To help contractors and homeowners save costs incurred from storm damages on roofs, the German Central Roofer Trade Association has already tightened the Specialised Regulations in 2011. The binding regulations for roofers and carpenters are required for the use of tested storm clips on new roof coverings. Although homeowners, planners and contractors are legally responsible to secure roofs against storms, the necessity of it is questioned. We held an interview regarding this issue with Michael Wecker (Sales Manager of Friedrich Ossenberg-Schule (FOS) - manufacturer of storms clips in Hemer, Germany).
Question: Should homeowners, planners, roofers and carpenters located in regions where storms rarely occur, be concerned about storm security issues?
MW: We all experience climate change around us. One consequence is resulting storms in regions with rare occurrences. As such, partial segments of deep roofs at all wind zones need to be secured with storm clips (in accordance with the German Specialised Regulations and Eurocode). These anti-corrosive metal clips secure roof tiles onto battens and ensure against the removal of roofs during strong wind uplift. This gave rise to the term “professional wind uplift security”, more commonly known among homeowners as “storm security”.
Question: What would the legal regulations be for roofers with written confirmations from builders who do not wish to implement storm security? Are they let off the hook?
MW: The criminal liability shall remain as personal risks for craftsmen (please refer to § 319 of the Penal Code regarding construction danger and negligent injury or homicide.) They can only reject such contracts in their own interest and not through any agreement with the builders.
Question: Would it be a disadvantage for contractors who integrate professional storm security into their offers, as compared to competitors who do not offer this and thus able to quote cheaper prices?
MW: The contractors could use the supposed disadvantage for their benefit by including storm security as an additional item. Together with reference to legal situation and testing result sheet of wind uplift calculation for the object, this competency would identify them as professionals. The result of wind uplift calculation comprises of required clip type, quantity and laying pattern. A dimensional sketch illustrates whether and which roof areas, and how strong they need to be secured. All builders are convinced that the extra costs of professional fixing are significantly lower than those incurred from storm damages. And: “Those who secure well, sleep tight - even during stormy times.”
Question: Is wind uplift calculation really necessary for every house? That is quite time consuming and inconvenient for the contractors. Will it not be possible to simplify it and use only a single laying pattern to secure the whole roof?
MW: The advantage of an individual calculation is obvious: A 3-minute calculation saves 3 hours of work on the roof. We offer many functions and online tools at www.fos.de, where you will also find more information regarding wind uplift security. Our professional wind uplift calculation provides all necessary results for implementation on roofs in just a matter of minutes. Clip quantity can be greatly reduced through individual and detailed object-related calculation of the required laying pattern. Contractors save thereby time and money.
Question: Different roof and concrete tiles are used all across Europe. An enormous quantity providing a variety of clip forms are offered due to the wide variation of roof tile forms – can roofers identity them well? Are they able to simplify life at this point and keep using the same storm clip?
MW: To ensure that storm security fulfills the requirements of Specialised Regulations and Eurocodes, it is mandatory that clips are optimally positioned and secured on the tiles. Here, the wind uplift calculation tool at our website come in handy to simplify and fasten product identification process. User receives an analysis (clip-object optimal match) within a few clicks after information input of roof tiles and building specifications.
Thank you Mr Wecker for granting us this interview.