Is your roof sleigh proof?
Winter is here once again, funny that it always seems to happen this time of year, year in, year out. What does winter bring to every householder in the UK? Well, for those that believe, Santa lands his reindeer and sleigh on your roof in the wee hours of the 25th of December, but just how safe is your roof? When was the last time you inspected it? If it was indeed some time ago, it might be time to have one done, no one except the kids wants to wake up with a reindeer lying on top of them.
Of course, for those of us with a little more smarts than the rest of you, we understand that Santa, the sleigh and his reindeer are all affected by magic and therefore don't weigh anything at all. So the likely hood of any damage is minimal. However, severe weather is something else entirely, any snowfall or high winds could see you have to call out a roofer to make repairs. Who wants to come out if there is ice on the road? Of course, it is your prerogative if you wish not to believe in inclement weather.
A good idea for any homeowner would be to have a roof inspection, whether you love Santa or not, ensuring you're keeping warm and dry and not spending the holiday season in a B&B is worth the hassle surely? You may be thinking, "it's Christmas just around the corner, and I don't have the money to spend on inspections!" A survey would cost you around £100 to £300 depending on the style and size of your home. Some roofers offer free inspections, and they are the ones more likely to look for even the smallest of problems as they will want to quote for the work. Free surveys have their benefits, but always choose the right contractor.
I was quite surprised when looking for roof survey's that there are different ways and means of undertaking the work. In this modern age and with the popularity of Drones, external inspections are a lot easier than they used to be and therefore have reduced the cost considerably. This type of survey is suitable for looking at the guttering and also when needed, to inspect a chimney's brickwork and the condition of your roofing materials. Internal investigations are much more straightforward as long as there is good access and it is clear. If anyone suggests they can inspect your roof correctly via the exterior while standing at ground level should ring alarm bells, not sleigh bells. If they haven't brought ladders or a drone, thank them for their time and wish them a fond farewell and a Merry Christmas.
The only other advice we can offer is to make sure the person carrying out the inspection and any possible work following the inspection, is reputable. Make certain they have the correct insurances in place and are also able to provide references for similar projects as yours that they have undertaken. Roofers insurance is quite complicated, but public liability is required and should be checked to ensure they have enough to cover any damage to your property. Employers liability is only needed if they hire someone other than a family member. They may also provide additional cover and even warranties on their work and should you need to check these are sufficient and/or applicable to you then you should speak to an insurance broker as soon as possible. Brokers are of course specialists when it comes to insurance, but even better speak to one that deals with roofing contractors. They can advise you on precisely what each type of cover is and how it protects you and your contractor. This task may seem like a lot of hassle just before Christmas but according to what I have read the survey will pay for itself, especially if issues are caught before they become problems.