Structural Roof Work

10 Jul 2004
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United Kingdom
I live I a terrace of tall Victorian town houses.

One of the houses is having some major re-roofing work done after internal ceiling collapsed due to weight of the tiles on the roof.

About 5 other houses in the terrace have these tiles - including my house.

The roofer working on the other house, who I have a good previous working relation with, has suggested getting strengthening work done to our, and neighbours, roofs to reduce the risk of collapse. He estimated this at about £12K, adding this would be approx half the price currently being paid by the other house that had the collapse.

As mentioned I have previous good relation with the builder but I am not going to say to him 'yes go ahead take my £12K'.

What would the best next step - get a quote from another roofing company and/or get a structural survey done?
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Photos can be arranged - what would help (e.g. - stupid question - from inside loft our outside house)? Thanks for your help.

I think the bottom line of my question is - who is my best bet to ascertain whether my roof is at risk from collapsing, and any appropriate course of action - a reputable roofer or a structural engineer?
I think yes get the opinion of a surveyor/structural engineer first. Are you sure they haven't been messing about with there roof up the road and do your houses have the original slates as its a bit unusual for victorian roofs to fail for no reason.The roof would almost certainly have been covered in welsh slate originally.
Photos inside and out would help with approx dimensions and sizes
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bob5buys said:
who is my best bet to ascertain whether my roof is at risk from collapsing, and any appropriate course of action - a reputable roofer or a structural engineer?
Let us have a look at the photo first as chappers said "Photos inside and out would help with approx dimensions and sizes".

Also would help is the layout of the internal wall under the ceiling joists.
As Chappers said, shouldn't a terraced roof be slate normally?

Sounds to me like the builder is playing on people's fears. Roofs don't normally collapse without good reason?
Thanks for your replies.
I'll get the camera out and do a little doodle this weekend.
Though it is a terrace there is a raised bit between every other house so only two houses 'share' the same tiles. Some are slate. Some, like mine, appear to be a much heavier, ridged, tile - at a guess probably put in during the last 40 years..
Are you saying that the weight of the tiles have somehow caused a ceiling to collapse but not the actual rafters and roof or has the whole thing collapsed and gone through the ceiling below. Generally in Terraced houses the roof structure consists of large purlins of maybe 10 X 4 or even larger running from side to side and supported by each houses party wall with the rafters supported by these running from the eaves to the ridge and so for the roof to collapse under the weight of roof tiles they must have been A) heavy enough to snap a purlin which is doubtful , or B) the owners may have been up to a spot of DIY and possibly weakened the structure. As mentioned earlier some photo's would help but if you are very worried then call out a Structural Engineer who will tell you one way or the other.
I'd take a guess that the slate roofs are original, and the tiles are not, and that the weight of the tiles has in part caused the collapse.
You may be right Tom because I have seen 3"x1" roof rafters with slate tiles being lighter materials.
I doubt the original roof structure has suffered too much because the original slates have been replaced although this could be a contributing factor to the final collapse. My money would be on someone tampering with the roof structure or more likely rotten timbers caused by any number of things.
If your timbers all seem sound I wouldn't worry about it.
Wait until your roof collapses claim on your insurance and get it done then, rather then forking out your hard earned.

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