Have you made sure your roof is in good shape this year?
The weather has turned and we can expect rainy chilly days to become the norm. This is exactly the type of weather that makes getting out on a ladder look unattractive but it’s the season for a little issue picked up in the summer to become a big issue in your home at some point before the spring.
We spend a fair bit of time rebuilding roofing for homes and business premises across Liverpool where damage that was allowed to get worse speeded the degradation of the roof we’re now replacing.
Identifying roof damage before the weather gets to work on it will save you thousands in repairs and renovations down the line. This is the perfect time of year to go and have a look in the loft, it’s much easier than braving the elements up on ladders. Now we’ve had a bit of Autumn rain and it’s nippy outside, any leaks or drafts will be easier to notice from inside.
Checking your roof is ready for winter from the loft
– Get prepared. You’ll need to be able to move all around your loft and see into the darkest of corners. Make sure you bring all the light you need and are dressed to clamber about the loft. It can help to have some chalk or a dry wipe pen to mark any damage you find.
-Looking for signs of leakage. Leaks can be visibly dripping water, areas of moist condensation or just visible as stains and streaks, they’re not always large and easy to see. Make sure you get your head close to the rafters and really look at every square inch. Make an effort to look in the corners and cracks. If you find damage, it can help to mark it out.
– Don’t forget to look at the floor. Sometimes a slow dripping leak can leave very little sign on the roof as the water is deposited onto the loft floor. Have a good look for any puddle stains!
– Sagging or bowing. Look at the overall shape of the beams and the cladding inside the loft. If things look out of shape or a little saggy, there might be a serious issue developing in the roof structure. If you have doubts about your roof structure, it’s always time to call in an expert, it’s unlikely your roof will fall through but structural damage leads to huge costs.
– Signs of animal life. Nobody can blame them for wanting a warm dry home but the animals that may want to make your loft their home usually do it some harm. In the worst cases animal infestation has ruined roofs costing tens of thousands of pounds to fix. If you have birds or rodents coming under the eaves, something needs to be done to re-seal the roof cavity and reclaim your loft space.
– Ventilation. If your vent areas are blocked or covered with things stored in the loft, it can lead to the build up of moisture and general dankness in the loft. Make sue you can find your vents and that they’ll allow the gentle release of warm moist air.
Tips for checking a flat roof
Flat roofing will show damage underneath eventually but giving it a good check does require a look at the surface above.
– Inspect the under-side of the roof as we describe above. The checks you can make indoors are more limited with a flat roof but you should always start there.
– Get a good look at the exterior. Some small flat roofs near to windows can be inspected from indoors but most can only really be looked at from outside. This means one of two things, getting the ladders out and having someone to hold them or calling a roofer to come and take a look for you.
– Checking for damage from the outside. With a flat roof you’re looking for more than just cracks and holes (though make sure you spot any of those!), you’re looking for signs that the roof isn’t draining properly or is subsiding in areas. Look for sagging & stretching in the roof surface. Watch out for patches of moss or algae, this grows most where water stands regularly. If water is pooling on your flat roof it will lead to an early death for your roof for sure. An experienced roofer can adjust the drainage to relieve issues before they cause damage.
– Check the drains. If the roof is looking good don’t get down from the ladder just yet! Check the drains are clear and in good shape. It only takes a few minutes to clear out the drains, blocked drains starts the clock on roof damage it’s important they’re always clear.
Looking after a commercial roof
Commercial buildings often have larger roof expanses which makes a DIY winter check hard to carry out properly. To ensure your business property is properly protected against the elements, a professional roof inspection is often essential. Stewart and Sons will carry out a detailed roof survey & are ideally placed to offer a range of solutions tailored to commerce and industry. Find out more about our commercial roofing experience.