Often taken for granted, a well-maintained roof is integral to keeping a well-maintained building. A good roof does much more than keep the rain off your head. A good roof is well insulated, strong and should last a lifetime. We’ve put together a short guide to maintaining your roof and keeping it ship-shape.
The most important step to maintaining your roof throughout the year is to regularly inspect it. The minimum would be at least twice a year, ideally in the Spring and Autumn.
By regularly inspecting the condition of your roof, you will be able to spot pretty quickly any damages or changes in your roof. Damages and changes are more likely to occur after being exposed to major changes in weather such as rain, heat, snow and wind.
If you have a flat roof, a common problem found on inspection, especially after winter months, is ponding. Ponding is when water, often from heavy rain or melting snow pools in a spot on the roof. This can be an indication of poor installation and drainage.
With pitched roofs, it’s not unusual to find cracked, broken or missing roof tiles and slates. This can be caused by strong weather such as winds and rain. It is important to act fast when you discover any damage to save any further, severe damage. It will be considerably more expensive to repair the excessive damage.
It is worth knowing what you are looking for when inspecting your roof. If you’re not aware of the signs of damage, you could easily miss the beginning of something serious.
In flat roofs, the material can split or form long cracks. They will be visible in the parallel joints of the insulation and will be spongy to the touch. The splits are caused by poor insulation, freezing conditions and surface stress. Flat roofs are also susceptible to material ridging when moisture condenses under the material in the insulation joints. Flat roof material can also slip if the wrong material is used or it is exposed to excessive heat exposure.
Damaged pitched roofs are likely to have damaged shingle tiles that will need to be removed and replaced. If left, damaged shingle or slate can cause others around it to break.
In a lot of cases, problems with your roof aren’t actually the roof at all. Draining systems play a big part in the maintenance and lifespan of your roof. When you perform your roof inspections, use this time to check your drain pipes for damages and blockages. If you notice vegetation or moss growth, this may be due to a water blockage issue.
If you have little to no experience clearing your drains, it will be wise to call in experts who will have the correct equipment and know-how to carry out the job fully and safely.
A great cause of damage to roofs, no matter a flat roof or pitched roof, is that of surrounding trees and branches. Overhanging trees pose a severe risk to compromising the integrity of your roof. Tiles can be damaged by breaks and creaks and cause them to fall off completely. A tree surgeon should be sought if you have no experience cutting back branches and twigs, or they are out of reach.