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Monthly Archives: June 2017

  1. When to repair a roof

    So when is the best time to repair a roof? The best time to repair a roof is down to each individual job and the level of skill of the person who is undertaking it. For best results each job should be planned ahead to avoid making any rash decisions.

    Peak roofing season

    The best time of year to repair a roof, for both DIY and professional alike, is of course Summer. This time of year gives dependable working weather conditions and makes the day predictable. It is possible to undertake roofing or repairs during Spring, Summer and even Winter months.

    Professional roofers can apply repairs to a roof all year. They can even apply a whole new flat roof no matter the season. However, fibreglass/GRP roofing systems are easy to apply and most repairs can be carried out without the need of a professional. It is important to fully understand the needs of each individual repair job and to plan accordingly, in relation to both weather and necessary materials.

    Types of flat roof repair

    These are great projects for competent DIY enthusiasts. The trick is to use the right repair material, and FibreGlassDirect supply all the best roofing materials and Fibreglass Kits necessary for this process.

    Temporary flat roof repair

    Temporary flat roof repair refers to a short-term repair. It is a quick, easy and cost-effective temporary solution. The main purpose of this type of repair is stop any immediate further damage which is possible from a leak. It allows for time to contemplate and plan a permanent repair solution. During this stage you can get quotes and investigate the materials and the process needed for a full, permanent repair.

    Permanent flat roof repair

    Permanent flat roof repair refers to a job which will see out the remaining life cycle of the roof covering. The

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  2. Flat Roof Systems Compared

    There are many varied flat roof systems available on the market. In this article we compare some of these and identify materials and processes which are involved with each application.

    Examined and compared are the following flat roof systems: Concrete, Asphalt, Felt, EDPM and Fibreglass/ GRP.

    Concrete

    One of the main advantages with concrete roofing is that it is incredibly strong. Unlike some of its counterparts, it can withstand highly extreme weather conditions. Issues such as wind uplift do not impact concrete flat roofs, and they also have extremely long lifespans.

    The obvious downside is the extreme weight of the product. The structure must be able to support the strain of a concrete roof. Concrete roofs also require a sealant to repel water. This sealant is often made from Asphalt felt.

    Asphalt

    Asphalt flat roofing is inexpensive and easy to apply. In some cases, it is possible to replace an older Asphalt roof by simply overlaying with a new membrane. This can further cut down on costs and installation time. An asphalt roof lasts around 20 years in optimum conditions.

    While this is a low maintenance and cheap option, it does have many drawbacks. Impact of light objects, such as tree branches and even hailstone, can damage and tear shingles. This results in leaks and water infiltration.

    Felt

    The use of a hot torch is necessary to apply a felt roof. This process usually involves the laying of three layers. A vapour control base layer is applied first. This is followed by a layer of reinforced felt. A felt cap layer is applied to finish the job. The material has excellent breathable qualities due to its vapour layer, and this prevents condensation.

    Felt roofing requires skill and an awareness of health and safety. This is not a method to be

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  3. Polyester Resin

    Polyester Resins are a critical component of most fibreglass repairs.

    Polyester resins are generally unsaturated, thermosetting resins that require an accelerant to provide a reaction that causes which will to cure or harden the resin. The accelerant comes in the form of a catalyst which is mixed into the resin in small amounts.

    The catalysed resin is then applied to the Glass Fibre material. Once the resin cures it will become rigid, giving the glass fibre material its strength.

    Most Polyester Resins are quite pale in colour, viscous and made from a combination of styrene and polyester. Styrene is added to reduce the viscosity of the resin and aids the resin during the curing stage. They are mostly easy to handle (always wear gloves and personal protection), chemical resistant and cost effective in comparison to other resins such as Epoxy.

    Polyester Resins are used in a wide variety of industries including; Marine, Construction, Water Storage and Flat Roofing. The performance of the Polyester Resin can be modified with additives that will give UV Stability and increased flexibility for example.

    Types of Polyester Resin

    We have listed some of the Polyester Resins which are available from FibreGlassDirect.

