In the home, there are various potential problems over which you might procrastinate, without any serious outcome, for some time. It’s very easy to fall into this trap, so well done for going one step further than many people would in addressing one of these problems, and asking whether your roof is at risk of a leak.
After all, who thinks about their roof? It’s above us, completely out of the way, and we don’t really need to give it any attention until it tells us to, right? Well, not really. It’s actually much better practice for us to keep it in our thoughts and check how it is faring against the elements.
What to look out for
Winter can be an expensive and time-consuming period for many reasons. It’s natural for you to want to keep hold of your money and hope that your roof lasts until the more clement Spring. However, if you’ve already spotted any damp patches on ceilings or spotted water pooling in the attic, then your roof might require a few seasonal gifts of its own in order to save you money further down the line.
You should also act if you see any signs of water damage on any interior or exterior wall, dampness around chimneys, or any new streams or drips of water coming from the roof or gutters. Sagging in the centre of a flat roof is a clear indication that water is adversely affecting the material. Meanwhile, missing tiles on a traditional, sloped roof leave an ideal space for water to enter.
If you don’t mind getting your hands dirty, give your roof and attic a thorough investigation with these crafty tips. However, as it’s not the simplest or safest of tasks to check the roof itself, then your safest bet is to contact a recommended roofing specialist.
If you happen to be a bit of a tech-head yourself, you could also try this modern, creative method of checking out the roof of your property from above – but you’ll still need a professional to sort out any problems after all the fun!
What could happen
A combination of short- and long-term issues can arise from a roof leak. Water doesn’t have quite the same reputation for destruction as fire; however, as an element, it is equally indiscriminate in the damage it will cause. In fact, water damage from a leaky roof can actually increase the possibility of fire damage by interfering with the electrical cables in your attic.
A side effect of a leaky roof, both long- and short-term, is the impact on your heating bill. For every drop of water that gets in, not only does air – including heat – escape, but the risk of your insulation becoming saturated and, thus, ineffective also increases. Repairing this level of damage, including to the structural integrity of ceiling joists and wall framing, is far more costly than a simple roof repair.
In the longer term, the health concerns that can be posed to residents as water seeps continuously into the home are incredibly dangerous. Mould and mildew can steadily build up, leading to problems for people with nasal congestion, asthma, and other respiratory conditions.
In fact, exposure to mould can actually induce such conditions, which is why many home bathrooms, kitchens and other rooms in commercial or industrial buildings exposed to steam and water are now coated with anti-mould paint or finishes.
What you should do
Once you’ve performed the level of assessment with which you’re comfortable, and still aren’t sure that a roof leak can be ruled out, then you should book a visit from a professional roofing specialist immediately.
Findley Roofing and Building can, at no charge, check Durham roofers where the company can also provide a professional team of roofing contractors who will be able to repair and secure your roof against the elements.
If you have identified a leak, reduce the short-term damage by using something waterproof, like a bucket or pan, to collect any water for now, or lay down a waterproof tarpaulin sheet directly below it.
Also, move any electrical items out of the way or turn them off entirely in that area of the house. If the leak is in the attic, cut off all electricity to this area of the home if possible, but don’t attempt to move any cables yourself.
Nothing is certain when it comes to weather. Your roof will continue to be bruised and battered relentlessly by the elements – but, by keeping an eye out for the tell-tale signs of leaks, you’ll be more likely to keep it healthy and leak-free. In turn, your roof, all tucked away and often forgotten at the top of your home, will be more capable of protecting you.
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