Winter Roof Surveys: What You Need to Know

Roof surveys are often recommended around wintertime for both domestic and commercial properties. But if you’ve not had one before, or it’s been a while since your last survey, it’s only natural to have a few questions.

Below, we aim to answer some of the most frequently asked questions about winter roof surveys…

What do they look for?

Winter roof surveys are a comprehensive assessment of your roof. They check the condition of every roofing component, including:

  • Roofing materials – clay tiles, concrete tiles or slate for pitched roofs (or other flat roofing materials)
  • Roof joins – ridges and valleys where two planes meet
  • Flashing – metal weatherproofing around protrusions
  • Guttering – around the edge of your roof

On every part of your roof, surveyors will be looking for anything that is damaged or cracked, loose or out of place, or just not doing its job.

Who can do them?

Even if you’re a DIY aficionado, roofing surveys shouldn’t be on your to-do list. Getting on a roof to inspect it still counts as working at height. As such, it requires the right health and safety training. Attempting a roof survey yourself, or getting someone unqualified, could damage your property – as well as putting yourself or themselves at risk.

But aside from safety, surveyors need the right training and experience to know what they’re looking for. Put simply, winter roof surveys should only be carried out by qualified roofers.

How long do they take?

The duration of a roof inspection depends primarily on the size of the roof. Small domestic properties like houses and bungalows typically take around an hour. However, it will take longer for HMOs and flats or commercial properties like office blocks or large shops.

Another factor that can affect the duration is access. If your roof is particularly high or just tricky to get to, it may take roofers longer to access it in the first place, which adds to the total survey time. However, this additional time can be minimised using a high-level access platform, which allows fast, safe access to the roofs in question.

How much do they cost?

Given that surveys don’t require materials, roofers will be charging purely based on their time, which comes at a premium because of their knowledge and experience. So, much like the duration, the cost of a roof survey will depend on those same two factors – size and access.

For most domestic projects, you can expect to pay in the region of £200-300. But it will be more for large commercial roofs or those that require high-level access, for example.

Whatever the case, make sure you get a quote before arranging your survey – ideally with a copy sent to you for your records. This will avoid any miscommunication, confusion or unexpected costs after the survey has taken place.

What are the benefits?

We mentioned before that roof surveys are often recommended before and during winter. But not everyone is sold on the idea. Here are the benefits of booking a winter survey for your roof…

Spot issues early

For some, it seems unnecessary to survey your roof when you haven’t had any issues – after all, wouldn’t you notice a leak if there was a problem? Not always. In fact, having a roof survey when everything seems fine is the best way forward. It allows professionals to spot small issues before they turn into big problems – and before water has even penetrated your roof.

Save money

As well as avoiding the stress of a bad leak, spotting things early could save you money. It’s much easier to replace one or two tiles, for example, than it would be to replace several once the wind takes hold and loosens the surrounding area. A quicker job also means less disruption to your home or business.

Get assurance

Anyone that’s had a leaky roof will agree, there’s not much worse than the stress it brings. Constantly worrying when the heavens open or continuously checking for damp patches and leaks. That could be you if you’re unsure about the condition of your roof. Alternatively, a winter roof survey will give you much-needed assurance, throughout winter and the rest of the year, that your roof is doing its job.

Increase lifespan

If you book winter roof surveys every year, as recommended, they will undoubtedly extend the lifespan of your roof. Remember, a roof is a big investment for an individual or a business, so it makes sense to look after it and keep it working for as long as possible. Roof surveys do exactly that, nipping small niggles in the bud so they don’t turn into something irreparable.

Get repairs in before high demand

When problems do go wrong with your roof, one of the worst things is waiting for a roofer to fit you in. Whether it’s a small repair or full replacement, good roofers can be booked up for several days or even weeks with the high demand in winter. When you arrange a survey, roofers will already be on site for small repairs – and will generally put you top of their list for replacements, given that you’re an existing customer.

How does the process work?

When you arrange a winter roof survey, you’ll be given a date and time that roofers will inspect your roof. You should also be given a quote with a fixed price for their time. Some roofers will ask for payment up-front, while others will take payment at the time of the survey.

As mentioned earlier, surveys will be done on one day with most completed in a couple of hours. After the survey, you’ll get a clear explanation of your roof’s condition with any issues brought to your attention. In most cases, this will include photos of the areas of concern.

You will usually be given a quote for the necessary repairs, which can be completed on the day or scheduled in for larger jobs.

Book your winter roof survey

If you’re ready to enjoy the benefits of a winter roof survey, DPR Roofing can help throughout Pontefract. Equipped with over 30 years of experience, our team of roofing contractors can make sure your roof is in tip-top condition this winter, explain any problems we find in plain English, and provide a fixed quote for repairs if necessary.

To book your survey, give us a call on 01977 220016 or email [email protected].