Dry Verge Systems
Dry Verge Systems: What are they? And what are the benefits?
As of 2014, Building Regulations Standards introduced the BS5534 Code of Practice, this basically changed the way the roofing and building industry had to comply with the new regulations and changes to the standards of practice. One of which brought the introduction of the Dry Ridge and Dry Verge Systems as mandatory requirement on any new-build roof. They stipulated that ‘Mortar alone cannot be used to fix ridges and hips. So, even if mortar is used, the ridges and hips must also be mechanically fixed’.As of July 1st, 2018, Building Regulations Standards added to the BS5534 Code of Practice with the inclusion of the BS8612 regulation, that being the stipulation BS 8612: Dry-fixed ridge, hip and verge systems for slating and tiling – specification, has now been added into BS5534.
This means that from July 1st ,2018, roofing contractors may not see it written separately into specifications but, under BS5534, they are required to use BS8612 compliant dry fix systems. Not using one would be in breach of both standards.
Lord Roofing are the best! They made everything seem so simple and straight forward. They explained the process of what needed doing and then kept to their word!
Julie Jackson, Newcastle-upon-Tyne.
Clarification on re-roofing and repairs
The addition of the phrase ‘for normal re-roofing work, including repairs’ has been added to the scope, to make it absolutely clear that re-roofing and repairs are covered under BS5534. This is an important clarification because any roofer not following the standard is certainly taking a risk and not covering their own liability, particularly given the increasing instances of extreme weather in the UK.
In ‘Laymen’s terms, this means that any roofing contractor, whether they are nationally accredited or not, or whether they are repairing failed roof verges on existing domestic properties as opposed to new-build houses, must comply and are bound by the new BS5534 Code of Practice. That being, rather than use mortar to patch roof verges, they must install a dry-fix system, otherwise known as a Dry Verge System when dealing with properties that house concrete tiles, or Linear Dry Verge to both slated and clay tiled roofs. The only exception to this rule is when dealing with listed properties or those that fall under the Conservation Act.
If you live in an older property, the chances are you will have what is termed a ‘wet verge’. The ‘verge’ itself refers to the outer ends of your roofline, where your roof tiles conclude, and the gable end wall connects. Traditionally, these sections at the edge of your roof are fixed with mortar to primarily prevent water ingress. They also foil potential entry from nesting birds, pests, and in some cases, bats.
A professionally pointed mortar verge, where the correct ratio of sand, cement and water has been applied appropriately, should invariably cure any of the issues previously stated. The obvious problem with mortar as a compound is its resilience, and the fact that over time it will become porous, as it endures the weathering from the elements, thus causing it to naturally deteriorate. Structural movement, heavy rains and high winds will only hasten the onset of the inevitable dislodging of the failing mortar. This is when the more serious problems can begin, as your roofline and failed verges become wide open to driving rain, causing the internal roof membrane (if apparent) and internal timbers to bear the brunt of the unrelenting elements, and begin to weaken and eventually rot.
Ensuring your mortar verges are always in good condition to provide that all-important protective barrier requires regular checks and maintenance. This is generally achieved by repointing, which will usually incur the costly charges of scaffolding. It is impossible to stop the deterioration of mortar, no matter how professional and concise, both the application and mix ratio of mortar is applied. It will always ever be a case of ‘rinse and repeat’, the only question is when?
Over the last few years, there have been truly groundbreaking advancements in the products now available within the roofing industry, and none more so, than the introduction of Dry Roofing or Dry Fixing. These systems are now Building Standard Regulations on any new-build houses, as the industry looks to move away from mortar-fixings as much as it possibly can. The arguments for and against mortar are quite damning when put into perspective, hence the introduction of the BS5534 Code of Practice. Homeowners are the clear winners here, as the whole concept is designed to save on maintenance, enhance the longevity of our roofs, and vastly reduce costs when dealing with the protection and upkeep of our roofs.
LORD Roofing and Ground Works provide 10 clear disadvantages of mortar fixings:
- Limited lifespan
- Requires regular and often costly maintenance
- Will become porous with time, causing cracking, fracturing and eventual dislodging
- Leaves holes and recessed cavities inviting water ingress, and our roofs exposed
- Time consuming during roofing installation
- Limited protection against wind uplift
- Rigid in nature and unable to cater for structural movement
- Can look unsightly as they gradually deteriorate
- Dislodgement of mortar can become dangerous as it eventually falls to ground level
- Invites lesser qualified tradesman to make easy money with poor patch work that often fails
LORD Roofing and Ground Works provide 10 clear advantages of Dry-Fix Systems:
- First and foremost, its British Standard Regulations as per the BS5534 Code of Practice
- Quick and easy installation if installed by an accredited, certified contractor
- Vastly reduces wind uplift if professionally installed by an accredited, certified contractor
- Maintenance free and aesthetically pleasing if installed by an accredited, certified contractor
- Eliminates water ingress, if installed by an accredited, certified contractor
- Flexible will absorb natural roof movement, if installed by an accredited, certified contractor
- Irrefutably increases your roofs lifespan, if installed by an accredited, certified contractor
- Protects your roofs most problematic areas, if installed by an accredited, certified contractor
- Continuously secures your slates/tiles/ridges, if installed by an accredited, certified contractor
- Provides ventilation so your roof can breathe, if installed by an accredited, certified contractor
So, what is a Dry Verge System and how will it benefit me?
