Structural Surveying high level roof

problems and other high areas from cherry



Commercial Building Surveys

We can provide help and advice with regard to building surveys, structural surveys, independent valuations, property surveys, structural reports, engineers reports, specific defects report or any other property matters on both commercial and residential properties .

High level surveying

As you can see from this article we are happy to use cherry pickers or other access platforms such as scissor lifts and scaffolding as we think it is important that your decision to buy, rent or lease the property is based upon the best information available.

Our survey reports include sketches and photos as the feedback from our clients is that sketches and photos help them understand the reports and negotiate better when purchasing the property so they go in with their eyes wide open.

Viewing the roof from three storeys high

Free phone 0800 298 5424

Meet the Building Surveyor at the property

We, of course, will happily meet you at the property during the survey and we are more than happy to talk to you about the reports. We also have a very fast turnaround time with regards to producing the surveys. Please free phone 0800 298 5424 for a friendly chat.


Why problems you can't see are often the biggest problems

In our experience of carrying out structural surveys over the years the areas that are difficult to get to or the areas that simply cannot be viewed from the ground are often the most problematic areas. Whilst a good surveyor can make an assessment of what the condition of the roof is like, for example from the interior of the property and understanding the age, type and style of the property it is never as good as physically seeing the roof and associated elements such as parapet walls and chimneys.

View from a Cherry Picker

High level access

Work over a few storeys height requires scaffolding and is therefore expensive. It is true to say that any work at any height requires safe access to it. This also normally ensures that you get better workmanship as the trades people can work confidently and as such scaffolding is often the only answer but this does put the cost up of the work. In fact sometimes the scaffolding can cost far more than the work and it is very important that you ensure that you are repairing the right problem. You should always start with proper investigation by having a Structural Survey or Schedule of Condition carried out.



Ways for surveyors to view the areas

Below are photographs of two different cherry pickers. Interestingly the blue one can only go to a few storeys high whilst the red one can be used at over twelve storeys high.

Close up of cherry picker on the back of a vehicle

Cherry picker which was towed to site

Viewing platform

What do the red circles mean?

The red circles are a system that we use within our structural surveys and building surveys to highlight problem areas so that you are not left wondering what the problem is. In addition to this if the photographs do not, we believe, explain the problem enough together with our survey report we also add in one of our own sketches.


Have a roof survey

We were recently called in to carry out a roof only survey where the original surveyors had for whatever reason not carried out a survey of the roof. We are not blaming the surveyors in any way as many surveys that we carry out exclude the roofs but this had not been communicated to the company taking on the lease and they were disappointed when they got the survey back and asked us to go and carry out a separate roof survey.


What do surveyors look for on high level roofs?

Building Survey on Industrial buildings

If we are looking at commercial buildings such as industrial warehouses, offices, shops and even church roofs (in fact we have looked at almost anything which is large building wise), it really does depend upon the building as to what exactly we are looking at. For example on a commercial building we may be looking at what outwardly looks to be a nice profile metal clad roof, but does it have asbestos hidden within it?

Overclad asbestos roof

Or we could be looking for defective metal roof anchor bolts:

Anchor bolts

Green circle shows original fixing bolts, red circle shows new anchor bolts.

Red fixings indicated where anchor bolts have been changed

Finally, we could be looking at roof window problems, also known as Velux or roof lights:

Roof window to sheet roof


Repair to roof light

Close up of repair, circle shows gap where water was getting in

Watertight joint where roof light meets asbestos

Roof repairs


Surveying Offices

Fifteen storey glass office block

Leaks were coming through the glass

Opening up


Mastic seal that was starting to deteriorate

High level scaffolding used in this particular case viewed from ground level


Surveying Church Roofs

The photographs below are of a church roof problem where we gained access to the roof. Ironically it turned out not to be a roof problem at all but a thermal bridging problem. Please see the following articles:


Condensation and Cold Bridging. Whats is Cold Bridging?

