Flat Roof Maintenance Checklist

Flat roof maintenance is easier to carry out when the weather is kinder, so late spring or summer is an ideal time to check the state of your flat roof. Use this flat roof maintenance checklist guide to make sure you’ve considered all aspects of your flat roof and any other structural areas that could create problems for you.

Flat Roof Maintenance Alternative-Firestone RubberCoverTip: You can minimise the number of inspections you need to do for flat roof maintenance when you install an EPDM rubber roof, that’s guaranteed for 20 years but has a life expectancy of 50 years.

OK, let’s get on with the inspection checklist. But first…

How Will You Access Your Flat Roof?

A flat roof can often be easily accessed for inspection, but carrying out remedial work may be more of a challenge.

Before you start your inspection, or in fact do any flat roof maintenance, please consider how you can safely access it. You may be able to reach your flat roof via a long ladder but once you are at the top of the ladder can you clearly see all areas without having to stretch out – and maybe overbalance?

Your 5-Step Flat Roof Maintenance Checklist:

  1. A Flat Roof Maintenance inspection reveals pondingWater Pooling

Pools of water on your flat roof may not seem to be much of an issue but if you are getting a lot of standing water (i.e. pools remain 48 hours after rain has stopped) it can saturate your flat roof cover and eventually degrade the material. When this happens you get leaks into your property and, potentially, structural damage too.

These pools of water are known as ‘ponding’. The only signs of ponding you are likely to see in drier weather is staining where water has stood for some time. For this reason, it is advisable to do some of your flat roof maintenance inspection 48 hours after it has stopped raining, or snow has melted away, to check if there is any ponding.

  1. Bubbling or Blistering

 When you carry out your flat roof maintenance inspection check for raised, spongy patches. These are likely to be caused by trapped air or moisture in the felt layers. The trapped air or moisture separates the layers and can reduce the waterproof properties of your flat roof cover.

  1. Debris

 During your flat roof maintenance inspection check for any debris that could puncture or damage the felting. Any stones, sharp sticks (e.g. branches blown off trees) should be removed and the roof surface checked for any tears or holes.

  1. Ridging

 Are there long narrow cracks on your flat roof? If so, it is an indication that moisture has condensed by the insulation joints under the bituminous felt. Excessive ridging may mean your flat roof needs re-covering.

  1. Guttering Inspection

 Whilst you are inspecting before carrying out any flat roof maintenance it is sensible to check the state of any guttering and downpipes attached to your flat roof. Clear any debris, such as leaf mould, to make sure that water can drain off the roof during any rainfall.

After Checking which Flat Roof Maintenance Tasks are Needed..

After you have completed your inspection you need to decide if any flat roof maintenance is required. If there is a lot of damage or signs that your roof covering is no longer waterproof it may have to be replaced.

Replacement better than frequent flat roof maintenance workIf that is the case, then I would suggest considering a long-term solution such as an EPDM rubber covering for your flat roof.

Take a look at our recommended flat roofing solution that is guaranteed for 20 years and has a life expectancy of 50 years. Replacing your flat roof covering with EPDM rubber almost eliminates the necessity for regular flat roof inspections.

 

Related Posts/Pages:

Flat Roof Replacement

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Installing Gutters and Closing Your Roofline
Bargeboard Installation
Installing Fascias
Installing Soffits

Studwork (Noggins)

Preparing Rafter Feet

Roofline Ripping Out

Replacing Your Roofline

Roofline Repair Tools

Roofline Nest

Roofline Special Offer

 

Customer Service – Is It Genuine?

Anglia Roofline Customer Service is Ace

Polite Fitters Deliver Impressive Customer Service

Customer service, for many businesses unfortunately, is little more than lip-service. Some of the larger organisations have ‘Customer Service Departments’ to handle complaints or customer queries. But I often wonder if the principle of true customer service is followed by people in the rest of the organisation.

Call me old-fashioned, but to me good customer service should be delivered by every person involved in the business. After all, without customers we wouldn’t have a business, would we?

And yet in some businesses profit seems to come before customer service… in fact customers are sometimes seen as a nuisance that has to be tolerated!

And then there are the businesses that don’t even deliver what they promised, never mind caring about the customer too! I’m sorry to say that is sometimes the case in the building industry. It’s why there are so many TV programmes exposing those ‘cowboy builders’. It is a worrying concern for anyone looking for building work to be carried out.

So how can you be sure you will get the service you expect and have paid for?

Mr Page was happy with our customer service

Mr Page was happy with our customer service

The most obvious answer is to ask people who have used those companies before. But I think most people would like to know more about how the service or product they’ve purchased will be delivered, do you agree?

For example, if you are looking for roofline replacement services I’m guessing you’d like to know what the process is from start to finish, wouldn’t you?

Compare this 13-point checklist of the customer service a reputable roofline replacement company (like mine) delivers against the reputation of the supplier you are considering:

Pre-Sales Customer Service

Customer Service checklist

Customer Service checklist

  1. How quickly do they respond to your initial enquiry?

It is reasonable to expect a reply within 24 hours using the contact method you prefer, phone or email.

  1. Do they arrive at the arranged time for an inspection and quote?

Your time is valuable, why should you have to wait around for someone to turn up at their convenience? I respect you and always keep to my appointment times.

  1. What is their first action?

Do they try to ‘sell’ first or do they inspect and measure up first? Some companies won’t take the time to inspect and measure your roofline until they are confident you are going to buy their product and service. In my opinion, that is self-serving not customer service! I always measure up first, how else can I give you accurate information?

  1. Do they insist on both decision makers being present?

This is something that many people have told me really winds them up! It implies that the person who can spare the time for the appointment (wife or husband) is not capable or does not have the authority to make a decision! This really is a throw-back from the early 1900s when business was done with the main earner in the family. Things are a bit different now, aren’t they? I’m happy to deal with whoever is present.

  1. Do you get a fixed quote or an estimate?

A fixed quote means you know exactly what it will cost you. Any unexpected additional costs will be borne by the company providing the service, not passed on to you. My 12 years (and 3000+ installations) experience means this rarely happens to us but, if it does, then that is my problem, not yours.

  1. Do they outstay their welcome, trying to persuade you to buy immediately?

This, I think, is one of the worst traits of some companies who offer in-home sales. I prefer to give people time to consider the information I supplied – that’s why I rarely stay longer than 30 minutes. Of course, if the customer decides to go ahead immediately that’s great. But it has to be their decision and not made under duress.

  1. If you decide to ‘think about it’ do they send confirmation of the quote in a timely fashion?

Expecting an email within 48 hours confirming the price quoted is perfectly reasonable, well I think it is so that’s what I do.

Post-Sales Customer Service

  1. Do the installers turn up on time?

There is nothing more frustrating that waiting in for workmen to turn up and get started. It is common courtesy to arrive on the agreed day at the expected time. Timekeeping is my installers’ watchword.

  1. Does the company allow sufficient time for the installation to be done properly?

For some companies roofline replacement installation is a numbers game – they want to get as many done as possible, it is more profitable for them. The problem with this approach is it puts the installers under pressure to get the job done within a tight timeframe. Anything unexpected crops up reduces the time they have. For me, customer satisfaction is more important. That’s why my installers know they can take extra time to resolve any issues without having to compromise on the quality of their work. Don’t worry – they are not slow, just methodical.

  1. Do they show respect for you and your property?

Showing respect means they are polite when talking to you and tidy up and leave your premises in a clean state after the work has been completed. You don’t want to have to get your yard brush out to sweep up after them, do you?

  1. Are you invited to inspect the finished job?

My installers walk you around your property so you can inspect the work for yourself. They explain that because gutters are attached to the roofline there maybe some movement during storms. They tell you who to contact if any leaks between gutter sections are spotted. It doesn’t happen often but, if it does, my installers will get in sorted promptly. It is part of our after-sales customer service.

  1. What guarantees do you get?

And are the guarantees worth the paper they are printed on? Pretty much every company willMaterials - 20 year guarantee tell you they guarantee their services and products. But what happens if they go out of business? What are their guarantees worth then?

