Leaks on your commercial or domestic roof? Sometimes a roof repair may not be the best option other times it is.

How do you know to repair or replace?

Sometimes repairs to roofs can be noticeably clear and obvious to a skilled roofing contractor on other occasions it may not be. Common leak points, like valleys, abutments or eaves on roofs are prone to leaks and in most cases can be easily repaired. Sometimes the leak may not be so clear or there may be several weak points in one area. In most cases, a survey from a ladder can be carried out. Sometimes scaffold is needed for a more detailed assessment. Really the answer depends on the damage to the roof, the age of the roof, type of roof and access to the roof.

How we assess the roof.

We will always attend your property to see where the leak is entering the property, this will give us an idea on where to look on the roof and we will then survey from the ground and use ladders to access the roof if safe to do so. We then can provide options to the owner of the property whether we repair or replace the roof.

The area of damage to the roof is a key factor.

Due to the way a roof is laid in most cases you have rafters, the section of the roof that takes the weight normally installed by a carpenter. Then you have the roof membrane or lining, the roofing batten, then the tiles or slates laid in that order and always fixed with nails. If there is damage to the membrane it can be a lot harder to get to than just changing a slate for example as you have to remove all the above sections in a wider area. If you are just replacing a damaged slate or tile it’s much easier to access. The area of the roof is also a key factor as in most cases you will need a scaffold to safely carry out works and can be quite a costly part of the roof, so we always take the cost of scaffolding into consideration when advising to repair or reroof a property. Sometimes it may be the case if large sections of scaffolding have to be erected that we would advise a new roof, as with a new roof you have lengthy warranties ranging for 10 – 25years, so you are safe knowing that you will not be having to erect a scaffold again in that time frame at your cost.

Age of the roof

Different types of roof have different age lengths as mentioned in our previous blog. A slate roof can last for 100s of years if properly maintained and repaired when needed, where a concrete tile roof last usually around 50 years as the concrete tiles can become porous and are not fit for purpose. Another key indicator is if there is a membrane on the roof or not. Originally roofs were completed with no membrane, just the battens and roof covering. Later 1f felt membranes were bought in, a heavy non-breathable membrane that degrades quite quickly. Then the more modern lightweight breathable membrane that is still installed today. Roofs with no membrane in most cases we will always advise a new roof.

So, should I repair or replace?

Always seek the advice of a skilled roofing contractor. What we often do at Kingsley Roofing especially when scaffolding is involved is offer a repair and the cost of a new roof. The reason we do this as we know roof leaks can come unexpectedly and you may not have been budgeting for a new roof so a repair at that particular time may be your only option. Also, as we are erecting scaffolding we always display the cost of scaffolding on our quotes to help you decide the best option, for example, the scaffolding may cost £1500 and the repair £1000, then if you have another leak in a different area 1-5 years later you may have to erect another scaffolding at the cost of £1500 and this could go on. With the average townhouse roof costing around £5000 you are not far away from spending that amount over a period of 5-10 years maybe more. If you have a new roof it is hassle free for the length of the warranty and beyond.

In Conclusion

As you can see there are several factors to think about in regard to repairing or replacing your roof one of the main ones is costs. In the long term, you will always save money by having a new roof but at Kingsley Roofing we are fully aware these costs can come unexpectedly in the winter months. If you are having a repair completed  I would always advise you to ask the roofing contractor you appoint to give you a cost for a new roof as it may be more cost-effective in the long run

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