03.02.2023 Blog

7 considerations for a school's leaking roof

7 considerations for a school's leaking roof


Sadly, buckets can be a common sight in the classrooms and corridors of the school estate. The 2021 Condition of School Buildings Survey by the Department of Education showed over £15 billion of condition need related to roofs. Here, Triflex Education specialist Alan Galloway outlines 7 considerations for a school's leaking flat roof.

1. Does your school’s flat roof have a warranty?

If your waterproofing is still under warranty, then it’s important to get in touch with the warranty provider to sort out any issues. So, review your records and get in touch with the appropriate party. If the warranty period has passed, or the provider is no longer trading, then get in touch with a reputable waterproofing specialist like Triflex to help with your next steps.

2. Request a condition survey of your education facilities’ flat roof Click here to register.

It’s important to understand the points of water ingress. An inspection by a roofing professional can help to pinpoint the issue(s). There are many different causes of a leaky roof. Vulnerable areas include anywhere that has a “detail” such as roof lights, pipes, corners and upstands. Reputable waterproofing manufacturers such as Triflex offer this free of charge and are equipped to carry out investigations such as core testing to see the extent of leaks into the roof build-up.

3. Is a temporary repair required to stop a school’s leaking roof?

A temporary repair to stop the immediate leak and halt the progression of damage to the underlying structure is a short-term option. Dealing with the underlying causes of water ingress is important and required sooner rather than later to ensure structural protection.

4. Can the flat roof waterproofing system be overlaid?

With some liquid waterproofing membranes, it is possible to overlay the existing waterproofing system to make the building watertight. And with technologically advanced systems such as those from Triflex, this is no temporary solution, but a proven, certified and warrantied option. Of course, repairs would be undertaken first! A waterproofing system that is instated on top of the existing roof build up demonstrates less wastage, is less disruptive and fast. It may also be configured to introduce thermal improvements too with improved insulation.

5. Is a complete school flat roof strip up and replacement required?

This means removing all materials above the underlying structure. A complete strip up and replacement can take longer than an overlay and increase costs. But there are cost effective cold liquid systems that provide very rapid solutions with minimal disruption. Where a renovation requires more than 50% of the surface of the flat roof area to be removed, thermal improvements to the latest building regulations are required. Work with a supplier who understands what that means to your school, can undertake the necessary U value calculations and condensation risk analysis such as Triflex.

6. How can our school pay for repairs?

It’s important to understand the costs involved in the flat roof project. Be aware of your insurance company’s requirements for the project too. Did you know that many insurers request that cold systems are a first consideration? This is because of the risks of “hot works” such as those involving gas torches commonly used in asphalt or felt coverings, are deemed much higher, need permits and fire safety watches.

Working with a specialist provider such as Triflex who can help with funding applications such as Condition Improvement Funding (CIF) can be helpful.

7. What to look for in a supplier of waterproofing systems

For technological reassurance, recognised certification such as BBA (British Board of Agrément) and the European Technical Assessment, ETA 005 for liquid applied roof waterproofing kits delivers peace of mind. In addition ensure the waterproofing system achieves EN 13501-5 : Class BROOFT4, which is the highest rating for resistance to fire. The long-term protection of school estate assets means that you need a supplier with longevity. Look for a supplier with a proven track record, demonstrable expertise and financial stability, as well as a meaningful manufacturer’s warranty backed by insurance.

If your school's flat roof is leaking, Triflex are here to assist nationally across the UK and Ireland. As specialists in the manufacture and supply of rapid curing cold liquid applied waterproofing membranes, our own local experts can help. We work with a network of national Triflex approved contractors to deliver our solutions. Contact us here today to take the next steps to a watertight building.

Triflex image of finished works at Rainham School for Girls