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If you are experiencing water coming through your roof or signs of damp or a leak, it is important to find a registered roofing contractor to investigate and rectify the problem. The National Federation of Roofing Contractors has a list of local contractors in your area, as well as giving advice on dealing with roofing problems. Other websites allow you to check reviews of reputable builders or contractors to ensure you find the right person for the job.

Don’t be tempted to climb onto the roof yourself, as the rafters may not be able to bear your weight, and specialist equipment such as a roof ladder is necessary to gain access to the roof and carry out repairs. As well as danger to yourself, you could be at risk of causing further damage to slates or tiles and without investigating the roof properly it is difficult to know whether or not there are more serious problems.

Whether you have noticed signs of damp within your property or just want to carry out come basic checks, you can stand away from your home and check for loose or missing slates or tiles, as well as sagging or blocked gutters or a leaking joint in a gutter or pipe. Also check for missing flashing, loose or cracked render and any vegetation on the roof or in the guttering. You can also check your chimney if you have one, to see if it is leaning or appears to be damaged in any way. Also look for evidence of bird’s or wildlife nesting within the roof.

You can also check from the inside of your home. If you can get access to the loft, check all the timbers as well as joints between main timbers and the wall. Ensure everything is dry and solid and there are no signs of rot or even damage from insects. If there are damp patches on the ceiling or around the timbers, it’s usually a tell-tale sign that you may have roof problems. There should also be no daylight appearing from the roof or around the timbers. This can indicate possible missing or defective slates or tiles.

If you have a flat roof, the same applies with regards to checking blocked gutters and vegetation, but also check for leaves or moss built up on the roof, as well as pooling of rain water in the lowest part or splits in the roof covering. It is fairly easy to make repairs to the roof covering in order to prevent leaks, but if any leaks have led to structural damage, particularly the timbers, then it is likely that it may have to be completely lifted to gain access to repair any damage and then fully replaced. A professional roofing contractor will be able to assess any concerns you have and decide the best course of action. Be sure to take action as soon as you can, to prevent further damp or even structural damage caused by problems with your roof.

by Cormac Henderson

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