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Leave It To The Professionals for UPVC and Roofing

Leave It To The Professionals for UPVC and Roofing

Your roof needs close attention, from clearing out the guttering to repairing holes and cracks. It may seem rather expensive, and perhaps you’re tempted to do it yourself rather than pay for professionals. After all, what could possibly go wrong?

 

The answer, unfortunately, is plenty.

 

Roofing Jobs

The work your roof needs divides into repairing particular faults to maintenance that needs to be kept up on a regular basis. Repairs include replacing or recementing tiles, removal or replacement of lead work, repointing, removal of moss and replacement of fascias and soffits. These are one-offs, but they’re likely to be required on a frequent basis over the lifetime of your roof.

Maintenance jobs, on the other hand, should be undertaken at least a couple of times a year, in addition to the aftermath of any harsh weather, such as a storm. This includes clearing dirt and leaves out of your gutters and downpipes, enabling water to drain off as it needs to, and examining the roof for signs of holes or leaks.

 

Can I DIY?

There are some advantages to carrying out maintenance yourself — provided you’re equipped for it. The obvious advantage, besides saving money, is that you can react instantly after bad weather or if you suspect a problem, rather than having to make an appointment with a professional.

What you’ll require to clean out your gutters or inspect your roof close up are a good head for heights, a high-quality ladder and a full understanding of how to use it, and a knowledge of how to work at height. Someone inexperienced working on their guttering, for instance, not only puts themselves at risk of falling, but may also injure someone below if they’ve failed to secure their tools properly.

 

Professional Jobs

While the routine maintenance may be possible for an expert DIYer, many roofing jobs are best left to the professionals. Tiling, pointing, repairing felt roofs and replacing uPVC fascias and soffits aren’t the same as putting up shelves — professionals go through considerable training before they’re qualified to do these jobs. Perhaps you’d manage it adequately, but would you really want to risk a job that may or may not be “adequate”?

In fact, even the routine maintenance might be better left to professionals, who have the experience to spot signs of damage that an amateur could easily miss.

Your roof is your main line of defence against the elements. Get in touch with us to see how we can give it the maintenance it deserves.

 

How to Figure Out What’s Making Your Roof Leak

How to Figure Out What’s Making Your Roof Leak

Roof leaks can come in many different sizes. If you have a large hole in your roof that lets water pour in, you don’t need much effort to identify it, but most leaks are far less obvious. Nevertheless, it’s important to track them down, since the longer they’re left unrepaired, the more damage they’re doing to your home.

Causes of Roof Leaks

Leaks can be caused storm damage to your roof, but often there isn’t such an obvious cause. Roofing materials don’t last for ever, and they can simply decay. Alternatively, work on your roof such as adding dormers can cause damage if it’s sloppily done, or removing fixtures such as TV aerials can leave small holes.

In general, the most vulnerable areas of your roof are the ridge, valleys, flashing and the tiles themselves. Problems can also be caused by the underlay rotting, if water manages to get underneath the tiles.

Signs of Roof Leaks

There are a number of signs to look out for that your roof may be leaking, though many of them could also have other causes. The main ones are:

  • Spots or marks on your ceiling, especially in the form of concentric rings.
  • Black stains around the chimney, which could indicate mildew or mould.
  • Paint peeling or wood rotting around skylights.
  • Roofing materials fallen into the garden or in the downpipe.
  • Visible damage to roof tiles or flashing.

Finding the Leak

If you suspect you have a leak, you still need to track it down. That’s not always easy, unless the damage to the roof is clearly visible, since the marks on your ceiling won’t necessarily be straight underneath the leak.

The best strategy is to examine your loft area. Stains there are likely to be closer to the leak, but you can find it most easily by looking for holes. To do this, go into the loft during full daylight and switch all lighting off. If you have skylights or dormers, try to cover these. If you can get the loft sufficiently dark, holes will be visible as points of light.

What to Do If You Have a Leak

The worst thing you can do with a roof leak is to ignore it. The roofing materials around the hole will degrade, and meanwhile the damp will be causing serious damage to the timber, the plaster and the whole structure of the building, what could have been a simple patch may turn into major repairs.

