• How to find a leak in a roof

    If you have a leak and you think it’s coming from your roof, ideally, you should get a professional roofer to look at it. However, there are things you can do yourself.

    1) Guttering

    If you’re going up on the roof, check the gutters. People often neglect the insides of gutters yet that is the most important part. Leaves and silt can lead to grass and foliage growth and eventually block the drain and cause over flowing or a leak.

    2) Tell tale signs

    Things to look out for on the roof include loose flashings, weak mortar, split lead valleys and crumbling on the tops of chimneystacks. You should also be vigilant for splitting roof felts and tiles or slates breaking down and delaminating (splitting of the natural layers). Birds and vermin can be problematic too.

    3) Hazards

    Check for loose or cracked pointing on ridge tiles on your roof as this will allow frost action to ‘open’ the fractures up. This will cause these them to become loose, which will be a particular hazard in high winds.

    4) From the inside

    If you can examine your roof from the inside, via the loft, have a close look at the joints and the main timbers. Everything should be tight and dry. Any evidence of insects should be considered a danger sign as they can cause rot. Also check your roof carefully for signs of daylight coming through the roof as this is usually the result of a missing or loose tile.

    5) Flat roofs

    With flat roofs you should look out for splits, pooling and any blocked guttering.

    6) Maintenance

    After you have fixed the roof problem or asked a professional to do it, be sure to get a qualified roofer round to check things are OK at least once a year. Some insurance policies will be void if maintenance has been neglected. Liability for third parties also has to be considered as members of the public could sustain injuries from falling roof tiles that were loose through neglect.

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