Insights Archives - Giromax Technology
The Lifestyle Of A Coated Roof

The Lifecycle of a Coated Roof

Metal roofing systems

Long-lasting, tough and durable, a metal roof is the most common choice for industrial buildings due to its longevity. On installation, you could expect a new profiled metal roof to last at least 25 years and up to 50 years on average, as it’s supplied with a protective coating. Ultimately, the quality of construction, shape and structure of your metal roof will determine its lifespan, along with any wear and tear from exposure to weather conditions.

If you or your client has a building with a metal roof, then it’s worth inspecting regularly to check its integrity in case it requires any treatment or recoating. The correct surface preparation and application of a specialist metal roof coating is important to obtain a guarantee and to extend the roof lifespan. It’s always cheaper to repaint a roof, rather than replacing metal sheets, and it’s better for the environment too.

The steel manufacturing industry is responsible for toxic emissions contributing to air pollution. So, if you or your client are committed to a green agenda, then it’s always worth considering whether a roof coating will fix the issue in the first instance. Sometimes the damage is unrepairable; if you need advice, please contact our Technical Field Managers.

Corrosion caused by weather conditions

As well as the quality of its construction, the British weather plays a large part in the length of time a standard metal roofing system will last. Exposure to sun and UV rays takes its toll over time. When hot sun and rain are combined, this creates a highly aggressive environment. Unless the roof has been painted using a coating with colour-fade technology, the roof appearance will start to fade. Poor quality coatings will lead to faster deterioration.

Likewise, heavy rain, ice, hail and snow will also affect the roof surface, along with the effects of debris landing on the roof as a result of stormy weather. If the roof has been coated with a strong, durable coating, you could expect the roof to last up to 25 years. But if a poor-quality coating has been used, then you could see areas of corrosion and weather damage. In profiled metal sheets, corrosion can occur when the cut edges are exposed.

Although profiled metal sheets have a protective layer of primer and topcoat over a zinc alloy, edges can be exposed when the sheets are cut. Over time, this exposure to the elements leads to cut edge corrosion. If left untreated, the corrosion will result in costly damage. If you intercept the corroded areas, carry out the correct preparation, and then apply a high-quality, cut edge corrosion treatment, you could extend the roof life by 15 years.

Repair, recoat or recycle

Through careful maintenance, treatment, repairs and recoating, the lifecycle of a metal roof might rotate for years. Until irreparable damage results in the metal sheets having to be replaced and recycled, this type of roofing system should last for decades. If you want to prolong the life of a metal profiled roof, then always choose a quality treatment and coating system that offers reassurance in the form of a guarantee.

Giromax® roof coatings have been specially developed by technical experts to deliver outstanding results. Our range can be applied in damp conditions, reducing delays for contractors exposed to the UK weather.

Our solvent-less products are also less harmful to the environment. Designed to release fewer polluting Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), low heavy metal content and low isocyanates, they also have less leachable content. Materials stay within our coatings, allowing the rain to run off roofing systems. We also use more environmentally friendly stabilisers, which makes our products safer for our planet and contractors too.

When it comes to roof coating products, we are the original market leaders. Committed to innovation, our product range is continually tested, developed and improved. We work closely with surveyors and contractors to design quality roof coating formulas that meet their needs. Our aim is to provide your clients with durable, long-lasting roof coating solutions.

If you need application guidance or advice about any of our products, please speak to the Giromax team or call 01455 558969 today.

The Impact of Climate Change on Buildings

Extreme weather affecting industrial buildings

Unusual weather conditions, together with ever tightening regulations controlling emissions, are forcing managers of warehouses and industrial buildings to reconsider their options. If you’re a surveyor, your clients might ask for advice on how they can counteract the potential damage from extreme weather.

As extreme heat and cold causes construction materials to expand and contract, this will inevitably cause them to deteriorate over time. Flooding and excess water has a negative impact on a building’s foundations, while also potentially causing problems with ponding water on flat roofs. These situations will require extensive and expensive repairs at best, leading to a catastrophic collapse of the building at worst.

But it’s not just the buildings themselves that are affected by climate change. Workers are also impacted, with extreme heat or cold making working conditions unpleasant, or even unviable in some cases. When considering how best to advise your clients about the actions they can take to limit the harmful effects of climate change, the comfort and safety of their employees needs to take centre stage.

It starts with the roof

Buildings need to be more resilient than ever before if they’re going to withstand the continued threat of severe, abnormal weather events. And there’s no better place to start than the roof, as it’s subjected to the most extreme and relentless weather conditions.

Out of sight is often out of mind, so your clients may need reminding of the importance of surveying their roofing systems regularly. Extremes of heat and cold cause cracks to form, whilst ponding water can create minute tears, which quicky spread to allow water ingress.

