• Kevin Allen

Full #roof #refurbishment or #repair, that is the question? #bath, #bristol & beyond!

If you've been unlucky enough to have had multiple #roof #defects in a short period of time, you might be considering the benefits of completely refurbishing your roof coverings. in this post, we are going to explore the various options open to you, along with a number of factors that should be taken into consideration.

Whether natural or man made, all roofing materials have a serviceable life expectancy and require periodic maintenance, even within the lifespan of the manufacturer's specified guarantee period. Older roofs, will typically consist of natural materials such as clay tile, slate or lead, and can be particularly high maintenance once the original materials come towards the end of their expected serviceable life.

More often than not, a defective roof can be permanently repaired. A good roofer should be able to assess your roof coverings and provide you with a number of viable options, taking into consideration the condition of the existing coverings, the nature of the defects, your available budget and any conservation/listed building requirements etc. Where the condition of your roof coverings are deemed to be completely beyond their serviceable life, a full refurbishment package may be the only viable option from a cost effectiveness point of view. Depending upon your available budget, this may or may not be immediately viable for you, but should certainly be a budgetary consideration for the near future. With materials that have reached the end of their serviceable life, you should expect there to be new defects annually during periods of inclement weather, all of which will equate to repair bills that can quickly accumulate over 2-3 years.

Why do roofs fail?

Tiles and slates can last a lifetime, and will often be stripped and set aside for reinstatement during a refurbishment project. This essentially means that the tiles have outlived the other materials around them (fixing nails etc), and are considered to be in satisfactory condition to provide adequate weatherproofing for at least an additional 10 years plus. Old tiles that have been re-fixed into new timber battens, using new nails, can provide you with a perfectly serviceable roof for years to come.

Aside from the obvious i.e. a broken or slipped tile, a roof can become defective for a number of reasons. Roofs that were originally laid many years ago, can suffer from defects such as nail fatigue, a term used to describe a tile fixing that has corroded and subsequently failed, leaving the tile susceptible to wind uplift.

Equally, once the outer surface of a tile or slate begins to fail, the tile or slate can become porous. This leads to greater water absorption and a greater risk of breakages during the winter months, as the trapped water freezes and expands, causing the tile to crack.

Other areas prone to age related failure, are sections of mortar work or abutment weathering i.e. lead cover flashing's. Mortar work in particular should be considered a serviceable component of any roof, as this will typically require renewal at least once, possibly 2-3 times during the lifespan of your main roof coverings i.e tiles.

So, what are your options?

In the first instance, your roofer should be providing you with a viable repair option. As previously stated, most roofs can be permanently repaired. where this isn't possible, a temporary repair will serve to provide you with a watertight building while you consider the refurbishment option. Don't be convinced to commit to a full refurbishment straight off the bat, and where possible seek advice from a number of local reputable roofing companies. Equally, there are many different approaches and system specifications out there when it comes to refurbishment projects, so be sure to ask for a number of system options, from budget to premium.

You're going for peace of mind and longevity, the full refurbishment package!

At this stage, its all about making the smart choices. Ask your roofer to provide you with a number of options. Depending on whether the existing materials are salvageable or not, this may or may not be an option to consider. Where new materials are being used, be sure to obtain the specification and manufacturers guarantee details from your roofer, this will aid in the future should any issues arise.

Consider how your roof refurbishment might offer the opportunity to upgrade your buildings energy efficiency by including upgrades to your insulation. Perhaps a new roof window could be incorporated in the refurbishment package? Aside from the obvious cost implications of undertaking a full refurbishment project, the process should be seen as a real opportunity to improve the overall performance of the building (subject to consent where required).

Aesthetically, if your property falls within a conservation area, be sure to seek guidance from the local authority before undertaking any substantial alterations, as often there will be some restrictions with regards to the type of materials that can be used. This is to ensure that the integrity of the building, along with its surroundings is maintained.

Lastly, be sure to use a reputable roofer, as the materials are only as good as the person putting them down. Manufacturer's guarantee's are easily undermined by poor workmanship, so think twice before simply choosing the cheapest firm!

If you would like to discuss an upcoming repair or refurbishment project anywhere in the southwest, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

Best of luck!

Kevin Allen M.I.o.R - Roofing Projects

T: +44(0) 7760 882329


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