Weatherproof and secure roof penetrations
A roof penetration is a hole that is made in a roof in order to install a particular service, piece of equipment, pipework, ducting or conduits.
Creating a roof penetration in an existing roof requires cutting through the building envelope. If not done correctly, this can potentially weaken the structure, expose the interior to weather and open the building up to wildlife. That’s why careful planning and detailing are required, ensuring the roof penetration and equipment are safely installed and well-sealed.
Common types of roof penetrations
A roof penetration can be any hole through a roof. They can be found on both flat and sloped roofs in commercial and domestic settings.
Often, roof penetrations are used in conjunction with building services, such as:
- Air conditioning systems
- Heating equipment
- Boiler flues
- Extraction ducting
- Telecommunications equipment
- Rainwater outlets
- Manufacturing plant
The installation of solar panels also requires roof penetrations to secure the panels and feed the generated electricity into the building. In some cases, roof penetrations may also be required to improve roof ventilation and reduce condensation.
Once installed, roof penetrations must be weatherproofed to prevent water ingress and protect the building envelope from potential damage caused by heavy winds. Many techniques can be used to weatherproof a roof penetration – in most cases, upstands and curbs are combined with leading, flashing and rubber sealants which aren’t suitable for the majority of modern commercial buildings, however our waterproof are.
Here at Jones and Woolman UK, we use a cold-applied GRP weatherproofing liquid that is suitable for use with any type of cladding or building system. The result is a joint-free installation that prevents leaks, thermal breaks and contributes to the thermal performance of the building.
Flat roof penetrations: best practice
The benefit of roof penetrations is that they allow equipment to be installed on the often-underutilised roof area, thereby freeing up valuable indoor space. Due to concerns about weatherproofing and structural integrity, it is a common misconception that the best way to deal with roof penetrations is to avoid them altogether. However, there is no need to design out roof penetrations if they are designed well and installed with care.
The key to a successful roof penetration installation is to get expert advice early on. The team at Jones and Woolman UK can provide detailed drawings and advice on all aspects of the installation – including where to place building penetrations and upstands to ensure structural support, protection of the building envelope, prevention of thermal breaks, and to create a weatherproofed finish.
We will also work with you to ensure that the result meets all regulatory requirements, for example those set out in British Standards such as BS 6229:2003, as well as national building regulations.
What to do if you need to install a roof penetration
If a roof penetration is required, the first step should be to contact an expert who can provide advice and design guidance on the best solution, based on the roof construction, as well as the size and weight of the equipment that needs to be installed.
Jones and Woolman UK has extensive experience designing, building and installing roof penetrations that are structurally sound and weatherproof.
We can make and fit load-bearing curbs to suit customer units, and our unique system is suitable for access hatches, ventilation, pipework and other building services.
Our flexible and dependable roof penetrations weathering system comprises a fibre-reinforced, cold-applied liquid that can be used with any type of cladding and single-ply membrane roofs.
There is no restriction in size, colour, shape, or position in relation to the roof sheet profiles, and the system also allows for last-minute positional changes and enables ancillary equipment to be mounted and fixed either by our own team or others.
Roof penetration installation and weatherproofing services
Jones and Woolman UK’s fully trained expert fitters carry out all installations and post checks to ensure quality. We also carry out regular reviews on our training procedures and fitting techniques to ensure we offer only the very best service to our clients. We work on commercial projects across the UK and can also take on work further afield.
To find out more about our design and build service or discuss your project in more detail, please contact us using the form on this page, or call us on 01922 712111.