Looking up — three common roof problems to look out for
The roof is one of the parts of the home we don’t tend to think about too often. That is until something goes wrong with it and it starts raining in the guest bedroom, or that ‘once white’ landing ceiling develops a black mould ring.
Modern roofs are robust and long lasting, but in Britain’s harsh, windy climate, even the hardiest of roofing will someday encounter a problem of some sort. So just what are the most common roof problems to look out for? Here’s everything you need to know…
Missing or loose tiles
Tiles slipping loose, or completely flying off your roof in the wind is a very common issue, but it should be rectified as quickly as possible. Not only will a missing tile allow moisture to seep into your home, if a loose tile falls to the ground it could severely damage anything that it hits below
While it is true that in many cases you should be able to spot any missing or slipped tiles by simply looking at your roof from the ground. You might not be able to see all aspects of your roof from any given point. As a result many people find out about missing tiles from their neighbours — who can often see more of the roof from their bedroom windows.
Guttering is a crucially important part of your roof. You might assume it is just there to stop water channeling down onto you as you enter your home, but it actually serves a more important purpose — it’s there to prevent water ingress into the fabric of the building which could cause a host of problems including damp, mould and even wet rot in some properties.
Blockages in both the guttering and the downpipes are often caused by leaves and detritus. Sometimes even a dead animal getting caught in a drain will stop your guttering from doing its jobs. An easy way to tell if you do have a blockage is to look at the outside of your house when it’s raining, if water is running down the side of your house you probably have a blockage.
Blockages can be relatively easily fixed, however it may be best to get a professional to clear your gutters for you, as it involves getting up onto your roof.
The key indicator of a sagging or ‘undulating’ roof is, as the name would suggest, a visible bowing in the line of the roof. While this might look like a massive catastrophe is imminent, an undulating roof is not necessarily problematic in itself. In fact, in older properties they are often left, as they add to the characterful aesthetic of the property.
It is only when the roof is not stable that sagging becomes an issue. If the shape of the roof is continuing to change then it could be serious, perhaps an early indicator of severe structural issues. No matter if your property is brand new or old, if you’ve just noticed a sagging roof it would be wise to get a structural engineer to inspect the roof and, if there’s a problem, advise you on how it could be fixed.
Get it sorted
While a small issue on your roof, such as loose tile, might look like anything serious, it's better to get it sorted sooner rather than later. Most of the little problems could be quickly and inexpensively repaired, however, the longer you leave them the more likely they are to lead to far more serious and costly problems.