The Liquid Roofing and Waterproofing Association represents the fastest growing sector of the construction industry. Suitable for new-build and refurbishment projects, liquid membranes have delivered proven performance in the UK since the 1970’s with literally millions of square metres laid.
Our aim is to raise awareness of both the technical and financial benefits of specifying liquid applied waterproofing systems and provide independent advice for specifiers.
Many of the UK and Europe’s leading manufacturers of liquid applied membranes are members of the association, along with their approved contractors and suppliers.
This diverse member mix means the LRWA can act as a collective voice for the industry, providing guidance on industry standards and best practice.
The comprehensive range of products and services available means our members can provide solutions throughout a project, whether it’s the roof, balcony, basement, walkway or car park.
To ensure specifiers get the very best solutions and expert installation we recommend using LRWA member companies. These are businesses that are devoted to best industry practice and aim to supply and install their systems to a client’s complete satisfaction.
All our manufacturer members have to meet stringent quality criteria before membership with the LRWA can be approved. This includes:
- Having their own quality systems that meet ISO 9001 standards
- Providing trained technical staff to give support in the office and out on site
- Achieving independent product accreditations such as BBA and ETA certificates
- Developing their own approved contractor schemes and providing full training for these contractors
- Supplying systems with a minimum 10-year guarantee
One of our biggest achievements has been the development of apprenticeship and up-skilling programmes for contractors, which helps to keep installation quality high and supports the young installers of tomorrow.
As part of this we have established the LRWA Liquid Applied Membrane Training Centre, in conjunction with the National Federation of Roofing Contractors and the Construction Library; created online training modules in liquid waterproofing in conjunction with the National Federation of Roofing Contractors and Construction Library; and provided a RIBA approved online CPD to educate specifiers.
We provide technical guidance for specifiers through Guidance Notes and the LRWA Code of Practice, and our members work together to ensure liquids are represented within industry standards such as the BREEAM Green Guide to Specification.
Through partnerships with other roofing trade associations, the National Federation of Roofing Contractors and the Institute of Roofing, the LRWA is working hard to move the flat roofing industry forwards and ensure quality products with quality installations.
The achievement of vocational qualifications in Liquid Roofing & Waterproofing is supported by this organisation
- Sarah SpinkCEO of the LRWA – Sarah has worked in the Liquid Roofing Industry since 2006 and has been the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the LRWA since March 2017.
- Gary HemmingsLRWA Chairman and Director – Gary started working within the roofing and waterproofing industry fresh from college back in 1996.
- Cliff WestonLRWA Director – Cliff has been working in the construction industry for 30 years.
- Ian BirchLRWA Director – Ian started work with Crown Paints in Darwen as a management trainee in 1982 and studied to attain an HNC in applied chemistry during his time there.
- Mark FlelloLRWA Director – Mark started his career in the laboratories of Evode Ltd in Stafford before transferring across to a subsidiary company, Evode Roofing, as a Roofing Technician.
- Chris BottLRWA Director – Contractor Representative North – Chris graduated from the University of Brighton in 1996, achieving Chartered status with the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors in 1999 and is a member of the Association for Project Safety.
- Rafal DrabikLRWA Director- Contractor Representative South – Rafal is the owner and founder of London Seamless Flat Roofing Ltd that has been running for 14 years. Prior to this he worked as a liquid installer for 3 years.
- Mike BradburyChairman of the LRWA Technical Committee – Mike Bradbury, Liquid Product Manager at Bauder, was appointed to the role of Vice Chair of the Technical Committee in June 2019. Mike’s experience in flat roofing and liquids spans more than 15 years.
- Steve HenshawVice Chairman Technical Committee – After graduating in Quantity Surveying in 1995, Steve joined Polyroof Products working in manufacturing, sales and on-site technical support.
- Matthew SextonInsulation subcommittee chair and representative on B/546 committee – Matthew Sexton is market development and technical standards director at BMI, and the LRWA’s representative on the B/546 committee.
- Steve LeechBusiness Development Manager of the LRWA – Steve has worked in the liquid roofing industry for 33 years, and has a strong commercial background working at a high level developing relationships with contractors and specifiers throughout his career.
