Homeowners urged to check roofs now or risk ‘costly’ repairs

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Roof damage can result in expensive repairs, most of which are easy to avoid with some simple preparation for poor weather. While freezing temperatures have already arrived in the UK, there’s still time to get your property ready for more severe winter conditions. Roofing experts have shared the most important checks that homeowners and landlords should be making right now.

Checking the roof of your home isn’t the easiest thing to do, though experts at Marley have urged homeowners to consider the impact of avoiding this crucial task. The team explained that as the winter weather sets in, the risk of broken roofing becoming a “danger to life” increases, as does the likeliness of further damage elsewhere in the home.

Phil Wallis, technical manager at Marley said: “Every year roofing issues cause damage to properties. Autumn and winter’s concoction of colder temperatures, stormy winds, and heavy rain make for a testing time for roofs. So November is the opportune time to take action before the temperatures significantly drop.

“Many homeowners only think about their roofs when there is an issue and they either need to repair or replace them. Regular maintenance instead and simple seasonal precautions can help spot early signs of damage and prevent falling tiles or costly repairs.”

The experts noted that the main things to look out for include roof obstructions, cracks or leaks, tile movement, and solar panels.

Clear obstructions

Fallen autumn leaves are impossible to prevent, but they are easy to get rid of. Along with slimy moss and debris, Phil explained that it is important to ensure leaves are removed from the valleys and gutters.

He added that lichens should also be cleared off your roof so as not to affect the flow of rainwater. This job is particularly important for north-facing roofs, and those covered by trees, where moss is more likely to grow. 

Phils said: “Frequently moss and algae can be removed by professionals by brushing with a handheld tool or alternatively by applying a moss-removing product. Many cleaning firms default to high-pressure jet washers for this task, but it’s best to avoid these as they can actually damage the tiles or reduce their overall service life, particularly if repeated often.”

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Check your loft for cracks and leaks

The inside of your roof is just as important as the exterior when it comes to damage control, and according to Phil, now is a “great time” to head into the loft to check for cracks and leaks.

While digging out your Christmas decorations, give rafters, underlay and loft board insulation a once-over by looking out for water and dampness. Phil recommended doing this on a bright day to make any gaps easier to spot.

He said: “When clay or concrete roof tiles become loose, damaged, or fall off, it makes the underlying roof structure vulnerable to weather damage and leaks.

“Checking roofs internally can reveal water ingress or evidence of damage, but this alone will not suffice. An internal inspection should always be accompanied by an external review, carried out by trained operatives using suitable roof access equipment.”

Check solar panels

Solar panels have become increasingly popular with homeowners, particularly as the energy crisis worsens. With more people investing in them “than ever before”, Phil explained the benefits of getting a professional roof check while they are being installed.

He said: “At this time of year, solar installations should be checked to ensure panels are clear of debris and foreign matter which can affect performance and check there are no signs of visible damage or degradation. Consider updating very old or outdated solar solutions to ensure full efficiency and property safety.”

Monitor tile movement

Getting up onto your roof is not only difficult to do but also incredibly dangerous without the right equipment. To safely carry out regular visual inspections, Phil suggested using your phone camera to zoom in on roof tiles.

He said: “Even a photo from a phone camera across the road, but on a bi-annual basis, will enable you to zoom in and spot any significant movement or shifting tiles early on. 

“Following a regular maintenance routine will help to identify potential problems much earlier and help avoid costly repairs and remedial works. It will also allow you to show the timeframe of damage to a professional to help fix it.”

Repair existing damage

If you notice any problems during your winter roof check, take steps to address the issue as soon as possible. The roofing expert noted that if left, it will only worsen as the icy, cold and windy weather approaches.

This is especially important for cracked slate or broken roof tiles on the floor around your property. Delaying repairs could cause serious damage to both pedestrians and parked cars, while also weakening surrounding tiles.

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