flame free roofing

 

Roof fires caused by gas torches, no matter how seemingly insignificant, pose a threat to health, property, the trust of individuals and the future of torch-on application as a developing and efficient method of roofing.

In July 2017 The National Federation of Roofing Contractors (NFRC) introduced the Safe2Torch campaign. The primary aim of this campaign was to, and remains to be, reduce the risk of roof fires whilst hot works are occurring on a roof.

Hot works are any process that can be a source of ignition when flammable material is present or can be a hazard regardless of the presence of flammable material in the workplace. Common hot works include cutting; grinding; welding; torch-on roofing; bitumen boilers or drying substrates with a torch.

The Safe2Torch campaign projects a positive message about making sure safety comes first. It strives to ensure that contractors and roof installers are aware of the regulations in place concerning their safety. Safe2Torch guidance criteria advise considering other methods of roofing application—especially flame free welders.

 

What is a flame-free bitumen welder?

There are specific materials used in roofing that a gas torch usage should be avoided on. Caution should be taken when applying any heat directly to a timber roof deck or timber upstands, including timber fillets, even if the substrate has been treated with a bituminous primer.

Gas torch usage should also be avoided on the following… a flame free alternative should be used:

Expansion joints—Expansion joints that are filled with combustible fillers, such as foam or fibreboard, should not come into contact with high heat or naked flame.

Adjoining a pitched roof—If a membrane roof is adjoining a pitched roof and is due to be completed under abutments to roof tiles and slates, the slates or tiles should be removed and a compatible torch-free product should be selected.

Abutments with open cavities—A compatible torch-free product should be selected for any abutments with open cavities.

Fixed timber, plastic fascia or soffits—Naked flames should be avoided where there is fixed timber, plastic fascia or soffits.

But what is the flame free alternative to naked flame welders? Hot Air.

Hot Air welding is similar in its physical performance but is capable of providing a different finish and versatility of uses compared to its torch alternative. Unlike torch-on devices, hot air welding tools do not pose anywhere near the same threat level that an open flame does and therefore does not pose the equal risk to the materials previously mentioned.

 

Lancastria Group hosts demonstrations to support the Safe2Torch guidelines.

 

Why is an alternative important?

The incentive to make the change to alternative welders after the Safe2Torch campaign was introduced was difficult for many. Contract managers, estimators and roofers had to reconsider their options going forward. They also had to consider factors such as longer installation times and payment evaluation (based on metres done per day).

However, despite these initial reservations, there was no doubting how important listening to the guidance of the Safe2Torch campaign was. After incidents such as the Murray Hotel fire (Isle of Man, 2013) and the Selsey Academy blaze (Sussex, 2016)—both results of torch-on roofing safety failures—a suitable alternative that could perform capably on flammable products needed to be pushed to the forefront.

That’s why Lancastria Group supports flat roofing contractors and manufacturers by providing high-quality hot air welding equipment. It has run demonstrations that display how these tools can be used effectively to install bituminous membranes as well as providing guidelines and advice.

The necessary awareness of having the correct kit for the job is also why Lancastria Tools provides BAK products—tools that we can trust to keep our customers safe while providing the best project resources.

 

torch on welding

 

Who are BAK?

BAK Thermoplastic Welding Technology, are manufacturers of Hot air equipment, both automatic & handheld for welding single ply, bituminous membranes e.g., self-adhesive.

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Why use bak thermoplastic welding technology?

Lancastria Tools only provide the best quality tools because we believe in the best service every single time. BAK have years of experience in the welding technology industry and provide continuous development within the market. But what makes their products so great?

Mobile/Compact: convenient for manoeuvring around the site without difficulty.

Easy to use: makes them accessible for more amateur welders who are progressing their skills whilst maintaining the levels of safety.

Low noise level: low disturbance for workers and members of public.

Powerful: don’t compromise on getting the job done.

 

BAK Rion

  • Heavy duty Swiss Made temperature controlled hand welding gun.
  • Digital readout includes both the set and actual temperature.
  • This welder is can be used both internally and externally.
  • Available in 110v & 240v.
  • 40mm /60mm/80mm nozzles.
  • Good for activating the adhesives of self-adhesive felts.
  • Handheld hot air welder.
  • Weight: 1.3kg with cable.

Perfect for:

  • Seam welding single-ply roofing systems.
  • Plastic fabrication.
  • Welding tarpaulins and banners.
  • Welding vinyl and linoleum floors.
  • Heat shrinking plastic sleeves and wraps.
  • Installing and repairing the tunnel and landfill liner membrane.

 

BAK Eron

  • Available in 110v & 240v.
  • 70mm nozzle.
  • Higher Airflow than Rion.
  • Good handheld hot air welder for bitumen.
  • Adjustable temperature scale allows for exact selection of temperature to fit your application.
  • Air flow of 500L/minute.
  • Weight: 1.5kg with cable.

Perfect for:

  • Drying moist surfaces.
  • Shrinking heat-shrinkable sleeves, hoses and connectors.
  • Removing undercoating on vehicles.
  • Packaging shrinking.
  • Activating/melting hot-melt adhesives.
  • Igniting bio-mass boilers.

 

BAK Laron 230v

  • Automatic drive start system.
  • Digital display of temperature and speed, pivoted guide bar.
  • High welding speed, easy maintenance with standard components.
  • Ideal for large roof areas.
  • Available with a 100mm Nozzle for Bituminous Welding.
  • Automatic drive start system.
  • Digital display of temperature and speed, pivoted guide bar.
  • High welding speed, easy maintenance with standard components.
  • Resources available. See video for this product here.

 

BAK RoofOn Edge Bitumen

  • Available in 110v & 240v.
  • Compact, user friendly, easy manoeuvrability.
  • 75mm Laps and head laps.
  • Consistent bead.
  • Weld close to the edge of roof / parapet. Welds most types of felt including VCL’s, underlays, Cap Sheets & self-adhesive felts.
  • Can weld as close as 20mm to the edge.
  • Adjustment of air flow, speed and temperature.
  • Resources available. See video for this product here.

 

roof felt

 

Looking for roofing tools?

Lancastria Tools are dedicated to providing the highest quality service there is. We ensure our tools and knowledge will help our customers get the job done safely and efficiently. We value your projects and want to see them succeed so we make the steps needed to give you the equipment to get it done.

Discover our range of roofing equipment and check out our fantastic BAK range for all your flame free roofing requirements. So if you have any questions or need assistance with your next project, contact us today on 0161 777 9009