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Roofers set standards for quality

BRITAIN'S roofing industry has launched its most serious attempt yet to kick out the cowboys.

Nine-month-old industry body, the Roofing Industry Alliance (RIA), used last week's Interbuild show at the NEC to announce its 'Hallmark Scheme', which aims to bolster customer confidence in the quality and durability of all roof types.

There are three central principles to the scheme: the roof should meet three recognised standards and codes of practice; roofing products should be 'fit for purpose'; and roofing contractors should be competent and financially sound.

But the scheme received a less-than-enthusiastic response from some of those present at the launch.

George Sinden, of Marley Waterproofing, said that the scheme's aim of meeting current codes of practice was inadequate.

'They are completely out of date,' he said of the codes, adding that there are no codes in existence for most of the newest flat-roofing systems, such as single-ply membranes.

RIA chairman Lord Glentoran acknowledged the basic nature of the three principles only served to demonstrate the desperate state of the industry.

But he added that all sectors of the trade had to shoulder some of the blame.

He said: 'The fault is not all with the contractor - the problems go right across the board and

involve designers, suppliers and main contractors.'

The RIA has issued a consultation paper outlining the objectives of the Hallmark Scheme and how it proposes to operate it.

The proposed RIA 'hallmark' will come with a 10-year guarantee, similar to that currently offered by the National Federation of Roofing Contractors, itself an RIA member.