When looking at a new property for purchase, you might have looked in every room, checking out the bathroom, making sure you’ve inspected any potential defects and discounted any issues, but are you certain you have checked everywhere?
One place often overlooked by prospective buyers, is the roof, for obvious reasons. We can’t often reach or even see the roof, so how do we know of its condition?
Of course we could ask the Estate Agent or the previous owner, but they might under exaggerate any potential issues and still they might not be able to properly assess the condition of the roof from their position. When in doubt, requesting the assistance of a professional surveyor is always recommended, as a problem with your roof can lead to a whole range of other issues, which may cost thousands of pounds in repairs in the long run.
Roofing is Expensive
Replacing a few cracked tiles can get quite expensive depending on the age and the make of the tiles. Some tiles are bespoke and no longer in circulation, so while you might be able to find replicas, it might be better off fitting a whole new roof, which costs a pretty penny. In some cases, a leaking roof may have been caused by clogged drains, and while those are less expensive, it is still an issue if you don’t have a proper drainage system.
If only the tiles have been cracked, the damage may be slight but if the protective layer has been blown back or damaged due to weather extremes, then you have a real problem on your hands as the protective layer is what ultimately stops leaks.
Can Lead to Other Issues
If the roof has started leaking and water is getting into the rest of the house, this can lead to a number of other problems. The longer it is left, the more damage will occur.
Mould and Mildew – Water left to stagnate in many environments encourages the growth of mould and mildew, which can eat away at plaster and cause massive problems in terms of clear-up costs. Mould also lies thick in the air and can cause respiratory problems for young children and elderly relatives so it is a pain to get rid of.
Penetrating Damp – An issue where water seeps through the protective layers in the walls, damaging plaster and wall structure alike. It is expensive to remove and in extreme cases, requires the removal and rebuilding of walls.
Warping of Wood – Water leaking will cause wooden frames to warp. This includes wooden furniture, kitchen units, staircases, bed frames; you name it. A leaking roof can damage almost anything in the property if left alone for long enough and reparation damages almost don’t bear thinking about.
In timber framed properties, if water leaking from the roof has been absorbed by any of the structure, the property could have suffered structural damage. Of course this doesn’t happen in a short space of time, but it is a very real danger if the leaking roof has gone unnoticed for a long period of time. Warped wood will be weaker and can cause major damage to the structure of your property, particularly if any of the affected walls are load-bearing walls.
A detailed survey may cost anywhere upwards of a few hundred pounds, depending on the type of survey you request and the size of the property in question, but it is always preferable to the alternative (extensive reparation costs). As a surveyor will be able to identify any roofing issues, or any other defects found within the property you are left with more information pertaining to the overall condition of the property. With this information you can then make an informed decision as to whether or not you would like to re-negotiate your offer, go ahead with the purchase or change your mind entirely. More information is always preferred when it comes to purchasing a property, so in this case a professional survey is essential.
Article provided by www.briangalesurveyors.com; a long, well-established firm of chartered surveyors based in Surrey – specialising in providing an efficient and professionally presented Survey and Valuation service on all types of property.