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Ecclesistical & Heritage World No.88

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Heritage roofing - maintaining our iconic buildings

The UK is home to some of the most iconic buildings in the world, from stunning churches and cathedrals to historic stately homes. Each and every one of these remarkable feats of architecture requires regular maintenance to ensure they remain in the very best condition, allowing them to be enjoyed for generations.

What Is Heritage Roofing?

Heritage buildings across the country are regularly the focus of architects, manufacturers and heritage organisations who come together in order to keep our favourite properties in the best possible shape. The highlight of many of these properties is the roof and often, the roofs on these heritage buildings are so old that the materials are starting to break down, making repair and maintenance a must.

nctsThe term ‘heritage roofing’ simply refers to works carried out on a roof of a historically valuable building. These buildings could be National Trust properties, listed by Historic England or simply have a significant meaning to the local community it resides in.

These works are incredibly important, without them the structure, interiors and aesthetics of the property can become compromised.

Heritage Roofing Styles

The individualistic nature of many of the UK’s properties means that the heritage roofing process can be a long one. In order to maintain the authenticity of the building, it is advised that the materials used to replace the old ones must match the time period in which the property was originally built. As well as this, heritage projects are often required to meet specific standards as outlined by Historic England, the National Trust and similar organisations.

This means that the craftsmanship needs to be methodical, accurate and above all, to a high standard.

Heritage roofing can include a whole host of different materials both traditional and modern. From lead roofing to copper, zinc and more.

Things To Consider Before A Project

Before embarking on a heritage roofing project there are one or two things you need to consider.

Firstly, a detailed survey of the roof needs to be carried out. Have a roofing expert assess the roof at different times of the year and in a variety of weather conditions. (You can find a selection of experts near you in the directory here) Doing this can be really beneficial later down the line, as it will help to identify common issues such as blocked guttering, leaking and smashed tiles. These issues are best checked after stormy weather, as this is likely to be when most damage is caused.

The weather perhaps has the most significant impact on heritage roofing projects, so it is better to know what you’re dealing with prior to the start of any work. If not, you run the risk of being caught out.

Restore or Replace?

Heritage roofing is a complicated process, since the original roofing is often in very poor condition. If it can be restored, all the better, but most buildings will require brand new roofing, which needs to look original. That means the roofer must be familiar with the various types of roofing and be able to redo it in an authentic manner, often reusing material although this is a delicate job and not always an option

Choosing a Heritage Roofing Expert

When looking for a heritage roofer, it can be important to look at the experience the company has. They should be able to demonstrate their skills and even have photos such as those found in our Roofing Gallery and among case studies found in this feature article.

The roofer may also ideally be accomplished in designing roofs, since the originals may be in such bad repair that they need to be redesigned and re built. The ability to work with the existing structure while improving and rebuilding is the trademark of a true expert.

Church Roofs Special Notes

In the case of church roofing there are some special points as made in Church Care guidance notes here.

Metal Theft

Also worth noting, in the light of the unfortunate rise in metal theft, it is not always advisable or possible to replace like with like and Church Care offers some guide lines on alternative metals here.

You can find a selection of heritage roofing specialists in our directory here.

Roofing training centre re-opens for business

At the end of June National Construction Training Services (NCTS) re-opened its training centre at Hoddesdon in Hertfordshire. The number of trainees attending each course is currently limited to a maximum of four in order to provide the recommended isolation distances. All candidates and tutors are being asked to wear the appropriate face masks during each training session and hand sanitiser is positioned around the training facility.

Click here to read the full story.

Grade II Listed Georgian cottage by Broadstairs Roofing

This cottage was badly blighted with a modern concrete tile and a dormer cladded in white UPVC, giving the cottage a dated and depressing appearance. Broadstairs Roofing removed the concrete tiles and replaced them with Kent peg tiles. The dormer was leaded, the clients were delighted with the new look of their roof.

The client was delighted with the final result, saying: "Thanks to John and his staff, the roof has been restored to its original glory, they worked with enthusiasm and genuine interest restoring the roof."

For more examples of the company's stunning projects visit www.broadstairsroofing.co.uk.