Encourage your clients to address the integrity of their roof as a top priority. Once the integrity of the roof has been compromised, any damage and associated costs can quickly start to spiral out of control.

Climate change poses a real threat to the future management of industrial buildings. Businesses need to maintain their roofing systems and prepare in advance for weather damage and related costs.

Our range of GIROMAX® Coating Products offers up to 20 years’ protection for roofing systems. BBA Approved, GIROSIL® products use laminar flake technology that seals and bonds with corrosion.

Please speak to the Giromax team if you need advice on any of our products. Call 01455 558969 today or make an enquiry.

Fire Safety and Industrial Roof Systems

What impacts roof fire safety?

Government figures show there were over 4,200 fires in England between 2018 and 2020, where the roof was considered to play a primary role in growth and spread. According to fire service reports, around half of all roof fires are the result of arson.

Hot works are another cause, whether from welding, grinding or other applications of heat, including torch-applied roofing materials. Solar panels and air-conditioning units can be fire hazards too, with electrical arcing being a particular area of concern.

But fire can also spread from elsewhere within industrial buildings with devastating consequences, particularly where a roof or its coatings are made from combustible materials. Faulty electrical wiring is a common cause of fires for commercial premises.

Raising the issue

Fire safety measures tend to focus on compartmentalising areas of a building, but particularly in the case of older industrial buildings, the roof could be overlooked. Many business owners and managers might not consider the implications of roof fire safety, so it’s worthwhile bringing this to their attention.

You might choose to highlight the 2019 fire which destroyed a state-of-the-art Ocado warehouse, resulting in 400 redundancies and costs of well over £100m. Although there were several factors that influenced the progress of the fire, once it had got into the roof it inevitably resulted in total collapse.

Even where the full collapse of a building is avoided, the costs of repair can be crippling. And with numerous industrial roof fires reported every year, there’s clearly room for improvement.

Roof fire safety and the law

The laws concerning fire standards for flat roofs are not clearly defined, although there are increasing calls for the roof to be treated as a ‘fifth wall’. There are many popular terms that imply a degree of protection from fire but may lack meaning in legal terms, such as ‘Fireproof’, ‘fire retardant’, ‘fire safe’ and ‘Class 0’.

Until recently the Building Regulations and Approved Document B had focussed attention primarily on walls, and although some changes have now been introduced there is a general belief that the regulations should go even further. For example, although the external spread of fire is dealt with in part B4 of the Building Regulations, there is no outright ban on the use of combustible material in flat roofs or insulation.

Approved Document B of the Building Regulations is concerned with the evaluation of a roof’s performance when subjected to extreme heat. The highest achievable level is BROOF(T4), but this still fails to take into account the way in which individual components will react to fire. Neither does it indicate how well the roof might perform if exposed to fire from elsewhere in the building, including the implications of smoke production and the emission of toxic gases.

One practical way of getting around this is to check roofing materials for their Euroclass rating, regarding its reaction to exposure by fire. Non-combustible materials will have a rating of either A1 or A2-s3,d2. It’s worth noting that roofing products containing materials with a Euroclass rating as low F can still achieve the highest performance level of BROOF(T4).

This shows that even BROOF(T4) is not sufficient to ensure compliance with the current regulations. And since they specify that any roofing materials over compartment walls must be on a deck or substrate of A2-s3,d2 material at the very least, it’s essential to ensure this is done. One way forward is to advise your clients to get a Declaration of Performance (DoP) certificate from roofing product manufacturers.

When it comes to fire safety, we would recommend advising your clients to check their roofing products and materials do not hinder the legal fire classification of a roof.

Once applied and fully dry, Giromax® coating products are a fire-safe option for industrial roofing systems. BBA Approved and guaranteed for up to 20 years, our range of market-leading coatings are a high-performance choice for a variety of roof and guttering repairs.

The History of Cladding: Metal Roofing

Roofing materials

Metal roofing has its roots in the American Civil War, when Robert Morris, a manufacturer from New Jersey, decided to create a sheet metal roof for his own home in Philadelphia. He’s credited with being the first person to do so, although it wasn’t long before other people started to recognise the benefits of this material.

Originally, asbestos cement cladding was the popular choice for roofing systems. In the late 19th century, agricultural buildings in the UK used this type of material. As it was relatively cheap and fireproof, its use became much more widespread during World War II. But it faced stiff competition from vinyl siding and wood clapboard in the years following the war, and once asbestos fell out of favour it ceased to be such a viable option.

Meanwhile the use of aluminium had also been helping to make asbestos cement cladding obsolete. Widely available in the post-war years, aluminium alloy was cheap, flexible and strong, making it an ideal choice for a roofing material.

