The importance of inspecting roof space during a survey
From the day that the human race staked their claim on our planet, creating a shelter has been a primal and essential need for each and every one of us.
It is deemed to be so fundamental to our safety and long-term wellbeing, that having a roof over your head is enshrined as a basic human right in article 25 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Generally, when people think of ‘the roof over their head’ they are thinking of the cosy rooms they are enjoying living in, the décor, the home comforts. They are not necessarily thinking of the key word in that well-worn phrase – ‘roof’.
However brilliantly robust, well-made, water-tight and beautiful a property is, it is worth nothing without a roof that is in fine condition and has the seal of approval for durability.
A poor-quality roof that is not structurally sound or water-tight makes a property incredibly vulnerable, and can be a hugely expensive problem for the homeowner.
So, properly inspecting the roof is crucial in a thorough building survey. At Harrison Clarke, our experienced surveyors are constantly mindful of the importance of this part of the building survey.
They take painstaking care when they are assessing the condition of a roof. Not only is the roof structure necessary to keep a property weathertight but, as it is also the part of the property most exposed to the elements, it can harbour some nasty surprises if it has not been well built or well maintained.
It is also the part of the property that is hardest to access, making it even more difficult to spot any issues.
In most circumstances, when potential buyers inspect properties they do not think to look into the roof space themselves, and would probably not know what to look for if they did. This makes the surveyor’s assessment of the roof even more necessary.
“Will you look into the roof space during my survey?”
This is a question we are frequently asked by many clients. Wherever possible, we will carefully inspect the roof space in every survey that we carry out. Our surveyors always take telescopic ladders to inspections – making sure that, wherever there is safe access, they will be able to include the roof space in their survey, even where the property is not fitted with a built-in loft ladder.
Sometimes, it is not possible for us to access the roof space in a property, for example when we are surveying flats in an apartment block, or when the roof hatch is significantly obstructed or sealed shut.
Whenever and wherever it is possible for us to do so, we will do everything we can to get ‘up close and personal’ to every area of the roof space. Often, our access is restricted by obstructions such as the vendors’ belongings or poorly placed water tanks. If this is the case, our Harrison Clarke surveyor will do the very best they can, using their experience and expertise to guide them so that they can provide the most accurate and top-quality advice in every survey report that they produce.
Some surveyors only make a ‘head and shoulders’ inspection of roof spaces, particularly in Level 2 surveys. At Harrison Clarke, we find that we are able to offer much better advice from a more detailed inspection.
Tip: when you are looking to appoint a building surveyor and you are comparing quotes from your shortlist of potential suppliers, make sure that you know exactly what they plan to include in their roof space inspection and how thorough they will be.