Building a New Flat Roof?
Find Out Why Kevin An Experienced Local Builder Choose Proactive
Flat Roofing Solutions For His Own Dream Home
Kevin Gibbs is a third generation local builder with multiple house builds under his belt and a dislike of any kind of flat roof! When he was forced by a planning decision to have a flat roof on his own home you better believe he did some significant research. The result made him very happy with the advice, service and the outcome.
Kevin Gibbs Local Builder Taunton Somerset
So perhaps you're not building you dream home just yet! 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…
"I would definitely recommend Proactive over other companies simply because the personal touch is definitely there."
I’ve been a builder for about 15-16 years. It’s a family trade. I learned off my Dad, Dad learned off his Dad and yeah I’ve built four properties myself already which is really enough money to get our own family home and this is what we built and it’s been a dream of ours especially a dream of mine forever.
Having the fact that I have to have a flat roof I then done a bit more research than the norm and I’ve done fiberglass roofs before, EDPM and loads of different others. I then took it for myself gone a google search, I got on google and then came across Proactive and I felt would give them a phone call and see what happens.
Particular thing for me about the Proactive Roofing was the contact throughout and then realizing that on the 28 meter span of roof, fiber glass probably is not the best product to go for it.
When you direct me down the route of the vanguard product I thought that’s really gonna be the only product to use and yeah I’m very happy with it.
Every time I needed a question answered, someone has been there at the end of the telephone and it’s great to be able to talk to someone rather than just emails.
Kevin Gibbs Local Builder Devon
Choosing the right Waterproofing System
for your new roof
There’s so much conflicting advice on waterproofing. So many options, so many opinions…so where do you even start?
As we often say to everyone we speak to, there is NO such thing as the perfect system, it simply doesn't exist and as with many things in life there is compromise with whichever system or material you eventually choose.
That said.... 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 your options:
Traditional Mineral 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.
Important Note: Be aware there are very good commercial felts that use modern materials and installed by professionally trained installers and can if applied correctly last many years, these are NOT cheap and rightly so!
I own a building company in the Cotswolds, established in 1881. We do the typical work of general builders, including house extensions and refurbishments. In the nine years or so that I’ve known Paull he’s done numerous flat roofs for us. We have a really good working relationship and have always been really satisfied with his service. He’s always coming up with things. What I mean is if you’ve got a problem, even if you think you know how to sort it out, he’ll normally find a better way to do it. Needless to say I don’t go to anybody else apart from Paull for flat roofing. Because I know that when he does it, it’ll be done right and everybody walks away happy.
Philip Horton AS Cooke Builders Stroud
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.
The 12 Reasons we use and recommend The Vanguard PvC Single Ply Waterproofing System
The waterproofing element of your roof can sometime be the most confusing part of the decision making process because there is so much conflicting information out there. In truth there is NO perfect solution and in many cases different types of systems work best based on the type of roofing application required.
The reason we recommend Vanguard PVC Single Ply is because of its adaptability in pretty much every domestic or commercial flat roofing application. Whether you have a simple flat roof extension or a more complex roof terrace or balcony, over the last 25 years roofing experience we have not yet discovered a better all round solution than PVC single ply systems. (click here for the 12 reasons we use it)
- Dimensionally Stable, to Cope with Cyclical Building Movement
- High Tensile Strength - High Resistance to Impact and Puncture
- Split-Resistant Metal Perimeter and Up-stand Flashing Details
- Double-Welded Fusion Joins Applied Safely - No Toxins or Naked Flames
- Vapour Permeable - Allowing Trapped Building Moisture Out
- Ponding and Standing Water Cause NO Adverse Effects
- Solar and UV Reflective Coating (No Unsightly Chippings or Moss)
- Thermally Efficient Fixing to Reduce “Cold Bridging” in Warm Roofs
- Strong enough to build on - Enjoy the Rooftop Experience
- Long Life - with a Low “Whole Life” Cost
- Low Carbon Footprint - the Membrane is Fully Recyclable
- . Virtually Maintenance Free - No More Weekends up a Ladder!
It is important to realise there is usually a trade-off between cost and longevity. Vanguard has a life expectancy of 30-40 years with complete insurance-backed guarantees of up to 20 years that include the system and workmanship.
Your Free estimate includes for the following;
- Supply of Vanguard Flat Roof Waterproofing System including a separation layer and membrane as required.
- Installation of the Vanguard Flat Roof Waterproofing system using thermally efficient tube fixings or bonded directly to the substrate with the membrane fusion-welded to create one complete leak-proof covering.
- Split resistant metal perimeter and up-stand details to any edges or where your roof meets a wall.
- 20 year manufacturers warranty on the system.
This means you can have complete peace of mind that NO water will seep into your property unseen and cause damage when you least expect it.
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 sending us your plans and consulting with us.
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.