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Felt vs Fibreglass Roofing

Updated: Jul 9, 2023


When it comes to flat roofs, felt and fibreglass (GRP) roofing are the most popular solutions. Each material has its own benefits, and the key differences between the two will guide you in your roofing decisions. Discover more about the divergence between felt and GRP flat roofing below.

Felt Flat Roofing Material

While it’s called roof felt, the material is often comprised of modified bitumen and polyester. This is because it’s especially difficult to tear polyester, allowing the material to handle the typical movement of flat roofs. Essentially, the combination of materials allows for reliability, toughness, and a long lifespan. Despite this, felt roofs still require an added layer for ample protection from the elements. This is because sunlight and extreme cold alike can negatively affect roofing felt, drying out the oils and resulting in brittleness. Fortunately, there are various options for this protective layer.

Fibreglass Roofing Material

GRP fibreglass roofing is crafted from glass-reinforced polyester, which is a composite material that’s created by strengthening plastic with fine glass fibres. Fibre roofs are single-ply laminate solutions that are able to reliably cover and waterproof roofs. GRP roof coverings begin with catalysed resin, which dries the roof decking, ready for the fibreglass mating to be laid. This is followed by catalysed resin and, finally, a fire-retardant topcoat resin.

Advantages of Felt Roofing

One of the biggest advantages of felt roofing is that it’s the more affordable option. Regardless of a person’s financial situation, no one wants to spend more than necessary on roofing projects. This is especially true when considering the current economic situation, in which we all have less cash to spare.

In addition to its affordability, felt roofing is appropriate for all manner of houses. This is thanks to the latest bitumen technology, which has enabled further expansion and contraction properties in the material.

Last but not least, roofing felt is easy to repair, which also makes it more aesthetically pleasing.

Disadvantages of Felt Roofing

Of course, there are also some disadvantages of felt roofing, with the first one being that it can’t withstand frequent heavy footfall. As a result, it’s also weak in damage resistance, as the surface is easily worn out. Finally, felt roofs aren’t easy to begin, and the smallest mistake can lead to repetitive and aggressive leaks. Consequently, selecting the right roofer for the job is imperative.

Advantages of Fibreglass Flat Roofing and Pitched Fibreglass Roofing

One of the largest benefits of glass fibre roofs is that the installation process is incredibly safe. Whether it’s a fibreglass-pitched roof or a flat roof, no complicated machinery or heat equipment is required in the process. This reduces the risk of on-site accidents, optimising the installation safety.

Similarly, when carried out correctly, fibreglass roofs exceed 20 years of use thanks to their enhanced strength and durability. Additionally, the flexibility of fibreglass roofing means that a variety of trims can be used to suit the roof build. Thanks to the seamless finish, fibreglass roofing is both waterproof and resistant to weathering. Lastly, the maintenance and repair are simple, as a simple hose or brush is required to keep it clean.

Disadvantages of Fibreglass Roofing

The aspect that deters people from fibreglass roofing, above all else, is the cost. Of course, the price will be affected by the size of your home, but it still remains that fibreglass is more expensive than other roofing materials.

Furthermore, fibreglass roofing is among the most difficult to install, meaning you must trust your roofing contractor, especially if your roof is a complex shape. This difficulty comes from the weight of the material, which leads to manoeuvring complications.

For the more eco- and cost-conscious individuals, fibreglass isn’t as energy efficient as some other materials. Similarly, if you’re concerned with aesthetics, fibreglass can discolour over time.

While it’s durable in most cases, fibreglass can sometimes be shattered by aggressive hail and can also be noisy during storms. On top of this, the material can be damaged by the sun’s UV rays, ultimately meaning that it’s not the best material for areas of extreme weather conditions.

Last but not least, the replacement of fibreglass roofing requires a complete roof removal, which is time-consuming and expensive.

GRP vs Felt for Roofing

Unfortunately, there is no one answer for which roofing material is better than the other. This all boils down to application. For instance, the building type, weather conditions, and longevity will all need to be considered when it comes to reaching a definitive answer.

If you’re completely unsure of which roofing route is best for your property, Leeds & District Roofing LTD. Is here to help. Contact us for advice and guidance or to book a free, no-obligation quote.

We look forward to hearing from you and helping to transform your property.

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