Regular maintenance is the key to looking after your roof. It detects small, inexpensive problems and fixes them before they become big and expensive.
Ideally, roofs should be inspected twice a year - at the start and end of winter. Also after any significant weather like high winds or storms. If you don't have a ladder and a head for heights, one easy, safe way to do this is to ask a neighbour if you can look from their house.
What you should be checking for includes:
1. Cracks, Stains, Spots On Roof
Check for signs of deterioration such as cracks, stains, rusting, watermarks, wet spots or other signs of excessive moisture or deterioration.
2. Check The Walls
Look for cracks in a wall which could be an indication of possible cracks in the roof system or flashing.
3. Fascias and Edging
Are overhangs, cornices, facias and edging in good condition? Breaks in roof edge elements can cause leaks and let wind and allow our ever present Irish sideways rain to get under the roof membrane and cause problems.
4.Gutters and Downspouts
Are gutters and downspouts free of debris? Damaged or clogged gutters, and roof drains and downspouts can cause water back up on the roof which can lead to additional problems.
5. Damp patches inside
From inside look for damp patches on upstairs ceilings or light between the loft rafters signal a leaking roof;
6. Overhanging tree branches
Check if you need to trim back any overhanging tree branches.
If you are worried about some aspect of the roof or just want peace of mind before the winter, use an experienced roofer to carry out a full inspection.
Remember that the key is to detect and repair any defects before it allows moisture to enter the roof system or interior.
Remember from a financial standpoint, your home is probably your most valuable investment. The roof which covers it usually represents 5-7% of the homes cost but covers and protects 100% of the structure itself and your contents.
Think of it as annual doctors checkup for your house. In fact, when I'm finished writing this article, I'm going outside, looking at the roof and getting a ladder to check the gutters for leaves!