How to waterproof a rooflight

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Rooflights and roof windows can be extremely beneficial for commercial buildings, however, you’ve got to know how to waterproof a rooflight. After all, a rooflight should flood an interior with warm, bright sunshine on a clear day – not rainwater during a downpour.

So how do you waterproof a rooflight? As with most things, prevention is critical, and opting for expert rooflight installation from the very beginning is likely to save you a lot of time and hassle.

Not only does installing a rooflight require working at height with a big bulky item made of breakable glass. It also requires putting a hole in the roof. The entire process, from planning through to cutting, installing and finishing, is best left to people with the right skills and plenty of experience.

Plus, having a rooflight installed by a professional will give you additional peace of mind that the project is being carried out by an expert who can ensure the result is weatherproof and looks professional – and their work should be backed by a guarantee.

Why is my rooflight leaking?

There are many reasons why a rooflight might start leaking. For example, it could be the result of an inadequate installation, or the rooflight may have been damaged after being exposed to high winds or suffering an impact. In some cases, a leak can even turn out to be not a leak at all, but a condensation problem.

Whatever the reason for a leaking rooflight, getting the problem fixed needs to be a top priority. Even a small leak can be a source of inconvenience for a building’s occupants, and it could damage expensive equipment or decor. Problems like damp and mould can also result from a leaking skylight, leading to uncomfortable conditions and potential health hazards.

It’s also important to note that even if you have what seems like a tiny leak right now, without an expert to correctly diagnose the problem and make the necessary repairs, it’s likely that the problem will only get worse.

This is where our teams at Jones and Woolman UK excel. We are able to assess and solve such leaks and potential problems and act quickly to ensure your rooflights and roofs are leak free for years to come with our peace of mind 25-year warranty on all works carried out.

Methods for waterproofing rooflights

As with any type of building penetration, there are several ways to waterproof a rooflight, and the right choice will depend on the roof construction, as well as the finished appearance that you wish to achieve.

In residential buildings with pitched roofs, for example, roof window and rooflight installations are typically sealed using flashings, with tiles layered carefully over the top for a weatherproof finish.

However, this method won’t work on most commercial buildings – particularly those with flat or low-pitched roofs and no roof tiles. So other techniques will be required to waterproof rooflights in commercial applications. Although a waterproof rooflight can be achieved with materials such as EPDM rubber, or even traditional roofing felt, GRP is one of the best ways to ensure a leak-free result that will look good and last for many years with minimal maintenance.

Roof top view of installed commercial rooflights installed at a nusery
Roof top view of rooflights installed on Cherry Tree nursery
Rooflights on pitched roof
Waterproofing rooflights
Multiple rooflights in commercial building
image of a rooflight on a modular building that has been weatherproofed

GRP roofing systems for leak-free skylights

As experts in GRP roofing systems, the team and Jones and Woolman UK have extensive experience in installing waterproof rooflights for a wide range of commercial buildings, including shopping malls, factories and even sports stadia.

Our system starts with load-bearing upstands, which can be custom-made to fit your rooflights perfectly. The upstands can incorporate our unique inclined shape, which means rooflights and roof windows can be installed on roofs with very low pitches, and even flat roof rooflights can be accommodated.

We also use a specialist weathering system comprising a flexible, reinforced cold-applied liquid that works well with most types of cladding, as well as single-ply roofs. It creates a smooth, clean finish that will provide years of leak-free service – and a skylight that lets only the sunshine in.

Waterproof rooflight installations from Jones and Woolman UK

Whether you’re thinking about adding rooflights to a commercial building, or need repairs to stop a leak, the team at Jones and Woolman UK can help. We’ve been carrying out commercial roof repairs and building penetrations work for over 40 years, and all of our work is backed by a comprehensive 25-year warranty.

To find out more about our GRP roofing solutions, or discuss your project with one of our experts, please get in touch.

What are architectural mouldings?

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Architectural mouldings are structures and finishes that add character and specialist designs to buildings and structures. They can also be used to house and protect utilities with the added benefit of ‘hiding’ them from plain sight in a more aesthetically pleasing way.

They can be comprised of different materials such as aluminium or PPC steel, however, GRP (glass reinforced plastic) architectural mouldings are setting the new standard for what can be achieved within the industry.

GRP architectural mouldings are lightweight yet durable and can be formed into almost any shape imaginable. While architects were once held back by the limitations of materials like timber and steel, GRP opens up a vast range of possibilities. Giving the end results a high level of strength and impact resistance for longevity.


The difference between casting and moulding

Casting is the process of pouring molten metal into a cast which then solidifies and the cast is then broken away from the formed shape. The resulting product needs finishing by other means to give it that finished look such as polishing or filing to remove rough edges. Due to the required breaking of the mould, this process is, therefore, a one-off creation. With the negative to this being that if you require copies you would need to create more castings – incurring additional costs and time.

Moulding is the process of pouring liquid plastics or other such materials into a mould which can then be removed without the need of breaking the mould. The end product also requires no further finishing. This process also lends itself easily to duplication because the mould remains intact throughout the whole process. This allows the manufacturer to create multiple exact copies, saving time and resources compared to the casting process.

This process is undertaken for GRP mouldings meaning the product output is of the highest quality. Whilst at a competitive price, and affording the benefit of duplication should your project need it.

