A plastic bottle packaging business in Leeds, West Yorkshire looked to a fellow Leeds business – roofing contractor DPR Roofing, after heavy snow had caused a large number of leaks in the company’s factory roof.

Esterform Packaging manufacture PET (polyethylene terephthalate) bottles for juices, milkshakes and other beverages to a number of high profile brands across the country, including Mars, Cadburys, Frijj and Tesco. But after two separate weeks of heavy snowfall covered Leeds in the white stuff in January, the packaging factory’s roof had sprung several leaks and that’s when Leeds roofers DPR were called in to inspect the roof in more detail.

A two-man survey was carried out which discovered a number of leaks spread across the inner edges of the factory roof where the weight of the snow had caused significant damage to the roof structure. As it melted the water then found its way into the factory itself.

The manager of the factory was shown photographs that illustrated the damage before giving DPR the go ahead to repair the roof.

The roofers first began cleaning down the entire roof area to all external sides, approximately one metre in.

Then a primer base coat was applied with a junction seal to all leaks.
Next, to further protect the repaired leaks DPR’s own specialist glass-fibre resin compound top coat was applied to the same areas and onto the upstands.

To address the biggest leak in the central roof section the team applied a glass-fibre primer base and top coat to an area of approximately 3msq around the leak.

Finally all resultant debris was removed from the roof and surrounding premises to leave the roof water-tight and fully functional again.

On learning the nature of Esterform’s business, DPR managing director Darren Rickett said: “Once again from simply fixing businesses’ roofs in Leeds we have learnt that the region plays an important part in the supply chain process to many national and international brands.

“When we are sipping our bottles of pop, juice and other beverages on Leeds’ roofs on those hot summer days we now know that some of those plastic bottles could have been made right here in the city.

“It’s also reassuring to know that Esterform Packaging’s whole business is based around recycling and reducing the amount of waste that goes into landfill.”

Already a packaging business, the Leeds factory on Gelderd Road, on the outskirts of Leeds, was purchased by Worcestershire-based Esterform in 2005 as part of a successful expansion effort. Today Esterform produces 720 million bottles at their factories in Leeds and Tenbury Wells, Worcestershire.

After successfully repairing the roof’s leaks Darren commented on the problems that snow on roofs can cause: “Our busiest times come in the aftermath of severe weather such as heavy wind and rain and also snow.

“Snow is a big problem for flat roofs as the weight of the snow can cause them to bow if they are not properly supported. Even when the snow does begin to melt it can cause damage due to the sheer amount of water produced as a result. Leaks appear in the roof and guttering can also be damaged.

“It is after the storms have passed that the damage begins to reveal itself.

“If you have easy access to your flat roof we recommend trying to remove the bulk of it before the weight or water causes any damage. Of course it’s not always possible to do this so if you are worried about how snow might affect your roof it’s always best to call in a professional to assess the situation.”