Martin-Brooks begins landmark castle project

Sheffield roofing specialists, Martin-Brooks, are playing a pivotal role in one of the UK’s most significant heritage regeneration projects of recent years.

The firm has secured a contract to undertake the largescale refurbishment of Nottingham Castle’s roof, as part of a £30 million scheme to regenerate the entire site.

Click here to read the full story.

Help! Does my oast cowl need cleaning?

Since 1937, Dude and Arnette have been cleaning oast houses across the country, both inside and out. The company’s specialist team can clean, paint and maintain your oast house to the highest standard, bringing joy to many more generations. So, if your oast house is looking a little drab and dated, maybe it is time to give it a clean. Here DARREN HOLE of Dude and Arnette answers some common questions.

Click here to read the full story.

Heritage projects by Marnick Roofing

Cornwall based Marnick Roofing Ltd have recently re-roofed the 18th century Wendron Church in Helston (left) in new Cornish Delabole natural slate, traditionally fixed using copper nails.

Another of the company's heritage projects was at the Grade 2 listed former Coach House building on the Clowance Estate near Truro (right). Here they stripped the existing Delabole natural roof slate, renewed the underlay and battens then refixed all the salvageable slate. They also renewed all the leadwork to the old bell tower adding six brand new Code 5 lead bat slates!

For further details of the services offered visit www.marnickroofing.co.uk

St Josephs School Cranleigh

Two years after Middlesex-based ABC Roofing Ltd completed this project at St Josephs School in Cranleigh these photos were taken from a cherry picker when they were working on leadwork alterations on the clocktower. The company have carried out two other large jobs on this school in the past two years.

For further details of the services offered visit www.abcroofinglimited.co.uk

Ecclesiastical and Heritage World

St Mary's Church, Almeley

This historic Grade 1 listed building dates back to the period 1320-1330.

Hereford based Heritage Roofing Contractors Ltd re-roofed the south elevation of the nave with existing and new Hereford Sandstone roof tiles.

For further information on the company and other projects they have completed visit their website at www.roofing-contractor.co.uk

Ecclesiastical and Heritage World

Martin-Brooks restores South Yorkshire Holy Trinity

The heritage roofing specialists at Sheffield-based Martin-Brooks have added sparkle to a trio of the region’s ecclesiastical gems.

The firm has completed extensive roof repairs on three churches in Sheffield, Rotherham and Doncaster that benefited from government grants for listed places of worship.

Martin-Brooks was successful in securing contracts by competitive tender to renovate the roofs of St Thomas’ in Kimberworth, Rotherham, Holy Trinity and St Oswald’s in Finningley, Doncaster and Christ Church in Pitsmoor, Sheffield.

Click here to read the full story

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The Laurels - Peterborough

This private dwelling in Stilton, Peterborough won top prize in the Heritage Category in the 2014 Roofing Awards for Lincolnshire based Heritage Roofers Claude N Smith. The company have just re-opened its Collyweston Slate Mine which has harvested new slate for the first time in over 40 years - see video courtesy of the BBC.

Find out more about this company and view further videos at www.claudesmith.co.uk

Ecclesiastical and Heritage World

Victorian Chapel of Rest - Canterbury

The roof of the Victorian Chapel of Rest in Canterbury had come to the end of its life, and as there was no underfelt, the rain came in even during services. Canterbury City Council decided it needed to be re-slated with a natural slate, and look as original as possible, and Heritage Craft roofers Broadstairs Roofing were appointed to undertake the work. Secret lead gutters were renewed, also the red clay ridge tiles were reused. Both the company and Canterbury City Council were really pleased with the finished look.

For more information visit www.broadstairsroofing.co.uk

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Lead replacement project - Exeter

Exeter Roofing undertook a complete overhaul of this box gutter on a property in Essex - pictured before (left) and after the work was carried out. The project involved removing old lead, creating new boarded steps and replacing with new lead.

The company has 20 years experience providing all types of roofing services in a competent and trustworthy manner and are fully qualified in heritage slating and tiling.

For further information visit www.exeterroofingltd.com

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