If there is one part of the home that can strike fear into its owners with just the mention of its name, it’s the roof! Leaving the uppermost part of our property untended is a mistake well worth avoiding.
You should check your roof twice a year, with before and after winter being the optimal time to do so. Checking your roof in autumn and spring will allow you to get things sorted before the bad weather begins and then see if the colder months have wreaked havoc on your house.
The key is to check your roof regularly and act immediately, the best way to avoid a big roof problem is to catch it when it’s small – regular roof inspections will alert you to any little issues that may be starting. Remember, the whole point of performing regular roof inspections is to catch problems early, to get things fixed as soon as possible, so they don’t lead to bigger problems.
Top tips for good roof maintenance:
- Clean your gutters – keep your gutters clear, this will allow them to serve their purpose properly, which is to get water away from your property as quickly as possible. Gutters can become blocked incredibly quickly, especially around the autumnal months, so make sure you check them at least once every six months.
- Away with any roof debris – this is mainly for those who have flat roofs on part of their property, but it can apply to pitched roofs as well. Just as debris will gather in your gutters, it can also find a home on your roof if you let it. A build-up of roof debris can be potentially harmful to your roof; even a small pile of leaves can cause huge problems if left unattended, so get them cleared away.
- Keep those trees trimmed – as well as leaves, trees can cause all sorts of problems for your roof if you allow them to get too close. Not only will they drop their leaves directly onto your roof and into the guttering, but they could also damage the roof itself during high winds and storms. Branches and limbs can become dislodged from the main body of the tree or simply lift a tile from its fixings, so be sure to keep any nearby trees well back from your property.
- Don’t let moss be the boss – although a little bit of moss may look harmless enough, it can actually cause major roof problems. Large patches of moss can hold a surprising amount of water and over time can rot roofing materials and even cause roof tiles to crack or become dislodged, especially in colder months when the water can freeze and then thaw. If you spot any moss or algae growing on your roof it is best to get rid of it as soon as possible.
- Keep a close eye on your roof covering – look out for any missing or damaged covering and/or roof sealant. Simply cleaning the roof covering and keeping it free of dirt can also reduce the risk of algae, moss, fungal and lichen growth that can compromise your roof’s integrity. If you notice that some of the covering on your roof is worn, damaged or missing, it’s good to act fast. Roof covering damage is part of normal roof wear, and the slates or tiles alone are simple and cheap to replace.
- Replace sealant – inspect every area of the roof where there is sealant and identify any signs of cracking or wear and tear. If present, you will need to remove the old roof sealant completely and apply new sealant in each area.
- Inspect for rust – if you constructed your roof using any metallic parts, then you need to check regularly that there is no corrosion/rust on the metal roof parts. If you notice rust developing, it’s important to wire-brush to remove the rust, prime and finally paint the affected areas of the roof metal to retain and keep them healthy for longer.
- Maintain your chimney – if you notice cracked or missing mortar on/ in your chimney, ensure you replace this as soon as possible. This is a critical part of roof maintenance since the mortar holds the chimney bricks in place and if they fall out it could cause damage to your roof.
- Prevent ice dam formation – ice dams may be pretty to look at but they spell doom for your roof as they build-up, and repairing roof damage from ice dams is costly and intensive. Ensure you take steps to keep your roof cool and at the same temperature as the external environment. This will keep snow closest to the roof from melting into water, and freezing onto the colder parts of your roof.
- Insulation – it is always a good idea to check the underside of your roof wherever possible. Access your attic or loft and look around for any obvious signs of penetration, such as watermarks, mould forming, or noticeable cracks where sunlight is breaking through. While insulation is thought of largely as a way to keep hot air in and cold air out by forming a thermal barrier, it also serves your roof as well. If your insulation isn’t up to scratch, it could, in extreme cases, lead to ice forming on your roof during heavy snowfall. This is due to the unnaturally fast melting and then refreezing of the snow on your roof thanks to heat escaping from your home through the roof.
- Ventilation – having adequate ventilation will help regulate roof temperatures and lessen condensation, which is a major contributor in the reduction of roofing materials life expectancy. If left unattended for prolonged periods it can make your roof insulation ineffective, so the two really go hand in hand.
- Set up a roof fund – while this may seem unnecessary for freehold homeowners, it can, in actuality be just as useful for them as it is for lease holders and their landlords, creating a roof fund will soften the blow should the worst happen.
- Ask your local roofing company for advice – one of the worst things you can do is neglect any signs of roof damage. If you think there may be a need for a roof repair, get in touch with a local roofing specialist immediately. Acting quickly will save you money, as you’ll deal with your roof issue before it escalates into something a lot more costly and damaging to the rest of your home. You can even book an annual roof service with them for peace of mind.
Overall, you should make your roof maintenance a priority – keep an eye on your roof and examine it often; this will ensure a healthy roof that will last you a very long time. A roof of a house is a crucial part of the build and ensures that the whole structure stays safe, so, look after it well!
By following the above roof maintenance tips and performing regular checks, you should be able to do just that. Even if you have to pay a roofer to come out and fix the odd tile here and there, doing so early will help prevent major roof problems arising and keep your outgoings to a minimum, which is good news for both landlords and homeowners.