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3 Peaks, 23 Miles, 3064 metres, 24 hours and a whole lot of Red Bull.

3 Peaks, 23 Miles, 3064 metres, 24 hours and a whole lot of Red Bull.

Taking a weekend off roofing duties; myself, Louis, Jack, Laurence and Jordi embarked on a national challenge climbing the three highest peaks of Scotland, England and Wales, something we quickly realised was no easy feat.

The aim of this challenge was to raise money for the charity Scotty’s Little Soldiers, a charity that supports children that have lost a family member in battle. We successfully met target our target of £400 three days before setting off, meaning our goal turned to raising enough money as we could (as well as getting home in time for work on Monday!).

Was I prepared for this challenge? No. Would I do it again? Probs not, I like my sleep. Was it worth it? Absolutely.

Ben Nevis, Scotland:

4:30 AM start and a 8 hour drive to Ben Nevis was a bit of a shock to the system, and it wasn’t long until we encountered our first hurdle, 3 hours of M6 carpark traffic. 11 hours later we arrived, ready and rearing (if not slightly full from too many food stops) to start our climb.

The weather was kind to us at first, providing us with a great opportunity to get going across the shallow creek fields that led to the mountain path. An hour and a half later we reached the valley crossing and felt great! The endorphins of this little evening uphill walk were really hitting, and the fear of exhaustion we’d feel at the end of the trip had disappeared, replaced instead with a great sense of pride at the progress we’d already made. The stunning greenery came to an end here and as did our misguided optimism. Greenery was replaced with stony paths surrounded either side by rocks paved the way for the rest of the ascent. This was followed by a helpful passerby claiming that we weren’t even half way up yet, great. The 4 am start had begun to hit us and the mental exhaustion began to set in already.

After a short break to kick us out of our slump, we continued our climb with the assumption that once we reach the top it will be the confidence boost we need to complete the rest of the challenge. Every corner turned we felt (or rather hoped in my case) that we were close to the top, however each corner simply presented us with a greater slope to climb…until finally we saw it, the brow of the seemingly never-ending hill. Or so we thought. It turns out our excitement at reaching the top of the mountain was stalled as we failed to see the further stretch that would take us another 45 minutes to navigate. The barren and rocky peak was a much welcomed sight, providing us with some spectacular views of the Scottish highland. I may have spent years travelling across various parts world but weirdly, had never been to Scotland so this provided me with a great opportunity to tick Scottish sightseeing off the list…from 1345metres.

Somewhat unsurprisingly, the descent was a down sight faster than the climb and we caught up on precious time that was used up trying to get that perfect summit picture for our instagrams. We arrived back at the car to wake up our sleeping driver Jordi and set off for Scafell Pike.

Time: 4.5 hours
Metres Climbed: 1345
Mood: Apprehensive of what’s to come. That was harder than expected.
Blisters: 2
Red Bulls consumed: 2 (Jordi)

Scafell Pike, England:

It really does pay taking a driver with you, thanks to our speedy driver Jordi we managed to arrive at the Lake District in just over 5 hours. It was on the drive that we encountered our next hurdle: sleep. We had planned to use this drive to get some much needed shut eye to keep us going for the climb ahead, however that is easier said than done and only one of us actually managed a sustainable level of sleep.

A 3am start this time with waterproofs on and torches out and we were ready to go. Although the smallest peak, we had been told enough times that this was the hardest climb of the lot and our sleep deprived bodies were not filled with heaps of confidence. We marched on in the dark regardless. Unable to see more than a few metres in front of us we took it, quite literally, one step at a time. With a steeper and rockier terrain than Ben Nevis, coupled with a fresh spray of rain, the path was slippy underfoot, meaning that more precious time was added on to this climb. An hour and a half later, the sun began to rise and we were able to truly appreciate the beauty that this mountain and its surrounding landscape had to offer. Surrounded by the magnificent rolling hills of the Lake District, the mountain path ran through a valley, providing us with an amazing view of England’s deepest lake, Wast water. From here we were able to catch a glimpse of the top of the mountain, mostly hidden by a thick blanket of cloud.

