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Common defects

A roof is probably the single most important part of the building that keeps the weather away. Regular roofs normally consist of main structure, roof covering and secondary protection, also known as sarking or felt.

There are a number of common issues which can be related to age, lack of maintenance or poor upgrades.

Different types of roof coverings will have different life expectancies. Concrete tiles are a fairly popular modern roof covering that typically requires renewal every 50-60 years if maintained properly (although manufacturers normally guarantee 25-30 years).

Lack of ventilation is a common issue with roofs. This may be as a result of incorrectly laid insulation and blocked vents. There was also a time when expanding foam insulation was considered a great way to insulate your roof void until a large number of these newly insulated roofs started suffering from damp.

Typical causes and remedies

It is very important to keep the covering in good condition, not just to keep the weather away from main property, but from the roof structure itself too. Ventilation is important in the roof void to keep the humidity levels low and timbers dry. Ventilated roof voids should have enough vents and these should be always clear of obstruction.

Felt (or sarking) is a secondary protection necessary when a roof tile slips or breaks. When this happens, the felt will keep the house dry for some time until the roofer can come and sort it out.

Aerial antennas or other objects located above the roof can be a great landing place for birds. Bird droppings can increase delamination and ageing of the covering which will reduce the expected life especially with the older roof coverings. It is therefore important to remove any redundant fixtures above roof level.

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