10 WINTER ROOF CHECKS
We’re pretty lucky here in Lancashire, apart from suffering the effects of the recent spate of hurricanes! Most of the time we rarely suffer from very cold, wet or prolonged winters. But there are a few simple things you can do to prepare your home, just in case.
Your roof is one of the areas of your house that deserves a bit of attention at this time of year. It experiences the brunt of bad weather. Regular inspection can help you spot any problems early and save money in the long run. Roof problems, if severe, can also invalidate your insurance policy.
We’ve asked Total Roofing Solutions, who deal with roofing in Preston, to give us their top tips for roof inspection!
Just before we launch into our list, a safety warning! Roofs are high and they can be steep and slippery. Only attempt any on-roof maintenance if you have a sturdy ladder (that’s long enough so you don’t have to over-reach) or scaffold, an appropriate harness, appropriate footwear and a head for heights. If you’re not 100% confident, get Total Roofing Solutions to come and take a look for you. Don’t put yourself or anyone else in danger!
1) Check from the inside first.
Get up in the loft and see if you can see any damp patches, rotten bits or sagging in the roof. If you can see any of these, we recommend calling in a specialist before you do anything else as you’re going to need some work done! If you can spot any light sources, that might be an indication of damaged or missing tiles or flashing.
2) Look up.
It’s sensible to have a first look at the outside of the roof from the ground. A pair of binoculars might help. Can you spot any damaged or missing tiles? Is there a lot of moss? These are all things that will need to be addressed when you get up there.
3) Check your vents.
Remove debris from any ventilation channels to make sure air can pass through. This can help to prevent condensation which can cause damage to your home.
4) Unblock the gutters.
Remove any leaves, moss or other debris to keep gutters clear. Clogged gutters will hold moisture which can cause particular problems if it freezes. Blocked gutters might also cause water to flow down the outside of your house and into the foundations, or into your eaves. A handy tip: use brushes or plastic tools to clear your gutters. Metal tools can cause damage to the plastic.
5) Check your the condition of your gutters.
Check for any holes and make sure the gutter is securely attached to the wall. If there are any holes, that section of gutter will need replacing.
6) Check the roof tiles.
When you get up on the roof, look for any damaged or missing tiles. If you spot any, replace them immediately. Snow, in particular, can put extra pressure on tiles and force any loose ones off. If there are gaps, water can get to roof timbers causing expensive structural damage.
If you’re competent and confident with your DIY skills, you can replace tiles yourself by removing the tiles above it, attaching the new tile and then replacing the ones above. Make sure you seal the area properly. If you’re in any way unsure, call in Total Roofing Solutions to help.
7) Remove greenery from your roof.
Moss or ivy on your roof can cause damage through moisture so it’s best to remove it before it gets the chance to cause damage. Try brushing it off if the weather’s dry. Alternatively, there are some specialist cleaning products available which might help.
8) Check the flashing.
Flashing are the metal strips that seal the chimney to the roof. Check for gaps and slippage. If you spot either, you will need to replace it.
9) Check the garden.
Are there any trees overhanging your roof that could cause damage in high winds? Falling branches, or even a branch brushing your roof tiles, could cause damage. If you spot a potential hazard, deal with it straight away.
10) Remove heavy snow drifts.
This might be a bit of a tough job, but is fortunately not called for in this country often. But if we do get alot of snow, ensure there are no heavy drifts building up on your roof. If there are, try to remove to remove the bulk of the weight.
If you need help with any of your roofing in Preston or the surrounding areas, give us a call.