Flat roof repairs

The Company

As well as having a name that comes first in the Yellow Pages (don't worry, that's not where we found them!), Aardvark Roofing is a Middlesex based roofer company, offering emergency roof repair services and installation of new roofs.  They are also a member of the Confederation of Roofing Contractors.

The Work

It's all very well installing a couple of new air bricks and treating timbers for woodworm, but we wanted some "real" work to begin!  The rear of the house has a flat roof above the 3rd bedroom and the bathroom.  The survey noted that this roof was leaking and causing damp to penetrate into the house. 

Aardvark originally surveyed the roof in December and as the damp was a serious problem in the rear of the house, we wanted to get the roof repaired as soon as possible.  We therefore appointed Aardvark at the beginning of January and they ordered their materials.  However we then found out from our builder that due to the fact that we would be removing the chimneybreast in the 3rd bedroom and kitchen, it would be a waste of time repairing the roof as it would then have to be ripped up to fit steel joists to support the chimney stack on the top.

This led to a bit of a panic about the fact that the roofer had already ordered their materials and that we might have to delay them.  We also looked into taking out the chimney stack itself, but according to the council this wouldn't be allowed due to the fact that the house is in a Conservation Area.

Anyway, in the end we decided to get Aardvark to fit the steel joists during the repairs to the roof.  And that's exactly what they've done.  The ceiling has been ripped down, three steel joists fitted, some new timbers fitted to replace the old damp rotten ones and the flat roof replaced.

For those of you into your flat roofs (well, you never know!), we went for a Hertalan EPDM Membrane.  This is a synthetic rubber which is 100% ozone and UV resistant, root resistant to FLL/prEN, self extinguishing NEN 6383 and bitumen resistant.  No idea what any of that means though!  Aardvark gave us a sample of it, but all I can say is that it feels rubbery...

The Results

Aardvark started work on Monday 29 January 2007.  Their first job was to rip up the old felt from the flat roof which took a bit longer than they expected as there were 4 layers of the stuff up there!  They then ripped down the ceiling and installed the steel beams to support the chimney.

I popped round to the house on the morning of Wednesday 31 January 2007 to check out how it was coming along and take a few photos for the website!  You can see that ripping out ceilings is a pretty messy job...

Messy Floor!

And here's what the ceiling looks like now.  Nice shiny red steel beams!

Steel Beams

We both went round to the house during the evening of Wednesday 31 January 2007 (along with the trusty high-powered torch) so Diana could get a first-hand look at the results.  Happy to say that all the mess has been cleared away and it looks like they have pretty much finished.  Hopefully they've also laid the new felt today as well, although I have to admit I didn't feel like climbing up a ladder to check! 

Luckily the roofer has emailed us some photos of the work that has been done on the roof so I won't have to get the ladder out!

Once the roofer had stripped off the old layers of felt, this is the view of the ceiling from above and the beams.

Old ceiling

The first job was to put the steels in to support the chimney stack.

Here's a close up of the cross-beam that supports the chimney.

Another picture of the steel beams, this time with the new wooden joists fitted.

You can see from some of the pictures above that there's no rendering at all on the parapet walls, so the roofer suggested that this should be done as well to make sure that the roof is fully waterproof.

I'm no expert, but here are a couple of photos of the finished product and it looks like a good job has been done.