Some tips on appointing professional roofing contractors.
Check their trade memberships. Ideally an association like the National Federation of Roofing Contractors Limited (NFRC). But also the Confederation of Roofing Contractors.
You don't have to take the first contractor you meet. Compare their work, talk to friends who have had similar roofing work done.
Be clear on the materials that will be used - make sure they are an exact match to what you already have.
Ask for a guarantee on the work.
Ensure that you hav the full details of the roofing work in writing.
Bear in mind that ‘estimates’ for refurbishment work can change once the chosen contractor has removed the main covering (e.g. tiles/slates) to expose the sub-structure underneath.
Don’t expect to obtain free advice from contractors, unless you have a real intention to assign the contract to them.
Remember that a property owner is responsible for any planning permission that may be required on that property.
Please be aware that when carrying out refurbishment work to 50% or more of a roof's area that your Local Authority Building Control must be contacted prior to work starting. This is in order to confirm that the roof should be upgraded to meet thermal requirements of Part L of the current Building Regulations.
The main problem with flat-roof repairs is not choosing the material for the weatherproof covering, but understanding why it leaked in the first place. Flat roofs can simply be too flat, and built with inadequate structural materials, so they sag in the middle.
A flat roof should actually have a gradient of at least 1-in-80, to allow rainwater run off, and have a decking of marine or WBP plywood.
A good covering is reinforced torch-on felt. Properly applied it has a life expectancy of 50 years.
The latest Building Regulations dictate that any flat roof being re-covered must simultaneously be insulated to the current standard. Insulating a flat roof is clearly a good idea, but has to be done with care so as not to cause problems with condensation and wood rot in the structure.
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