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What is Tapered insulation and what are the benefits?

What is Tapered insulation and what are the benefits?

When a flat roof does not have sufficient falls a variety of issues can arise, in particular holding water which can lead to a buildup of silt and debris.

Whilst todays roofing systems are designed to cope with small amounts of standing water without affecting guarantees or their life expectancy, codes of practice advise that flat roofs should be designed with a fall of 1:40 so that a 1:80 fall is achieved in practice. This should take in to account construction tolerance, defection and settlement.

BS6229:2018 does accept that there are third party certified systems which can be laid without falls, but it draws the line at back falls!

In new construction, falls on roofs are best formed by creating a slope in the roof structure. Alternatively, the falls can be created by using screeds or firrings.

But if, like Maguire Brothers, you work in refurbishment, recovering existing roofs, you will know that it is not uncommon to find areas of ponding water on an existing building. This can be caused by poor design in the first place, settlement of the original structure or alterations and extensions.

In refurbishment projects, using screeds or timber structures, to create or improve falls, will increase the dead load on the roof, which in turn will increase deflection. Using screeds can also introduce moisture and take a long time to cure.

A great solution, which covers two of the main considerations of any roof refurbishment project, thermal performance and drainage, is the use of ‘tapered’ or ‘cut to falls’ insulation. Formed from lightweight insulation materials, tapered schemes are manufactured with a built in gradient and every system is designed to suit the needs of the particular project. The bespoke system is encapsulated within the new roof waterproofing system to form a ‘warm roof’.

It’s lightweight, it enhances the thermal performance of the building (to meet current building regulations – or better if required) it enhances the life of the new roof membranes, it helps prevent condensation and it allows the roof to drain.

To see how we’ve implemented tapered schemes in recent projects, click here or to find out more about how tapered insulation could benefit your building, please get in touch.