single-layer tapered roofing insulation

Factory-controlled and bonded, single-layer tapered roofing insulation systems offer a cost-effective and time-saving alternative to multi-layer solutions for flat roofs. These systems effectively manage water run-off, directing it to appropriate outlets or gutters, thereby extending the lifespan of the waterproofing and the roof itself. Additionally, they minimise the occurrence of cold bridging, which often leads to damp spots at the junctions between the roof and the wall. To ensure customers select the correct single-layer solution for their project, they need to ask their supplier specific questions during the specification process. But what questions are the most pertinent?


Inadequate insulation in a building can result in significant heat escape, with the roof alone accounting for approximately 25% of this loss. Consequently, a roof’s performance is crucial to meeting energy regulations and reducing operational costs. Timely intervention is necessary to prevent roof insulation from deteriorating and potentially damaging the building’s structure.


Stock availability

Availability of stock is a crucial factor when it comes to early intervention or refurbishment projects. However, the global shortage of building materials has led to longer lead times, increased costs, and project delays. By engaging with a manufacturer such as Gradient, which manufactures its flat roofing and tapered roofing solutions in the UK, customers can benefit from reliable stock availability. Local sourcing of materials not only ensures availability but also promotes cost-effectiveness and sustainability compared to overseas purchases.


What does the survey say?

When selecting tapered roofing insulation, it is essential to consider conducting a comprehensive survey of the roof. This helps determines a roof’s dimensions, identifies potential obstructions such as rooflights and drainage outlets, and takes into account any necessary adjustments for the insulation layout. This step becomes particularly significant for single-layer insulation systems, as they cannot be altered once delivered to the site.



Compliance with industry standards is of utmost importance when choosing a tapered insulation system. Working with a specialist manufacturer in tapered insulation ensures that factors such as water run-off, pitch size, wind load calculation, falls, and weight ratio are appropriately considered. References such as the Single Ply Roofing Association (SPRA) code of practice and the BS: 6229: 2018 standard for flat roof design and maintenance provide additional guidance on best practices and performance requirements.


Interrogate the brief

Beyond the initial project brief, it is crucial for suppliers to ask clients pertinent questions to fully understand their requirements. Answers that reveal the desired outcomes for the roof, budget constraints and project timescales help deliver a tailored tapered solution that aligns with the client’s needs.


Technical support

Assessing a manufacturer’s technical support capabilities is another crucial aspect. Suppliers should not consider their job complete upon delivering the goods. Customers should seek assurance that the manufacturer’s support extends from the design and specification process to installation and beyond. Gradient, for instance, offers a dedicated technical team to provide comprehensive assistance.


Product understanding

Customers should not hesitate to ask questions regarding the product’s performance and technical specifications. Understanding factors including thermal properties and compressive strength enables customers to make informed decisions about selecting the appropriate single-layer system for their roof.


Cost analysis

Budgetary considerations are integral to roof insulation selection, but quality should always be the deciding factor. As a pointer, a single-layer roofing solution saves you money by reducing your flat roof maintenance and refurbishment costs. Ready to install once delivered to site, the insulation within a single-layer bond will have been monitored for its volume and minimum coating adhesion performance, leaving installers with the relatively straightforward task of installing it – in one block – to the roof, followed by the waterproofing. This not only guarantees the insulation will perform as-designed in concert with the single-layer roofing membrane details, it significantly reduces application times and material waste. Whilst a multi-layer tapered solution might appear to be a more cost-effective option, the benefit is negated by the additional hours it takes to bond and install the tapered roofing insulation layer-by-layer; a process that is eliminated with a pre-bonded, single-layer membrane system.


Product and supplier track record

When evaluating a manufacturer’s credentials, some investigative research is advisable.  Examining case studies on the company’s website provides insights into their involvement in similar roofing projects and how their products addressed specific challenges. Testimonials from other clients and contractors also contribute to assessing a manufacturer’s reputation and product quality.


Make Gradient your full-service 

Gradient stands out as an all-round service provider in the field of single-layer insulation. With almost four decades of experience, Gradient offers bespoke production of flat roof and tapered roof insulation systems. Their turnkey service includes pre-design surveys, thermal calculations, and condensation risk assessments. This commitment has earned Gradient a reputable position in the industry as a manufacturer of top-quality insulation systems that are suitable for a wide range of tapered applications. Which leads us to the ultimate question: how can Gradient help with your next building project?


For more information on how Gradient can help you and your project, or if you have a specific technical query, contact us via our technical helpline on 01543 678777 or email: