The roof of your house is undoubtedly the part that takes the most beating from the weather. It’s not only the wind, rain and snow that can damage a roof, but also the sun. Your roof, depending on the type, also does not have a finite lifespan. It will need repairs over time and may need replacing. The average life of a shingle roof, for example, could be anywhere between 20 to 30 years, depending upon where you are and what your prevailing weather conditions are.
It is always sensible to check your roof for damage – we’ll talk more about how to do this in a moment – but it is not something we think of doing unless prompted. The roof is up there, out of the way, and is not something we often look at! So, how do you check your roof for damage, and how do you choose the right roofing contractor should you think it needs attention? That’s what we want to talk about next, so let’s get down to business.
Do You Need Repairs?
There are certain signs that your roof is damaged and needs repair. When you get a moment, and particularly after rain, walk around the house and look up at the roof and guttering. If you wish a pair of binoculars may make things easier. What are you looking for? Let’s make a list:
- Dislodged shingles are a sign that something is wrong up there. The shingles need to be in the right place, or the water will get in. Any that are dislodged or missing need repairing or replacing quickly.
- Water pooling on the roof is a sign that the gutters or downpipes are blocked. This s a major problem as the water is supposed to run off the roof and down to the drainage system. The longer it stays on the roof, the more damage it will cause, so you need to find out what the problem is urgently.
- Water not flowing through the downpipes or overflowing from the guttering is a sign of blockage, and water running down the walls can cause damp.
- Broken gutters should be easy to spot and need replacing straight away so that drainage from the roof is facilitated.
The above are a few of the things to look out for and we also suggest you look for moss growing on the roof. This will eventually start to lift tiles so that the rain gets in, and a good roofing repair contractor will be able to remove moss with the right techniques without damaging the roof itself.
For one final check have a look in your loft space. If there is light coming in, you need to sort out why as it should be sealed. Roofing repairs should be budgeted into your household expenditure during your tenure as it is certain you will need work at some point.
Choosing the Right Contractor
Our first suggestion for choosing a roofing contractor is a simple one: choose a local company. Not only will they be familiar with the weather conditions and the common faults with local roofs, but they will also be able to keep costs down as there will be little in the way of travelling for them. It’s also an assurance that if things go wrong you have the right experts nearby to call upon.
We recommend you talk to a few roofing contractors in the area and ask for recommendations from friends and family. Ask them for examples of prior work in the area, and also if they are members of a relevant trade body or organisation. This is added assurance that you are engaging quality workmen to get your job done. Make sure they are fully insured too, as they will be performing a job that has its risks both to them and the homeowner.
You will find a roofing contractor that suits your needs, but don’t just go for the one that offers the cheapest quote as they may not necessarily be the right choice. Make sure you feel you can trust the people you choose as they may be needed again. Finally, ask what warranty they offer and make sure it covers all potential damage from the prevailing weather conditions in your location.
Your roof will need maintenance at times, that’s a given. It takes a lot of wear and tear over the years but is your primary protection against the elements. Making sure it is not damaged by performing the checks we recommended is essential, and we also suggest you get a professional in to give your roof a once-over every now and then. Kept well, your roof should last many years, so arrange an inspection now and see what needs to be done.