Six ways to ensure a leak-free roof
It 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.
Keeping a leak-free flat roof
Flat roofs are not really horizontal but should have a pitch of between 1 and 10 degrees. Heavy quantities of rain on a roof without a sufficient angle will result in puddles of standing water. A gentle slope is necessary to allow water to drain off and into the guttering and downpipe system. It is also vital that your flat roof is properly sealed with a durable membrane like the EPDM rubber flat roofing solution.
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Sort out your guttering
It is essential to get the rain off your roof as quickly as possible. Both pitched, and flat roofs require drainage in the form of guttering and downpipes that can cope with the velocity of water produced during a torrential downpour. Your guttering and downpipes should be free of gaps and clear of moss or dead leaves that the rain has washed down. It is also important to check that your gutters are wide enough to cope with the volume of water coming off your roof without spilling over. Your downpipe needs to have sufficient bore width to cope with the water flow.
Keep clean for leak-free roofs
Your roof has many crevices and rough surfaces, making it a fertile breeding ground for moss, lichen, and algae. Heavy rain will wash all this organic matter into your guttering and downpipes resulting in blockages. A regular roof clean will reduce the amount of organic debris on your roof and be money well spent.
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Watch out for loose tiles
The constant battering of torrential rain can loosen tiles and ultimately cause them to dislodge or even fall from the roof. Even if the tiles are only loosened, there may be gaps that allow water to get under the roof and into the roof space, causing water damage to your ceiling. It may also cause the wooden battens supporting the tiles to rot.
Check your flashing
Flashing can let in leaks. The flashing itself is made of robust materials, traditionally lead, but aluminum, galvanized steel and copper are also used as they are not susceptible to water damage. Flashing bridges the gap between the roof and the external walls and seals the valleys between different pitched areas. If the edges come adrift for any reason, water will find a way into the roof.
Have a roof survey when you are buying a house
If you are buying a new house, a survey of your roof is an excellent idea. The survey should check both the loft or roof space and the exterior of the roof and the guttering. A thorough check will alert you to any issues that could make the roof susceptible to rain damage in the future. With a new roof costing between £3000 and £7000, it is best to know what you may be dealing with!
Remember, water will always find a way, so make sure that your roof is completely rain-proof.