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Taking Care of Your Roof in Winter

Taking Care of Your Roof in Winter

Taking Care of Your Roof in Winter

 

Winter isn’t a comfortable time for your roof. It’s an unusual winter if we don’t have regular storms, and there’s likely to be frost, ice and maybe snow at various stages of the season. All these can damage your roof, so it’s vital to check regularly for any warning signs and get them repaired.

 

Cleaning Out Your Guttering

 

If you haven’t already cleaned your guttering in preparation for winter, it needs to be done as soon as possible. Gutters and downpipes can get clogged up at any time, but autumn is particularly bad, with falling leaves blowing about in the wind.

 

This can create a major problem if the water that’s meant to run off is held in the guttering or on the roof, especially if it then freezes. Not only can this damage the guttering, it may also create cracks in the roof that will allow moisture to get in and damage the roof timbers.

 

Check Your Roof Regularly

 

Winter is the time your roof is most likely to get damaged, so it’s essential to check it regularly. If you’re confident on ladders, you could climb up and observe at close quarters, or alternatively you could look through binoculars from ground level. The main things to watch out for are:

 

  • Cracked, curled or missing tiles.
  • Moss growing on the roof.
  • Peeling or damage to the flashing on your chimney.
  • Cracking or peeling to the sealant of vents or skylights.

 

You can also check from inside, where water damage can show up on the ceilings as dark spots or blistering paint. Also look for holes in your roof by going into the loft during the day with no lighting on, where they’ll show up as pricks of light.

 

Can Roofing Be Done in the Winter?

 

It’s both unnecessary and unadvisable to put off roofing work till it gets warmer. Certainly, if you’ve identified any of the problems above, it’s best to get them fixed as soon as possible.

 

When it comes to scheduled work, such as replacing a worn-out roof, there are pros and cons to having it done in winter. On the one hand, having the roof open to the elements may not be ideal in cold weather. On the other, you’re likely to get better prices in winter.

 

Simple jobs like cleaning the guttering can be done yourself, as long as you have experience in working at heights, but actual repairs should always be left to professionals. If you need advice about your roof in winter, or at any time, you’re very welcome to give us a call.

 

Why You Shouldn’t Put Off Fixing Holes in Your Roof

Why You Shouldn’t Put Off Fixing Holes in Your Roof

Your home wouldn’t be much of a home without the roof. You’d not only be exposed to the rain, wind and snow, but it would also be impossible to maintain a suitable temperature. Your roof has to be kept in good repair, so it can do its job properly. And that includes repairing any holes promptly.

What Causes Holes in Your Roof?

There are a number of factors that could cause small holes to develop in your roof, including:

  • an empty nail hole
  • broken seals around chimneys, skylights or other penetrations
  • rusting metal or rotting wood
  • a tree branch colliding with the roof in high winds
  • removal of a satellite dish leaving empty screw holes

Alternatively, holes can be created simply by the ongoing wear and tear of the elements, especially from repeated freezing and thawing.

How Can You Detect Holes in Your Roof?

It’s important to inspect your roof regularly for holes, especially when the weather has been cold or stormy. It isn’t practical for everyone to climb up onto the roof, though, and this should only be attempted if you really know what you’re doing.

Fortunately, there are other ways of detecting that there may be a hole. These include:

  • water dripping inside
  • damp patches on your walls or ceilings
  • pinpricks of light coming through the roof

You can keep an eye open for the first two at any time, but it’s useful to check periodically for light coming through. For this, go up into the loft or attic during daytime and switch off all lighting. You should then be able to see any light coming through.

What Could Happen if You Don’t Repair Your Roof?

It’s easy to assume that small holes are small problems and you can put off repairing them, but this is very unwise. The smallest hole will allow moisture to seep through, which can cause severe problems.

For one thing, if the moisture gets into the timbers of the roof frame, it can cause them to rot. Thus, what would have been a minor repair job could turn into something much more serious. In addition, damp can lead to mould and mildew growing, and these could be a health hazard, especially if anyone in the house suffers from asthma or has a compromised immune system.

It’s important to get holes in your roof repaired as soon as possible, but also as expertly as possible, since a botched job can make things much worse. If you need help with your roof, you’re very welcome to give us a call.

How Gale-Force Winds Affect Your Home

How Gale-Force Winds Affect Your Home

We normally associate gales and storms with the winter. This year, though, has been a reminder that storms can hit us even at the height of summer — and that means we need to be prepared year-round to protect our homes.

The Dangers of Storms

One of the primary roles of your house’s structure is to protect you from the weather, such as high winds, heavy rain or cold. The walls, foundations, doors and windows play their part in this, but the brunt of the assault is borne by the roof, since it’s more exposed than the rest.

A storm can pose a number of dangers to your roof. High winds or heavy rain can damage individual slates or tiles, leaving them likely to let in water. Your gutters and downpipes can also be damaged by the wind, or else get clogged by debris being blown into them.

Checking Your Roof

If your home has been battered by a storm, it’s important to check the roof for potential damage as soon as possible. It may be possible to examine the tiles or slates from the ground, using binoculars. If the angle makes it difficult to see, you could climb a ladder to roof level for a closer look — but don’t go onto the roof unless you’re an experienced roofer.

You can also check for damage from inside. Go into your loft or attic during the day, with all lights switched off. If you see any points of light in the roof, this suggests you have gaps where water can get in and damage the timbers.

Checking Your Gutters

Your guttering should be checked on a regular basis, especially in autumn and spring, but high winds can give it a battering. The gutters or pipes may have sprung a leak, or else debris could have been blown into them and clogged them up. Either might result in water seeping down the walls, risking damage to both walls and foundations.

Ideally, its best to check the guttering close up, but other signs can suggest a problem. If you see water marks streaking the walls, or water pooling on the ground, it could well suggest a leak immediately above.

Fixing the Problems

If you’re an expert DIYer with experience of working at height, then you may be able to unclog your gutters or fix a small leak. Repairing roofing material, however, is always best left to professionals. If you suspect recent storms may have damaged your roof or gutters, you’re very welcome to get in touch with us.