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Top Ten Tips When Using Roofers

top tips using roofersNo matter what the situation is when you need a good local roofer – a quick repair or complete replacement roof – here are ten vital tips you need to be aware of.

These will help clarify what you’re carrying out in the best terms and safest way. To see value for money and a fixed roof at the end of the day.

Therefore, here are the key top ten tips you need to know. You can apply these to almost every situation you come across.

And to make it even easier here's a quick video summarising these:

After decades of experience, these are fine-tuned to the reality of roofing work being carried out, and a helpful checklist to go through for any instruction:

1. A Visual Inspection

Looking at the roof is essential, particularly with an experienced roofer who often spots problems such as gaps in flashings and missing mortar in joints.

However, the problem is access, with being so high up.

Hopefully, a quick look on a ladder will help, with less demanding access provisions like scaffolds and cherry pickers being needed for such a quick inspection.

You can also use technology nowadays, for example, drones with camera pictures or even a look on Google Earth to see a broad-brush look at the roof from a bird’s eye perspective.

2. Correct Compliance

Contractors generally need to tick these boxes nowadays, particularly with higher-risk activities like roofers working at height.

A good roofer will know this and provide the correct documentation, ensuring it fits the job's reality, not just a standard template.

In terms of what’s needed, there are three main types.

Firstly, insurance cover, including public liability for the total amount and in the correct name.

Secondly, accreditation with a professional roofing scheme like the Confederation of Roofing Contractors and The Institute of Roofing has already gone through pre-selection safety criteria with the accreditation body. There can also be general contractors, like Safe Contractor and CHAS.

Thirdly, suitable Health & Safety documentation, whether a formula policy for the company for larger jobs or basic Risk Assessments to cover the task at hand.

3. Applied Risk Assessments

These are part and parcel of the above compliance point but worth a separate mention.

This is the essential way the roofer will identify the real-life risks of each instruction and manage them. This keeps them and others safe and defends any claims and accidents.

Typically these are discussed with the client and documented, even through a separate note and email. Examples of the issues to identify are dealing with unforeseen weather conditions, working at height and helping things like safety rails, and how an area is corded off from others.

4. Clear Explanation

Communication is critical, and not only knowing precisely the roof problem and cure but then clearly explaining it.

On one extreme, this needs to be technical to specify what’s required, although, on the other, it needs to help explain things in layman's terms.

Maybe there’s a sudden roof leak from the high winds in a different direction, moving water into areas it would not usually go. Or how water manages to travel under flat roof areas and parapet walls.

Everyone can then understand what needs doing and when.

5. Independent Advice

As roofing contractors, we always prefer an independent consultant to be involved. That way, they can help validate the specification and works at hand.

This might be a Building Surveyor or Project Manager who knows the broader perspective issues or a specialist roofing consultant who can help compare the proposal with other tenders.

Even a suitable Property Manager and Managing Agent of more significant multi-let properties can help us all get a clear direction.

6. Longer-Term Issues

It’s always important to think long-term with roof areas, even if a quick patch is only done now. Use the opportunity whilst on the roof to check out what’s needed in more extended terms.

Money might have to be saved for a future replacement, and there may be issues developing with alterations or ventilation with different heating systems within the property to consider.

Of course, get this fully explained with detailed inspections and reports of what’s needed and guarantees of completed work.

7. Fixed Basis

This can save confusion and costs afterwards – simply communicating the job at the stated price.

Ideally, this is a fixed quote, with a detailed breakdown of what this includes, for example, access arrangements and materials.

Even where there are uncertainties, clearly state what these are and maybe even place them in a contingency. For example, rising material costs and delayed work extended hire costs of access equipment and managing sudden extreme weather conditions.

8. Going the Extra Mile

Not only is this good practice anyway for businesses but extremely helpful for roofing services where there may not be an easy or quick opportunity to get back on the roof and look at other things again soon.

So, while the roofer is already on the roof after all the cost and difficulty in arranging access, maybe they can address other issues such as clearing gutters, re-setting ridge tiles and coping stones on parapet walls, or carefully inspecting flat roof areas.

9. Other Considerations

All the little extras to a successful roof job must be accounted for.

Access is apparent in the form of this, such as a cherry picker or scaffold, and hire arrangements, storage, and how it will be delivered and erected.

