Flat roofing manufacturer Stormking discusses the advantages and challenges of using GRP systems.
Roofing projects might vary in size and scope, yet the need to specify high-performance, cost-effective materials is a commonality for all. Unlike traditional flat roofs, which typically have a 10-year lifespan and are prone to water ingress, glass reinforced plastic (GRP) provides a durable, weathertight seal for variety of roofing structures of up to 20 years, with little maintenance.
Flat roofing has been a popular construction method for hundreds of years, typically used in warmer climates where sunny weather is more of a guarantee all year round. But over the past century flat roofing’s presence has picked up in the UK, mostly as a result of the advent of new design technologies and the greater availability of materials on the market, such as bitumen and lead.
Flat roofs have also grown in prominence where natural daylight is a priority. When designing a roof or loft conversion, sometimes there are building restrictions which highlight that a roof must not block the daylight flowing into the adjoining property. In these cases, flat roofs are preferable over pitched roofs as they enable the flow of daylight and are quicker and more cost-effective than tiled options.
Flat roofs’ popularity has inevitably increased demand, with a plethora of flat roofing systems now ready for the taking. But whilst bitumen, lead and PVC solutions have their own unique qualities, for ease-of-installation, cost-effectiveness and durability, GRP flat roofing systems are unrivalled. Unlike other traditional systems comprising multiple articles, GRP is easy to apply as it is a cold-applied, built-up, layered system which can be applied to a variety of different-shaped areas. With a GRP solution there is, therefore, no need to carry heavy components to the roof, which can be pretty difficult and risky at height. The system can also handle high footfall – if the deck is correctly prepared – meaning it will be able to resist damage should access be necessary.
The demand for GRP
StormDeck-GRP flat roofing’s durability is its true distinction from other run of the mill flat roofing products – the ‘fit-and-forget’ system is so resilient to the elements. Its waterproofing is achieved by impregnating a lightweight reinforcing tissue with a rolled-on resin that is finished with a coloured topcoat. This topcoat is the defining element of GRP flat roofing’s strength, and enables housebuilders to produce a robust flat roof that will last whatever the weather for many years.
Hitting the mark on durability, it is no wonder this roofing method is proving popular among small-to-medium housebuilders and developers working on loft conversions, extensions and other outbuildings requiring a flat roof aesthetic. This system is, for instance, very easy to install, which is ideal for small housebuilders looking to streamline costs.
Moreover, GRP flat roofing can be installed by both novice applicators and more experienced builders. It is also tailored to a property’s exact, existing dimensions, resulting in a bespoke, professional design which can be easily achieved.
It is worth bearing in mind that on projects where time is of the essence, StormDeck-PU flat roofing is an even easier solution to utilise. Presenting a modern take on flat roof, cold-applied liquid systems, one coat PU systems cure incredibly quickly and can be installed even when the British weather looks set to turn. Simple to apply straight to the prepared deck, it offers a faster alternative to GRP systems and is ideal for projects where speed of installation is essential.
Giving builders more choice
Manufacturing GRP solutions to the construction industry for over 35 years, Stormking has recently launched two innovative flat roofing systems: StormDeck-GRP flat roofing and StormDeck-PU flat roofing. Testament to the pedigree of the Stormking brand – which has five manufacturing plants with over 300 staff in the heart of the UK – the solutions encompass all the benefits of flat roofing, but with added durability and cost-effectiveness.
Stormking has introduced two flat roofing systems to the market to give housebuilders and developers greater choice. Typically, GRP is more cost-effective than its PU counterpart, however the latter cures faster than GRP under inclement weather conditions. But, by offering two flat roofing systems – both of which have their unique qualities – Stormking has given builders the best of both worlds when it comes to selection.
The benefits of flat roofs may be easy to recognise, yet it is always worth taking the time to specify the right material. Maintenance-free GRP and PU flat roof systems are proven to out-perform more traditional products in terms of durability, meaning a flat roof aesthetic can be achieved in full confidence that it will always provide shelter from the rain.