How to complete a roof survey
The most important aspect for any roof survey is safe
access for close up inspection. Dangling out of a second floor window by your finger tips to complete a roof
survey inspection is not a good idea. Properly supported and restrained ladders are normally used or scaffold
towers for a more stable platform.
Some companies have access to mobile hydraulic platforms or lifting arms which are great if good access is
available around the property but they can be expensive for just a small roof inspection.
Once access is safely organised up to the eaves of the roof, access over the roof slopes can normally be
organised by additional ladders with ridge hooks to facilitate access onto the roof slope without damaging further
tiles or slates.
It is a very 'man handled' operation and a high degree of care needs to be exercised for safety and to prevent
further damage. Many roof inspection surveyors are ex-roofing contractors and it is not uncommon to see them simply
walking over the roof covering & ridge lines. Often their feet are an extension of their hands and they
can be very agile with a high degree of empathy as to what is happening under their feet so do not be alarmed if
you see this.
In an ideal world, safety anchor points would be located on the roof for the attachment of a harness to prevent
falling. However most roofs (apart form some of the more modern commercial type buildings) do not have any such
devices & installing temporary harness fixing points is near impossible. Therefore, the roofing surveyor is
taking a calculated risk in completing a roof inspection. The roof surveyor should have completed his own risk
assessment analysis & installed all the necessary and reasonably expected precautions that are practically
available to him to ensure health and safety is maintained to himself and others during the work.
Most clients would be not be prepared to pay for the cost of safety scaffolding that could be in excess of
£1000.00 just for an inspection. However, Health and safety legislation is becoming more onerous as the years go on
and it may not be too long before the client will have to pay for these types of safety measures.