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Check the roof before you buy your dream home!

There are so many things to think about when moving house, but don’t forget to check the roof before you buy your dream home. 

Roofs are not just about kerb appeal. Even a good-looking roof might be hiding issues that could prove expensive if left unattended, particularly if it is on an older property. 

Trust Improve a Roof to survey your roof and make sure that you don’t have any unpleasant surprises after you have closed the deal.

check your roof

What’s the worst that can happen if I don’t check the roof?

Small problems can quickly become more serious and the critical thing that you want to avoid at all costs is the necessity of replacing your roof.

The average cost of replacing a roof in the UK is £5 500, but the price could be as much as 18,000 if you have a large property.  

Once you have factored in the extra costs of erecting scaffolding, removing the existing roof, skip hire and removal of waste material, the cost will mount up considerably and may well be one of the most expensive projects you undertake on your home.

It is certainly worthwhile spending extra time and money to ensure that you know about any problems that may be lurking under the slates before you make a commitment.

What should I look for on the roof? 

You may be able to spot a few potential problems yourself.

Check for damp patches or old stains on the upstairs ceilings when you view the house inside. The damp issue could have already been resolved if the stains appear old, but it is always important to check.

If you get the opportunity to investigate the loft space, there are a few things that you may notice. 

Shafts of light or rain coming through gaps in the roof are a big red flag; however, there may also be subtle signs of other problems.  

Disturbance to the insulation material should be checked as rodents or squirrels could be using it to make a nest. You may even find droppings as further evidence that animals are entering the loft through damaged soffits or fascias.

Piles of dead wasps and other insects in the loft or upstairs rooms can suggest an infestation in the loft, which will need to be removed.

If you stand on the other side of the road or at the end of the garden, you may be able to get a good look at the entire roof.

Loose slates and poor pointing around chimneys should be obvious enough. 

Well-established moss or lichen growth is also worth further investigation as either could have penetrated beneath slates or tiles, lifting them and allowing rainwater to penetrate. Rain may not have entered the roof space but could have caused rot in the wooden structures encouraging slates and tiles to become loose.

What can Improve a Roof offer the house buyer?

Our Home Buyers Survey and Report is a detailed and thorough assessment of the condition of all the different areas and components of the roof. 

It can give you peace of mind by investigating issues that you may have noticed, and uncovering any other hidden problems.

The roof survey includes;

  • A loft inspection to check for damp / decay / felt problems and any other defects in evidence.
  • A complete roof inspection from the ground and on the roof itself.
  • The survey will look at tiles, valleys, verges, mortar works, ridges, chimney, leadwork, eaves, felt, moss and lichen growth.
  • We will also assess the overall condition of the roof.

The Home Buyers Survey and Report

You will receive a written report giving details of all defects and an estimated cost of the repairs required.

We will take photos of the issues we discover that we can discuss with you if you decide to proceed with our roof refurbishment service.

The Home Buyers Survey and Report costs £199 (including VAT). If the customer later takes advantage of the quotation provided, £100 will be refunded against any remedial or other work undertaken by Improve A Roof.

Contact us today to arrange your Home Buyers Survey and Report.

Our other services

Once you move in, our regular cleaning and inspection service will help keep your roof free from algae, moss, lichen, and environmental debris.

You may also be interested in our thermal roof coating service.

We provide roof cleaning services in Lancashire, Yorkshire, Cheshire, Manchester, Merseyside, North Wales, Derbyshire, Shropshire, and Staffordshire.

Call us NOW on: 0800 046 9686 for a free, no-obligation quotation.

Posted in Site Index |

Why do I need to keep my roof clean?

roof cleaningDoes a roof need to be beautiful? If all its slates are present and correct, does it matter what a roof looks like? So,  why do I need to keep my roof clean?

In fact, keeping your roof clean is an essential part of your general house maintenance and our roof cleaning wash and refurbish is one of Improve A Roof’s most popular services.

It’s not just about kerb appeal. A dirty roof can harbour all sorts of nasties and give you serious trouble down the line.

The main culprits that can spoil the appearance of your roof are algae, lichen, moss and collections of organic matter. The problems that they cause are not just cosmetic. 

Let’s take a look at these one by one, to better understand what they are and the issues they can cause for your roof.

Algae

There is an urban myth that dark stains on a roof are caused by airplane fuel jettisoned as planes fly over. In fact, these stains are usually caused by algae called Gloeocapsa Magma. 

