When did you last decorate your living room? And how about your kitchen or bedroom?
The chances are that you regularly spruce up the rooms in your house, making sure the walls are in good condition and protecting them with a lick of paint. Some studies have shown that on average, homeowners redecorate every 3-5 years.
But how about your roof, stuck up there protecting you all from the elements? When did you last give your roof a bit of TLC? Unfortunately out of sight often means out of mind and it’s not uncommon for the roof to get forgotten about.
It only takes a bit of routine maintenance from time to time to get your roof in tip-top condition; we take a look at some of the problems which can occur if your roof gets neglected for too long.
Roofing is designed to get wet and one that can’t withstand regular moisture hasn’t been properly installed. However, that doesn’t mean that you don’t need to check that there are no areas of standing water or that the surface is bearing up well.
Flat roofs are particularly prone to this problem as they don’t have the same run-off as a pitched roof. If you’d like more information about replacing or repairing a flat roof please get in touch.
Water collecting in puddles is known in the industry as ‘ponding’ and can ultimately damage the whole structure of your roof. If this moisture is allowed to infiltrate, it can create a phenomenon known as ‘blistering’. This involves several layers of the roof separating with water vapour collecting underneath. If allowed to continue, the integrity of your roof could be seriously compromised.
The guttering forms an important part of your roofing set-up and helps to protect your property from dirt and water that comes gushing off your tiles.
Rainfall, excess water, leaves and other debris can all damage homes and buildings significantly, particularly if they continued unchecked for a period of time. The gutter is designed to form a barrier between your walls and the roof and carry away any water or materials which would otherwise fall below.
However, a gutter which is blocked won’t be able to perform this vital duty; failing to carry out such a simple piece of routine maintenance can have catastrophic effects. In the winter, water in the gutter can also freeze, not only allowing debris from your roof to slide over it, but also putting your property at risk from huge chunks of breaking ice.
You might invalidate your insurance policy
Not many people bother to read through all of the fine print of their home insurance policy but wear and tear is normally excluded. This means if part of the building encounters problems due to a lack of maintenance or care, a claim may not be paid.
Therefore if you don’t take proper care of your roof, if you suffer a problem, your claim may not be paid, or only settled in part. This could be the case even if lack of maintenance wasn’t the reason for the claim. For example, if you are claiming for flood damage, your insurer may argue that had your roofing and guttering been in better condition, you may not have suffered such a large loss.
What to look for
Whilst it may sometime be obvious when there is a problem, at other times it can be difficult to tell what is normal wear and tear and what are early warning signs that your roof needs urgent attention. Some signs to look out for include:
- Curled shingles
- Damp stains on ceilings or walls
- Missing or cracked tiles and shingles
- Excessive debris
- Large overhanging tree branches
- Noticeable algae or moss
- Sagging or uneven patches
- Obvious weathering
- Cracks near the base of the chimney
Roof maintenance is one of the single most important things you can do to take care of your house; without a properly functioning roof the entire structure of your house could end up damaged. The good news is that it’s quick and easy to do, and carrying out the proper prevention could save you lots of money in the long term.