The roof of your house serves many different purposes, aside from protecting your home from the elements. It insulates, ventilates, and keeps out unwanted visitors such as insects, birds, and other potential pests.

While the lifespan of each roof will differ depending on the materials used and the quality of the construction itself, most roofs should last between 30 and 50 years, meaning any necessary maintenance and upkeep is a worthwhile investment.

What is roofing felt and how do I know if it needs replacing?

Roofing felt is also known as sarking or underlay, due to it being laid down under the slate or tile covering that you see on the surface. Historically, it was standard practice to underline roofs with a mortar filling that used sand-lime mortar and was often reinforced with animal hair. However, things have moved on since then, with roofing felt now usually made of bitumen or a similar material.

Under the British Standard for Slating and Tiling BS5534, the purpose of roofing felt, or underlay, is to reduce the effect of wind loading on the slate or tile roof covering. It also has other very important uses, such as waterproofing and acting as an additional layer of insulation.

The signs of a requirement for roof replacement include leaks, spots of natural light, visible damage to the felt, and cold spots or draughts. If you’re unsure, you should always seek the advice of an expert roofing contractor who can complete a roof inspection.

Replacing small areas of roofing felt

If you’ve spotted a few areas where the felt has been torn or damaged in accessible places, it might be possible to patch them up by stapling V-shaped pieces of felt to the trusses and surrounding felt. This method, however, is known as ‘tanking’ and might not provide the most effective result. If you choose to do this yourself without consulting an expert, you could even be making the inevitable job of replacing the roof even more expensive and time-consuming.

What to do when all of your roofing felt needs replacing

In the unfortunate event of your roof requiring an entire replacement, the best thing to do is to get quotes from trusted, local contractors that are registered and accredited with the following bodies:

  • Competent Roofer (Government Scheme)
  • TrustMark
  • Trading Standards
  • Confederation of Roofing Contractors
  • The National Federation of Roofing Contractors
  • Federation of Master Builders
  • Checkatrade

Any reputable company will usually have a portfolio of work they can share with you so that you have an idea of the quality of their work.

Qualified and competent roofers in south London & Surrey

South Thames Roofing is the trusted choice for both businesses and homeowners in the south London and Surrey areas, with decades of experience in the roofing industry. All of our contractors are in-house experts that take a great deal of pride in their work, as well as acting with the utmost care and courtesy when in your home. Whether you have a pitched roof, flat roof, fibreglass, lead or rubber roof, we have the knowledge you need.

Whether you’re in need of roof repairs, maintenance, or an entire roof replacement, we are on hand to help. To get a free quote or discuss your needs with us in more detail, call us on 0208 397 2900.