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Roofing guide

About to start a roofing project but not sure which materials to choose? Find your answers here.

Which roofing felt do I need?

Roofing felt is split into two categories: habitable and non-habitable.

Habitable Roofing felt


Torch-on roofing felt

The torch-on system is heat applied and incorporates an underlay and cap sheet. Offering high performance weatherproofing for habitable buildings, it lasts up to 10 years. Quick drying roofing felt primer should be used to prepare the roof surface. Torch-on membranes must not be directly torched onto combustible substrates. For these projects, the use of a traditional felt underlay is recommended which can be nailed down using clout nails. Alternatively, you can use a self-adhesive layer such as an easyseal underlay.

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Easyseal felt

This is a cold applied, simple two-layer, self-adhesive system made up of an underlay and cap sheet. It provides a highly flexible coating for habitable buildings as well as garages and extensions that is safe to apply and lasts up to 20 years. Easyseal primer should be used to prepare the roof surface, then use roofing felt adhesive to stick it down and lap mastic to seal end laps and gutter/drip edges.

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Non-habitable Roofing felt


Shed felt

Shed felt is a traditional style roofing felt that’s quick and easy to install. It’s ideal for waterproofing non-habitable buildings such as sheds, summerhouses, kennels and hutches. As a single layer on a shed, the minimum pitch of the roof should be 20 degrees. Shed felt should be clout nail fixed with the laps fully sealed using a suitable cold adhesive such as trowel applied roofing felt adhesive.

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Traditional felt

This is a two-layer system of using an underlay and topping it with a cap sheet, so it lasts twice as long as single layer shed felt. This offers long-lasting weatherproofing for non-habitable buildings such as garages and larger outbuildings with a 5 degree pitch or more. Quick drying roofing felt primer should be used to prepare the roof surface. Roofing felt adhesive can then be used to bond both the underlay and cap sheet.

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How to felt a shed roof

Do I need to use a primer?

Using a primer in conjunction with a roofing felt adhesive significantly improves the bond between the roof and the waterproofing material applied, resulting in a long-term, watertight finish. Our range of quick drying primers perfectly prepare roofs by sealing porous surfaces prior to the application of felt systems.

What are the different adhesive application methods?


Felt lap adhesive

A nozzle makes this perfect for completing detailed areas and seals overlaps on roofing felt and shingles on traditional and shed felts. This cold applied lap mastic not only gives your project watertight protection from the elements but finishes it with a professional look.


Trowel applied roofing felt adhesive

This is ideal for sealing lap joints and for fixing chippings on the final layer of a built-up system on flat or pitched roofs. This fast drying, cold applied bitumen adhesive enables total bonding of roofing felts and is specially formulated for immediate and workable felt application.


Brush applied roofing felt adhesive

Our cold applied, fast drying, solvent-based adhesive is suitable for bonding all types of roofing felt. It can also be applied to asphalt, metal and concrete substrates.


What type of nail should I use for roofing felt?

Galvanised clout nails are best for securing roof felt and being galvanised ensures a rust-resistant finish. If you are fitting felt to a shed, the recommended length would be 20mm.

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What types of sheet roofing are available?

There are 3 different types of roofing sheets: PVCu corrugated roofing sheets, corrugated bitumen sheets and polycarbonate sheets.

Clear PVCu corrugated roofing sheets
Clear PVCu corrugated roofing sheets

There are two corrugation profiles – standard and mini. Both have a high light transmission and are resistant to yellowing. The standard corrugated roofing sheets are compatible with corrugates of alternative materials such as bitumen and steel and the mini sheets are often ideal for smaller buildings to be more aesthetically pleasing.

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Features & benefits
  • Chemical, rust, rot and frost-resistant
  • Quickly fixed with special PVC headed nails
  • Flexible – suitable for uneven roof structures
  • Lightweight, easy to use & high impact strength
  • Can be laid onto rafters, purlins or decking sheets
  • Ideal for new, existing or temporary roof coverings

Uses for PVCu sheets include:
  • Carports
  • Covered walkways
  • Lean to extensions
  • Gazebos & canopies
  • Garden shed rooflights
  • Vertical wall cladding – ideally suited for sheds and other outbuildings

How to cut corrugated roofing sheet

Lay the sheet on a flat surface and mark the line of the cut. Provide good support on either side and cut using an oiled fine cut saw or ideally, a circular power saw.

