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Why Prevention is Always Better than Cure Where Roofing is Concerned.

Roof maintenance. When did you last decorate your living room? And how about your kitchen or bedroom?

The chances are that you regularly spruce up the rooms in your house, making sure the walls are in good condition and protecting them with a lick of paint. Some studies have shown that on average, homeowners redecorate every 3-5 years.

But how about your roof, stuck up there protecting you all from the elements? When did you last give your roof a bit of TLC? Unfortunately out of sight often means out of mind and it’s not uncommon for the roof to get forgotten about.

It only takes a bit of routine maintenance from time to time to get your roof in tip-top condition; we take a look at some of the problems which can occur if your roof gets neglected for too long.

Standing water
Roofing is designed to get wet and one that can’t withstand regular moisture hasn’t been properly installed. However, that doesn’t mean that you don’t need to check that there are no areas of standing water or that the surface is bearing up well.

Flat roofs are particularly prone to this problem as they don’t have the same run-off as a pitched roof. If you’d like more information about replacing or repairing a flat roof please get in touch.

Water collecting in puddles is known in the industry as ‘ponding’ and can ultimately damage the whole structure of your roof. If this moisture is allowed to infiltrate, it can create a phenomenon known as ‘blistering’. This involves several layers of the roof separating with water vapour collecting underneath. If allowed to continue, the integrity of your roof could be seriously compromised.

The guttering forms an important part of your roofing set-up and helps to protect your property from dirt and water that comes gushing off your tiles.

Rainfall, excess water, leaves and other debris can all damage homes and buildings significantly, particularly if they continued unchecked for a period of time. The gutter is designed to form a barrier between your walls and the roof and carry away any water or materials which would otherwise fall below.

However, a gutter which is blocked won’t be able to perform this vital duty; failing to carry out such a simple piece of routine maintenance can have catastrophic effects. In the winter, water in the gutter can also freeze, not only allowing debris from your roof to slide over it, but also putting your property at risk from huge chunks of breaking ice.

You might invalidate your insurance policy
Not many people bother to read through all of the fine print of their home insurance policy but wear and tear is normally excluded. This means if part of the building encounters problems due to a lack of maintenance or care, a claim may not be paid.

Therefore if you don’t take proper care of your roof, if you suffer a problem, your claim may not be paid, or only settled in part. This could be the case even if lack of maintenance wasn’t the reason for the claim. For example, if you are claiming for flood damage, your insurer may argue that had your roofing and guttering been in better condition, you may not have suffered such a large loss.

What to look for
Whilst it may sometime be obvious when there is a problem, at other times it can be difficult to tell what is normal wear and tear and what are early warning signs that your roof needs urgent attention. Some signs to look out for include:

Curled shingles
Damp stains on ceilings or walls
Missing or cracked tiles and shingles
Excessive debris
Large overhanging tree branches
Noticeable algae or moss
Sagging or uneven patches
Obvious weathering
Cracks near the base of the chimney
Roof maintenance is one of the single most important things you can do to take care of your house; without a properly functioning roof the entire structure of your house could end up damaged. The good news is that it’s quick and easy to do, and carrying out the proper prevention could save you lots of money in the long term.

The Role of Insulation in a New Roofing Installation.

A good roof serves many purposes. First and foremost it protects your house, providing cover from the elements, keeping out water, rain and excessive sunlight. However, arguably the most valuable function a roof fulfils is that of keeping out the cold and keeping in the heat. The fancy term for keeping in the heat is thermal insulation, and it plays a vital role in any new roofing installation.

Roof insulationInsulation is the term used to describe materials that actively trap heat in your house. Many materials can be employed in the pursuit of maintaining comfortable heat levels in your home; whether its cellulose, glass wool, rock wool, polystyrene, wood fibre, plant fibre or some other insulating material, insulation keeps your home warm. Insulation often comes in the form of boards, which are layered, and then offset to trap heat and stop it from getting through the areas in which it is applied.

