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Digging up roads and laying tarmac at Woodford Court in Winsford

Woodford Court in Winsford

We’ve all been inconvenienced by road closures at one time or another. It’s an unfortunate fact of life that roads undergo a lot of wear and tear, and after a while they will require resurfacing. When we find ourselves up against the dreaded temporary traffic lights, sat in endless traffic tailbacks or navigating around labyrinthine diversions, we find ourselves asking the same question: “Why does this have to happen this way?”

In partnership with TP Construction, Maxiflow were recently contracted by Cheshire West & Chester to replace the entrance road of Woodford Court, a busy industrial estate in Winsford. The concrete road had suffered from a large amount of abrasion over the years, and it had been rendered defective due to cracks and potholes pitting the length of its surface. Because it was too far gone for a quick repair, we were tasked with removing the concrete from the whole road and replacing it with tarmac.

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Prevent collapsing chimneys with a free Maxiflow roof inspection

Chimney inspections from Maxiflow in Chester

A chimney in poor condition, discovered by a Maxiflow roof inspection

A recent story in the Chester Standard reported on the collapse of a chimney stack in Talbot Street onto a parked car. Luckily, nobody was injured in this accident, but similar stories from across the country show that people are not always so fortunate.

Inadequately supported chimneys are a real public hazard, as they are a potential danger to both the home-owner and passing pedestrians. When a roof is compromised, it is often obvious to the home-owner as they can see the effects of leaks from inside. However, a damaged chimney is much harder to spot without spending regular time on your roof, which not something we recommend!

As with any structure, chimneys are subject to weathering over time. These problems can be very subtle and are certainly not visible from ground level. As an example, in the picture above you can see that the lead flashings have started to peel away from the chimney stack and there are indications that the chimney is starting to lean forwards. Another issue with this chimney is that too many aerials and satellite dishes have been attached to it without adequate bracing, adding extra unsupported weight to one side of the structure.

For a professional and comprehensive inspection of your roof, contact Maxiflow Roofing in Chester for a FREE roof consultation. With over 25 years’ experience in domestic and commercial roofing, we can check the condition of your roof, down to the smallest details. No matter the size of your property or the age of your roof, regular inspections are important for your personal safety, security and peace of mind.

Contact Maxiflow Roofing Services today and our free roof inspection will ensure that your chimney stays in place and your roof remains in one piece. Or call us on 01244 343563 for free advice and guidance if you need to talk about any of the issues presented in this post.

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The bad, the worst and the ugliest – Three reasons why you should avoid cowboy roofers

Dangers Of Cowboy Roofing

Over the years, we have been called out to many jobs to revert the shocking damage inflicted by cowboy builders. These fly-by-night outfits have caused untold numbers of homeowners a great deal of money, time and stress.

One of the roofs we examined on a recent job could have come straight out of Cowboy Builders 101, a textbook example of how cowboys operate and how dangerous their botches can be.

The homeowners in this case were experiencing a minor roof leak, so when the cowboys came calling it seemed like a stroke of luck. The cowboys alleged that this job would require them to replace all of the roof’s lead flashing – a “solution” which was as unnecessary as it was expensive.

If you’re thinking that they may have paid over the odds but at least they got some nice new lead, then you’d be wrong.

Cowboy Roofing Warning

Yes, it’s exactly what it looks like. The cowboys had simply smeared mortar around a section of the roof. At the front of the house.

They hadn’t even used a pointing trowel, instead choosing the delicate and sophisticated method of ‘slopping it on by hand’.

The supposedly problematic lead hadn’t been touched, apart from being coated with ugly brown handprints.

The worst part? It didn’t do a thing to stop the leak.

The cost for this act of vandalism? A whopping £375!

Unprofessional Roofing Warning

Rogue roofers canvass areas using standard door-to-door techniques – knocking on doors and leaving business cards – but instead of selling their services, they attempt to sell fear.

Once they have their foot in the door, cowboys are notorious for their uncanny ability to spot “urgent problems” that would be “far more expensive to fix if left for any longer”. Of course, the cowboy will have “just the thing to sort out the problem” and will be able to do it for a “special on-the-spot discount”.

