Weather can cause damage to roofs, and with roofs being a key part of keeping us warm and dry it’s important we look after them.
Here are some pointers on how to health check your roof, whilst the weather is good. Most of these can be carried out safely from the ground but for a more extensive inspection you would be advised to seek a professional trades person.
Roofs are exposed to the worst elements of the weather all year round and wear and tear will take place over your roofs lifetime, so make sure it’s checked from time to time or hire a professional through Checkatrade.
The 6 main areas to check when inspecting your roof are:
- Roof tiles
- Lead flashing
- Moss growth
- Inside inspections
Missing or Damaged Roof Tiles
Quite often roof tiles become loose, cracked or even break. The only way of inspecting the entire roof is to psychically go up onto the roof itself to obtain a full view. We wouldn’t recommend this for health and safety reason but you can find 1000’s of roofers all over the UK available on Checkatrade that comply with current health and safety legislation.
Specialist equipment is needed to carry out such inspection and this will include:
- Safety Harness
- Suitable shoes that grip well
- Safety rope usually a 700kg breaking strain
- And an extension ladder that is in excellent working order.
Lead flashing is used to seal tiles practically around areas that join together. If we take a moment to think of all the things that make up a roof, chimneys, skylights, and vents, these will all need to have some form of flashing. over time this flashing can get damaged and if you notice any cracks it’s best to replace these sections.
It is possible for flashing to move position over time, so checking it’s in the right position is also important.
One of the most common problems that people face is blocked gutters and if these persist over time it can cause serious damage. Water can build up and find its way running down external walls. If too much water finds its way down these walls, over time it will start to damage the foundations of your home. So making sure the gutters are connected properly and all the pipes are joining is important. Having the right depth gutter for the right pitched roof is also advisable. Many different materials are used to make gutters and these differ from cast iron, lead, zinc, galvanised steel, painted steel, copper, painted aluminium, PVC (and other plastics) and occasionally from concrete, stone, and wood. Professional roofers will have knowledge in how to maintain and repair these different types of gutters.
If you have noticed moss on your roof, you may think that it is not doing any damage, but the truth is it does, it can cause moisture damage to tiles. In most cases, after dry weather, you can brush moss off with a broom. However, it may have caused further damage so seeking advice from a professional is advisable.
Inside inspections are usually a visual inspection, looking around the inside of your loft and trying to spot signs that are unusual. Water rings/stains and dark patches of possible rot. If you see sunlight through your roof, it may be that your tiles have moved. Not all roofs have insulation, so it might be that you will be seeing the back of the tiles that make up your roof. It is advisable to have your roof insulated as it will retain heat in the house and hopefully help to keep energy bills low.
It’s important that your roof can circulate air and if your vents are blocked by leaves, moss or insulation it can cause moisture build up and condensation with will damage your roof from the inside. So check that the vents are clear and you then you shouldn’t experience any problems.
To find a recommended trades person for any job around your home – check them out before you call them out at checkatrade.com
By Diane Stafford – Consumer Marketing @Checkatrade