If you suspect you have a leak, you’re welcome to get in touch with us for an expert examination.

 

 

 

Slate, Tiles or Felt — What’s Best for my Roof?

Slate, Tiles or Felt — What’s Best for my Roof?

If you’re completely replacing your or undertaking a new build or extension, it’s important to decide what kind of roof you want. There’s a wide choice of roofing materials, but for most people the decision comes down to slate, tiles or felt. The decision’s going to be partly based on which you think looks best, but there are definite pros and cons to each.

Slate Roofing

Slate is the strongest of the common roofing materials, and a properly constructed slate roof will last far longer than any other type. It can also give your roof a touch of class.

The downside is that slate is the most expensive roofing material, as well as the most time consuming to fit, since each slate has to be individually nailed or clipped. A slate roof needs a pitch of 30 degrees, and the slates should be fitted to battens over an underlay.

If you’re willing to accept the cost and extra time, a slate roof is an excellent choice. At the same time, there are options for reducing the expense, though at some cost of quality, by using imported slate by aggregate imitation slate.

 

Tiled Roofing

A tiled roof is standard throughout most of the UK. There have traditionally been regional variations in colour and design, but today most varieties of tile are available anywhere.

Tiles are a good deal cheaper than slate and, though not quite as long lasting, can be very durable. A tiled roof is also easier to repair than a slate one, with individual tiles relatively simple to take out and replace.

There are various types of tile available, including clay and concrete, and the choice of which kind to use will depend partly on the pitch and strength of the roof.

 

Felt Roofing

Although it can be used on pitched roofs, felt is the best material for flat roofs. A flat roof can be used for a main structure, extension or out-building, and enables the roof to be put to practical use, such as garden or terrace. On the downside, it’s more vulnerable to pooling water, and extra provision has to be made for drainage.

Felt doesn’t last as long as slate or tiles. On the other hand, it’s considerably cheaper, and if it’s well laid, with three layers, it can be more durable than most people assume.

Help with Roofing

Whichever you go for, it’s as well to get professional advice before making a final decision. You’re very welcome to get in touch with us for a chat about your roof.

 

What Makes a Good Flat Roof?

What Makes a Good Flat Roof?

Flat roofs aren’t just for your garage. Although most of us automatically think of a pitched roof for our home, a good-quality flat roof can work excellently. There’s a wide range of materials available, and flat roofs offer many opportunities.

 

Flat Roof vs Pitched Roof

 

Flat roofs have tended to be seen as second best, partly because in the past they’ve tended not to last as long as pitched roofs of slate or tile, as well as presenting problems in allowing rainwater to run off. The run-off issue can be addressed if you choose a good contractor, though, while the materials have improved to the extent that flat roofs can last almost as long as pitched ones, while still being considerably cheaper.

 

If you’re leaving your roof purely as a covering, you might be better going for a pitched one. However, a flat roof can be used as an extra space, especially if you have a small garden, ranging from a terrace for sitting out on fine days to a roof garden. Or you could make it into a bird sanctuary that the neighbourhood cats can’t easily get at.

 

The Choice of Materials

 

Flat roofs can be made of many different materials. Each one has its pros and cons, and each is likely to be the best choice in particular cases.

 

  • Asphalt is a tough, durable material that will last a long time and is great if you want a usable surface. However, it’s relatively expensive and heavier than most alternatives, so you’ll need a strong roof structure.
  • EPDM Rubber is easy to install and both strong and lightweight. It doesn’t look very attractive, though, so is probably best kept for roofs that won’t be seen much. It also tends to shrink over time.
  • GRP Fibreglass is attractive, lightweight and strong, and suitable to walk on, though it can be a bit slippery. However, it’s best used only for roofs with small areas.
  • Felt has traditionally had a poor reputation because of inferior older systems, but modern felt roofing is flexible and durable. It looks attractive and is the cheapest material available. It should ideally have three layers, for ventilation, waterproofing and a top surface, to make it fully effective.

 

 

Installing Your Flat Roof

 

Roofing is generally best left to professionals. Although flat roofs are a little simpler to install than pitched ones, anything much more than a small shed roof is best not tackled even by an expert DIYer. Get in touch with us to ask about your options for a flat roof.

