Roof maintenance, what to look out for this summer.
During the winter months checking the condition of your roof may be the last thing on your mind when you finish work. But during the summer months, we spend more time completing DIY tasks and generally spending more time outdoors. Here’s where it may pay to have 10 minutes looking up at your roof, we’ll give you some quick pointers to spot common problems. If you’re still unsure just give us a quick call or book a site survey here.
How often should I check my roof?
While checking your roof might not be at the front of your mind, your roof is essential to keeping water out of your home. It may also save you hundreds in larger costly repairs when not caught soon enough. We recommend that you have a quick glance at the roof at least once a month. In this time you will generally be able to notice if anything has changed up there. The best form of inspection for a non-professional is comparison. If you’re still unsure of what to look for it may e best to seek the advice of a professional that can give you a qualified opinion.
What should I look for?
If you’re checking the roof regularly then you should be able to notice any changes when they happen. It’s also a good idea to check the roof over when you have experienced adverse weather conditions. Obvious problems on your roof could be visibly cracked/broken or dislodged slates and tiles, growth of moss generally on the north side where it stays damp and wet due to having less sunlight, during the summer months birds may nest in the roofline where they may be gaps. Birds nesting can be complicated as the law states that any active nests should not be disturbed until the young have flown. If you have birds nesting and would like to take action you must instruct a reputable contractor to take action outside of the nesting season. The nesting season generally runs from 1st March until 31st July. Where nests are closed it may be a requirement to set up a new nesting location.
What should I do if something is wrong?
Calling a reputable roofing contractor is the appropriate step when you find a problem with your roof. Fixing any roof problem as soon as it is noticed will reduce the damage that may cause internally. It’s important to choose a contractor that is reputable, accredited and insured. Receiving a detailed quotation no matter how small the works are will help you make an informed decision on the course of action you need to take. While repairs and maintenance are smaller jobs health and safety should be considered when hiring a contractor. Ask with your quotation what steps they take to ensure the safe repair of the roof. If the cause of the accident is due to the homeowner’s negligence that you could have prevented due to knowing the danger existed, then you may also be liable.
Figure 1. Flat roof covering and deck covering beyond repair due to moss and poor maintenance
How do I know if my gutter needs cleaning?
Unless the water is overflowing from the guttering, downpipes or leaking on a joint, nobody can be sure as to how blocked your guttering may be. If you have any of these issues then you should be looking to have the gutter cleared immediately as water blockages in a gutter can cause damp on the outer walls of your property. Where a property is located near trees or north-facing you should be looking to have your gutters cleared yearly after the autumn fall. In general, it is good practice to have the guttering checked yearly for blockages which may lead to costly repairs if problems are not found early.
using all of the above information you should be able to spot any issues with your roof and roofline early. However, it’s also a good idea to have it inspected by a professional.
- Visually check the roof monthly from the ground to spot any changes
- Note any birds nesting and have it inspected by a professional, remembering you cannot disturb a nest until the young have flow, this is law
- Have your guttering checked for blockages yearly
- If hiring a roofer to complete smaller works ensure they are still complying with health and safety
- When unsure, seek the help of a professional. Finding a problem early will protect the internals of your house saving you hundreds