    All of the resins supplied at FibreGlassDirect are sold complete with catalyst. All of the resins mentioned with the exception of Clear Casting are mixed with 2% Catalyst. Clear Casting Resin is mixed with 1% Catalyst.

    Low Cost General Purpose

    Our Low Cost General Purpose Resin is our most cost effective range. Its

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  4. Why use GRP?

    Glass reinforced plastic (GRP) is a composite material commonly known as fibreglass. Composites are materials combined from two or more materials with different physical or chemical properties to create a material with characteristics of both materials. GRP is a composite made from resin and glass, which results in a strong lightweight product. The glass is in the form of either chopped strand mat, woven roving or glass strands. Aramid or Carbon fibres can be used when additional strength is required for advanced applications.

    GRP can be used for a multitude of applications as it is extremely adaptable and versatile. From Flat Roofing to Boat Repairs, Fibreglass has many properties which can’t be found in ordinary building or repair materials.

    Advantages of GRP

    Unlimited Design Potential

    The unique attributes of GRP allow it to be moulded and engineered to almost any shape or design. This allows for unlimited design possibilities. It can also be engineered with virtually any finish, colour or size. These design capabilities has seen an increase in the use of GRP as a choice material for Engineers, Architects, Designers and Builders.

    Cost Effectiveness

    In recent years, the overall costs of GRP Materials have decreased. Competitive prices combined with its long life expectancy make it an economical alternative to traditional building materials.

    Adaptability

    GRP is traditionally a lightweight but very strong material which appeals to a variety of industries and types of users. Again, GRP will provide lots of advantages for a wide range of products thanks to its light weight and low-maintenance requirements.

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  5. GRP Flat Roofing Advantages

    GRP Flat Roofing

    GRP or Fibreglass roofing is one of the best, reliable ways to weatherproof flat, pitched or barrel-vaulted roofs.

    Its low-maintenance and quality materials make it one of the most cost-effective roofing methods available.

    What does a GRP flat roof involve?

    Materials required to fibreglass a flat roof include;

    Fibreglass roofing consists of wetting out layers of glass mat on the roof of the building. When cured, your roof should have strength and provide a continuous waterproof barrier across the surface of the roof. One layer of 450g glass mat is standard for a roof with no footfall, 600g glass mat should be used in areas of light footfall and 900g or two layers of 450g for balconies or areas of heavy footfall.

    When the resin has cured, the Roofing Topcoat can be applied. This not only adds colour to the roof but also acts as a tack-free sealant to secure the fibreglass underneath. If there is a requirement for the roof to be walked on after the build, we recommend that a non-slip topcoat is used. To achieve fire resistance topcoat should be applied at a

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  6. Fibreglass Repair

    In comparison to traditional building materials, Fibreglass composite materials are generally easier to repair. 

    It is important to note that once the original fibreglass laminate is damaged, any repairs to the original are considered as secondary bonds. With this in mind, the materials used to repair the laminate should be as good as what the laminate was constructed with. This is particularly important for resin choice. For example, if the laminate was constructed with an Epoxy Resin it should be repaired with an Epoxy Resin.

    Any repairs should be matched as closely to the original repair as possible including thickness, density and ply orientation. This will avoid any further stress to the laminate.

    Depending on the damage to the laminate, different repair techniques may be required. The steps below outline a standard fibreglass repair. If you require more assistance don't hesitate to contact us or view our FAQ section 

    Undertaking the Fibreglass Repair

    Inspect the area and identify required materials

    Damage to the laminate can present itself in four ways; Tears, holes / punctures, crushed core laminate or delamination.

    Care should be taken to ensure that the damage hasn’t spread further than the initial visual inspection. Tapping a coin on the surface of the laminate to detect any sound changes between crushed or solid laminate is one way to detect further damage.

    Measure the area to be repaired

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  7. Gelcoat Repair

    Gelcoat repair is inevitable for the vast majority of boats after a sustained period of time on the sea. Common gelcoat repairs are often applied for spider web cracks or eroded gelcoat to the point where the base laminate is starting to show.

    The good news is, the vast majority of gelcoat repairs are easy to undertake and will save you lots of money by repairing them yourself.

    Prepping the damaged area for repair

    To ensure a successful repair the area must be prepped accordingly.

