Roof plumbing is the type of service that you might not think you need - until you do. If you’re building or renovating, there’s a good chance you’ll require a roof plumber to help with a bunch of tasks. These tasks mostly involve installing or fixing roof coverings, downpipes, or guttering. But you can also do with some help from a roof plumber for any jobs involving skylights or ventilation.
With the breadth of tasks that you might need help with, it’s a good idea to scout around for different service providers and prices. This price guide can help determine how much roof plumbing costs for the tasks you require.
So, what does a roof plumber do?
There’s a range of situations in which you might need roof plumbing. If you’re building your own house or doing significant renovations, roof plumbing services will probably be necessary if:
You’re considering installing a rainwater tank or rainwater collection system
Guttering, downpipe, and stormwater systems need to be installed or augmented
Your home insulation system is at risk of damage or being damaged by water
You need to work out what sort of drainage system you want to install
You’re thinking of putting in an entirely new roof
But there’s also plenty of occasions you might want to consider a roof plumber if you’re not doing major work to your property. Some common situations include:
If you have a leaky roof
If there’s a build-up of mould or mildew in your ceiling or walls
If your property foundations are starting to shift or become unstable
If you need to repair your rainwater tank or rainwater collection system
When you simply need to do your regular clean of your gutters and downpipes
Some tasks may not fall within a roof plumber’s job description. These works are generally known as “roofing.” They include the design and installation of tiles, slates, and glass onto ceilings, as well as concrete, timber, or thatching. And you don’t need a roof plumber for this sort of task.
But sometimes it can be difficult to know who is the appropriate person for the job. Although glass fittings in ceilings tend not to be installed by roof plumbers, installing skylights and ventilators are generally jobs for roof plumbers. There are situations that you might need to engage both roof plumbers and roofers.
Probably not. And in some cases definitely not.
There are extensive regulations and qualifications needed to perform roof plumbing. These regulations exist for good reasons: to protect clients from unskilled work, as well as to protect roof plumbing workers. It can be dangerous up there.
Without training and decent scaffolding, there are significant risks in trying to manage roofing situations as an enthusiastic amateur. That risk is compounded when you’re dealing with plumbing and water systems located close to electricity infrastructure.
It will always be tempting to take on simple jobs yourself, such as fixing leaks. And there’s nothing necessarily wrong with taking it upon yourself to keep your guttering clean. In theory, it’s just good habits to remove leaves if you see them. But it’s also difficult, of course, to get onto most roofs. You might not know if your roof can support your weight.
Rather than assume that you’ll be able to fix any issues as they arise, it might be worth accepting that it often works out simpler, safer, and cheaper to simply book in semi-regular roof plumbing check-ups.
The UK provides a list of qualifications for licensed roof plumbers. But there is some flexibility. Roof plumbers can have a British Board of Agreement (BBA) certification. But they can also have a general plumbing certificate with a roofing specialisation.
There’s a whole host of things that you might want to ask for your roof plumbing, depending on the size of the job you’ve hired them or are considering hiring them for.
One question you might want to ask a roof plumber is whether they have a plumbing licence and what qualifications is it based on.
A second question is their method of charging: are they proposing to bill you by the hour, the volume of work that needs doing, or by the task?
A third question is whether or not they’ll supply their materials. Depending on what you need, the cost of new drainage materials can add significantly to the overall price of roof plumbing work. You also might want to know about their level of insurance coverage - roof plumbing can be risky and has the potential to cause damage elsewhere if not done properly.
Roof plumbing is sort of like going to the dentist. You might think you can go a long time avoiding it, but hold out too long and you’ll regret it.
One of the main risks of avoiding roof plumbing work for a serious length of time is that moisture from poor roof drainage systems will get into the walls and structure of your home. In a bad case, this could lead to serious structural damage and even potentially dangerous electrical faults.
But even more modest cases of water damage and roof leaks can still lead to extensive repair bills if not corrected quickly. Given the increasing prevalence of extreme weather, it will probably pay to keep on top of your roof plumbing issues.
The amount you’ll pay for roof plumbing services will depend on a bunch of factors. One of those is the size of the job you reckon will need doing. But another is the type of roof plumbing task. Generally, maintenance jobs like gutter cleaning will cost a fair bit less than tasks requiring more training, such as gutter installation.
Roof plumbing service
Roof plumbing service
Take a look at some of the below roof plumbing Airtasker listings. They may help you figure out what to include as you create your listing.
As a rough guide, expect roof plumbing work to cost around £20 to £40 per hour. But if it’s a larger job, you might be able to work out a fixed price with the roof plumber. In which case, the price might work out to be less.
Roof plumbers are also likely to quote on a per metre basis. That is, they’ll quote you based on the size of the job you need to do - a long stretch of guttering or downpipes that need fixing will likely have a higher quote.
The final price you can expect to pay will ultimately hinge on a bunch of factors. The skill level of the plumber is one. Another is the level of damage or work required. Another factor is whether or not they’ll need to supply the materials or if you can provide them yourself. The size of the job also affects the quote. Location is also something you need to consider; expect to pay more if the plumber has to travel a distance to get to you.
For a decent gutter clean, you might be able to pay around £18-£25 per hour but expect to fork out more for larger gutters. Prices can rise quickly after that. Silicone repairs could add a bit to the price. If you plan to install a new roof afterwards, the average cost can be around £5,500.
A fair price will ultimately be whatever both you and your roof plumber are comfortable with. But given that roof plumbing is an essential - yet not obvious - aspect of home maintenance, it's best to avoid cutting costs. It might be worth adding a few extra tasks to the list you provide your roof plumber so that all the little jobs can be done.