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Roof Leak Detection


Roofing Works

Saving our clients future headaches and costs by identifying any concerns with the exterior of their property through our property health reports.

 During a routine gutter inspection and cleaning for a long-term client, we identified a defect in the roofing and provided recommendations to remedy the problem. Without our intervention, the client could have faced damage to the property and even litigation if a member of the public had been harmed by falling lead work.

The Project

The client is a property management company that Spectrum has been working with for over ten years. While carrying out routine gutter inspection and cleaning, our specialists noticed that the lead roofing was damaged. Once we notified the client, they requested a full report identifying the problem and recommendations for fixing it. We then carried out the repair in under two days using abseiling to access the roof, rather than the costly and time-consuming option of scaffolding.

The Site

The site was a building in Covent Garden with lead flashing and dressing protecting joins in the structure of the roof from leaks. Flashing and dressing are the strips of metal you frequently see lining any area of a roof where the tiling ends. For example, it often surrounds a chimney or runs along the seam where a pitched roof meets a flat roof. Waterproof flashing and dressing seal off the joint, preventing leaks and water damage.

The Logistics

The damaged leadwork ran up the whole elevation, making this a complex and logistically challenging job. Because the flashing had come loose, it was now hanging in a dangerous position and required special access. There was a risk that the leadwork could come loose at any moment and fall on the public or on our specialists. 

The inaccessible position of the loose leadwork, combined with a lack of an integral safety system on the roof, meant that our specialists needed to bring in some form of extra infrastructure to access the necessary areas of the building.  

Scaffolding and cherry pickers are usually chosen for these kinds of jobs, but these are time-consuming and costly options. However, with a number of accredited abseiling specialists on our team, we were able to offer our client the quicker and more cost-effective option of rope access to the roof. 

This option did present a further logistical challenge since there were no eyebolts for securing our abseiling ropes on the building. However, we were able to bring in our own removable anchor points at no extra cost to the client.

Leak Detection Through Abseiling

Spectrum had been inspecting and clearing the guttering on the site for ten years. During a routine visit to the building, our operative noticed that some of the leadwork on the roof had come loose and was missing. Large pieces of the flashing and dressing were coming away from the roof.

This presented two risks to the client and the public. Firstly, the lack of protection around the edges of the roofing could lead to leaks and water damage to the structure of the building. Secondly, the lead could fall and injure someone standing or walking below, which could have been costly for the client in terms of public liability.

Once we notified the client of the problem, they asked us to carry out a further inspection of the area to identify if there was any further damage or missing material. We then provided a full report detailing the scope of work needed.

Our specialist roofing abseilers have a wealth of experience with lead flashing and dressing, which requires a high degree of specialist expertise if the structure of the roof is complex. They were able to assess the damage and propose a time- and cost-efficient plan for remedying the problem. 

Rope access to roofing is quicker, cheaper and less disruptive than using scaffolding or a cherry picker, and our team boasts numerous IRATA-accredited abseilers. Therefore, we were able to offer the client a rapid, low-cost option. 

While there were no eyebolts on the roof for our specialists’ ropes, Spectrum owns a wide array of portable, removable anchors which can be attached to the roof with no fuss or damage. In this case, we set up a Porter Blanca and used this frame to carry out the work. We dressed the damaged roof with lead and refitted the loose flashing securely. The entire work, from installing the abseiling ropes to completing the repair, took two days – far less time than a traditional approach using scaffolding would have taken.

Innovative Problem Solving

Our repair sealed off the roof from leaks and water damage. If water leaks in from the roof, it can cause rot, structural damage and staining, all of which are costly to address.

The repairs also prevented leadwork from falling and causing injury or further damage to the building. If a member of the public had been injured by the loose leadwork, our client could have been liable and asked to pay damages. 

Spectrum is committed to going over and above the call of duty. While we were initially contracted to perform routine maintenance on the building, our operatives are highly trained experts capable of identifying any structural issues that might need further attention. 

When we noticed a problem at the site, we proactively informed the client, laid out their options, formulated an efficient, cost-effective plan and completed it within the agreed timeframe. Our actions saved our client the time, energy and expense that might have resulted from the damage to the fabric of their building going unnoticed

Dedication To Delivering Results

Managing Director Lucian says, ‘This was a classic example of Spectrum’s dedication to providing a joined-up service. From identifying the problem to planning and delivering the repair, we had the client covered every step of the way. We were able to use all of our own people, expertise and equipment, giving our clients the reassurance of knowing that a firm they’d known and trusted for over ten years were taking care of the problem for them.’

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