We were informed by a helpful passerby this time that the peak was ‘not far away’ and trust me, after plugging on for all this time, there was nothing else we needed to hear. The mountain fast became more technical, with a steeper and more shallow incline into the clouds and we were shortly greeted with the best view of them all: the summit (an excuse to sit down and have a biscuit, or a whole bar of Cadburys…). Signalling we had reached half way through the challenge, there was no better feeling than realising we were an hour ahead of schedule. After a short break and taking time to take those all important summit group shots, we headed downhill.

The descent may not have been filled with the same degree of optimism as we displayed previously as knee pains and blisters were starting to take their toll. We returned to find a sleeping Jordi (again) ready for our drive to the final leg of the challenge.

Time: 3.75 hours
Metres Climbed: 970
Mood: Tired but happy with the second peak time
Blisters: 11
Red Bulls consumed: 2 (according to Jordi but we saw about 6 empty cans)

Snowden, Wales:

After an unforgiving 4 hour drive to Snowdon, we arrived at the final leg of the challenge, again with next to no sleep. In fact it would be greatly generous to say that and Louis I managed even an hour of sleep, blaming poor choice of car seats as the culprit (and not the copious amounts of caffeine consumed…).

Blisters plastered, boots on and waterproofed up, at 12:15 we attempted to put sleep on the back burner and set off for one last climb. Plagued with heavy showers and a miserable outlook, our grey moods were reflected in the weather.

The climb began with a series of rocky steps, requiring us to utilise our somewhat limited climbing abilities. The terrain then began to even out and a low incline path up the mountain came to view, with lakes on the left and the mountain on the right, we thought we were in for an easy ride. Sadly, this brief moment of relief was short lived as the steps soon returned.

Within the first minute we were greeted with the sight of a mountain rescue helicopter circling the area and then subsequently airlifting a poor victim to hospital, filling us with an immediate sense of dread. We promptly discovered that the injury wasn’t too serious, but it was still a reminder of the potential of danger. Our pace was slowed further thanks to the bottleneck of climbers that now appeared, creating a queue to the top as the path was only broad enough for single direction traffic.

The final 40 minutes of the climb up snowdon were by far the hardest of the entire challenge as weather conditions grew harsher, we were certainly not prepared for this. We opted for the fastest but perhaps the most technical route and put our heads down to complete the challenge on time. The sound of a train gliding over tracks up ahead signalled that the peak was near, after a few more (very painful) steps walking alongside the track, we reached our final great peak. Whilst we all wanted to celebrate, the wind had other ideas and so we took one last brief summit picture and headed back down before our time ran out.

With Lawrence hardly able to bend his leg, the phrase two steps forward, one step back came to mind as he completed the majority of the descent walking backwards. This, combined with the vast numbers of people slowed us down significantly, making the prospect of getting home in 22.5 hours become more of a vague dream than a reality. However the entertaining sight of Lawrence attempting to navigate the mountain backwards sparked enough morale in Jack, Louis and I to carry on down in relatively high spirits and as a team completed the challenge in 23 hours, 32 minutes.

Reliable as ever, Jordi was waiting at the bottom, red bull in hand, to congratulate us. A special mention needs to go to our driver, whilst not taking part in the climb itself, he had an equally challenging task, driving us round the UK in 24 hours and staying awake for the best part of it. It may not have been the wildest of road trips (if you know me after bad weather and no sleep, you know) but we certainly couldn’t have done it without him. The final car journey journey was filled with a great deal of relief however that was momentarily overshadowed by the moans and groans of cramps coming from the back. This was nothing a little trip to KFC couldn’t fix though and we arrived back at Andy Lee’s yard, 40 hours and 1200 miles of driving later.


Time: 4.5 hours
Metres Climbed: 1085
Mood: A mixture of exhausted and elated but tbh more focussed on our highly anticipated KFC
Blisters: 22
Red Bulls consumed: No full cans left but I’m sure Jordi bought 10 with him (he claims they help him sleep)

Needless to say, my legs couldn’t make it to work on Monday.

As one of the most mentally and physically exhausting challenges I have ever put myself through, the amount of money raised made everything worth it, so we would all like to say a massive thank you to all those who donated, so far we have managed to raise over £900! A massive thanks goes to Andy Lee Transport for the generous donation of fuel money and a car to complete the journey, without which we would have struggled greatly.

