Tenements otherwise known as multiple occupied buildings make up a large percentage of the housing stock in Edinburgh and Glasgow. They were originally built for the working class flocking to the newly industrialised cities in the 19th and early 20th centuries.
Edinburgh’s tenements are the oldest though some built in the 17th century where they reached 15 storeys high making them amongst the most tallest dwellings in the world at the time.
These magnificent buildings have contributed to Edinburgh holding status as a world heritage site, however!
Edinburgh is in danger of losing its world heritage status due to the lack of maintenance being carried out in the capital.
Edinburgh World Heritage in an article on the bbc website warned the Edinburgh’s World Heritage status is under threat due to the state of some of its iconic historical buildings.
A survey was carried out on 202 buildngs in the centre of the city.
It found 72% (147 buildings) were in need of some sort of repair and most were privately owned tenements.
Issues included things like rotten window frames, gutters block by vegetation and leaves and damaged stonework.
Edinburgh World Heritage said lack of attention to basic building maintenance and “complacency” were putting the city’s Unesco status at risk.
It mentioned poorly maintained buildings were as much of a threat as inappropriate new developments.
The old and new town in the city are amongst six world heritage sites in Scotland and have held Unesco status since 1995.
Adam Wilkinson, director of Edinburgh World Heritage, said: “We often think of inappropriate new development as the major threat to our World Heritage site – but the complacency that leads to poor building maintenance is an equal threat.
“Edinburgh World Heritage stands ready to provide advice and grants to support residents and businesses so that we pass on our beautiful old buildings to the next generation in the best possible condition.”
Gordon MacDonald, MSP for Edinburgh Pentlands, added: “Everyone has a role to play here in ensuring that our own buildings – the places where we live and work, are wind and water tight and properly maintained.
“This is crucial work for the long-term conservation of our World Heritage Site here in Edinburgh – and can play an important role in reducing unsustainable energy use, which is good for everyone.”
Cllr Ian Perry, planning convener at Edinburgh City Council, said: “Our World Heritage Site is of crucial importance to the future vision and development of the city.
“Last month, we published feedback from a consultation on residents’ views to be considered for a new Management Plan for the World Heritage Site, which is expected to launch next year.
“Care and maintenance of streets and buildings was one of the issues raised and the comments received will help us to make improvements going forward, along with our partners Edinburgh World Heritage and Historic Environment Scotland, in managing the site.”
He added: “We would agree that owners need to take full responsibility for their buildings throughout the city. Where this fails, we are currently developing a new service, Edinburgh Shared Repairs Service, to help those living in tenement blocks to get together with their neighbours to carry out necessary maintenance and repairs.
“Our property sub-committee has also tasked officers to consult with stakeholders to get views on the current legislation on this area. This would then also allow us to approach the Scottish government, if felt appropriate, to recommend new or amended legislation.”
If you look about the streets of Edinburgh, you can see gutters overflowing with vegetation, bushes growing from downpipes and there was even a fatality some years ago due to falling masonry that a judge at the inquiry blamed on poor maintenance.
Dealing with many tenement home owners and landlords in Edinburgh over the years, Stuart Hill Roofing Services knows how hard it is to get in touch with everyone in the close and to get them all to agree to have roof maintenance carried out.
Edinburgh city council has kindly provided information on how to go about arranging to get tenement roof repairs carried out and you can find that information here.
Edinburgh is a beautiful city with tourists flocking in the millions to come and sample in the delight of its architecture and the tenement dwellers need to step up to the plate to keep the city not only beautiful but safe.
If you are looking for a professional roofing company to carry out tenement roof repairs in Edinburgh then Stuart Hill Roofing Services should be your first port of call.
Using rope access as an affordable option as opposed to scaffolding, Stuart Hill Roofing Services can carry out all tenement roof repairs in a safe and efficient manner.
In addition to working with tenement owners, Stuart Hill Roofing Services offer our expertise to local authorities and housing associations as roofing specialists for all their roofing needs, from replacing slates and tiles to rendering and repointing chimneys in Edinburgh, Midlothian and East Lothian.
Working on The Edinburgh tenement roofs is a job we love and it is gives us great satisfaction in keeping these buildings maintained, however, we are aware that working on old buildings at heights come with certain a degree of risk. As specialist roofers, we maintain extremely high standards when it comes to health and safety, especially when at high-risk jobs like tenements, these properties are not only ancient but taller than traditional properties making the risk greater.
Correct equipment is always used when maintaining and repairing tenements to minimise the risk of falling such as rope access with the aim to be on the roof for the minimum amount of time while still ensuring the highest standard of work completed.
Edinburgh coverage are for tenement roof repairs
Abbeyhill, Balerno, Barnton, Bonnyrigg, Brunstfield, Colinton, Corstorphine, Craglockhart, Craigmillar, Crammond, Dalkeith, Dalry, Duddingston, Fairmilehead, Gilmerton, Gorebridge, Granton, Haymerket, Liberton, Leith, Liberton, Loanhead, Mayfield, Marchmont, Morningside, Musselburgh, Newcraighall, Newington, Newtongrange, Old Town, Penicuik, Polwarth, Portobello, Roslin, South Gyle, South side, Stockbridge, Tollcross, Trinity