Our products are guaranteed by the manufacturer and our work is guaranteed, under insurance, by the Consumer Protection Association. That means if the worst should ever happen, you still have peace of mind.specialist roofline replacement company, Anglia Roofline, is CPA Member No 1195

  1. Are you able to give honest feedback about the company via a independent third party?

Websites like referenceline.com show both good and bad feedback. They do not allow a company to pick and choose what is published. That’s why we ask our customers to share their experience of our customer service with referenceline – their opinions count far more than ours. And we like you to get an honest view of what you can expect from us.

Anglia Roofline’s Focus on Customer Service

feedback on customer service

Comments about our Customer Service

My intention at Anglia Roofline has always been to deliver superb products fitted by reliable installers who match my customer service ethics. I believe I have achieved that because our customers know they get…

• No high-pressure selling. I’m the MD of the company and I carry out the inspections myself and I’m no salesman!
• A truthful survey
• A good value quote and no pressure to make an instant decision
• Guaranteed workmanship (10 years)
• Guaranteed materials (20 years)
• Polite, considerate fitters who know their craft inside and out and delight in over-delivering
• A tidy finish. Apart from your new, smart roofline or flat roof cover you would never know we’d been on your premises

I think that’s why we have such a good reputation with our customers. . . you can read their unbiased comments at Referenceline where we have a 9.5 out of 10 rating.

Want To Replace Your Roofline?

save money & enjoy great customer service too!Oh, another point worth thinking about, if you are thinking of replacing your roofline and can be flexible about when the work is carried out, you could take advantage of our ‘standby-offer’ and save up to £825 compared to the normal quote for your roofline replacement. Get your FREE, NO OBLIGATION quote now.

Related Posts:

Installing Gutters and Closing Your Roofline
Bargeboard Installation
Installing Fascias
Installing Soffits

Studwork (Noggins)

Preparing Rafter Feet

Roofline Ripping Out

Replacing Your Roofline

Roofline Repair Tools

Roofline Nest

Roofline Special Offer

Request Your Free, No-obligation 30-minute Survey & Quote

Installing Gutters

Anglia Roofline How To: Installing Gutters

Roofline Replacement: Final Steps (6) – Installing Gutters & Closing The Roofline

Installing gutters and closing your roofline are the final steps in this ‘how to replace your roofline’ series.

Gutters disperse water from your roof throughout the year. Installing gutters properly is important because whilst an incorrectly fitted gutter may cope with water from light showers, it could have problems managing during storms. Heavy rain can quickly fill a gutter before the water is diverted to the downpipe and you could have unwelcome overspills around your property.

Water Management

Your guttering has two tasks:

  • Catch rainfall from the first row of tiles
  • Quickly drain the water away to the outlet (downpipes and soak away)

You need to decide how far the rain has to travel and which type of gutter is to be fitted – for example, where you have a run over 10m you may need a shallow gutter with a steeper fall or a deeper gutter that can handle more water (assuming the fascia is tall enough to take a deeper gutter).

The ‘fall’ is the measurement by which the gutter drops to allow water to drain towards the outlet downpipes.

Many plumbers guidelines recommend a ratio of around 1:500 (which is roughly 20mm for every 5m of guttering). But it does depend upon the pitch and size of the roof above your guttering. The amount of water running off a steep roof, with hundreds of tiles, is very different to the amount of water that runs off a shallow pitched roof.

Tip: check how the original gutters were fitted to get some idea of what depth of fall/size of gutter you need to have.

Installing Gutters

High & Low Point Gutter Bracket Positions

Your gutters have a ‘high point’ and a ‘low point’. The difference in position between the two is known as the ‘gutter fall’.

The ‘high point’ is where the highest gutter bracket is placed and is the furthest from the outlet(s). If the run has two downpipes then the high point should be placed between them. The ‘low point’ is next to the outlet (downpipe).

Installing gutters-measuring the fall between the high and low point brackets

Measure the fall between the high and low point brackets

The difference in height between the ‘high point’ and the ‘low point’ must be enough to allow rainwater to flow without restriction. The plumber’s guideline of a ratio of 1:500 should be fine.

As a rough guide: if your ‘high point’ is a bracket whose top sits 10mm from the top of the fascia height, then the ‘low point’ (placed next to the outlet) would be at least 30mm from the top over a 10m run.

Never fix a ‘low point’ gutter bracket with most of its mould off the fascia board. Gutter brackets that are positioned off-set on the fascia board will start to curl over time. A few millimetres is fine – but much more than that, for example over half the bracket, is very risky.

Make sure there is no overshoot on the ‘low point’ bracket position. Overshooting is where the water runs off the bottom row of roof tiles and misses the guttering. This happens when there is force behind the water running down the roof because the water leaves the bottom row of tiles in an arc, rather than just dropping instantly.

To check if overshooting is likely, set the ‘low point’ and pull down a roof tile to act as a guide of how the water will flow (see diagram below). Remember, though, extremely heavy downpours will normally overshoot anyway.

installing gutters checking water overshoot

Determining Gutter Bracket Positions

You need to be absolutely confident about where the brackets need to be fitted. If you have to re-adjust a gutter run you will have screw holes in the fascia that may become exposed to the elements. Unlike wood, uPVC fascias cannot be ‘filled’ to a good standard and would have to be replaced.

Once you’ve fitted the high and low point brackets with 20 – 30mm screws, use a string line to decide the correct placement of the other brackets.

Installing gutters-use stringline to align bracket positions

Use a stringline to check the alignment for the bracket positions

Wrap the line around the low and high point brackets. Make sure you have a nice tight string line with a good old fashioned ‘twang’ when flicked.

Decide which part of the bracket you are going to use for alignment, I normally use the top of the bracket as the alignment point.

If your top brickline (and fascias) are not level, then using a measurement ratio (as described above) may not be very reliable for achieving the correct gutter fall. So, before you fix each bracket, check the gutter is ‘falling’ correctly.

Installing gutters - check spirit level bubble is slightly offset

Hold the spirit level against the stringline and check the bubble is slightly offset to get a correct gutter fall

Hold a 1 metre level along the string line as still as you can. Check the level bubble sits slightly to the left or right of centre depending on which way the water needs to flow.

Fix the gutter brackets with a gap of around 800 – 900mm between each.

Tip: Mark out where gutter unions will be and fit extra brackets to support them.

Installing gutters - brackets fitted and aligned

Brackets fitted to align with the stringline

Release the string line once all the brackets are aligned and firmly fixed.

Do another check with the level once the gutters have been clipped in. Plastic retracts in cold weather and expands in hot, so allow a little play for thermal movement.

One more final check:

Pour a little water slowly into the gutter at the ‘high point’ and wait. You should see it flow towards the ‘low point’ and drip continuously from the outlet or corner. If the water does not make it to the ‘low point’ or if there is any ‘pooling’ then the gutter will need to be re-fitted using a steeper fall.

Connecting The Downpipes

Check Your Soak Away Capacity

The downpipes disperse the rain water to its final destination – the soak away. These are underground and placed away from the building’s foundations. If the pipes underground are not blocked and the soak away itself is the right size they will handle any amount of excess water. If the pipes are blocked or the soak away is small it will not cope with the water and your downpipe will be ‘charged’ – i.e. full of water. If your old downpipes were full of water when they were removed then it is best to get a specialist to take a look at your soak away before connecting the downpipe into it.

The Downpipe Construction

A downpipe has three sections: a swan, a pipe and a base.

The swan is positioned at the top. It is composed of two offset bends that link the gutter outlet to the wall of the house. Place the offsets against the outlet and the wall and measure the gap between them for the measurement.

The position of the base is determined by what the downpipe is feeding into; a soak away, a shoe or straight into a water butt. It will need to be placed and supported by a downpipe clip to prevent it from slipping off over time.

Warning– do not fix a downpipe clip below the damp course. Drilling holes below the damp course to fix the clip allows water ingress and can create damp problems in your home. If you do not know what or where your damp course is then it is best to get a professional to advise you.

