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A vortex is a circulating current of air generated by planes. It can sometimes strike and damage the roofs of houses located under a flight path. Pitched roofs with loose-laid tiles are prone to vortex damage.
Heathrow has a vortex protection scheme to protect and repair homes around the airport. If your home has been damaged by a vortex strike, we will repair it. Although legal liability for vortex damage rests with the airlines, Heathrow voluntarily funds this scheme as part of its commitment to the local community.
Every house, school, church or hospital affected by a vortex strike is eligible for the vortex protection scheme. This includes home situated above commercial properties. Unfortunately the scheme does not cover damage to other property, such as cars, from roof tiles dislodged by a vortex.
For all vortex queries please phone our help desk during office hours.
Heathrow operates a 24-hour emergency service. If you suspect that your house has been struck and you need an assessment of your home you should report the damage to us as soon as possible.
We will send out an assessor to inspect your roof as soon as possible. The damage caused by vortex strikes is very specific, and the assessor will quickly be able to confirm whether one has occurred. Please do not undertake any repairs before the inspection, as homes are only eligible for the scheme if the damage has been officially verified.
Once approved, Heathrow will carry out free, remedial repairs to your roof.
Our roofing contractor is Richardson Roofing Company Ltd. Richardson’s are fully accredited members of CHAS (Construction health & safety), SSIP, members of British Safety Council & National Federation of Roofing Contractors.
If your roof is repaired under the vortex protection scheme, your property is eligible for permanent protection. However, COVID-19 has, and continues to have, a devastating impact on Heathrow’s operations. In order to maintain a viable business, we will continue to have to reduce the airport’s operating costs. As a result, we have made the difficult decision to pause some of our schemes until 2022. This means that full roof repairs will be delayed until 2022 apart from those already in contract with us.
Because the majority of vortex strikes are concentrated in small areas near the end of runways, Heathrow offers blanket vortex protection for homes in these high-risk areas. However, this is currently on pause as we review our schemes in 2021.
Use of personal data
Heathrow is committed to protecting your personal information and we are legally obliged to use your information in line with all applicable laws concerning the protection of personal data. For details please see our privacy notice.
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