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Mastic Fantastic! Tower and the glory for R J Evans

A project completed by R J Evans Flat Roofing at the world famous Tower of London – one of Britain’s most visited landmarks – has won a prestigious prize at an industry awards event.

The Brentwood-based roofing experts picked up the award of Best Heritage Project for work it carried out on the roof of the Yeomans Keys Club, a private pub within the walls of the Tower.

A team from R J Evans attended the awards lunch in London with more than 150 representatives representing the very best of the industry. Director Ryun Evans said: “We are delighted our work has been recognised by our peers who understood the challenges presented by this project and its high profile. It’s not everyday you get to work at such a prestigious landmark and this award is the icing on the cake.”

The Tower of London dates back almost a thousand years and is now best known for being home to the Crown Jewels, the collection of more than 23,000 gemstones still used in royal ceremonies today. Mastic asphalt has been used as an effective waterproofing system at the Tower for many years, with sections of the asphalt applied from 1860, and many parts of the roof are protected with asphalt which even after 50 years only requires minor repairs.

The latest work carried out by Mastic Asphalt Council (MAC) contractor member RJ Evans was on the roof of the Yeoman Keys Club - a private pub within the fortress wall – and home to 37 Yeoman Warders, a body of men and women drawn from the British military with at least 22 years of active service. Known more commonly as ‘Beefeaters’ they have guarded the Tower since Tudor times although today they serve more as tourist guides and feature in many a tourist photo!

The Yeoman Keys Club is 150 years old and about the size of a tennis court and the roof refurbishment was carried out on behalf of English Heritage by RJ Evans Flat Roofing after consulting with Permanite and the Mastic Asphalt Council regarding the roofing specification. A total surface area of 220m2  was treated and the specification also involved the removal of 40mm of mastic asphalt and up top 50mm of screed.  All work was carried out without the aid of scaffold or temporary roof covering.

Ryun explained in more detail: “Once a 10mm coat of asphalt was applied to the roof, to keep it in the dry, furring battens were cut to a thickness of 20mm - 60mm. A mastic asphalt screed was laid in bays to achieve a consistent fall to the channel. Thereafter, a 2 coat 20mm application of roofing grade mastic asphalt was applied to all horizontal areas and 13mm to upstands”

He added: “As all materials had to be transported over drawbridges, weight and height were a consideration. Smaller asphalt machines were used and small trucks with 1.6 tonne capacity were used 3 to 4 times per day.” Despite the challenges of the project due to its historic nature, the roof refurbishment was completed in just 14 days.

As part of the same project, R J Evans also applied mastic asphalt to Bower Wall Walk - an area of 70m2 - where it was used as waterproofing under slabs.