The pipe is the last section to be installed. Measure from the base fixing to the bottom of the swan. This can be a very tricky measurement as it can be very long and there is nothing to hook the tape measure onto. Take your time and ask for help if needed. Once the pipe is cut and placed into the joining sockets use your 1 metre level to guide the pipe straight before drilling the fixing clips into the wall.

Closing Up Your Roofline

After installing gutters the final task is to close up your roofline. There are 3 steps – ventilation, re-felting and fitting a birdcomb.

Ventilation – if you have used premoulded soffits there is no additional work and you can move straight on to re-felting. If not, then the ventilation method will be either porthole vents or over fascia ventilation.

Porthole Vents – each is a small disc that is a friction fit as long as the holes are drilled – I recommend drilling the holes every 500mm and between the trusses. Specially made drill bits can be used for this but they can be very expensive for a ‘one time use’. Drill the hole and then push the vents into the soffit so they snap into place. Continue along the run until the entire length is ventilated.

Over Fascia Vents – these are easier . They are nailed into the fascia using 50mm nails. Normally around 20mm high. Avoid installing them on corners as the fascia has a lot more load bearing on corners and can become weak if a ventilation strip is placed there. Go along the run, nailing down the vents on top of the fascia. Avoid leaving gaps between the vents as this can lead to infestations such as wasps and bees.

Re-felting – this is a crucial task because if done incorrectly it is the most likely area that will let water into your house. I’d advise you to use a hardlip tray or (most commonly known) eaves protector. You can use a DPC (damp proof course) but this is a very flimsy felt that can warp and belly. An eaves protector keeps its shape through the years. You can normally buy it in 1.5m lengths.

To install the hardlip tray, simply lift the existing felt, where it was cut, to expose the roof inside. Place the eaves protector on top of the roof trusses and allow the lip of the eaves protector to sit on top of the fascia. Pin down with at least 30mm pins and overlap each tray. If you do not overlap or put the tray underneath the felt you risk rainwater getting under the tiles and into the house.

Installing gutters- fitting birdcomb

Fitting a birdcomb prevents birds nesting

Bird Comb – a well fitted bird comb prevents anything getting into your roof for the life of the fascias and keeps your eaves clear. If you have installed an eaves protector there is a small channel where the bird comb fits. Use 30mm pins to fix and don’t skimp; use a pin for every tile, as birds can be persistent and can sometimes flatten the bird comb if it is not strong.

Installing gutters-tiles repositioned over birdcomb

Reposition the roof tiles over the birdcomb

Finally, replace the tiles and press down gently so the bird comb flattens in places where the tiles are flat. Some tiles may look a little ‘wavy’ as this is caused by the bird comb not settling. If they do not push down then let them lie so that they can settle over time.

Once all the tiles are down spend a little time making sure all areas are completely blocked by the bird comb.

Finishing Up

Finishing up is mainly cleaning and carrying out a final check.

Installing gutters-check gaps between soffits and wall

Check for gaps between the soffits and the wall

Clean the roofline area with ordinary glass cleaner. For more stubborn stains (such as pencil and pen marks) use solvent cleaners. An ordinary rag or tissue is good for the job and, when finished, your new fascias should look completely spotless.

Check for any areas that need seal of mastic, usually where brickwork is not so neat. Pay particular attention to the areas where the soffit meets the wall or the bargeboard meets the verge strip.

Installing gutters-seal any gaps with mastic

Seal any gaps with a neat line of mastic

Do not make too big a seal as it can look unsightly and will make it harder to maintain a neat bead. The sealant will take a couple of hours to cure completely so do not clean the fascias again until it is completely set as you may smear the mastic.

Tip: Remember to give your higher windows a little clean before you break down your access equipment.

Installing gutters correctly is crucial when replacing your roofline. Incorrectly installing gutters can give you problems from minor inconveniences, such as occasional water overshooting, to more major concerns where your roofline is not watertight and internal problems such as damp or rotting timbers crop up.

Because Anglia Roofline specialises in roofline replacement we have experienced fitters who make 100% sure your property’s roofline not only looks good but also gives your property full protection.

So, if you have any doubts about your ability to replace your roofline successfully then why not ask for a free, no obligation quote? I take just 30 minutes to inspect the current state of your roofline and give you an honest report on what is needed and what it will cost. I don’t employ any pushy salesmen. Plus, if you can be flexible on when the work is carried out, you could save up to £825 off your quote.

Request your FREE survey & quote NOW.
Best regards

simon_steward_signature_2012_sml

Simon Steward
Owner & Director | Anglia Roofline Company Ltd

Request your FREE survey & quote NOW.

Related Posts:

Bargeboard Installation
Installing Fascias
Installing Soffits

Studwork (Noggins)

Preparing Rafter Feet

Roofline Ripping Out

Replacing Your Roofline

Roofline Repair Tools

Roofline Nest

Roofline Special Offer

Request Your Free, No-obligation 30-minute Survey & Quote

Bargeboard Installation

Anglia Roofline How To: Bargeboard Installation

Roofline Replacement Step 5 – Bargeboard Installation

Bargeboards are installed after the soffits are fitted. There are two types of bargeboard design and each is dependent upon how you want the ‘box end’ to look. To make a box end supportive and cosmetically appealing, you must take exact measurements.

bargeboard removed

Bargeboard removed

 

Bargeboard Box End Finish

There are two box end styles: ‘kite and wedge’ and ‘one piece’. Check what box end style is currently fitted, it is likely to be a ‘kite and wedge’ which is the most common. If you are lucky it may be a ‘one piece’ which is easier to fit because you can now get large plastic fascia boards.

Measuring for a Kite and Wedge Box End

For a ‘kite and wedge’ style, measure from the apex, along the gable ladder keeping tight to the verge. Stop at the point where the gable ladder finishes. Make sure you keep the tape measure straight. Any slack on the tape will result in an incorrect measure.

Measuring for a One Piece Box End

bargeboard preparation

Preparing to cut the bargeboard

Measure from the apex but stop in line with the ‘return’ that was fixed earlier (i.e. the last piece of soffit you fitted).

Once you have got these measurements, prepare the bargeboard fascia before measuring for the box ends. It saves you having to remember all the different measurements or attempting to write them in a notebook when you are balancing on a ladder, not something I would recommend.

Use the carpenter’s bevel to check the correct angle for the apex and box end.

bargeboard-check cutting angle

Use original box end to check cutting angle

Both should be the same angle. Butt the fascia and mark the nails roughly 500mm apart. If the fascia is large, mark it for double nailing to prevent tilting when the bargeboard is fitted.

Fitting Bargeboard with Kite & Wedge Box End

There is a bit more preparation involved when you have a ‘kite and wedge’ box end. This is because the box end is effectively part of the bargeboard.

The next step is to measure the ‘kite’. This is the upper part of the box end and is a scalene triangle (a triangle with no equal sides or angles).

Use the carpenter’s bevel as many times as you need to get it right. You’ll probably find you are frequently up and down the ladder, but the tight fit you get by taking this much care will be worth it.

The three measurements you need are:

1 – Top of bargeboard to verge strip

2 – Top of bargeboard to the point where the bargeboard meets the verge strip

3 – Point of bargeboard meeting verge to top of box end at the corner

It can be a little confusing, but the points should be very apparent as these are the only ones you will be able to get measurements from.

Use the measurements to cut the fascia pieces for the kite section and fix onto the bargeboard using 30mm pins. Do not use screws to fit because the fascia will burst as the screw tension grips.

Bargeboard fitted

Bargeboard Fitted

Use a scaffolder’s level to mark the bottom of the bargeboard so that it runs level with the adjoining fascia run. Cut this excess fascia off and keep it to one side as this is good enough to make the ‘wedge’. Mark the ‘wedge’ tight to the ‘return’ and cut. Stick on with a strong adhesive and finish the box end off with a fascia corner and trims.

Fitting Bargeboard with One Piece Box End

Measuring the ‘one piece’ box end board can be very similar to measuring the ‘kite and wedge’ style.

The bargeboard should stop just before the vertical ‘return’, leaving a foot or so of exposed gable ladder.

