You might have noticed a new logo has been added to our website recently. This is to show Wirral Roofcare is now Safecontractor approved.
The aim of the Safecontractor scheme is to provide a health and safety audit service for contractors. We have committed to the scheme to show our customers and clients that we are serious about the wellbeing of our contractors, clients and customers.
Why we chose Safecontractor
Safecontractor have over 10 years of experience delivering accreditation services, backed up by a team of highly skilled in-house health & safety auditors. These auditors use their specialist knowledge to assess our accreditation questionnaires. They are one of the leading health and safety assessment schemes currently operating in the UK. With over 300 clients and nearly 27,000 contractor members. Some of the largest organisations in the UK use Safecontractor to reduce operational risk. Now here at Wirral Roofcare we are able to say the same.
In this article we are going to look at the traditional British slate roof tile. Slate can often be considered as not very “green” and even prone to damage or need of constant repair. Let’s look at these common misconceptions and see how they stand up.
Need help understanding the benefits and common misunderstandings surrounding flat roofs? Wirral Roofcare have created a useful and easy to understand infographic that will give you a good basic understanding on all things flat roof.
Flat roofs have a bit of a bad reputation. However this is unfounded as they offer many advantages for buildings. Here we discuss the real cost of flat roof repair and how you can maintain a flat roof to prevent such unnecessary repairs.
One such advantage is they can be better at keeping properties warmer by absorbing more sunlight than a traditional slanted roof. Flat roofs are also far more accessible than a slanted roof and allow for easy inspection and repair. If you’re still not convinced then consider cost, as flat roofs are easier to install they are normally considerably cheaper than a slanted roof.
Now you’re on side with the fact that flat roofs are great idea, it’s time to consider how and why they have such a bad reputation to begin with and how to avoid and reduce flat roof repair costs. Let looks at common problems with flat roofs and how they can be avoided.
Flat roofs should not be ignored, just because it’s out of site doesn’t mean a flat roof should be out of mind. Property owners often don’t inspect a flat rook or maintain it until there is a problem. Prevention is the key to a flat roof and if you know what you’re looking for then it’s easy to keep a flat roof in good repair indefinitely.
Here are Wirral Roofcare’s top five reason for flat roof repair in the UK.
- Probably the easiest to spot and the cause of most flat roof repair work is standing water. It is estimated that standing water can start to damage a flat roof if left for 72 hours, so you need to check your flat roof at least every week in wet weather. Standing water is normally caused by one of two things.
- The first cause of flat roof repair is more often than not caused by poor drainage such as a blocked or broken drain which can cause water to back up and remain standing on the flat roofs surface. The second reason is your flat roof is too flat! The name flat room is a bit of a misnomer, flat roofs should always have a slight incline to allow water to drain away naturally and reduce the risk of water standing on the roof.
- Not as easy to spot as standing water but still visible to the naked eye is blistering. Blistering is caused by moisture being trapped in the flat roof membrane. This can lead to the membrane separating from the material below. Blistering is a very common flat roof problem and gets worse in daylight hours as the suns heat can make the moisture trapped between the membranes expand. So it is a good idea to inspect your flat roof for blistering on a warm day.
- At number three we have Thermal Movement. Building materials should have the ability to expand and contract with hot and cold conditions. If they don’t then damage will occur and water and moisture will be able to penetrate the flat roof membrane and cause damage. When inspecting a roof look for cracks along edges which could be caused by thermal movement.
- Worn areas of a flat roof are caused by heavy traffic, not just from you going up on the roof every week to inspect for damage but the lovely British weather that the roof has to deal with during the winter and summer. Look out for wear and tear on the flat roof and make sure that there are no loose objects that could cause wear and tear such as branches, old tyres or loose cables.
- Due to the importance of good drainage on a flat roof the final cause of flat roof repair we need to look at is flashing. Flashing is used to cover the joins and junctions on your flat roof. Flashing can become worn or damaged and often appear cracked over time.
All of these flat roof problems can be repaired relatively easily if found early. This highlights the importance of regularly inspecting your flat roof for any of these defects. It’s also worth considering having a full survey carried out on your flat roof. Such surveys use thermal imaging to locate trouble spots that cannot be seen with the naked eye.
