We are in the middle of summer but it is important to start preparing your roof whether it’s a domestic or commercial property to protect it from the UK’s wet and icy winters.

Don’t forget about your roof in the summer.

In the summertime people often forget about their roofs as we have less rainfall (apparently).  People are not noticing leaks or damp areas in their homes, offices, warehouses, and schools, etc. Then what tends to happen is the bad weather starts setting in and all the leaks and damage to roofs become apparent. This is the time that causes a situation where roofing contractors like ourselves become very busy and people can end up waiting a little longer for a repair than during the summer months.

Checking your roof.

We always advise people to regularly just look up at their roofs (not always possible), and if they notice any slipped tiles, damaged mortar or lifting lead to call in a roofing contractor to rectify the issue, as this is early signs of deterioration. It saves a lot of money in having maintenance performed to prevent leaks in obvious weak spots.  These simple fixes are often ignored because there is no damp coming into the property. In fact what is a happening is the first line of defence on your roof has been breached.  As the sun, wind or rain continues to deteriorate the roof further and lines of defence are then damaged which ultimately leads to a leak inside the property.

In most cases now the repairs will need to be much larger than if the initial smaller problem had been rectified, and sometimes the leak will only become apparent once the damage is to far gone and a new roof may need to be installed.

What should I do to get your roof ready for winter?

As mentioned, if you can take look at your roof, keep an eye out for broken tiles. Broken tiles can be anywhere across the roof.  Next, take a look at anywhere there is cement on your roof.  This is most commonly on the verges, ridgelines, hip lines and in the valleys. Also, take a look in your roof space many older roofs will not have any felt membrane on them so you will most likely see some daylight. If there is felt on the roof check to see if it is damaged with tears or rips. In most cases, a small tear or rip in the roof lining is a simple fix, but as the tear gets bigger it will become more costly. If you notice any defects when carrying out these simple checks call a reliable and reputable roofing contractor to come to survey the roof for you to advise any repairs, you may need doing. It is always safe to look at preventing a leak than wait until on becomes apparent.

What about flat roofs?

Flat roofs tend to be easy to check because you can walk on them to survey quite safely and they tend to be low level, on most commercial properties they tend to have access hatches for roof inspection and maintenance. I would advise calling a local roofer to come and take a look to advise if any works need doing.

The main points to check on flat roofs are the joins as the hot and cold weather can cause joints to expand and contract causing damage to the joins and to allow water to get in. On felt flat roofing systems there are three layers of felt so as with a pitched roof it can just be the first layer of defence that is damaged. Repairs on flat roofs when caught early tend to be quite simple and affordable. However, if left the board underneath become rotten and slowly sink in on themselves causing puddles on the flat roof. This is an easy way to tell if the roof is deteriorating. In most cases when the boards have become rotten a new roof will be required.

Keep an eye on the guttering systems!

Then finally the rainwater goods need to be free-flowing. The gutters play a huge part in the roof system that moves the huge volumes of water that come from the roofs safely into the drainage. When they become blocked it can cause lots of damage to not only the roof but also the brickworks around it. You can usually see if gutters are blocked as you will see leaves coming out the gutters or on a rainy day the gutters will just overflow. You can also just tap your downpipes to check if they are blocked,

In conclusion

I would always advise completing these checks through the summer at least once a month as by the time winter creeps up on us we lose the daylight early which lowers time in which roofing contractors can work and we tend to have a lot more emergency repairs as the bad weather becomes more regular.

Any reputable roofer will always be happy to come and provide a survey on your commercial or domestic property and it could save you money, in the long run, to catch it early.

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