One of our most experienced roofing surveyors, Richard is an expert when it comes to discovering all there is to know about an existing roof and how best to refurbish it. In fact, he’ll have been with the company for 16 years this month!


Looking back in time somewhat, after completing his A Levels, Richard gained experience with a large kitchen supplier, and a window manufacturer before getting into the roofing industry – since then he’s never looked back.  

Richard Burke, Sarnafil Plus Roof Surveyor

As part of our trusted flagship refurbishment package, Sarnafil Plus, Richard helps to support clients and contractors to provide the best possible roofing solution.


We asked Richard to take us through his role here at Sarnafil, and what he gets up to on a typical day on the road.


I usually leave the house early as some of the sites I visit can be up to 200 miles away. A lot of my time is taken up travelling as I try and do one or two surveys each day, as well as meetings in between – I can clock up 200 to 250 miles, if not more. At times this can be challenging, but I keep entertained by flicking through radio stations – I’ll listen to anything from Radio 1 to Women’s Hour, but I can’t stand the Archers!


I arrive at my first survey at a school in Leeds, and get up on the roof with the contractor, where I get to work appraising the current state of the roof and collecting all the information I need to advise on a specification. From drainage calculations to core samples, I use many methods to ensure we get the full picture for the client. One such technique is thermal imaging – this clever technology is a tremendously powerful and effective way of finding flat roof leaks. It allows me to identify the location of water within the roof, and work out the exact cause of the leak itself, without damaging the roof further.


My work benefits contractors, as it provides them with a good level of information to be able to quote for the refurbishment job easily and competitively, and with as much confidence as is possible. Coupled with our comprehensive Sarnafil Plus guarantee, this means clients can be assured of the high standard of workmanship and quality of the Sarnafil product, giving them complete peace of mind.


Lunch time! I tend to stop off at a service station and grab a sandwich, taking the chance to check a few emails and make some phone calls.  


As I’m going into a meeting to introduce our Sarnafil Plus package to a potential client, I get a call from a roofing contractor asking for advice on an aspect of a live project they’re working on. This is a frequent element of my day, as I act as main point of contact during and after refurbishment projects. I will liaise between client, main contractor (where applicable), roofing contractor, Sarnafil partner product manufacturers, not to mention our Technical and Applications departments. It’s a full time job in itself!


I arrive at my second survey and the weather has taken an unexpected turn for the worse. This is definitely one of the most challenging aspects of the job! The unpredictability of the British weather is not always good for completing my on-site tasks such as core samples and roof plans. Good organisation and planning are essential, but really the key is to be flexible and to respond to changing circumstances when you are presented with them. My main goal is to get clients the information they need in a timely manner, so I will often brave the elements, when it is safe to do so. I have three coats and four fleeces in the boot of my car at all times!    


Luckily, as far as predicting the weather goes, technology has developed over the years, and we are constantly looking to improve on the systems we use. There are some interesting developments in Apps for on-site use, hopefully not too far away.


I take a moment to get on the laptop and start to draw up a specification and some detail drawings that I’ve discussed with a roofing contractor. Then it’s time to get on the road again and head home. A long day, but certainly a rewarding one. The varied nature of my role and seeing the transformation of a roof through a refurbishment is what I love about my job. Every roof is unique – it is my role to eliminate the risk for our clients.

More Information

If you would like to find out more about Sarnafil Plus, click here or call 01707 394444