A Roofing Contractor’s Career Comes Full Circle

Original station

WHEN LEE HARDING started his career in roofing over 25 years ago he was excited to be involved with a project to renew the roof of the enclosed passenger footbridge at Lancaster Railway Station.

Lee Harding headshot
Lee Harding, Project Manager at Permacoat ltd

As a young Sika Sarnafil fitter at the time the new roof was being installed, Lee assisted with replacing the roof covering.

Now, history has come full circle as Lee is the Project Manager at flat roofing specialists, Permicoat Ltd and was tasked with managing the roof’s renewal as it is once again being refurbished.

Lee comments, “The new install was emotional for me. It was strange to see my old work now being replaced and thinking about all the roofs I have worked on in the intervening years – far too many to remember!”

Lee explains how the footbridge roof was first covered in Sarnafil G410-15elf in1998. The new roof was fully adhered over the original felt covering using sarnacol2142.

Lee adds: “This original Sarnafil roof has withstood 23 years, which is a testament to the longevity of the product.”

Station work in progress

Replacing Like for Like

Fast forward to the present day, and with such an impressive performance track record, Lee chose Sarnafil again to provide a like-for-like replacement, using G410-15elf fully bonded again, but this time with sarnacol2142v. The practicality of this product and its durability lends itself well to this type of application.

Timber overlay

On 19 April, 2021 the project got underway as the roof covering of the footbridge was removed to expose the original 22mm tongue and groove timbers fixed at 5-foot centres.

The timber frame spacing was problematic because it didn’t provide sufficient stability. So, with Sarnafil Technical Team back up provided by Jack Finley, and in collaboration with the site team from engineers, Taziker Industrial, the main contractor, it was decided to overlay the old timber framework. Using 12mm marine ply panels to strengthen the roof base, a stiffer, more secure base for the Sarnafil covering was achieved.

Once this was complete, the team decided to coat the original cast iron guttering in Sika 625 light grey to extend its life.

The project was finished with a newly fitted stepped lead flashing with lime mortar to match the existing stonework from the 1890s. The finished look is an aesthetically pleasing appearance for the station’s travelling public, who see the new roof day after day.

Lime stone original work

Working Round the Station Timetable

The project was completed in just 11 days, thanks to a fully enclosed temporary roof erected by Taziker. Lee comments: “In the old days, when I first did this project, we were reliant on track closures, so the time on site was extended and resulted in night work. Now, with the canopy in place the install time is so much less.”

Lead flashingLee continues, “As Project Manager, Permicoat tasked me with finding an expert Sarnafil fitter capable of this difficult install. It was important to find someone whose skills we were confidant in as this roof was going to be on permanent show to the public.

“After talking to Sarnafil Field Technician, Kevin Merone, I chose Paul Johnson, a fitter whose installs I have followed over the years. Paul and his team did a fantastic install and should be proud of the workmanship that has been achieved to the standards that were needed.”

“Working on this project was a challenge with the amount of detailing to be done in the time scales available, not to mention working on the timber frameworks. Looking back, 23-years ago, I was just starting out, and now I am in the prime of my career. I have seen that the first roof covering passed the test of time and this new covering will pass the test again, I am sure.

Double Celebration

And now Lee is doubly celebrating as he has been awarded an NVQ Level 6 in Construction Project Management. His skills and experience have been further recognized with an Associate of the Institute of Roofing membership (AIoR).

“My thanks go to Permicoat, the Taziker site team, Chris Grayson Project Manager, Neil Bamford Site Manager, Sarnafil’s Jack Finley, Kevin Merone Field Technician and Paul Johnson for the install. This project was a great team effort from all and it’s been a pleasure to revisit my old ‘friend’ at Lancaster Railway Station again,” concludes Lee.

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