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Roof storm damage - New Build

  • 08-12-2021 2:31pm
    Registered Users Posts: 11


    We live in new build (completed in 2019) in a housing estate in Wicklow. Around 120 houses.

    Every time there is a storm, slates have blown off multiple houses. Last night, ours was the worst impacted as we have lost a large number of slates from one section of the roof (they were all side by side). So we effectively have a big hole in our roof now.

    I have contacted the developer and they have said they dont fix storm damage after 1 year.

    Is there any recourse here? Bluntly, I know nothing about roofing but it seems bizarre that residents in an estate should have to accept large slates falling off roofs in a storm. They can travel quite a distance, ours have blown into the gardens of houses on either side of us - they could very easily kill or seriously injure someone if hit.

    What research I've done (or tried to do) leads me to believe that there are certain standards in SR 82 - but not sure how binding these are, or how I'd even go about checking if ours is done to standard.

    Thanks for any advice.



  • Registered Users Posts: 7,512 ✭✭✭the_pen_turner

    Fiber cement or quarry slates

    Nailed or hook fixed.

    In the middle or at edge

  • Registered Users Posts: 11 Dummy Account

    Bit out my comfort zone here! Not sure what type they are, attached are pictures of one of the slates that came down - most others smashed on impact, this one landed further down the garden in the grass so it survived.

    How would I know how they were fixed?

    It's in the middle of 2 semi-detached houses. So the inner "edge" of our house, but ultimately in the middle of the two houses. Pictures also attached.

  • Registered Users Posts: 11 Dummy Account

    If I had to guess, it looks like this "The Condron Slate" product on this site

  • Registered Users Posts: 11 Dummy Account

    I've been advised elsewhere that in a high wind / high exposure area such as where we are (Greystones, and situated up high on a hill near the coast) that every slate/tile needs to be attached as opposed to every X number of rows.... Anybody know more about that?

  • Registered Users Posts: 10,919 ✭✭✭✭Furze99

    They are tiles - styled to look like thick slate. Slates whether natural or man made are much thinner and are laid with a large overlap. Tiles rely more on a overlapping lip and have less overlap. If this has happened previously and is happening on other houses, you need to get together and put your concerns as a group to the builder. A poor roof is always going to be a concern.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 11 Dummy Account

    Thanks - yes we're discussing as a group as it seems to be quite a serious issue. Whatever about being annoyed about the damage and cost, these could seriously injure somewhere (or much worse). We've actually had to message our neighbours and tell them to stay out of their back gardens due to the loose tiles.

    I have found some information about Greystones being considered an Exposed Location (due to average wind speed being greater than 10 knots) - and our house would also meet some additional criteria as it's built on the slope of a hill, and rises above the houses in front of us (that are further down the slope). There does appear to be some regs/standards around how many tiles have to be "head nailed and tail clipped" (not that i know what the means, but I assume it means that they are effectively attached to the roof) - and that in our location, this standard applies to every tile and not just those on the perimetre.

  • Registered Users Posts: 354 ✭✭pauldavis123

    Those would kill you stone dead if they hit you, that is actually quite a serious problem.

    Every one of those should be fixed, no way they should be loose laid.

    There seems to be adhesive on them as well which is incorrect, they need mechanical fixing.

    Incorrect fitting is not limited to one year, the builder is trying to fob you off.

    Sue him for damage caused to anything on the ground that was hit by the tiles rather than go looking for remedial work under guarantee.

    Tell him this will be ongoing as tiles come off.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,034 ✭✭✭redsteveireland

    The builder has to be responsible in this case, roof should be good for 5 -10 years I would have thought?

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,974 ✭✭✭10-10-20

    There may be two paths here. One would be to engage a structural engineer to review the existing installation of tiles against the manufacturing spec with consideration against the documented wind speed maps. That would possibly be the first step to be taken before engaging legal services as this would be the determination as to whether the builder is at fault or not.

    Secondly, did the builder register with Homebond? If so, open a case or contact them to see what coverage they offer in the case of an inherent roof safety concern; they may recommend the structural engineer route, or want to carry the investigation out themselves.

    Wind speed maps:

  • Registered Users Posts: 19,963 ✭✭✭✭Cyrus

    if you only got 5-10 years out of a roof you would be pretty annoyed.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 45,993 ✭✭✭✭muffler

    You need to check the contract to see what the defects liability period is. As there are a number of houses involved go as a group to the developer and look for a resolution. But before that you will need an engineer's or building surveyors report. This will determine if it was a design or construction problem.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,034 ✭✭✭redsteveireland

    I meant you would have a case with the builder for 5-10 years, I know when I bought my house they had a 10 year home bond scheme, does that still exist?