Condensation Problems

Do all houses have condensation?

Energy Efficiency. Have we got it all wrong?

Why you have never seen any surveys like ours?


Cold/Thermal Bridging Defined

Cold bridging is caused by a colder element in the structure allowing coldness to pass through the structure much quicker when warm moist air is present in the property, often caused by things like having a shower or a bath, cooking or washing, particularly if you are drying washing on the radiators. This is also caused by the general climate which results in condensation on the element.


Repairs had been carried out over the years

Close up


There is only so high a ladder can go

Scaffolding access


Opening up the roof

Leaking gutter that sits on the wall


Caveat Emptor

Caveat emptor means buyer beware and is why you need to have a building survey to find out if there are any problems within the property; the estate agent certainly will not advise you of any.


Independent Surveyors

If you truly do want an independent expert opinion from a building surveyor on a residential or commercial property, we are happy to do valuations, building surveys, structural surveys, structural reports, engineers reports, specific defects reports, home buyers reports or any other property matters. Please contact us on 0 800 298 5424 to have a free of charge friendly chat with one of our surveyors.


The plus points, medium priority and high priority survey

We would like to introduce to you what we call our plus points, medium priority and high priority survey which is a commercial building survey which is sometimes known as a structural survey which we have developed over many years, in fact several decades. We have listened to feedback from our clients and amended and altered our commercial surveys to make them easy to read and describe issues clearly. The key factor we believe is our surveys are easy to understand in plain English but do not take our word for it call us on free phone 0800 298 5424 for an example of one of our surveys.

We have normally carried out a commercial building survey similar to the property you are considering buying/leasing and therefore we can show you an example of the type of structural survey you will be receiving. There are various ideas we have developed over the years to make our surveys more readable everything from 16x optical zoom digital photographs next to the problem which show and explain what the problem is, to sketches that clarify any issues particularly ones that we cannot photograph but know are present. We have commissioned our own sketches to explain property issues which you will not find with any other Surveyor.


Commercial Property

If you are looking for commercial property, whether it is freehold or leasehold, we would always recommend a survey as this will prevent dilapidations claims in the long run. You may wish to look at our Dilapidations Website at and for Disputes go to our Disputes Help site , both of which we have been advised are very helpful!

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).

The contents of the web site are for general information only and is not intended to be relied upon for specific or general decisions. Appropriate independent professional advice should be paid for before making such a decision.


All rights reserved by

All rights are reserved the contents of the web site is not to be reproduced or transmitted in any form in whole or part without the express written permission of  




building engineers

Home Buyers Reports Property Surveys - why we're the best. Engineers Reports
© Copyright

1stassociated-logo-for-footer IVSA-badge IVSA-putting-client-first call-us-for-footer

We have thousands of free property articles to help you - or call us freephone on 0800 298 5424

We have been working in the property industry for many years and have been
providing free property articles for over ten years. All for free and to help you with buying your next property.

House and Home Surveys and Useful Information

All you need to know about Building Surveys

Building Control, what do they do?

Designers and Architects will they save me money or will they cost me money

Enviroment, Your Building and Garden Gnomes

Estate Agents help sell houses and work for the vendors

Have a Structural Survey to protect you against structural problems

Home improvements, builder problems and ideas for you on how to solve them

How a Surveyor values a property, Chartered Surveyors and Regulated Valuers

How Chartered Engineers and Building Engineers can help you

Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas

NHBC National House Building Council

Structural Surveys and How We Can Help You

Traditional and Non-Traditional Houses and Mortgage Problems

Valuations and how much is the building worth?

