Is your roof in shipshape?

Charged with the job of giving you and your family shelter, the roof is probably the most important structural feature in your home.

Your roof goes through a lot – from battling strong winds in winter to bearing the brunt of the summer heat. Charged with the job of giving you and your family shelter, it is probably the most important structural feature in your home.

Inspecting your roof is a simple task and you can prevent serious damage from occuring – but how can you tell what is going on up there?

Here are some standard things you can check for:

1. The gutters

If your roof gutters are clogged, chances are there is a mess every time it rains. Apart from this, blocked drains can also lead to serious damage over time.

Regular cleaning will help prevent drainage issues. However, once in a while it is best to inspect they are in top shape and have no leaks. Pick a day when its not raining and run water through the gutter, then walk around the periphery to check if any is dripping through. Use a torch for darker spots.

If there are leaks, use roofing cement or a metal repair patch kit to mend these.

Investing in good-quality rainheads or sumps can also prevent drainage problems.

2. The shingles

Look for any shingles that are bulging, have developed curled edges or are blistered. Extreme weather and poor ventilation can cause damage, leading to leakage problems in the future.

If you decide to repair these yourself, be sure you do the research and find the right tools for the job.

3. The pipes

Most pipes and roof penetrations are designed to stand the test of time. Nonetheless, carry out regular checks to ensure the seal is intact and the pipes are in a good condition.

4. The nails

Heavy winds usually cause nails in the roof to pop up – again, it is best to remedy these before any serious damage occurs.

You will need to remove the ones that have become loose and put in new ones. As with all DIY projects make sure you use the correct equipment, especially an appropriate ladder.

Although the issue does not seem very important, it can lead to leakage issues further down the track.

3. How to tell if things may be serious

There are some tell-tale signs that your roof is not in good shape. We do not advise waiting until these appear to check the health of your roof.

The following three observations are indications that everything is not well up there:

1. Leakage

If you find water is seeping into the attic or any other part of the house after it rains – there is a chance something’s not right. It is extremely important to check this issue out immediately because you want to make sure there isn’t a build-up of water.

2. The paint is blistering and peeling

Excessive moisture is usually the culprit when the interior and/or exterior paint starts showing signs of blistering. The bubbles are an indication that humidity is seeping through.

3. Stains, mould and mildew inside

These are tell tale signs of dampness, pointing to the fact that the roof may need repair.

A note of caution

Climbing on the roof can be a hazard and it is best to contact professionals if you feel you do not have the right equipment or skills for the task.

Need help?

Inspiration and advice are only as far as your nearest Stracto store. We have an extensive range of products and our experts will be happy to help you select the right ones for the job.