BS 5534, the code of practice for slating and tiling, has been revised to make UK roofs more secure in the face of increasingly extreme weather events, and will be mandatory from the end of February 2015.

Marley Eternit has welcomed the more stringent standards, which it says will improve roof security. Three significant changes have been made:

  • On most roofs, every tile will have to be mechanically fixed, with a degree of clipping required
  • Mortar alone is no longer deemed sufficient to secure tiles and their associated fittings to a roof, so areas including ridges, hips and verges will now require mechanical fixing as well
  • There are now requirements to secure lightweight underlays and prevent the recent problem of ‘ballooning’, caused by wind deflection, which has been known to place a load on the underside of the roof covering, capable of dislodging it.

Marley Eternit has introduced tools and products to help contractors and builders meet the additional fixing requirements.

Gavin White, product manager, said: “This is the most significant change to the way roofs are fixed in the UK for years, and it is an important step in ensuring a consistent standard to withstand future extreme weather events and bring us into line with the European equivalent.

“While these changes will predominantly affect roofing and building contractors, those selling and specifying roof products also need to be aware of the consequential effects of the new standard, as there are products which can be used to reduce the additional time and cost which could be incurred as a result.”

He continued: “In anticipation of these changes, we have been working on products and tools to help contractors and builders deal with the additional fixing requirements. We know that clipping is the most time-consuming of all mechanical fixing methods and is the area that has the potential to increase roof labour time the most. Therefore, we have developed SoloFix, an affordable one-piece clip and nail made from ZiAl, which saves up to 30% on clipping time and delivers a high-strength, high-performance solution that can be used for all UK exposures, including corrosive marine environments.

“We have also updated the TileFix estimator on our website so that specifiers and roofing contractors can get an accurate overview of minimum roof fixing requirements under the new standard.”

The revised BS 5534 was published on 31 August and there will be a six-month crossover, or co-existence period, during which time the two standards will be available to use.