Repairing the roof
The winter of 2018 is one that Newark Park won't forget. In the early hours of a snowy March day the house sadly suffered a major water leak. Fast forward a year and the house has fully re-opened after a year of conservation and repair works.
What are we doing?
Following a water leak in 2018, we are improving the roof covering by adding a protective layer or membrane beneath the roof slates. Where possible existing slates will be re-used, but any short-fall will be made up with new Welsh slates.
The roof does not currently include a roof membrane, a problem that dates back to the 1980s. This means that when the roof slates are damaged or slip due to the failure of their fixings, gaps are created. Rain and snow can then enter the roof and risk damage to the historic roof timbers and the water pipes in the roof space (even though well-lagged) are at increased risk of bursting. The existing roof insulation is also badly in need of renewal having been damaged by the lack of a roof membrane.
This work needs to happen as soon as possible to avoid any further damage. The months of May to July have been chosen as they are best for the bats that roost within the roof voids. The bats access the roof through the gaps created by the lack of roof membrane.
We will be creating new purpose-made bat access points and roosting spaces and using a traditional felt membrane that is bat-friendly (bats can get caught in the fabric of more modern roof membranes). All of this work is being undertaken in line with a European Protected Species licence from Natural England.
The insulation which is currently fitted between the roof rafters, will be replaced with insulation that is laid over the ceiling joists, as this reduces the risk of future displacement and will also create a better environment for the roosting bats.