Again, use the carpenter’s bevel as many times as needed. Start from a single point, bearing in mind that the fascia lip (the neat edge) needs to be flush with the soffit of the adjoining run. Sometimes these cannot be level due to the build of the house.

Taking it in stages and, if possible, using two carpenter’s bevels for speed. Measure point to point, bevel to bevel to make every cut precise. Once cut, fix with nails. Use as many additional fixings as needed to avoid any movement. These fixings will be hidden by the corner and joiner.

The pictures below show each of the 5 steps to follow when fitting a one piece box end:

‘One piece’ box ends are prone to warping due to thermal movement and lack of fixings for such a small piece. Finish off with using fascia corners, allowing enough coverage to hide the extra fixings.

Finishing Off

bargeboard and soffit fitted

Soffit and bargeboard fitted

When you have completed the box end and bargeboard fitting, clean and finish off with a smooth seal of mastic where the uPVC meets the verge strip. This prevents water, especially from morning dew, seeping behind and affecting the gable ladder.

It Might Be Better To…

…give the job to someone else.

Replacing your roofline can be a tricky business, especially without professional help or guidance. Although I have aimed to help you complete the job with these ‘How-to’ guides, I think I have probably highlighted just how much work is involved.

If you feel it is all a bit too much to handle, then using a specialist roofline replacement company (like Anglia Roofline) could be a wise, economical choice for you.

It doesn’t cost you anything to find out, at least not if you are in the Norfolk area and ask me for a free, no obligation quote.

I only take 30 minutes to inspect the current state of your roofline. And then I’ll give you an honest report on what is needed and what it will cost to fit a quality uPVC roofline guaranteed to last 20 years.

At Anglia Roofline my fitters have the right experience to remove your old roofline and fit your new one. . . including installing soffits, installing fascias, bargeboards etc. all safely, quickly and with a tidy finish.

Make A Saving: Your Special Offer:

The weather impacts on when this type of work can be done. That’s why if you can be flexible about when the replacement is carried out, you could save up to £825 off your quote.

Best regards

simon_steward_signature_2012_sml

Simon Steward
Owner & Director | Anglia Roofline Company Ltd

Request your FREE survey & quote NOW.

Related Posts:

Installing Fascias
Installing Soffits

Studwork (Noggins)

Preparing Rafter Feet

Roofline Ripping Out

Replacing Your Roofline

Roofline Repair Tools

Roofline Nest

Roofline Special Offer

Request Your Free, No-obligation 30-minute Survey & Quote

Installing Fascias

Anglia Roofline How To: Installing Fascias

Roofline Replacement Step 4 – Installing Fascias

Installing fascias from this point is straight forward provided you have completed the previous stages correctly.

In this post I’m covering fascia installation on tiled runs and flat roofs. Gable fascias (bargeboards) are covered in my next ‘How-to’ post.

Fascias are a structural component of your roofline so it is important to make sure they are measured and fitted properly.

Installing Fascias –Measuring Fascias For A Tile Run

Before installing fascias your first step is to accurately measure the fascia height and length on the tiled run.

The solid, level, horizontal line of correctly fitted soffits is your guide for measuring the fascia height.

Using a tape measure, measure an end tile in line with the kick of the tile above it. The first row of tiles rests on the fascia, so this measurement must be accurate. If measured incorrectly, a shallow fascia kicks out the connection between the first row and second row of tiles; a tall fascia slows the rainwater and allows water to build up into torrential downpours.

It is very easy to get this wrong and either outcome results in water getting beneath the tiles – eventually giving you rotted battens, felt deterioration and water inside your property.

Installing fascias - measuring the fascia height needed

Measure fascia height from the bottom of the tile to the bottom of the soffit

So, to get the precise measurement, you need to measure between the very bottom of the tile and the underside of the soffit. If you intend to install over facia vents and bird combs remember these thicken the height and you have to adjust the fascia measurement to accommodate them.

Important Tip: Never allow vents to be load bearing at the ends of a run (such as hips and box ends) as these areas need the support more than any other area of a run.

Only allow around 150mm before a vent starts. For bird comb allowance allow an extra 5mm on the fascia. If the  measurement is too tight it warps how the tiles sit adjacent to cemented down tiles on either end.

Check the fascia height is consistent along the run – use the same method at each end of the run and in the centre. On some older houses, or houses where the brickwork is not level, a fascia height may creep and be considerably different in some places. If this is the case, and you are not confident about raising hips and verges to alter the bedded tiles, try to make the measurements fade into each other. If you have a difference of more than 15mm, it may be worth checking how the soffit is installed (especially if the property is around 60 – 70 years old) as this much difference is a very rare occurrence.

If you are installing fascias over 5m long you need at least one joint. I recommend staggering fascia joints from soffit joints as each joint is a potential weakness. Therefore, staggering the joints strengthens these areas considerably.

Also, avoid installing fascias any smaller than 1m as you would only have 1 solid fixing onto the studwork and it would, over a period of time, start to warp.

For example: if the overall length of a run is 9m then you can split it into a 5m length and a 4m length – whereas for a 5.5m run you would go for a 1m and a 4.5m length.

Installing Fascias –Measuring Fascias For A Flat Roof

It is far easier to correctly measure for a flat roof. Whilst the fascias here are not load bearing, there are other areas that need attention that a tiled run does not.

When installing fascias on a flat roof aim to enclose it and have a tight fit. Your ripped out run shows the exposed joists where the flat stirling board sits. The measurement for these straight runs is from the stirling board down to the soffit (if applicable) or to the middle of the top course of bricks. This creates a tight fit overlapped by the felt at the top and with a good 25 – 40mm overlap past the brick.

Normally a flat roof fascia needs the lip of the fascia board removed to stay flush with the wall. You can make it watertight with a bead of silicone after all the guttering and cleaning has been done.

Measuring Awkward Areas

You may find you have some awkward areas to measure. These are the areas I’ve come across along with tips on how to measure them.

Valleys – not every property has these. They are areas where the roof comes to an internal 90° corner. Generally the fascia in this corner is a little bit shallower than the rest of the run. Ripping out old fascias will expose the valley board behind and some lead. Do not be tempted to move these or to vent these areas.

A valley normally stretches between 200mm and 300mm each side and is usually a different height; sometimes a difference of 20mm – 50mm. Take as many measurements as you need to until you are confident about going ahead.

Shower / Oven Ventilation – ventilation covers are normally installed in soffits and sometimes have a little play in them. This means you don’t have to worry about exact measurements. Make sure the gutter clears the area though.

Making the pipe connection fit can be tricky. Take care because if it is not installed correctly exhaust steam can pour into the roof giving you extreme condensation in the attic.

Overflow pipes – these are pipes that poke out of the fascia and are connected to tanks in the attic space. If you have installed a product (such as a combi boiler) that makes the tank redundant then it is not necessary to install the overflow pipes again. If they are still in use then you need to measure where they can be sited so they don’t interfere with the gutter. I generally use a router blade and make the holes as low as possible.

Installing Fascias – Preparing Fascia Lengths

installing fascias - measure from fascia lip

Measure the fascia from inside the lip

Once you’ve completed the measurements you are ready to cut the fascia boards. A good wood saw is OK to make small cuts. Use a cordless circular saw for a longer cut.

Mark out as many of the measurements on the fascia as possible; this acts as a ‘double check’. Always bear in mind that the measurement from the underside of the tile to the soffit is an internal measurement of the fascia and not an overall height. Do not include the lip (which is normally 9mm) when marking your measurements. For example: if a fascia height from tile to soffit is 150mm then the actual overall height (including the lip) is 159 – 160mm.

Prepare one board at a time and fit one board at a time. Do not measure a 7m run and prepare a 5m and a 2m. There’s a good chance you may need a few millimetres more, or less, on the last board of the run.

Take it slowly and always measure again if in doubt rather than getting it wrong. Achieving a snug job takes a lot of concentration. Get it right first time and you avoid going up the ladder again to redo a rushed job. It is worth taking your time because in some places on a roofline 5mm too short is an open invitation allowing pests inside.

