While the winter months are associated with warm cosy fires, Christmas and crisp mornings, the sharp drop in temperature, increased rainfall and frosts can take their toll on your roof. Whether you have a flat roof or a pitched one, caring for your roof can prolong its life and keep your home warm and dry. In this guide you will be introduced to some of the techniques and strategies that you can use to keep your roof in the best condition and identify when it might need repair or replacement.
Ice and Snow
While crisp white blankets of snow covering everything in sight can be pretty to look at, it can cause problems for your roof. There is a lot of weight in snowfall and when this is resting on the top of your roof this can create additional strain on the timbers, tiles, felt or other materials used to cover the roof. If you can try to remove snow from your roof which will ease the strain. This is particularly important for older roofs that might not be as strong as they once were.
Roofs should keep as much heat in as possible. If your roof is leaking, failing or heat is escaping, you may benefit from improving the level of insulation. When roofs are improperly insulated, snow will fall onto it and melt which runs into the guttering and then sometimes this can freeze resulting in a significant blockage. Adequate insulation can help prevent this from occurring.
Broken tiles and damaged bricks
Although a couple of loose or missing tiles might not seem a huge problem in the summer, when the winter months roll in what seemed insignificant could present a major problem. Rain, wind, frost and snow can all make the problem worse. If you fail to address these issues you could face leaks, damage to the structure of the building and further tiles breaking that expand due to ice and water.
In the autumn guttering can become clogged with falling leaves and other debris such as moss. Over time these can accumulate and cause all kinds of problems for your roofing system. When guttering becomes blocked water can back up and cause damage to your roof. If snow and ice settle amongst the moss, leaves and other debris and stagnant water can result in your roof rotting if it’s left for a significant period of time. Gutter checks should involve making sure that they are clear and running freely, there isn’t any stagnant water sitting there and that all of the exits are flowing freely.
The winter can be harsh on flat roofs in particular. When roofs begin to fail, they can leak, pool water and it can affect the overall structural integrity of the roof. Investing in the right materials is important so if your flat roof has been neglected for some time, why not weatherproof your roof with a new covering. There are lots to choose from including felt to rubber to fibreglass.
Roofs whether they are flat or pitched should be regularly inspected and any problems addressed. The earlier the issue can be identified, the less damage will be caused in the long run. Roof inspections should be undertaken regularly by a competent and qualified professional who can identify loose ridge tiles, blocked guttering, broken tiles and signs of bigger problems. As well as being increasingly prone to weathering, flat roofs can also accumulate debris and dirt which can affect the integrity of the roof if it is not properly checked.
As well as maintaining your guttering and downpipes, install gutter covers which can prevent the build up of debris over time. They also make sure that any leaves and dirt are removed from the guttering.
During the winter months there are lots of things to contend with, all of which can present a risk to your building. Trees are just one of them. As well as leaves, falling tree branches can cause damage to the roof structure or cause blockages in the guttering system. Any trees that are close to your property should be pruned to prevent falling branches, twigs and other debris from falling onto your roof or guttering system and causing problems.
Natural wildlife can cause problems for your roof so check your roof regularly to make sure you don’t have any unexpected guests. Chewed debris or droppings are a sure sign that you have visitors whether they are birds or squirrels. Once they have been safely evicted make sure that any holes or exit routes are properly blocked up to prevent them from returning.
Caring for your roof is essential not only to prolong its life but to make sure that the structural integrity of your building is maintained. Roofs are an important part of a structure and regular maintenance will make sure that your roof can withstand even the harshest of winters and weather conditions. These are just a few checks that you can make of your roofing system each year. Roofing professionals will also be able to carry this out for you and they know what signs to look out for too using their expertise they will be able to alert you to any issues before they escalate into something more serious.
The winter can be an unforgiving time which makes roof maintenance even more important. Whether you need a repair or a bigger maintenance project undertaking it is important that you find the right professionals for the task. A professional roofing company will be able to install a watertight and weatherproof roof that will stand the test of time and keep your home warm and dry for the long term.