There’s still time to donate, just click here

Common Roofing Questions Answered

Your 6 most common roofing questions answered:

How much will my repair cost?

No matter what the circumstance, it always comes back to how much of your hard earned money it’s going to take to ensure that your roof is in optimal condition and your home is protected from the elements. Everyone’s home is different and prices vary due to location, size of the repair and the materials used. The best way to find out the cost of a repair is to give us a call on 07971 002410 and we will aim to get to you within the week and can offer you a free quote on the day, offering the best quality materials and customer service. It must be noted that without a good quality, well installed roof your building with be susceptible to damp and rot may occur from the top down. Structural joists and beams will be in the line of fire, as well as ceilings and electrics, it really does pay to have a quality roof!

How long can I expect my roof to last?

As to be expected, there are many factors that can prolong or shorten the life of your roof, but in general, a brand new roof can be expected to withstand around 20 years of weathering, with flat roofs naturally lasting less time as water doesn’t run off them as fast. However, a well installed GRP Fibreglass roof installed with top materials can be expected to last upwards of 20 years. There are also elements that affect this lifespan, for instance if you live in an area that experiences weather conditions such as heavy snowfall regularly, your roof may last shorter than is standard. Roofs that are regularly inspected and maintained should last longest and your home will stay protected from the elements for longer.

How long will it take to install a new roof?

When your roof begins to leak, it’s not something you can put off until next year, you need it fixed quickly.Trust us when we say it pays to have a good roof! You may also be unsure of what a repair is needed, whether it’s an easy repair or maybe you’ve reached the end of your current roof’s lifespan and its time for a new roof, rest assured the process is more simple than you may think.

Should a new roof be installed in winter?

There are certainly more advantageous times of year to install a new roof or commission a repair, autumnal and spring showers may cause delays in the work that needs doing as roofers are often unable to work in the rain. Also, GRP Fibreglass needs bone dry conditions with little moisture in the air to allow the resin to cure properly. However, as roofers in England we are experienced at working in harsher climates, meaning that all jobs are feasible in the winter. If its not an urgent repair you need, plan it carefully and book in a job well before the summer to ensure you can be fit in.

Should I install a completely new roof or continue repairing the existing one?

 You may have heard that you can continue replacing tiles or slates on your roof for years instead of installing a new roof, however there are times when a new roof is preferable. Constantly replacing materials won’t always stop your ceiling from leaking and internal damage may occur, meaning that its time to call out the professionals so that they can keep your interiors dry. Additionally, if your tiles or slates continue to slip, they will need refastening or it could be dangerous for those walking directly underneath. This doesn’t necessarily require an entire new roof but it is worth getting an expert out to identify the looser tiles in order to keep your home secure.

What materials should I use?

When considering what materials to use, there are a few elements to consider, for example planning permission and budget. For pitched roofs, the most common materials to use are slate or tiles. Slate can either come in natural form or man made, with the latter usually working out cheaper. When it comes to tiles, the two most common options are clay or concrete with concrete costing considerably less. The more expensive options will usually be more aesthetically pleasing and they are often longer lasting, however they are not always necessary concrete tiles and cement fibre slates will be more than adequate for the vast majority of roofs. They each come in a range of sizes and even colours.

On flat roofs there are a range of options including lead, GRP fibreglass, Rubber and more traditional felt. For more information please see our solutions page, https://www.sacklynroofing.co.uk/roofing-solutions

The team at Sacklyn roofing are experienced and professionally trained workers who will do their best to fix all your roof-related problems in the shortest time possible. We provide a high quality service that ensures that your roof will withstand 20+ years of weathering. For more information visit our main site www.sacklynroofing.co.uk or read our recent blog posts. Alternatively feel free to email us at keith@sacklynroofing.co.uk or call us on 07971 002410.

Bats on the Job

Bats are a protected species in the UK and so if you suspect that you have bats in your roof, it is essential that you take the necessary precautions before commencing construction work of any form, such as simple roof repairs.

Originally, bats would roost in wooded areas and caves, however, as these have become more scarce, species have adapted to roost in homes, old and new, hibernating throughout the winter.