Always wear safety goggles when ripping plastic boards down as the shavings literally cover you in fine dust that scratches your eyes. Take it slowly and finish off by marking a rough line for a nail height on the protective film of the fascia.

Installing fascias - Nailing fascia to rafter foot

Nailing fascia to rafter foot (rafter foot is between top of the fascia and bottom of the tile)

Make sure the nail position is in the centre of the overall height of the board. Consider using 2 nail lines for fascias any higher than 200mm.

Similar to soffit installation, installing fascias – especially the longer lengths – is normally a two person job as a single pair of hands cannot be at both ends of a 5m length of board at the same time. Keep the gap between the joints as small as possible whilst allowing expansion gaps of around 5mm.

Use 65mm nails and do not leave any play between the back of the fascia and the studwork behind. You need a nice tight fix that is load bearing for the tiles to rest on.

Once the fascias are fixed in place, use a level to check for any sloping areas.

At this point, give the fascias a quick clean and any joiners that need to be done can be glued into place. Consider screwing the joints together for extra support in case the joint has fallen between the studwork.

Something To Think About…

Fitting fascia lengths on your own can be very dangerous, especially when trying to hold the fascia at the same time as driving a nail into the roof truss / studwork behind it. If you don’t have anyone who can give you a hand, or if you have any concerns about working at heights, then I urge you to seriously consider getting a professional in to replace the roofline for you.

A roofline specialist, such as Anglia Roofline, have the right experience to remove the old roofline and fit your new one. . . including installing soffits, installing fascias, bargeboards etc.

If you are in the Norfolk area, why not ask for a free, no obligation quote? I will visit you for just 30 minutes during which time I inspect the current state of your roofline. I’ll give you an honest report on what is needed and what it will cost to fit a quality uPVC roofline guaranteed to last 20 years. Plus, if you can be flexible on when the work is carried out, you could save up to £825 off your quote.

Best regards

simon_steward_signature_2012_sml

Simon Steward
Owner & Director | Anglia Roofline Company Ltd

Request your FREE survey & quote NOW.

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Studwork (Noggins)

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Studwork (Noggins)

Anglia Roofline How To: Studwork-Noggins

Studding Out – ‘Noggins’

In the construction trade, studwork to strengthen walls and joists are called ‘noggins’. Studding out runs are only needed if the run of your roofline has fascias and soffits. Whilst rafters and rafter feet are the main structure of your roof and roofline, studding out gives extra support for your fascia boards and soffits.

Why would your roof need that extra support?

If you have unsupported and loose fixings you are likely to get a whole range of problems. For example, loose soffits allow infestations and may collapse; a flimsy fascia warps over time, allowing your gutter falls to become useless, birds to gain access to build nests and you may get water leaking into the interior of your house. Also, the cosmetic value of your roofline suffers tremendously.

Bearing in mind the cost of materials used throughout your property, to install a roofline that is not efficient in use, as well as looking good, is more than just a waste of your personal time.

How Many Noggins?

A well-built fascia and soffit run needs a noggin for each rafter foot to stop the soffit from floating and the fascia from swaying. Noggins are also used to get the roofline level in cases where the top of the walls are uneven.

Measuring The Noggin

Your soffit sits on the top course of bricks so you need to measure past the brickwork by around 40 – 50mm (as a rough guide).

measuring a noggin

measure around 20mm on the wall to a few mm past the roof truss

Check the measurements on the whole of the run in case your property has a lintel over the windows instead of a top course of bricks. Always go to the furthest possible measurement to make sure the soffit is is totally secure when fixed.

The best material to use for noggins is rough 6” x 1” (150mm by 25mm) treated wood. The noggins are not visible so you do not need planed wood, which is more expensive. Rough, treated wood is not generally available from a typical DIY outlet so you need a builder’s supplier with a wood yard.

cutting a noggin

Cutting a Noggin

A simple wood saw is good enough to cut each noggin as the quality of the cut is not important; just use your tri-square to make sure it is straight.

Tools and Materials for Fixing Noggins

Once all the noggins have been cut there are a number of tools and materials you need. These are –

Tools

  • Drill / Nail gun
  • String line
  • Scaffolders level
  • Hammer

Materials

  • Screws (at least 50mm)
  • Pins
  • Noggins at required lengths
  • Off-cut piece of soffit

The off-cut piece of soffit is a ‘guide’. Cut a small piece of the plastic soffit, around 15mm x 50mm. it does not need to be any bigger than this but you will find it is essential for this process.

Fixing The Noggin and Guide Line

Fix a noggin to each end of the run. Start at the furthest end from the hip truss or the gable ladder to avoid having to guess where the soffit will sit.

fixing the first noggin

Use a scaffolder’s level to make sure the first and last noggin on the run are level

Place the ‘guide’ on top of the top course of bricks, in line with the end rafter foot. Then, rest the noggin on the ‘guide’ and press onto the rafter foot. Extend 5mm past the rafter foot to allow for any inconsistency in the rafter feet along the run.

Then, using the scaffolder’s level, check the bottom of the noggin to find where the noggin should sit. The noggin must be dead level.

Caution: Accuracy is crucial, so I recommend getting someone to help because you need to hold the noggin and the scaffolder’s level whilst drilling and screwing the noggin in place. A slight misalignment could throw the noggin out by a few millimetres. You may think a few millimetres does not matter, but times that by how many noggins you have along the run and a few millimetres soon turns into centimetres.

Once the first noggin is fixed, do the same at the other end.
Remember:

  • ‘Guide’
  • Rest noggin
  • 5mm past rafter foot
  • Level and
  • then Fix. . .

I know, it sounds easy. . . if you had another pair of hands! If you don’t have a helper, try using a clamp. Never struggle when you are working at height, that’s how accidents happen.

You now have two noggins fixed at either end of the run.

Use the string line to make fitting the remaining noggins easier.

Using a hammer, drive a small pin into the bottom corner of the first noggin leaving a few millimetres of the pin proud. Do the same with a pin at the other noggin. Wrap the end of the string line around the pin by the first noggin and drive the pin into the wood to secure the end of the line.

taut string guideline between first and last noggin

A taut string between the noggins at the start and end of the run provides a clear guideline

Make sure the line is tight before finalising the fix on the noggin at the other end. A loose string line forms a curve and throws out the fascia in the middle of the run. Flick the string with your finger and listen for a loud twanging sound and see if the vibrations settle instantly.

The string line basically gives you a guideline when you are fixing the remaining noggins. As long as the first and last noggins are level, the line is level too – horizontally and vertically.

Fixing The Remaining Noggins

positioning the remaining noggins

Use the string line for the front and the ‘soffit’ guide for the back to position each ‘noggin’ accurately

For each noggin, place the soffit ‘guide’ on top of the wall, rest the noggin on it and line up the bottom corner with the string line. You can use more string lines at other points of the noggins if you feel the need.

You may find your wall is uneven, especially above a window. So, if you come to a ‘kink’ in the brick course, I suggest using the scaffolder’s level again to check the alignment. If you don’t it can throw the noggin out and make the fascia lean.

Fix every noggin with at two to three screws. This prevents a ‘see saw’ effect. Make sure all screws are driven in tightly and remove the string line when all the noggins are securely fixed in place.

You now have the foundation of your roofline ready for the next stage; installing the soffits.

You may be surprised at the amount of work replacing your roofline entails. Professionals make it look easy – that’s where experience helps.

If you are having second thoughts about doing all this work yourself, and you are in the Norfolk area, why not ask for a no-obligation, 30-minute survey and quote? You may be pleasantly surprised and – think about it – it will be a weight lifted off your shoulders for at least 20 years!

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Soffits Installation

Anglia Roofline How To: Install SoffitsRoofline Replacement Step 3 – Installing New Soffits

After you have ripped out the old roofline and repaired the rafter feet (if needed) installing soffits is the next stage when replacing your roofline.

Soffits can be found in several areas of a property; they can be on a typical gutter run, a gable end or on a fascia only area beneath a flat roof.

You may find you need good carpentry skills to do the job properly.