Why Does a Roof Need Insulation?
A roof covers a very large surface area on your house and if left untreated can be a significant source of heat loss from your house. A roof therefore needs good insulation to ensure that comfortable and reliable heat levels persist throughout the rooms below.

This is a matter of personal comfort and convenience, as a warm house is a welcoming, friendly and comfortable one. However, regulated heat levels are more important than simply personal preference, as they help your immune system fight off illnesses. In addition, comfortable heat levels affect your levels of happiness and general wellbeing.

How Insulation Works
Long gone are the days of thatched roofs; these days modern roofs can be incredibly detailed. Admittedly in some hotter climates, a simple flat roof might be all that’s needed, but due to the climate of the UK, there’s much more to a British roof than meets the eye.

Roofs can be quite complex; underneath the tiles or shingles there are multiple levels of roofing. Normally included are at least two layers of insulation. These insulation boards are often offset with staggered joints to minimise the transfer of warm air through the roof and out of the house.

Energy Efficiency
Keeping heat in your home has consequential benefits in terms of energy efficiency that are sometimes unrecognised. Insulation helps you to maintain comfortable temperatures in the home so as such, you won’t need to rely on heating quite so heavily, and what you do use is much more effective.

Good insulation leads to great levels of energy efficiency, which in turn can save you a lot of money. So while getting the best insulation can be costly initially, in the long run, it can be an excellent idea financially.

Getting the Best Insulation
Rood insulationAfter considering the benefits of having good insulation, it is therefore imperative that you get the best. Whether you’re having a new roof fitted, planning the installation of a new build entirely or simply repairing the existing roof, it is worth getting the best in insulation.

Check with the roofer or contractor you use and ask about the level of insulation your installation will have. If in doubt, it’s always best to over-compensate; you’ll really appreciate it as the nights start to get colder and winter draws in.

Roofing is an important part of any house and it is important that it is done well. When it comes to good roofing, insulation is important; it keeps the heat in your house, ensuring it is still warm and homely and it saves you money through improved energy efficiency.

The Value of PVC in the Roofing Industry.

Polyvinyl chloride, most commonly known as PVC, is a versatile and durable plastic that has an abundance of uses and applications. PVC is the third most widely-produced plastic, on its own it makes up almost 20% of global plastic consumption.

We take a look at the value of PVC when it is used in the roofing industry.

The Use of PVC
PVC has a wide range of uses and is found in many aspects of modern living; it is used to coat wires and cables, it is used to protect pipes, it is fashioned into signs and furniture, and sometimes even clothing. But PVC really comes into one of its most important roles in the construction industry.

Alongside being used as thin coating for pipes and wires, it can be used en masse in construction projects to protect certain elements of your home from deterioration and weathering. As such, PVC can actively decrease maintenance costs and increase house value. One such way in which this can be achieved is through an ingenious use of PVC in a house’s roofing.

PVC in Roofing
PVC roofingOriginally introduced in Europe in the 1960s, PVC roofing systems revolutionised the way in which a roof serves a house by increasing the longevity, heat and fire resistance, chemical and water resistance of conventional roofs. Not only this, but it allowed for easier installation and maintenance of roofing systems.

Interloc Building Solutions have an excelelnt range of competitively price PVC roofing products. We know this process can be daunting so please give us a call on 0870 0505925, we are happy to offer free advice on all aspects of PVC roofing materials and fitting.

The Value of PVC
PVC solutions in roofing offer so many benefits over some of the alternative options, that it’s easy to see why PVC is an incredibly common sight on roofs throughout the UK today. There are various benefits that PVC provides for your roof, so let’s take a look at some of them:

Easy Installation – PVC roofing is incredibly easy to install. The majority of PVC installations can be placed on top of an existing roof, enhancing the roof of your home without requiring extensive removal of the existing one. Not only this, but there is practically no waste during the installation process, making it environmentally friendly and reducing logistical issues.

