Whether Academy, Independent or state, every school has a prime responsibility to  its pupils and students, not just for education but to provide a safe, welcoming and working environment. A school building is one of the most important and valuable assets, protecting pupils, employees and others residing in it, so detecting early warning signs of roof damage is essential to prevent them from turning into disruptive and costly repairs. To help you spot these signs early we have put together the following guide that you should look for on regular inspections of your school roof.

Things to look for:

Asbestos

Roof deck (Surface)

Debris accumulation and vegetation growth on a surface that wasn’t designed to be a ‘green roof’ is a warning sign of damage. Check for cracks, blistering and wear spots on the roof deck.

Roof deck (Underside)

Damage is not always immediately visible. Examine a small sample of the underside of your roof deck for rot or warped boards in wood; cracks, stains, chips or splinters in concrete or gypsum; and rust spots in metal.

Roof lights and detailing

Cracks and chips, leakages around the joints, internal moisture and condensation or a build-up of moss and lichen around roof lights should never be ignored as they can compromise the structural integrity of roof features. Take extra care when examining roof lights and detailing and never assume the structure is weight bearing.

Drainage and condensation

Ponding/standing water (and ice accumulation in winter), incorrect or lack of falls and blocked drains and gutters are all signs something’s not right with your roof. A saturated roofing build-up or dampness and mould on a ceiling will need urgent attention.

Interior and exterior walls

Chipped or discoloured paint and signs of dampness on your walls (especially if they are brown in colour) can also signal your waterproofing has failed. These signs should not be ignored.

Flashing, coping and jointing

Damaged or fragile roof lights, loose torn or missing coping or cracks, gaps and damage to jointing are signs your roof is in need of some TLC.

Finally, if your school was built before 2000, there is a risk asbestos may be present. Do not take any risks if you are unsure about asbestos as disturbing the material is highly dangerous.

OptiTec Ltd can help with checking your roof for signs of damage and can even carry out roofing inspections and Leak detection Tests. To provide you with peace of mind and assistance in applying for the CIF funding please get in touch. Put your bid application in the safest of hands, as standards in any school start from the Top!