Does Your Roofing Project Need A Temporary Roof?

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Temporary Roof on Roofing Project

Does your roofing project need a temporary roof?

A question often asked during the investigative stage of a roofing project is whether or not a temporary roof will be required, as well as the costs associated with installing one.

In short, the answer is dependent on the extent of the work being undertaken and the potential consequences of any leaks.

In most cases, roofing projects can be undertaken without the need for a temporary roof, with no issues or implications, saving significantly on additional costs.

Any reputable contractor will do everything where possible to ensure the building is temporarily water tight at the end of each working day – regardless of a temporary roofing structure.

However, there are a number of factors that should be considered:

What Is A Temporary Roof?

The National Access & Scaffolding Confederation (NASC) states that a temporary roof is, “a sheeted structure designed to provide cover over an area from the effects of weather, dust, etc. It may stand on the ground or on top of a building or be an extension of a scaffold round a building. It may have fully sheeted walls and roof or only a roof or a roof with skirts, they are usually constructed of corrugated steel, corrugated aluminium or flexible plastic panels.

Undertaking A Risk Assessment

The need for a temporary roof structure can be assessed by undertaking a risk assessment. Understanding what the chances of a leak will be, and what implications water ingress will have.

For example, on buildings where vulnerable plant and machinery are being homed, and the cost of any damage significant, then the consequences of a leak would be great, and the correct approach would use of a temporary roof.

Scope Of Works

Understanding the extent of the works required are vital to understanding if such protection will be required. Are the roof coverings being replaced, or overlaid?

Are structural works required? Will the area need to be exposed for a significant amount of time to carry out such works?

A simple overlay, or straightforward replacement projects can in most cases be done ensuring temporary waterproofing is maintained throughout, removing the need for a temporary roof.

However, some projects require large areas of the roof to remain exposed for significant amounts of time and hence would require a temporary roof.


Can the project be delayed due to incremental weather, or are there strict timescales that need to be achieved?

Rain and adverse weather are the biggest cause of delays to roofing projects and projects that can’t afford to be delayed due to weather, should consider a temporary roof.

Cost / Budget

Temporary roofing structures will add significantly to a refurbishment project and in many cases the cost of making good any internal damage caused will be less than the temporary roof cost. Therefore, rather than a temporary roof, a small contingency to cover internal repair works might offer a more appealing alternative.

It is difficult to generalise if a project would need a temporary roof or not, as no two roofs are exactly the same. But making sure a risk assessment is undertaken prior to any works, should give an excellent indication of any requirements.

At Maguire Brothers we offer a number of pre project surveying and report services, and just one of the many elements covered is the requirement for temporary waterproofing. To find out more, get in touch with the team here.

This article, as with all other articles we produce, is for guidance purposes only. It does not constitute formal advice and should not be relied upon as such. For bespoke, unbiased advice relating to your commercial roofing project please contact us and we would be pleased to assist.

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