It’s easy to underestimate how quickly minor damage to a roof can worsen. Even just a small tear in the roof will allow rainwater to enter it and blight the underlying timbers and ceilings.
However, if that roof was originally fitted a while ago, restoring its condition could prove tricky. Historic England warns that you will probably need consent to repair the roof of a house that is listed or in a conservation area. Once you do have permission, though, what could you do?
Are any roof tiles or slates broken or loose?
Whatever the culprit, the roof covering will need reinstating or replacing. However, it is recommended that roofing work on old roofs is undertaken by professional roofers who understand roofs of this type and have the access equipment necessary to safely reach them.
Findley Roofing & Building, for example, can send such roofers to Chester-le-Street, a County Durham town resplendent in buildings — and, consequently, roofs — of a certain vintage.
Account for places where the roof changes direction
These include junctions and other parts of the roof where the roof covering is interrupted, such as to accommodate chimneys and parapet walls — both of which are particular weak spots.
These areas may, however, need to be investigated carefully, as defects here can be almost imperceptible. Fortunately, you could find that a local roofing company not only offers a free roof health check but can resolve any roofing issues discovered as a result of it.
Consider the roof timbers, not just the covering on top of them
That’s because, even if the covering itself is somewhat modern, it may have originally been affixed to roof timbers that significantly predate it — and, hence, weren’t designed to withstand it.
Fortunately, these timbers can be checked as part of a more extensive roof inspection carried out by a roofing professional. This means you can safely find out if, say, these timbers have decayed or become infested by beetles.
Undersized rafters could be a particular problem if a relatively light roof covering has been replaced with something heavier, such as a layer of concrete tiles.
Does your home have a flat roof?
Historically, flat roofs have tended to attract negative publicity. Indeed, if you have a flat roof that was originally installed back in the bad old days, it could have easily split due to rainwater pooling on the external surface.
Fortunately, flat roof installations today can reach a much higher standard than what would have been familiar to many people of times past. So, it might be worthwhile for you to have a damaged flat roof entirely refitted to a more contemporary design.
What if your home has a thatched roof?
Though a thatch should require relatively little maintenance, a thatched roof would still warrant a regular inspection. If this uncovers any worrying signs, call a thatcher promptly.
Also, the Real Homes website advises: “Due to the danger of fire, monitoring and maintaining the chimney stack is a priority; the flue should be swept twice a year.”