Choosing the most effective roof solution to handle this winter

As winter approaches, the importance of ensuring a property’s roof is fit for purpose in maintaining a warm and dry building increases. High performance roof insulation is crucial to this process, particularly for flat roofs, which are susceptible to issues not applicable to pitched installations.

Snow, wind, ice and rain are elements that pose a serious threat to roofs in a poor state of repair. For a flat roof in need of replacement, precipitation is a familiar foe in winter months, with the UK suffering four of the wettest winters on record between 2006 and 2020, according to Met Office figures, with the trend predicted to continue. When the weather deteriorates, therefore, ensuring flat roofs have efficient water run-off measures in place is crucial to reducing the risk of deflections forming, which leads to ponding and in a worst-case scenario, water-based structural damage.

For efficient water dispersal, choose tapered roofing insulation 

When installed as part of a flat roof’s waterproofing build-up, tapered roofing insulation’s multifunctional design ensures a roof’s water runoff flows into appropriate outlets or gutters. This not only helps increase the lifespan of the waterproofing and the roof itself, the tapered roofing insulation’s thermal performance can also reduce instances of cold bridging, which can lead to damp spots forming at junctions between the roof and the wall.

When selecting a suitable tapered roofing insulation, a full survey of the roof itself ought to be a prerequisite. It’s particularly pertinent when installing modular single-layer insulation systems, which are manufactured off-site and cannot be cut or altered once delivered to site. A survey determines a roof’s dimensions and considers potential obstructions or openings such as rooflight and drainage outlets, which could affect the layout of the high-performance insulation scheme. It will also highlight any backfalls or deflections that need to be overcome.

Which is the best tapered roofing insulation option: single-layer or multi-layer?

Bonded under factory-controlled conditions, single-layer tapered roofing insulation systems are the time and cost-effective alternative to multi-layer solutions in flat roof installations. Ready to install once delivered to site, the insulation within the single-layer bond will have been monitored for its volume and minimum coating adhesion performance, leaving installers with the relatively straightforward task of installing it – in one block – to the roof, followed by the waterproofing. This not only guarantees the insulation will perform as designed, it also significantly reduces application times and material waste. Therefore, whilst a multi-layer solution might appear, on paper at least, to be a more cost-effective option, the benefit is negated by the additional hours it takes to bond and install the tapered roofing insulation layer-by-layer; a process that is eliminated with a pre-bonded single-layer system.

Ask Gradient, the experts in tapered roof and flat roofing insulation

From a specification point of view, quality is built-in with single-layer tapered roofing insulation systems. Gradient, for example, provides a turnkey service as part of its bespoke manufacture of flat roof and tapered roofing insulation systems. From the initial consultation and pre-design process, through to the installation and post-project stages, Gradient’s technical teams work alongside clients to ensure the successful implementation of its individually-tailored tapered insulation schemes, which are produced to ISO 14001 and ISO 9001; one of the most widely adopted management standards in the world.

Therefore, as the nights draw in and we once again prepare ourselves for single-figure daytime temperatures, it’s imperative that the roofs about our property are equally as primed for the seasonal change. Engaging with an expert such as Gradient, with its vast experience of creating bespoke tapered roofing insulation systems for applications regardless of size or complexity, will guarantee your flat roof is equipped to meet the challenging months ahead.