Your roof is quite possibly the most important part of your home. It protects the whole structure of your home from the elements. It can also the most expensive part of your house to have repaired. Most people do not go up onto their roof very often, and so don’t notice any problems until they have become much more expensive than they should.
Follow the guidelines below and you can spot early signs of trouble and prevent them becoming any worse. Keeping your roof water tight and weather proof is essential to protect the timbers underneath.
Use binoculars to get the best view of the roof. You can even use the satellite view from Google Maps to get a reasonable overview of your roof. A ladder can be used for a closer inspection especially if your if your roof is flatter and more difficult to view.
You should check your roof every spring and every autumn. The sun does more damage than the wind and rain so pay close attention to the sunny side of the house.
Check along the ridges of the roof, particularly the points where the tiling overlaps. Any cracks you see can easily turn into leaks if not caught in time.
Check the valleys. Valleys are joints that have a downward slope. Most are covered with a piece of sheet metal called flashing. Make sure there are no holes or corrosion spots. You may see more flashing around any structures that rise out of the roof like skylights, attic windows or chimneys. Check these very carefully.
Look for missing, cracked and damaged tiles. Have these replaced as quickly as possible. Moisture leaking in from these areas can damage and weaken the underlying timbers, walls and ceilings.
Check all the gutters. If you see lots of little granules in there, it means your roof is being erroded and needs to be resealed.
This debris could also lead to the gutters draining poorly which may back up and cause water damage. This condition is very easy to remedy. Check for clogs in the downpipe.
Follow these simple guidelines twice a year and fix the minor problems so you avoid any major problems later.
Longer term problems are more difficult to spot. All tiles gradually errode through the action of water, ice and differential heating. The tiles literally dissolve and become thinner and thinner until they fail entirely. There are highly protective coatings that can be applied to roof tiles to protect them.
This is the same technology that is being used on monuments and churches to protect the stonework. A solution is applied that soaks into the stone to form an impenetrable hard protective layer that it is hoped will last a hundred years or more. This prevents any further deteoration. This can save the expense and inconvenience of having to replace the roof entirely.