There is a certain atmosphere that an urban scene has when you see houses upon houses covered with old shingles or stones. This old-timey feeling, a bit nostalgic, a bit romantic, a bit fantastic, usually brings us a feeling of joy and tranquility. Though what happens underneath those roofs is another thing entirely.
Rotten timbers, cracked shingles, rusty ironwork… All of those things may go unnoticed to the passerby but are very evident to those living underneath. Roofs are rather delicate structures compared to the rest of a building, yet they can be very sturdy on their own and last a long time. However, all things decay, and when you see these few signs, you can be sure that your roof needs repair soon enough.
The most common problem with faulty roofs is that they do not shed water completely, but instead let some of it through. This can cause all sorts of other problems down the road, most noticeably that from there you can start having rot in the wooden framework which will lead to further decay of the entire structure. The problem is that it may not be easily noticeable if the roof is leaking unless there is an evident hole that can be spotted.
The first warning signs for this would be mold forming on the ceiling inside the home and atop walls. If you have a layer of thermal isolation underneath the shingles or metal sheets, it will be more difficult to notice the mold and it would be best to have a survey of the roof on an annual basis, at least to clean out the gutter.
Gutters are essential to every modern building and home, as without them we would have wet walls and pavements whenever it rains. The trouble is, of course, that they can easily get damaged by ice forming inside of them, as well as debris clogging them up.
This is best seen during rainfall, whether water is running on the outside of the gutter, or if it isn’t running alongside it at all but falling over the roof’s edge. The best practice is to either clean it seasonally or have a repairman come and seal the cracks where rust and ice have taken their toll.
It may look nice on some types of far-eastern architecture, but a swayed roof around these parts is usually something to worry about. The professionals at www.roofserveltd.co.uk explain that serious repairs are best performed by experienced firms because that is a sign of a collapsible structure. Not only is it bad to look at, but it also poses a threat to those living underneath it.
Old timber will have deformed from years of carrying whatever is put on them, plus being affected by daily and yearly variations in temperature and moisture. Good quality roofs can last a very long time without needing this type of overhaul, but all will need to be repaired or replaced one day.
Chimneys, if well made, are extremely stable on their own and rarely require any service apart from cleaning. Though the problem arises where the roof meets the chimney, as the connection can easily become loose or damaged and more trouble can occur. Old houses usually have the connection made out of the mortar, which is proven to be weather-damaged and needs to be inspected from time to time.
Newer building technology has brought us cheaper sheet metal that is not only water-proof but long-lasting too. Wherever possible mortar should be replaced with this and then you’d have one less worry to think about.
Wet or Dirty Shingles
Shingles are very hard and brittle by purpose, and one would suppose they do not bend anymore once made. This is, unfortunately, not the case, and many shingles will crack and deform in time.
If you see that some of them are visibly wet longer than others it is likely because they are either covered in moss or have small cracks where water can get into. Either way, that is a sure sign that those should be cleaned or replaced.
The Goths feared the sky would fall onto their heads, but what is more realistic is that not the sky, but a roof may fall onto you. To prevent this from happening one should, first, make a stable and good quality roof, but more importantly – react when there are noticeable signs that it needs repair. This is, after all, one of man’s basic needs, to have a roof over his head.