Flat roofs have been common in construction for the last 150 years. From the 1950s right up to the 1970s. Unfortunately, in the past installing insulation wasn't really high on the agenda when it came to
building flat roots. As a result, if you do have a flat roof on your property it will most likely be poorly insulated.
What this means is that in the winter, warm air will quickly escape from heated rooms through the flat roof leaving the room feeling chilly.
In the summer, the opposite is true; the room could be like a sun room, where if the sun shines, it gets unbearably hot and sticky.
These extremes are exaggerated if that room or side of the property is northerly facing, so in the winter with a lack of infrared heat intensity it will feel colder than other rooms.
In the summer if the room is southerly facing, which typically gets more sun intensity then the room will feel too hot relative to the rest of the property.
Even if the roof has recently had the membrane or the asphalt (that keeps the water out) replaced, it is fairly unlikely that any insulation would have been retrofied unless it was specifically requested for.
Warm flat roof construction
In new flat roofs it's becoming more and more common to undergo warm flat roof construction to abide by building regulations and save lots of money on your insulation costs.
If you do not abide by the current building regulations, then you will not receive a building regulations compliance certificate which could affect the sale of your house should you wish to sell it.
When 50% or more of the roof's waterproofing layer is removed and replaced this is called refurbishment. Part of the Building Regulations states that the thermal efficiency of a refurbished roof be brought up to
current standard if it doesn't meet a minimum thermal performance. If your roof insulation doesn't meet the minimum standards, it has to be upgraded!
However, this does not apply if you are repairing your flat roof by overlaying with a new waterproof layer.
These factors can trigger part L of the building regulations document:
• If you strip the covering of an old flat roof, you automatically trigger part L of the building regulations document.
• If your current insulation is poor, then you trigger part L of the building regulations document.
• If you are undergoing a domestic or a commercial rebuild, it must comply with part L of the building regulations document.
The aim of the document is to ensure buildings are constructed or modified to provide better energy efficient and tackle the problem.
As climate change research continued, Part L was further reviewed for England and Wales, to take effect from April 2006.
The new goals of the document were to reduce CO2 emissions by 20% on new build dwellings and 27% on buildings other than dwellings,
these reductions were taken from the baseline of 1990 and were thought to be achievable by 2010.
CompetentRoofer is the Government-licenced Competent Person Scheme that allows Fibrespan to self-certify that their roof refurbishment work
complies with Building Regulations within England and Wales. The scheme encompasses all roofing types for domestic, industrial and commercial properties.
If 50% or more of your roof needs to be replaced, then under the Building Regulations, your Local Authority needs to be notified a minimum of 48 hours before work commences.
If you don(t then you risk a fine of up to £5,000, plus the cost of putting the work right if it isn(t up to the required standards.
By using a Fibrespan as a CompetentRoofer member, you will save not only time and money but will have the added reassurance that the work carried out meets the
exacting standards of the Building Regulations.