    The first step is to chip or grind down any damaged material and finish feathering the edges with a course sandpaper such as 240-grit. This will give the new layer of gelcoat a suitable are to bond with. Care should be taken to not sand down too far and reach the glass.

    Once the area has been sanded down, it should be wiped with Acetone to remove any contamination.

    Abrasive Sand Paper

    Gelcoat application

    FibreGlassDirect supply 6 standard gelcoat colours; White, Black, Dove Grey, Dark Olive, Bright Blue and Clear. The clear gelcoat may also be pigmented if required. One or more mixes of pigment may be required to achieve an exact match to the rest of the boat.

    Gelcoat must be mixed with

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  8. Creating Pen Blanks using Clear Casting Resin

    The popularity of Clear Casting resin is on the rise as an alternative to traditional Arts & Crafts materials. One of the most popular questions we are asked in relation to craft activities with Clear Resin is the correct process of creating a pen blank.

    At FibreGlassDirect, we offer two types of Clear Casting Resin which may be use - Polyester and Epoxy. We have found that Polyester Clear Casting Resin works really well and is also a very cost-effective way to get started. Epoxy is also an excellent resin but is quite costly for this type of project. In terms of cost/benefit, we would choose Polyester. The Polyester Casting Resin starts from sizes as small as 1kg. 

    Pen Casting Materials

    For this project, you will need the following materials:

    • A suitable mould – e.g. slimline pen kit
    • Decorating materials (optional)
    • Small Container
    • Mixing cup 
    • Mixing sticks
    • Clear Casting Resin - Polyester
    • Catalyst

    Designing the Pen Blank

    Rough up the Pen Blank with some sand paper and apply a coating of glaze. Attach any decorative items such as small jewels, paper or stamps using glue. Ensure the glue has set before encasing the resin to ensure any items are not dislodged.

    Decorative items should not be too thick as they may be difficult to cover / protrude through the resin once covered.

    All b

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  9. GRP Roofing Trims

    GRP Roofing Trims are an essential part of the GRP / Fibreglass flat roofing process. Not only do the trims add a professional finish, but they are essential for aiding drainage. With so many roofing trim options to choose from, we are often contacted by customers with lots of questions on how to choose the right types. This article will help ensure you select the right ones!

    Choosing the correct GRP Roofing Trims

    Each roofing trim has a different purpose, shape and fit. A combination of several trims may be required depending on the size and shape of your fibreglass roof.

    Drip Roofing Trims

    Drip Roofing Trims are one of the most popular types of GRP Roofing Trims on the market. They are used at the lowest point of the roof and fitted to the edge of the roof which allows drainage into the gutter.

    The most popular examples of Drip Roofing Trims are the A200 and the A250. The A200 is compatible with the B260 upstand and the A250 is suitable for use with the B300, C1, C2 and

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  10. G4 Damp Seal

    G4 Sealer, also referred to as G4 Damp Seal is a brown, translucent, polyurethane which hardens when in contact with moisture. Once applied, it will provide a tough damp-proof seal for most porous and non-porous substrates such as concrete, brick, stone or wood.

    Application of G4 Damp Seal

    G4 can be applied with a brush or roller. It can be applied to substrates which contain moisture, although it is important to note that the area should be dry enough to be porous. If the area is too damp, this can cause the G4 to de-laminate or blister. Once the area is dry enough to be porous, this will ensure that the first application of the G4 sealer will adhere to the surface area. G4 should not be used in temperatures below zero degrees.

    Ideally, the area should be free from all existing coatings and wiped down with Acetone before application. However, if this is not possible the adhesion will depend on the existing coating. If applying to brick, any loose pointing should be removed before G4 is applied.

    It is also important to note that G4 is not effective in areas of direct UV light; therefore if UV resistance is required a topcoat should be used to enhance UV protection.

    After the G4 is applied, we recommend that brushes are cleaned immediately with Acetone and then dried.

    Uses of G4 Damp Seal

    G4 Damp Seal can be used for coating walls, floors and as a pre-coat for fibreglass roof builds and ponds.

    Ponds

    In the case of 

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