Walker Wood - Access All Areas!

It’s always helpful when a surveyor doesn’t have a fear of heights! We often need to access roofs when carrying out building surveys, dilapidations, schedules of condition and defect diagnosis.

Undertaking a schedule of condition for one of Sheffield’s stylish hotels gave us the opportunity to walk up and down several flights of stairs (getting a little fitter along the way) as well as taking in the fabulous Sheffield skyline. 

Checking the condition of roofs is part of the job for any surveyor, and there are a variety of ways that we can reach them to check their condition. Occasionally, we get lucky and access them directly via a suitably sized hatch and ladders within the building itself. On other occasions, we call upon a high access platform, although these bring their own risks, from getting drenched in the rain to receiving ‘lucky gifts’ from a passing friendly bird.

Some surveyors now prefer to use drones, but overall we have chosen not to. We always find it beneficial to see the roof with our own eyes and it can be helpful to be ‘hands-on’ when it's needed.  There can also be limits on where drones can be flown, as we found out at a recent inspection, where a drone brought by others couldn’t take off due to the no-fly zone near a particular football ground. Often, it’s just a case of clambering up our own ladders should health and safety permit. Sadly, trampolines are out of the question!

It certainly was good to see so many cranes across the city on this particular day, and long may it continue.

RICS Chartered Building Engineer British Chambers of Commerce