How to check your roof

February 28, 2019

You want to ensure that the roof you have over your head is safe, secure and undamaged. Keep those leaks at bay and catch those issues early with our handy guide to health-checking your roof.

Roofs certainly take a battering from the worst of our weather – spring showers, soaring summer temperatures and winter storms all take their toll. But a simple, regular health-check will help keep your home free from leaks and protected from the unpredictable UK weather.

Inspect the inside
Start in the loft and lookout for any sagging, water marks, rot (which will look like dark patches) or sunlight shining through. All of these are signs of damage. You can repair some of the roof yourself, but if notice that something is not right and you are not sure what to do, it’s best to look for your local roofing expert on Checkatrade.

Check your ventilation
If your loft is not well ventilated, moisture and condensation will build up and could damage your roof from the inside. Check your vents for any blockages such as moss, leaves and roof insulation – all of these stop the air for escaping. If you find any, use an old paintbrush to remove any build up and the air will soon flow freely again.

Look for loose and damaged roof tiles
Roof tiles are prone to becoming loose, cracked, broken or displaced. You can inspect any damage yourself if you know what you are doing by climbing onto the roof – but only if you feel safe to do so or you have the proper safety equipment including:

  • Extension ladder with a suitable height
  • Safety harness
  • 700kg breaking strain rope
  • Soft-sole shoes with grip

If not, it’s best to call in the roofing experts.

Check the flashing
Flashing is another word for the metal strips which act as a seal on your chimneys, skylights, satellite dishes, vents and other objects on your roof. If the flashing sits flush against the roof with no gaps for water to seep in, and none of the sealing is cracked, it should be OK – providing it’s been fitted with permanently waterproof, 100% silicone sealant.

Flashing can slip over time – so you’ll need to check for any signs of movement and replace anything that looks rusty. Flashing, roof sealant and caulk can be found in DIY shops, but unless you are confident in checking your roof and have the proper safety equipment needed, call in a Checkatrade recommended roofing expert.

Unblock gutters
If your guttering is blocked or damaged, it can cause serious damage to your property. Water can build up and collect underneath your eaves, or leak and run down the outside walls of your home and into your foundations. Regularly look up at your gutters to check for signs of sagging. If you spot a problem, give a roofing expert a ring.

Check for moss growth
Harmless as it might look, moss can be a menace by causing moisture damage to both roof tiles and wood underneath. Summer helps spread moss, so catch it before it gets out of control. The best way to remove moss is to allow it to dry out and then use a stiff bristled broom to brush it off. However, if it’s unsafe for you to reach your roof or your roof is covered in moss, it’s time to speak with a roofing expert for advice.


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