Cowboy Builder Warning

The consequences of falling afoul of unlicenced, unprofessional and unregulated roofers can have a greater impact than on your wallet, they can cause serious safety hazards as well. Here are three simple reasons you should never consider using a cowboy roofer:

  1. In the photos accompanying this article, you can see that the cowboys have casually discarded large shards of slate across the rooftop. This laziness could result in a serious accident – a stiff breeze could send the sharp, jagged javelin hurtling towards the street below.
  2. Cowboy roofers don’t bother erecting scaffolding and are unlikely to use safety equipment. This leaves the workers and their tools in a precarious position, the slightest slip could easily cause injury to themselves and anyone walking below.
  3. Because cowboys are generally unskilled and untrained, they will likely leave your roof in a worse state than when they started. A small leak could turn into a gaping hole, protective seals could be callously breached and there would be no way of knowing until it was too late.

The sad reality is that cowboy roofers will continue to exist as long as there are vulnerable targets for them to exploit.

Be vigilant and tell your friends and family that no matter how good a deal it may seem, it’s always best to stick with the professionals.

Take a look at our appearance on BBC One’s Cowboy Trap as the good guys trusted to put things right on a mistreated property.

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How to protect your roof from metal thieves – Part 5

Forensic Tagging Warning Sign

As discussed yesterday, we believe that there are real problems with most anti-climb paint products. Their ineffectiveness was becoming a real problem for us, because we are very proud of our leadwork and don’t think that it should cease to be a viable roofing option because of thieves.

For these reasons and more, Maxiflow are proud to be proponents of the new Molecular Taggent Technology developed by RedWeb Security. We are confident that this technology provides solid solutions for the future viability of leadwork installations.

How does it work? Our Asset Marker grease can be applied by our licenced installers directly to your valuable assets. This is not limited to roofing materials; from a manhole cover to electric cables, we can invisibly coat your assets without altering their day-to-day appearance.

But what, you may ask, is the difference between our anti-theft products and others on the market? It’s simple: An indelible link from the criminal to the crime scene.

How is this achieved? Well, that’s the clever part. Asset Marker products are saturated with millions of microscopic ultra-violet beads, each of which have a DNA code that can be detected using forensic equipment.

Every batch of Asset Marker grease is encoded with a unique, individual signature. If you touch a surface coated with the grease, it invisibly transfers to you, your clothes and anything else you come into contact with.

What does this mean for metal thieves? Well, these crimes aren’t elegant procedures. Roofing materials, particularly lead, are very heavy. Transporting the stolen goods requires several people and a vehicle, all of which connect with the tracked asset, no matter how briefly.

All it takes is for one 1 x 50 micron particle to be detected anywhere on the criminal, their clothing or their vehicle and law enforcement teams have an unbreakable chain of evidence straight to the criminal.

We believe that educating the public about this technology and rolling it out across high-profile properties will help effectively dissuade criminals from marked areas.

Could YOU be sure that a single drop of incriminating evidence hasn’t followed you from the crime scene? Could you wash everything you own to the degree that we couldn’t find a tiny micron somewhere? Would anybody take that risk?

Thank you for reading, the previous parts of this article can be found below:

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How to protect your roof from metal thieves – Part 4

Prevent roof thefts effectively

This is day 4 of a week-long series of articles on preventing metal theft. Previous articles can be found here: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3.

Some properties are unable to be modified to the degree required for a wholesale roof replacement. They may be protected conservation properties or they may have decorative leadwork features of important historical or artistic value.

In these cases, protecting the property’s roof has traditionally been much trickier, relying upon the classic methods outlined in section 1. However, recent technological advances have emerged which promise to make deterrents a lot more effective.

Most people are familiar with anti-climb paint, which has been in use across the country for several years. These products coat thieves in clothing-staining grease while they attempt to clamber up a protected surface, allowing police to subsequently identify the thieves.

The main problem with many of these products is that they are only effective in the immediate aftermath of a crime.

Police are rarely lucky enough to catch culprits red-handed, and the course of an investigation can take days, weeks or even months to produce any results. The thieves’ stained clothing can be quickly and easily disposed of, leaving behind mere traces of grease (which could have come from a thousand sources).

But what if that wasn’t the case? What if one tiny dot of dye in the criminals’ van could be incontrovertibly linked back to the crime scene?

In the last article in this series, we will be looking at one of the most technologically advanced security solutions on the market. Come back tomorrow to find out more!

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