Algae spores are carried by the wind and on the feathers of birds. Over time these hardy algae can grow to cover a large area of your roof. Algae thrive in shady areas and humid conditions. 

A favourite place is under overhanging tree branches, which provide shelter and dappled sunshine. Gloeocapsa Magma thrives on roofs as it feeds off asphalt and limestone, which are commonly found in roofing materials. In the long term, this will lead to a degradation of the fabric of your roof.

Lichen 

Lichen is not a single organism but rather a composite that results from algae and fungi developing together in a mutually beneficial relationship. Up to 8% of the Earth’s surface is covered in lichen and it is likely that you have some on your roof as it thrives on all surfaces. 

Lichen absorbs a large amount of water and can survive even when the water it is carrying freezes in winter. The various components of your roof will eventually be damaged by the constant presence of a quantity of water upon it, and wooden areas could begin to warp.

Moss

Moss shares lichen’s sponge-like ability for retaining water, but it also has a root system that can penetrate under slates and eventually loosen them. The clumps of moss on your roof may also prevent rainwater from running off the roof and direct it into areas that drain inefficiently. 

Moss will spread into your gutters, eventually blocking them and causing them to overflow.  

Organic matter

Leaves can collect on your roof in gullies and anywhere there are corners on a complicated roofline. Organic matter will block water egress, find its way into your gutters and provide a growth medium for any plant seeds that blow onto your roof – all causing potential damage if left unattended.

Get a free quote

Prevention is always better than cure. Our regular cleaning and inspection service will help keep your roof free from algae, moss, lichen, and environmental debris. 

Contact us 

We provide roof cleaning services in Lancashire, Yorkshire, Cheshire, Manchester, Merseyside, North Wales, Derbyshire, Shropshire, and Staffordshire.

Improve a Roof will provide you with an entirely free and no-obligation roof cleaning quotation.

We also offer complementary services to enhance your home further.

Call us NOW on: 0800 046 9686

 

Posted in roof cleaning |

How your roof can help you to reduce your energy costs

With energy prices going through the roof – no pun intended – it’s time to ensure that your roof can help you to reduce your energy costs. Keeping your roof in good order is an excellent starting point, and our cleaning and inspection service will help you keep on top of any problems before they become serious.

roof insulation

Insulate your loft

As we all know, hot air rises and research suggests that about 25% of the heat generated by your boiler will be lost through your roof. Insulation in your loft will reduce your bills significantly and could save as much as £250 a year in the average-sized UK house.

 

You can install some types of loft insulation yourself, but it can be a big job, and a professional installer will be able to do it more effectively than the average layperson.

 

Insulation material should be laid in the loft to a depth of at least 270mm for maximum benefit. It should be laid between and over the joists of the roof to create a thermal bridge. Insulation should also be used to lag any water tanks or pipes in the loft. Your loft hatch should also be insulated and draught-proofed for the best results.

 

Types of Insulation

Blanket loft insulation

Blanket loft insulation comes in rolls of foil-backed felt, rock, glass, wool, or mineral fibre. It can be tricky to fit this bulky insulation into small or inaccessible corners. It is relatively easy to install yourself as long as your loft is a regular size and shape.

 

Loose-fill loft insulation

Loose-fill is made from lightweight materials such as cork granules or cellulose fibre. The most eco-friendly varieties use recycled newspapers. Loose-fill is easy to place in oddly shaped corners and is a good option for increasing the bulk of existing insulation. However, it is unsuitable for draughty lofts as it can become dislodged in draughty conditions. When installing, you will need to wear protective clothing and use safety equipment, so it is not as straightforward for the amateur as blanket insulation.  

 

Blown-fibre loft insulation

As the name suggests, the insulation is blown into the gaps between joists. Blown-fibre insulation is strictly a job for a professional and can be expensive, but it does provide the solution for complicated roof spaces with hard-to-reach corners.  

 

The government is currently offering grants to some householders to help them to insulate their lofts. You can find more details here.

 

Loft ventilation

It may seem counterintuitive, but it is also essential to ensure that your roof is not entirely sealed off from the outside air. Ventilation is vital in an insulated roof. Water vapour from the kitchen and bathroom will find its way into your roof space, however many corners you seal. Every time you open the loft hatch or walk around in your loft, you spread water vapour on your breath. Insulation material can act like a sponge and cause condensation damage to your ceiling beneath. If there is too much moisture in the air, it could encourage the wooden material of your roof structure to rot.