Clear PVCu corrugated roofing sheets
PVCu sheet flashing
  • Covered walkways
  • Lean to extensions
  • Gazebos & canopies
  • Garden shed rooflights
  • Vertical wall cladding – ideally suited for sheds and other outbuildings
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Corrugated bitumen sheets
Corrugated bitumen sheets

Corrugated bitumen sheets are suitable for non-habitable buildings and unsuitable for habitable buildings. Wickes is the only DIY retailer currently selling this professional quality British Board of Agrément (BBA) approved Onduline roofing system. It provides proven durability with excellent colour retention and a 15 year weatherproofing guarantee.

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Features & benefits
  • Easy to handle, cut & fix
  • Available in black & green
  • Sound insulation & doesn’t rust
  • Bitumen throughout, not just coated
  • Withstands wind speeds of up to 120mph

Uses for bitumen sheets include:
  • Outbuildings
  • Covered storage areas
  • Commercial & light industrial buildings
  • Garden buildings such as sheds, carports & garages
  • Agricultural & equestrian buildings such as barns, stables & cowsheds

How to cut and fit bitumen roofing sheet

Cutting

Mark the line of the cut in the base of the sheet corrugation, then score with a trimming knife. Fold back the sheet along the scored line to separate the cut sections of the sheet.

Fitting

It’s vital to ensure a correct fit otherwise your roof can collect water, causing the sheets to buckle in the centre and result in severe water damage. See our guide below for the nailing pattern on a bitumen roof:

Bitumen Roof Slopes Bitumen fixing instructions

Below you will see the guide for working out the pitch and then best way to fit the bitumen roof according to the pitch.

Bitumen Pitch guide

Polycarbonate - Corrugated roofing sheet
Polycarbonate sheets

One of the toughest plastics available, polycarbonate is rapidly proving itself to be an excellent material for roofing purposes. In its twinwall and triplewall sheet form, it is the perfect replacement for wired glass or corrugated sheeting.

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How to cut polycarbonate roofing sheet

Polycarbonate, despite its strength, can be cut using a fine cut saw. When cutting to width you should endeavour to cut close to the outside of one of the internal walls as shown below:

Polycarbonate cutting guide

How to cut corrugated roofing sheet

Each sheet roofing option requires specific fixings to effectively fix it to your roof.

PVCu corrugated roofing sheet fixings
PVCu corrugated roofing sheet fixings

Standard and mini PVCu corrugated fixings should be installed on the ridge of the corrugation to prevent leaks, not in the trough. These have a translucent integrated cap for a smooth finish.

Eaves fillers can also be used to seal your roof and keep out draughts and insects.

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Corrugated bitumen sheets fixings
Corrugated bitumen sheets fixings

Ideal for fixing bitumen sheets to thin decked roofs, simply nail through the washer and the top of the sheet corrugation then clip the washer into place. Available in black or green.

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Polycarbonate sheeting fixings
Polycarbonate sheeting fixings

These clear buttons securely fix polycarbonate sheets to a wooden substructure. They have an integrated gap for a smooth finish and are translucent to match glazing accessories. You can also use glazing bars to help fix the sheets, end caps to provide a neat gable end, edge flashing to finish the sides of your roofing and anti-dust tape to seal cut ends.

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What types of liquid roofing are available?

There are 2 different types of liquid roofing available – repair and protection.

Repair
Repair

Repair liquids are short-term fixes and temporary solutions to provide an immediate waterproof coating. They dry to form an ultra tough, seamless, flexible layer and are available in a variety of colours. We offer a wide selection for all types of roofing, surfaces and situations, from light damage to leak repair, along with guttering and brickwork. So, whatever your emergency, we’ve got you covered.

Eaves fillers can also be used to seal your roof and keep out draughts and insects.

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Protection
Protection

Roof seals ensure long-term protection for all types of roofing including felt, asphalt, slate or tiles. Our waterproofers are also ideal for emergency repairs and general maintenance as well as providing a protective coating for most roof surfaces, wood, metal and cement.

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What tools are needed for solvent liquids?

The main tools needed are brushes and rollers but because of the different ranges of solvent liquids there are other tools that will help with specific roofing techniques. It’s a good idea to buy multiple tools, especially brushes, soft brooms and rollers because they will need cleaning with white spirit so you shouldn’t have to pop out mid job to get more. Please check that these products are suitable to use with solvent-based liquids.


What tools are needed for repair liquids?

Repair liquids come in a variety of applications. You can use a spray which will not require any tools, a cartridge and cartridge gun or a mastic which will require a trowel to apply it.


Guide to maintaining roofs & guttering

We’ll show you how to prevent and spot damage, do repairs yourself and how to maintain your roofing and guttering with annual checks.

Guide to maintaining roofs & guttering