Rubber Roofing system – Lender & Insurer views?

Rubber Roofing system – Lender & Insurer views?

9:18 AM, 11th December 2018, About 4 years ago 11

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Hello. What is your experience with Rubber Roofing system? Anything to bear in mind with insurers and BTL lenders?

I had to demolish and need to redo a single storey rear extension. Normally I use slates/tiles (flat roof on the extension, most & rest of the house is pitched). But builder suggested considering rubber roofing system with a slight pitch from one edge to another.

Any advice, suggestions and experience will be much appreciated.



Neil Patterson View Profile

9:21 AM, 11th December 2018, About 4 years ago

In 20 years of working for or with lenders I have never run across rubber roofing as an issue, but then I may not have run across rubber roofing.

I did just Google it and it seems to be an alternative to felt and tar.

Jason McClean - The Home Insurer View Profile

9:32 AM, 11th December 2018, About 4 years ago

Hi Barua,

You will need to advise your insurers that you have a rubber/flat roof when getting quotes for your insurance. I wouldn't expect any problems getting quotes, but be prepared for something like a 'Roof Inspection Clause' where you will need to have it inspected every so often by a professional roofer.

Really cheap landlord insurance may not offer terms for a non-standard roof or exclude perils associated with it. Check the endorsements on your policy carefully.



Ian Morgan

10:26 AM, 11th December 2018, About 4 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Jason McClean at 11/12/2018 - 09:32
I have single ply roofing on my own house and a rental property, the product is Fatra, a fibre reinforced PVC that is heat welded. I've had no problems apart from a parapet roof outlet. If you have a standard flat roof this stuff is great.
If you are putting a single storey extension onto a brick house make sure cavity trays are inserted into the existing walls, else you may have leaks down the cavity into the new house. If it is rendered then no issue.
Why do I say this? Lack of cavity trays cause me no end of problem, repointing brick work can stop these water leak issues (water can penetrate bricks and mortar bed if old and cracked). Cavity trays direct water away through seep holes keeping your new extension dry.

Sarnafil is another pvc type product.

My insurers just ask for percentage flat roof and usual maintenance and inspection clause as mentioned above...

Annie Landlord

14:45 PM, 11th December 2018, About 4 years ago

We had two flat rooves at our last house replaced with rubber. Its supposed to be far superior. With the rental properties, my insurance requires a check of all flat rooves, regardless of the covering, with a written report every three years

Michael Bond

16:00 PM, 11th December 2018, About 4 years ago

I have used a PVC material on two flat roofs -- one a shed attached to my garage and the other on a flat area of roof on a holiday cottage. In non-technical terms I describe the material as like the fibreglass they make fibreglass boats out of, and it sounds very similar to what Jason is talking about above. Both roofs came with a 20-year guarantee and both were fitted well over 20 years ago and have given absolutely no problems.
Michael Bond.

Paul Maguire

16:25 PM, 11th December 2018, About 4 years ago

I used to fit Firestone EPDM [rubber] roofs for 18 years and never had any problem with them. Single-ply has been used on domestic flat roofs for about 30 years so insurers should be familiar with them by now. There are dozens of different single-ply systems out there, some pvc, some EPDM and some a mix of the two but they all have similar lifespans [30+ years]. I personally favoured EPDM as it was more flexible and like everything else on the planet, buildings vibrate. Also, it came in one sheet and not strips that had to be welded together. Whichever system you go for though the most important bit is to get a contractor who's an expert in that particular one. Most roofers jump from one product to another depending on what the architect specifies. An expert fitted 3 layer felt system will outlast a poorly fitted single-ply system.

Dennis Stephenson

21:42 PM, 11th December 2018, About 4 years ago

We live in a four bedroom detached dorma house and renovated a bungalow, putting in bedrooms in the roof. We have had all flat rooves covered with a fibreglass topped with polyester resin material and a fire retardant finish. It has a grey finish and our contractor offers a 25 year guarantee on it. Google Roofs Above York and that will give you an idea of what I'm suggesting.

Paul Shears

23:17 PM, 11th December 2018, About 4 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Jason McClean at 11/12/2018 - 09:32
In over 40 years of being associated with the building trade and having both employed several roofers in that time and observed the experiences of several of my associates, I have never even heard of a roofer who could remotely be described as "professional",.
It seems to be an area of the building trade that attracts the most unskilled of people and those who would be better occupied living off state handouts due to the practical and financial damage that they do.

Mr Barua

7:39 AM, 15th December 2018, About 4 years ago

Thank you all for your advice and suggestions, and sharing your experience.


9:47 AM, 15th December 2018, About 4 years ago

I’ve used traditional felt, cold applied systems, GRP, single ply and EPDM on flat roofs.
Like others have said, I would get a specialist to fit whatever you use. Your builder may be very skilled, but specialists can usually provide an insurance backed 10 or 20 year guarantee and are approved by the manufacturer to fit their system so that the materials are also guaranteed. For example I have an Icopal guarantee on one property that is actually backed by Icopal and includes consequential damages to decorations, flooring etc.
As to insurance, I’ve found you will have to do a bit of explaining to most insurers. Despite all these systems being around for many years and superior to felt, most of their systems just have a pull down menu for felt or asphalt when it comes to flat roof. If they cover flat roofs, they often check with the underwriters and it’s ok. Some will ask for inspections every few years on flat roofs and premiums are sometimes slightly higher than if you didn’t have any flat areas.

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