Inspecting Your Roof For Leaks and Damage
What you'll find in this article...
Simple technique to inspect your own roof for problems.
A simple inspection is not a substitute for a proper inspection by a roofing professional. It is, however, a great way to make sure you call in a professional roofer before your roof deteriorates to the point where a costly emergency repair is needed or damage occurs to other aspects of your property.
Roof Maintenance Tips and Advice
1. Ladders, lofts and roofs can be dangerous, if in doubt use a surveyor or a reputable builder.
2. You can start your Inspection by looking up through the loft hatch, you may see daylight penetrating into your loft space possibly caused by damaged flashing or tiles or missing coverings.
3. It is advisable to Inspect your roof at least once a year from ground level, you can use binoculars to get a good view, ask a neighbor about using their property to gain a better vantage point
4. Not all color changes, minor cracks or delamination (flaking) mean that the roof is in poor repair.
5. Debris on the ground from broken slates or tiles may indicate that there is a problem with your roof.
6. You should have missing slates or tiles replaced quickly. If you do not you risk the possibility of damage occurring to roof timbers and/or your ceilings.
7. I would advise you to avoid bitumen coatings, roof painting and spray-on foam. These methods make inspection more difficult and prevent the re-use or sale of slates or tiles. They also reduce ventilation, causing problems such as timber decay.
8. Debris including Moss can block gutters and retain moisture which can damage the roof covering and/or rot fascias especially in frosty weather. If left to build up you can eventually have grasses and weeds growing in your gutters. Bird poo is a fantastic source of nutrients for these problem weeds! Always try to be sure your roof and attic are free from rodents and birds.
9. Hip tiles, ridges and flashings can become detached over time if pointing is not maintained. Look in gutters or gullies for signs of mortar chippings or look with binoculars for signs of mortar deterioration.
10. Leaning chimneys will usually be caused by mortar deterioration if this is the case you should seek expert advice.
11. If possible use a fuel fire or smoke bomb to check for smoke escaping through brickwork or at base of pots. Pointing and/or reflaunching will solve the problem.
12. Some roof coverings including thatch or lead require skilled repair. Do not use cheap labor or quick-fix materials as these will cause greater long-term damage.
13. If you’re going to be installing flooring yourself make sure you choose work boots that are strong and durable. Why durability is important with work boots is because it ensures the boots don’t fall apart and therefor protect your feet for longer, keeping you safe.
Most prevalent Causes of Leaking Roofs
Leaking roofs are a number one nuisance. It can be very challenging to determine the place where the leak is originating from and different climatic conditions can produce leaks in a variety of locations.
More confusingly, when you have horizontal roof boards or rafters the leak could be eight to ten feet away from where you notice a damp ceiling.
Our leading five locations for roofs to leak are:
1. The tiles themselves: broken or missing tiles are an obvious reason
2. Flashing: the lead (or lead replacement) around the edges of chimneys, windows or where the roof ends at a vertical wall. Old cracked flashing is often the root cause of leaks
3. Gutters: Okay, not technically roofing, nonetheless a obstructed gutter will result in just as much of a damp problem in internal walls. When the gutter is overflowing it’s definitely worth taking a look at the downpipe and drain – in cases where they are blocked, the water backs up
4. Cracked mortar: regular mortar bedding accounts for more leaky roofs than anything else, according to the National House Building Council. If you ever see bits of mortar in your garden, you may have a problem
5. Solar panel systems: these are creating an increasing number of roof leaks. For anyone who is thinking of installing Solar panel products over your own tiled roof make sure the maker has tailored the product for British weather conditions in Britain, or American conditions in the USA. According to this Bristol roofing company, certain solar power panels are being designed specifically for British wind and rain, though not every product has been created.
Finally – the leak that isn’t a leaking roof. Moisture on the inside of a roof could very well be caused by condensation resulting from insufficient air flow as opposed to rain coming in. Have a reliable roofing contractor check it out before you begin searching for other problems.