Water Resistant – When it comes to holding off the rain and standing up to damp and moisture-related maintenance issues, PVC comes out on top. As a plastic, PVC is not susceptible to mould or rot like wood or some other roofing materials, and it is substantially more resistant to weathering and erosion from adverse weather conditions.

Energy Efficient – Most PVC roofing installations can be identified by the bright white colour they possess. This isn’t just for aesthetic purposes though; PVC is brilliant at reflecting sunlight and heat away from your roof. As such they can improve the performance of the existing insulation under the roof by up to 50%. Also, if you have any solar panels in place, PVC can enhance the amount of sunlight they collect.

PVC roofing is easy to maintainEasy to Maintain – PVC roofing lasts a lot longer than other options; a good PVC roofing system can last up to 20 or 30 years. As such, you needn’t worry about replacing it over time and the incidental maintenance costs are practically non-existent. It’s incredibly durable and can happily sit on your roof, braving the elements with little consequence and little negation of its structural stability.

Sustainable – Sustainable might not be the first thing you think of when it comes to plastics, but when compared to other materials, PVC in roofing is a very eco-friendly option. Not only is there practically no waste from installation, but as maintenance is severely reduced, any waste from that is negated (not to mention time and money). Due to the longevity of the material, PVC roofing systems can help reduce the flow of plastic to landfill sites. Most PVC roofing systems are also very much recyclable; once they’ve served their purpose on your roof, they can be recycled back into roofing products to be used again elsewhere.

PVC has massive value in the roofing industry; it really does provide a better solution to roofing issues than the ones offered by other materials. PVC provides extra durability, longevity, aesthetic appeal, damage resistance, energy efficiency to your roof, along with a whole host of other benefits.

A Guide to Buying Flat Roofing Waterproofing Membrane.

Flat roof membrane on an extensionBuilding a property is all about thinking long term. Whether you’re constructing a huge flat roof warehouse, a holiday villa, or a modest home in the city, it’s vital that you make your creation last. So when constructing a safe roof over your head, you need to make sure you’ll still have that same protection after a big storm or a winter of never-ending rain!

Making everything watertight is especially important for structures with flat roofs due to the challenges caused by drainage and water retention. When you’re buying the waterproofing membrane it’s vital to understand exactly what you need; the below guide will help to provide an overview of the essential elements.

The Big Benefits
As with many property-related purchases, buying waterproofing membrane for your flat roofing should be considered as an investment. If you aren’t exactly sure what it is and quite why it’s so vital, this section will run through the basics.

There are lots of different ways you can seal your flat roof, but the most important thing you need to realise from the start is that doing it right the first time is a big priority. Buying a high quality waterproofing membrane will save you no end of trouble later on in your property’s life when it withstands everything the sky can throw at it.

Although there are a number of choices you could select to ensure your flat roof is waterproofed sufficiently, the most common choice is the single ply membrane. Used extensively in the commercial sector for decades, it has now become available for domestic use too.

Put simply, single ply is a type of thermo plastic material which uses heat and adhesive to create an ultra-strong bond which has a far greater capacity than the original membrane before treatment. Because the seams are fused so tightly, the entire membrane acts as one large, flexible sheet, reaching into every small gap and crevice on your roof and providing superior protection.

Bitumen or felt can still be purchased as a means of protecting a flat roof and undeniably, they will still provide a decent result if they are fitted correctly. However, they don’t offer the same range of benefits as a single ply membrane which is not only simpler and quicker to fit, but also provides protection for a far longer period of time. A single ply membrane can last as long as 25 years, far outlasting more traditional types of waterproofing.

Ask Away
Maybe you’ve done your homework, but the experts of the industry will always have great advice and you shouldn’t be afraid to ask questions to be certain you are getting the product you want.

Many customers may have never had to purchase a new roof membrane before so it’s only natural that you will have lots of queries about the materials and probably the process too. A reputable roofing company will be more than happy to help you understand how a waterproof membrane will be fitted to your flat roof, and should be able to answer any questions you may have.

