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5 Things We CAN’T Do When Accessing Roof Areas

If you’re gaining access to a roof to carry out a repair, whether a quickly slipped tile or full-on re-surface, can sometimes be a challenge.
Usually, it is straightforward for professional roofers who have years of experience and safe procedures in action.

But some things are simply out of your control, that others may assume can happen automatically.
Therefore, here are four of the most popular ones we come across to help explain where the roofer’s magic wand simply can’t reach:

cant do when roofing paul charles roofers

Of course, when it's howling with wind or pouring with rain is often when the roof does spring a leak or see deterioration. Those pressure points simply bring out the weaknesses.

However, those are the circumstances that we can’t simply get on a ladder and resolve when the weather is still bad. It’s just plainly unsafe.

Therefore it’s a case of just waiting for the weather to get better, even if there is damage being suffered, unless a quick fix or temporary covering will suffice.

2. Gaining Access Inside

Sometimes you also need to get inside a property to see areas like where the rain is coming in or ventilation issues that are not helping.

But if this hasn’t been pre-arranged, it often can’t be done, particularly with residential premises where people understandably don’t want anyone coming in just like that.

And even if they do allow access, it might be at the wrong time, or further entry into, say, a loft is not possible.

However, one way that can help a little is when people help take a photo of the area in question or discuss it over the phone.

3. Erecting Height Equipment on the Street

For those instances where you do need to get to, say, a gutter or roof area from the front of the property facing onto a pavement or street, then, in one sense, it can be straightforward to arrange this.

Maybe a temporary scaffold can be hired, or even a cherry picker arranged – although after a lot of effort and cost.

But then there is a permission problem.

It may take consent from the Local Authority, or another management company or property owner. Plus, there are all kinds of additional safety measures to assist pedestrians walking by or deter people from using at night.

Therefore, often the cost goes up, and the time is delayed further.

4. Storing Things Somewhere

There will always be something that needs keeping safe somewhere on a roofing job, whether that’s a set of ladders, materials to be used, or even a van while you’re unloading or completing the repair.

Therefore, this can undoubtedly hold things up and cause frustrations for those not expecting this.

A few simple pre-arrangements can soon help though, such as asking permission from others, issuing keys and access codes, and even ensuring protective sheets and locks are available.

Accessing the Right Roof

As you arrange for a local roofer to come and fix the problem, don’t forget all these practical pointers on access. Unfortunately, this finer detail often can get missed or forgotten.

However, a good local roofing company that has the experience and can talk you through a sensible Risk Assessment can soon help you come to the correct answer on this.


If you need any more help, then contact us here for a free no-obligation proposal.

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 on 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 will often spot the 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 scaffold 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, making sure it fits the reality of the jobs, 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 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 contractor ones 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 sort of issues to identify is 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 to help explain things in layman 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 is managing to travel under flat roofs 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 being 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 longer term.

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 as well 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 a lot of confusion and costs afterwards – simply communicating what the job is 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 in a contingency. For example, rising material costs and delayed works 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 need to be accounted for.

Access is an obvious one, both 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 also loft areas or upper rooms that need 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 works.

Also, carefully listing and noting what the works were is helpful, including any consequences 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 make sure 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 to apply 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. We tend to focus on interior redecorations or on issues to do with wiring.

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

Therefore, here are 5 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. The trained personnel will come in handy since they use the right 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 enables 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 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 with cleaning and assessing the roof for any blockages or leaks, then it is up to them to repair any problem they asses.

These repairs could include repairing slipped plates, large holes or 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 so as 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. Contractors can be of help with these replacements.

5. Tell the Contractors to Insulate the Roof

Having roofs that are energy-efficient and have the ability to 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 the simple insulations in loft areas could have a huge impact in heat loss and utility costs.

Furthermore, insulating your roof is recommended by EPC so as to improve a house’s energy efficiency rating and any house-owner that has not insulated their roofs could take advantage of the contractors during their contractor works, and have them insulate their roofs.

Making the Most of Works

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

These 5 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 you’re 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 well 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 kind of parapet wall, this may cause dampness and issues that eventually have a knock-on effect with 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 wider 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 do 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 of course, the trunk and roots can incur profound foundation and property damage.

Growing Problems on Roofs

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

Whether it's 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 back periodically and treating the spread elsewhere.

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