building valuations


Warehouse profile metal sheet

cladding problems surveyed by

a chartered surveyor



Profile metal sheet warehouse

We often come across warehouses and industrial buildings that are finished with a profile metal sheet. This type of finish tended to be first seen in the 1970's and has been gaining popularity over the years. Although it looks similar there are various different types available.


Profile metal sheet roof with roof windows

Types of profile metal sheet cladding

The profile metal sheets come in several different forms from just a single sheet, to an insulated sheet which is an outside and inside one with insulation, to what we would call a super insulated sheet which again is profile metal sheet outside and inside but with lots of good quality insulation.


Hidden roof problems

Many buildings which look in good condition from ground level have surprising defects at roof level. We always like to inspect roofs using a good sized cherry picker that is able to reach to every corner of the roof as this gives us a bird's eye view of the roof; we also use our x16 optical zoom lens cameras to focus in on the detail of the roof and any identify any roof problems.



Cherry picker


Warehouse roof problems

Warehouse roofs can suffer in one form or another. The original profile metal sheeting does tend to now start to suffer from rusting either caused by impact damage from say fork lift trucks or holes cut into it for service pipes, conduit and data cables, etc. where the profile metal sheeting is exposed and rusts.

Hidden impact damage

Bitumen repair where profile metal sheets have been badly cut for flue

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Profile metal sheets rusting

A common problem that we have come across with profile metal sheeting is where the sheets have been cut without being properly sealed. This was brought home during a recent survey when the ends of the profile metal sheeting had been cut and were starting to rust and the paint was flaking away. All of this deterioration was completely hidden at ground level.


Rusting cut to middle profile metal sheet

Rusting and paint peeling where profile metal sheets cut on warehouse


The difficulty with industrial buildings and warehouse buildings is that this is not necessarily the first thing on everyone's minds where letting of the building is concerned. All of the different parties in the property industry tend to have different view points, for example:

The landlord is of course keen to let any building that is empty as it is no longer making an income from them and what is worse could be costing them money from maintenance and rates.

The commercial letting agent employed by the landlord is paid when the property is let so their focus is on the plus side of any property. This could be anything from location to the meter squared or foot squared but also the initial impression that people have of the building often helps decide whether the property will be sold or let.


Repairing metal cladding to warehouses

Over the years we have seen all sorts of repairing from small areas of profile metal sheets repaired to large whole panels being replaced. It is this argument that can come up in the Dilapidations at the end of you leasing the warehouse that can be a problem.

You can be lucky and be there when the initial problem happens and have your chartered surveyor then manage the contractor/builder that does the repair and redecoration work to ensure it is done properly.


Poor quality repair to profile metal sheets

Whole panel replaced

Roof lights to warehouses

It is very important to have good natural light into warehouses. Problems can occur depending upon the roof lights. We particularly come across problems with Glass Reinforced Plastic (GRP) roof lights which have been so impregnated with moss and lichens that you practically cannot see through them.

Moss and lichens to roof lights

Visibility limited through roof lights within warehouse


Anchor bolts / Fixing bolts

The anchor bolts / fixing bolts are what are holding the metal panels on. We also come across problems where the anchor bolts rust or the end caps over the anchor bolts are missing and are susceptible to rusting.

152 Sheet roof anchor bolts

Anchor bolt to profile metal sheets

Anchor bolts rusting

Hidden asbestos roof

We have dealt with several cases where hidden asbestos roofs have ultimately been the reason a client doesn't buy a property. We were working for a client who thought they had found a bargain in a large commercial property (not a warehouse or industrial building in this case) and when we came back with the survey saying that it had asbestos in it, they were very surprised and initially completely put off buying the building.

Even when it was discounted and they had carried out their research it was no longer worth their while and even when it was considerably discounted it was still no longer worth their while and they walked away from the property.


Overcladding asbestos walls

his is when the walls are reclad on an existing warehouse when it looks old over the top of any asbestos cladding as it is the most economical way as to remove asbestos can be very complicated and expensive due to the handling regulations and the sealing that is required of the warehouse.


Asbestos is now deteriorating and getting damaged what do you do?

The difficult situation is where the asbestos on the building is starting to deteriorate. Firstly, if it is on the roof you perhaps don't notice unless the roof leaks and secondly, can you just replace one panel of asbestos? The answer in most cases is no, as the asbestos is of a certain shape which is no longer readily available so you may end up replacing large sections of the roof or alternatively carrying out a repair of the asbestos which is never ideal as you are obviously handling dangerous material.



Metal sheet replacing asbestos sheet doesn't fit properly and therefore roof leaks

Warehouse let subject to roof being repaired

We dealt with a warehouse which had been leased subject to suitable repairs being carried out to the roof by the landlord. What the landlord didn't appreciate was the extent of the repairs to be carried out and also he didn't realise that the tenants letting out the property would ask us to inspect the roof before and after the repair work.


Poor quality repairs

The landlord had carried out a liquid bitumen type repair in some areas and also a fibreglass repair in other areas. The problem with this when looked at when you are having a five or ten year lease or longer is that the asbestos moves a fraction in different climates and as such a hard fibreglass repair doesn't work in the long term and the bond is lost and the liquid repair doesn't work because it cracks and opens up. We negotiated long and hard for our client and ultimately they had to accept it because the landlord said so; if only we had been brought in on day one before they took on the lease.

Poor quality liquid and GRP repair

Flashband repair on central ridge


Anchor bolts / Fixing bolts

  The anchor bolts / fixing bolts hold the asbestos panels on. We come across problems where the anchor bolts rust or the end caps over the anchor bolts are missing and are susceptible to rusting. In addition we have seen where the holes have got bigger when the wind moves them.

152 Sheet roof anchor bolts

Anchor bolt to profile metal sheets

Liquid bitumen repair over anchor bolt indicating that water has got into the property/caused deterioration to the anchor bolts



Asbestos in Retail Units


Warehouse roof survey

It is so important to have a survey carried out before legally committing to purchase a warehouse and in particular the roof as you will be liable for any repairs required to the roof at the end of the lease. Our surveyors can use cherry pickers to access the roof if not visible.


Call us today on Freephone 0800 298 5424 to discuss further.


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