detail.
And on that note, the next question is…
Why choose Proactive Flat Roofing?
First things first. Whoever you work with, please make sure it’s a reputable firm. There are too many undesirables posing as flat roofers, and too many cowboys multi-tasking without the necessary skills…it’s an epidemic, where most new flat roofs seem to fall below standard.
So – with amateur roofers out of the picture…why choose us?
Here’s a list of 7 reasons:
1. Experience: our directors Stephen and Paull have amassed over 35 years in this industry. They’ve seen off every roofing challenge, and built up a highly trained workforce who’ll design and build your PVC Single-Ply flat roof to the highest standards.
2. Expertise: you can ask us literally anything about your roofing project. If we don’t have an answer to hand, we’ll take it back to the team and aim to get back to you within 24 hours.
3. Honesty: we believe in being straight with everyone we meet. As you’ll see, every cost is broken down for you to analyse – and if anything is an optional extra, we’ll explain it and let you decide. We’ll also invite you to scrutinise our guarantee, and speak to the insurers behind it so you’ll know it’s safe to proceed.
4. We’re here to help – not make a quick sale. Unlike some, we don’t pressure-sell or compel you to sign on the spot with some “never-repeated” offer. We’ll just design the roof you need, free of charge, with no obligation…then cost it and leave you to decide when you’re good and ready.
5. We’ll do what it takes to solve a problem. Like helping you through the red tape of planning permission, or managing add-ons like a sun terrace or balcony. Leave it to us.
6. Happy customers. We can show you reviews from people we’ve worked with, from residential customers to developers and contractors. And if you want to quiz one of our customers directly, let us know – if we can, we’ll put you in touch.
7. Vanguard. Perhaps the best reason of all. Most flat roofing contracts include one set of terms for labour and another for materials – because you’re making an agreement with two different companies. So if there’s a problem, they can blame each other and leave you waiting.
With us, it’s different. We’ve developed Vanguard: our own PVC Single-Ply product that we manufacture then custom-finish to fit the size and shape of your flat roof.
That means you’ll be dealing with the manufacturer and installer, all in one. So in the unlikely event of a problem, the buck stops with us.
To the best of our knowledge, no other roofing firm in the UK can offer you this advantage.
It starts with a free survey
As soon as you’re ready, one of our flat roofing experts will take a look at your architect’s drawings - or just check the space you’ve set aside for the roof.
They’ll take time to understand what you’re looking for, then go away and produce a fully-costed specification. Every step will be laid out clearly, in plain English, so you can decide what happens next…and set your own timescale for the work.