Advice Hub: Roofs

Roofs are a common problem in the surveys we undertake. Whether they are flat, pitched, tiled, slate, thatched, each comes with its own unique character and potential problems. These articles look at the problems we have encountered with roofs and how you can prevent them with good maintenance. We also address the problems caused when extensions are added to properties and the roofing joins don't work well causing damp problems in property.

top down view or the roof of a house

A Guide to Roof Surveys – What is included?

Roof surveys address various issues, including leaks, structural damage, and insurance claims. They cover roof problems, chimney issues, and more. They involve visual inspections from the ground or the use of licensed drones. Interior assessments are made through safe access points. Regular homeowner checks are advised to detect problems early as timely surveys can prevent costly damage and repairs.
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Asbestos in houses

Asbestos is commonly found in older houses and flat conversions. Homeowners should seek professional guidance if they suspect they have asbestos in their home, as it can pose a significant risk to health if not managed. Landlords also have a duty of care for their tenants and must minimise the risk of exposure to asbestos. It is possible to sell a house with asbestos, and most mortgage providers will still approve a mortgage, but it is advisable to have a survey conducted and get specialist advice.
surveying during corona virus

Surveying during Coronavirus

Despite the COVID-19 lockdown, surveyors and valuers are still able to carry out surveys and inspections in accordance with government guidelines. Surveyors are advised not to conduct non-urgent surveys in homes where people are in residence, but may carry out urgent surveys on empty properties or those where the occupants are following the guidance. Safety measures are in place, such as using PPE, to ensure the safety of staff, clients, and occupants.
building survey; whats in a loft - purlins, rafter, binder, strut

Surveys of lofts and roofs – what we look for

Surveyors inspect lofts in both building surveys and homebuyer reports. Roof spread and bowing timbers can be indicative of overloading and a need for extra strengthening timbers. The surveyor inspects for woodworm holes and any decay, while keeping an eye out for insulation and fire separation.
attic conversion, dormer, rooflight, neighbour agreement

Planning a loft conversion? – Party Wall Agreements

If you're planning a loft conversion in a terraced or semi-detached house, it's likely that the Party Wall Act will apply. If your neighbour dissents, you'll need to draw up a party wall agreement with surveyors. It's important to consult your neighbour before starting any works and to serve the correct notices, as it's your responsibility to do so.
Solar panels dangerous workmanship HSE Health and Safety CDM

Loft conversions – your responsibilities for health and safety

If you're planning to have construction work done on your property, be aware of your responsibilities under the CDM. Domestic clients need to have a principal designer to manage the project's health and safety. The CDM helps all involved in a big project to plan work and manage risks from the beginning, to ensure the right people are involved and are communicating effectively.
blocked gutters

Have you checked your gutters lately?

With the autumn rain pouring down, blocked gutters can cause leaks and flooding. Clearing them is an important task to prevent water from draining down the outside wall of your house, leading to dampness and timber decay. Checking joints, downpipes, and brackets for damage is crucial to prevent overflow. Regular maintenance can save thousands in future repairs.
finlock concrete gutter

Finlock concrete gutters

Finlock gutters were a popular gutter system manufactured by Royston in the 1960s, but they are now outdated and often problematic. Common issues include flooding, blockages, misalignment, leaks, and condensation. Repair options include lining the gutter or cutting away the protruding section and fixing a more traditional fascia board and gutter.