Part of Historic Environment Scotland

Traditional Roofing Repairs

Dates: 11/1/18 - 29/3/18
Days of the week: Thursday
Total hours: 100.5
Taught hours: 52.5
On-site instruction: 30.5
Off-site instruction: 22

Description

Examine in detail each of the main materials used to construct and cover historic Scottish roofs – from slate and stone to tiles and thatch.

The module begins with a brief history of materials used on Scottish roofs from the medieval period to the present day. You will also be given a general overview of how a roof must work to protect the building. Methods of repairing and conserving traditional roofs – vital to the long-term preservation of historic buildings – are also examined in detail.

The chief focus of this module is the detailed study of various traditional Scottish roof coverings, including stone, slate, tiles, thatch, lead, corrugated iron and other metals. Each is explored in terms of its material characteristics, the history of its use in Scotland and its part in the traditional construction and detailing of a roof. Performance and deterioration over time are also covered.

A crucial aspect is the instruction you will receive in how to repair and conserve the different roofing materials. Learn how to plan repairs in line with conservation principles, from initial survey and diagnosis to on-site installation. You will also find out about the challenges of sourcing suitable replacement materials for repairs, and the need to keep traditional roofing skills alive in Scotland.

Entry requirements

Individual modules are open to anyone with an interest in the subject matter. Applicants for the Advanced Professional Diploma should have a relevant degree or professional experience.

Classes, lectures and presentations

  • General Introduction to Scottish Roofing
  • Repair and Conservation of Flagstone Roofs
  • Natural Slate Roofs in Scotland
  • Repair and Conservation of Slate Roofs
  • Clay Tile Roofs in Scotland
  • Repair and Conservation of Clay Tile Roofs
  • Scottish Thatched Roofs
  • Repair and Conservation of Thatched Roofs
  • Use of Lead for Roofing in Scotland
  • Repair and Conservation of Lead in Roofing
  • Use of Copper for Roofing in Scotland
  • Repair and Conservation of Copper in Roofing
  • Corrugated Sheet Iron Roofs
  • Repair and Conservation of Corrugated Roofs
  • Flashings, Rainwater Goods and Roof Features 1
  • Flashings, Rainwater Goods and Roof Features 2
  • Repair and Conservation of Chimneys
  • Roofing – Health and Safety Issues

Potential site visits

  • The Blackhouse, Arnol
  • Auchindrain Township
  • Easdale and Ballachulish quarry sites, Argyll
  • City Heritage Trust sites
  • Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme sites
  • Townscape Heritage Initiative sites
  • Historic Environment Scotland estate schemes

Hands-on workshop/lab activities

Roofing – e.g. lead burning and bossing, slate dressing

Content

Roofing – general overview

  • Evolution of Scottish roof structures
  • Principles of weather-tightness, ventilation, insulation, heat retention and energy efficiency
  • Basics of roof designs, structures and integrated rainwater systems
  • Typical roofing problems
  • Impact of weather and environmental conditions
  • Impact of past alterations/interventions
  • Assessment of existing conditions, surveying a roof, determining significance and provenance of materials
  • Role of flashings and use of traditional and modern felts
  • Importance of work sequence due to mixed trades
  • Need for regular inspection and maintenance
  • Installation of solar panels and other energy-generating devices

Specifics of particular roofing materials

All of the information below, plus additional material-specific details, will be covered for each of the following roofing materials: sandstone (flag or ‘grey stone’), natural slate, clay tiles, thatch, lead, copper, corrugated sheet iron.

  • Origins of the material and historic background
  • Material characteristics
  • Regional variations in material and/or practices
  • Traditional working practices
  • Range of types, uses, styles, details and/or fixings
  • Use in context of roof structure
  • Decay mechanisms
  • Treatments and repairs
  • Specifying repair works – repair or replace?
  • Sourcing and sustainability issues
  • Site practice and work sequence

Roof flashings and features

  • Origins of the material and historic background to its production and applications
  • Material characteristics
  • Association with main roof materials
  • Design changes over time
  • Range of types of ridging, hips, flashings and decorative features; terminals; rainwater goods; and rooflights, access and appurtenances
  • Modern appurtenances and ways to limit their physical and visual impact on historic fabric
  • Decay mechanisms
  • Treatments and repairs
  • Specifying repair works – repair or replace?
  • Sourcing and sustainability issues
  • Site practice and work sequence

Chimneys

  • Design and construction
  • Flue system and construction
  • Range of styles of chimney cans or pots
  • Decay mechanisms
  • Treatments and repairs
  • Specifying repair works – repair or replace?
  • Regular inspection, maintenance and sweeping

Health and safety issues

  • Access – both temporary (for works) and permanent (for inspection)
  • Working at height
  • Structural integrity of roof and features
  • Maintenance requirements and regimes
  • Lead poisoning
  • Burning lead or soldering/brazing copper on site (hot working)
  • Risk of asbestos
  • Presence of bird/animal faeces/remains