What causes the roof on your property to deteriorate? Our roof surveyor Dan Simpson explains the five most common issues we encounter:
Condensation in Roof-Space:
Condensation is caused when water vapour comes into contact with cold
surfaces and condenses to form dampness or water droplets.
This water vapour is due to everyday activities (such as boiling kettles, taking showers, cooking and drying clothes)
The vapour will naturally rise to the nearest cold area such as windows or an open loft hatch. This occurrence is most popular in Winter, particular around Christmas time. When residents open the loft (to fetch Christmas decorations) The warm air will escape through the loft opening and make contact with the underside of the roof.
Because energy efficiency is all-important- homeowners are told to thoroughly insulate the roof space. This works to a degree BUT decreases the chances of the warm vapour (condensation) escaping.
Because of this, the condensation. clings to the underside of the under-felt (first layer of membrane which makes up the roof covering.)
This is more of a concern where out dated under-felts are installed. Where the material is not ventilated- the condensation will cause the felt to rot thus making it become prone to rainwater and natural damp penetrating into your property.
However, modern, commonly used underfelt has minute, almost invisible holes which allow natural airflow to pass through the roof (In accordance with BS5534). It also allows water vapour to pass through the underlay to the outside of the structure, instead of forming as condensation on the
surfaces within the roof space.
However, condensation can sometimes still occur in
this type of roof during cold weather while the building is drying out. This can be solved by installing significant ventilation in the form of a “tile vent” This acts like a conventional roof tile that allows extra natural airflow into the property.
More information on condensation in the roof-space can be found here
If you suspect condensation to be a problem at your property please get in touch. We are happy to help
Slipped/Broken Roof Tiles:
The simple roof tile has been a tried and tested roof covering for hundreds of years. This concept has hardly changed to this day.
Roof tiles are held in place by nailed or hooked onto to a timber batten which runs across the rafters. In time -usually due to ungalvanized fixings corroding or wind causing uplift- roof tiles will work loose and slip or break.
This exposes the under-felt below causing rainwater and moisture to penetrate leading to your roof being prone to leaks.
Replacing a few roof tiles is a relatively small job with minimum costings.
Severe Weather Conditions:
Not only is severe weather a nuisance. It can also have an adverse affect on your roof:
- High winds:
Strong winds is by far the biggest contributor to failing domestic and commercial roofs. As winds gather speed the roof tiles are prone to lifting causing breakages – leaving your property susceptible to leaks, and falling tiles causing potential harm to others and possessions below.
After a storm we always advise to go outside and inspect your roof, we also recommend checking in your loft for visible daylight through the roof. If you are not sure or you cant physically inspect please call us on 01782 954694 for a free roof survey.
If something doesn’t look right, no matter how minor please feel free to get in touch at any time of day. We always encourage you to act fast! Don’t let the problem worsen. We act fast to inspect, then carry out any necessary roof repairs particularly after storm damage.
- Heat damage (Flat roofs):
In the rare event we have extreme heat, severe temperatures can be as harmful to your roof (especially flat roofs) as other weather conditions. Due to the prolonged exposure to the sun’s heat, your roof will age faster. Damage occurs both inside and out of your flat roofing system causing your current roof covering to crack, warp and blister.
- Torrential rain:
Obviously, the roof on your property is designed to keep out the rain. However, due to climate change, the amount of rainfall we get is drastically increasing.
Your roof should cope fine with moderate rainfall. In the event of regular, heavy downfalls, this will naturally test roofs that are not in the best of conditions. Particularly causing poor drainage issues (e.g. water backing up into the building (see below) ↓↓↓↓
Definitely one of the most common roof complaints we receive is blocked guttering and valleys. Essentially rainwater needs drain away from roofs by the way of guttering systems. Usually around Autumn months, leaves fall from trees clogging up guttering which disrupts the flow-away of rainwater. If your property is located near trees, we advise to get your guttering checked for debris causing gutter blockages in the winter months. Feel free to contact us for a free survey.
Has home-owners/business owners start to feel the pinch financially – they might be excused for attempting to carry out home repairs themselves or to contact lesser skilled “cowboys.” The roofing trade is no different.
In recent times we see more and more poor attempts of roof repairs/installations. If not carried out properly these attempts will not work! And in some cases can even make the problem worse!
In alot of cases, repairs required are minimal and will be carried out at a relatively small cost. Don’t risk doing it yourself and running the risk of much higher costings in the future! If you suspect a roofing problem please get in touch. Our contractors are skilled and are experienced in all aspects or roof repairs, flat roofing and installations of new roofs if required.
Thanks for reading.
Dan Simpson (Surveyor/Contractor) 01782 954694