There are various different types of roofs for your home, which you’ll start to see when you begin to pay more attention to roofing. Most of us just think in terms of flat roofs or pitched roofs but there are many different gradations and styles of each. And this doesn’t even take into account the different options for roofing material.
Choosing the right roofing contractor
In a country where it rains and then pours, it might make sense to invest in a good roof. However, this is easier said than done. There are enough charlatans who will leave you with a pesky drip or a persistent leak. Which is why it’s important to do your homework when choosing the right roofing contractor.
Several of the following points may seem obvious, but it’s a known fact that the simplest advice is the one most easily forgotten. For example, it’s often tempting to choose the cheapest roofer without stopping to consider just why his rates are so low. Perhaps his materials are cheaper, and therefore not quite up to the mark?
- Go for roofing contractors recommended by friends and relative, or by suppliers of roofing materials. Or you could look up on the internet or in trade adverts. As a rule avoid door-to-door salesmen.
- Whatever route you take, vet the company yourself. See how the representative is. Are they quietly confident and knowledgeable? Are they willing to provide you as much information as you need? Or are they pressuring you to make a decision before you are ready?
- Make sure you ask representatives for company details (so you can check if they are bonafide) and also for references from other customers. Ask for a portfolio that shows off their best projects (and hopefully happy smiling customers). See if you could personally go and check out the work they have done in the past.
- Make sure the company is registered in a national trade association, such as the NFRC (National Federation of Roofing Contractors) or the CRC (Confederation of Roofing Contractors).
- Check their insurance. Your contractor’s policy should cover Employers Liability, Public/Products Liability and Contract Works and you should be able to see it.
Finally, ask for their quotes (usually given free of charge). Get a few in, so you can compare. Three is ideal.
- While looking at the quotes be material savvy. Do your own research. For example, imported slate is very expensive, locally sourced slate is more economical, and manufactured slating, like fibre cement, is cheaper still.
- Bare in mind that estimates for refurbishment work can change once the tiles or slates have been removed to expose the sub-structure underneath.
- When you have honed in on the one you want to go with, make sure that the contract is in writing. Ensure this includes start and end dates, materials, work hours, safety precautions, warranties, any terms and conditions, deposits, and the right to cancel. Also, if it will involve any third parties, and lastly if they will clean up after themselves.
- Be careful on upfront payments as it may be difficult to get anything back. Contractors offering cash/VAT-free deals are not easily tracked down if things go wrong.
- Ask for a guarantee on new or refurbishment work. NFRC offers guarantee schemes, which back up, but are independent of, the contractor’s own guarantee. So if your contractor goes out of business, you are covered.
- Remember that a property owner is responsible for any planning permission that may be required. When carrying out refurbishment work to 50% or more of a roof’s area, a Competent Roofer (from the Competent Person Scheme for roofing) must be employed. Otherwise, your Local Authority Building Control must be contacted prior to work starting so as to meet thermal requirements of Part L of the current Building Regulations.
- Finally, before work starts make sure you clear enough space for building materials. Then, sit back relax and look forward to having the best roof over your head.
ACTION:- Following the great success of our previous films, the Roofcare staff and film crews were back in The Forshaw offices this week finishing off our latest short films for our client information packages, the new films will be aimed at promoting our latest services including the launch of our on line customer portal.
Following months of inspections and assessments of our service records and safety procedures Roofcare are extremely proud to announce another new accreditation award, The Construction Line Accreditation Certificate. The accreditation proves our ongoing commitment and development of both customer services and health and safety standards, the accreditation is a government service proving we meet the requirements appropriate to public and private sector procurement.
Roofcare will be sponsoring many runners in this years “Race For Life” on the 15th July 2012 in birkenhead park, Be part of the biggest fight against cancer at Race for Life and walk, jog or run to help beat cancer.
Enter now and raise money for their groundbreaking work that has saved millions of lives. Cancer Research UK is entirely funded by the public and need your support to continue to make progress and give hope to people affected by cancer.
Contractors whom continue to complete work with little or no regard to health and safety, in an attempt to reduce costs to win works at the risk of the employees safety will be prosecuted. The Health And Safety executive acknowledge this as a serious issue and are continuing to inspect sites and contractors to help reduce this issue, contractors found to be breaking Health and Safety Legislations and risking the lives of there staff will be prosecuted and fined by the Health And Safety Executive, Please ensure your chosen contractor is fuly compliant with health and safety legislations.