Replacing the roof of your house is a serious issue. Even if you have the knowledge and skills to do the work yourself it is still a big ordeal. Even if you can source the materials as cheap as possible, you would still be looking at paying thousands of pounds. Not to mention countless hours of labour intensive work. There’s little point worrying about your roof when it starts leaking after years of neglect. It would benefit you more to take some time out of your busy schedule throughout the year and do some roof maintenance.
It doesn’t matter what materials your roof is made from. Whether it be slate, tiles or even metal eventually it will have problems because nothing lasts forever. The good news is if you carry out regular maintenance on a roof it would be safe to say you shouldn’t have any issues for at least 20 to 30 years. This timeframe is dependent upon the roofs composition. Below you will find a few tips to make your roof last longer and get as much longevity out of your roof as possible.
Keep Your Roof Tiles in Good Shape
At least once a year you should get up on the roof to check the quality of the slates, tiles and any other roofing materials up there. Ideally, you should make sure there is very little wind, a warm sunny day would be perfect. Check the weather forecast to make sure the chances of rain are slim to none. Tread carefully when you are up on the roof when assessing the condition of your roof. If you don’t feel you have the confidence to get up and inspect your roof for yourself in a safe manner, it would be much wiser to hire a professional roofer who can do for you.
If you have spotted any broken tiles or slates replace them immediately. Try and get the same colour roof tile to match the colour of the rest of the roof tiles. You don’t want it to stand out like a sore thumb from down below. When you are buying replacement roof tiles from your local roofing materials supplier, it might be a good idea to buy extra and put them in storage for future use. Last, if you have spotted any loose roofing materials be sure to re-anchor them securely to stop them coming loose again.
Inspect Your Chimney & Replace any Damaged Flashing or Cracked Sealant
While you are carrying out your annual roof inspection and maintenance, it’s imperative that you take a close look at your chimney.
Make your way over to the chimney and take a close look at where the chimney and the vents emerge from the roof. Check the flashing and any sealants that were used in the planning and construction for the water flow off your roof. You will want to inspect these closely and look for any small cracks. If you have a television aerial, satellite dish or video cameras fixed to your chimney stack, it will be wise to check the fixings while you are there. Check to see if the brackets or screws are rusted and likely to fall off. If you have skylights on the roof check around the edges, look for any issues such as or missing flashing.
Look for missing mortar in the bricks on the chimney stack. Weeds growing out of the chimney stack is a dead giveaway for this type of problem. Inspect the plumbing vents that protrude from the roof. Check to see if you can spot any blockages or signs of failing in any way.
Keep Your Roof Clean of Tree Debris and Keep Your Gutters Clean
As you are on your way of getting up on the roof, you will be able to see into your gutters. Check to see if they are full of debris or not. Gutters should be cleaned out at least once a year. The best times of year to clean out gutters is in the autumn and before the spring. Twigs, leaves and even mud all accumulate in the gutters and block up the downspouts. When the downspouts have a blockage, the rainwater will start overflow. The water from the overflowing gutters backs up and can find its way into your roof space. This often happens during heavy rain and strong winds.
When you are on the roof check to see if you can see any branches on the roof that have fallen off any surrounding trees. Make sure you remove them as soon as possible. If you plan on throwing any branches down to the ground make sure there is nobody there that they could land on. Try not to let heavy snow to accumulate on your roof either. If your roof does not have a pitch, the weight of heavy snow sitting on the roof can cause further damage to the roof. Keep your eye out for moss growing on the roof or ivy climbing up the walls onto the roof. The roots on these two culprits can cause untold damage to your roof tiles and slates if left to get out of control.
You Want to Get as Many Years out of Your Roof as Possible
One thing is for sure, your roof will eventually need some TLC after being bombarded by the elements over the years. However, with a little due diligence and some elbow grease (provided by yourself), you can hold off the inevitable by inspecting the roof on an annual basis. The other option is to hire a professional who can check your roof for a relatively small fee. Before you know it, a professional roofer will put your mind at ease in no time. An experienced roofer will know what to look for while staying safe on the roof. If you take the advice written in this article, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t get 2 – 3 decades out of the materials used on your roof.
Another important tip to mention is – don’t try and save a few pounds by roofing over old materials, it’s not worth it. The life expectancy of the newer materials will decrease just from being in contact with the old materials. Sooner or later you will have to address that problem too, which could result in having to replace the whole roof.