If you are a complete novice, you may not even know where to start; after all, fitting a flat roof membrane isn’t something that you think about every day! Once again, you can let the experts guide you but below are a list of topics you may want to raise:

what product is being recommended – and why
what are the alternatives
how long will it last before it needs to be replaced
does it come with a guarantee or a warranty

There are many other things you may want to ask depending on your specific property, but the above points should help get you thinking in the right direction.

Quotes and Reputation
Once you know what you need, it’s time to get a price. The aim of the game is to get a good quote, but a lower price doesn’t always mean a better product. When you’re buying flat roofing waterproofing it’s absolutely vital that you think long and not short term. Interloc Roofing Specialists will price up your job and ensure you all the materials you need ot complete teh work, just give us a call on 0870 050 5925.

In no way should you assume newer companies, or cheaper companies are going to be bad, but sometimes industry cowboys will leave you up the creak without a paddle. Since severe weather could mean leaks and floods, this might be a phrase that becomes slightly more realistic if you’re not careful!

Get your quotes, compare prices, and make sure you do online searches to find out what customers have said about the companies before you make your decision. Find out how many flat roof membranes the company has fitted before and if their website doesn’t have any testimonials or a gallery of completed work; ask them for some examples before signing on the dotted line.

You can’t put a price on a good investment, and buying the right flat roofing waterproofing membrane from the right people is a combination that you’ll be grateful for in years to come. Remember to always do your homework, and don’t be afraid to respectfully decline if you think there’s a better deal elsewhere!

The most important thing in our guide though isn’t what you get done or what you pay, but the company you hire. Quality of craftsmanship should be top of the priority list, so make sure you hire professionals who can build to last.

Finding Roof Leaks: The Most Likely Places to Find Leaks.

Escaped water or a constant dampness can pose a real threat to the integrity of your property; your timber areas may rot, insulation may lose its effectiveness and if left untreated, may ultimately result in a big job to fix.

Unfortunately, fixing a roof leak is not always a simple matter as unless it has reached an advanced stage the source of the problem may not always be obvious.

We take a look at some of the most likely places you may find a roof leak along with a checklist of the tell-tall signs to watch out for.

How to spot a leak
Water damage can cause serious issuesYou may imagine that a leak involves water gushing through your living room ceiling but in the vast majority of cases, you will have to be eagle-eyed to spot there is a problem.

Although many leaks have the potential to get worse and slowly spread throughout the house, damaging walls and ceilings en route, many are hidden away and can only be found if you are specifically looking.

For this reason, it’s a good idea to carry out periodic checks to see if you can spot any tell-tale signs that you might have a problem.

Here are a few things to watch out for:

tea-stained spots or marks on the ceiling
black stains around the chimney or roofing deck – can indicate the start of mildew or mould
oddments of shingle in the garden
rotting wood or peeling paintwork around the skylights
scraps of roofing material in the downspout
pinholes of light in your loft roof – this could indicate a potential gap through which leaks could travel
buckled roof shingles
The above list is by no means a comprehensive guide but should help give you an idea of the kinds of signs which should set alarm bells ringing

Tracking down the source
If you spot any of the above in your property, there’s a good chance that you have a leak. Don’t be tempted to leave it until matters get worse because the fix could end up becoming very expensive; leaks can do a lot of damage behind the scenes.

The bad news is that the source of the leak can be very difficult to find, especially as the spot where they choose to manifest can be some distance from the actual point of entry.

You may be lucky enough to have an obvious an visible problem such as missing roof tiles but in the vast majority of cases you will need to become a DIY detective to track down the original damp patch.

Going up into the loft space can often be very fruitful; any areas where there are black stains generally indicate the present of mould or mildew. This can help to narrow down where the leak is coming from.

One word of warning before you embark on a determined hunt through your house: you may find signs of water staining on your ceiling without a leak being present. This can be due to condensation instead.

It can be helpful to learn how to identify a condensation problem because it will also need attention, even if you don’t have a leak which needs fixing.

