The roof of a property is key in keeping it watertight and warm, so you must make sure you check it regularly and maintain it properly.
We recommend making checks from the outside at least twice a year and always after any severe storms. If we manage your property, this is the type of thing we’ll check on our periodic visits. If you – or we – notice any cracked or missing tiles, it’s important to have the roof attended to by a professional as soon as possible so that the property is not vulnerable to water.
The best solution for getting rid of mould and moss, etc. is gently scrubbing with a mild detergent and then using a pressure washer. Make sure you clear out the gutters first and aim the water from a distance of several feet so you don’t crack the tiles. Given that you’ll need a ladder and possibly other safety equipment, and to minimise the risk of causing any damage, it’s best to have an experienced and insured contractor carry out the work.
Budget for this to be done every five years to keep your roof in the best possible shape.
Most pitched roofs are tiled and natural slate is the most durable, lasting around 100 years. Man-made slate, clay or concrete tiles should last a minimum of 50 years, but the lifespan depends on how well you look after it.
What can cause pitched roof tiles to deteriorate more quickly?
- Sunlight – so if a roof is facing directly south, it may age faster
- The angle of the roof – with higher-pitched roofs tending to last longer, as there is not so much stress on the tiles
- A lack of loft ventilation – if you have little or no ventilation in the loft, your tiles will suffer
- Harsh weather conditions – needless to say, extreme cold or heat, or a lot of wind and rain will take its toll on roof tiles
- Human damage! Seek advice before walking on a roof, as it is very easy to crack tiles
If part of your property has a flat roof, it’s likely to be constructed from felt, fibreglass or rubber, all of which should last 20 to 30 years. Check the general condition and guttering twice a year, as you do the main roof, and you should be able to keep it clear simply by using a sweeping brush. Then also look out for:
- Standing water, indicating that the roof might be sagging
- Cracks and blistering, which tend to occur when water has become trapped underneath and expands
- Shrinkage at the edges of the membrane coating
In all cases, have a contractor repair the roof as soon as possible.
If you’ve got any questions about maintaining your property, just call into your local Your Move branch and one of the team will be happy to help.