Leaking roofs have become an increasing problem for schools and conducting a comprehensive roof survey will the school understand the true situation, put their mind at rest and help plan for funding applications. The survey will provide the evidence required to make a CIF application successful, and with the right advice will help avoid unnecessary repairs or costly damage to the school buildings, their contents, staff and pupils.
SIG Design & Technology look at what is involved when carrying out our free school roof survey.
How do carry out the free school roof survey?
Firstly, SIG make a no-obligation pre-inspection of the school roof, to determine any issues on the roof, or indeed if any work is required. All surveys are undertaken with minimal disruption to the school day.
If required, the survey inspection, externally and internally, is made by experienced Technical Managers. All inspectors are DBS checked and experienced at working in a school environment. Risk Assessments are carried out and the inspection is carried out in accordance with best practice with health and safety at the fore.
The Technical Manager then prepare a condition report collating all the survey findings and recommendations.
What information is provided in the condition report?
The condition report will normally include the following elements:
1. A general overview of the school’s roofs describing their pitch, type of falls, type of existing finish and the existing waterproofing system, insulation, vapour control and drainage systems.
2. Identify what repairs have previously been made to the roof and the materials used; this is important to help determine how the construction is performing, why it might have failed and the most appropriate means of repair or replacement.
3. SIG evaluate how the water is leaving the roof including all gutters, and look at cladding, roof lights, upstands and parapets. These are all areas where a lack of maintenance or damage can dramatically shorten the life of the roof. SIG will also check for roof mounted plant, including air handling units and photovoltaic or solar panels to see if their installation has had an effect on the roof.
4. On each roof SIG inspect, they take core samples, where a small section of the roof is removed to determine the build-up and check the condition of all the roof elements down to and including the deck which supports the roofing materials.
5. During the core sample exercise SIG can also check for moisture content in the different layers. Sample cores are replaced and the area repaired.
6. SIG take a photographic record of their findings to show the condition of the roof and brief the contractor on what to look out for when work is carried out.
7. As part of their condition report SIG advise on the life expectancy of all the existing roof coverings, make recommendations as to the actions required to extend the serviceable life of the roof coverings, and form a strategic plan to look at a programme into the future for renewing the roofs.
Finally SIG’s recommendations consist of full instructions – known as a “Specification” on how the recommended work is to be carried out. This includes:
• Details of how any existing waterproofing should be removed and how the roof should be prepared;
• Details of the products to be used and how they should be installed
• A full set of drawings and details for the contractor to follow
• Instructions regarding the Construction (Design & Management) Regulations for Health and Safety Procedures
• Details of the material & workmanship warrantee
• Initial Costings for the Works.
SIG’s comprehensive roof survey and recommendations can then be used to inform a funding application to the Condition Improvement Fund, to instruct accredited contractors and to act as the Specification to which they will work.
If your school is part of a Multi-Academy Trust, condition surveys of this type can be used to inform an estates management strategy for you. SIG can work with their team of expert surveyors to manage planned maintenance and repairs on the whole estate, bringing peace of mind and savings on unnecessary repairs.
SIG Design & Technology is not a manufacturer of roofing systems but an independent company, part of SIG plc, a FTSE250 company This makes them “product neutral” with the credibility and expertise to provide independent advice backed up with reliable warranties.
Why is the school roof survey free?
If SIG have carried out a pre-inspection and are satisfied they can help the school, SIG Design & Technology provide their service free, including the comprehensive roof survey and specification. This is not only because SIG are confident in ensuring funding for the repairs and/or replacement. It also allows them to manage the roof design process, the on-site process, and the product selection. This means that they can provide customers with genuine, quality guarantees.
A comprehensive condition survey is a first starting point to help schools manage their property with confidence. It will provide schools with the information to plan maintenance and ongoing maintenance to ensure their roof perform well for years to come.
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