Roof Care Preventative Maintenance Tips: Flat and Pitched Checklist
With a dry start to the summer and now our heavy downpours of rain, you now may be thinking of the ‘soundness’ of your roof, or worst, may have recently noticed a leak in your roof. If you would like some tips and guidance on roof care and maintenance for your roof, then please read on. This article is relevant for domestic and commercial roofing systems. Of course if you already have developed a leak, then you need to repair this, or at least, contact a roofer to get this looked at.
Regular maintenance of your roof and gutters is an important part of your regular property up keep. This preventative maintenance ensures your roof system is sound and in good condition, which in return will protect the rest of the property from possible serious damage from nature’s elements.
Flat roofs are particularly prone to damage from the heat over summer causing bubbles, blisters and breaks along the seams of bitumen based flat roof systems. This in turn is only noticed during the first significant downpour.
Especially over the winter months, our homes are subject to the greatest risk from environmental damage. In particular, any damage to your roof incurred in winter, will have a big impact on your life, causing heart-ache and hassle for everyone involved during the coldest period of the year. Roofs are divided into two main types, pitched and flat, and both can be damaged during the winter months.
The most common causes of a leaking roof are poorly sealed chimneys or vents on your roof, broken or missing tiles, or condensation in your loft caused by poor air-flow.
Check the interior of the roof while in the attic. If you have easy access to your loft space and are able to safely get up into it you can fairly easily visually inspect the beams and tiles etc. for damage, deterioration or gaps. If your roof has no backing felt and you can see them from the inside, then this is best done in the day, as any breaks or holes in the roof will let the light through. Look around the beams for signs of water damage. If you have a chimney in your roof, pay attention to where it joins the roof as this is a common cause of leaks from this seal or ‘flashing’.
Any signs of dampness in upstairs ceilings, or boards in the attic, indicate you have a leak that has been developing over time and needs to be addressed as soon as possible.
Exterior Roof Checks.
Inspect the flashing. From the exterior of the property you can inspect for damage or corrosion that will lead to water leaks. The flashing is simply a piece of sheet metal (usually lead, aluminium or galvanized steel) which is placed over joints between roof and wall construction to prevent water seeping into the property and causing damage. The major cause of residential roof leaks is usually a fault in the roof flashing.
Flat Roof Systems – As mentioned earlier tar/felt based flat roof finishes get damaged from the heat during the summer time. Look out for any bubbles or blisters that may have formed on the surface. Check the joins for signs of contraction or expansion.
General surface checks :- From the exterior you can visually check the overall surface of the roof to see if there are faults such as slipped or damaged tiles or any other points of entry for water which will cause further damage and also enable valuable heat to escape from your property.
Check your gutters – Checking the gutters for any build up that can prevent the natural flow of water is also highly recommended to ensure the overall protection of your property. Removing blockages and sweeping out any gathered dirt is a task that should be carried out at least once a year during your regular roof care maintenance program.
Performing simple, regular checks on your roof throughout the year, especially before and during the wettest and coldest periods, is the easiest way to avoid being caught out by damage to your roof. In the most extreme cases where snow and ice form on your roof and exploit the weaknesses of its construction, there is little you can do without seeking expert help, as roof repairs and maintenance, especially the external variety, can be extremely dangerous. Even though a damaged and leaking roof may seem like a terrible discovery, getting an expert to check your roof immediately to fix the current damage and check the integrity of the rest of the roof for more damage is essential.
All of the exterior roofing checks are best carried out at close quarters; this inevitably means that someone will have to physically get up there to properly perform this task. It is for this reason and the fact that a trained eye is needed to spot most potential problems, that we recommend instructing a professional roofing company to carry out the tasks properly, and more importantly, safely.
A. Worcester’s Roofing Services are based in South Wales area of the UK. Domestic and Commercial roofer services.