Lesser Horse Shoe Bat:

These virtually harmless animals can go largely unnoticed as their droppings tend to be odour free and dissolve quickly and they wont bring dead prey inside their roosts (unlike our feline friends!). Your wooden rafters and insulation will be kept in tact and females only give birth once a year, meaning that an infestation is not on the cards.

We suggest that if you suspect you have bats living in your roof, you should contact a local conservation agency before starting any construction work. Additionally, it should be noted that the handling of bats and the disturbing of their roosts is forbidden and can be seen as breaking the law, however as well respected and experienced roofers, we are able to work around these magnificent creatures with advice from local agencies in order to produce some fantastic results.

Below are some pictures of a detailed slate roof on a late 2018 project on a country manor’s coach house in Gloucestershire. Here, we worked around the bats to produce a result that we are exceptionally proud of. The architect specified that the work carried out matched the original build to the finest detail. The aim of this project was to restore the roof to its former glory whilst retaining the loft space as one of the most important maternity roosts for the Lesser Horse Shoe bat in the UK with the help of licensed bat workers.

To fit the original coach house we used smaller than usual slates at 400mm x 225mm (although there are over 35 recognized slate sizes used within the UK). The preferred slate sizes stocked by the majority of UK merchants would be 600mm X 300mm, AKA 24 x 12” and 500mm x 250mm, AKA 20 x 10”.

We also matched the original mitered hips using a hidden gutter to drain away any rainwater.The hip ends were formed out of the original slate that we were salvage whilst stripping the old roof.

The two large front and rear faces were reinstated with newly sourced slates, which were matched as closely as possible to the original.

 

 

In order to make the roof as authentic as possible, we replicated the original diamond pattern with the two contrasting slates. Another part of the restoration, through following advice from the licenses bat experts, we were able to reinstall the original hoppers with new lead so that bats use could use them to travel in and out of the loft. The original lead finials (details at each end of the ridge) were similarly restored and reused to keep the character and heritage of the building alive. All new lead (soakers and back gutters) was fitted to the chimneys. Two conservation roof lights were added to the rear face to increase the amount of natural light inside. Old slater’s under felt was used as opposed to a more modern breather membrane; this is for the benefit of the bats as they can hang from the old felt with no trouble. It’s said that more modern felt is manufactured differently so that when the bats hang on it they actually get caught up in the fibers and they cannot escape once caught.

As of spring 2019, the bats have been returning to the roost and they now have a safe space to thrive for the foreseeable future. Only recognized bat professionals came into contact with and handled the bats in the roof. See our gallery for more pictures

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Slow internet? Here’s how to speed up your Wi-Fi.

Gloucestershire, home of the slowest broadband in the UK

Are you aware that Gloucestershire is officially home to the slowest internet speeds in the UK? www.bbc.co.uk/news/amp/technology-46528345. If you are struggling with slow and inconsistent internet speeds, then you are not alone. If you are fed up of waiting for the ever promised fibre optic internet to arrive in your area maybe its time to explore alternative options that provide faster Wi-Fi connection, something fibre optic cannot promise.

We have unlocked the key to faster and more reliable internet available to everyone. We are now providing a unique service providing free speed testing and friendly advice on contracts to choose, followed by a speedy 4G installation, helping to bypass your internet troubles with a broadband alternative that could be faster and more reliable than your landline connection. Additionally, if you would like the process to be even more hassle free, we can offer on going technical support.

To unlock faster internet in your home or office, please contact us for pricing, more information and free testing

 

Slate Roof Hip Alternatives

Mitered Slate Hips

Here’s a few pictures from a 2018 project on an industrial unit roof in Gloucestershire.

The product used was a textured cement fibre slate. A good alternative to natural slate, especially with the textured finish.

Other roofing materials used during this installation were a high quality roofing felt and a treated 25x50mm roofing batten.

The four hips of the roof are joint with a mitered effect in the cement fibre slate, creating an almost seem less join between all four faces of the roof. An alternative method of hip would be to use hip tiles made out of other materials such as clay or concrete.

The ridge was capped with a piece of code 5 lead, thick and durable.

Feel free to contact us with any of your roofing needs!

Code 5 lead cap

Mitered hip

Mitered hip

Mitered hip