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Roof Damage - Insurance Trying to avoid paying for repairs

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After the bad weather a couple of weeks ago, I noticed a damp patch on the ceiling in one of the bedrooms, and upon further investigation, several smaller patches in the back bedroom.

 

So I went outside with my binoculars and had a good look at the roof front and back... I could see no damage, loose/slipped tiles or anything obvious. I got the step ladder out and pocked my head into the loft, and discovered that a load of the roofing felt has ripped away, exposing the underside of the tiles and batons.

 

Contacted the buildings insurance and they arranged a roofer to come out and inspect things, and give them a report.

 

This report is looking very unfavourable, currently awaiting a copy of it and the pictures he took.

 

From what we've been told so far, he's claiming that there has been water getting into the roof space that has damaged the batons causing them to sag in a few areas. He's claiming that this is because the overlap on the tiles doesn't meet the current 75mm overlap. But refused to answer my question about 'when' those regulations came into effect... and he's also offered the 'theory' that there could be condensation occurring. But is admittedly guessing in that regard.

 

My house was built around 51/52 and the only building regulations I can find are the ones that came into effect in Feb 1966, these were the first ever national building regs according to my 'limited' research abilities. I contacted the national archives to see if they could help, but it's not the kind of info they store and I should try a local archive for my county.

 

It's worth noting that the rest of the roofing material not damaged, looks in near perfect condition.

 

The overlay on the tiles at the bottom of the roof and at the top varies between 70-85mm, but it's the areas were the batons have sagged due to moisture that the overlap is much lower... He told me in person it was as low as 45-50mm, but in the report he's claiming it's now 25mm.

 

We are now faced with the prospect of a 4-5k repair bill if the insurance refuse to cover some or all of the cost. The tiles are reaching the end of their lifespan of 80yrs being around 66yrs old now, and it's in the best interests of the property to replace them with newer ones.

 

 

So what I need to know... is what to do next if they try to avoid helping with the costs... We're quite prepared to contribute to the cost aside from the excess of about £250 we'd be happy to pay for all of the replacement tiles and even include some roof vents 'just in case' there has been condensation... Er on the side of caution rather than risk the 'theory' being correct.

 

From some rough figures I arrived at (approx meter squared area and tile coverage per mt squared. I estimate this to be in the region of £1000 with between 1000-1200 tiles required at an approx cost of 74p per tile (if ordering more than 500).. I worked this out from the rough footprint and then added 20% to account for roof pitch. Approx footprint is 70-75m/s and around 15 tiles per m/s. Roof vents are around £15-18 each depending on type and I assume I'll need 5, 2 front, 2 back and one for the small porch.

 

What are the procedures I need to be aware, do we have to follow a complaints procedure, should we get independent reports done... If they point blank refuse to pay anything... who do we take it too next, and because of the risk of further damage due to the current state of the roof... should we have the work undertaken to current building standards and then pursue some form of recovery of some of those costs.

 

I'm actually lucky that I had my c/irESA claim sorted out and backdated 3 yrs recently... so I've got a little cushion to cover some of this expense. But I'd need to borrow the rest from family as a loan to be paid back.

 

Right this moment... I'm not panicking... that could change very quickly if things look bleak.

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The whole building regs issue is a red herring, the roofer is trying to find technicalities without understanding how insurance work. I wouldn't concentrate too hard on this unless they keep throwing it at you.

 

The basics of insured is the questions has the damage occurred as the result of an insured peril (storm, fire, theft etc.) - for you it has to be storm, and a singular storm, not just rain over the years.

 

I'd say your prospects are not great in the light of what is said so far, but another way to look at this......

 

In your case, unless there is the clear are where it came in (dislodged tile etc), you could argue that the roof tiles withstand normal weather and have done for years, but in this case due to the overlap (which they have kindly pointed out), clearly they couldn't withstand THIS (but many other ) storm.

 

They may then throw the fact that this is ongoing damage, there is evidence to show this has been happening over a long period of time.

