TDUK responds to concerns raised over roofing batten treatments

TDUK members will have seen the recent stories and claims on some media sites about chemical treatment from roofing battens leaching out and causing damage to roofing membranes, as well as claims of it causing skin complaints among roofing personnel.


While Timber Development UK is in no position to verify or deny the claims made, we do take all claims of substandard timber product entering the market very seriously.

We would like to remind all TDUK members, their customers and the wider construction  industry about the TDUK Trade Note ‘Tile Batten Quality Control’ and other critical information around timber battens we have previously circulated.

This information provides guidance on how everyone in the construction supply chain can protect themselves against potentially fraudulent or substandard tile batten which may be present on the UK market.

Copies of these previous communications can be found on the TDUK website.

We would also like to urge TDUK members and construction firms who work with roofing battens to take the following steps to ensure they always purchase quality product that complies with British Standards BS 5534 and BS 8417:

  • Always purchase tile batten from reputable suppliers, preferably those who are TDUK members
  • Very few brands of tile batten can be identified as reputable by colour alone; therefore buyers should always request and obtain additional product safety information before making a purchase.
  • Buyers should always request a treatment certificate with every delivery to ensure the tile batten has been correctly pressure treated to Use Class 2 and so that the preservative can be clearly identified.
  • Each preservative identified will have its own specific User Guide which should be obtained from your supplier. This will detail the correct storage information for the product and the Personal Protective Equipment necessary during handling and installation.
  • It is a regulatory requirement that preservative-treated wood must be touch dry before transportation from the treatment plant. Therefore, buyers should never accept delivery of tile batten packs that are saturated or appear to be dripping any form of liquid.

It is important to emphasise that, unlike during the period immediately post-COVID, there are currently no supply problems that preclude buyers from obtaining tile batten that is fully compliant with UK national standards BS 5534 and BS8417 in terms of product performance and safety.

Additionally, TDUK advocates for the use of third-party accreditation to back up performance claims in relation to the above standards. This includes the requirement developed in association with our partners at the Wood Protection Association (WPA) for all TDUK members to have independent third-party accreditation for their treatment plants, as well as for any preservative-treated wood they purchase or have treated elsewhere.  More details on this requirement can be found on the TDUK website.

It is a regulatory requirement that the active ingredients in preservative treated wood placed on the UK market must comply with UK Biocidal Products Regulations, which includes pack labelling.  Further information can be found on the HSE website.

As with all other construction products, preservative-treated tile battens sold through a merchant’s yard, or delivered to a construction site, should always be subject to a COSHH risk assessment. Employers must provide their employees with information about the hazards, risks and control measures that they have put in place.  Further information can be found on the HSE website.

More information on the specification requirements and technical details of any timber product can be found online at www.timberdevelopment.uk