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When Is the Best Time of Year to Replace my Roof?

When Is the Best Time of Year to Replace my Roof?

If your roof was installed well, it should last a long time — but not indefinitely. A roof’s lifespan will depend partly on the materials (longest for slate, shortest for felt) and partly on how much battering it takes from the weather, but eventually it’ll need to be replaced.

Sometimes, the timing is forced on you. If your roof has been seriously damaged, it’s no good waiting for the best time of year to replace it. You need it done right away to avoid being exposed to the cold, wind and rain.

If you’re able to plan your roof replacement, though, when is the ideal time?

Autumn

Autumn is the busy season for all roofers, and it’s easy to see why. The weather’s turning cold, wet and windy, making us think about being protected against it. We realise our roof needs replacing before winter sets in. Or maybe summer conditions have disguised the problem, and it’s only now clear the roof isn’t doing its job.

Unfortunately, this is when everyone wants their roof repaired or replaced. Roofers are at full stretch, and you could be facing a long wait before they can fit you in. Or even worse — the roofers who do have spare time could be unreliable, perhaps charging a high fee for an inadequate job.

Winter

Roofers who are in demand may still be finishing off their autumn workload in winter, or they’ll be out dealing with emergency calls to repair serious damage. Although winter isn’t quite as busy as autumn, there’ll be problems finding a roofer who can fit you in.

And that’s if the job can be done at all. A tiled roof can be replaced in cold weather, although the job may have to be put off if conditions are too hazardous, but shingles are difficult to work with. This is because frozen materials can become brittle and crack.

Spring and Summer

By far the best time of year to have planned work done on your roof, including roof replacement, is the spring or summer. Not only are conditions most likely to be good, but for most roofers, it will be a slack time. Though reputable roofers won’t overcharge in their busy times, you may well get a special offer during spring or summer.

To take advantage of this, you’ll have to be able to pre-plan the work, and that means having your roof inspected on a regular basis. Feel free to get in touch with us to discuss your needs.

 

Why Is It So Hard to Find a Good Roofing Contractor?

Why Is It So Hard to Find a Good Roofing Contractor?

As with any trade, not all roofing contractors are equal. Some are expert and conscientious, and will offer an excellent service. Some are well-meaning, but lack the experience to meet all the challenges fully. And some, of course, are out-and-out cowboys. But how can you sort the good from the bad?

Reputations Are Earned

The chances are a top-class, reliable roofing firm will have a substantial history of great work, or else an experienced roofer may have just started their own business. Whether as a firm or an individual, make sure you check the experience of the roofing contractor you hire.

The best recommendations come personally from someone you trust, but you can also judge a contractor’s reputation by membership of trade schemes like Trusted Traders or Checkatrade.com. These schemes only list companies whose standards they’re satisfied are high.

There are many different types of roof, from flat to pitched, and numerous materials. Roofing contractors often specialise, so it’s vital to make sure the contractor you choose has a solid record of the type of work you need doing.

Estimates and Guarantees

You can tell a good deal about a roofing contractor’s quality by the estimates they offer, and more by asking the right questions. Are they offering a quote or an estimate? It’s not always possible to give an exact quote for a roofing job, since extra damage may emerge once the work has begun. A reputable contractor will clarify where you stand with any figure they give you.

Make sure you get any quote or estimate in writing, and that payment will be fully receipted. If a contractor deals “cash in hand, nothing written down”, you’re highly unlikely to get even adequate results. You also won’t have any come-back if there are problems with the work later.

Speaking of which, any contractor that doesn’t offer a written guarantee of at least ten years, and preferably fifteen as we do, should be avoided. Also, establish in advance exactly what the payment schedule will be. You may need to pay a deposit, for instance, but you should on no account settle the full amount before the work is finished to your satisfaction.

Don’t be afraid to ask the contractor for detailed plans, including what materials they’re proposing to use. Remember that the cheapest quote isn’t always the best — make sure they’re not cutting corners.

Feel free to get in touch with us to discuss your roofing needs. And other companies, too — like any quality contractor, we’ve no reason to worry about that.

