If you have an older property especially if it is a listed building and have issues with the roof it is vital that you choose a roofing contractor who is experienced in dealing with heritage roofs. This is not just for properties with thatched roofs but for those with tiled roofs too some of which may have handmade tiles on the roof.
A search on the internet for heritage roofing contractors will provide the names of companies who specialise in this type of roof restoration so you will be able to begin your research here. It is very important that you choose a reputable contractor for your roofing needs, but how can you be sure that your contractor is up to the job?
Reading reviews from previous customers is one way to find out whether the company is dependable and trustworthy. It may be that you can also talk to previous customers if that is appropriate.
There are national heritage roofing contractors’ registers that can be scrutinised to find a contractor in your area and these companies have usually been vetted and can be used with some confidence on your property as only roofing companies with suitably qualified operatives at the level of Roof Master, Craft Roofer or Craft Roofer Operative are listed on the National Heritage Roofing Contractors Register as heritage companies.
Many builders and tradespeople can fix a roof – can’t they? Can it really be that difficult? The truth is, it can be that difficult and not everybody is skilled enough to repair a roof accurately, and certainly not to put on a new roof altogether. Professional roofers in Watford are your best bet when carrying out any kind of roofing project, ensuring roofing work will be reliable and repairs long lasting. After all, a roof that is unstable can be very dangerous and could give way, causing you far more problems than it solves in the first place.
It is essential to choose roofers carefully, only contacting people who are properly qualified to take on the job. Here are some of the reasons why choosing a professional roofer is particularly important for any kind of roofing project, domestic or commercial.
- Safety first. When working in an industry like roofing, safety is by far the most important consideration. You need to feel confident that all work will be carried out in compliance with relevant health and safety protocols, to a high standard. Don’t be afraid to ask the roofers that you speak to in Watford how they manage health and safety and what they will do to look after you and your property during any work. They should have all the relevant experience and equipment to deal with roofing projects safely.
- Flat roofs are particularly complicated and temperamental. If it’s a flat roof you’re dealing with, you need to pick a professional who knows what they’re doing. There are many types of flat roof – built up roofs, modified bitumen roofs, rubber membrane roofs and more – and you need to choose someone who knows about your particular type.
- Pitched roofs use tiles which could be dangerous if not carefully affixed. Tiles need to be properly sealed and existing tiles should be replaced by a professional to avoid the danger of them coming loose and falling.
- Value for money. Roofs that are not properly repaired or replaced will cost more money in the long run, so using a professional roofer may cost more in the short term, but will save money in the long term.
- A reliable business setup. It’s not just about getting your roof repaired or replaced, it’s also about the process you go through while getting the work carried out. A roofer with a more reliable setup and a well-established business is more likely to provide the kind of experience you are looking for, making the process smoother and simpler for you and helping you make the right decisions.
- You will need help and advice from a professional. As a non roofer, you may not know exactly what you need so you will be relying on your chosen roofer in Watford to provide a consultation and advice. Make sure the roofer you choose is willing and able to provide this as part of the service. A roofing consultation at your property is always a good starting point; this is your opportunity to become better acquainted with the company and to see if they provide the level of service you require.
If you are renovating a property or building from scratch you may need to bring more daylight into a specific area and so a light tunnel, sometimes referred to as a sky tunnel could be a good solution. In most situations they can be installed into any roof structure with the exception of thatched roofs. Installing a light tunnel into the external roof surface is similar installing roof windows or Velux windows, so is not a major task for either a professional or a competent homeowner who is used to some simple construction work.
The way that a light tunnel works is by directing sunlight down a reflective tunnel into an area which would previously only have been lit with normal lighting. As any lighting that is provided by a light tunnel is free and does not require any energy to run it is truly environmentally friendly and therefore popular with anyone concerned with reducing their carbon footprint.
Light tunnels offer a great solution to the problem of getting natural light into internal window-less rooms in properties, for example in an added bathroom or utility room. This solves the problem of having to design your renovations keeping in mind that there needs to be a window in the room.
Many people are talking about the issue of climate change and how we as individuals can do something to reduce our carbon footprint in some way. One of the quite innovative ways that people are considering is installing a green roof. The term is used to describe a roof that is seeded, and which grows some variety of grass on its surface and sometimes meadow flowers too. A green roof is more easily installed on new builds in conservation areas but can be introduced on any suitable roof area. They can more commonly be seen on flat roofs, but it is possible to have a seeded green roof on one with a low pitch.
One of the first things to check before you embark on this project is to establish whether there are any council permissions that need to be sought beforehand. Due to the weight of the soil layer on an existing roof structure it could be that the property will need to be checked structurally by a building surveyor before work can proceed.
As long as the relevant authorities are happy for you to install the green roof the next decision will be who to employ to conduct the work. Most people get three quotes which is common practice and ask for references from past clients. Viewing other projects that the company have completed is also advisable.
If you are fortunate enough to own a property with a thatched roof, the care, maintenance and repair of this type of roof will determine the durability of it. As the cost of replacing a thatched roof is extremely high, preventive care and maintenance is of great importance. If the roof is damaged by birds or by the elements immediate action can reduce the costs involved. For instance, a crack in the masonry of the ridge is easily fixed. However, if you fail to act quickly then water can penetrate the roof and can cause further damage.
Algae, moss and fungi are considered to be the main cause of damage on thatched roofs, so the control of algae and moss needs to be part of the ongoing maintenance.
It is recommended that a thatched roof is cleaned and re-tightened once a year. This ongoing maintenance is essential to the durability of the thatch. A roof that is covered with leaves, moss and algae needs more time to dry than a clean roof. The wet, damp conditions of an uncleaned roof does in turn promote the growth of fungi which affects the thatching reed.
A thatched roof ideally should be cleaned by hand. With the help of different types of rake, the roof can be cleared of leaves and moss during a dry spell as the moss is easier to remove in these conditions.