Like any other aspect of your home, your roof needs occasional maintenance and care. This holds true whether your home is brand new or traditional. Not only is your roof an integral structural element of your home, it’s also essential for the building’s aesthetic, as well as keeping the outside out! Such an important aspect of a house, therefore, should not be overlooked. That’s why we’ve come up with a definitive list of the things you should know about your roof:
Just like other elements of architecture, roofing styles have firm roots in period trends. Open gable roofs with decorative bargeboards (a board attached to the end of the gable to hide the roofing timber) are extremely popular and tend to be seen on Victorian and Edwardian properties. Tudor houses tend to have steep pitched (sloped) roofs and decorative timber trusses. Another common roofing feature in Tudor homes is the dormer window. More modern properties tend to employ a mixture of architectural styles. Often this depends on the aesthetic of the street and surrounding houses.
When carrying out extension work or maintenance, knowing your materials is a must. The most common materials for roofing are asphalt shingle, slate and tile. However, depending on the type and period of your property, you may also be lucky enough to have indigenous materials like thatch or Horsham stone roofing: a style that is traditional to the Sussex area. Familiarising yourself with the materials used on your roof will make maintenance and planning construction works a lot easier.
The first thing to find out is if you even have insulation in your roof. Many modern homes have insulation directly under the roofing materials. This is known as sarking and is usually a layer of felt fitted under the roofing tiles or slats. Other homes may have insulation in the loft or above the ceiling of the top storey. Insulating your roof is an important step in making your home more efficient; around 25% of heat from your home is lost through the roof. Insulation is relatively simple to install, with pitched and slope roofs being easier to work with than flat and dormer ones.
The common issues
Whatever type of roof you have, there are a few common problems that can affect any home. Leaks, blistering and shrinkage are three issues that can all be prevented, or at least postponed, by regular care and maintenance.
- Leaks are usually caused by ponding (pooling of water on the roof that weakens it over time), failure of the underlay and slipped tiles or slates.
- Blistering is a common problem with shingled roofs. This is when the outer layer of granules on the shingles wear away. Whilst this is considered common wear and tear, it could indicate a reduced life expectancy of the roof and lead to leaks and other damage if not seen to.
- Shrinkage is often seen in roofs with a lumber frame. It can be caused by poor installation and exposure to UV rays and leads to leaks and potential rotting. Preventing it is as simple as making sure your underlay is secure and in good condition.
Roofs are important to our homes for both structural and aesthetic reasons. That’s why it’s important to make sure your roof gets the maintenance it needs to keep your home warm and dry and looking its best. If you have any concerns, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us; we’re always happy to help.