building valuations


Warehouse roof problems

that you definitely do

not want to be paying for


Warehouse roof problems

A scenario that we come across many times with regard to leased warehouses is roof problems. To some extent the roofs are out of sight so they are out of mind and as long as they are waterproof you would think that was the end of the story. However unfortunately it isn’t where you have a full repairing and insuring lease.

As the name implies a full repairing and insuring lease means that you have to carry out full repairs and also generally they have what is known as “put and keep” clause which means you have to put the property in to good order and keep it in good order. This means even if it wasn’t in good order on the day one when you took it on that is how it has to be given back. 


Warehouse roof

In addition to this there maybe such things as separate redecoration and repair clauses to the property. Also often there is a yield up clause which means that when you give the property back you have to carry out further work. Which can be very expensive and often a well-meaning tenant may redecorate inside and out but they will forget to carry out the roof work.


Independent surveyors

We are independent surveyors, which means we are not linked to or owned by an estate agent or lending institute, and as a result we are only working with your best interests in mind.  Since we are solely surveyors, we can keep our overheads down and ultimately our prices as well.

We offer quotes on the surveys and we can usually save you money on the cost of the survey.  We do them quickly and we feel the quality of our surveys are one of the best on the market. We offer a reasoned view, based upon our knowledge and experience, we don't make a mountain out of a molehill.  Equally if we think the property has problems we say so in a clear, jargon-free manner.  We also use sketches, photographs and digital images to clarify what we are saying.


Free phone 0800 298 5424


Asbestos roofs

Older warehouses tend to have asbestos roofs which come with health hazards and should come with a certificate and can also develop problems relatively quickly. The other difficulty is how to repair hazardous materials such as asbestos.

We come across all sorts of repairs over the years from sticky back bitumen covered foil which is also known as flashband, which this really in our option is a temporary repair to the adding of metal patches and the adding of a fibre glass type bandage. Unfortunately, unless you are repairing asbestos with asbestos which of course is not possible, or repairing it with a material that is either softer or is harder than asbestos and as such it doesn’t move at the same rate so you get differential expansion which causes re-cracking and re-opening of the roof.


Roof coverings on a modern profile metal roof

The other types of roofs are profile metal roofs which there are many many varieties over the years. We tend to find with the older ones that they are no longer made and you have to have a roof itself pressed and folded copying the original and this can be expensive.


Roof windows

These are often brittle and certainly should not be walked on. We have come across GRP windows which are also very dirty. Commonly the roof windows have been replaced by a walk roof system which means they can be walked over although we would not recommend it.

Roof window to a sheet roof

Roof window in a poor condition


Anchor bolts

These are the bolts that hold the roof sheets in place. We often we find that they are rusting at the top which invariably means they are rusting throughout their length. They do often have plastic caps on however sometimes these in themselves deteriorate. We often find that some work has been carried out in poor areas and never nearly enough.


Anchor bolt on a sheet roof

Anchor bolt


How much does a new roof cost?

Nothing if you have a Schedule of Condition in place that limits your liability or excludes your liability with regards to the roof or it can cost a lot. We recently surveyed a property which from the ground looked in good condition, in fact the inside had been recently decorated however when we went up at roof level which we can do with a flying drone or stationary drone we could see whole different story. We have seen gutters that run in and out, rusting ends to the roof sheets, damage and blemishes to the roof sheets and even seen the wrong size roof sheets used to such an extent that the gutter and partially blocked it.


The problems with the roofs is …?

The problems with roofs is, hardly anyone actually look at them particularly warehouse roofs which are just not very accessible. The only time anything is ever done tends to be when the roof leaks to the warehouse or starts to show staining to the ceiling tiles in the office area. Then any roofer trying to carry out work in wet weather is not only going to do a poor job but also put themselves at risk going on the roof. So the best roofer will wait for longer.

However even the best roofer will have problems where roof materials are no longer made and simply do not understand how the roof is put together. The term fiddler on the roof certainly can be very true and can also apply to someone that simply does not know how to repair the material that they have been sent up to repair and unfortunately do not know this until they get on the roof and they have a go which can cause all sorts of problems.


Leaking office roof

Typical problems you come across

with a metal profile sheet roof

The profile is no longer made and you have to have the roof folded yourself (shaped). In our experience they never quite fit the same and then you can get wind driven rain in between them. One of the worst examples we have seen is where the metal is over shot the end of the roof and covers the gutters which also then leads to water discharging down the face of the warehouse which degrades and means that it would need to be re-decorated within the lease, if not identified in the Schedule of Condition.


Mono-ply roofs

Another roof that we come across on offices in particular is mono-ply roofs.

Mono ply roof defined

This is a single layered roof as a posed to a typical felt system which is three layered.


Survey Articles

Here are some articles regarding warehouses that we have written that we think will be of interest to you:


Warehouse profile metal sheeting

The importance of having your Asbestos warehouse roof surveyed by a Chartered Surveyor


Meet your Building Surveyor

We recommend you meet us at the property during the survey so that we understand exactly what you require from your survey report and so we can answer any questions you may have.




Compare our website and compare our surveys

Please feel free to have a look at our website to see for yourself the quality of our website, articles and Building Survey reports. We pride ourselves on our professional standard and easy to read reports written in plain English which we have been carrying out for many years on every era, type and style of property across the UK.

We would also be happy to email you some examples of our tailor made reports, Schedules of Condition, Structural Surveys and Property Reports. We have example surveys of every type of commercial property including shops, offices, industrial buildings, leisure buildings such as pubs, sports centres, places of worship and institutional buildings.


Free phone 0800 298 5424

to speak to an Independent Building Surveyor


Our Independent Building Surveyors have many, many years surveying experience and are all Chartered Building Surveyors, and as such are Members of the RICS - Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and ISVA - Independent Surveyors and Valuers Association.




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