Factors to check when carrying out your yearly roof inspection

How to Inspect Your Own Roof

Today, we’re going to take a look at how to inspect your own roof. We can’t stress enough just how important it is to check your roof on a regular basis. So, to help you out, we’re going to discuss some of the vital elements which you should be checking.

Inspect Your Gutters

A good place to start when inspecting your roof is guttering. Look for clogged downpipes, sagging gutters and cracks or holes in the channel. If you have old wooden gutters, they should be checked for rot and replaced if needs be.

It is common for gutters to become blocked over long periods due to fallen leaves and general debris. It’s important to clear away any blockages as faulty gutter systems can create problems, such as structural damage to the property and leaks.

You may find that water will build up and pool beneath your eaves or run down the external walls. This can lead to water getting into your foundations, causing damp issues, moss and damage to the brickwork.

A solution to this is gutter leaf guards. They are available from most trade stores and are ideal if you live on a property surrounded by trees as they will reduce the amount of gutter maintenance needed.

Or, you can call Dalton Roofing, and we’ll head out to install the gutter guards for you.

In the video below, Phil Dalton explains how to clean plastic roof gutters and bring them back to their original shine.

Inspect Roof Tiles, Slates and Shingles

The next element of your roof to inspect are the roofing tiles, slates, and shingles. If your roof is in bad condition, your home is less likely to be protected against water ingress, leaks and damp. Here are some tips for what to look for when checking your roof tiles.

Check the Roof for Algae and Moss

You can check for algae and moss on your roof from the ground by using binoculars. Algae and moss can trap moisture that will eventually make its way through the shingles and the roof’s structure. If you do find signs of algae or moss on your roof, you can clean it off by using moss killer and wipe it away using a firm brush.

Check for Damaged Shingles

Roof shingles can easily become damaged. The hot air in your attic can cause them to warp or buckle, especially in asphalt shingles. While wooden shingles are susceptible to rot. And clay or slate tiles can break, crack, chip or break in the wind, rain and sun. When carrying out your roof inspection, you should also look for corrosion, rust and other wear and tear. Once identified, you should get your shingles repaired as soon as possible.

Check for Cracked Roof Tiles

If you come across any broken or cracked tiles, it is crucial that you replace them as soon as possible. When cracked tiles are not replaced, rainwater can easily seep through the cracks into the property and damage the structure of the roof and building. This may cause a leak in your attic, and if you don’t head up there very often, you might not find out until it’s too late.

Check the Attic

If your room contains an attic space you should check that too, particularly if it’s not one that’s been converted into a functional room. From here, you should be able to spot damage that can’t be seen from the ground. You may find light coming in through a gap where there shouldn’t be one, Or, you could find a pool of water from a leak. Make sure to inspect your wooden interior, such as rafters and frames, for signs of damp, mould or rot.

Check Flashing

Many objects on your roof, such as dormers, vents and skylights, will be sealed with flashing. And as with the rest of your roofing materials, they can become damaged over time by changes in temperature and extreme weather conditions. The flashing should sit flush against the roof and have no gaps where water could get in. If you find a problem, you can use roof sealant or caulk to reseal any small issues.

Inspect Your Chimney

While you’re up on the roof, you should make sure to inspect your chimney too. This includes the flashing, vents and brickwork. Many old chimney stacks are no longer in use, and this means that it’s easy to forget about. But a damaged chimney can cause damp, leaks and water ingress issues, so make sure it’s in good nick.

You can watch Phil Dalton explaining how he’s going to repair a chimney and replace the lead flashing to prevent leaks in the video below.

How to Inspect Your Roof Safely

Inspecting your own roof can be a bit of a health and safety nightmare. But you can make it easier by following a few simple pieces of advice, For instance only head up on a clear, dry day and make sure you don’t work alone.

Furthermore, if you’re willing to inspect your own roof without the help of an experienced roofer, then you could probably do with investing in some health and safety equipment so you can work safely. Here are some items you may want to consider:

  • Suitable extension ladder
  • Safety harness
  • Breaking strain rope
  • Soft sole shoes

Once you have the necessary equipment, follow these steps to help you carry out your room inspection safely:

1. Ladder Position

Position the extension ladder away from doorways and powerlines. If you’re accessing the roof, make sure the ladder is extended 1m above the gutter. And use the 4-in-1 calculation for positioning the angle of your ladder. (Read more about ladder safety on our blog Keeping Safe on Ladders During Winter.)

2. Attach Safety Harness

When going on the roof, attach your safety harness and make sure it’s securely anchored to a safety rope. You should use a rope with a minimum of 700kg breaking strain and throw it over the other side of the roof. Then attach the rope to a solid structure, such as a tree, and attach it to your harness through a D-ring.

3. Climb Ladder and Access Roof

Once the safety rope s attached you can head up the ladders to access the roof. Before you do access the roof, pull on the rope to make sure it’s taught and secure. Once on the roof, move around slowly and gently. Be careful to keep your balance and wear non-slip, soft-soled footwear to avoid accidental slips.

Carry Out Yearly Roof Inspections

It’s a good idea to inspect your roof at least once, perhaps twice a year. You should inspect your roof in spring or early summer to make sure the roof hasn’t been damaged by storms or changes in temperature and weather throughout the winter months.

And, it’s helpful to check your roof before winter hits to ensure that you can head into the cold, wet months with your home well protected.

Call Dalton Roofing

The factors mentioned above are the key areas to check over on a roof inspection. However, if you’re not too keen on performing a roof inspection yourself, Dalton Roofing’s team of Sheffield roofers will be more than happy to help.

Call 0114 2799 799 today for a free estimation on your roof inspection