 

There are usually either running vents or circular vents in the soffit boards around your roof. We can check these for you and keep them clear of debris and moss during roof cleaning, ensuring the required air exchange.

 

Get a free quote

 

Prevention is always better than cure. Our regular cleaning and inspection service will help keep your loft free of pests and unwanted visitors. Contact us for a free, no-obligation quote.

 

We provide roof cleaning services in Lancashire, Yorkshire, Cheshire, Manchester, Merseyside, North Wales, Derbyshire, Shropshire and Staffordshire.

 

Improve a Roof will provide you with an entirely free and no-obligation roof cleaning quotation.

We also offer complementary services to further enhance your home.

Call us NOW on: 0800 046 9686

Posted in roof cleaning, Site Index |

Who else is living under your roof?

Roof spaces provide an attractive habitat for wildlife who find a home sweet home in your loft,  raising the question ‘Who else is living under your roof?’ But this can cause various problems. All these pests enter through gaps in the soffits, fascia, and barge boards that should seal your roof. 

 

We provide roof repairs as part of our wash and refurbish process and we can spot and sort out any gaps that could allow entry to your loft before problems start. So, who could be sharing your home with you, and what can you do about it?

 

 

 

Squirrels

 

They may be fluffy, but squirrels can also be fierce and destructive, and it’s always a good idea to keep them away from your home and garden.  Squirrels will be attracted to your property if they find a good food source, so ensure that any bird food is in squirrel-proof dispensers. 

 

If squirrels decide they like your garden, they will start looking for dry, warm places to nest. Tree branches that hang over the roof or dense ivy stretching up to roof level can provide access to your roof space through gaps in the eaves. Squirrels are strong and determined, and are capable of pulling away damaged fascia to gain entry.

 

If you are lucky, you will hear them scuttling around up there. If you are unlucky, you won’t find your resident squirrels until they have started to gnaw electric cables causing a great deal of damage and, potentially, an electrical fire. They will also claw holes in your insulation material and use it to build their nest. If you think you may have a problem, keep an eye out for a nest, droppings, and an unpleasant odour in the loft.

 

Getting rid of grey squirrels can be problematic. The Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 allows squirrels to be caught; however, as they are an invasive, non-native species, it is illegal to release them. This means that you will have to find a humane way to kill any squirrels that you trap. Probably best to leave it to the experts.

 

Bats

 

Despite their sinister reputation, bats are quite harmless. Although we associate them with old buildings and belfries, they are just as happy in modern properties.

The presence of bats in your roof space is unlikely to cause many problems. They do not destroy the fabric of your roof or use it for nests, although their urine is acidic and could cause corrosion to metals over a long period.

 

However, if you want to renovate or use your loft space you may have a problem. Bats are a highly protected species. It is illegal to harm them or restrict access to their roosting sites, and such activities could incur an unlimited fine or even a prison sentence. If you have bats in your loft, you should avoid disturbing them and contact the bat helpline.

 

Wasps

 

If you notice wasps congregating around a corner of your roof outside or even start to find them in a room of your house, you may have a wasp’s nest in your loft space. The nests have a papery appearance, and although usually the size and shape of a rugby ball can sometimes be considerably larger. Wasps will be attracted to your property if you leave sugary foods and drinks around. Even fallen apples and other fruit left to ferment on the ground will encourage wasps to gather.

 

If you suspect the presence of a nest, it is best not to enter the restricted space of your loft yourself, as wasps can be very aggressive. Contact a professional who can deal with the nest safely.

 

Wasps do not cause direct damage, but sometimes their nests can block vents or air bricks, causing condensation issues. It is best to get rid of the nest anyway, as wasp stings can be unpleasant, and some people can have a nasty allergic reaction.

 

Get a free quote

 

Prevention is always better than cure. Our regular cleaning and inspection service will help keep your loft free of pests and unwanted visitors. Contact us for a free, no-obligation quote. 

 

We provide roof cleaning services in the whole of Lancashire, Yorkshire, Cheshire, Manchester, Merseyside, North Wales, Derbyshire, Shropshire and Staffordshire.

 

Improve a Roof will provide you with a fully free and no-obligation roof cleaning quotation.

We also offer complementary services to further enhance your home.

 

Call us NOW on:

0800 046 9686

Posted in Site Index |

The effect of warm weather on your roof

By Anne Earley

There is an old saying that you should mend your roof while the sun is shining, but it also pays to be mindful that the effect of warm weather on your roof during the sunny days of spring and summer can be as much of a challenge for your roof as winter.