A condensation stain will appear on the ceiling near an exterior wall, usually in the corner of a room. The stain will present as a series of small circles, usually white in the middle and darker on the outside.

In direct contrast, a leak water-stain can appear anywhere on the ceiling and will normally present in a concentric ring pattern. The darkest ring will be in the centre and get lighter as the circles move outwards. Each ring that you see represents a separate leak incident so can be a good way for you to determine how long the problem has been present for.

Where to look
If you haven’t been able to find any immediate source of leaking there are some prime candidate areas you may want to try which often prove to be the root of the problem.

Here are some suggestions.

South and west sides of the house
The aspects of the house which are facing to the south and west will feel the brunt of the exposure. For example, the sun will beat down the strongest and most consistently on the south and west. It maybe therefore be worth checking the roofing on these areas first. If any of the shingles have buckled or cracked, you generally have around two years from the first signs of damage before a leak develops.

Not the kind you wear, but the rubber seals which are used for plumbing vent pipes or air vents. The rubber can easily rot away over time leaving the vent exposed; you may find you need to buy a whole new vent boot as a replacement to prevent the leak.

Cracked housing
Sticking with the same theme of venting, the plastic housing cover itself may be at fault. If you can see any cracks or missing and bent nails from the bottom edge, you may have solved your mystery leak.

Dormer windows
Converting your loft space and installing dormer windows is a very popular use of space but you might find that this is the source of your leak. Water can very easily get between the corner boards and siding or even through knots in the wood!

Tiny holes
Small holes in your roof may seem like a trivial concern but they can be the cause of a full-scale leak if they are not fixed straight away. These types of holes are not a natural phenomenon but are likely to have been left when a satellite box, aerial or similar was removed or replaced.

Other areas where you might want to pay special attention include the ridge cap, shingles, gutters and flashing.

Even the smallest leak can quickly expand into a catastrophic escape of water so taking action as soon as possible is an essential. There’s some food for thought in the article above to help rule out what might be some of the more common causes for leaks.

Of course, you may find that part of the problem is an old and tattered membrane which is fitted underneath. Modern membranes have a much longer lifespan and are quick, economical and easy to install compared to bitumen and felt. Tracking down the leak, fixing the source of the problem – or calling in someone to do it for you! – and then putting preventative measures in place, such as updating the waterproofing membranes, to cut down the chances of a recurrence could help keep your home warm, safe and dry once more.

Jargon and Terminology Used in the Roofing Industry.

Roofing terminologyIf you thought valleys were something found in the heart of Wales and flashing is an offence which could land you in jail, the chances are that you aren’t familiar with the jargon and terminology used in roofing…

Just like any other industry, roofing has its own language which to an insider is baffling and bewildering and almost impossible to follow.

Unless you know the basics of roofing terminology trying to understand even the most basic guide is like reading a foreign language. The good news is that it’s very simple to get to grips with some of the most commonly-used words and phrases. So with the help of this guide you will soon be able to speak ‘Roofer’ without having to think twice.

Dormer roof
Loft extensions are becoming increasingly popular, particularly with mortgages more difficult to obtain than in the past. This has led to more homeowners opting to extend their existing space rather than move to a bigger house.

In the loft, a dormer window is used to provide additional head room, as it extends horizontally from a high point in the roof. This is a particularly efficient way to add space but typically requires planning permission.

This is the lowest point of the roof edge and may terminate either flush with the outer edge of the wall or extend beyond it.

On many roofs, there is a single strip of wood which separates the roof and the wall. This is known as the fascia and is often used as a panel upon which to attach the guttering. In the past fascias were made from wood but more recently they are made from uPVC because of the material’s superior endurance. It is possible to upgrade wooden fascias to uPVC.

One of the most commonly heard words in roofing, flashing refers to the small metal components in the roof which act as a sealant between tiles and either the wall or other part of the roof. Flashing is commonly made from lead, but alternative materials such as zinc may be utilised as well.

The cement filler which can be found on the top of a chimney stack, at the base of chimney pots or on any extending flues.

