When working on roof restoration and refurbishment on historical buildings, we often encounter bats living in the roof spaces. Once bats are found to be roosting in your property, there are many rules and regulations that must be followed to ensure they are still able to access the roof cavity, are unharmed by any of the products used or by any changes made to the roof.

Bats are the only true flying mammal in the world, and therefore are part of our natural heritage. Bats are a protected species in the UK, as they play an important role in nature. It is a criminal offence to intentionally capture, injure or kill a bat or disturb a roosting bat.

Breathable roof membrane

Using a modern breathable roof membrane (BRM), also known as non-bitumen coated roofing membranes, when refurbishing a traditional roof is the best product to keep the roof water tight and condensation free.

However, we have not been able to install BRM when bats are present, because they are made from spun-bond polypropylene/polyethylene filaments. These fibres have a tendency to be pulled out by roosting bats and pose an entanglement threat, something we certainly want to avoid. Previously, using a traditional felt roof lining instead of a BRM was our only option, however this style of membrane is non-breathable and therefore there is a risk of condensation build up.

New product to market

Until this year, Natural England (NE), Natural Resource Wales (NRW) and the Bat Conservation Trust were in agreement that BRMs should be avoided in known bat roosts.

However, since March 2023 there is a new bat safe BRM on the market from SIGA. Majcoat 200 SOB, is a Swiss-made breathable membrane suitable for the external protection of roof structures. Although Natural England initially didn’t recognise SIGA’s new BRM as being bat-safe, in an evaluation of the snagging propensity carried out the Leeds Institute of Textiles and Colour, part of the University of Leeds School of Design, they found it to be safe.

We are very pleased that this new bat-safe BRM is available for use on all our future re-roof and roof refurbishment project in the future.

Why choose West Country Tiling

Contact us if you have a roofing project that requires an experienced team to make your roof regulation compliant and bat-safe. Please get in touch on 01373 462 224 or by emailing us on info@westcountrytiling.com.