10 Cool Ideas to Make Use of Your Roof

10 Cool Ideas to Make Use of Your Roof

Most of us don’t really use our roofs. We value their protection, of course, even if we don’t always remember it till something goes wrong, but we tend just to waste that expanse on top of the house. Here are a few ways you might make use of it.

 

1. Roof Terrace

If you have a flat roof (or extremely good balance) you can do a number of things with it. One is to make a terrace to use as an elevated patio, where you can sit out, entertain or even have meals on fine days.

 

2. Roof Garden

Whether you have plants in pots and urns, or even unroll some turf, you can turn your roof into a haven of colours and fragrance. And the great thing is the slugs and snails can’t reach it.

 

3. Bird Oasis

If you set up bird feeders, tables and baths, the birds will flock to your roof. The best thing is they’ll be safe from neighbourhood cats — though perhaps not from your own.

 

4. Pergola

Perhaps one of the more outlandish ideas, but you could build a pergola on a flat roof, though it’s important to make sure the roof will take the weight.

 

5. Swimming Pool

Perhaps even more extravagant than a pergola, given the British climate, but a rooftop swimming pool could be great for fine summer days. Just make sure your roof isn’t overlooked.

 

6. Solar Panels

Fitting solar panels to your roof will mean you’re not taking as much electricity from the national grid. This has the dual benefits of saving money and reducing your carbon footprint.

 

7. Loft Insulation

And, speaking of reducing your energy consumption, effective loft insulation makes a huge difference. It isn’t expensive to install, and you can make the cost back within two years.

 

8. Loft Conversion

While we’re on the subject of lofts, that space under your roof is valuable too. If you need an extra bedroom, playroom or even a space for your model railway, a loft conversion is a cost-effective alternative to moving.

 

9. Skylights

If you do decide to use your loft for more than storing things you’ll never need, installing skylights in the roof can make it a far more pleasant place to spend time.

 

10. Dormer Windows

For a rather more traditional way of bringing light into an attic or converted loft, a dormer window or two will give your home an elegant feel. They also have the advantage that you can look out of them.

10 Signs It’s Time for a Gutter Replacement

10 Signs It’s Time for a Gutter Replacement

If the roof is your home’s main protector against the weather, the guttering is a crucial part of that defence, ensuring that all water is safely conveyed away. Any damage to the gutters or downpipes needs to be repaired at once, but eventually repair won’t be enough and the guttering will have to be replaced.

 

Signs to Look For

In most of the following cases, isolated damage can be repaired, but if the problem recurs frequently, it’s probably time to look at gutter replacement.

  1. Cracks in the guttering — If cracks are appearing in your gutters and pipes as fast as you can repair them, it’s a sign they’re past their use-by date. Rust spots can be an early sign on metal pipes, though this isn’t an issue if you’ve used UPVC.
  2. Gutters pulling away from the roof — If this is happening on a regular basis, the fascias may be rotting. This could mean you need both guttering and fascias
  3. Breaks in the seams — Gutters are made in segments that fit together, but if the seams are constantly pulling apart it’s time for a replacement.
  4. Sagging gutters — You can see from the ground if your gutters aren’t level, and this could result in the water not running off. It could also suggest that the gutter wasn’t designed for the amount of water it’s dealing with.
  5. Nails or screws on the ground — If you keep finding nails or screws that seem to have come from the guttering, this means it isn’t securely fixed.
  6. Water marks on the wall — Marks on the walls caused by water running down them suggests the water isn’t being routed down the pipes. This is easiest to make out in dry weather.
  7. Peeling paint — External paint will eventually peel with age, but if it’s happening extensively it could also be a sign of water leaking from the gutters.
  8. Rotting woodwork — Woodwork such as the surrounds for doors and windows will rot if it’s wet too much of the time. This again may well be caused by leaking guttering.
  9. Water pooling on the ground — Rain falls evenly, but if you get pools straight below the walls, it could be caused by faulty gutters.
  10. Damp or mildew in the foundations or basement — Again, this may be caused by leaking guttering, and can have serious implication for the building’s integrity.

Take Action

Any damage to your gutters or downpipes needs to be repaired or replaced as soon as possible. Contact us to discuss your needs.