Roof Survey and Inspection
What is a roof survey?
A roof survey is a visual inspection of the visible parts of the roof structure, to identify current known defects and damage that may be developing or deteriorating. It can also include an assessment of the suitability of proposed repairs. There are several types of roof survey, most notably:
Roof surveys report back on visible roof structure defects and damage. It is necessary to access the roof for a more thorough investigation of the structure when there has been water ingress or leakage. You also may require an emergency roof repair if your home needs it urgently.
Why are roof surveys necessary?
Roof surveys are typically carried out by the insurance company, for damage claim assessment. If you are selling or renting your property it is advisable to have a roof survey completed before a sale, to disclose any hidden defects that could prevent the sale or affect the price. A new build inspection would be necessary in order to assess building contracts and standards.
Regular roof surveys are essential if you want to maintain your roof and avoid costly repairs. They help detect early any issues that require repair or replacement thereby limiting long term damage.
How would a surveyor inspect a roof?
A roof survey would include inspecting your property for any sign of damage, rot or missing slate/tiles etc. The maintenance records including the warranty will be reviewed to assess the quality of workmanship and materials used. Roof care and maintenance will be discussed so that you are aware of what is required in order to keep it in good condition for as long as possible.
Inspections are carried out on a three-yearly cycle with the first taking place within the first year. The interval between subsequent inspections increases with each survey to a maximum of six years except for properties that have been identified as being at risk of damage from falling trees, subsidence etc.
Details of any defects found will be recorded together with recommendations for future maintenance. A written report summarising any findings and actions to be taken will be prepared. It will detail who is responsible for carrying it out, how long it should take and what the anticipated cost will be.
An inspection of your roof would also include advice on ventilation to help reduce condensation in the property.
The inspection would normally be carried out on a dry day without too much wind or rain, although this cannot always be guaranteed. Safe access to the roof is essential so if there are any limitations this will have to be factored into the scheduling of the survey-taking account of weather conditions etc. An appointment for your roof survey shouldn't take longer than a couple of hours.
An inspection of your chimney stack would usually be carried out at the same time as a roof survey.
If you have an asbestos roof then this will also have to be tested for and removing it can be a specialist job so advice should always be sought from a qualified professional if there is any possibility that the roof contains asbestos.
What is the cost of a roof survey report?
The cost of the roof survey and the associated report will vary from company to company. Prices will obviously depend on where you live and whether or not you have a flat roof or a pitched roof as these factors will affect the price.
The average cost could range anywhere from £250 to £500 for commercial roofs depending on the various factors above. Most professional roofing companies offer a free no-obligation quote.
Would the surveyor go on the roof?
It is unlikely that the surveyor would go on the roof if it was deemed to be dangerous. However, they may take photographs of certain areas for additional reassurance.
What does the report contain?
The report, which can usually run into several pages, will highlight any potential problems with the roof and make recommendations for rectifying them.
What should I look out for?
When reading the report, look at the overall description of the roof as opposed to making judgements on individual areas alone. For example, if there are several areas that need attention, but these are all minor then it doesn't mean that the whole roof is likely to fail.
What type of questions should I ask the surveyor?
Make sure you have a clear idea of the purpose of your report and how it will be used before you speak with your contractor or property surveyor. Why do you want the inspection carried out? What is the overall condition of the roof? Is there anything specific that concerns me about particular areas?
How long does the inspection take?
Give your contractor or property surveyor time to carry out a detailed inspection of the roof. Your contractor should be able to give you an estimate of how long it will take for them to do this. Inspections are thorough so allow extra time if necessary for this or if your contractor is not able to give you an estimate of the time, make it clear if you want them to deal with more issues than originally anticipated.
What happens during the inspection?
Your contractor or property surveyor should be able to tell you roughly what they are looking for during an inspection. They should answer any questions you have about what they find. This is an important opportunity to ask any questions you have and find out if anything needs further investigation or clarification. The surveyor may well bring a sample of the roof back off-site for further analysis, so do not be surprised if this happens.
Your contractor should produce a written report on all findings and recommendations during this stage, so do not be surprised if this happens either.
What will happen after the inspection?
The surveyors' report should detail any findings, actions given to correct them and warranties that are available. Your contractor should help you understand what these are and how they are issued. This is also an important opportunity to seek clarification on certain points or ask for more information. If you are not totally clear on what the report is saying and how it affects you, do not be afraid to ask for further clarification even if it means a delay in getting started.
Your roofer should give you an estimate of how long he thinks any work that needs doing will take and when he anticipates completing the work. It is helpful to know how long you can expect to be without the use of your roof so you can plan around it.
Contact the team at Bracknell Roofers for a free no-obligation roof inspection quote or if you have any questions about your roof.