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Nothing is ever what it seems in roofing!

The biggest roof problems can appear on the smallest roofs! An important part of a plumber's training is knowing about the principles and practical consequences of roofing installations and repair. At AbleSkills, workshop space is dedicated to the training in and knowledge learning of correct roofing work and procedures, which is a component of an approved City & Guilds Plumbing NVQ Level 2 Technical training, all students are required to be taught.

An example of how important an understanding of roofing principles is, may be seen from the following recent news story...

A coal tar pitch roof was installed over a dead-level deck on a 40-by-20-foot building. The roof sprung a leak that no one could find the source of which unfortunately, occurred above a large electrical equipment installation.

An examination of the interior of the building around the location of the leak found nothing suspicious. Water staining, for example, would have indicated the source of the water entry.

Since the water was collecting on the floor near a wall/floor intersection, the consultant initially thought the water might have been coming from below. The walls had been recently painted, hiding any water staining that might have revealed where the leak occurred. Only a concrete patch that was lighter than the surrounding floor was out of the ordinary and nearby was the outline of a wall that had been removed. Neither showed that there was a leak anywhere nearby.

The results of a roof survey were not conclusive. The membrane and flashings were in good condition and not an apparent source of the leakage. A moisture survey found no areas of wet roofing. In addition to the roof, the walls and windows were checked, but even these steps didn't reveal anything that would explain how water was entering the building.

It was only when the roofing consultant accidentally tripped on a small loose spot on the roof that that all was revealed !

What appeared to be an unbroken patch turned out to be only a flap carefully hiding a hole through the deck. Everyone had been walking around this hole without noticing it was there. It turned out that at some point in the past, someone had removed a bathroom to install equipment and a wall that hid the vent pipe hole from view. They removed the vent pipe, but since the remaining interior pipe was encased in a wall, they never patched the roof. The coal tar pitch had flowed around the opening, which was enough to stop water from spreading throughout the roof, but not sufficiently to stop water from going down the hole in the ceiling, into the wall and out onto the floor.

The lesson of this story is that there are no short cuts when carrying out any roofing projects, just because they may be out of sight! Official City & Guilds qualifications training at AbleSkills, approved by the UK's major regulatory bodies, are taught by industry experienced and accredited tutors. This means a thorough grounding and learning in the mandatory procedures as required by current Building Regulations, to ensure the highest standards of workmanship are maintained.