What Are Soffits?

soffits under the roofline overhang

Soffits are the cover for your roofline overhang

Soffits are the covering you can see under the overhang of your roofline, next to the property wall (see picture).

Measuring Soffits

Below, I have described the three areas where your soffits may be on your property and how to measure for each location:

Fascia, Soffits and Gutter Runs –

Every property has a gutter run but you may not have a gable end as they are not always essential in the construction of a building. After studding out you need to find the measurement for the overall depth.

Soffits generally sit on top of the top course of face bricks and, sometimes, windows.

If your soffit has to butt to the wall then you must measure the depth from the wall itself and past the studwork / roof truss by another 5mm. Extending past the studwork / roof truss allows for a tighter connection with the lip of the fascia. You should also add a seal of mastic to keep out small insects such as wasps etc. If they find a gap you could end up with a wasp nest in your eaves – not an easy thing to get rid of.

If your soffit is layng on top of the face bricks then it is wise to allow 40 – 50mm past the wall and 5mm past the studwork / roof truss in the measurement. The excess on top of the wall means you do not have to seal the soffit with mastic as the area where the soffit meets the brick is too tight for anything to get inside. Bricks can shale in time and the cement between the bricks can become a little loose over time, so the deeper the soffit lays on the wall, the better.

Once you’ve established the depth it is time to prepare the length of the soffit before fixing. If you have a shower or oven extractors that needs to come through the soffit you can use a jigsaw to cut out the apperture you need.

soffits mitred at corner

Mitred corners on soffits look tidier

Also, bear in mind whether you want mitred corners., especially if you have a hip roof (a hip roof is a simple roof that slopes downward at all points at a uniform angle of pitch).

A mitred corner is usually a 45 degree cut, but always check with sample cuts beforehand. A mitred corner is not more structurally superior than running the soffit long – it just looks nicer.

Gable End Soffits –

Unlike the gutter runs, gable end soffits always butt up to the wall. The face bricks rise higher than the gable ladder as well so the only way you can get a measurement is from two points – wall to gable ladder. The soffits are fitted flush at both of these points. Be careful to make a neat cut as any strays in the cut will be easily seen.

The measurement for the length is found by the next two points, these are the gable ladder apex to a point past where the face brick stops. This is covered when the box end is shaped after the fascia has been fixed.

Gable soffits can normally be pre-pinned on the workbench to save time rummaging for pins whilst trying to hold the soffit steady. A seal can be applied to the point where the soffit meets the wall but it is not easy to do a neat job because of the angle of the face bricks.

Deep Soffits-

bays have deeper soffits

You will have deeper soffits in bays

Deep soffits are normally found on areas such as porches, garages and bay window areas. Soffit boards are normally between 300mm and 400mm in depth, although I have come across soffits as deep as 2m or more. If you have a deep soffit area it requires some patience because it is the most awkward part of your installation.

I’m assuming that you’ve already done a survey and checked what materials you need for the job.

A typical tongue and groove soffit is the best choice for hiding fixings, thermal movement and the general structure of the soffits. Flat boards are ok, but the joining strips can look out of place and the pin heads will be visible.

Take your time and take lots and lots of measurements so you know exactly what needs to be notched out after the first soffit board is fixed. It is generally the second soffit board that needs the finesse cuts.

You may have obstacles on your porches, such as gallows brackets, posts, wall steps and/or light fixings. You need to take special care with the measurements and cuts for these fittings, too many cutts and joins spoil the appearance of your property. After all, a porch is in use all the time and getting it right stops the ‘eye sore’ from being part of your daily life.

My fitters always take great care in these areas and, even after years of experience, they still find new challenges. You’ll often find that fixings are not built precisely so it is unwise to assume that everything is dead straight.

Make sure your cuts are precise; use the carpenter’s bevel and small set squares… 5 minutes attention to detail can save a lot of time and hassle.

Cutting and Fitting The Soffits

Now you’ve got all your measurements it is time to prepare your soffits ready for fitting, starting with cutting to the lengths you need.

marking soffits for cutting

Use a carpenter’s scriber to mark soffits ready for cutting

Use a scriber to make a mark along the soffit for the desired depth. Mark out all fixings (e.g. for your shower extractor) and finesse cuts such as mitres, bay windows and pipes. It may take a long time to do this and it is very easy to be disheartened if your soffits have many ‘ins and outs’.

It takes seasoned installers, like mine, quite a while to note down all the measurements that are needed to produce a well presented soffit.

cutting soffits

Cutting the soffit along the marked line

Use a sharp saw to get a good, clean cut on your soffits.

Once cut, use 30mm pins to fix the soffit to the studwork – and consider using ‘headless’ pins as these make a tighter connection when the fascia goes on next. If the run is more than the length of the soffit then a joining strip needs to be applied. Remember to leave a general gap between two lengths of soffits of at least 5mm to allow ‘thermal movement’ to take place without warping the soffits when they press together.

Warning:

Bear in mind your soffits have no support, other than the fixings you use.

A poor fixing will make it droop, sag or even fall off.

securely fixed soffits

A securely fixed soffit

Every fixing must be tight and bedded into solid wood. Just because it looks OK does not mean that the job has been done to a good standard. Thermal movement across the seasons, year in year out, will test your fixings.

The next stage in your roofline replacement job (stage 4 of 9) is installing Fascias and Bargeboards.

Of course, following these steps is straightforward if your property is a simple layout, but if you have awkward extensions or glass-roofed conservatories then replacing the roofline yourself can become a bit of a nightmare!

If that’s the case for you, and you are in the Norfolk area, why not ask for a no-obligation, 30-minute survey and quote? You may be pleasantly surprised and – just imagine it – you can have the pleasure of watching someone else do all this work for you!

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Rafter Feet

Anglia Roofline How To: Preparing Rafter FeetRoofline Replacement Step 2 – Preparing Rafter Feet

The rafter feet are a key part of your roofline structure. They must be solid so you can fit your replacement roofline components.

In my previous post, Roofline Ripping Out, I described how to remove the visible components of your existing roofline. The next stage is to check and prepare the rafter feet. There are two parts to this stage – ‘preparing the rafter feet’ and ‘splicing’. Both are equally important.

Rafter feet are generally spaced just under a meter apart, along the length of the run. After you’ve done a few simple checks you may find you need to carry out carpentry work to restore your rafter feet.

Important: Do not attempt to fit your replacement fascias to rafter feet that have any indication of rot. If you do, your roofline is likely to develop problems sooner rather than lasting for many, many years as it should.

Remember, structural wood, such as rafter feet, needs to be replaced if you spot any weaknesses. Do not attempt to tidy up with filler. Filler material is purely cosmetic, it has no strength for supporting any weight.

Rafter Feet Checks

rafter feet exposed

Rafter feet exposed after fascia boards removed

As you check each of the rafter feet look for obvious signs of weakened wood.

Has the wood colour changed because of damp?

Are there any tiny holes? These are telltale signs of woodworm. In fact woodworm can sometimes be more of a problem than wet rot.

If you suspect woodworm or wet rot in your rafter feet you must cut back the affected area completely and splice a new piece alongside.

If you are unlucky enough to have an extreme case, where the rot has spread further than the eaves, then you must find a more solid fixing further up the roof. You may have to go into the attic space. If this is the case then it is most likely that the tile battens (these are the strips of wood that your roofing tiles are held on) are resting on the rotted rafters.

It is a very tricky job to carry out and I urge you to get a competent installer to sort it out for you. If you attempt to do it yourself and remove wood that tile battens rest upon you could collapse sections of your roof and greatly damage the roofing felt. So, my professional advice is, do not attempt to remove wood past the first batten.

OK, having checked for visible signs of problems, you need to be certain the wood is as solid as it looks.

Use a flat headed screwdriver to stab into the grain of the wood of each of the rafter feet. If the wood crumbles or flakes then it needs to be replaced.

Professional Tip: Always carry out checks and repair or replace your rafter feet before you measure for the replacement fascias – if you measure before you do any rafter feet splicing that is needed you may get fitting problems.

Do Your Rafter Feet Actually Need Attention?

