Like most people who work in the roofing industry, my eye is naturally drawn to rooftops as I travel around the country. When I started out in the industry the world took on a new dimension for me in this regard; never before had I paid enough attention to really notice the beautiful finishes and workmanship that crown our buildings in the UK.

With this new-found admiration of roofs and all things roofing, however, also came a realisation; a realisation that in the UK we are afflicted by a worrying amount of low-quality roofing materials and poorly installed roofs – often atop buildings that would otherwise have looked incredible, whether high-spec new builds or heritage refurbishment projects where corners and/or costs have been cut. It amazes me that the roof, such a vital element of how a finished building will look, is often value engineered to the point where the finish is totally compromised. This is a real issue affecting the roofing industry as a whole, but especially the natural slate market we operate in.

Not only is natural slate beautiful when installed correctly, but it’s also renowned for being one of the highest quality and longest-lasting pitched roof coverings.

Unfortunately, however, the reputation of natural slate is all too frequently tarnished by poor quality slates installed onto roofs; slates that can rust and/or delaminate and ultimately lead to roof failure. Other issues such as colour fading or rust ‘leaching’ may not always lead to roof failure but do have a negative impact on the appearance of a finished building, leaving clients with a poor perception of both the slate and often those who specified it. None of these sub-standard slates have a place in the UK roofing industry, but sadly they are a consistent feature at the low-cost end of the market.

Those who understand how to install slate roofs correctly also appreciate that poor-quality workmanship is a common factor in failing slate roofs. Natural slate requires specialist knowledge, expertise and care to achieve the very best results.  SSQ are therefore keen to ensure that when it comes to our premium slates, Del Carmen Ultra & Riverstone, this ‘very best result’ is exactly what is achieved by coupling our top-quality slates with top-quality workmanship.

Our new initiative Ultra-Cover aims to provide just this – by offering our top-grade slates with a comprehensive range of quality ancillaries and by working with a network of checked and vetted SSQ Assured Installers, SSQ are going above and beyond to safeguard the quality of our projects and to protect the interests of our clients. Not only this, Ultra-Cover provides clients with regular visibility of progress throughout the work and crucially underpins the whole project, materials & workmanship, with a third-party insurance-backed guarantee.

For SSQ’s clients therefore this means that their complete slate roof, in terms of material specification and installation, is protected by the scheme. Ultra-Cover provides unrivalled peace of mind that the roof will remain a beautiful feature of their building, long into the future.

Barry Saltmarsh
National Business Development Director

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