Whats the difference between a Chartered Building Surveyor, Chartered Surveyor and an Independent Surveyor

Useful property problem articles by Chartered Surveyors explaining building issues to avoid

External - Helpful information on building problems on the outside of the property

Chimney issues and problems

Cracking and Movement Problems and Surveying Solutions

Flat Roof Problems, how we can solve them

Foundations and Structures and Settlement and Subsidence and Underpinning

Pitched Roofs Problems and Solutions

Roof Problems

Wall Problems

Windows and Doors and Fascias and Soffits and Wet Rot and Dry Rot and other problems

Internal - House problems we have investigated inside

All you ever need to know about floors

Asbestos in your home, what you need to know

Ceiling Cracks and Structural Problems

Condensation, Damp and Black Mould Problems

Cracking and Movement Problems and Surveying Solutions

Windows and Doors and Fascias and Soffits and Wet Rot and Dry Rot and other problems

Woodworm is it a problem or not? Is it active or not?

Services - Building help and advice on costly services

Drainage, what's underground can affect what's above ground

Heating; I just can't get my house warm enough or alternatively I just can't get my house cool enough

You can't mess around with the electric, you need an expert


Commercial Property Services

Building Terms Explained and Directories

Commercial Property Surveys

Commercial Structural Surveys

Leisure Facilites

Offices Large and Small

Shops and Retail

Warehouse and Industrial Buildings

Dilapidations Help and Advice What is a Dilapidations Notice?

A Beginner's Guide to Dilaps

Damp Mould and Condensation

Dampness Rising Damp Mould Black Mould Condensation

Dilapidations and Negotiations

Dilapidations Claim by a Landlord

Energy Saving what can I do?

Finance what is a Financial Adviser (We are not Financial Advisors)

Fire Risk and Help

Health and Safety Risks

Insurance how do I get the correct property insurance?

Landlords Surveying Advice

Property Investment how can I invest in property?

Property TV Reviews by an Independent Surveyor

Schedules of Condition Leasing a Commercial Property

Scotts Schedule and Section 18 Valuation

Tenants Surveying Advice

Weather how does weather affect my property?



Snow and Ice

Strong Winds

Reviews from clients on Commercial Building Surveys

Churches and Charities, helpful reviews from our clients

Industrial Buildings and Warehouses and what our clients say about us

Offices Large and Small, reviews and feedback from our clients

Pubs, Restaurants, Hotels and other Leisure facilities we have surveyed over the years

Shops and Retail, helpful reviews from our clients


First Time Buyers

Buying a Leasehold or Shared Freehold Home

Buying and Selling Houses for the experienced house and home purchaser

First Time Buyers how do I go about buying my first house and home?

Improve your property knowledge with our presentations on house, homes and commercial property

Building Surveys

Building Surveying Useful Information


Dilapidations Presentations in Detail

Final Year Building Surveying Exams for University Students or those that would like to know more

How old is your Building? Which era was it built in?

Party Walls

Surveyors and Design Tools

Disputes and Party Walls

Boundary Disputes

Building and Property Disputes

Party Wall Book Reviews

Party Walls Your Rights and Responsibilities

1stAssociated Surveyors Review for Structural Surveys and Building Surveys

Building Surveys, reviews and feedback from satisfied customers

Buy to let property clients, what they say about our structural surveys

Buying at auction, review of the survey

Buying bungalows and retirement properties and how our surveyors can help

Both at work / busy couples, how we can help and some 1stAssociated client reviews

Families with a young person flying the nest, reviews and feedback

First Time Buyers, what they say about us

Listed buildings, structural surveys

Older buildings, a review of buying an older house

Families with children looking for a new home, feedback and reviews

Buying a Non-Traditional Property

Residential Surveys

House and Home Surveys

Commercial Building Surveys

Commercial Surveys

1st Associated Surveyors Are Also Available in the Following Areas:

East Anglia and East

South and South East

West Country and South West


North and North East



London Markets

London Parks



Areas of Britain

1stAssociated Independent Expert Property Surveyors

Specialists in Home Buyers Reports, Building Surveys and Structural Surveys and Schedules of Condition

All Surveyors are Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors qualified and RICS regulated

and are Members of the Independent Surveyors and Valuers Association

Putting the Client First

We do not accept service of documents by email or fax