Loading on roofs

Surveyor Adam Stimpson takes a look at the roofs Santa will be landing on this Christmas.


With the thought of Father Christmas parking his sleigh on your roof and dropping off your presents this year, can your roof cope with the extra weight?

In all seriousness, any alteration to a roof structure can bring about some serious problems. Carrying out DIY alterations such as adding an informal loft room, cutting timbers to install a ‘scenic’ railway track, or storing your kid’s belongings who left home 5 years ago can all alter how the roof system works. Not forgetting any alteration, no matter how small, will require Building Regulation approval.  You can download a copy here.

Many roofing coverings have a different life expectancy depending on the material used, how well it’s been looked after and how exposed to the elements it is?

If you are considering replacing your Victorian slate roof with concrete tiles, these new tiles can impose substantially higher loads (weight) on the roof structure.

If not adequately strengthened, older timber roofs, which have performed satisfactorily before being re-covered, can show signs of stress. If the warning signs are ignored, the roof may ultimately collapse!

More often than not, the roof structure should be strengthened. This typically involves installing/increasing propping beneath the purlins and replacing below standard timber sections.

This strengthening work should be done under the guidance of a chartered structural engineer to ensure any altered load paths are transferred down through the building without over-stressing any other part.

If you are moving home and are concerned about your roof, contact Woodward Chartered Surveyors, and arrange an inspection.

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