Building Surveyors get to inspect sections of buildings that most people try to avoid, such as the void underneath the house or in the floor, basements, and the most telling place of all – the roof! A roof void which has not been refurbished will reveal a great deal of information about the safety, efficiency, and weathertightness of your building. Kaizon has compiled a list of the four things a roof inspection will reveal about your property.
Two types of roofs: Pitched Roofs & Flat Roofs
The majority of roofs in NZ are pitched, although flat roofs are also common. Pitched roofs form an apex or a ridge and will have an overhang that protects the upper part of the outer walls from the elements. Flat roofs are generally used for outbuildings, extensions, and Mediterranean-style buildings. Flat roofs have been identified as a main culprit in leaky building syndrome and for the most part, do not have a roof void or space.
What a surveyor looks for in a pitched timber roof:
A traditional timber pitched roof needs regular maintenance and thorough inspections as there is a risk of decay and deterioration. A Surveyor will be on the look-out for signs of dampness, water, decay (wet rot or dry rot), damage, deflection, and woodworm. He will also inspect underneath the roof surface for signs of condensation, daylight, or water ingress. If daylight shines through this may be a sign of displaced or missing tiles and an indication that the sarking felt is split or missing.
The New Zealand government has been trying to make the public aware of the many benefits of insulation. However, many NZ building surveyors will agree that a vast majority of buildings are insufficiently insulated or in some cases, not insulated at all. Research shows that a quarter of heat is lost through the roof in an insulated home and approximately 40% of heat is lost through the roof of an un-insulated home. A building surveyor will evaluate the condition, type, and effectiveness of any insulation that is present.
To reduce the effects of condensation, roof spaces must be properly ventilated. The design of ventilation openings is calculated to prevent the intrusion of elements like rain and snow, as well as large insects and birds. There are building regulations that require a roof to be designed to withstand the condensation that naturally occurs within the building fabric. A building surveyor will make sure that the roof has proper ventilation. Some people will tuck a quilted roll of insulation into the eaves to make the roof space a little warmer; however, this actually creates a habitat for condensation to form.
Fire resistant walls ensure that in the event of a fire, fire and smoke will not travel from one property to another. These walls, generally made of bricks and blocks finished with plaster, are constructed below the roof space. A building surveyor will be vigilant in his or her inspection, ensuring that these fire-resistant walls are fully constructed and in good working order.
A roof space can be a warm and welcoming place for a wide array of pests. Mice, wasps, and various insects will make themselves at home in any available space in your roof. A building surveyor will locate the point of entry. It is imperative that the ventilation points not be blocked up by a vermin infestation.
Our team of specialists at Kaizon want to make sure you keep the roof over your head in good condition. If you should require a survey of your residential or commercial building, please contact us today.