Most people call on the services
of a roofer after spotting a leak in their homes. From there, the
roofer must assess the situation during what is known as the
initial consultation. Many homeowners have the tendency to discount
the value of these consultations, as they do not see any "work"
being done. However, it is in your best interests to allow your
roofer adequate time to make his diagnosis. Never rush your roofer
through this critical stage of the repairs
(roofing tips, homedoctor.net).
Proper ventilation in your roof may
be the difference between a successful roof or a complete failure
in a very short space of time.
It does not matter what your
roof is made of. Roof maintenance should be done at
least twice a year... Just before the winter sets in is a good
If possible and safe to do so, use a ladder and inspect all sides
of the roof while you are at gutter level, do not walk on the
roof without the right equipment as you could break the tiles or
slates. Slowly inspect small areas at a time looking for
slipped tiles or slates or any cracks. At the same time clear any
debris out of the guttering.
If it is not possible to access
certain areas of the gutter to clear debris, try taking a hose up
the ladder and blasting out the debris with water. This may
also be done down any downspouts to check there are no
See below if
it is not possible to use a ladder to inspect the roof from gutter
Pay particular attention to
roof protrusions where different sections of roofs meet or
intersect with walls. Most roof leaks develop in these areas. Roof
protrusions are anything that sticks thru the roof, such as pipes,
vents, chimneys etc. Remove cracked or dried out caulking /
mastic and replace with a good waterproof silicone
sealant. Use a wire brush if necessary and make sure surface is
clean and dry. Seal loose bricks and mortar in
Inspect the ceilings and walls on
the inside of your home. In most cases a spot on the ceiling will
tell you you have a leak. The first sign of a roof leak should
be fixed immediately.
(You may only realise that a repair is needed on
the roof when ceiling stains are noticed in a room after rainfall.
This indicates that water is leaking into the roof space. Always
repair damage as soon as possible to stop further rainfall damaging
the fabric of the house).
Checking the roof from
If your roof is unlined (no roofing membrane behind the tiles
and lathe), check for daylight showing through... It
may need closer inspection. Check the timbers for
water staining. If stains are found on the timber, try to find
the source of the stain. Slate will deteriorate with age
so check for hairline cracks and look for staining on the
tiles or white efflorescent powder.
Checking at ground
Look at the whole roof by inspecting it at ground level. You
should be able to spot a tile that has slipped as it will be out of
line with the rest. Look for any powdery or flaky substance, known
as delamination, which shows deteriorating tiles. Check
ridges for gaps in the mortar joints. Check flashings at
abutments and around chimney stacks. Check for fallen pieces of
mortar, slate etc.
Use binoculars to check if
you can not see it too well or a modern digital camera with a
good telephoto lens.
Checking from roof
If using a ladder, make sure it is set up correctly and long enough
- at least 3 rungs above the gutter. Always work with someone
standing near by when you are working at a height.
If going onto the roof always
use a correct roof ladder with wheels to avoid damage to the
If you do not have any equipment
mentioned above call in a roofing contractor to check your roof or
alternatively you can hire the equipment from a diy hire shop but
please follow all instruction for use carefully.
COMMON CAUSE OF ACCIDENTS IN THE BUILDING INDUSTRY IS FALLING FROM
- BE SAFE. IF IN DOUBT USE A PROFESSIONAL