All rafter feet have a little rot or discoloration from where the old nails have rusted and left stains and larger holes than the size of the nails that came out. This is normal and they do not need any remedial work.

Professional Tip: If the tests you carried out with the screwdriver did not highlight any rotting wood, then the best way to make doubly sure your rafter foot is strong enough is to test a fixing:

Drive a wood nail in with a hammer and give it a wiggle. A good solid fixing hardly moves whereas a bad one does not hold the ‘bite’ of the nail.

Rafter Feet – Splicing

If you’ve established your rafter foot does have some rot you need to prepare it ready to splice a new, strong piece of wood onto it:

Using a sharp wood saw, cut past any rot with a nice clean, angled cut and remove the decayed timber.

Always be careful when removing wood on gable ends as it is very easy to accidentally lose the verge cement. If you have any concerns that this may happen then it is best to leave it and seek professional assistance. Verge cement can drop, along with tiles, giving you a serious roof collapse.

Preparing Rafter Feet - Rotten Gable Ladder

Rotten Gable Ladder

It is also very common for gable ends to have their trusses (sometimes called gable ladders) resting and fixed on purlins. These support the entire roof and prevent sagging.

Purlins are made of wood that is much harder than the wood used for trusses. However, they can rot just as easily and can cause very severe structural problems when they do. A totally rotted purlin is useless and cannot be cut back past the wall.

If your purlin is rotted do not attempt to replace it, seek professional help. Unfortunately a rotted purlin may be an indication that you need a new roof.

Always make sure the new wood you are going to use for splicing is the same thickness as the existing timber – i.e. 3”x2” will need 3”x2”, 4”x2” will need 4”x2”. I know this sounds trivial and absolutely obvious but I frequently come across small DIY jobs that have used whatever wood was lying about in the shed.

Using these scraps of incorrectly sized timber is false economy – the splice may appear solid when first done but is unlikely to last more than a year or two. I urge you to make a wise investment – buy the correct size wood.

When splicing the new wood onto the existing rafter feet, you want to get a good bite into the two pieces of wood, so use high quality wood screws of around 70mm to 90mm – these give you a firm fixing.

Use a power drill to pilot hole each fixing with a slightly slimmer drill bit than the thread of the screw – this helps to avoid splitting the wood whilst providing a good bite.

Make at least two fixings so there is no movement afterwards. If you use only one screw you create a ‘see-saw’ effect where the wood moves under pressure.

Splicing alongside rafter feet is generally done on a fascia soffit gutter run. Replacing the rotten area only is too short for a firm hold. You are basically trying to mimic the rafter feet either side of the affected timber. It is not essential for it to be exactly uniform with the rest at this stage.

Preparing Rafter Feet - new gable ladder

Rotten Gable Ladder Replaced

Splicing in a gable ladder is slightly harder. Once again, an angled cut past the rot on the wood will help you to get a good fix but it may take several trips up the ladder to achieve a neat and tidy measurement.

Getting the angles right is key here so it is very helpful if the original rotted wood comes off in one piece so you can use it as a template.

Once the new wood is cut and tested for a tight fit, drive in the screws after piloting and make sure that it is firm and stays in position when you try to wiggle it.

This is the second of the nine steps our professional fitters carry out when fitting a replacement roofline. As you can see, you must take great care to avoid damaging your roof unintentionally.

This is why many householders decide to get it done by professionals.

My fitters at Anglia Roofline are specialists at installing replacement rooflines – this is the only type of building work we carry out. (See what other people think of our work: Referenceline Customer Feedback).

If you are located in Norfolk and would like to avoid the hassle of doing it yourself, ask me for a no-obligation, 30-minutes survey and quote.

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Roofline Ripping Out

Anglia Roofline How To: Roofline Ripping OutRoofline Replacement Step 1 – Roofline Ripping Out

Before you start your roofline ripping out task make sure you have easy, safe access to all areas. Removing your old roofline can sometimes hold the most risk in the whole roofline replacement process.

Rusted nails or unattached soffits can mean that parts of your roofline may be looser than you expect. And, when you start the roofline ripping out, if something takes less effort to pull away than you anticipated you could easily lose your balance and even end up in hospital. This is why health & safety regulations require scaffolding to be used in these work situations. If access to your roofline is difficult you should consider arranging for scaffolding to be erected.

And make sure you have the right tools for the job – see our Roofline Repair Tools article (opens in new window).

Roofline Ripping Out – Fascia, Soffit and Gutter Runs:

For fascia soffit and gutter runs, the roofline ripping out process can be broken down into five distinct sections –

  1. Remove The Tiles Keep the gutter on for the time being, unless it is in your way. You only need access to the first batten that the first row of tiles hang from.
    Roofline Ripping Out - first line of tiles

    Tile pins removed

    Your tiles may be pinned down – use a flat crowbar to ease the pins out to release the tiles.Once the nails are out you can push the tiles up out of the way or remove them completely.You will probably find the end tile on each run is cemented. You do not need to remove these. They should hold their own weight if the cement is in good condition.

Roofline Ripping Out - tiles removed

First line of tiles removed

Caution [Health Warning]: If your property was built between the 1920s and 1970s there’s a good chance that asbestos cement was used on your roofline. Under no circumstances should you attempt to work with or disturb material containing asbestos – you must get a specialist, licensed company in to handle any asbestos that is present. (See Asbestos FAQs).

Use the gutter (which is still attached) to hold the pins you’ve taken out. Once the tiles are removed you have taken the weight off the fascia. Now you can check the condition of the felt.

  1. Check The Felt
    Now the tiles are away from the roofline edge, you should be able see the felt up to the first batten.

    Roofline Ripping Out - clearing out nests

    Clearing old bird nests

    Check for holes in the felt or old birds’ nests resting on top. If the nest is old you can clear it away.(Always check for active bird nests before you start – see my article Roofline Nest).

    If you do not have easy access to a bag you can place the waste in the gutter as you will be taking that down soon.

    Roofline Ripping Out - trimmed felt

    Trimmed felt edge

    After clearing any debris, cut the felt back so that the toe ends are exposed and the fascia can be freed. Around 50mm is good enough but it does not have to be a neat cut. You will probably find the felt tears away quite easily. This is because mineral felts are often perished by the weather at the point where it is fixed to the fascia.

  1. Remove The Gutter
    This is a simple job, but gutters are made from different types of materials. So here is a short guide to how to handle each type:
  • Plastic Guttering –plastic gutter clips only take a little effort and persuasion to free up. If your property is joined to your neighbour’s use a fine precision saw to make a neat cut in the guttering length in line with the agreed boundary. Once you’ve released all the clips the gutter length should be easy to lift out.
    Roofline Ripping Out - Guttering removed

    Remove guttering to give easy access to fascia and soffits

    If you filled the gutters with bird nest waste etc. remember it is likely to be heavier than it appears, so take care when lifting.

  • Cast Iron Guttering – Iron is very strong and extremely heavy. The chances are that it will be rusty and probably deteriorated so much that removing it will be easy. Each length of cast iron gutter is around 2-3 metres long and they will be bolted together.If you find the joints do not free up then a little brute force will usually do the job.

    Caution! I cannot stress enough to be careful here. The sheer weight of cast iron guttering – even if it seems rusted through –is enough to surprise the most experienced fitter. If you have an angle grinder I would suggest breaking up the gutter lengths so they are more manageable. Also, if your property joins your neighbour’s, an angle grinder is the only tool I would recommend to make a neat cut at the boundary line.

  • Aluminium Guttering– These are easier to remove than iron gutters, but more difficult than plastic ones when you are undertaking your roofline ripping out task. The gutter should just lift out from the clips. You can use a hacksaw for any cuts that need to be done.In all cases – leave the gutter brackets on. They will not hinder you when you start removing the fascia. And, if you plan to re-use the brackets, they are easier to take off when you’ve got the old fascia on the ground.Also downpipes should be left so you can use them as a guide for where the outlet (plastic mould of gutter that joins a gutter to a downpipe) needs to be when you start installing the new guttering.
  1. Remove The FasciasThe next task is to remove the fascias. It is easier to start from the joints in the existing fascias, so check where these are.
    Roofline Ripping Out - removing fascias

    Removing the fascias

    If you cannot see any joins use a saw to cut the fascia roughly in the middle of the run. Going from the middle of the run reduces the chances of damaging the cement, which could happen if you start on a gable end or hipped corner.Be careful – your old fascias should ‘fly off’ with a little pressure from a crowbar. You may find your fascias hold the soffits too – so be aware that lengths of soffit might drop suddenly as your fascia comes away.