Corrugated iron had also been developed at the start of the 19th century in England, creating rigid cladding panels without too much excess weight. This enabled them to be installed cheaply and easily, making them extremely popular for a range of uses. Within just a few years the French had come up with galvanisation, in which metal is combined with zinc to prevent the spread of rust, as well as making the material resistant to fire.

Over in Canada, tinplate iron roofing became popular before spreading south to the US. Low-cost, lightweight and requiring little or no maintenance, tinplate roofing was popular throughout the 19th century, in part thanks to its ability to withstand embossing, giving it a decorative effect. This was followed by terne plate, which requires iron to be treated with an alloy of tin and lead.

Popular metal roofs

Nowadays, steel and aluminium are the two most popular options for metal roofing systems. They are cost-effective, hardwearing and easy to work with. Steel is stronger, heavier and easy to coat with protective finishes which guard against corrosion and rust. Aluminium is rust-resistant and much lighter, but it’s also easier to dent and it costs more too.

Other metals are sometimes used for metal cladding. Copper has been used as a roofing material for centuries and is admired for its inbuilt resistance to rust, and for the way it weathers to an attractive finish. Lead is another traditional roofing material, which is extremely durable and highly malleable. However, both of these options are fairly expensive and are a great attraction for thieves, who appreciate its resale value!

Zinc is also sometimes used as a roofing material, thanks to its versatility and resistance to corrosion. Other options include various alloys, created from more than one type of metal for enhanced durability and strength.

Metal roofing issues

Roofs made from metal profile sheets can withstand extreme temperatures and resist all types of weather conditions. But the cut edges are exposed to oxygen, which causes them to deteriorate and corrode over time. Once rust has set in, the integrity of the cladding is very quickly compromised, so it’s essential to undertake regular checks.

Cut edge corrosion is usually most visible across the horizontal edges, where the material is involved in eaves, seams and overlays. But this type of damage is usually not visible without a thorough inspection, making it all too easy to overlook. Water can get in, spreading through capillary action, and needs to be addressed quickly to avoid further problems.

Regular checks are an essential part of an effective metal roofing maintenance programme. It’s recommended that skylights and gutter overhangs should be regularly inspected to make sure they’re in good repair, quickly removing any potential blockages. Even small amounts of water or chemicals building up in gutters could potentially affect the cut edges of metal cladding, which could lead to expensive and inconvenient repairs over time.

When checking a metal roof on an older commercial property, it’s important to use the right type of products to carry out any repairs, especially when it comes to dealing with cut-edge corrosion. Giromax has a range of coating products designed for metal profile roofs. Our products address the top and reverse side of the cut edge using laminar flake technology that seals and bonds with corrosion. Easy to apply, our products have a 20-year guarantee.

If you need advice on choosing products for roofing repairs, please speak to the Giromax team who will be able to offer guidance. Call 01455 558969 today or make an enquiry.

Unforeseen Dilapidations

Schedule of Condition at the start of the lease period

The Schedule of Condition relating to the property is an important starting point. Where the Schedule of Condition is not carried out sufficiently, there’s very little room for legal manoeuvring later on. So, it’s important that your client begins any lease with a fully completed schedule, including high-quality images for avoidance of any doubt over the condition of the property at the start of the tenancy.

For the purposes of dilapidations, it’s absolutely essential to include key clauses that specifically refer to the Schedule of Condition. These clauses should fully reference yield up clauses and repairs, as well as decorating expectations and rent reviews, so that everyone knows exactly what’s expected of them.

Of course, it’s usual for the tenant to be required to undertake repairs and to redecorate the premises internally, externally or both. But it’s vital this is put down in writing. Building owners must state the exact responsibilities of the tenant, especially when it comes to drains, boilers and roofing issues, for example. It’s also important to include details about any expenses or professional fees that the tenant will be responsible for paying.

Metal Roof

Landlords may need a Declaration of Intention

The whole point of dilapidations is the aim of returning the property to the building owner or landlord in the same state – or better – than at the start of the tenancy period. This ensures the landlord won’t be out of pocket when renting the premises out to the next tenant. But this implies the landlord will be retaining the property for the same, or similar, purposes.

These days, an increasing number of office and shop owners are deciding to convert buildings to living accommodation instead. And if this is the case, there’s no onus on the tenant to restore the property to its former state, since that would be of no benefit to the landlord. The landlord can issue a Declaration of Intention which will show the intended use of the premises going forward, which helps to clarify the situation for all parties.

Man on Metal Roof

Dilapidations and roofing

Clients can sometimes overlook the roof when preparing the Schedule of Condition, but the importance of subjecting this to a thorough survey will be at the forefront of any surveyor’s mind. Building owners or landlords may need reminding that this needs to happen at the start and the end of a lease. It safeguards both tenants and landlords against unwanted and unexpected costs at the end of the lease period, especially if the roof becomes damaged.

