NFRC Issues Storm Damaged Roofs Warning as Clean Up Starts

roofer on roof of storm damaged property

THE National Federation of Roofing Contractors (NFRC) has issued a warning to householders not to attempt roof repairs themselves on storm damaged roofs.

Accessing a roof requires training and professional equipment to be undertaken safely and every year members of the public lose their lives and suffer injuries from falls from height.

Philip Campbell NFRC Head of Policy and Communications

Philip Campbell, NFRC’s Head of Policy and Communications, said: “As Storm Dudley and Storm Eunice threaten homes across the UK, it’s vital that homeowners are aware of the action that they need to take to ensure their roof is properly repaired safely if there is damage. The Homeowners’ guide is a valuable tool in ensuring you understand the work that needs to be undertaken and that you get the right contractor.

“Our data for the 2019/20 financial year showed that NFRC members have an accident rate 13 times lower than the national average. NFRC members also reported zero fatalities for the fifth year in the row in 2019/20. This shows how important it is to use a contractor who is properly vetted and will work safely and to the correct standards on your home. Contractors should only continue work when the weather conditions mean it is safe to do so.”

Storm Damaged Roofs

However, householders needing roofing services are likely to face protracted wait times as many roofs have been damaged by storms Dudley, Eunice and Franklin hitting the UK over Friday and the weekend.

The UK record-topping winds have blown roofs off completely on a house in Derbyshire, a block of flats in Liverpool and off a new hangar in RAF Brize Norton, plus many more. The O2 millennium dome in London lost part of its roof and a church spire in Somerset toppled. Many domestic roofs have lost slates and tiles.

Checkatrade has tweeted this morning that searches on its website for roofers were 693% higher than the same time last week.

Many contractors, already experiencing massive demand for RMI during the pandemic, and amidst ongoing materials shortages, are now facing having to prioritise calls from the public to visit those with the worst problems, who are facing damaged, leaking roofs coming to light during the torrential rainfall of the storms.

Storm Gladys

And now, the Met Office is advising that there could be another potential storm on Thursday 24 February, named Storm Gladys. The weather forecasters say it’s still too early to be sure but to keep a close eye on forecasts.

Wind Speed Safety

Storm Eunice saw an unprecedented two red weather warnings in operation for the South West and London and South East areas on Friday. Wind speeds exceeded 80-90mph on Friday and yesterday’s Storm Franklin saw gusts of 70-80mph.

Roofing contractors are advised to stop work on roofs when wind speeds exceed 35mph. Risk assessments should be recorded and measures taken to mitigate the increased risks of high winds.

Some contractors are now starting waiting lists, while others are operating a ‘triage’ system, trying to establish whose roofing work is most urgent.

Advice to householders is not to be tempted to employ any roofing firm that does not have a good track record in roofing. They should look for membership of a trusted organisation, or ask family and friends for recommendations.

>>Read more about roofing work in extreme conditions

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