Roof Maintenance Tips and Advice
In many cases, a family’s home is their biggest asset.
When looked after, a well-maintained home can hold its value or even increase in value… but if left to fall into disrepair, your home sweet home has the potential to create a huge financial burden.
If you don’t know your barge board from your gable end, or you’re not sure why it’s important to check your roof regularly, here’s some information to help you keep the roof over your head in great shape for years to come, and keep your home insurance happy in case of potential claims.
When purchasing a house, it’s important to remember that flaws or defects in any aspect of the design or construction, as well as maintenance-related issues, will usually not be covered by your home insurance policy.
Some common things to look out for include:
BROKEN OR CHIPPED TILES
Cracked, chipped or broken tiles should be replaced immediately, rather than mended.
A good tip is to use undamaged tiles from the bottom of the roof to replace broken tiles further up, so the colour difference will be less noticeable than new tiles. Simply replace the tiles you’ve moved with new tiles at the bottom.
This vital aspect of your roof keeps water from entering your home or damaging the roof structure. Maintaining your roof’s waterproofing involves keeping an eye on a few different components.
- Ridge Tiles
Located on the topmost edge of the roof, ridge tiles should be checked for any cracks. You should also check the cement joining the tiles, which can wear away over the years causing tiles to move and letting water in. An annual check will allow you to identify any issues and get them
resolved before they become a bigger problem.
The area in which roof sections join is known as a valley. Valleys should be correctly aligned to allow water to drain easily. Any issues with the alignment of the valley, or the accumulation of leaves and other debris in this area, could cause water to collect and damage the roof structure.
- Gutters and downpipes
Designed to transport water away from your roof, gutters and downpipes need regular checks to ensure they do not become blocked by leaves and other debris. You should observe downpipes to check they are all flowing correctly, and use a hosepipe to clear any dirt that could be causing a blockage.The end of the downpipe is known as the shoe, and you should also ensure this is pointing away from the house to ensure the flow of water does not damage the foundations of your home. Finally, the seams or joints of gutters and downpipes should be checked for cracks to avoid leaks.
Flashing is used to ensure gaps between the roof tiles and skylights, side walls or chimneys are fully sealed to prevent leaks. Flashing made from aluminum, copper, or stainless or galvanized steel lasts longer than other materials and is less prone to becoming brittle and cracking.
Gable ends are triangular sections of wall that support two sides of a sloping roof. Often, the roof tiles above the gable end are cut too short, making them sit flush with the wall and exposing the wooden roof battens the tiles rest on.
Barge boards should be used to cover any exposed wood, and you should check regularly for any loose boards which should be refitted immediately.
GENERAL ROOF MAINTENANCE TIPS AND ADVICE
Zinc roofs are also prone to rust, and should be properly primed and painted to protect against damage.
Keeping your roof in good condition can make a huge difference to the overall value of your property. By caring for your roof you’re also protecting your home and its contents, and you’ll have peace of mind knowing that insurance claims won’t be hampered by maintenance-related issues, which are often not covered.
Our expert team can advise on what your home insurance policy covers, and find the best policies to suit your needs and budget.