As a thorough roof inspection will reveal any problems or issues that could be of concern over time, this enables both the tenant and the landlord to see clear evidence of where the roof is in its lifecycle at the start of the lease term. So, any problems can be dealt with quickly and efficiently when the end of the lease is reached, avoiding any unexpected issues and nasty surprises in the long term.

Checking the roof for a Schedule of Condition report usually involves hiring a cherry picker for a few hours. It may be an additional cost for building owners, but when you explain the advantages of knowing exactly what condition the roof is in, it’s a highly worthwhile expense. Your client needs to remember their property can only retain its value and legal conditions, when a building has been thoroughly checked for any unforeseen dilapidation repairs.

Close Image of Metal Roof

When it comes to dilapidations, the Giromax team are on hand to provide you with technical guidance and market-leading roof coatings. Call 01455 558969 today or make an enquiry.

Giromax Cut Edge Corrosion Treatment


The lifetime of a profiled steel sheet is governed by the durability of its protective coating. Factory applied (pre-finished) coatings such as Plastisol eventually deteriorate and re-painting becomes necessary for continued protection of the steel substrate. Also within that coating lifetime, corrosion at the sheet cut edges can arise from normal weathering, especially at sheet overlaps, potentially affecting the integrity of that critical roof detail.

When treatment of the cut edge was first considered, the aim was to stabilise and where possible preserve the designed overlap until the roof sheet reached its repaint stage. It was realised that it was not sufficient to treat the corrosion on the outer surface alone. To prevent corrosion affecting the reverse side of the sheet, water held by capillary action had to be excluded from the lap.

In addition, failed experiments with tape soon exposed the fact that for the joint to remain sealed, the treatment had to be flexible enough to accommodate stresses from building movement, sheet expansion and foot traffic whilst also being able to withstand extremes of weathering, temperature, and UV.

To service this demanding specification a silicone based system was chosen, and at the time of its development, the specification design criteria also took into consideration the durability of the factory coating to which it would be applied as this would crucially govern its long term effectiveness.

Treatment depended entirely on the adhesion properties of silicone in being able to smother and starve the substrate of the two main agents of corrosion – air and moisture.

Using silicones, such adhesion can only be achieved on a completely dry surface and since moisture could not be fully displaced from the lap joint, adhesion could not be guaranteed with sealant alone.

The compromise was to augment the sealant with a brushable version, to form an external seal, the performance of which necessarily relied on the age and condition of the factory coating to which it was applied.

Experience had shown that corrosion could typically develop at the sheet cut edge between ten and fifteen years after installation, whilst contemporary manufacturers’ performance data indicated that plastisol had, at best, a durability expectation of no more than 25 years. Consequently, the guaranteed effectiveness of the silicone treatment could only be reliably assured for ten years at most.


Cut Edge Corrosion

Beyond that time, the factory coating itself was predicted to delaminate, allowing moisture to creep under both the weakened coating and the treatment to which it was adhered. Once contact with the steel substrate was re-established, the corrosion process would restart, and unless addressed in a timely manner, as for example during a scheduled roof repaint, significant repair or replacement of the original cut edge corrosion treatment could be anticipated.

To counter these limitations, Giromax have introduced a more technologically advanced solution.

Whilst factory coating performance has now seen dramatic improvements in life expectancy when sourced from market leading manufacturers, there remain many roofs sheeted with profiled steel bearing older or less durable coatings where the limited effectiveness of older silicone treatments could still prove to be an issue. To counter these limitations, Giromax have introduced a more technologically advanced solution.

Advances In Cut Edge Corrosion Treatment – Giromax® Edgecoat

For effective corrosion control, Giromax® does not rely solely on its tenacious adhesion. Nor does it have to rely on the durability of the factory coating.

Giromax® Basecoat penetrates and binds with both corrosion and galvanised substrate at the molecular level, using laminar flake technology to form a hard barrier that prevents air and moisture from reaching the substrate.


Cut Edge Corrosion

Laminar flake is also found in Giromax® Sealant, a moisture tolerant sealant that fully contacts with all surfaces to secure a full inter-lap seal.

It uses the same base structure as Giromax® Edgecoat, the coating that completes the lap encapsulation that results in a tough, UV resistant system that fully satisfies the demand for both corrosion control and flexibility without sacrificing impact and abrasion resistance, securing the treatment of cut edge corrosion for roof sheet repainting when necessary.

Giromax® uses the latest hybrid technology that takes full advantage of properties developed to overcome the application restrictions and wear limitations of silicone alone. Fully moisture tolerant, the system can be applied to all surfaces, wet or dry, speeding up application times and helping meet project demands.

We’re always here to help, whether you want more information, a quote or are simply seeking some expert advice. Call our friendly advisers on 01455 558969 and enquire today.

Documents selected (13 downloads)
Giromax® Data sheets + Specifications, Girocote Data sheets.