Got it cov­ered?

It’s of­ten only when roofs leak that we re­mem­ber they need care and at­ten­tion like ev­ery­thing else. has tips for keep­ing on top of things

Tameside Advertiser - - HOMES -

home’s roof should be in­spected at least twice a year, both from the out­side (prefer­ably us­ing binoc­u­lars) and in­side the loft. If you can see day­light in the loft, there’s prob­a­bly some­thing miss­ing on the out­side.

Roof tiles or slates that have bro­ken, slipped out of place, or been blown off are a com­mon oc­cur­rence. If they’re not re­placed, rain­wa­ter will get into the loft and cause dam­age there and then to the rooms be­low.

Wa­ter stain­ing in the loft is an early warn­ing sign of a prob­lem with the roof cov­er­ing, so get it looked at by a rep­utable roofer straight­away.

parts of the roof can cause leaks and damp, in­clud­ing the flash­ing, gut­ter­ing and chim­ney stacks and pots. Again, you may be able to spot th­ese prob­lems your­self, but you will usu­ally need a roofer to put them right.

If you don’t know when the roof was last main­tained and you’re not sure what to look for, or you can’t see the roof prop­erly from the ground, it’s a good idea to get a roofer to check it over.

sur­pris­ingly, most thatched roofs need lit­tle main­te­nance and, apart from hav­ing the ridge re­done, can last up to 70 years.

While thatch is idyl­lic though, it’s also ex­pen­sive and car­ries the dan­ger of go­ing up in flames although fires are rare. There are ways to re­duce the risk of a fire, in­clud­ing hav­ing any work­ing chim­neys swept reg­u­larly (at least twice a year) and lined; mak­ing sure the chim­ney stacks are in good con­di­tion, es­pe­cially in the loft; and hav­ing the wiring through­out checked by a qual­i­fied elec­tri­cian ev­ery five years.

roofs also have a bad rep­u­ta­tion, but for leaks rather than fires. They’re prone to them be­cause they should have a gra­di­ent, but the gra­di­ent of­ten isn’t steep enough.

If the roof is too flat or doesn’t have an ad­e­quate struc­ture or ma­te­ri­als un­der the roof cov­er­ing, it will sag, al­low­ing rain­wa­ter to pool and even­tu­ally en­ter the room be­low. The roof cov­er­ing can also get dam­aged, so it’s some­thing to keep an eye on.

Roofs need regular check­ing to keep them in good con­di­tion but thatch and green roofs are more durable than you might think

a roof with wow fac­tor, noth­ing beats a “green” one. Green roofs are cov­ered in plants (with other lay­ers un­der­neath), in­stead of tra­di­tional roof cov­er­ings.

They have lots of benefits, in­clud­ing ab­sorb­ing rain­wa­ter, en­cour­ag­ing wildlife, and re­duc­ing pol­lu­tion, sound trans­fer and heat­ing and cool­ing costs. Green roofs can last around 50 years (both flat and slop­ing roofs are suit­able), but in­stal­la­tion costs are high.

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