Very few of us pay much regard to the roof above our heads until a problem springs up – often resulting in damage and significant repair bills. However, with just a little planning and some general maintenance, you can save yourself considerable problems and expense further down the line.
As is so often the case with most home maintenance, prevention is the best cure and doing some simple checks on your roof (and interior roof space) helps keep it in the best condition. If you do find larger signs of damage or wear and tear, it’s usually best to call in a roof repair specialist as attempting to do the work yourself can be dangerous.
While you might think checking the exterior of your home would be a good way to spot developing roofing problems, actually many issues can best be spotted from inside your home – by climbing up into your attic. Most will be easily identifiable from taking a quick check around your loft space. Be sure to look for these five tell-tale signs that problems might be developing.
Beams of light or staining
Light entering your roof space is never a good sign. After all, if light can get into your home, so can water. Go up into your attic on a sunny day and check for any chinks or cracks letting in sunlight.
Cracked, curled or missing roof tiles
Missing roof tiles will be immediately apparent, but you should also check for any curling or cracks. The tiles on your roof should lay flat on top of each other but heat or storm damage can cause tile deformation – again, increasing the risk of water entering your home. If you spot any distortion or buckling in your tiles, you should replace them as soon as possible. The problems will only increase with time.
Check the paperwork
It might sound obvious but check the paperwork or home reports that came with your house to see when the roof was installed or last repaired. As a general rule, slate, copper or tile roofs should have a lifetime of around 50 years while cement or asphalt roofs can last for about 20-25 years, depending on how well they are maintained. If you find your roof is older, consider consulting with a roofing company for advice.
Sagging spots and other signs of damage
Sagging will be most noticeable by checking outside your home – though you’ll still see signs of it from inside too. A sagging roof can be a sign of trapped moisture or rotting boards. In general, these will be most common in the least-supported areas of your roof (i.e. typically in the middle). A bent or drooping roof can be a sign of more significant structural damage so, if you notice any areas out of shape, you should seek professional advice.
Plants and mosses
Moss on the roof can be an indication of trapped moisture in your roof space (either on top of the tiles or inside). If you see signs of growth, you should remove the plants with a stiff brush. Also, look for signs indicating what might have caused the growth in the first place. Plants and mosses need water to grow, so it’s quite likely your roof might have developed leaks.