Jones and Woolman UK has collaborated on a number of unique and bespoke GRP architectural moulding projects and we have the resources to bring your structural imaginations to life. To find out more or to discuss your next project with a member of our team, please get in touch here or call us on 01922 712111.

Commercial roof repairs – everything you need to know

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Commercial roofing and commercial roof repairs are completely different from the residential roofing sector. In this article, we’ll be answering everything from what a commercial roof is, what they’re made of and the options available to you to when they need repairing or replacing, how to weatherproof them and the best materials to use.

What is a commercial roof?

A commercial roof is the top covering of your business’ premises. A lot of, commercial roofs have a flat slope and the type of materials used tends to differ – we’ll cover this in detail a little later on.

Here at Jones and Woolman UK, we’re the industry’s go-to for all things roofing. Our weathering options are endless, our approach is flexible, and our design selection’s comprehensive. To find out more, check out our design and build services.

What are the different types of commercial roofs?

Generally speaking, commercial roofs can be split into two categories: flat or pitched.

Flat roofs need to be finished with a layer of weatherproofing felt or a single-ply membrane, and, despite their name, they aren’t actually 100% flat – they do have a slight fall. Flat roofs tend to be more cost-effective as less labour is needed and materials are usually cheaper.

Made up of at least two slopes that create a peak, pitched roofs are usually more durable than flat roofs and have additional benefits such as extra storage space and potentially more efficient weatherproofing qualities.

What variations of commercial roofs are there and what are they made of?

Some of the most common types of commercial roofs include; felt roofing, liquid roofing, single-ply roofing, metal roofing, slating and tiling, green roofs and rooflights and skylights.

In terms of weatherproofing a roof, acrylic and silicone are a couple of the most used membrane materials. Acrylic membranes are usually on the cheaper side and have the added benefit of being able to give them a re-coat later down the line. One thing worth noting though, is acrylic polymers don’t operate as well when water pools, so if you’ve got a flat roof, it might not be the best option for you.

Silicone membranes generally offer better resistance to water and are relatively easy to apply however, unlike their acrylic counterpart, they can’t be re-coated with any other liquid products.

Roof penetrations

Some common commercial roof penetrations include; soil vent pipes, hot pipes from boiler flues for example, electrical cables for air-con units, and extraction ducting.

Penetrations are often needed to house important installations on the outside of a building where space is at a premium inside, however, because they can compromise your roof’s weatherproofing qualities, they should be implemented carefully and not without speaking to your weatherproofing installer first.

When it comes to roof penetrations and weathering systems Jones and Woolman UK is the expert. We’ve built a name for ourselves designing, building and installing first-class solutions that are structurally sound and weatherproof, and everything we do is bespoke to you. To learn more, take a look at our roof penetration and vertical penetration solutions.

What is the best material for a commercial flat roof?

Because flat roofs don’t disperse water quite as easily as pitched roofs, extra attention needs to be given to its waterproofing properties.

Popular weatherproofing solutions include GRP roofing systems, liquid coatings, single-ply membranes, EPDM rubber, reinforced bituminous membranes, asphalt, and waterproof paint toppings. Above all, however, GRP roofing systems offer the best performance and durability and should be the first choice for commercial roof repairs.

When should I replace my commercial roof?

There isn’t a set answer for this. Commercial roofs can last anywhere from 5 to 100 years depending on the type of materials used, quality of installation, and whether or not you’ve maintained adequate weatherproofing measures (like re-coating your membrane, for example).

Outside of wanting a new roof for aesthetic reasons, an internal leak or evident external damage is an obvious sign repair or replacements are needed.

Before you decide whether to replace the whole roof or just patch up a problem area, weigh up the pros and cons.

While on the one hand simply repairing your roof will be cheaper, it could be more costly in the long-run if a) it’s not done by an expert, and b) you end up having to replace the whole thing down the line anyway.

On the flip side, replacing your whole roof will undoubtedly result in a more structurally sound and weatherproof surface, however, it will also cost substantially more.

Our approach

At Jones and Woolman UK we opt to repair over replace to give our clients the best service, price and roof-life while safely postponing full replacements for up to another 25 years.

If your end laps are rusting we’ll seal over the laps, and if it’s your cladded structure that’s under the spotlight we’ll line the gutters, create new detail valley gutters, and then seal them over your existing ones.

The only type we’d instinctively advise to replace are felt roofs, and we’d do this with our premium replacement service which includes GRP which offers an incredibly resilient solution that can increase the longevity of a flat roof.

Are commercial roof repairs covered by building insurance?

Building insurance covers the cost of repairing or replacing your roof if a natural disaster (like a storm, fire or flood) hits or if it’s damaged by vandalism of subsidence.

How much you’re covered for will vary from provider-to-provider and you may have to pay an excess, but the money you recoup from your building insurance cover could make the cost of repairing or replacing your roof considerably less than you originally thought.

When it comes to the condition of your roof, cost should be secondary. Leaving structural concerns unattended will not only cost more to fix in the long-run but, worst case, could put your employees and customers in harm’s way too.

If you want to chat to one of our technical experts about your next roofing project or need some
practical and impartial advice, get in touch with the team on 01922 712111 or contact us here.