What is Fibreglass (GRP) Roofing?01 September 2014


Glass reinforced plastic (GRP), aka “fibreglass,” is a durable, sturdy and waterproof material that was originally intended for use as insulation when first developed in the late thirties.

This material today has several other applications, including, but not limited to, roofing, given its flexibility and long shelf life.

GRP Roofing – The Process

GRP or fibreglass roofs are ideal for flat-roof structures and are known to last anywhere between 30 and 50 years if installed in a proper manner. The process includes the usual steps of decking, lamination and top coating. Existing roofing, if any, gets stripped before decking. There are, however, specific techniques that are followed to ensure that the roof sets firmly in place.

Roofing contractors use tongue and groove decking boards to prepare the roof base. These are laid in a way that the gaps automatically get sealed during lamination. Joints of all boards are staggered to fortify the structure. Pre-fabricated GRP trims are used for trimming the edges. PU adhesives, silicone sealants and fibreglass patches serve to bind these elements together. Lamination is often carried out under consistent, normal weather conditions. However, higher temperatures facilitate quick drying of the resins, speeding up the entire process. Coating the laminated surface completes the roofing process.

It is important to correctly time the different steps of the process to achieve the best results. From the consistency of resins to the drying time and residual moisture content on the deck boards, several factors influence the final outcome.

Options

GRP roofing materials are available in a myriad of colours and textures to suit specific requirements. They can also sport custom colours, as per client preferences. Colour coatings are usually applied by professional roofing contractors at the site. It is also possible to coat GRP roofing material with specially formulated, permitted resins or anti-fire coatings that make them fire retardant.

GRP Roofing – Benefits

GRP roofing proves beneficial in several ways when compared to conventional roofing options. The advantages include, but aren’t limited to:

•        Durability and Strength

GRP is a strong, long-lasting, sturdy material that is known to last for at least three decades. The material is widely used across various industrial sectors. From vehicles, boats and wind turbine blades to construction, roofing and pipes, GRP is an integral element of several products – large and small. The product can bear the brunt of harsh weather elements and rough use over time.

•        Easy Maintenance and Repair

The roof can be cleaned using mild soap and water, if and when required. GRP is, however, not resistant to alkaline products. Strong alkaline products or bleaches should be avoided when cleaning these surfaces.

Repairs or refurbishments at a later date are easy to carry out. GRP roofs can also easily be restructured to make way for other roof top features, such as seating areas, walkways, potted plants and roof lights.

•        Safety

GRP is fire retardant, UV resistant, waterproof and strong enough to prevent any forced entry. Further GRP roofing, being firmly bonded to the roof base, is safe even in extremely windy locations. Temperature variations are also supported with equal ease.

•        Cost Effectiveness

Given the affordable material and installation costs, as well as the longevity, sturdiness and ease of maintenance, GRP proves to be a cost-effective alternative to conventional roofing.


Posted in Roofing.
 

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