SSQ founder and Managing Director Ahmed El-Helw describes how his company is continuing to find innovative new ways to enhance quality phyllite and natural slate.

How do you innovate with materials that are hundreds of millions of years old? And do you even need to?

At SSQ, those are the questions we’ve been pondering in relation to our quality Spanish slate and Riverstone phyllite – the extremely durable, aesthetically pleasing roofing and cladding materials that are prized around the world.

As it stands, both are already outstanding. Riverstone is gracing domestic and commercial buildings all around the world, from America, to Australia, to thousands of homes and businesses throughout the UK.

Due to its premium quality, Riverstone is also one of the few imported slates that has been accepted by Heritage England and Heritage Scotland as an alternative material to use on grade II listed buildings.

What’s more, Riverstone boasts exceptional durability and water absorption.

Assessed to the US testing standard ASTM C406, Riverstone was awarded an S1 rating, indicating it will last a minimum of 75 years.

It also achieves the highest possible classification in BS EN 12326 – W1-T1-S1.

SSQ’s range of world-class Spanish slate, meanwhile, is hugely stylish, robust and versatile, and has similarly been used to replicate the aesthetics of indigenous slate.

So, with that incredible performance behind it, and thousands of successful installations on stylish buildings around the world, how can products like these be improved?

The short version is that, of course, they can’t. There’s nothing you can do to improve on hundreds of millions of years of natural processes.

What you can do, however, is make them more versatile. And over the past twelve months, we’ve been hard at work developing innovative new ways of doing exactly that.

The first pioneering product to result was Riverstone Ridges.

For decades, the only ridges available for slate roofs were ones that clashed with the material’s natural aesthetics.

This was because it wasn’t yet possible to make ridges out of natural slate, and so installers were forced to use differently coloured man-made materials instead.

Now, in collaboration with our valued partners at Mayan Roofing, we’ve created a solution.

We’ve used real Riverstone phyllite slates and chemically bonded them to a GRP waterproof layer to deliver authentic aesthetics and outstanding performance.

They’re also extremely easy to fit. Supplied pre-drilled and with two stainless steel retaining screws, the ridges are permanently secured in place with the invisible RidgeFix method.

They can be quickly cut and drilled on site, and come with ridge tiles, block ends, hip ends and ridge caps.

We’re extremely proud of Riverstone Ridges, and want to thank Mayan Roofing for all their help in bringing this innovative solution to life.

Another ground-breaking SSQ innovation is our Weather Pro Roofing System – a revolutionary installation technique for natural slate that requires no eaves or ridge cut slates.

With its broken bond layout, it ensures the finished roof isn’t just functional but aesthetically pleasing, as well as significantly easier to fit.

Requiring 50% less slate than other systems, it allows for pitches as low as 12.5 degrees, and weighs only 19.7kg per square metre.

It’s also fully fire-rated, and requires 20% less batten that conventional installation methods.

At SSQ, we’re incredibly proud of the latest advancements we’ve made. We’ve helped make some of the world’s leading roofing materials even more versatile and accessible – and in future, we’ll keep striving to push the envelope further.

For more information about SSQ and the slates we supply, contact us here or call 020 8961 7725.

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