Nottingham Racecourse

May 11, 2021 in Case Studies
Nottingham Racecourse

Roof Area: 70m²
Location: Nottingham
Flex-R Product: Vulkem Quick Liquid Waterproofing
Approved Contractor: Chris Haynes Roofing Ltd

The project

Contributing towards refurbishment work on a building approaching its 35th year – one with huge significance to Nottingham’s leisure industry – was an exciting challenge for Flex-R’s Specialist Registered Installer (SRI), Chris Haynes Roofing Ltd. Furthermore, with the job being performed on a public facility, to be seen and used by a large number of people, it was crucial that it was executed to the highest possible standard.

Situated in Colwick Park, Nottingham Racecourse has hosted race meetings for over 100 years and celebrated its centenary in 1992 with the opening of a new members’ stand. However, after a recent fire damaged part of the grandstand, work was required to repair and upgrade a small link roof which connects the grandstand, an adjacent stand and the directors’ box.

Fortunately, the fire had caused limited structural damage which meant an overlay solution was all that was required. Due to the link roof acting as a main walkway for visitors to the racecourse, it demanded a roofing membrane that was able to cope with a high volume of foot traffc. Although relatively small in size, the area presented numerous tricky angles, upstands and intricate detailing. The grandstand wall sits to one side of the space whilst parapet walls lie along the remaining edges. The presence of a number of bolts which fix onto metal railings were embedded into the roof and also had to be considered as part of the product selection.

The Solution

Getting the correct product selection was essential for project. Flex-R’s Area Sales manager Steven Clowes confirms: “Initially, the contractor was considering using Flex-R’s RubberBond EPDM to cover the area. However, following discussion on the project we recommended using Vulkem Quick liquid waterproofing.

“As a liquid the Vulkem Quick provides a seamless monolithic liquid product that can easily work around the tight spaces and angles such as the ones seen on this project. However, the system also features PUMA technology which allows for a very high level of mechanical resistance and enhanced performance making it suitable for highly trafficked areas. The addition of a sand topcoat creates a textured surface to provide additional wear and slip resistance.”


The functionality and effectiveness of the Vulkem liquid is heavily dependent on how the product is applied. Laid too thinly and the cured system may crack. Conversely, if it is applied too thickly, pinholes, blisters or bubbles may develop in the coating weakening the integrity of the product. As the installers at Chris Haynes Roofing hadn’t worked with the Vulkem system, Flex-R arranged for on-site training with the manufacturer, Tremco to learn the application process and also discuss detailing specific to this project.

Vulkem is a two-component mixture which, in most cases, removes the need for an additional fleece layer. However, this does require more work in advance to achieve the high-quality finish of the product.

Chris, Director at Chris Haynes Roofing confirms “We discovered very quickly that preparation is essential to the success of a product like Vulkem. There are a number of steps a contractor must follow including getting the substrate clean and performing an adhesion test to confirm that the product will bond to the surface.

“Flex-R, who have a lot of experience in working with cold applied systems, were on-site to guide us through the process and make sure the project went smoothly.

“It is vital that the substrate is clean, dry and frost-free before application. The area was already wet due to previous rainfall and we could carry out the cleaning process using brushes to remove the dirt. Once this had dried, we brushed the area again and used a leaf blower to remove any remaining debris.”

Owing to an oily residue being present, the upstands required cladding with an OSB board. Chris then applied a primer to the wooden areas along with a metal primer on the bolts and cleats. A couple of minor dips on the main roof were also filled in with the Vulkem Quick membrane to ensure the surface was level.

With the primer dry the contractors applied the first layer of Vulkem liquid waterproofing to the main roof area. The membrane is spread evenly to obtain a depth of 2mm, which is essential to avoid any cracking or blistering. A spiked roller was then passed over the wet membrane to release any air from the product to get rid of air pockets and aid the levelling process. Once level a cured a quartz sand containing anti-slip silicone flakes was scattered evenly over the top. This was left to cure for around 1½ to 2 hours, before application of a final topcoat.

Due to the fluid nature of liquid products, they are not suitable for use on vertical edge surfaces and on the upstands Chris changed to Vulkem Thix, a non-drop version of the membrane. A base layer of the product was first applied with a brush, before embedding a tissue paper bandage into the surface of the liquid. A final layer of the membrane was then painted over the bandage.

Completed Project

The decision to use the Vulkem liquid product on this project was crucial to its success. Its ability to withstand heavy foot traffic and harsh weather conditions, added to the fact it can easily be manoeuvred around tight spaces, meant it was the ideal choice for the link roof.

Chris Haynes confirms: “We had never worked with a PUMA waterproofing system before and didn’t realise that a liquid could be used for a walkway. Flex-R were on-hand throughout the process to make sure we were properly trained and fully understood the product before starting work on this roof.”