Loft conversion problems and maintenance. ( blocked wastes )( leaking velux window in loft conversion )

Now I'd say at least 9 times out of the ten times I've had ' The Call ' it's been a simple problem and although I'd love to say my lofts are totally maintenance free , i can't.

Here are a few typical problems that I've had the call for.

Showers and wastes, I'd never realized the first common problem could happen like it seems to be happening ( mainly because i lost most my hair years ago ) but I've had 3 shower waste related calls " the water is not going down woody " " the shower waste smells ".

On all 3 occasions rather then advising over the phone i immediately went out with the idea already in my head of the problem. The first 2 were straight forward, take the waste grill off and twist n pull a little trap insert out. Around this gathers all the hair, soap and razor covers that have some how found its way down the plug. Its a simple job and takes seconds. Those traps are generous and can catch loads and I'd not belive people were not having hair cuts in the shower if i wasn't cleaning my own at home out after my girlfriends used the shower every couple of weeks ( thats the cleaning out not wash frequency )

Now the third one was the same problem but slightly different reason. This call was not actually from my client it was from the new owner of the home I'd done the loft conversion. I went out the day after and removing the fancy chrome lid i expected to remove the twist and pull waste , and it was not there! Now this leaves a slight problem its definitely blocked with something so i wrestled the whole waste off after 30 mins and found enough hair to bind the plaster on my next curved under stair ( we use mesh these days ).

After googleing the make of waste I made a phone call to the manufacturer and explaining the model and exact shape size ( they have made 4 different styles since i did this loft ) one was in the post and delivered the next morning. I went back the next day and fitted it correctly and complete. I'd done this loft 4 years ago and i think my actual client had had the same problem with blockage but rather then just cleaning it out and replacing the insert he had removed it completely. 

Moral is traps are perfect when maintained so look after it and it will look after you.


This problem can cause more worry but is just as simple to solve ( usually ). In the history of the thousands of velux Apex lofts has fitted we've had 4 problems with leaks. 

One was due to very high winds on a loft in a 5 story mill building in Haworth. This should not have happened and i went back and fixed it on velux's say so under their warranty, ( i did stick the bottom flashing down just to make sure this time too ) 

Two and three were the same problem! leaves and moss! If you live near trees / in the country over the years moss and leaves will build up its a simple solution. Pivot the window get on a chair and have a look ( staying safe though ). All you have to do is make sure the rain water can run around the window freely. You might need a small trowel and a brush but a minutes work can prevent water damage and in one case ( not mine ) i saw a rotted window internally because of this.

Four is a rare and totally temporary but has happened and as there is a guide on veluxs website about this it must be heard of before. Its snow ! It must some how fall on the velux and i think as it melts some how run in. As with leaves "velux" advise to brush the snow off the window. I personally think it is so rare and so temporary i'd not worry. Ive fitted enough windows in bad conditions to know that on a roof sweeping snow from around your window when its -5 and slippey that its not only unfunny its not safe. 


I would say to all my clients if any of the above symtoms do occur by all means ring me and ill come and have a look and sort it but hope this little " loft maintance blog " might help sometime.

Ill add to this when i can.




 21 February, 2014

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