Learning to identify some of the common, tell-tale warning signs is really important, as spotting a problem early can help save you a fortune in the long-run. We’ve come up with a list of our top tips on what you need to look out for.
Outdoor and indoor roof inspections are essential. When it comes to outdoors, aim to look for things like slipped and cracked tiles, or inside, cracks and splits around the edges of flat roofs, as these are often the cause of leaks and damp getting into your home. If a tile has blown off or been dislodged, it’s important to get it replaced quickly to prevent water getting into the felt. After periods of heavy wind and rain, check flat roofs for sagging as the water can build up and cause the boards to break under the weight.
When carrying out an indoor inspection, look for things like damp marks, peeling paint, bubbles and brown, yellow and grey staining on walls and ceilings as these can be tell-tale signals of a leaking roof. Also, make sure you carry out a quick investigation of the attic as this can point out problems with ventilation, damaged wood, and past and present leaks.
Flashing is a material that is used to seal and protect joints from water. It is mainly used in the cross-sections around chimneys, skylights etc. Although it is commonly used in roofing to protect from water damage, it is also a major cause of problems because the material expands and contracts due to changes in the weather. Flashings might be the main cause of leaks, but are very easily repaired and often don’t cost much to do. However, make sure you always leave it to a professional.
Snow and ice refreezes on the edge roofs where the surface is cooler. This forms what is known as an “Ice Dam,” and it prevents melting snow from draining. The water then backs up into the roof and can leak into the home. Guttering is used to ensure that water is diverted away from the house safely and without guttering being maintained it can cause problems to both inside and outside the home. By keeping gutters clear and maintained it stops water running down the sides of the building and eroding the surface, and stops damage to roofing and building structure.
When trees and bushes grow too close to homes they can cause all sorts of issues, with moss and algae growing on the roof’s surface, causing it to rot and deteriorate due to the excess moisture. Tree branches near roofs can scratch roofing materials when blown in the wind. Meanwhile, branches can puncture roofing materials and leaves can block guttering, causing the roofing system to rot due to excess moisture.
One of the key ways to prolong the life and durability of a roof system is to ensure it has proper ventilation. Without ventilation, heat and moisture can build up in the attic area and cause the rafters to rot and the shingles to buckle. Lack of ventilation can cause insulation to lose its effectiveness. Proper ventilation can help prevent damage to structure problems created by moisture, it also helps keep energy consumption low, especially during winter months and helps the roofing system last longer.
Remember safety should always be your number one priority when working at a height and you should never attempt to get up on the roof alone. If you plan on carrying out tasks such as cleaning the roof gutters, ensure there is always another person there in order to avoid any accidents, or better yet – call in a trained professional.
If you do suspect you have roof problems, please don’t fret! Give us a call on 01484 72 33 44 for some free, friendly and helpful advice or to see how we can help. If it’s an emergency and you need assistance fast, our emergency call out service means an expert will be with you ASAP!