 

High temperatures

 

High daytime temperatures can cause the seals of your guttering and flashing to expand. When temperatures fall at night, the seals can contract again, risking cracking. Of course, cracks allow water to get to places you don’t want, and the next summer downpour could see water stains on the ceiling. The only cure for this is constant vigilance and checking that your seals are all in good condition, replacing them whenever they start to look damaged.

 Sunshine 

 

A high-quality flat roof covering is essential as flat roofs can be very susceptible to sun damage. The threat is twofold as heat can cause plastic-based covering material to bubble and wrinkle, pulling away from the sides of the roof and creating gaps for water to enter. As well as heat damage, the UV rays of the sun can also degrade materials, particularly the sealants that allow water to get under the membrane. Our EPDM rubber membrane for flat roofs has a life expectancy of 50 years because it offers unrivalled resistance to UV rays and can resist the highest temperatures a British summer can throw at it.

Weeds and moss

Lichen

As the longer days encourage your garden to bloom, your roof may also start to host some unwanted plant life. 

 

Moss is a common sight on all types of roofs. A prolific grower, it will cover a large roof area in no time. It’s not just unsightly, though; it can cause a lot of damage. Moss holds water very efficiently and has sponge-like qualities. It also has a habit of creeping into cracks and under tiles, then swelling with collected water, pushing up and loosening the tiles. 

 

A bit of crumbly pointing or a little organic matter in a gutter is enough to host a thriving weed that can grow surprisingly quickly as soon as spring gets under way. You should get rid of weeds in your gutters as quickly as possible, as they will either block the gutter itself or be washed along to the downpipe and block that instead. 

 

Tree seedlings often seem to find their way onto roofs too. They can be blown by the wind or arrive in bird droppings. Although they are slow growing, their roots can cause a lot of damage, so you shouldn’t delay if you see one sprouting.

 

It is the collection of organic matter on your roof that allows all this vegetation to take root, so our thorough cleaning and refurbishment process will make your roof a much less appealing environment 

 

Nesting birds

 

Many birds, particularly sparrows, find your gutters a lovely place to build a nest in spring. Unfortunately, birds can cause a lot of damage to the gutters, bending or breaking them as they come and go to their eggs. Birds have acidic droppings that can wear away at brickwork and roofing materials and create the opportunity for leaks. 

 

It is illegal to remove an occupied nest, so you will have to allow the birds to raise their young before cleaning out your gutters. If you want to deter them for next year, you can fit gutter guards – metal or plastic mesh that fits over the edge of the gutters to prevent the sparrows from taking up residence. 

 

Contact us today for a free quotation and to find out how we can help by refurbishing and cleaning your roof.

 

 

 

 

Posted in roof cleaning, Site Index |

Why it’s never a bad time to check your roof

Taking your car for a service is a nuisance, let’s be honest. But it’s infinitely preferable to breaking down in the middle of nowhere because of a problem we had no idea existed.

Checking your roof

The same mindset should apply to your home – and in particular your roof. You really don’t want to wait until it’s too late. And while it might feel ‘out of sight’ when you’re inside, it’s actually not that hard to check your roof – and you can be sure your neighbours and the houses over the road will be casting a critical eye over it too!

At Improve a Roof, we have seen pretty much every type of roof going, and with our repair and refurbish service are perfectly placed to rectify whatever has been going on up there.

Roof problems you might spot

If you’ve been in your home for a while, it’s fair to expect roof repairs will be needed at some stage – unmaintained roofs will not be issue-free forever. Of course, it’s harder to know exactly when this will be, hence the need to regularly check your roof.

And what might this checking uncover? Well, tiles might need fixing (especially after stormy weather), or guttering might need unblocking. Moss might be taking over.

The point is, however, damage to your roof isn’t inevitable. Not to state the obvious, but your roof was designed to withstand wintery weather. But it needs a little routine maintenance. We’re back to the motoring analogy. If issues aren’t identified early, they will be exacerbated by a storm, a long drive, or just by the passing of time.

Get in there early

So when tiles come flying off in the wind – remember a simple check of your roof would have spotted they were loose or that the ridge was in need of repair.

Hopefully you’ve been convinced to peer up and take a careful look at what’s up there. Luckily it’s pretty easy. Start at ground level, with a pair of binoculars if you have them (you can leave the ladders to us!) and look for loose tiles or flashing, blocked gutters or excessive moss or lichen build-up.

How does it compare with other houses in your street?