You might also need to look inside the property and loft areas or upper rooms needing access and photo taking.

10. Logging Results

This is a good habit anyway with contractors, but particularly with a roofer, where it’s not easy for others to always go back on the roof and inspect things afterwards.

However, as the saying goes, a picture says a thousand words. Therefore, good photos by the roofer, both close-up and broader perspective, are critical before and after the work.

Also, carefully listing and noting what the works were is helpful, including any consequences of relaying tiles further up the roof and addressing issues on neighbouring properties.

The Top Ten Roofing Tips

Therefore, as you look to embark on a roof repair or replacement, these top ten tips are essential to go down and make sure you have everything covered quickly.

Don’t be afraid to take the time to do this with a roofer – something we always like to do with our customers to ensure everyone is covered.

Not only the client and end-user, and ourselves, the contractor, but also any other third parties such as main contractors, managing agents, and other professional advisors.

Need any more help applying these? Contact us to chat more.

Ways to Make the Most of a Roof during Contractor Works

roof building repair paul charles roofing

While doing refurbishments at our houses or commercial properties, we often forget to deal with repairs on our roofs. Instead, we tend to focus on interior redecoration or issues related to wiring.

However, we need to take advantage of the contractors doing other contractor work and use that opportunity to handle issues concerning the roof. So the contractors will be of help in different ways.

Therefore, here are five particular ways in which you can make the most of contractor works to benefit the roof:

1. Have the Contractors Check It

Having contractors check your roof for problems guarantees professional handling of any situation within your roofing. In addition, the trained personnel will come in handy since they use the correct procedure and equipment.

Some even use drone technology to enable them to have an aerial view of the roof and, at the same time, view the roof at an angle that allows easy assessing of problems within your roof.

2. Tell the Contractors to Clean It

Having contractors clean the guttering and downpipes where leaves and debris can cause blockages is a good way to take advantage of their excellent skills.

They will help clean any moss or vegetation that could lead to the deterioration of your roof, thus making it last longer without the need for repairs that will cost you money.

3. Have the Contractors Repair Any Damaged Roof

Once the contractors are done cleaning and assessing the roof for any blockages or leaks, it is up to them to repair any problem they asses.

These repairs could include repairing slipped plates, large holes, relining box gutters and resetting copings on parapet walls.

The good part of having this contractor repair this problem while handling other contractor works is that you will get a professional service. This is due to the different skilled contractors available at your disposal.

4. Have the Contractors Replace Any Worn-Out Roof

When it comes to flat roofs, they are notorious for needing complete re-felts to deal with an area that is leaking since it is unclear where the water ingress is coming from.

Moreover, a whole pitched area of a roof may need relaying with appropriate felt underneath due to the heavy rains being experienced currently. Again, contractors can be of help with these replacements.

5. Tell the Contractors to Insulate the Roof

Having energy-efficient roofs that can reduce carbon emissions from your property is one key thing that one should keep in mind while installing roofs. For this to happen, an important aspect is to insulate it. Even simple insulations in loft areas could significantly impact heat loss and utility costs.

Furthermore, insulating your roof is recommended by EPC to improve a house’s energy efficiency rating, and any house owner that has not protected their roofs could take advantage of the contractors. In contrast, their contractor works and has them insulate their ceilings.

Making the Most of Works

In short, make sure you use the opportunity with any wider contractor and repair works at a property to look at roof issues!

These five aspects will help cover the different angles and help save money and time by planning these earlier rather than later.

 

How Ivy can Kill a Roof

When looking for roof repairs and replacements, the last thing people expect you to be talking about is vegetation and plants. After all, they grow from the ground – not a roof.

However, reality can be different – with Ivy a case in point.

It may grow in the ground – well, most of the time – but it can soon creep up a building’s wall and start making its way into the roof and fascia structure to cause crazy amounts of damage.

Here are a few pictures and examples we’ve come across to give you a flavour of these sorts of issues:

1. The Covered Wall

wall ivy paul charles roofingJust look at this green mass of Ivy all over the side elevation wall, now reaching up the roof.

Even if it never reaches the flat or pitched roof or any parapet wall, this may cause dampness and issues that eventually have a knock-on effect on the roof.

