Understanding The Different Types of Roof Survey

A thorough and accurate regime of professional roof inspection basically pays for itself, as by spotting damage or problem areas early you can potentially save thousands of pounds. The price of a roof survey pales into comparison when considered against costly roof repairs and the associated fees you’ll shell out to deal with water and wind damage. But to make sure you get the most out of your roof survey it is important to know which kind of survey you need.

There are a range of different roof surveys available, and each has their own specific set of specialities and criteria. So below you’ll find our comprehensive guide to the roof surveys offered by Roofing Consultants, enabling you to determine which type is right for you.

Visual Roof Survey

As the name suggests a visual roof survey involves a physical examination of your roof by a human inspector. If your roof can be accessed safely then we are able to send up a qualified roof surveyor to photograph and inspect your termination details, rainwater gutters and all roof coverings in a more hands-on fashion than automated equipment offers.

Extended Camera Survey

If your roof is located at an average height but fragile roof coverings prevent a visual survey, then an extended camera survey can provide just as thorough an inspection. This simple process involves an inspector using long camera masts to photograph problem areas, and as such you avoid the associated paperwork, scaffolding and disruption a more intrusive inspection requires.

Mewp Survey

The use of a Mobile Elevating Platform survey becomes necessary when commercial roofing systems are located at prohibitively high levels which prevent safe human access via ladders or access hatches. Inspectors can gain access using a MEWP to roofs up to 100m high, and are then able to document and inspect the site as they would in a typical visual roof survey.

Drone Roof Inspection

For excessively high roofing systems or those which are unsafe for humans to traverse, the Drone Roof Inspection offers an efficient alternative to a human visual inspection. With no scaffolding, ladders or paperwork required, a drone can survey several locations in the time it takes a human to inspect just one area of roofing. The high quality footage obtained of your roof can then be viewed by professionals to determine your roof’s condition.

They can be ideal for older properties or those that reach considerable heights, as the drone can quickly scan the roof and locate the source of any issue. A drone survey is simple, straightforward and negates the need to spend valuable time erecting ladders, scaffolding or viewing platforms.

As another plus point, the entire roof survey can be recorded by the drone from start to finish, so that any footage can be thoroughly evaluated for complete peace of mind.

Core Sampling

When a roof is suspected of retaining moisture the most effective and least invasive method of identifying problem areas is to undertake a core sampling. Specialist cutting tools are used to extract small samples of your roof neatly and precisely, with the tested areas made watertight and sealed immediately post-test. This method enables us to fully identify where and why your roof is retaining moisture, and therefore provide a much more comprehensive solution to the problem at hand.

Thermal Roof Survey

This type of roof survey utilises infrared technology to accurately identify anomalies within the commercial or industrial roofing system. Any area of concern can be quickly highlighted, using this non-destructive roof diagnostic tool.

The technology allows for the fast detection and location of any wet roofing areas, and can pinpoint any leaks with high accuracy and efficiency, making this roof survey method extremely beneficial for commercial and industrial roofs.

Thermal roof surveys can easily detect any potentially hazardous roof issue, which could become increasingly dangerous to the whole building down the line.

Electronic Leak Detection

Roof leak detection can sometimes be invasive and intrusive, but with Electronic Leak Detection equipment we are able to swiftly locate the areas water has entered your roof using precision technology. A roof inspector can locate leaks in roofs and membranes using electronically charged bristles in an extremely swift manner, and without the use of flood testing or any other damaging techniques. Problem areas are then marked using survey paint, enabling a comprehensive repair plan to begin.

Moisture Probe

Moisture probes are used after leaking areas or water retention has been detected in your roof. A small area of roofing is exposed and a probe is inserted to test the amount of moisture in any given area. We employ this technique when we need to identify which specific areas of a roof have suffered damage, as it can be the case that only certain areas require repair as opposed to an entire roof replacement.

Moisture Scanning

Moisture scanning is used as an alternative moisture detection method when your roof sits atop a building which is rarely heated, contains sources of heat at roof level, or your roof surface comprises of chippings. In these situations an infra-red thermal survey may not provide accurate results, so instead we employ a mobile non-destructive scanner to analyse your roof’s moisture levels and in turn provide you with the most relevant solution to your roofing trouble.

Asbestos Testing

Our professional PASMA trained commercial and industrial roofing specialists make sure to take careful samples of any asbestos from the roof. Then they transfer them in sealed containers to our certified testing partners.

Throughout the testing procedure, we will make sure that any suspected areas are made safe and weatherproofed, to ensure any contamination is avoided. Any potential risk to the wider public is limited by reducing the level of fibrous asbestos particles in the air.

Once the asbestos testing has been completed, and you’ve been notified of the results, our commercial and industrial roofing specialists will provide advice on how to resolve any highlighted problems. These can often be treated with effective asbestos overcladding.

