088 RCI 0417

RCI April 2017

PITCHED ROOFING Restoring heritage roofs to their Given the sheer volume of listed buildings in the UK and some of the oldest housing stocks in Europe, it’s more than likely that at some point you may be called upon to repair or replace a former glory By Amanda Green, marketing manager at SIGA Heritage heritage roof. These beautiful old buildings are part of Britain’s historical charm, and arguably their roofs form the backbone of our architectural integrity – indeed some roof coverings actually date back to medieval times. In order to preserve such character, it’s critical that the continuity of roofing materials is maintained. However, since it’s unlikely that the original slate or stone used when the building was first constructed will be still available, finding an identical match can prove difficult. It would be inconceivable to use new and unsympathetic products to repair or replace a heritage roof. Having stood the test of time, weathering with age and adding timeless elegance to the aesthetic character of the original roofs, the use of new products would have a serious and detrimental effect on its appearance and gravely compromise the historic character of the building. Plus, it’s simply not permissible if the building is listed or located in a conservation area. Second-hand or reclaimed Another option is to source second-hand or reclaimed slate or stone. However, finding products that have the required quality for re-use can be a difficult task – particularly as much of the reclaimed slate in salvage yards is sold with no assurance of future durability. As such, the customer would have no peace of mind in terms of how long they would last. In addition, the quality and availability of reclaimed slate is dwindling, and in trying to source multiple 088 APRIL 2017 RCIMAG.COM batches, you could end up with ugly and patchy shading. Instead, you may have little choice but to find a specialist who can source a close replica of the previous item – genuine handmade reproduction tiles and stone that boast quality, aesthetics and performance. Designed to mimic the authenticity of the original, these reproduction products are available in an almost identical colour match and finish too. Such is the authenticity of some, that, in my opinion, they expertly couple the look and feel of a product that has been installed many decades ago. Take reproduction reclaimed slates, for instance. These tend to be made from glass fibre cement to provide a light, yet durable roofing material. Available in easy to lay formats and complete with a range of compatible products – including ridge tiles – they also require no sorting, grading, or re-holing. Unlike reclaimed slate, there is minimal wastage; thus providing an extremely versatile and cost-effective alternative to natural slate. Handcrafted For added authenticity, SIGA Heritage goes one step further. Our reproduction reclaimed slate is handcrafted using moulds taken from natural slate originals and just like natural slate, shades vary with no two slates ever the same. This, combined with a surface detail and hand colouring, helps create the look of a gracefully weathered roof with a consistent appearance that is perfect for heritage and conservation projects. Another added bonus with reproduction reclaimed slate and stone is that since they have undergone strict industry testing, they tend to come with a genuine and robust warranty – some up to 25 years – and offer complete traceability and peace of mind. Check out those products that form part of a single package warranty; they can help save valuable time and frustration in the unfortunate event of a claim and are normally available at no extra cost. Meticulous planning Reproduction reclaimed slate and stone may have the ability to match scarce or unavailable products by using new technology, but successful heritage roofing requires meticulous planning; hence your choice of supplier is critical. If something goes wrong further down the line, or spares are needed to finish the job or extend the roof at a later date, you need to be certain that the product will live up to its promise and will be available in the future. Equally, you need to look out for a supplier that can provide samples to ensure product accuracy and a choice of colours to suit aesthetic requirements and budget, together with a range of fixings. Finally, a supplier that can provide a wider and more extensive product range, a mature logistics network and impartial and informed advice and technical support on both the design elements of the roof and the build plans will be worth its weight in gold. www.sigaslate.co.uk SIGA Heritage says its Rutland reproduction slate replicates the Collyweston slate “Successful heritage roofing requires meticulous planning; hence your choice of supplier is critical”


RCI April 2017
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