‘No change to battens following revised BS 5534’ declares SR Timber
One of the leading distributors of specialist roofing battens and the renowned “Premium Gold” battens has gone on record to provide assurance to roofers that there are no changes to the grading process of battens following the revised BS 5534:2014 Standard. Instead, SR Timber stipulates that the Standard is simply encouraging “best practice” when it comes to the installation of battens.
Shaun Revill, Trading Director of SR Timber explains: “Following the revision of BS 5534:2014, there appears to be confusion in the market as to whether onsite grading is still an acceptable practice, and that only pre or factory graded battens can now be called “roof battens”. Excluding all new build projects, onsite grading is still an acceptable practice for refurbishment works as BS 5534:2014 does not stipulate at what stage the roofing batten should be graded prior to being fixed.
“Providing a good product is purchased and the supplier conforms to certain checks, then onsite grading can be carried out. To say that only those battens that have been pre or factory graded to BS 5534:2014 can be called “roof battens” is incorrect. BS 5534:2014 actually states in its Foreword that "it is not to be used as a specification and it is only for guidance" - so a "non-BS 5534" batten is not in any sense "illegal",” adds Shaun.
The company also stipulates that a pre/factory graded roofing batten should carry third party assurance in order to demonstrate that the producer/manufacturer has sufficient and appropriate factory and management systems in place covering all processes. If battens are produced without independent third party accreditation, then there is a strong likelihood that there will be inadequate levels of quality control, resulting in inconsistent production.
Given that the use of pre-graded battens on new build projects in general is now well established, SR Timber argues that there will be little knock-on effect for traditional or part-graded battens. “Whilst it is being recommended that fully graded battens are also used for refurbishment works, it is not a prerequisite. It is simply being advised for best practice,” stipulates Shaun.
He stresses: “The NHBC and an increasing number of local authorities and housing associations have long stipulated that timber battens must conform to BS 5534:2014 and arrive on site pre-graded. Failure to fix correct graded battens risks invalidating any NHBC or other insurance/warranties, particularly when BS 5534:2014 battens were originally specified. The use of part-graded battens can continue in non-NHBC approved construction, but can only be adopted by those roofers that are trained and competent in grading such product.”
SR Timber reminds roofers that qualified tradesman can still carry out a final grade check when using a quality part-graded batten – such as its own traditional “PREMIUM grade” - on roofing refurbishment works. The checking process for this grade is identical to the checks made on pre/factory graded, the only processes not carried out in precise detail are knot sizes and wane. These battens cannot carry the wording “BS 5534”. To enable the product to be fixed conforming to BS 5534:2014; the final grading process must be carried out by a qualified tradesman.
Shaun concludes: “Let’s not lose sight of the fact that a good traditional part-graded batten still meets almost all of the BS requirements. It’s all about when a part-graded batten can and cannot be used, and when a pre/factory graded batten should be used. No matter what product or grade is purchased - check it is what you require, check the product is what the supplier tells you it is and buy with confidence from a specialist.”
For further information contact 01332 204821 or visit www.sr-timber.co.uk
Pictured here; Premium Green ungraded battens from SR Timber have a good shape, are virtually free from wane and contain no adverse grain problems. Also, they only require a little selection (and perhaps some trimming on site to remove the larger knots) before they can be safely used. Whilst they are unsuitable for new build projects, they are still acceptable for refurbishment works, insists SR Timber.
Julie A. Garrido
Tel 0161 973 6763