Roof Maintenance Check

Identifying possible problems with your roof early can save a great deal of money by correcting small problems, before they develop into big ones. We provide full roof surveying services.  As your roofer in Herne Bay, we aim to provide more support than any other roofing companies in Herne Bay.  Please follow our guidelines below to check your roof.

Roofing Checklist

Checking the Condition of a Slate roof

From the loft
When you are inside the loft, you can easily asses damage.  When looking, keep an eye out for damaged felt and wet, or even rotting timbers.  This will indicate areas that are defective. If there is a substantial rip in the felt, you may be able to see the underside of the roof covering and battens. Shine a torch on the timbers and check for water staining.

Upon inspection, if you find that there is no felt between the rafters you should be able to see the battens and underside of the slates, this will enable you to check for breaks and cracks. Look for light entering the roof space, because this will show you where water maybe penetrating. Disregard the perimeter of the loft at the lowest point, as it is perfectly normal to see light here.

Outside ground level inspection
Outside, you can check the whole roof, inspecting at ground level. Using binoculars will help. It is easy to spot a disjointed or slipped slate by looking along the lines or courses which are uniform, so missing or failing slates will stand out from this order. Changes to the colour of a section could be due to new exposure, being dusty or weathering differently to the rest of the roof covering. These areas will most certainly no longer be watertight.

It is important to check the condition of the slate, if planning to re-roof. The reason being that nail fatigue can occur on slate roofs and subsequently many slates will begin to slip out. If the slates are good, they could easily last another 25 years and more. Once removed, and new felt and battens installed, the original slate can be relayed with new nails, making up with quality seconds for the shortfall, but this is a much less costly re roofing option.
Look at the ridge and check for gaps in the mortar joints. Check the state of the flashings at abutments and around chimneystacks. Check for fallen pieces of mortar.
High quality digital cameras with a good zoom can also be used to gain views on inspection, that otherwise may not be possible from the ground.

At gutter or roof eave level
If you are using a ladder, always make sure it is set up correctly and is long enough – at least 3 rungs or 1 meter above the gutter. Always work with someone standing nearby when you are working at a height. If possible, have someone to foot the ladder at ground level and tie the ladder off at the top for stability.

Once at roof level, only access the surface of the roof using a roof ladder. This is a purpose built ladder that has wheels to allow you to push it up the sloping roof without dislodging or damaging the slates, it secures by turning the ladder over so the hook securely lodges over the ridge.

If the roof has ornamental ridges, this may not be possible – this process is delicate and potentially dangerous. If you are unsure, we strongly recommend that this is left to a highly trained professional  – one of our Ballman Roofing team can provide you with a free inspection, included with your quote.

Checking the Condition of a Tilled Roof

The process for checking a tiled roof is much the same as slate, although nib corrosion is the most likely cause of tiles slipping. Changing sections of a tiled roof is more practical than slate. Once again, the tiles may be in a reasonable condition so reuse may be an option.

Checking the Condition of a Flat Roof

From inside
Check for water stains on the ceiling. On a particularly wet day, check for drips of water seeping through the surface. It is useful to inspect the ceiling after a long period of rain, as the source of a leak is easier to trace.

If stains are found, try tracing the source of the stain, as it is not always directly overhead. Water can penetrate the roof surface and travel between the roof and ceiling level before finding its way through the ceiling. If there is a sign of leaking or warping, the water is penetrating the roof covering outside from the ground.

Check the flashings and drips. These are found at the abutments and around the edges of the roof. Here, strips of felt are secured over fascia boards, sealing the edges of the roof. Inspect for cracking and misshaped felt – this can be a good indicator of the roof condition. Felt coverings can deteriorate with age and become porous. The joins in  thefelt tend to fail first and result in the surface becoming uneven, buckling or cracking in areas.  If your roof looks like this, it is highly likely that the felt has failed and needs replacing.

At the roof level
If you are using a ladder, always make sure it is set up correctly and long enough – at least 3 rungs above the gutter. Always work with someone standing nearby when you are working at a height. Access the surface of the roof and don’t walk onto the roof, if you are unsure whether the structure is safe. If there are signs of dips in the roof, or puddles, it could be due to the deck or the structural joists having deteriorated or perished. If you have no confidence in the strength of the roof taking your weight, use scaffold boards across the roof in order to spread the load when you walk across it.

Call 01227 741094 for your experienced roofer in Canterbury

About Andy Ballman

Andy Ballman is the Founder of Ballman Roofing Contractors in Herne Bay, Kent. Andy is passionate about quality and service. Contact Andy for Free New Roof or Roof Repair Estimates in Kent and South East England.