Managing and Restoring the Common Areas
Wellington Mansions is a 1930’s build which had sustained nearly two decades of being left to rot before we took management, a journey that starts here.
Leasehold management doesn’t just apply to the legislation governing block management but the physical health and safety of the common areas which are governed by the Health and Safety Executive and the Courts because they view them in the same way as they do commercial properties.
The exterior common areas consist of:
- The building structure;
- The roof;
- The land the building stands on;
- The foundations;
- Load-bearing walls;
- Gardens, landing and paths;
- Gates and fences,
- Drives and stairways and;
- Any other outbuildings.
Interior common areas consist of;
- Plant rooms;
- Lifts and lift motor rooms;
- Meter cupboards;
- Internal bin chutes and;
- Any other areas not owned by individual leaseholders.
GUIDELINES ON MANAGING THE BUILDING
The following broad guidelines on how to manage the building and when, have been sourced from the Federation of Private Residents’ Associations (FPRA). Not all will apply, (depending on the type of the building) and it is the terms of the lease that should be the definitive guide.
Asbestos Review Report
Buildings Insurance (a condition of purchasing a flat)
Water Risk Assessment
Every 6 Months
Jet Wash Paths
Every 3 Years
Health & Safety – Major Review
Buildings Insurance – Alternative Quotations
Every 5 Years
Communal Electrics – Full Inspection
Every 7 Years
WELLINGTON MANSIONS FLAT ROOF
As can be see from the photographs Wellington Mansions has a flat roof consisting of a timber decking nailed to the roof joists and covered with layers of bitument roofing felt. This kind of felt is a form of waterproof sheeting with bitumen coming from the distillation of crude oil that has been either mixed with sand or crushed limestone. It is very durable and can be further strengthened by using a layer of proprietary chipping compound, such as limestone, gravel or granite in order for the surface to reflect (but not absorb) sunlight. It is also durable during the wetter months. Any materials that cover a flat roof should allow the water to run off freely from a very slight inclination.
Flat roofs do however have a major weakness in that subsequent works done to them can produce a crack or puncture in the surface leading to leaks. This must have been what happened over the years as various landlords did their own ‘repairs’. As a result the surface became uneven, buckled and cracked in some areas. with dips and puddles and possibly indicating that the deck or the structural joists having deteriorated or perished. Fortunately we did not need to use scaffold boards to spread a persons weight.
But, this is the roof we inherited!
As if the roof wasn’t bad enough, these were the water tanks!
Clearing the roof and carrying out patch repairs was all we could do in the early days, which was like trying to plug holes in a great big sieve!
After a considerable amount of time, this is how the roof and the water tanks were fully repaired and they ended up looking like this!
Although there have been no problems with the roof for some years now we did have to replace a water tank more recently because it had split and water was leaking into one of the flats beneath.
Guttering is used to efficiently drain water from the roof and prevent problems with damp. Depending on the ground bearing capacity of certain types of ground under the foundations, if these become blocked this can cause severe problems such as subsidence. All ours were replaced.
Downpipes and Hoppers
Gradually the lead down-pipes were replaced with round plastic pipes fixed to the wall with pipe clips and 2-part brackets. One part fits around the pipe while the other part is fixed to the wall. The separate parts are joined together with a nut and bolt. A shoe fits onto the bottom of the downpipe to direct the water away from the wall and into the drain. Hoppers have also been replaced due to many of the them having split.
We had a number of gulleys that needed repairing. Unfortunately there wasn’t much we could do about some of the shoddy pipework entering into them as they were carried out by individual landlords!
These are the repaired gulleys.