Why You Should Consider Fibreglass Flat Roofs This Summer
What is Fibreglass Flat Roofing?
Fibreglass flat roofing is a durable, hard-wearing roof material that can protect your home. The material is also referred to as GRP, which stands for “Glassfibre Reinforced Plastics” and is a versatile material that can be used for a range of things.
The material is made up of plywood and resin which is then finished with GRP edge trims and a top coat. Using fibreglass is a great option for flat roof problems.
Advantages of Fibreglass roofing?
There are many advantages to fibreglass roofing, one of the main ones being that it is durable and can last as long as 30 years. As well as this, fibre glass roofing is extremely easy to repair if there is damage, you can extend or refurbish it if you need to, it can be tiled or used as a garden platform. If you use fibreglass instead of lead, it can also prevent thieves from damaging your property as there is no intrinsic value to the material.
Why choose a fibreglass GRP flat roof over a felt, rubber or other membrane roof?
Many people think of fibreglass roofs as a new idea, or untested technology but you may be surprised to learn that fibreglass is a proven roofing material that’s been used in the UK building industry for over 50 years. The quality of your roof has a huge impact on your home, it prevents costly water damage to both the structure and to your possessions. No matter how much attention you to pay to the rest of your home and property, if you have a poor quality roof all of your efforts could be wasted. This is why you need to think about the different roofing options that are available. There are plenty of roof materials and styles to choose from but the benefits of GRP flat roofing are likely to provide you with everything that you could need. There are two main benefits of choosing this solution over others that are available and they are the durability of the product and a watertight finish.
One of the biggest strengths of choosing a fibreglass GRP flat roof is the fact that these roofs are so durable. When it comes to finding the best value in a roof, durability and long-term costs will always be an important factor. Thanks to the state of the art materials and technology utilised in these roofs Canova confidently offers a 30 year guarantee, GRP simply does not deteriorate at the rate of felt or rubber. An added benefit to the durability of the system is that these roofs require little or no maintenance due to the nature of the structure. The advantage is that there are no seams, joints or welds to provide opportunities for water to get in and for components to be damaged or weakened. Once the strong fibreglass layer is laid, a durable topcoat is rolled over the top creating a fully sealed surface. Installed correctly, water cannot penetrate through any seams. The continuous surface area provides a huge benefit when it comes to finding a roof that can be relied on for many years to come. These roofs are constructed to the highest standard and quality and offer peace of mind to home owners that cannot be matched by other products.
Fibreglass is trusted in many other industries where long life and complete water-tightness are essential. It is a material that is used to make the hulls of boats, including the RNLI lifeboats. Where there’s a seam, there’s the opportunity for water to penetrate. By the time you’ve spotted your flat roof is leaking, there will almost certainly be more damage than meets the eye. A GRP roof has no seams or joints where water can in to damage the structure of the roof and cause costly repairs to your home. Even ‘modern, high tech’ rubber membrane roof coverings are fundamentally flawed as they still rely on glued or welded seams Continuous testing of GRP roofs have shown that you can expect the laminate to last 30 years plus compared to the 10 years you can expect a felt roof to last, if you’re lucky. It is the long term, sensible, peace of mind solution.
EPDM patching and repair
If you confidently laid your own EPDM roof, the chances are you’ll be able to repair a hole or puncture yourself using a patch repair kit. Make sure the area is clean and debris free before using an EPDM roof cleaner to ensure the patch will stick to the membrane.
Measure the patch and make sure you leave at least 50mm of membrane outside the damaged area, then round off any corners. Apply the patch following the instructions on the packet and ensure it’s fully sealed by checking for the bead that appears when the seam is bonded.
If you have any doubts about repairing a puncture it’s best to seek advice from a roofing specialist.
Benefits of GRP flat fiberglass roofs
- Fiberglass roofs are very strong and durable. This makes them a perfect roofing material for theft prevention;
- Additionally, fiberglass roofing has little intrinsic value if removed. As such, thieves are less likely to target your building;
- Fiberglass roofs will last for more than 30 years and they are very easy to clean and maintain;
- Fiberglass roofing is waterproof when laid properly and will ward off wet and windy weather that would cause a felt or bitumen roof to fail;
- Fiberglass roofing is easy to repair, extend and replace;
- Fiberglass roofing is waterproof and resists wear and tear;
- Fiberglass roofing is quick and easy to lay because it weighs very little;
- Fiberglass roofing is now available in a variety of colours and surface textures – so it can be a statement for your home.
Know Your Flat Roof Systems- GRP v EPDM
EPDM is a single ply rubber roofing system that is popular on smaller scale roof applications, such as sheds, garages and extensions.
Along with Glass Reinforced Polyester, or GRP, its use is becoming more and more widespread on both domestic and commercial roofing projects thanks to a number of advantages.
Most roofers nowadays will be familiar with EPDM and GRP roofs and their installation. Getting a professional in will decrease the chances of any manufacturer guarantee being void as a result of a sloppy job.
Both rubber roofing and fiberglass roofing can be done DIY, but only if attention to detail and correct procedures are followed, especially when it comes to covering corners and angles and ensuring no air bubbles are missed.
EPDM is essentially one single sheet of synthetic rubber which is glued to a clean roof decking with a wet bonding adhesive and a stronger contact adhesive around the perimeters. Trims are then fitted around the edges to waterproof the roof and enhance aesthetics.
GRP installation involves two layers of catalysed resin sandwiching a layer of fiberglass to form a GRP laminate. A top coat resin is then applied to weatherproof the surface and give it a more attractive finish.
GRP should ideally be installed by a pro, although be wary than EPDM systems designed with the DIYer in mind can sometimes be of an inferior quality.
Both EPDM and GRP flat roofs hold up very well in most weather conditions. As both systems have no or very few seams, water leaks are very rare.
The fact that GRP is used on boat hulls should be all the evidence you need in regards to how watertight it is. Installing roof trims and edge trims will ensure both types of roof are even more waterproof.
In regards to adapting to thermal expansion and contraction, EPDM is the better option, with Firestone EPDM able to elongate by over 300% and return to its original form. This is why EPDM is the better option between the two for larger roofs.
EPDM is not easily affected by the sun and is resistant to blistering, cracking and rotting. The same can be said for GRP, which is the least likely to develop moss and extremely resistant to UV damage.
Both a GRP roof and a roof laid with rubber membrane are durable options that do not scratch or scuff easily. The average lifespan of both is normally put at 25 years, although its widely believed this can be doubled if properly upkept.
If damage does occur, patch repairs are relatively straightforward for both systems and will not alter the original appearance of the roof much.
GRP is the tougher system of the two and is unlikely to crack from impacts such as dropped tools and falling debris. GRP is fire retardant and can cope with footfall, making it a suitable roof covering for a terrace. An anti-slip coating can be applied to reduce slipperiness.
EPDM could be best described as durable but not indestructible. It can puncture if mistreated, but the same can be said for any flat roofing material if abused.