 

 

 

 

Preparing Your Roof for Winter

Preparing Your Roof for Winter

 

 

 

 

Because we spend less time outside in the winter, we tend not to pay as much attention to the roof as in summer. But winter is exactly when it’s most important that the roof is doing its job of protecting us to its full capacity.

Here are a few crucial things to look out for…

Check Your Roofline

Your fascias, soffits, bargeboards and the rest aren’t just there to make your roofline look good. They support the tiling, as well as sealing gaps that water could get into and cause damp in the rafters. Rooflines made of uPVC are less likely to have problems than timber ones, but they’re not indestructible.

Before winter really sets in, it’s a good idea to walk around your house, ideally with a good pair of binoculars, and check your roofline visually for any sign of rot or damage

Check Your Roof

If you’re checking your roofline with binoculars, you can also do a circuit at a greater distance and examine the tiles themselves. Alternatively, you could climb up to look, if you have a long ladder and a head for heights — but, to be safe, make sure you do this in good conditions. If you have cracked or missing tiles, or signs of moss or mould growing, your roof may soon start leaking.

Alternatively, you could check from inside. Go into your loft during the day and switch all lighting off. If you see any pinpricks of light coming through, you may have a problem.

Check Your Guttering

Your gutters and downpipes are the elements of your roof most likely to cause problems in winter. They can become clogged up with leaves, dirt, birds’ nests and other debris, and if these aren’t cleared, the rainwater they should be channelling off will pool on the roof and start finding ways through.

Besides clearing out your gutters and downpipes, it’s also vital to check that they aren’t leaking or coming away from the wall. A straightforward visual inspection will normally be enough to make sure they’re properly attached, while the best way to check for leaks (unfortunately) is to go out in heavy rain. If there are any leaks, you’ll be able to see the rainwater coming through.

Visual inspection and clearing the gutters are things you may be able to do yourself. If you’re not confident with heights, though, or if you find anything wrong, then it’s time to call in the professionals. Give us a call if you have any problems with your roof.

Preventative Maintenance For Roofing

Preventative Maintenance For Roofing

Whether you have a domestic or commercial property, it’s essential that your roof remains reliable in keeping out cold, rain and wind. Unfortunately, this is all too often approached reactively — you get problems fixed as emergencies when they occur. It’s not only cheaper and less disruptive to be proactive about your roof, it’s also a good deal less hassle.

 

What Is Preventative Maintenance?

Problems with your roof can hit you suddenly, meaning an expensive emergency call-out to fix a leak or worse, but the signs will have been visible for some time to a professional eye. Regular professional inspections enable your contractor to identify problems long before they become critical and plan maintenance with you.

A visual inspection of your roof by an expert eye will be able to pick out damaged tiles or torn felt, dangerous moss and mould growth, pooling water and damage or blockage in your drainage system. Some jobs, like cleaning out your guttering, can be done at the same time as the inspection, while non-emergency issues can be scheduled for repair.

What Are the Advantages of Preventative Maintenance?

It may seem that paying for regular inspection and maintenance is merely a waste of money. Perhaps finances are tight, and you don’t want the disruption of work being done on your roof when it may not be essential. Isn’t it better to leave maintenance for your roof till it’s really needed?

Not at all. In fact, it’s unlikely there’ll be nothing required since the chances are that your guttering will need to be cleaned out at the very least. In any case, though, there are many advantages for regular preventative maintenance:

  • If faults are spotted early, repairing them is often a minor job, whereas if they’re left till they become serious, you may be looking at major repairs.
  • Because faults will normally be identified before they become urgent, you can plan the repairs ahead. This not only means that you can schedule the work for a time when it will cause minimal disruption, but also that you can budget for it.
  • Careful, planned maintenance will not only make your roof look better in the short term, but also ensure that it lasts for its full natural life before needing to be replaced.
  • Peace of mind — you can forget about your roof, knowing it’s being looked after by professionals.

If you need planned preventative maintenance by professionals for the roof of your building, feel free to contact our local roofers to discuss your needs.