 

Any response to them I would keep simple,but do make it a complaint. D

on't get technical if it doesn't need to be. The point to reiterate is this damage didn't happen until there was a storm.

 

Let's see what the other forum members think as well.

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Just to add to this, but I wouldn't start offering the many concessions. They won't treat you reasonably and say that you are being a good guy and they will meet halfway. They will simply consider that you have given ground


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OK, so if I understand @Mwynci correctly, the fact that I saw no external damage to the roof, even after checking it after each storm we've had this winter, and the fact that the last time I looked into the loft was sometime last summer (no ripped roofing felt at the time)... and only noticed damage after it had penetrated through the 250mm of insulation immediately after the very cold spell we had a couple of weeks ago... will possibly count against me?

 

We've had several bad storms this winter, with severe high winds that could easily have slightly lifted tiles on the trailing edge during strong gusts and allowed driving rain to get underneath them. I don't know which storm is too blame just that it's happened at some point in the last 6-7 months. So it could be an accumulation of one storm causing wind to get under and rip the roofing felt, and then the cold snap allowing water to penetrate into the roof space itself... Soaking through the insulation and causing damp marks on the ceilings.

 

So I really don't understand the 'singular' part. The most recent weather has obviously caused water ingress, but any storms in the last 6 months could be responsible for the damaged roofing felt... I thought I was being diligent by inspecting the roof to the best of my abilities (partially disabled) after each storm, and finding no obvious cause for concern.

 

@BankFodder - Duly noted, I won't make any kind of concession until we have a definitive answer.

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there appears to be no single insurable event that is causing the problem so you wont get anything from a claim. You have to be able to point to a single storm that caused all of the damage as anything else is just normal detioration that is your responsibility as the owner of the house to put right. The roofer is pulling your chain regarding the overlap but when rooves sag that changes the pitch of the tiles/slates andthe water runs underneath by capilliary action rather then running off as the angle isnt steep enough.

I dont think that you will be able to show a single event to the insurer so I wouldnt be wasting my time trying, it will just go down on your record and come back to bite you in the future. get another roofer to give a second opinion and dont emntion insurance to them and see what they say. The felting iunderneath the tiling isnt actually there to keep the water out so again dont be misled by this

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Kinda resigned to this now, still have an avenue to pursue... such as their 'assessor' deliberately damaging an undamaged section of roofing material 'because he was wondering how brittle it was'.. Potentially, that could actually be construed as a wanton act of criminal damage, as he had no reason nor right to do something like that. He quite literally ripped a section of undamaged material in half exposing the tiles and batons and creating a 'new' section for water ingress.

 

I've started getting quotes in for a new roof, with all new tiles and it's looking to be in the region of £5-6k... Thankfully, I recently came into a little bit of extra money and today found out that a further mistake means I was once again not paid the correct amount... and am owed some more. This gives me around 60% of the cost, and the remainder will be covered by a loan from family... Which should be paid back in about 18-20 months.

 

Research seems to suggest that a new roof will also add value to a property, certainly more than it costs to install... So that's a welcome bit of news. Not that I'm thinking of moving any time in the next few years.

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Kinda resigned to this now, still have an avenue to pursue... such as their 'assessor' deliberately damaging an undamaged section of roofing material 'because he was wondering how brittle it was'.. Potentially, that could actually be construed as a wanton act of criminal damage, as he had no reason nor right to do something like that. He quite literally ripped a section of undamaged material in half exposing the tiles and batons and creating a 'new' section for water ingress.

 

I've started getting quotes in for a new roof, with all new tiles and it's looking to be in the region of £5-6k... Thankfully, I recently came into a little bit of extra money and today found out that a further mistake means I was once again not paid the correct amount... and am owed some more. This gives me around 60% of the cost, and the remainder will be covered by a loan from family... Which should be paid back in about 18-20 months.

 

Research seems to suggest that a new roof will also add value to a property, certainly more than it costs to install... So that's a welcome bit of news. Not that I'm thinking of moving any time in the next few years.

 

One can’t make an omelette without breaking eggs....

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