3 Types of Temporary Roof Systems and Their Benefits

May 20, 2021 2:42 pm Published by

Keeping employees and working areas dry can increase efficiency, reduce costs, and enhance safety.  To this end, there are several different types of temporary roofing system available, but which one is the best? Here is a quick guide.


Any scaffolding beyond the scope of “Standard Scaffolds” as defined within TG20:21, is subject to the production of strength and stability calculations as directed by BS EN 12811-1 and the Working at Height Regulations.  Temporary roofs certainly fall into this category.  BS5975:2008, identifies design classes and should be classified as a minimum Class 2 and many organisations may define as Class 3.

Ensuring the stability of the scaffolding is essential and it is important to ensure that the permanent building can support any proposed loads that are imposed by ties or standards as identified within the design and that the arrangement of the scaffolding is suitable for their purpose.

1) Corrugated Iron

Known on building sites as a ‘tin hat’, corrugated iron roofing involves laying metal sheets like overlapping tiles.  The method is popular because corrugated iron can usually be reused, and because when the roof is installed correctly, it forms a reliable water barrier. However, sunlight cannot get through either, resulting in a dangerously dark working space.  The roofs are often very noisy when in place due to the wind moving the sheeting.  The ongoing effectiveness of the roof relies to a high degree on the labour employed to secure the sheeting diligently and effectively.   

Additional costs are incurred due to the difficulty to safely install. As such, it is falling rapidly out of fashion amongst many contractors. Construction methods of such roofs are under increasing scrutiny from the Health and Safety Executive, the NASC are currently endeavouring to formulate a safe system of work for the erection of traditional corrugated temporary roofs but have so far been unable to issue compliant documentation to their membership.

2) Wrap Roof 

The application of waterproof and translucent material called shrink wrap.  The material is secured to a designed scaffolding support frame.  The benefits are low cost and speed of application as well as a very effective and practical roof.

Its use is usually confined to short span roofs and extensive additional scaffolding access is usually needed to apply the shrink wrap in a safe and efficient manner, thus causing additional cost and often necessitating a requirement to build off the surfaces that need to be repaired and protected.    

3) Proprietary Temporary Roof Systems

Proprietary roofing is one of the most versatile innovations of recent years.  The underpinning philosophy of proprietary roofing is safety, particularly in the form of collective fall prevention.  The system approach also provides substantial efficiency benefits being up to five times faster to install than traditional temporary roofing structures, resulting in significant financial savings.  Proprietary roofing systems include Haki, Keder by Layher and Dessa by Altrad.

Particularly efficient when used with the manufacturers own proprietary scaffolding system, the roofs are however compatible with all types of system and traditional scaffolding.  They can also be tailored to any structure and can be hand built insitu within maximum span constraints, constructed on the ground and lifted into place or installed at height using a track option, the roof is constructed from one position and rolled out along the roof as each section is completed. 

Further benefits are enjoyed as manual handling is significantly reduced, further increasing safety whilst reducing costs.  The roofs are also adaptable, built is sections, it is possible to efficiently remove and replace sections of the temporary roof, enabling materials to be lowered trough the roof into the work area during building works.  If the track system is used, the roof can be opened by simply moving sections along the track to create open space.   

The Magnum Scaffolding Approach

At Magnum Scaffolding, safety is always the number one priority, although we also pay close attention to critical issues such as cost, convenience, and ease of maintenance. Combining our extensive experience with the latest industry guidance, we currently recommend proprietary temporary roof systems in all cases. This approach has shown itself to be highly reliable, economical, and versatile.

No project should be hampered by dark or dangerous working spaces, so if you want to learn more about the benefits of utilising a safe, efficient temporary roofing solution, send us a message, or feel free to call us directly.

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This post was written by Steve Phillips