Cloisters of Saint John Lateran, Rome. Source:

Thursday, 30 June 2016

A 25-Year Guarantee Clinched The Decision To Re-Roof Westminster Cathedral In Asphalt.

Abutments to the copper domes and brick parapets were the biggest challenge.

Abutments to the Copper Domes and Brick Parapets
were the biggest challenge.
Illustration: RIBAJ

This Article can be read in full at RIBAJ

When Westminster Cathedral’s roof was first asphalted, back in 1903, it would have utilised naturally-occurring asphalt deposits dug up from an overseas lake.

These days, things are done a little differently. Instead, IKO’s Permaphalt – a polymer modified mastic asphalt – was specified for the extensive re-roofing of the Roman Catholic Cathedral by Cathedral Architect, Michael Drury from St Ann’s Gate Architects.

Illustration: RIBAJ

‘Asphalt had worked well for the Cathedral in the past and there was no reason why it shouldn’t again,’ he says, adding that the new roofing’s twenty-five-year guarantee clinched the decision for a like-for-like replacement.

Drury had identified the need to replace the roof surface as a priority, in his quinquennial inspection of the Cathedral, which was designed in the Early-Byzantine Style by J. F. Bentley. Although the roof had been repaired over the years, the report detected cracking in the surface and up-stands and the presence of moisture within.


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