Leaking Dormer Roof
Our independent surveyors can offer a range of survey reports; from Building Surveys (also known as Structural Surveys), to Home Buyers Reports, to Specific Defects Reports for issues such as roof problems, dampness issues, subsidence, and much more.
If you have a property problem we may even have written an article on it and we would refer you to the many articles we have on our home page 1stAssociated.co.uk.
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What is a dormer roof?
A dormer roof is a roof set within the roof structure, which is often used where rooms are formed in the roof and to give head height when you are close to the windows. The majority of them have either a flat or a double pitched roof. The good thing about the pitched roof is that you can see it and also the water drains off it! The bad thing about the flat roof is that can't see it and that water doesn't drain off it! The sides of the dormer are then clad, often in a vertical tile, sometimes in a lead, sometimes in a shiplap boarding. Generally, the cladding can be lightweight as the structure in its entirety is lightweight, often formed from a timber studwork.
Is the flat roof to my dormer window leaking?
A very difficult question to answer even for the experienced surveyor unless he can see the roof or see visual dampness, which of course you would be able see as well. If you can find out the age of the original flat roof and type of flat roof then a good surveyor should be able to give you an indication of its typical life and also various ways that dampness in the roof can be tested for using electronic damp meters. Where the dormer roof is very large we have even recommended that a roof light be cut into it to give access.
Do I need scaffolding to carry out repairs?
Generally to high level dormer roofs scaffolding is recommended as it gives a safe working platform and as you are responsible for the workers carrying out the work to the dormer roof if they don't have scaffolding we would generally recommend that you insist that they do.
Scaffolds can be more costly than the actual repair work, which is why most people when a dormer roof leaks, rather than repair it, go for a complete replacement. We would always recommend the roof is replaced using a high performance felt but we would also take the opportunity to add insulation. We would recommend an insulation that is cut to fall so that there is a definite fall on the flat roof. Flat roofs should generally have a fall of at least 12 degrees and also you need to check where the roof falls to and ensure the gutter is positioned in the correct place!
Deterioration to the cladding on the dormer window
Problems to the cladding to the sides of the dormer window can occur due to rainwater discharging from the roof onto them. You need to check the gutters are catching the rainwater. We have found problems particularly with shiplap boarding, where unfortunately where it is out of sight it is out of mind and the rot has set in, so to speak. If you are carrying out any roof repairs, be it a pitched or a flat roof, it is worth checking the cladding and also any windows.
Where can I get a good builder to repair my dormer roof?
This probably has to be equivalent to the how long is a piece of string question. First we would say you need to ensure that whoever you use has your best interest at heart rather than their best interest and that they are not simply trying to sell you the most profitable solution to them. Word of mouth is a great way of finding good builders but do be aware that often word of mouth recommendations come via someone who doesn't have any experience or expertise or working with builders.
Therefore the reasons for their word of mouth could be that the builder turned up on the day that he said he would, finished the job on the day that he said he would and charged the price he said he would, which ironically can be a good recommendation, but not if the work carried out was technically wrong or of poor quality. You should also take great care if your property is an old property as it could be a Listed Building or in a conservation area or simply need a builder that knows how to deal with older properties.
Equally, a newer property also has to be dealt with in an appropriate manner, so the experience the builder has is very important. We have developed a specific defects report for looking at a specific problem, such as chimneys on your property. These originally developed from our engineers report that specifically looked at structural cracks in properties, which then moved onto us giving specific advice on dampness in properties, due to many contracts being involved in this industry simply being there to sell a product rather than to give you best advice.
You may also wish to read the following articles we have prepared regarding dampness:
If you truly do want an independent expert opinion from a surveyor with regard to dormer roofs, roof problems, roof repairs, roof materials, chimneys, surveys, building surveys, structural reports/engineers reports, specific defects report, structural surveys, home buyers reports or any other property matters please contact 0800 298 5424 for a surveyor to give you a call back.
We hope you found the article of use and if you have any experiences that you feel should be added to this article that would benefit others, or you feel that some of the information that we have put is wrong then please do not hesitate to contact us (we are only human).
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