Head across the road for a better angle. Then go inside – look for evidence of water stains or sagging in the loft. These are all tell-tale signs that your roof isn’t doing its job.

What next?

So – let’s say you’ve done your inspection using this ‘check your roof’ guide, and your roof is looking less than spic and span. What next? This is where we come in. At Improve a Roof, we offer a five-step wash and refurbish service that kills moss, lichen, and algae and prevents it forming.

As part of the same service we also provide repairs and renovations – so we’ll clean those gutters, and replace any missing or broken tiles.

Broken tiles

Check out our hugely positive customer testimonials to get a better idea of what’s in store.

It goes without saying that as well as making it more weatherproof, a clean and repair will transform the appearance of your roof – you’ll never look at it the same way again (and nor will your neighbours).

And you can relax, safe in the knowledge that you’ve given your roof a much-needed service – all you need to worry about is your car’s MOT!

Testimonial

Don’t just take our word for it. See what our customers think on our testimonials page. Here’s what one customer had to say about our roof cleaning and refurbishing service:

From Brian Greene:

This is the second time that we have used Improvearoof. This time, it was to clean and protect our large roof. The work was performed very professionally. The men were courteous and explained how things were going and any problems that they had found and rectified. Head office also kept us informed of progress and when to expect their team. They cleaned up thoroughly at the end of the work. I was completely satisfied with the end result, a lovely, clean roof free from moss and any broken or misplaced tiles fixed.

Get in touch with us today for a quote for cleaning and refurbishing your roof. 

CONTACT US

Improve A Roof
97 Macclesfield Road
Hazel Grove
Stockport
SK7 6DT

Freefone: 08000 469686

General Enquiries
info@improvearoof.co.uk

Customer Services
customerservice@improvearoof.co.uk

Posted in roof cleaning |

Six ways to ensure a leak-free roof

By Anne Earley

Roof Coating BarnsleyIt is raining AGAIN! So, how can you ensure a leak-free roof? Rain in the UK is set to become more frequent and heavier. According to the Met Office,  2020 was the wettest year on record for the UK, with daily rainfall records repeatedly breaking records.

This trend seems set to continue, with more episodes of 50 mm of rainfall in a day becoming routine. Your roof is your protection against the elements – is it up to the challenge? Pay attention to the following to feel secure that you’ve got a leak-free roof.
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Posted in Site Index |

Flat Roofs Pros and Cons

By Anne Earley

Flat roofs have a mixed reputation, so it’s worth taking a considered look at flat roofs pros and cons before making decisions.

Flat roofs pros and consFlat roofs are often a feature of commercial and civic buildings – think 1960s primary schools and low-rise industrial estates. With limited kerb appeal in many cases and a reputation for leaking, it is sometimes hard to understand their enduring use, but architects love them! 

It’s not just new office blocks that often have flat roofs. It seems that every expensive and innovative new house-build now has a flat roof as a main design feature too. Pitched roofs are starting to look rather dull by comparison.
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Posted in Site Index |

Roof checks don’t have to just be when you move house

As anyone who has ever bought a house will know, it is a requirement to have some form of survey and, for older properties the need for greater investigation is typical.

The surveys typically throw up all manner of issues, some most purchasers decide can be put on a back burner, if not ignored. Others are inevitably more pressing.

It is rare for the roof not to be mentioned.

The precise details will always vary, but it often goes a lot like this…

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Posted in Site Index |

The Increasing Impact Climate Has On Our Roofs

A sad fact of modern life is that extreme climate events have become ever more common.

Across the UK and Europe – and indeed globally – flooding is more common, so too other previously rare occurrences such as major heatwaves, earthquakes and storms of huge magnitude.

The evidence for this change is clear, with numerous research papers highlighting the trends.

Indeed, we only have to use our own eyes to see the extremes of weather that lead to destruction both here and abroad.

On a society-wide level, the impact is huge, from changing plans for where to build through to the challenges of protecting towns and villages from the impact of this new normal.

What though for the individual homeowner, what does a more extreme climate mean for them?

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Posted in roof cleaning, Roof Coating |

About Us

We are a family run business offering Thermal Roof Coating and Roof Cleaning. We are based in Hazel Grove, Stockport and we have more than 30 years experience in the home improvement industry.

Contact us

Improve A Roof
97 Macclesfield Road
Hazel Grove
Stockport SK7 6DT
Open Mon – Sun 8am – 8pm

Freephone: 08000 469686

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