Understanding the importance of roof upstands for rooflights

October 31, 2023

Rooflights are a timeless architectural feature.

These products are a cost-effective, minimally invasive solution for all your interior design woes. Looking to brighten up your workspace with more natural daylight? Maybe you’re trying to make a home more attractive to potential buyers.

Whatever your renovation plans are, rooflights remain the number one choice for those in need of a simple yet effective change. Plus, with a reliable installer like TuffX at the helm, you won’t need to worry about installing the rooflight yourself: we’ll do all the hard work!

However, it’s always good to know more about the product you’re investing in.

For example, did you know that a roof upstand is one of the most important components of a rooflight? If not, stay tuned as we delve deeper into the technology that makes rooflights so efficient.

What are rooflights?

Before we start, let’s clear up the (sometimes) confusing definition of rooflights.

Often used interchangeably with skylights, rooflights are windows installed on the roof of properties.

They can be fixed or openable and provide property owners with enhanced levels of natural daylight. Plus, they can give older properties a more modern edge with their sleek, minimalistic appearance.

At TuffX, our rooflights are engineered with clear, toughened safety glass and encased within an anthracite grey powder-coated aluminium thermally broken frame. While this may sound technical, all it means is that they’re robust and energy-efficient (with a U-value of 1.2 w/m2!)

Our rooflights are designed to minimise heat loss, meaning they’ll reduce heat and cold transfer and stabilise the temperature in your home. No more feeling stifled in summer and freezing in winter: a rooflight could increase thermal comfort and even save you money.

Not only may you be less reliant on heating, but previously dark properties will have less need for overhead lamps and artificial lighting. Instead, you can bask in the warmth of the sunlight at different times throughout the day.

What are roof upstands?

Roof upstands are crucial components in flat roofing.

These raised structures or frames ensure that walls, windows, doors and roofs are adequately protected from water ingress.

Upstands help direct water away by preventing it from running down and entering the property, which could damage timbers, exposed brickwork, and, eventually, the room your rooflight sits above.

Upstands are not just a structural choice. They’re mandated per British building standards to safeguard against water damage and guarantee optimum functionality.

According to the Manual for Building Regulations, upstands should be a minimum of 150mm above the finished roof surface at abutments, roof windows, and parapets. This measurement prevents rainwater from splashing against and eroding exposed brickwork.

Why do I need an upstand for my rooflight?

We know all rooflights need an upstand because of UK building regulations, but why else were these rules implemented?

1. Prevent water pooling

First and most obviously, an upstand elevates the rooflight to avoid water accumulating on the glass surface.

2. Avoid leakages

A positive side-effect to this lack of water pooling means that upstands direct water away from the rooflight, safeguarding against potential leakages and water damage to your property’s interior.

3. Enhanced thermal efficiency

The airtight installation of your upstand can also contribute to the rooflight’s overall energy efficiency. It can help minimise heat loss and optimise your rooflight’s thermal performance.

4. Facilitate repairs

A roof upstand allows for easier maintenance, repair, or replacement of the rooflight in the future without needing to alter the roof itself.

5. Seamless integration

Last but not least, upstands give rooflights their signature look. They ensure the rooflight looks level and blends harmoniously with the existing roof.

Invest in rooflights with TuffX!

The more you know about rooflights, the better!

Now, you can make an informed decision on whether a rooflight is right for your property. Upstands are a crucial part of what makes our products so efficient: they prevent erosion, make repairs easier and give your rooflight that classic, seamless finish.

To find out what TuffX has to offer, get in touch!

We can tell you more about our technical components, including our toughened laminated and heat-soaked glass, as well as introduce you to our extensive range of framed and frameless rooflights.