- Ray MccartenLRWA Trainer – Ray has been working in the construction industry for over 30 years, starting as a house builder and general contractor. Ray’s company has specialised in liquid applied roofing for 25 years, having laid his first liquid applied roofing system in 1992.
- Andrea CarbinLRWA Administrative Secretary – Andrea has worked in the liquid roofing industry since 1987, and currently works as a senior PA, providing business support to the Head of BU Roofing at Sika Limited.
- Clare ReadmanLRWA Admin Support – Clare is qualified in business, bookkeeping, project management and business coaching and has worked with large corporations for more than 30 years in customer service, operations and project management roles.
The LRWA was originally formed as the BRCMA (Bituminous Roof Coating Manufacturers Association), in the 1970’s in order to promote good practice in the industry.
In the early 90’s it became apparent that growth in non-bituminous products was active and the association reinvented itself as ELRA (European Liquid Roofing Association) incorporating all liquid roofing systems.
Additionally, the organisation was being recognised as an industry voice and thus became involved with the drafting of European standards.
In 2005 a second reinvention recognising the wider markets that the liquid waterproofing was being used in, resulted in the formation of ELWA (European Liquid Waterproofing Association)
In 2010 the association recognised the need for an industry voice for the fastest growing sector of the roofing market in the UK and refocused once again to include Roofing. The association re-launched to become the Liquid Roofing and Waterproofing Association.
History of Liquid Waterproofing
The first liquid coatings used in a waterproofing capacity would have been natural bitumen and date back to biblical times. Boats were waterproofed using bitumen. Natural bitumen in conjunction with various types of fillers (sand etc) was used as roof waterproofing as early as the 1820s.
In the mid to late 1800s natural bitumen was in extensive use in roof waterproofing, the bitumen was being applied as a liquid with various types of reinforcement laid into the liquid such as jute, straw, rag felt and other man-made materials.
It was not until the 1910-1920 period that bitumen waterproofing moved into the factory.
Rubber technology was first used to produce coatings in the 1940s and with the addition of reinforcing fibres a strong waterproofing membrane was developed.
Between 1945 and 1955, various resin technologies were developed by several different manufacturers to improve the performance characteristics of liquid roof coatings and it is not long before the beginnings of the liquid waterproofing industry as we now know it.
In the 1960s and 70s, reactive acrylics, acrylic emulsions, styrene butadienes and unsaturated polyesters were developed and huge steps in improvements to the quality and durability of the liquid coating industry were seen.
In 1975 the first water based elastomeric roof coating was released on to the UK market.
The first BBA Certificate for the application of liquid systems on roofs was issued around 1975 demonstrating that liquid applied coatings provide durable, high quality roofing solutions.
Two component acrylic roof coatings were first used in the UK from 1978.
Providing greater UV stability, two component polyurethane roof coatings were launched in the UK in 1982 and two component unsaturated polyester roof coatings in 1983.
Solvent-based block copolymers coatings based on styrene- ethylene-butadiene were launched in 1985.
Single component moisture triggered polyurethane roof coatings were launched in the UK in 1987 removing the variability of mixing on site, reducing site waste and giving improved moisture tolerance.
The first BBA Certificate for GRP flat roofing was issued in 1988. This was the first recognition of the movement away from ‘general purpose or boat building’ resins towards systems designed specifically for the roofing market.
The early 1990’s saw further innovation in the polyester sector as flexible systems were introduced for direct application to a wider range of substrates.
During 1996 the first 25-year warranty systems were offered to the roofing industry for liquid applied systems further demonstrating the durability of liquid roofing systems.
European Technical Approval Guideline for Liquid Applied Roof Waterproofing Kits (ETAg 005) was endorsed in 2004 providing European-wide guidance against which quality liquid roofing systems can be compared.
Also during 2004, the first totally cold applied warm roof system incorporating all warm roof components and liquid applied membranes from a single supplier was launched. This brought the benefit of a single guarantee for the whole warm roof build-up.
In 2007 the first BBA Certificate for a complete cold applied warm roof system was issued further signifying the drive for quality in the liquid roofing market.