A Dry Verge System replaces the old mortar in your existing verges and replaces the mortar with a strong, robust UPVC capping system, that once installed correctly, by an accredited, certified contractor, will not only improve the appearance of those old verges, but also give them the strongest defence against even the harshest elements. This will ensure that your roof will have the very best protection possible and is guaranteed to extend your roof’s lifespan longer than the mortar alternative.
The only problem with a Dry Verge System, is that the clear majority are installed incorrectly by ‘roofline’ companies as opposed to an accredited, certified roofing contractor. Statistics vary, depending on where you read them, but the retro-fit of Dry Verge Systems are allegedly installed incorrectly nearly 82% of the time.
(The nail in the bottom UPVC cap is showing proud, and a clear indication this installation will fail.)
So why is this?
The answer is quite simple. When there becomes a huge demand for a product, it becomes an open market for lesser tradesman to make a quick buck without any reprimand. As far as the average consumer is aware, it is simply plastic UPVC caps installed into a verge. And the classic way this is achieved, is usually off a set of ladders, with the verge caps nailed into the mortar verge, and completed within a couple of hours. This kind of practice is extremely common, but also completely incorrect. It’s cheap, quick and quite frankly, pathetic at best. Once the mortar fails, the UPVC caps come with it, and you’ve got exactly what you’ve paid for, usually unsuspectingly.
(The Dry Verge System was nailed into the mortar and pulling away, and was eventually stripped out and replaced professionally by a LORD Roofing and Grounds Works Master Roofer)
Dry Verge Systems also come in various ranges of quality, with the cheaper UPVC plastics discolouring quite quickly, as they can be manufactured with lead for cost effectiveness.
LORD Roofing and Grounds Works only use the best products we believe to be on today’s market, and religiously install Dry Verge Systems manufactured by the market-leaders, such as Klober and Manthorpe. Our Master Roofers also install them the professional way to ensure maximum longevity, if a jobs worth doing, it’s worth doing right, which is the LORD old-school mentality and philosophy. There is no question the process when installed correctly is far more time-consuming than the ‘nail in the mortar’ farce, but it will be secure, safe, flush, and be guaranteed from the manufacturer, with a very long lifespan.
So, what is the professional and most secure way to install a Dry Verge System and how would LORD Roofing and Grounds Works Master Roofers achieve this?
- Erect full HSE (Health & Safety Executive) compliant fixed-point scaffolding to gain access to all verges complete with scaffolding tags, and hand-rails.
- Risk Assessments and Toolbox talks administered, then signed, and reviewed daily to adhere and comply with LORD Roofing and Grounds Works HSE regulations policy.
- Carefully remove the end ridge tile, or tiles (where relevant) and all failing mortar and under-cloak from all failing elevation verges.
- Strip back the end course of tiles, (generally two tiles) from both verges, in preparation for the installation of the new premium Klober Universal Dry Verge System (in client’s choice of colour).
- Professionally fix and secure new Gold Standard BS5534 pressure treated fire-safe 25mm x 38mm timber laths, to ensure an 40mm to 50mm recommended over-hang.
- Professionally run Gold Standard BS5534 pressure treated fire-safe 38mm x 50mm timber laths up the full length of all pre-stripped verges and professionally secure using galvanised steel nails.
- Professionally re-tile all verges using existing, or new matching replacements, then secure the new premium-grade Klober Universal Dry Verge System (in client’s choice of colour) to all verges onto the newly installed Gold Standard BS5534 pressure treated fire-safe 38mm x 50mm timber laths using stainless steel screws.
- Professionally fix and secure Klober Dry Verge End Caps to both the peak of the verges and secure for perfect flush finish.
- Professionally re-bed the end ridge tile/tiles (or replace with new matching if required) using a 3-1 mix of plasticizers and PVA for the strongest possible bond.
- Dispose of all waste and leave site clean and tidy.
By adhering to this method statement, the Dry Verge System will have the most comprehensive and solid foundation to secure it correctly and guarantee maximum life-expectancy. Strengthening the existing roof laths where relevant is paramount in the procedure. This also creates a perfectly, straight and flush verge, as opposed to an ugly, disjointed, ‘nailed to the mortar’ finish.
LORD Roofing and Grounds Works also offer a 10-Year GPI Insurance backed warranty on all Dry Verge Systems in accordance with the government endorsed Trustmark affiliated; Consumer Protection Association, and Confederation of Roofing Contractors License as standard. This is also transferrable in the event of a re-sale. All works carried out by LORD Roofing and Grounds Works Level 4 Master Roofers and time-served joiner.
The ‘LORD Company Promise’ to our clients is; “To deliver the very highest quality of customer service, workmanship, and standard of products, for the very best price possible.”
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