Checking the roof of an older property

Many older properties have issues with the roof as over time this is one area that deteriorates more than any other so if you own an older property it is important to keep the roof in good repair. Roofs that are left to deteriorate can be costly to repair so looking out for and repairing as quickly as possible broken tiles, damaged or missing flashing from under the tiles and investigating inside damp and mould on surfaces is advised.

Although it is difficult to examine a roof for damage one idea is to use a pair of binoculars to look at the roof from the ground. It may be necessary to ask a neighbour whether you could view the roof from their garden so that you can get a clearer view. The tiles that most often are damaged are the ridge and hip tiles as the cement that holds them in place deteriorates. It is usually quite easy to see if these tiles are missing.

Examining the underside of the roof is easier as it can usually be seen from the loft however if the property has loft insulation in place this may have to be pulled back to get a better view.

Checking your roof now could prevent leaks

Spring and summer are the best times of year to check on the roof of a property as the worst of the winter weather is usually over and if any repairs need to be carried out they can be done more easily. An inspection of the roof from the exterior is the first step but it is also important to look for signs of water ingress on the interior of the property too.

When water seeps into a building it can cause instant damage as well as lead to further and more expensive problems in the future such as damage to decoration, fungal decay, and long term issues with damp and so it is important to take measures to prevent water ingress as soon as possible.

Over time roofing materials deteriorate and can become damaged or worn. Guttering can become blocked or broken and rendering on external walls often cracks or is blown so it is vital to look out for the tell-tale signs of damp patches on ceilings and walls and act accordingly.

If you are unable to inspect the roof yourself then it is a sensible idea to get a professional roofer in to do this for you and advise you on any remedial work that needs to be conducted.

Is your guttering causing your problems?

Sometimes when we think we have a problem with our roof, it is actually that we have a problem with the guttering. The job of the guttering is to catch any water that is running down the roof and channel it off into the down pie that takes it to the drain. The problem occurs when either the guttering has come away from the roof, is damaged or is blocked. You may not notice that you have an issue with the guttering until you see water coming into your room or notice a damp patch. This is often caused by water running through a gap that has opened up between the guttering and the roof. Rather than being take down to the drain it instead spills over the side and ends up going down the wall.

Another common issue people have with guttering is that it can become clogged up. This usually happens because of moss or debris off the roof. Often you will find that roofs that have a lot of bird will usually have a lot of moss and this moss will become dislodges and go into the guttering. You usually notice this has occurred because you will see the water pouring over the side of the guttering in heavy periods of rain. You may be able to get up and clean it out yourself, if not some window cleaners are happy to do it for you.

Roof construction advantages and disadvantages

When deciding on the roof structure for either a new build or for an extension it is important to consider the advantages and disadvantages of each to see which is most suitable for your needs.

The pitch of the roof is particularly important, and regulations vary depending on the country your property is in as the pitch will need to be different dependent upon the weather and rainfall in that country. In the UK we experience a considerable amount of rain and so the roof needs to have a certain pitch to enable the rainwater to flow away adequately however in countries with little rainfall the pitch of the roof does not need to be as steep.

Many builders use flat roofs for extensions and single storey properties mainly because they are cheaper and easier to install however the life of a traditional felted flat roof is only about ten to fifteen years so it will need regularly replacing. A rubberised flat roof will have a much longer life and so would be a better alternative if a flat roof is to be used.

With the growing concern over global warming some people are choosing so called green roofs as an option. These roofs are planted with types of grass and even wildflowers and continually grow which does involve some regular maintenance work to be carried out, but it is an excellent way to provide habitats and food for insects.

Choosing the best roofing contractor

If you have an older property especially if it is a listed building and have issues with the roof it is vital that you choose a roofing contractor who is experienced in dealing with heritage roofs. This is not just for properties with thatched roofs but for those with tiled roofs too some of which may have handmade tiles on the roof.

A search on the internet for heritage roofing contractors will provide the names of companies who specialise in this type of roof restoration so you will be able to begin your research here. It is very important that you choose a reputable contractor for your roofing needs, but how can you be sure that your contractor is up to the job?

Reading reviews from previous customers is one way to find out whether the company is dependable and trustworthy. It may be that you can also talk to previous customers if that is appropriate.

There are national heritage roofing contractors’ registers that can be scrutinised to find a contractor in your area and these companies have usually been vetted and can be used with some confidence on your property as only roofing companies with suitably qualified operatives at the level of Roof Master, Craft Roofer or Craft Roofer Operative are listed on the National Heritage Roofing Contractors Register as heritage companies.