What is a commercial roof survey?

A roofing survey is carried out by professional roofing contractors, and is used to determine the condition of your commercial roofing or industrial roofing system. It’s used to identify any problems before they become much bigger issues, including:

  • Ponding water – which can occur mainly on a flat roofing system. It’s a typical problem in areas that lack sufficient drainage, and that haven’t been maintained properly. These pools of water can collect on the surface of the roof and lead to costly damage.
  • Water leaks or ingress – is when water is getting into your building, mainly due to defects in the roofing system. Moisture getting inside could result in a costly and time consuming repair job if it’s left unchecked.
  • Wear and tear – can occur on any type of roofing system over a certain period of time. Such as damage from UV rays, rain, snow or even the wind. It’s best to get general wear and tear checked before it turns into more extensive damage.
  • Membrane tears and rips – are most common in a flat roof that hasn’t been created with resilient and durable materials. This type of erosion can also occur due to poor roof design, and the incorrect application of adhesive or mechanical fixings.
  • Points of failure – can occur on a roof at anytime, whether from holes, rotten roof decks, or exposed insulation. A professional commercial roof survey will locate these issues so that they can be addressed quickly.

The benefits of getting a roof survey

So, getting a professional roof survey can help to identify any of the above issues and more, and this will bring you a number of benefits, including:

  • Timely fixes – are always required to stop a small issue from turning into a much more expensive problem. And a roofing survey will offer you the timely solutions you need.
  • Purchase decisions – will be easier to make after carrying out a roof survey. If you’re looking to purchase a new commercial property, any faults can be found quickly. Meaning you’ll be able to better negotiate the price to accommodate any potential repairs.
  • Cost savings – are likely to result after getting a roof survey, as you’ll be made aware of any potential problems, and you’ll also be provided with solutions before further damage occurs.
  • Decision making – overall will be a lot easier after a survey. For example, if you’re hoping to install a new roof, knowing the condition of your current roof should be a top priority, as this will influence any decisions you make.

Even if you’re unsure as to what kind of roof survey you need, it’s always a good idea to get your commercial roofing or industrial roofing system fully checked over.

At Roofing Consultants, we have decades of experience providing high-quality roof surveys and diagnostics. And our specially trained commercial roofing contractors can provide you with a free, transparent quote on any repairs you’ll need.

What kind of things will be highlighted in a roof survey?

A roof survey is perhaps the most important examination of a property following a full home-buyers survey. You can have these both done separately or as a complete service, that is completely up to you. Although, it is a wise move to do both separately so that you spread the cost and use a dedicated professional for each element. In this post we are going to highlight some of the things that will be highlighted in a professional roof survey.

Roof Covering

First and foremost, a roof survey will inspect your roof covering and check to see how old it is. From this, an expert will be able to predict your roof’s longevity and compare it to the condition of other similar properties. This part of the survey will also highlight any suspected leaks and potential repairs that need to be made. If your property has a flat roof then the survey will also check the decking for soft spots.

Roof Structure

Next up is the structure of the roof with both external and internal examination. Here a professional roof surveyor will check for roof spread and roof sag, as well as any issues with condensation. Ventilation, wall plates, tie bars and internal lighting conditions are all features that will be inspected in a roof survey.

Gutters and Rainwater System

Your building’s rainwater system is extremely important to the overall health and safety of your property. A survey will assess which type of system is currently in place and advise of any better alternatives. You will also be made aware of any potential problems, damages, cracks or blockages. These can all lead to leaking joints and seepage elsewhere so it is vital you have this checked out. Leaks can cause serious structural damage if left unrepaired for a long period of time.

Tile Condition

A professional roof survey will also check the condition of your roof tiles and mortar. Roof tiles play a huge role in your rainwater system as they allow the flow of water into the gutters. Any cracks, breakages or missing tiles will cause water to leak into your building and leave the property exposed to the elements. Again, this can cause a lot of heartache and unnecessary costs later on down the line.

Windows and Skylights

If your property has a roof window or skylight then it is important that you have these checked too.  A roof survey will examine the quality of the install and check for signs of cracked glass or fogging. A skylight can be an extremely attractive feature, but only if it is installed and maintained properly. The only way to truly tell if your windows are up to scratch is to hire a roof surveyor.

Chimney Stacks

This is just as, if not more, important as checking your roof windows; because loose chimney stacks can fall and pose a huge risk to those in and around your building. A roof survey will check the condition of your brickwork and mortar, as well as identify any loose chimney pots. The type and condition of the flashings are also taken into consideration.

That’s just the start too! Much more technical aspects are taken into consideration when it comes to a thorough roof examination. Contact RCG today for more information on our professional roof surveying service.