Is your Roof Ready for Winter?
The fabulous summer of 2018 is now behind us and winter is well on its way. This is a time to make sure that your home is ready for the ravages of winter storms. We’ve had some harsh winters in recent years so making sure your roof is in good repair is essential as autumn comes to a close and we look ahead to the coldest, darkest months of the year.
Check your roof from ground level if possible – if you do decide to use ladders to do so, then make sure you use the correct ladders for the job and that you follow safety advice from experts. Be on the lookout for any cracked or missing tiles which may need to be replaced – otherwise your roof is at risk of leaking when it rains. Check if any of the rendering or pointing is damaged – if so, call in a professional to carry out the repairs.
Check that any satellite dishes or aerials are securely fixed in place – even if they are slightly loose, strong winter winds could tear them off and lead to costly repair or reinstallation work.
Your guttering should be in good condition and fixed securely at all points. Clear out any autumn leaves that have fallen into the guttering, along with any other debris. This will help to keep rain water (and snow melt, if it does snow this year) draining away properly. Any blockages in the guttering can flood the roof, causing water damage. If water sits in the guttering due to a blockage, it’s likely to freeze during the winter months, expanding slowly and splitting the guttering or exposed cracks. Loose guttering should be fixed immediately – this is vital to redirect the water away from your roof. Wind can easily tear loose guttering away from the house, leaving rain water to cascade down the walls, making them prone to problems with damp in future.
If you have a chimney, you’ll need to take a close look at it before winter begins in earnest. Make sure that the chimney is well sealed at the point where it joins to the roof and that the chimney itself is sturdy and solid enough to stand up to heavy gusts of wind. It may be worth hiring a chimney sweep to make sure it’s in good working order, especially if you have an open hearth and plan on some log fires during the winter or over the Christmas period.
If you have a flat roof, make sure that the surface covering is in good condition before winter starts. It you see any punctures, cracks or other damage, it’s likely that standing water will eventually find its way inside the building and may cause extensive damage. Make sure that there is no debris collected on the roof, such as leaves, moss, nests, etc. Cleaning your flat roof at this time of the year will give it a much better chance of standing up to the elements over the coming months.