Roof Inspections and Surveys for Your Property
Roof leaks are a homeowner's worst nightmare. It doesn't matter if you have the most beautiful roof in your neighbourhood, the moment you see water coming through your ceiling or running down your walls, it feels like you've just lost everything.
The need for a professional roof inspection and survey is often taken too casually by homeowners. If you are purchasing a property it is important to ensure a suitable building survey has been carried out to assess the structural condition of the building and to identify any defects, problems, or damage that may affect its value or suitability as a home.
Often the building surveyor strays from this remit and inspects visible areas of the exterior, including roofs. Roofs are not structurally independent elements but form part of the overall construction design. Consequently, detailed inspections are usually only carried out during a building survey when there is evidence that repairs to other parts may have had an adverse effect on the roof.
There are some situations, however, where a detailed inspection of the roof is necessary during a building survey and this is covered in detail in our FAQs (see below). For example; when the surrounding properties have been demolished to expose the boundary line; roofs with complicated construction layouts such as flat roofs with valleys or metal sheet roofs where the underlays may require replacement or repair work.
Roof surveys are usually carried out by a qualified and certified Surveyor who is trained to identify defects in the roof construction and advise on their repair, including making necessary drawings to assist with obtaining quotations for the works. The survey can also be used as evidence if there is a later dispute about the condition of a roof when it was inspected.
In some cases, a structural survey can also be included in the report to establish whether there is any significant problem with the roof structure itself. This normally means that drawings have been prepared and form part of the contract between owner and contractor.
What is a roof survey?
A roof survey is a written report, including measurements and sketches made by a competent person who has been formally trained in surveying. The report should advise on what can be done about any defects that have been identified.
Most roof surveys are designed to identify defects and damage that might lead to more costly repairs in the near future - not all surveys are designed to identify faults that would make the roof unsafe.
What would a full roof survey cost?
In most cases, the charge for a full roof survey would be in the region of £350 - £400. This would include a full written report and all the necessary drawings required for your contractor to be able to quote for any remedial action that may need taking.
Is a roof survey necessary?
It is always a good idea to have your roof surveyed regularly, normally every five years. This may be carried out by either you or your contractor at the end of the life expectancy for that particular type of roof covering (normally 20 - 25 years) when it will then need replacing.
The survey will highlight any damage and defects which might not be visible to the naked eye. All roof coverings become porous over time, allowing water vapour to pass through them, but also allowing pollutants and other elements to invade your property. This could cause decay and possible rusting of ironwork amongst other faults. The surface will need removing (normally done by hand using scrapers) and any repairs carried out.
How would a surveyor inspect a roof?
For a roof with a solid surface, this is simply a case of using a ladder to gain access and using a wet and dry vacuum cleaner. For those roofs which have tiles or slates on them, these will normally be removed by the surveyor as they can cause damage if not treated correctly. Once any tiles or slates have been removed, the roof will be inspected as normal.
What does a typical survey involve?
A typical roof inspection or survey involves a thorough examination of the fabric of the building, noting any defects and maintenance requirements on a specially designed form. The surveyor should also provide advice on how a structure may be made weatherproof by repair using traditional materials and pointing as appropriate.
Typical building survey that may be carried out on a roof:
A professional building surveyor will produce a written report on findings along with recommendations as to what should or could be done to rectify any faults found. If the surveyor feels that the building is in good condition, this report will be submitted along with a quote for any work required.
Would a house survey also cover the roof?
A roof is not included in most house surveys unless the report specifically states that it is. A written building surveyor's report will include an overview of the exterior and interior of the property along with any issues encountered during the inspection. If a problem is noted, such as external water penetration or wear to tiles on the roof, this should be indicated in the report with information on what has caused this. For example, it may be possible that the property is built in an area of high winds or down-draught, which means that advice should be sought from the surveyor on how to correct this problem.
Contact the team at Gloucester Roofers for a free no-obligation roof inspection quote or if you have any questions about your roof.