Looking after your roof

Taking good care of our roofs is one of the most important yet most neglected responsibilities of owning a home. It protects us from all types of severe weather. Everyday exposure to these elements, without maintenance, ages the roof until it is no longer able to do its job.

According to a survey conducted by consumer advice website Roofapedia, 86 per cent of UK homeowners neglect to periodically inspect their roofs for damage. Just over 3 per cent of homeowners checked their roof once a month while over 40 per cent admit to never checking their roof at all.

A bit of maintenance every now and then will help add value to your property and keep your roof intact, so here’s some advice for homeowners, buyers or sellers of homes and landlords on how to look after your roof.

**How often should I inspect my roof?
**The main reason homeowners check their roofs tends to be as a direct response to problems such as a leak, or a slipped tile or if the property begins to show signs of damp or mould. According to a Roofapedia survey only 14 per cent of homeowners inspect their roofs more than once a year, but it is a good idea to inspect the inside of your roof at least once annually to check that it’s still weather proof and in good condition in order to avoid an unwelcome bill if it requires maintenance. It would also be wise to repeat check in different weather conditions, for example a check after heavy rain weather will reveal any water ingress. Another check in the winter will reveal any condensation within the roof’s structure.

Nick Oldridge, spokesperson for Roofapedia said,
“The Roofapedia.com survey highlights that Britons are clearly ignoring their roofs until problems arise which usually makes the remedy a lot more expensive. If homeowners simply inspected their roofs more regularly, they would be in a position to act on small roofing issues to prevent any large-scale problems and expensive repairs, whilst also helping to maintain the value of their property.”

Maintenance – Taking care of your roof
There are a few things to remember when taking care of your roof.

When inspecting the outside of your roof, it is easy to inspect your roof from ground level using binoculars. If there are areas you cannot see it may be necessary to use a ladder. Make sure care is taken to ensure the ladders are safe and secure.

Make sure you look out for tile debris on the ground or in gutters when inspecting your roof.

A few handy tips for you to remember:

  • Look for tiles that look crooked or discoloured. A loose tile will usually slip down exposing an unweathered surface that is a different colour to the adjacent tiles.
  • Ensure you clean your gutters and valleys. Remove any leaves, twigs, moss and debris from gutters and downpipes. This should be done twice a year in order for the roof to efficiently carry water away into the gutter system and away from your home. Clearing your valleys is a job best done by a contractor.
  • If your ridge line dips up and down then it may be a sign that your roof is ageing and is in need of repair. Look out for signs of general roof slope towards the centre, or look for the telltale ‘zig-zag’ pattern of roof tiles or slates not sitting correctly.

When inspecting your roof it is useful to remember a roof leak will not always be visible from the outside but clearly the most obvious sign of a problem will be a damp patch appearing on a ceiling or wall on the inside, in the living space. However, a problem may not always be this obvious, so it pays to inspect the loft periodically.

It is quite common for a homeowner to discover that their roof leak does not actually come from water getting into the roof but instead from condensation created within the home.
In any case if a problem is suspected or should occur then you should contact a contractor immediately.

**The right tools for the job.
**One of the most important things to remember when encountering a problem of any kind on your roof is that the best person for the job is a roofing professional. Even if you’re confident with the contractor you have hired, for peace of mind it is always wise to know the things you will need to look out for.

Check your roof for the following:

  • Check where the leak is coming from
  • Check outside the whole of your roof with a pair of binoculars, not just where you think the leak is.
  • If you do spot something FIND A CONTRACTOR. You can do this by visiting roofapedia.com or the NFRC website.

There can always be a number of different causes of a leak in your roof, but all of them can be resolved efficiently and quickly by a qualified contractor.

In order to choose the right contractor for the job, we advise you to look for these three things:

  • Quality Workmanship
  • High Standards
  • Expertise & Knowledge

It is important to not automatically take the cheaper option when looking for the right contractor. Invite quotes from three different contractors and base your choice on the quality of advice given, your confidence in the contractor and what they provide for evidence of competence.

If you do happen to encounter a problem with your roof, it is very important that you ask your contractor as many questions as possible. Make sure you fully understand what is wrong with the roof, how it can be fixed and what future maintenance will be needed in the future.

For further information visit www.roofapedia.com or the NFRC website if searching for a contractor.

This guest blog post was written by www.roofapedia.com