    Take your time with this and cut the fascia at smaller intervals if it is proving too difficult to manage.

    I would say this is, by far, the most dangerous part of the roofline ripping out process.

  1. Detach The Soffits
    If the soffit is not fixed or held by the fascia then it should be fixed to studwork or the toe end itself. Take a look at how it is fixed and take another few minutes to clear away any more old bird’s nests and insulation. If you can see insulation rising from the cavity wall simply push it back down, it is just overspill – you’ll be surprised at how well it compacts.

    Roofline Ripping Out - fascias and soffits removed

    After removing the fascias & soffits your roofline looks similar to this

    Once your roofline is clean remove the soffit using a small crowbar. Again, there are many types of materials of soffit but each one is considerably more lightweight than the fascia you’ve just removed.

Roofline Ripping Out – Bargeboards:

Firstly, make sure you have easy, secure access to the bargeboard area.

Start with the crowbar and hammer at the very bottom at the ‘box end’ area. You need to part the existing fascia from the gable ladder that it is fixed to. This is usually a piece of 3” by 2” length of wood.

If the existing bargeboard does not come free with a little work then try splitting the wood along the grain with a chisel to expose the gable ladder behind it.

Roofline Ripping Out-Bargeboard Removed1st-tile

Bargeboard and soffits removed

Be careful, the bargeboard can be considered ‘structural’ if the verge is nailed into the fascia and not the gable ladder. This is normally done when the property is first built to hold the verge in place whilst the tiles are cemented down. If the verge starts to move or the cement starts to crack then I strongly suggest you seek professional help, unless you are happy to re-cement the entire verge on every gable end. Ripping out a gable end and leaving the verge unsupported can make the tiles slip out of place and, in extreme cases, cause the mortar to fall out in large, heavy, pieces.

Your Final Step
Once you’ve removed the roofline and bargeboards, do a final clean out of the area ready to install your new uPVC roofline.

This is just the first of a series steps our professional fitters carry out when fitting a replacement roofline. As you can see there is a lot of work that could be regarded as hazardous if you attempt to carry it out using step-ladders rather than scaffolding.

This is why many householders decide to get it done by professionals.

My fitters at Anglia Roofline are specialists at installing replacement rooflines – we don’t do any other type of building work. (See what other people think of our work: Referenceline Customer Feedback).

If you are located in Norfolk and would like to avoid the hassle of doing it yourself, ask me for a no-obligation, 30-minutes survey and quote.

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Roofline Nest

Anglia Roofline How To Tips for Removing a Roofline NestRemove A Roofline Nest

When you find a roofline nest it may not be one made by birds. Other creatures, given the chance, may take up residence too.

Some creatures you can take action to get rid of, others are protected species. For example, legally, you cannot disturb bird nests if they contain eggs or young and it is a criminal offence to kill bats.

Before attempting to remove a roofline nest you need to be aware of your legal standing to avoid getting into trouble.So, the first thing you need to do is discover what has set up a roofline nest in your property.

Signs of A Bird’s Current Roofline Nest

Apart from not disturbing a bird, you want to be sure there isn’t one ‘in residence’ because if you attempt to lift a tile and there is a nest is underneath you will startle the bird and that, in turn, will startle you. Imagine the consequences if this happens when you are balancing on a ladder!

A very effective way to find out if a bird’s nest is active is to wait and watch. Look to see whether a bird goes under your tiles with anything in its beak. You might think you need good eyesight to spot them but it is actually very obvious as they will be bringing in long pieces of debris for the nest or food that is just a little smaller.

So, instead of getting a ladder out, get a chair instead – make a drink and spend around half an hour outside. I doubt you will have to keep watch for any longer than that. Birds are very active, especially in the mornings.

In some cases, depending on the bird species (usually swifts), they will ‘dive bomb’ anyone that comes near their roofline nest. This can make the simplest roofline repairs very dangerous work.

a bird's roofline nest is prevented by fitting a bird comb

Fitting A Bird Comb Prevents Birds Nests in Your Eaves

Fitting a bird comb or installing a replacement uPVC roofline will prevent this problem in future years. Bird comb is easily sourced through your local stockist. It is cheap, effective and easy to fit.

Of course, it is not just birds that can find a way into your roofline. Other vermin, such as mice, rats, hornets and wasps can be a problem too.

Vermin Roofline Nests

Many people think of rats,mice and squirrels as vermin that need to be removed. Rats and mice get into the eaves of a roofline by climbing the downpipes, whereas squirrels can climb sheer walls. They can squeeze through the smallest of holes.

A sure sign of these animals are droppings in your gutters and on top of the felt under your tiles, which can be seen once the tiles are removed. You may see signs of mice or squirrels in your attic: timber joist gnawed through or shredded insulation in the attic. Rats leave even more debris inside and can be a very nasty surprise once found. In some situations you may be able to hear these rodents scurrying around your loft.

If you need advice on how to get rid of these vermin so you can clear the roofline nests, take a look at the government advice on ‘Getting Rid of Mice & Rats’ (opens in new browser window).

Some local councils offer free pest control services or can put you in touch with a local pest controller.

Insect Roofline Nests

If you are very unlucky you may have a wasp or hornet roofline nest.

Wasps – wasp’s nests are very common in the spring and summer. They will try to get access to the eaves even whilst any work is being done. They make their own nests from chewed up wood which can vary from fence panels to the wood in your roofline. You can get powders to put at the entrance to the wasp’s nest (this is where they get into the roof from the outside, not the nest itself). Wasps are usually dormant at night and can be killed off without the need of a pest controller.

It may be wiser to get a professional pest controller in to remove the wasp’s nest, especially if you are likely to react adversely to a wasp sting. But, if you want to do the job yourself take a look at:

Hornets – The worst to come across. The difference between these and wasps will be instantly apparent as to the size and colour. Normally we can tell the size of a queen wasp but a hornet is a little bigger and they have more red in their colour. Hopefully they will not get too close for you to tell the colour but under no circumstances attempt to remove with sprays or powder. This is a job for a professional pest controller and can be removed at a low cost compared to what problems they will cause.

Bees – bees are unlike wasps in the fact that they generally ‘walk’ from the entrance hole. Wasps will have a nest very close to where they get into the roof but bees can be up to 2 metres further inside. Normally honey bees are protected but if you have a quick word with your local pest controller they will let you know. I usually just wait for honey bees to leave as it is not worth disturbing the nest. In the unlikely event that a nest is unknowingly disturbed then a small hole left in the fascias can easily be capped at a later date.

If you come across roofline nests for any of these creatures and want to get professional help removing them, this company has a good reputation in the Norwich area: Stop Pest (opens in new browser window).

Bats in The Belfry!

(sorry, I couldn’t resist that title!)

All species of bat are endangered and protected by law…. and they can get into your roof through the smallest of holes.

However, finding bats roosting in your roofline is not a huge problem. They feed on insects so could be an asset to you keeping pesky insects at bay during the summer months. They do not nibble wood, wiring or insulation material and their droppings crumble to dust.

Remember, it is a criminal offence to intentionally kill a bat or block the hole or entrance to where it roosts. Legally removing bats can be a long process, but whilst in residence they are unlikely to create much disturbance, if any.

You can discover more about living with bats (opens in new browser window) on the bats.org.uk website or call them on 0845 1300 228 for advice.

The easiest way to avoid problems with roofline nests, and keep your house looking smart with no roofline repairs needed for at least 20 years, is to have a replacement uPVC roofline fitted.

Take a look at our roofline replacement service and see if you can save up to £825 with our Roofline Special ‘stand-by’ offer.

 

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