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RCI March 2018

Project1_Layout 1 07/05/2013 PITCHED ROOFING Concrete helps weather woes As the ever-changing weather patterns continue to be a challenge for modern roofing, Mark Parsons, technical director at Russell Roof Tiles, highlights how concrete roof tiles can help weather woes We’re experiencing an overwhelming change in the climate. Last year saw the stormiest year on record with storm Brian providing winds of over 70mph in October in some areas of the country, and the UK seeing the coldest winter on record for seven years. Further afield in Scotland, the wind and rain has been even stronger, with the north of the country seeing winds in excess of over 80mph in December. There is now no room for substandard roofing, and specifications need to take into account the localised weather across the UK. It is important that the durability of materials and testing used for the manufacture of products takes into consideration the impacts of adverse weather in order to avoid any further problems down the line. Some products and designs are more vulnerable to storm damage than others, and this leads to defects in roofs – such as leaks – which are often hard to pinpoint once the roof is complete, so it’s vital to design-out potential issues by the correct specification. However, local materials which have been used historically across all buildings in an area may set a precedent in terms of colour, finish and style. Today, some of these natural materials have their own issues, such as availability, sustainability and cost. Concrete tile manufacture is highly-sustainable and cost-effective, so it is no surprise that it now accounts for around 60% of the roofing tile market. Material matters Much of the popularity of concrete is a result of its ability to replicate many indigenous different regional materials. The tiles are produced and often sold to simulate a variety of natural profiles and colours, including clay, slate or stone. Russell Roof Tiles has invested heavily in creating products, that replicate some of these aspects. This includes the Natural Range which was introduced in stone colours to meet the demand for it in the south of the UK. At two thirds the thickness of a normal concrete Country Stone tiles from the Natural Range tile, the Natural Range is easier to handle and has an easy interlocking design that can be fixed quickly and efficiently to help speed up the installation process. Once laid as part of a roof system, concrete roof tiles assist in controlling and retaining heat. As a result, concrete is pivotal in helping homes to be more energy-efficient. Even when seasons change, concrete still proves to be even more beneficial. The material provides excellent thermic insulation from heat, between the roof tile and ceiling during the summer months, and protects the underlying membrane from deterioration, ensuring sustainability and manageable temperature conditions for the inhabitants of the building. By taking into consideration different weather patterns, trends and the location from the start of any project, manufacturers, contractors and developers are in a stronger position to ensure roofs are robust and long-lasting, despite harsh weather conditions. www.russellrooftiles.co.uk


RCI March 2018
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