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Help! Surveyor Report Brought Up Possible Problem With Roof

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Jojomarie | 22:37 Fri 07th Apr 2017 | Home & Garden
11 Answers
Hi all,
I am buying a house, first time buyer and just had the surveyors report back.
There are Two things I really need advice on, and I'm not sure where to turn.

1. There is evidence of some deflection and distortion to the main frame. The original roof plane has deflected slightly over the gable end. This is probably due to failure of timber gable ladder and will need to be monitored. Also the roof slope has sagged slightly between rafters.

It is a dorma bungalow with two bedrooms upstairs in the roof space, Does anyone know if this is a urgent serious concern? It was flagged as yellow - will need repair at some point, but I am worried that the roof could come down on my daughter, what is the worse case scenario?

2. The garage - detached from house, is red:

There is cracking to some of the walls and supporting columns which will need repair. Similarly the brickwork is poor in places.
There are signs of a woodbeetle infestation to the roof timbers. It has likely spread to other concealed areas.

My question here is does anyone know if there is a high risk of woodbettle spreading to the house roof/rafters, how far do these pests travel? Does it sound as if the garage roof is in immediate structural danger and is it easy to eradicate woodbettle and repair the beams?

Thanks in advance
JO

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1. This sort of thing comes up quite often on surveys, Jo. Deflection, on its own, should not keep you awake at night. It should of course be monitored to see if it gets any worse ... although this is not inevitable. It rather sounds as though inadequately sized timbers were used initially. The many times that I've had to deal with something like this, have only...
18:27 Sat 08th Apr 2017
1. This sort of thing comes up quite often on surveys, Jo. Deflection, on its own, should not keep you awake at night. It should of course be monitored to see if it gets any worse ... although this is not inevitable.

It rather sounds as though inadequately sized timbers were used initially. The many times that I've had to deal with something like this, have only needed the addition of extra timber to strengthen what's there. The idea is to stop further deflection... not to reverse it. Reversal would necessitate stripping the roof covering and re-cutting that area of roof..... not usually needed.

If it was likely to come down on your head, the surveyor would have run a mile; not written a report.

Gable ladders are "outside" of the main structure, so no threat to your safety unless the tiles are hanging dangerously loose. Beefing up the gable ladder is a simple job.

Inserting extra timber to hold the deflection is likely to be more disruptive, but again, a simple job. Of course, no one can be more precise without seeing it for themselves. You could post up some photos if you like.

2 The garage needs further inspection. It does rather suggest either harmless final settlement, or at worst, foundation failure. I really can't say without looking at it.

Infestation is easily dealt with on a DIY basis. A simple pump-up garden sprayer and a 5 litre can of something like "Cuprinol 5-star wood treatment". There is absolutely no need for specialist companies to be involved.

Yes, beetle and others can fly for some distance. Certainly to the house. Any remedial timberwork will always use treated timber today. So no further problem with that. I just wish that when these houses were built, treated timber was used at the outset.
thx builder
( well comeone has to thank you )
Haha... well thank you Sir Peter. :o)
Question Author
Thanks so much for that answer, The house is a cash buy no mortgage so I couldn't go on whether the bank are happy or not, it makes me more nervous. I'm not too bothered with the garage if I had to take it down it wouldn't be a massive loss, i was more worried about the roof. You have put my mind at rest a lot though, I've taken two pics of the house at the gable end but I have no idea what I'm looking for and I can't see anything from the pics myself. Thank you jo
Jo, if you want to post up the pics, then something like "photobucket" is a good way of getting them on here.
Question Author
Thank you, I was wondering how to upload photos, hopefully this will work

http://i15.photobucket.com/albums/a393/saxon2112/IMG_2894_zpsvqc84hpw.png
Question Author
[URL=http://s15.photobucket.com/user/saxon2112/media/IMG_2893_zpsiujo0frm.png.html][IMG]http://i15.photobucket.com/albums/a393/saxon2112/IMG_2893_zpsiujo0frm.png[/IMG][/URL]
Well Jo..... from the photos, it looks like a lot of fuss over nothing. If he really does mean "sagging slightly between rafters", then I would say it was minimal. The rafters look Ok.
Possibly... concrete tiles are heavy... maybe it's the battens that are undersized, and they've deflected slightly over time. I would guess it's a "cut roof" (as opposed to trusses.) So it's likely that the rafters are spaced 400mm apart (quite normal). The only thing I can think of is that in the 60s/70s, battens of only 19mm thickness were commonly used for 400mm centres, as opposed to the 25mm thick battens we use today. If so, then a certain amount of deflection would be likely. This is piffling, and certainly not unstable.

For the gable, I really can't see any problem from the photo. These days, to cover themselves, surveyors tend to flag up anything, however trivial.

To finally put your mind at rest, since I only have the photos to go on, all you need is a decent builder (there are plenty, I can assure you) to look at it.

Feel free to come back here if he does suspect a problem, but I honestly doubt it.
Question Author
Thank you so much for that, I will get a builder to look at it, but you have been a tremendous help and really put our minds at rest :) thank you
My pleasure, Jo. Come back anytime :o)

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