  • Registered Users Posts: 78,360 ✭✭✭✭Victor

    You need to talk to a solicitor - yesterday. I'm not joking, you need to check the defects liability clause in the sales contract and its implications.

  • Registered Users Posts: 26,976 ✭✭✭✭Dempo1

    This is quite alarming, especially as the problem is not confined to one property. I'd have to think the developer has heard from other home owners. I'm not very knowledgeable on how the home bond scheme works but would be looking at this as one option. I'm a little concerned developer shirking away from any responsibility and may not have had home bond cover in place.

    There's another concern and that's OP"S home insurance, first port of call would normally be an insurance claim but given a number of other properties having this issue since 2019, it could be argued poor workmanship behind this issue and insurance companies won't pay out.

    I had to claim for serious storm roof damage in 2020, house in Laois. The insurance company claimed poor workmanship as a means to get out of paying. When I proved the roof was in situ for 20 years without issue, claim was accepted and paid out. My claim involved slates blown off but also substantial water damage. Also worth pointing out any insurance claim needs to be notified immediately. In my case there was a storm warning in place and I had to prove this.

    This issue may require a group effort (neighbours affected) to get resolved. Whilst not an expert in roofing, there is clearly a serious problem with the way these Tiles/Slates were fitted.

    This really is quite serious OP especially given your home relatively new build and needs expert legal and possibly Surveyors / Engineer's advice but also I believe neighbours affected need to be discussing this.

    Is maith an scáthán súil charad.

  • Registered Users Posts: 19,963 ✭✭✭✭Cyrus

    agree with this, developers initial response will always be to push back, you need to get together as a group and approach them after taking legal advice.

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,340 ✭✭✭Tefral

    Standard from of RIAI builders contract is 12months defects. however if you can prove its a latent defect in material or workmanship that covers you for 12 years.

    Id find out someway of using this, such as the roof covering not fitted in accordance with manufacturers recommendations.

  • Registered Users Posts: 78,360 ✭✭✭✭Victor

    "Standard from of RIAI builders contract is 12months defects."

    Yes. However, with some purchase contracts, that period may be different.

  • Registered Users Posts: 11 Dummy Account

    Thanks - and yes, that was one of my first ports of call. I'm awaiting a call back today.

    And thanks all for the other replies. Obviously I am getting legal advice on all this, but I'm posting about it here for any information or considerations I wouldn't have otherwise been aware of, that may prompt certain questions I need to ask. So everything here is "for my information" only.

    Re: HomeBond - it's not registered with HomeBond, but it is registered with Build-Zone who - from what I gather - are an equivalent/alternative to HomeBond. I have contacted them also but am awaiting a response.

    We've been made aware of another resident who had a roof survey done following similar damage, and the surveyor found the roof not to be up to the standards I mentioned earlier (re: every tile being fixed rather than alternating rows). Funnily enough, after multiple failed attempts to get through to the foreman of the development, one of the higher ups at the developer called me yesterday and said they had their own report done which said they were in compliance. That's definitely a door we tend to knock on a bit more!

    Re: defects and cover period, this is the part that I'm a bit stuck on. The contract basically says (summarise) -

    If the Developer agrees to -

    (1) Make good any major defects that arise within a period of 18 months

    (2) Make good any minor defects that arise within a period of 6 months.

    I note the language states "...defects that arise within a period..." and it's fair to say these defects did not arise within that period - they were there from the get-go. They were only discovered subsequently (after 24 months for us, but earlier than that for others in the estate). Obviously this is where it gets a bit legal regarding the use of language, but it does seem to side with us from my non-expert opinion (assuming that it is not built to the standard).

  • Registered Users Posts: 15,370 ✭✭✭✭Supercell

    Our house was built in 1982 and still has the original tiles and probably will in 2082, loosing them after a year is madness, we live about 1Km from the east coast on a sloping ground so quite exposed to easterly winds in particular. I had the pointing patched last summer but thats the extent of the maintenance needed so far.

    I think you and your neighbours need to get together with a solicitor. Sooner or later one of those tiles are going to hurt someone if nothing's done about it.

    Have a weather station?, why not join the Ireland Weather Network -

  • Registered Users Posts: 26,976 ✭✭✭✭Dempo1

    It's a dreadful situation OP, I'm curious have those who discovered or had issues within the 18 months succeeded in any redress from developers, also have you or others attempted to look at your home insurers, what if any feedback or success 🤔 I'm especially curious if any insurers have refused a claim. Your immediate dilemma, based on my own experience is having to notify your home insurers immediately.

    The call from the Senior person at the development company is curious, they've a report on compliance etc, that report would make interesting reading.

    As I've said, this entire situation does require a group effort and both legal and engineering/Surveyor advice .

    Is maith an scáthán súil charad.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 11 Dummy Account

    We're absolutely pursuing this as a group, so thanks - definitely agree on that. Strength in numbers and all that!

