Roofing on Social Housing: A Complete Guide

It’s vital to look after a roof on a property, and social housing is no exception. There are several regulations and standards in place for maintaining and repairing social housing, and all council-run properties and social housing landlords must uphold these.

The Decent Home Standard in England covers repairs and maintenance, including roofing work. This states a decent home must:

  • Meet the current minimum standard for housing – the property must be free of Category 1 hazards under the Housing Health and Safety Rating System
  • Be in a reasonable state of repair
  • Have reasonably modern facilities and services
  • Provide a reasonable degree of thermal comfort – this is about insulation and heating

As a social housing provider, it’s essential to rectify any issues quickly to ensure the quality of living is not affected. This is particularly important for areas such as roofs, where a minor issue could become a significant problem if not resolved promptly.

Below, we look at the importance of roof maintenance for social homes and why it’s vital to provide a liveable and comfortable property for social tenants.

Importance of social housing roofing

It’s vital to maintain roofing on social homes as these provide the foundations of insulting heat and keeping water out. As social houses are covered by the Decent Home Standard, this means they are required to meet specific standards as set out by the government.

A poorly maintained roof can lead to numerous issues, such as leaks, lack of insulation and mould growth, which could affect the standard of living for the tenant. So, it’s important to tackle issues as they arise.

Types of social housing roof

Most social housing properties will have either a pitched or flat roof or a mix of both, and each has pros and cons.

Pitched roof

A pitched roof is commonly found on properties in the UK, and this style slopes down from a central elevation.

Pros of a pitched roof

Higher gradient – The steepness of this roof style means water runs straight off into the gutters. This style also reduces dampness and moisture ingress, as water doesn’t pool.

Use of durable materials – Pitched roofs are made with hardy materials such as slate tiling. They are designed to withstand all types of weather, including snow.

Long life span – The materials, gradient and installation method typically make this type of roof last many years.

Roof space – A pitched roof opens up more space inside, which can be converted into a room or storage.

Ideal for all types of homes – The design of this roof means it can be sued on all kinds of homes, including cottages, bungalows and houses.

Cons of a pitched roof

More expensive to install – Due to the design and construction, these roofs involve a higher investment. But the longevity typically outweighs the cost.

Takes longer to install – With a more complex structure, the design takes longer to install too.

Flat roof

Flat roofs tend to have a gradient of less than 10 degrees, but to the naked eye, they look practically flat. This type of roof is sometimes used on social housing, typically on extensions, blocks of flats, and some older properties. There are several pros to this design:

Pros to flat roof

Cheaper to install – With fewer materials used and a simpler design, this installation is usually more affordable to install.

Perfect for garages and extensions – A flat roof is a great cost-effective method of waterproofing an extension or garage.

Versatile – The space on top of a flat roof can be used for other things, such as solar panels.

Cons of a flat roof

Shorter lifespan – The design of a flat roof means it doesn’t usually last as long as a pitched roof, depending on the materials used.

No additional roof space – There’s no space above a flat roof for storage or a loft conversion.

Maintenance needs of social housing roofs

There are some cases where social tenants have a responsibility to maintain various areas around the home. However, as the roof requires high-level work, they do not usually undertake this.

Regular maintenance is, therefore, essential to ensure properties do not fall into disrepair or affect the quality of living inside the home.

Different types of social housing roofing maintenance that should be done include:

Annual inspection – This will identify any areas of concern and highlight repair work that needs to be carried out.

Gutter clearance – Gutters can get clogged up, especially during the winter months, and this can lead to standing water or, in extreme cases, water ingress. Clearing this annually or as required is important to reduce hefty repair bills.

Missing roof tiles – Windy and stormy weather can dislodge roof tiles, and these need to be replaced as soon as reported to avoid further issues.

Roof leaks – This is one of the most common problems experienced by tenants, and issues need to be resolved quickly.

Replacement of social housing roofs

Most roofing specialists advise roof replacement every 20-25 years, but some can last longer depending on previous maintenance. Therefore, if a social housing roof needs replacing, it’s essential to hire trusted professionals to complete the work.

Before deciding on a contractor, check out their credentials and experience in this type of work. Get quotes and enquire about the type of roof best for the property and the materials used to increase durability. It’s also worth asking how long this job will take, as the social tenant may be required to vacate the property while work ensues or be notified of disruption while it takes place.

Professional social housing roofing specialists in Leeds

It’s essential to get social housing roofing right to maintain a good standard of living for the tenant. From replacement roofs to general maintenance, DPR Roofing is on hand to take care of the details so projects run smoothly for the tenant and landlord.

If you want to learn more about our roofing services for social housing, contact the team at 0113 335 0043.