2. The Chocked Downpipe & Guttering

gutter ivy paul charles roofingHere’s a classic picture of where the whole downpipe makes an excellent path for the Ivy to grow up naturally.

The main concern here is how it can soon start stretching into the joints and gaps, which will block the free flow of water and, therefore, damage these rainwater goods and broader property.

Plus, add in the fact that these pipes are channelling the one thing that vegetation needs to grow – water – and you have a recipe for disaster as it grows and seeks this.

3. The Damaged Roof Fascia

fascia ivy paul charles roofingNow, this picture says it all – a fully matured ivy growth well and truly under the roof edge fascia and directly causing the roof to bulge away literally.

This is like opening the doors to all kinds of excess water and trouble not only to the wood finish but a more expansive roof and wall structure repair.

4. The Additional Growth

tree trunk paul charles roofingAlthough we’re not gardeners, we know that one form of growth can encourage others.

This photo is a classic example, now having a small tree growing at the side of the property.

Not only will the leaves cause an issue on the roof and gutters, but the trunk and roots can also incur profound foundation and property damage.

Growing Problems on Roofs

These four examples give an idea of how much damage vegetation like Ivy can cause to property and roofs in particular.

Whether directly on the roof, along the wall, or under the fascia – it all ends in trouble.

Therefore, the trick is to spot this early on and prepare accordingly, trimming things periodically and treating the spread elsewhere.

Need some help? As local Black Country roofers, we can soon provide a no-obligation proposal and feedback to help you immediately.

3 Strange Things You May Find on Roofs

hidden on roof roofer birmingham west midlandsWhen you think about what kinds of mess and things may end up on a roof, most people will not realise what these can be.

Maybe a few broken tiles or mortar down in the gutter, or if a low-level roof, then perhaps a football that kids have thrown up there.

However, with years of experience with all kinds of commercial roof repair areas, you’ll be surprised by what else you may find there. Both on the actual roof and in any hidden areas like valleys, under parapet walls, and in particular, drain pipes meant to take water away, not get bunged up with rubbish.

Anyway, here are three examples of what you might find hidden on a roof – and which become progressively stranger:

1. Leaves and Twigs

This is understandable the more you think about it, mainly when trees are near the roof.

You're in trouble if they’re touching right up to the roof fascia or even above. As soon as leaves start to fall in the autumn and the wind blows, they tend to fall onto the roof itself.

Over time with rain, they will then move down the roof and settle in areas like gutters and downpipes. Left unresolved, they can soon block up and lead to water pouring out in places where it shouldn’t.

The answer is simple - trim the trees back, or at least have an annual clearance of these from the roof.

2. Bags and Rubbish

Plastic bags and other rubbish are a classic in more urban areas.

Of course, they’re meant to be placed in rubbish bins, but if you have a strong wind blowing them or people throwing them out of higher-level windows, they can soon start to clutter a roof up.

In addition to looking awful, they can soon start blocking the natural flow of water and development issues like leaks and mould growth.

In particular, things like plastic bags can be the worst; because they will travel quite far and high with the wind, be easily shaped into something like a downpipe, and not deteriorate over time.

The answer to this one is to monitor rubbish roundabouts and have a thorough check when you carry out a routine inspection

3. Food (and Chicken Bones)

This does surprise people a lot - the remains of food on a roof cause issues.

This can be from people throwing out onto, say, flat roof areas, although, often, it’s from birds picking up food locally and taking it to a local roof to perch and have a bite to eat.

Chicken pieces are a classic example that can cause a real headache. They’re taken from takeaway meals, and once any meat has been eaten or deteriorated, you’re left with a bone carcass that can easily get blown into areas and pipes that cause a blockage later on.

The answer - like with rubbish, make sure there is little opportunity for this to happen in the first place, but when it does, then make sure you double-check all areas and have the right gloves and safety procedures to remove these.

Prevention is Better than Cure

In addition to trying to stop the items from first getting on a roof, another way to look at good prevention of problems is to have a form of guard or shield over prone areas.

So, maybe a metal mesh over pipes and even gutters to stop things blowing on or in there. Or even spikes to prevent birds from even trying to perch there in the first place.

Whatever you decide, call in an excellent local roofer to give you some tips, sometimes without even needing to get on the roof, but using years of experience and some good old common sense.