    Others have had their roof fixed as it occurred within the 18 months of their purchase date, and the developer still had people on site. They've finished the estate now and left the site, and we're after our 18 months. The argument seems to be that they are now outside their defects liability period of 18 months, and it's no longer their problem.

    My argument would be (and maybe legal advice once I hear back from them will tell me it's a terrible argument!) that this defect did not arise within 18 months. It arose on Day 1, or Day 0 even - it was there from when the house was handed over. This is, of course, if we can prove it wasn't built to the required standards (which we're working on).

  • Registered Users Posts: 26,976 ✭✭✭✭Dempo1

    I agree completely, my own home whilst 200 years old had a slate roof done in 1976, I put a substantial extension on after I purchased the cottage in 2002. The extension at the rear required 3000 slates if I recall correctly.

    Oddly enough the original slates (still perfect) but I had issues with the extension (2003). They'd be fine only for severe storm damage in 2020 lost quite a few and main problem was water damage. Insurer's tried the poor workmanship stunt but after producing receipts etc for the job done almost 20 years ago, it was hard to blame poor workmanship and my claim was accepted and paid.

    My concern for OP given other properties affected with this issue, poor workmanship could be used to avoid acceptance of a claim etc .

    Again, I'm no expert, just sharing my on quite recent experience, I don't live on the coast but near the top of a mountain (Slieve Blooms)

    Is maith an scáthán súil charad.

  • Registered Users Posts: 19,963 ✭✭✭✭Cyrus

    the more i think about this the worse it is,

    the risk of serious injury is massive here.

  • Registered Users Posts: 11 Dummy Account

    Absolutely. And when you read about these things in the paper, you think "wow, what a freak accident" - but when you see how easily it could happen here, it hits home a bit heavier.

    And even aside from personal serious injury here, you look at other things - damage to garden furniture, damage to drainage (part of our gutter is hanging down after being hit with one of the tiles), damage to cars. Most people in the estate moved their cars from their driveways the other night and out onto on-street parking, to try keep them out of range of falling tiles as cars have been damaged before. It's ridiculous to have to do this every time.

    And having seen our own CCTV footage of how fast these tiles fly off the roof and hit the ground, it's frightening. I've used the phrase "that could kill you" before, probably mostly as an exaggeration - but not this time.

    And I guess the worrying part is - yes, we could fix our own roof. But you need the whole estate to get their roofs fixed - because our tiles flew into 3 different gardens the other night.

  • Registered Users Posts: 26,976 ✭✭✭✭Dempo1

    Mother of God, that's shocking, I'd certainly be advising you save that CCTV footage 😳

    Is maith an scáthán súil charad.

  • Registered Users Posts: 26,976 ✭✭✭✭Dempo1

    I presume the Estate has now been passed onto the local Authority now as developer has left the site , isn't their a Bond paid to local authorities and only refunded when everything is in order🤔 whilst I assume this for ground works, paths, roads and sewerage works etc , have the Local Authority been informed, if anything just to highlight the issues and concerns for public safety etc.

    Is maith an scáthán súil charad.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,170 ✭✭✭el Fenomeno

    Here's our footage for those interested.

    I think there's 3 tiles come off there, but there was another handful in addition to that.

    Post edited by el Fenomeno on

  • Registered Users Posts: 26,976 ✭✭✭✭Dempo1

    Jesus Christ , had any of you or family been outside 😳 is that an air pump I see, that was also almost knocked out 😳 thanks for that footage, shocking

    That is very interesting re the Bond, I'd absolutely prioritise contact with local authorities.

    Is maith an scáthán súil charad.

  • Moderators, Home & Garden Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 17,886 Mod ✭✭✭✭DOCARCH

    When were the houses completed?

    If relatively new, built since 2014, they will come under Building Control Amendment Regulations (BCAR) and there should be a 'paper trail' for the specifications, sub-contractors, etc.

    There are also codes of practice for the fixing of roof tile and slate which changed in 2017.

    I live in Greystones, and also being a weather mod, also keep an eye on the weather too! It was windy the last few days, but nothing out of the ordinary/exceptional! You should not be loosing roof tiles off a new build house!

    What you need to do first is get an independent expert/engineer to assess how your roof tiles were fitted (fixings, batten spacings, headlap, etc,) vs. the relevant code of practice the time the houses were built, and take it from to a solicitor/present to the developer/send to Building Control Section in WCC.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 7,512 ✭✭✭the_pen_turner

    surely your first port of call is to get a roofer to inspet and state what the construction and fixings that were used etc. then find out what the reconmended methods are for that material.

    if the builder did what the manufacturer reconmends then its not on them and its the manufacturer that you need to chase.

    most tiles are nailed every third row and along top, bottom, and sides