Roger Bisby tries out the Innofix Clip from Redland
Despite the change in the standard BS 5534 Code of Practice for Roof Slating and Tiling there are still a lot of roofers out there laying interlocking tiles without any fixings.
Nobody can put an exact figure on this, but there are more tiles being sold than clips, and it is highly likely that the smaller contractor working on domestic jobs are the ones most likely to skip the clip.
There are three possible reasons I can think of for this state of affairs. One is that they don’t know about the new requirement for single lapped roof tiles to be mechanically fixed.
Two is that they know about the new standard but figure that doing it the way they have always done it – nailing every fifth course – was OK for years, so don’t see why it shouldn’t be in the future. Three is that they know about it but find it such a pain to do that they simply don’t bother.
None of these arguments will hold water, because the fact is that roof tiles do sometimes blow off in high winds and, when they do, an insurance company is always going to be looking for roofs that haven’t been fixed to the latest relevant standards.
Even more important is that any injury sustained by a falling roof tile that hasn’t be fixed properly could result in the contractor being prosecuted.
Having said, it has to be acknowledged that mechanically fixing every tile takes time and costs money, so anything that can be done to speed the job is welcome. One such invention is the Innofix Clip from Redland. I went down to the company’s National Training Centre near Gloucester to see how this clip is making roofers’ lives a lot easier.
The first thing I liked is that Innofix Clips are not sold in a tangle. They are neatly laid in rows of 50 in a cassette, so you can lay them out on the roof with the tiles and move them along the course as you go. No more fishing in your pouch and shaking them out and losing half of them down the roof.
The clips are colour coded with a paint mark, so you can be sure you are using the right clip for the tile. I quickly found that there is a technique to putting the clip on that makes it incredibly easy. It took me about ten clips to master it and, once I did, I found I had been making it more difficult than it should be.
I was trying to do it with my right hand, because I am right handed, but it is a lot easier to do if you take the clip off the cassette with your left hand and slide the hook down the edge of the tile and under the batten. You will hear a satisfying click as it engages with the underside of the batten.
If the rafter is close or under the clipping point you simply have to spring the clip to the left slightly to find the free space. It is undoubtedly the easiest tile clip I have ever fixed, and just to remind myself of how hard life was before Innofix came on the scene I tried a couple of alternatives that required a hammer.
No doubt I could have improved my speed if I nailed a few hundred clips in, but even when Redland tried their clip up against guys who regularly nail hundreds of clips a day they still beat them hands down.
I would also say that it is a more secure clip, because it doesn’t split the batten or distort in any way, it simply slides down and clicks, and if you try to lift the tile up you will see just how effective it is.
Around the perimeter you will still need to nail the tiles, as well as clipping them, but you will then have the makings of a very secure roof. There is, of course, also the ridge to consider, but that is a whole subject in itself and one for another time. I plan another trip to the Redland National Training Centre – I liked it there.
For more information on Redland visit www.redland.co.uk