Friday, September 22, 2023

Questions still being asked by the residents of Watts Wood Park

RESIDENTS from Watts Wood Park are still seeking answers regarding the reasons the roof from their houses ripped off at Christmas.

A number of the residents are still living in hotels or with friends as work continues to repair the roof.

The residents have also asked questions of the property management company (OM Property Management), the homebuilders, Bellway Homes as well as the National House Building Council but two months on are becoming very frustrated.

At the moment, scaffolding is up on the flats as workmen continue to repair the roof but for some, the bigger issue is whether the homes were safe in the first place.

A report by Base Building Consultancy was commissioned and published that came to the following conclusions.

1. Without  knowing  the  manufacturer  of  the  membrane  we  are  unable  to  advise  if  the   installation  is  in  accordance with  their  recommendations,  and  therefore  acceptable.

2. If  it  is   possible  to  establish  the  manufacturer  or  the  roofing  contractor  used  by  Bellway  Homes,  we   can continue  investigations  and  develop  this  report  further.

3. We  can  advise  however  that   what  has  been  installed  is  not  to  a  particularly  high  standard,  in  comparison  to the   requirements  of  a  Sika-­‐Trocal  membrane  installation.

4. It  is  debatable  whether  the  workmanship  alone  caused  the  damage  that  has  been  suffered   to  the  blocks,  as  there were  exceptionally  inclement  weather  conditions  over  the  Christmas   and  New  Year  period  which  must  have  had  a  negative  physical  impact  on  the  roof  coverings.

5. We  believe  the  damage  that  has  occurred  to  Block  27  ␣  49  where  the  corner  of  the   membrane  has  been  peeled  back,  in  all  probability,  also  occurred  to  Block  26  ␣  48  only  to  a   greater  extent  which  led  the  Fire  Brigade  to  remove  the  membrane  completely  for  health   and  safety  reasons.

6. It  is  our  opinion  that  the  damage  to  the  membrane  coverings  and  tiled  roof  areas  resulted   from  a  combination  of  the  following:

a. inadequate  adhesion  between  the  type  of  membrane  used  and  the  roof  decking  at  the  corners  of  the  mansard  crowns,  where  wind  loads  are  greatest.

b.inadequate  and  poorly  detailed  mechanical    perimeter  fixings  to  the  membrane     covering.
inadequate  restraint  to  the  perimeter  flashings,  which  results  is  uplifting  and  bending  out  of  shape.

c.inadequate  and  British  Standard  non-­‐compliant  fixings  to  concrete  roof  and  ridge

d.exceptionally  inclement  weather  conditions.

Residents are still awaiting a comment from the National House Building Council via OM Property Management Group.

A spokesperson for OM Property Management Group said:

“As Watts Wood’s managing agent, OM Property Management provides services on behalf of the building’s owners (the freeholder) and our role is to oversee the repairs being carried out to the development.

“We have been liaising with the owner, its insurer and its loss adjuster since October and have received assurances from them that repairs will be conducted quickly and residents will be able to return to their homes as soon as possible.

“Our Property Manager carried out regular site inspections at Watts Wood Park in November and December and our customer services and operational team have been in frequent contact with the loss adjuster’s team on our customers’ behalf. We also ensured temporary accommodation was offered to those residents affected by the storm damage.

“A meeting on 3 January at Watts Wood Park was attended by the loss adjuster, its surveyors, contractors and senior members of the OM team. Watts Wood Park residents also had an opportunity to meet our property management team at a residents meeting on 7 January.

“A further meeting with residents and the loss adjustor was held on 21 January.

“Given the unusual severity of the storms last year, we commissioned a report to help us understand the full extent and scope of the damage”.




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