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 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.
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
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
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.