Official British Roofing Standards to be Followed by the Local Roofers

Official British Roofing Standards to be Followed by the Local Roofers

British roofing standards are essential for maintaining quality, safety, and durability in roofing projects across the UK. These established guidelines and best practices are for designing, selecting materials, installing, and ensuring the performance of various roofing systems. Compliance with British standards, particularly BS 5534 legislation, is mandatory. It requires all roofing materials and workmanship to meet specified criteria.

Construction Design and Management (CDM) regulations apply to both new-build and domestic re-roofing projects, placing responsibility for health and safety obligations on contractors. These codes practised by the roofers in Norwich and other regions of the UK dictate the expected level of workmanship. 

While British Building Regulations are under review for safety and carbon emissions, the practical application of roofing remains unchanged. Over 400 European standards for construction products have transitioned into UK ‘designated standards’ to ensure continuity in regulatory requirements without significant changes.

Why Roofing Standards

The existence of roofing standards ensures reliable roofing systems and promotes consistency and professionalism within the industry. It provides valuable information to help stakeholders comply with current standards and regulations. 

Quality Assurance

Adhering to established standards ensures the creation of high-quality end products. Manufacturers guarantee the quality of materials, and following installation requirements helps ensure the longevity and performance of roofing systems.

Insurance Coverage

Compliance with standards often qualifies roofing workers for insurance coverage. This coverage protects against unforeseen events such as storm damage. However, if roofing works are not installed to the relevant standards, guarantees for materials and workmanship may be void, and insurance claims could be denied.

Risk Mitigation

Standards help reduce the chances of premature failure of roofing systems due to sub-standard installation. By following recognized guidelines, roofing specialists reduce the likelihood of issues arising in the future, promoting safety and reliability.

Regulation and Standardization

Trade associations and governing bodies, including the National Federation of Roofing Contractors and Local Authority Building Control, employ standards as benchmarks to manage and improve quality in the roofing sector. Contractors can contribute to the preservation of industry standards by following these rules, which guarantee professionalism and consistency.

Importance of Compliance

Following British roofing guidelines is essential because it guarantees that the workmanship and materials used for roofing fulfill the minimal criteria for quality and safety. In addition to being recommended, adhering to standards such as BS 5534 may be necessary for warranties and liability protection.

Failure to comply with these standards can lead to various issues like premature failure of roofing systems, death risks, and voiding of guarantees.

As per law, to avoid all accidents while roofing, planning and suitable equipment are required.

Ensure safe roof access, including:

  • Scaffolds
  • Stair towers 
  • Mobile access equipment 
  • Ladders  
  • Hatches 

Specific precautions for different types of roofs like:

  • Sloping roofs require scaffolding and edge protection to prevent falls.
  • Flat roofs need secure guardrails and toeboards around the edges.
  • Fragile roof lights require protection, such as barriers or covers with warning labels.

BS 5534:2014

These special instructions are made for installing slates and tiles on the roof. BS 5534 helps ensure roofers that the roofs are strong and weatherproof. It covers design, roofing materials, installation, and performance for vertical cladding and pitched roofs. It also addresses multiple aspects, such as

  • Durability
  • Insulation 
  • Condensation control 
  • Fire resistance 
  • Safety 

Manufacturers of roofing products usually ensure that their installation guidelines meet BS 5534; any deviation requires supporting documentation that proves acceptability.

Over the years, BS 5534 has been updated to improve roofing standards. In 2015, changes focused on making roofs more secure against extreme weather. They required more mechanical fixing of tiles and better guidelines for underlays.

But with the rise of dry-fix roofing systems, new problems emerged, like confusion over installation and product quality. To fix these issues, BS 5534 was updated again in 2018. This aimed to improve roof durability and clarify installation methods.

Key changes included updating standards for fixing products and underlays and giving guidance on heritage roofs. Making sure roofs were sturdy and well-built was the primary objective. 

BS 8000-6:2023

Titled “Workmanship on construction sites, both commercial and domestic. Code of practice for slating and tiling of roofs and claddings”.

The roofing standard addresses laying and fixing clay tiles, concrete tiles, natural slates, and fibre cement slates, along with their accessories. To ensure that the work is completed efficiently and to a high degree, it covers various areas, including materials, installation strategies, and quality control procedures. BS 8000-6:2023 is to assist construction professionals in achieving satisfactory and durable results when working with slating, tiling, and cladding materials in building projects.

BS 5250:2021

This updated British Standard aims to address all moisture-related issues within properties to safeguard both the building structure and occupants’ health. It replaces previous versions of 2011 and 2016 to offer expanded guidance on preventing moisture risks in buildings, including pitched roofs.

Unlike earlier editions, the updated standard now addresses a wider array of problems, such as excessive humidity, rising dampness, rain penetration, and roof leaks. It acknowledges that modern construction methods and changing lifestyles can significantly affect a building’s performance compared to its original design.

Approved Document C references BS 5250, specifying that compliance with clause 8.4 of the standard, along with BS EN ISO 13788, ensures that a roof meets regulatory requirements concerning internal surface temperature and avoidance of critical surface humidity and interstitial condensation.

Regarding pitched roofs, the new standard maintains much of the previous guidance but introduces some changes. It offers clearer advice on the use of different types of underlays and control layers with various roof coverings. It also provides updated methods for assessing moisture risks in roofs and focuses on minimizing thermal bridging and ensuring continuous insulation.

To address moisture sources, BS 5250 advises local roofing specialists to consider water from construction processes, precipitation, occupant activities, and temporary condensation due to weather changes. It emphasizes creating a weathertight building envelope while also providing ventilation to remove internal moisture.

BS 8612

This new Standard is named”Dry-fixed Ridge, Hip and Verge Systems for Slating and Tiling – Specification. Introduced in February 2018, it establishes minimum performance standards for dry-fixed roofing systems following BS 5250. This standard applies to both new-build and refurbished roofs.

The rapid growth has also seen some inferior products enter the market, prompting the need for BS 8612 to ensure product suitability.

It specifies requirements under six essential criteria:

  • Material specification and durability
  • Mechanical resistance
  • Ventilation for ridge and hip systems
  • Rain performance
  • Geometric characteristics
  • Marking, labelling, and installation instructions

Other British Roofing Standards

In addition to the previously listed, you might also need to consider these standards depending on the specifics of your project.

  1. BS EN 494:2012+A1:2015: Specifies product requirements and test methods for fibre-cement profiled sheets and fittings.
  2. BS EN 506:2008: Covers roofing products from metal sheets, specifically self-supporting products made of copper or zinc sheets.
  3. BS EN 508-1:2014: Addresses roofing and cladding products made of steel.
  4. BS EN 508-2:2019: for products made of aluminum.
  5. BS EN 508-3:2008: Covers stainless steel sheet roofing.
  6. BS EN 1013:2012+A1:2014: Specifies requirements and test methods for light-transmitting single-skin profiled plastic sheets used in roofing, walls, and ceilings.
  7. BS 6229:2018: A code of practice for flat roofs with continuously supported coverings.
  8. BS 8217:2005: Addresses reinforced bitumen membranes used in roofing
  9. BS 8219:2001+A1:2013: Offers guidance on the installation of sheet roof and wall coverings made of profiled fibre cement.
  10. BS EN 10169:2010+A1:2012: Technical delivery conditions for continuously organic coated (coil coated) steel flat products


In the UK, adhering to roofing standards is essential to sustaining excellent roofing practices. These guidelines cover a broad range of building materials and parts that promote consistency and excellence in roof construction and upkeep. These recommendations also assist those involved in the roofing sector in improving the general quality and reliability of roofing projects across the country.


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