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Get it right: raising your roofing standards

New changes to the British Standard for Slating and Tiling (BS 5534) came into play last year, overhauling traditional roofing methods and giving many of our customers a lot to get their head around.

The update was introduced back in March and affects most tradespeople working in the roofing sector. Contractors can now even be charged to fix jobs that don’t fit the new rules. With this in mind, we’ve put together a simple guide to the changes so that roofers know exactly what’s changed and how it affects them.

Why have the changes been made?

The British Standard for Slating and Tiling gives the industry guidance on the best practices for roof installation. It introduced BS 5534 for two main reasons: to make British and EU regulations more similar and to ensure our roofs can hold their own against the British weather.

roofing infographic

How do I put this into practice?

Mechanical fixing:

You need to make sure you’re mechanically fixing all ridges and hips, even when using mortar bedding. For an easier method, use a dry-fix system as these are quicker to install than using mortar and can also give better roof space ventilation.

Tile fixings:

In line with the new rules, you need to make sure you’re mechanically fixing every tile and using at least two fixings on the perimeters. Manufacturers have now updated their fixing specifications so check which fixing is right for the roof tile you’re using. Every fixing is designed for a specific tile and will vary in its mechanical properties and performance.


Check that your underlays have been tested to the new standard and that they’re suitable for the site you’re working on. You should also make sure that they are clearly labelled so these can be checked at any time on site.

Roofing battens:

Ensure that your battens are no less than 25mm deep. They must also all be stamped with the origin, size and supplier information and need to come with paperwork that states the method of treatment. Rest assured that all Jewson battens meet these criteria.

Want more information?

It’s really important to have the most up to date information, on everything from new regulations and best practices, to products and training. We know this is essential to delivering the results that customers have come to expect on site.

We’ve now created the third issue of our popular Jewson Roofing Guide, designed to be every roofer’s best friend. Packed full with the latest training courses, new suppliers and the best products, the 2015/16 guide has all the information you need in one place.

Request your copy of the guide today here, or pop into your nearest Jewson branch.