When it comes to your house, you might spend a lot of time on interior design and making sure the paint job isn’t looking shabby but how often do you look at your roof? And we don’t mean a quick glance as you run dash through your house to the front door.
Having a roof over your head is essential to a safe and comfortable home and yet it’s an element that most people don’t even think about until there’s a problem.
A typical roof should last 20 – 25 years, depending on factors such as ventilation, weather damage, and whether a previous roof was completely removed before installation. If the roof was installed over another layer or is older than 20 years, it will probably need to be replaced.
2. Leaks and water damage
Dark patches, algae streaks, and water marks on the ceiling can all indicate water damage as a result of a damaged roof or blocked valleys and gutters. If left unchecked, water can cause irreparable damage to your roof and ceiling, not to mention bacterial growth. If water leakage is a concern, you should also have the framework checked to see if it has been damaged.
3. Missing or damaged roof tiles
With care, climb into your ceiling space and look for any spots where outside light is visible. Then, from the outside, carefully inspect all roof tiles (shingles) that receive direct sunlight. Don’t walk on the tiles as you could break them. Roof tiles should lie flat. If they are curling or missing, as a result of age or weather damage, they need to be replaced. Broken or missing tiles will let in the rain, leaving the roof vulnerable to water damage.
4. Granules and bare spots
Look for roof tile granules in the gutters – they look like large grains of sand. Poorly placed down spouts or heavy drainage can result in these granules washing away. You might also notice that the roof colour looks patchy in places – another sign the granules have worn away. Once the granules are gone, the tiles will begin to harden and warp from heat and sun exposure.
A sagging roof indicates a serious structural problem, for example, battens that need replacing. Any sagging means your roof needs immediate attention and you should contact an expert ASAP.
6. Brittle/torn underlay
If your underlay is brittle or torn that may well mean it’s time to be replaced. Underlay is a fundamental element of a roof structure. It provides superior wind uplift strength which prevents the uplift of roof coverings during strong winds. It offers protection against water ingression and dust invasion.
7. Rusted valley irons
Valley irons are used where two roofs meet at a particular angle. This area is known as a “valley”. Valley irons are used to channel water away from the roof and into a gutter. If a valley iron is rusted water will seep through the affected areas and enter the roof space causing damages to ceilings and electrical components.
Don’t let raindrops fall on your head…
Ideally, you should inspect your roof at least two times a year, inside and out. Don’t wait until an unhealthy or dangerous situation develops. If you do spot a problem, don’t attempt to fix it yourself – consult a roofing expert that can handle both repairs and replacements safely and effectively.
Need an inspection of your roof or roofing help? Call us on 031 713 6571.