Preparing your roof for the winter now that the summer has gone
When the dark nights draw in, we all spend more time indoors, and home improvements tend to be shelved for the winter. Often, the roofline is ‘out of sight and out of mind’ until the weather warms up again in spring.
For South Thames Roofing, the winter is a busy time, since the harsh weather can wreak havoc with customers’ homes. Nobody can predict the weather, but it’s best to take action now and ensure your roofline can withstand the worst. If you spot problems with the timber now, you could save yourself money on those unwanted emergency call-outs near to Christmas.
Some parts of your roofline are difficult to see from the ground, but you should still be able to carry out a basic inspection. Allocate about half an hour in dry weather, and walk around the property looking for flaws in the woodwork. Any split wood, rotting or gaps are cause for concern, since they could water to leak through and damage the fabric of the building.
Check the guttering, too. The best way to do this is to pop out when it’s raining, and make sure all of the water is flowing in the right direction. If you see water overflowing and backing up, you should call us to remedy the blockage. Water that freezes is heavy, and it expands. The pressure will force your guttering to crack, if the weight of the ice doesn’t pull it away from the roof first.
Have a look at your downpipes and make sure they are securely fastened to the wall. It’s quite common for heavy metal pipes to come away, particularly if the screws have rusted. Take a good look at the chimney too; bad weather can wear the pointing, causing the chimney to lean.
You should also keep your eyes peeled for insect and bird damage that may have built up over the warmer months. This is a sure-fire sign that your timber roofline has been weakened, and could be invaded by nesting animals in the near future. Get it repaired over winter and you’ll prevent this from becoming a bigger problem next year.
Safety First in Winter
Unless you are checking for overflows, we recommend checking the roofline in good conditions. Don’t climb on the roof when it’s been raining, or use ladders that could slip. When checking the roof in snowy weather, never set up ladders on icy surfaces, or use hot water to try to melt snow on a roof. Even if water melts the ice, it could freeze on the ground and cause injury to someone else.
If there’s ice in the guttering, don’t prod it. It may fall down and injure someone. When it looks like the guttering is vulnerable, call us to take care of the damage.
If you spot problems with your roofline in winter, hire South Thames Roofing to conduct a full inspection and roof survey. We’ll identify any serious problems, and make recommendations for sensible upgrades. If it’s been more than 10 years since your roofline was fitted, new plastic fascias, soffits and gutting could be all you need to prevent rot and damage.