Warning of roof-failure risk over falsely stamped battens

The National Federation of Roofing Contractors (NFRC) has issued a safety alert over what it said is a “large volume” of battens with fake compliance stamps now in the UK market.

The trade body said recent shortages of timber following the pandemic and the Ukraine war had enabled the falsely coloured or stamped battens to enter into circulation.

An NFRC statement said: “Non-compliant battens should not be installed: battens that do not comply with [British safety standard] BS 5534 have the potential to cause roof failures and accidents.

“This risk of accidents increases when the roof battens are being used as an alternative to a roof ladder and are therefore taking the additional live load of the operative installing the roof, or an operative conducting repairs, months or years down the line.”

It added that inferior battens could have affect the longevity of a roof.

All graded battens should be marked with the following:

  • Suppliers’ details
  • Batten size
  • Species
  • Relevant standard (BS 5534)
  • Third-party certification

Builders were also warned to check the thickness of battens, which should be 25mm thick with a tolerance of -0/+3mm, and not uneven.

If a knot is visible on both sides of the batten, or if there are signs of rot, decay or growth, it should also not be used.

The NFRC released further guidance on the issue, which can be viewed here.

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