Homeowners have chosen felt roof materials to make roofs watertight. Felt roofing is used in commercial and domestic premises and is an inexpensive addition. But they don’t last forever and neglecting a felt roof could lead to bigger bills than you initially imagine.
Unfortunately, leaving a flat felt roof until it’s an emergency situation can also mean fixing other areas, like adjacent walls; if it is replaced when the initial signs are there of deterioration, there’s every chance you’ll save the surrounding materials.
So what goes wrong?
1. Condensation in the roof
Felt roofing was introduced in the 1930s as an incredibly water-resistant solution. The first kinds available weren’t breathable at all, but more modern felt, developed in the 1980s, improved this somewhat. So older materials keep the rain out well, but don’t allow the moisture inside the property the opportunity to escape, and that’s a disaster.
Condensation quickly turns to mould and rot due to lack of ventilation in the structural area immediately below the roof. If you have felt roofing which is over 30 years old, there’s every chance it urgently needs replacing. The whole roof area should be inspected by an expert.
2. Rips and tears
Often, a tear in a felt roof is not a big deal. But strong winds and driving rain can change that fast. Bad weather means the smallest of holes in a felt roof can begin to leak. Left unattended, you’ll start to notice leaks every time it rains, and winds will force the tear to expand.
Over time, this will mean full exposure to every kind of weather. Again, the leaks will mean rotting areas under the felt and damage to the roof below it.
3. Disintegration around soffits
If your roof has an enclosed soffit, felt often disintegrates around the eaves and this causes leaks. In the rain, the water doesn’t run down the roof into the gutter; instead, it drips into the soffit and then into the ceiling below. The resulting problem is patches of damp that are hard to deal with.
4. Insurance pitfalls
When you take out any home insurance policy, you will be asked what kind of roof covering is in place. If you then need to make a claim and the insurer decides that you have been negligent in the upkeep of the property (for example, by not replacing your felt roof or checking its condition), you could find you’re not covered in a time of emergency.
5. Limited DIY options
Any competent DIYer can patch a felt roof quickly and easily. However, a patch is only a temporary fix. You can’t patch forever, and bad weather could pull away the patches exposing the damaged roof.
If you’ve patched a roof in the past or you’re considering it now, think instead about a new roof. It could well be much more cost effective.
Talk to Us
If you’re struggling with an ageing felt roof, South Thames Roofing can help. We’ll do a survey of the roof and suggest a replacement solution that’s affordable, durable and watertight. If your roof hasn’t been checked in a number of years, don’t risk it: let us give you a quote today.