Spot the signs, and stop the leaks before they start

This is the riskiest time of year for your roof. There’s a high likelihood of extreme weather, and those high winds, horizontal rains and freezing temperatures can just be the start of new problem, or worsen ones that are already there. But short of waiting until water is dripping through your ceiling, what can you do to determine the condition of your roof – and whether you need to take action now to sort those potential problems now? In this post, we’ll look at how you can assess the state of your roof, and some telltale signs that may mean you need to take action, before anything goes horribly (and perhaps expensively) wrong.

Inside First

Let’s begin indoors. Access your roof space during daylight hours, and have a good look around at what you can see, from top to bottom. If you can’t see any of the following, the chances are that your roof is fine – but these are the things that will need further investigation:

Chinks of daylight – you shouldn’t be able to see any light coming through, at any part of your roof space (unless it’s a window or skylight, of course). Unauthorised daylight means you’ve got holes and cracks, and they will need to be fixed – because if the light can get in, so can the rain and cold air, which will do damage to your property – and your heating bills.

Water stains or visible leaks – clearly, dripping water is never a good thing and needs sorting asap. But it’s also important to check for water stains, as that will tell you where there have been leaks in the past. These may have been down to the force of the weather, and high winds driving the rain in – or perhaps where a hard frost has caused the woodwork to expand and contract. All of these need investigating to rule out the worst.

Mould and mildew – this again is a sign that there’s moisture in the woodwork, and it’s likely coming in through the roof. Left untreated it can make your roof unstable, and potentially the overall structure of your house.

Sagging – big problem! Any sagging in the ceiling means there is serious damage to your roof and it most likely needs a major overhaul. The structure of the building as a whole will need a look as well.

Outside Second

If you’ve spotted any of these issues inside, it’s time to head outside to see if you can find clues as to what’s causing or contributing to them. (An exterior inspection is a good idea even if you don’t have any indoor worries though, because you may catch some faults before they become problems.)

Even, level and flat – is the roof even, and flat where it should be? Anywhere that’s sagging is a sign of a fault in the structure, and needs to be sorted before the roof collapses.

Damaged tiles – if there are any signs of tiles cracking, becoming worn, coming loose, or if any tiles are missing, they will need to be replaced. The roof needs to have a continuous, uninterrupted cover of tiles in good condition to be watertight.

Moss and mould – if you have heavy growths of these, which can often happen in cooler, shady areas, you’ve got higher levels of moisture on your roof which can lead to rot. This really needs clearing so that it doesn’t do any more damage, and so that it doesn’t get into guttering and cause blockages.

Flashing – this is the lead material that’s installed to protect the gaps around vents and chimneys, and stops water getting in. It needs to be secure and covering all the spaces.

Mortar in the gutters – if you have lumps of mortar chipped off and visible on the ground or in the gutters, that’s a sign of deterioration – so you may need patch repairs, or more comprehensive work.

Standing water – pools of water that aren’t draining properly can be common on flat roofs, but still shouldn’t be there. This may be a roofline problem, which we can also advise you on, with the help of our sister company, M3 Property Maintenance.

If you spot any of these on your property, you could need repairs at the least, or a new roof at the other extreme. If you’re really concerned, and to find out what’s at risk and needs attention, we’d always advise getting a survey done by a chartered surveying expert – and we can help, too. If you’d like us to take a look at a roof problem that’s worrying you, give us a call today and we’ll book you in for your free consultation and quotation.

Published On: February 1st, 2022 / Categories: Uncategorized /

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