Should I Get a Roof Health Check?
With our unpredictable weather it’s a no brainer to begin taking steps to protect roofs against the winter onslaught of wind, rain, sleet and snow.
It’s an advantage if the property is uninhabited, but if it is let, simply explain to tenants that now is the time for a roof check – as it states in the Tenancy Agreement.
Why Do I Need a Roof Inspection?
A roof is the first line of defence against the weather and so it pays to make it robust all year round with regular checks and picking up on issues early by dealing with any potentially damaging leaks.
Water can cause major damage and some insurance policies may not pay out if you don’t nip problems in the bud and are then faced with serious repairs.
You have two options to carry out this vital work. First contact an expert. It should be easy to find recommendations for local, independent companies. But if you are confident about spotting the warning signs and have the appropriate safety equipment, carry out a little DIY.
Begin with the loft and look for red flags such as water stains, rot or any signs of sagging. These are signs to get on the phone fast to your local specialist.
The Importance of Ventilation
Ventilation can be your best ally against condensation. Carry out a close inspection of vents and scoop up debris such as leaves and moss which can block air circulation.
Another tool in your armoury is extractor fans in kitchens and bathrooms which, if they’re working well, should move the air around in a room.
The Outside Inspection
Now for the roof itself. A Velux window can give a good view of the condition of the tiles, but if one hasn’t been installed then it’s best that you physically climb into the roof for a close inspection.
But safety first. Remember experts always arrive with appropriate equipment – ladders, harnesses and rope. Don’t take a chance and if you don’t have all of necessary equipment. Call in your expert roofer instead.
Feeling confident to go it alone? Well cross off these on your safety check list – extension ladder, safety harness, a 700kg breaking strain rope, and soft-sole or steel toe shoes.
How Do I Know if My Roof Needs Replacing?
It is easy for gutters to fall victim to catching leaves and moss, so remove this blockage which prevents moisture escaping and turning into water flowing down into the foundations or moving into the eaves.
An obvious sign of choked gutters is sagging and which can often be spotted at street level. Carrying out this job gives you an opportunity to inspect the gutters for cracks or breaks and even gaps in the wall attachment.
This is a particularly vital check because damage like this means part of the gutter must be replaced and if it has become loose from the wall, re-attached.
A word of warning, don’t be over confident. This can be tricky and dangerous work so it’s probably best to call in the professionals.
Those Deceptive Plants
Don’t be deceived by moss. It can cause moisture issues and is a super spreader which should be removed asap. On dry roofs brush it off, but if it has already taken hold, it’s another call for expert help.
Ivy and other climbers may give a picturesque look to a property but they can also be pests. The latter can penetrate the roof, opening it up to water seepage or damp.
Ivy and its fellow climbers can also combine to prevent natural light getting into a property, but regular pruning will put a stop to this.
Keep a close watch on these and replace damaged or missing tiles quickly.
This is a simple job involving taking off the covering ties, replacing the damaged one, and putting everything back into place using a sealant. As always, if you any doubts, get in a professional.
No, not the dirty mac kind, but metal strips that bind skylights and chimneys! They can fall victim to the weather which can create gaps. Being metal, they are also prone to rust and will need replacing.
Roofing health checks are simple but vital for the good maintenance of your property. Just don’t be too proud to give an expert a call.
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