What is the most important part of your home? The foundations, the walls, the interior; all are important, but the roof is probably top of the list.

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Contact GHC Roofing – Roofing Contractors Glasgow, to arrange a visit to your property or telephone consultation

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I'm wondering what to do? My timber fascias and soffits are beginning to rot. It's a big job to replace the timber and then have it all painted! Your advice please.

9 out of 10 of our clients are choosing to have White UPVC Roofline Cladding fitted over their existing fascias and soffits. We will replace any rotten timber and then fit new White UPVC. No Maintenance! No Future Painting! No Future Rotting Wood! And the added bonus? The materials are the same price, but the labour time is less intensive! The outcome – a better job, a better look and less cost.

The Pointing at the joints of my stonework is crumbling and falling out in a lot of areas. I have had previous repairs done, using cement mortar.

A Sandstone property should not be pointed using plain cement mortar. We would recommend stripping out all joints to a depth of 25mm. We would apply PVA Bonding Agent and then Lime Mortar, either with a tint or plain colour, depending on the original colour of your property.

I'm getting rainwater ingress at the sides of my Velux rooflight and at the sides of my Dormer window. I last had my roof check over 3-Years ago.

So, you haven’t been to the dentist in over 3-Years? Or serviced your car in over 3-Years? It’s the usual story! Most people only phone roofers when a problem arises, such as the problem we’ve described above. The problem here is heavy moss growth and vegetation, bird droppings, etc. choking the sides of the Velux rooflight and the sides of the Dormer, thereby causing overspill into the roof space. A minor routine service – just like your Car – is needed. 2-3 hours to clean around all of the perimeters of the windows and the dormer, as well as cleaning the gutters – this is usually all the preventative maintenance that is required.

I'm looking to have my roof re-slated. I don't live in a Conservation Area. What is your advice?

We would recommend using Grey Marley Duo Modern Concrete Roof Tiles. This tile has a fine line down the centre, giving it the look of a smaller tile or slate. It has a more modern look and is about a third of the price of slates. Most concrete tiles last for 45 years. Or, if your budget allows slates, we would recommend the Balach Grey/Blue Spanish Slate. These are newly quarried slates as opposed to using recycled Scottish slates.

What's the difference between cast iron gutters and PVC gutters?

The first and main difference is the cost! Good quality deepflow PVC gutters are 112mm deep and should last for 20-Years. Cast Iron half-round gutters are about 95mm deep. They are around four times the cost of PVC gutters, however, they should last a lifetime.

I have cracks on the lead valley on my Dormer. I'm concerned about the cost of new lead. Are there any alternatives?

Yes! The alternative is a Fibreglass GRP Valley System. This product is made from a polyester resin, which is reinforced by strand glass fibres to form a GRP laminate. It’s about a quarter of the price of lead and should last for 30-Years. The product is ideal to be used with either concrete Tiles, Rosemary Tiles, Traditional Scottish Slates or Spanish Slates.

I have evidence of rainwater at my extension, where the extension meets the house. It seems to be an ongoing problem.

This is a common problem and is usually caused when the lead sealant shrinks, allowing water ingress at the raggle, (which is where the lead apron of the extension is attached to the house). We would usually recommend cutting a deeper raggle. Fit new code 4 sheet lead, all dressed into position. We would then fix bellcast beads along the raggle at the lead. This would be finished off with a roughcast finish or a cement mortar finish.

I've had constant ingress and dampness on the ceiling of the flat roof of my extension. It was covered in the 1980s and has stones on it at the moment.

Aagh Stones! This was an old tar and chip detail which was popular in the late 1970s and early 1980s. The idea behind it was that the stone chips would reflect the sun. All that actually happens is that the stones trap moisture and rainwater. The chips also get washed to the outlets and gutters and often these choke the outlets. If your flat roof is from that era, we would recommend stripping away all of the coverings to the original deck. We would repair any timbers and then fit a 3-layer felt torch-on system, including 1-layer of insulation. The new finish will be a smooth finished layer.

The sarking in my loft is saturated internally. It's an old slated roof and the felt is perished. The roof size is approximately 60 square metres.

We would recommend fitting approximately 6 slate vents to ensure adequate airflow into the attic; this would be 3 at the front and 3 at the rear. It will probably take several months to dry out – but it’s a start – after all, it probably took a long time for the dampness to build up.

The cement on my gable verge tiles is breaking out after winter and frost and now birds are getting into my loft space.

Break out all of the cement on the tiffin/verge. Fit timber dwangs on the four sides of the roof or two sides of the roof (depending if you are a detached or semi-detached property). Then, fit a Marley Universal Dry Verge System to all gable verges, all secured. The finish looks great and the system is maintenance free – no more cement breaking out at your verges!

Bird droppings and/or vermin are entering down the clay pots on my chimney onto the gas fire below.

The answer is to fit a Universal Innes Cowl. This cowl has a slope and cage around the top. This stops vermin from entering but still allows the fumes etc. to exit through the chimney.

My Rosemary tiles are crumbling near to the gutter level. My driveway is full of red chipped tiles!

This is called lamination and is caused by years of winter and frosts eating in the tiles. Sorry, but you’ll need to cancel The Cruise This Year! It looks like you need a new roof!

My slates are slipping all over the place. My gutters have about 9 or 10 slates in them at the moment

It looks like the roof is ‘Nailsick’ / ‘Irreparable’. Over the years, the nails rust and the slates slip. The head of the nail corrodes, leaving nothing behind to hold the slates securely in position. This is another example of when a New Roof is required.

Flat Roof - Garage Roof - Ponding is evident all over the flat roof, causing rainwater ingress! How do I get the rainwater to run off of the roof?

We use a system called Firring Pieces. These are timber rafters cut at heights starting at 150mm and reducing down to 2mm, to create a run. We then cover this with plywood and a new felt system on top of the plywood.

I have water ingress coming in at my chimney head. Advice please!

Three Options:

  1. Demolish the chimney head to below roof level. Fill the gap with sarking boards, felt, battens and tiles. End of problem. End of maintenance!
  2. If you are venting a gas appliance through the chimney, you can still have it demolished. After demolishing the chimney, we would fit a Twin wall pipe which will allow your appliance to continue to be ventilated.
  3. Or, if you’re determined to keep the chimney, we can fit new Lead Flashings and Re-roughcast the chimney. The downside of this option is that you still have a chimney and there are no guarantees that you won’t have further maintenance requirements in the future.

Should I have my old slated roof overhauled year after year?

Consider the ongoing costs of continually overhauling your old slated roof! We make one area of the old roof watertight, the rain then manages to find the next weakest point – and in comes the rain! Thinking of the cost – say on average £500 – £600 every 12 – 18 months! Think of the stress and hassle of always having to check your loft every time there is heavy rain! It will be irreparable in the end – eventually! Think of having your old slated roof re-roofed using concrete tiles. At approximately £5,000 – £6,000 for the averaged sized property, it’s probably something you should be budgeting for sooner rather than later if you can.