Fenlake - Chimneys & Roofs
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A sound, appropriately designed and well maintained roof is an essential feature of any building. The roof is key to the structural integrity and weatherproofing of a building. Exposed to the sun, snow, wind and rain, it must be kept in good condition in order to prevent the ingress of moisture which can cause damage to rafters, floors, walls and the structure of a building.
The roof, either pitched or flat, is one of the most important structural features of a building. However, as it is not easily seen from ground level, the roof can be the most neglected part of the building.
Flat roofs generally require more frequent maintenance than sloping roofs. Physical damage to flat roof surfaces is the most common problem followed by ageing and deterioration of the finished surface, resulting in water penetration and further deterioration.
Water ingress may occur frequently at a poorly made roof penetration, usually where pipes, vents or chimneys exit through the roof. Most roof penetrations are accompanied by an “upstand” to prevent surface water entering the surrounding gap.
A “weathering apron” is usually fitted to the pipe or duct penetrating the roof, to shed water running down the surface back onto the roof. Properly constructed “upstands” and “weathering aprons” are essential. Once the roof structure has been affected by water damage the cost of repair is far higher than that for a new “upstand” and “apron”.
Brick or Stone Penetrating Chimneys Common Faults and Remedies
Problem -Loose chimney pots
Solution - Re-bed pots in cement/sand mortar
Problem -Loose or cracked stone or precast concrete capping
Solution - Stop in cracks with cement/sand or cement/stone dust mortar
Problem -Bulging brickwork because of heat from an unlined flue
Solution - Rebuild stack in whole or in part
Problem -Cracks in brickwork or stonework
Solution - Point cracks in cement/sand mortar after raking out
Problem -Defective mortar joints and weathering to brickwork or stonework
Solution - Point and repair
Problem -Stack out of plumb (ie not vertical)
Solution - If becoming unstable, rebuild.
Alternatively, support with a galvanised or wrought iron band around the stack from a wrought iron stay bolted back to the roof structure
Problem -Defective lead flashing, damp course or cement fillets at the junction of the stack with the roof slope
Solution - Renew defective element
Problem -Ineffective lining to flue coupled with defective joints in brickwork and stonework causing smoke or fumes to escape into the roof void
Solution - Point the open joints in cement mortar or, in the worst cases, insert a flue liner down the stack
Problem -Structural cracks or movement to stack or breast within roof void
Solution - Fill in cracks with cement/mortar then investigate further
Problem -Rot in the timber trimmers (around the opening through which stack passes) or in the valley boards (supporting the valley in gutter at rear of stack) because of constant leaks
Solution - Trace the source of the leak and repair. Treat the defective timbers with a preservative solution but, in the worst cases renewal in treated timber may be the best answer