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UK roofs a 'ticking bomb' as almost half are neglected by homeowners

24th April 2012 Print

Despite being ravaged by recent high winds and inclement weather, 86 per cent of UK homeowners neglect to periodically inspect their roofs for damage, according to a new survey conducted by consumer advice website

Just over 3% per cent of homeowners checked their roof once a month while over 40% admit to never checking their roof. Worryingly, when asked which home improvement, if any, homeowners were planning over the next twelve months, only two per cent of respondents have roofing repair work on their agenda, with nearly half of homeowners prioritising redecorating.

Potential epidemic of roof failures

Nick Oldridge, spokesperson for commented: "What makes these statistics particularly worrying is the fact that roofing improvements are among some of the most critical home maintenance considerations and can have a major impact on the value of your home. "The survey underlines the fact homeowners are more concerned with home aesthetics rather than maintenance, which leaves a potential epidemic of roof failures on the horizon. Britain's roofs could be a ticking bomb if we continue to neglect them," He added.

These comments are further supported by the survey's discovery that over 34 per cent of respondents complete home improvements for purely aesthetic reasons, while less than 10 per cent consider adding value to their property when deciding on their home improvement agenda.

Roofs impact on house values ignored

When considering home improvements, Roofapedia would recommend that the roof should be considered higher on the list of priorities. This is further supported by a spokesperson from Spicerhaart, the UK's largest estate agency group who comments, "The roof is such an integral part of any property that it is good practice that any issues to do with the roof, whether it is a repair or a total replacement, are addressed before the house goes onto the market. If, for whatever reason, they are not addressed, it is likely that the value of the property would be reduced in order to reflect the fact that this work will be required to be done once the property has been sold."

For those homeowners who did inspect their roofs more than once a year, which accounted for just 14 per cent of participants, the reason tended to be a direct response to problems such as a leak, or if the property showed signs of damp or mould, rather than a method of preventing future problems. With no respondents admitting to proactively checking their roofs or getting a professional opinion as part of general home maintenance, the survey could be the first to put a spotlight on the state of disrepair of homeowners' roofs in the UK.

The survey results appear even more alarming given the recent strong winds and extreme weather conditions which have resulted in an increase of 28 per cent in insurance claims for home and car owners, with nearly half of these weather related claims caused by damaged roofs*.

Nick Oldridge added: "The survey highlights that Britons are clearly ignoring their roofs until problems arise which usually makes the remedy a lot more expensive. If homeowners simply inspected their roofs more regularly, they would be in a position to act on small roofing issues to prevent any large-scale problems and expensive repairs, whilst also helping to maintain the value of their property."