How to mix Roof Tiles

Whether it is social or private housing, or commercial projects, one of the continuing challenges in the construction industry is roofing defects.

Roofing contractors are often disproportionately blamed for many roofing problems. In fact, it is estimated that only about 25-30 per cent of problems are workmanship based and much of the remaining 70-75 per cent can be designed out by the correct detailing, better coordination of the trades (e.g. fascia board heights), or the use of dry-fix systems.

However other issues that can arise during installation are not always ‘defects’, i.e. they won’t contribute to a leaking roof, but they can have a major impact on the aesthetic of the roof.

To understand how to mix roof tiles, you must understand the roof tile choices and how they can impact the look of the project…

There are four main pitched roof tile choices in the UK:

  • Concrete
  • Slate
  • Clay
  • Stone

Concrete versions of the latter three are the most widely used on around 60 per cent of properties, natural slates are used at 20 per cent of the total and clay tiles around 10 per cent, the remaining 10 per cent is made of various other materials.

Concrete roof tiles are manufactured in ‘batches’, and while the size, shape and weight are controlled using modern methods of manufacturing, the colouring is not 100 per cent the same in every batch as it can be affected by a number of different factors during the manufacturing process.

It is because of this that Russell Roof Tiles advises contractors that to achieve the best effect tiles should be mixed from different batches, normally a minimum of three. It is a condition of its product guarantee “RussSpec” that instructions are followed in detailed in accordance with the fixing specification.

RussSpec is Russell Roof Tiles’ 15-year guarantee when using Russell’s whole roof solutions, and where the roof has been installed in accordance with information provided.

The technical team at Russell Roof Tiles produce detailed specifications and instructions; they are on hand to offer advice and answer questions, ensuring minimal issues before, during, and after installation, and are a great point of contact for both contractors and for the merchants looking to offer them advice.

Products must be installed using normal standards of good workmanship and should meet the requirements of the British Standards for slating and tiling (BS 5534 and BS 8000-Part 6).

Mark Parsons, Technical Director at Russell Roof Tiles, comments:

“Correct mixing when laying a roof minimises the visual effect of any slight colour variations within the production batch, or between different production batches in the shipment, as well as any efflorescence should that occur.

“However, mixing from three pallets is not always straightforward due to the double-loading bay scaffolds typically in use on most sites. This can be overcome though and by using the correct method for loading the roof it enables the contractor to achieve a thorough mix and therefore the best possible visual effect.”

It’s important to highlight that contractors need to follow the instructions as set out by the manufacturer, as this might not only have a major impact on the overall look of the roof, and the building as a whole, but also can invalidate any guarantees that might be in place.

Better working relationships between manufacturers, distributors and contractors, would deliver reduced roofing defects across the board.

Learn more about Russell Roof Tiles and contact our team today to find out more about our range of tiles and how we can help with commercial, social housing and other projects.