From summer storms to cold winter weather, roofs face a lot of wear and tear over the year - and this can lead to problems. If you've noticed cracked slates or tiles, have a leak in your attic, or find that your gutters aren't running off as they should, you will likely be wondering who to call. There are several different kinds of contractors who can work on roofs, and who you need depends on the type of problem you have. This guide will help you understand when you need a roofer, and when only a roof plumber will do.
We often think of plumbers as engineers for the water appliances inside our homes: the heating system, the toilet and the sinks, for example. However, your roof is also a water management system in itself, and it needs a specialist to keep it in full working order.
When rain hits your roof, it runs off and is diverted towards the ground: at least, it does when the rainwater system is working correctly! By keeping water flowing away from the roof, you're protecting the wooden beams under the tiles and stopping water ingress around joints, windows and other weak points. And your guttering plays a key role here.
A roof plumber is an expert in all things related to roofs and water. They can fit gutters and downpipes, install flashings and sheets, and set up rainwater tanks to collect runoff. If you are having water issues, such as leaks or damp patches, then a roof plumber can diagnose the problem and get it resolved for you.
A roofing contractor is a person (or more usually, a company) who installs, maintains and repairs roofs. Though this does include a lot of the work that a roof plumber will do, such as fitting rain-proofing measures like gutters and flashings, the roofing contractor tends to work on bigger projects like new roofs, re-roofing, chimney work and similar jobs.
Roofers also get called in when the roof itself fails, either through storm damage or general wear and tear, to patch holes and replace part or all of the roof. Some roofing contractor companies will have their own roof plumbing specialists on board or work alongside a dedicated roof plumber to design and fit the rainwater management elements of new roofs.
While a roofing contractor is a professional outfit qualified in all aspects of roof design and installation, a 'roofer' is a tradesperson who carries out general repairs and maintenance. They may not hold the same licences and qualifications, as their work is more geared to general building and handyman work. Roofers can be handy for tasks like clearing blocked gutters and replacing fallen slates, but when it comes to the bigger jobs, it is a roofing plumber or contractor that you really need.
If you are hiring someone to work on your roof, you need to know that they are fully qualified and licensed to do the job. If you don't choose a qualified tradesman, you run the risk of the results being ineffective or, at worst, unsafe. Going with a licensed person or company for roof work means the job will satisfy your insurance requirements, and the work will be up to standard. Always check the contractor's qualifications and other associations before confirming the contract.
The Plumbing and Drainage Act 2018 requires roof plumbers to hold a plumbing and drainers licence, which qualifies them to install fascias, gutters and flashings, fit rainwater drainage and collection systems, and carry out testing, maintenance and repair work. Contractors work to the National Plumbing and Drainage Code, and they hold qualifications relating to the fitting of cladding and gutters too.
The most important thing to remember when you have an issue with your roof is that time is key. The longer a roof fault goes untreated, the more damage can be done to your property. Something as simple as a cracked gutter can lead to water ingress over time, damaging the structure of your building, causing damp and other major issues. As soon as you notice any roof problem, you need to contact the relevant tradespeople and have the work done ASAP.
If you are worried about the water drainage capabilities of your roof, you'll want to call in a trusted roofing plumber. Parker Plumbing is a local plumbing specialist based in Ipswich, offering an extensive range of plumbing services that include roof drainage and rainwater management. Licensed and fully approved for all aspects of roof plumbing work, you can be sure that your property is in safe hands with this reliable and experienced team of engineers.