SarahBeenySpringIssue2017 - 279
egular maintenance is key to ensuring nothing
goes wrong with your roof when the weather gets
a bit lively. And it's not just about keeping out
the elements - a well-maintained roof will
conserve heat, saving you money on energy bills.
HOLLY'S ROOFS WERE
TAKE A GOOD LOOK
If this is the ﬁrst time you've thought about your roof, have
a good look to see what it's built with - it could be slates,
concrete tiles, corrugated iron or something else.
Then look at its structure - is it a gabled roof, ﬂat roof
or a hipped roof? Don't climb up there unless you have the
correct ladders or a scoﬀold tower. You can get a good idea
what's going on by standing on the opposite side of the road
or in the garden and using binoculars.
These are some of the things you should be looking for:
Missing or slipped tiles or slates
Sagging gutters and loose brackets
Blocked guttering or downpipes
A leaking joint in a gutter or downpipe
Plants or weeds growing out of the roof or guttering
Defective or missing ﬂashing - the lead or zinc sheet used
to prevent the passage of water where the roof joins any
parapet walls or chimney stack
A leaning chimney stack or parapet wall.
Gutters are an important part of your roof - they stop
rainwater soaking into your exterior walls. Because
of their positioning, the weather will inevitably cause
wear and tear, so they need regular checks - at least
once a year - and routine maintenance.
Look for cracks and bends - left unchecked these can
cause serious damage to the roof. Downspouts carry water
away from the roof gutter and usually have a joint at the
end, so liquid doesn't pool around the foundations of your
home, causing leaks and damp patches.
If there is a blockage in this joint then water will collect
in the roof gutter, which can eventually cause leaks. This is
why it's so important to keep your gutters debris-free.
WORDS: MARIE JOHNSON, IMAGES: SHUTTERSTOCK
TRIM AND PRUNE
Overhanging tree branches can damage your roof - make
sure you cut them back regularly, so they are not impinging
on your house. Replace any missing or damaged tiles
straightaway, so no further problems arise.
Look out for nasty black streaks, as this is an indication
that mould or fungus is thriving on the tiles. It's important to
remove any mould or fungus immediately, because they can
damage the integrity of your roof.
If your area has had a particularly severe storm, or even
prolonged strong winds, check for loose, damaged or
missing tiles once the weather is a bit calmer. Any
damage will need to be ﬁxed as quickly as possible. For
this, you will need a professional roofer or handyman
- unless you are proﬁcient at such skilled work.
CALL IN THE EXPERTS
If the problem is too big to contemplate yourself, or you
need some advice, contact the National Federation of
Rooﬁng Contractors to ﬁnd a local, registered contractor
(nfrc.co.uk). Alternatively, you can use mybuilder.com or
checkatrade.com to ﬁnd a qualiﬁed roofer. Unfortunately,
there are scammers, who tend to target older people,
so be careful to choose a recommended tradesperson.
LETTING in water
HOLLY HALL, 32, A FREELANCE DESIGNER,
DIDN'T REALISE HER ROOF WOULD NEED
REPLACING WHEN SHE MOVED IN. IT WAS
ONLY AFTER SHE SPOTTED A LEAK WHILE
DECORATING THAT IT BECAME CLEAR
'My husband, Matt, and I ﬁrst
noticed the problem while
redecorating - we spotted a
water line upstairs, running right
across the width of the house.
'We looked in the loft and
saw that the roof was soaking.
Bad condensation and poor
repairs meant the roof needed an
overhaul. We also needed to get
the ﬂat roof ﬁxed, as it had been
felted with shed materials, which
aren't suitable for an extension.
'To start with, I researched
a few companies using
looked into what I
should expect to
pay for works.
'We chose a
both roofs and
inside the loft, too.
They found that the
chimney was open,
which meant water was able to
get into the walls of the house.
'Rather than waste money
on repairs, we were advised
that it would be best to have
completely new roofs. We also
opted for a sky light in the loft to
save us having to do it later on.
'During the work, however, a
few skeletons cropped up. The ﬁrst
was that the extractor fan in the
bathroom didn't lead anywhere.
'Also, the builder who built
the extension had lined the ﬂat
roof with plastic sheeting, so
that condensation from the
bathroom collected in the roof.
'It wasn't insulated, either, so
we were losing a lot of heat. I
learned that it pays to do your
research and to have a ballpark
ﬁgure in mind, as some quotes
we had were double the price
that we paid in the end.' >
THIS FLAT ROOF HAD
BEEN FELTED WITH
www.athomemagazine.co.uk MAY 2017 | 279