Roofing

 

Following the recent high winds, many of our readers will have suffered some degree of structural damage to their property and with wind speeds in excess of 135km/hour it’s not too surprising. Over the past few weeks I have been asked to assess several damaged properties affected by the winds and give insurance quotations for the repair work. By far the majority of storm damage is limited to roofing as you might expect as the roof on any property is usually the least protected from the elements.  One thing that has surprised me the most is that the properties with the greatest damage are new ones, less than 10 years old. We can all remember 4 or 5 years ago when builders could not construct houses fast enough and although the Spanish Building Regulations have improved considerably, corners have most certainly been cut when it comes to roofing.

 

On my recent travels I have seen several roofs with isolated damage and two properties in particular both severely damage because none of the roofing tiles had been secured down, simply laid loosely on the top of each other. One really attractive property in particular has many different roof slopes and each slope has been damaged if not by the direct force of the wind then by the vortex as wind passes the roof and sucks the tiles off. The distressing thing for both owners is that it is of no use to simply tidy up the roof and replace the broken tiles, the complete roof covering needs to be stripped, cleaned and relayed. Work of this nature is quite labour intensive and would cost thousands of euro’s to put right and there is little chance that any insurance company would foot the bill. I have said many times before “YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR” but it would seem not in this case, both owners have paid a fair price for a supposedly good job but have been short changed by the builders. Many builders, the Spanish in particular, rush roof work and on a so called good roof you should consider yourself lucky if 70% of the tiles are secured.

 

Traditionally tiles are bedded on with sand and cement mortar. The bottom valley tiles are first laid on a mortar bed forming a gutter and then the upper tiles are then bedded with mortar connecting the valley tiles to the upper tiles. Generally this is fine if carried out properly but there are several basic rules that need to be followed. The two most important are that the roof structure on which these tiles are to be laid needs to be clean and free of dust and secondly the tiles should also be clean; in hot conditions it is wise to soak the tiles in water prior to fixing as this will reduce the rapid drying out of the mortar which in turn would reduce its adhesive qualities.

 

For several years now when laying roof tiles I use a special expandable liquid roofing foam especially formulated for the job, each tile is secured by a small blob which whilst expanding moulds and adheres to the tile. Both valley tiles and upper tiles can be fixed in this way and although this expandable foam is quite expensive to buy each tile will be secured properly, this method could also save on labour costs. A roof laid using this technique is not only more equipped to cope with the everyday general expansion and contraction of the roof due to normal thermal movement but more importantly cushions each tile allowing slight movement which flexes in high winds and as a bonus also reduces breakages if being walked on. This material can not only be used for new roofs but also repairs replacing a single tile etc. A roof is generally considered the most important element of a building but it is usually the one that receives the least amount of attention when it comes to general maintenance. You should remember that you are responsible if something from your property, for example a falling roof tile causes damage or injury to passers-by. I would suggest that if you are in any doubt with regards to your roof that you have it checked out by a competent builder, have loose tiles secured and missing tiles replaced before water penetration causes further damage, as my Gran used to say “A STICH IN TIME SAVES NINE”

John Phillips (F.I.A.S. F.A.B.E. M.I.B.C.O. F.F.B. M.R.S.H. C.M.W.O.B.O. M.B.I.M)
Construction Buena Vista

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Construction Buena Vista
Urb. Palmeria. Orba 03790

 

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0034 965 577 464 (office)

 

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Buena Vista Villas s.l.

Urb. Palmeria. Orba 03790

 

Please call us on

 

0034 965 577 464 (office)

 

0034 629 554 561 (mobile)

 

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