Image of RICS logo.

Concrete tiles

Image of a valley gutter.

The first concrete roofing tiles were manufactured in Europe in the mid nineteenth century. Many of these old roofs are still weatherproof and will probably remain so for many years. Until the early 1950's tiles were handmade by small companies. The demand for building materials following the Second World War resulted in improved mechanisation, production and quality control. Today, concrete roofing tiles are mechanically produced from a mixture of sand and cement.

Weathering, fading and lichen growth will slowly change the colour and appearance of the tiles. However, this causes neither negligible change in tile strength nor significant increase in porosity, even with the gradual loss of the original surface finish. Concrete roof tiles, like all concrete products become stronger and less porous with time, unless subjected to extreme frost or air pollution. The porosity of concrete roof tiles, measured under laboratory conditions is usually less than 10%. In practice, the absorption of water by capillary action during periods of heavy rain would increase their weight by only 5%. This weight increase is extremely unlikely to cause structural roof failure. After prolonged rain it is normal for both old and new tiles to appear damp on the underside. This moisture can leave a water stain on the underside of tiles which is also normal and no cause for alarm. It does not usually cause fungal decay in roof framing timbers as the moisture is not present long enough for the fungus to develop.

Leakages from concrete tiles are usually due to associated problems, such as defective flashings. However, it is not uncommon for tiles to be laid incorrectly at a low pitch increasing the risk of damp ingress, particularly during windy and wet weather or heavy snowfall. Sometimes, this can entail expensive re-covering.

One of the principle causes of tile defects is 'foot' damage from workmen and aerial installers walking over the coverings. Great care when walking on tiled roofs, particularly if they are wet and slippery. Walking on a roof is not advised, but if essential, rubber-soled shoes should be worn.

Although moss and lichen do not eat into the tile surfaces and cause damage, they may need to be periodically removed, not least to minimise gutter blockages.

The painting of tiles can improve their appearance, but the finishes have a fairly short life and will need periodic renewal.


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Building surveys

Marshalls offer two types of residential building survey: The Marshalls Building Survey Report and The RICS Building Survey Report.

These are our most detailed surveys and are suitable for most types and ages of property, particularly older houses.

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RICS home surveys

Marshalls offer the full range of RICS Home Surveys: The RICS Building Survey, The RICS Homebuyer Report and The RICS Condition Report.

These surveys have the popular traffic light condition rating format and are mainly suitable for more modern houses and flats.

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Marshalls undertake residential valuation instructions for mortgage lending, Inheritance tax (probate), shared ownership, Housing Association, Charities Act, matrimonial and other purposes. We also undertake expert witness work and can advise on leasehold enfranchisement (lease extension).

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Party Wall

Marshalls offer a full range of specialist Party Wall services, working for both building owners and adjoining owners.

If you have received party wall notices from your neighbour or you are planning to carry out works, which may come under the Party Wall etc. Act 1996, we can advise you of your options.

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Lease extensions

A lease is a wasting asset and as the remaining term becomes shorter, a residential property may be difficult to sell or mortgage. As a general rule, any lease with less than 70 years remaining can be problematical and you may need to consider a lease extension or possibly a freehold purchase.

Marshalls offer comprehensive Leasehold enfranchisement advice, both for landlords and tenants.

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Your choice of survey report has never been wider: Marshalls undertake five types of survey on residential properties.

Marshalls were established in 1979 and can offer great local knowledge and experience of all types of building. We might not be the cheapest, but you can be confident that we are the experts in our field.

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A range of pages offering useful advice on various survey, valuation and general property matters.

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