Green roof
There are different interpretations of this phrase but the most generic and commonly accepted use refers to the planting of live organic material on a roof. This provides excellent insulation and protection from flooding as well as improving the aesthetics, particularly in an urban landscape.

Hot air seam welding
This is a method of installing new roofing and is commonly used with single ply membranes. A hot air gun is used to fuse together sheets of membrane, creating an ultra-strong and waterproof lining which requires no additional glue or fixing. It is considered a particularly safe type of working because there are no solvents and no naked flames involved.

A low wall which extends at the edge of a roof beyond the eaves.

Pitched roof
Roofing jargonThis is the opposite of a flat roof and is the kind of roofing which is more commonplace. Having a pitch just means that your roof reaches a point at the top. There are different degrees of pitches; these depend on the style of the house and the fashions at the time the property was being built.

A single word which refers to the highest point of a pitched roof, and is often the spot into which the heads of the rafters extend.

Single ply membrane
This is one of the most modern and efficient roofing systems which are comprised just of one single sheet of membrane. Strong and waterproof, single ply roofing systems are quick and easy to install and are amongst the most durable types of roofing available.

A roofing valley is almost exactly what it sounds like: a channel where two different parts of the roof meet where the water is allowed to run off. Not every house will have a roofing channel but it is commonly present in those which have had an extension.

The above glossary is a guide to just some of the more basic terms you may hear bandied around in the roofing industry. The terminology relating to the more technical roofing products is long enough to fill an entire book but the above words and phrases should help you plough through at least the more rudimentary reports and recommendations.

Buy Cheap, Buy Twice – Quality Materials are Essential for Roofing Projects.

Water damage from a leaking roofThe roof is one of the most important components of our home yet it’s something that’s very often taken for granted.

Perched high up in the air, the old adage ‘out of sight, out of mind’ has never been more fitting.

However, when a roof goes wrong it’s almost impossible to ignore because the impact on the whole house can be catastrophic. That’s why it’s a very good idea to carry out maintenance on a regular basis to make sure it stays in tip top condition.

But there may be times when you either need a small repair, or you are due to replace your whole roof. It can be very tempting to snap up a bargain, looking only at the cost rather than the quality. In the long term this will inevitably be a false economy as you will have to replace the materials far more quickly.

We take a look at just why quality materials are so essential for roofing projects.

Living in a property results in a lot of hot air; heating, bathing; cooking and even breathing creates moist warm air that wants to rise upwards.

This moisture’s natural inclination is either to ascend or else find a cold surface to cling to. This is one of the reasons why insulation and ventilation in a roof is just so vital.

With warm air and moisture rising into the roof, using cheap materials which don’t have proper ventilation can be a disaster. With no place to escape, the moisture can cause a roof space to quickly become damp, resulting in mould and rot.

It’s a very simple problem that can easily be avoided providing the materials have the proper roof, tile or slate vents to accommodate the property needs.

Underlying reason
Whilst it’s possible to look for a competitive price, if you find materials at a vastly deflated cost, there has to be a reason.

Most reputable roofing material providers operate in and around the same price range, this is because they use similar sources and materials and the costs are broadly comparable.

If you are offered roofing materials for a much lower price, it’s worth asking yourself how they are managing to provide it so cheaply. Somewhere there has to be a compromise whether it’s a substandard quality, or whether they are suggesting skimping on some of the finishing touches such as the flashing.

Both methods may well save some cash initially, but neither will provide a lasting or effective roof and before too long the chances are you will be paying out for repairs…and ultimately another whole new roof.

Aesthetics matter
When you are purchasing the materials for the roof, there’s a certain amount of wastage which simply can’t be helped.

Just like laying a carpet or tiles in your bathroom, to get the best visual result, there’s only so much you can recut or re-use.

You can reduce the amount you spend by being prepared to use offcuts, or tolerate wonky or crooked lines. The end result will be unappealing, and look like an amateur job, even if it is perfectly functional.

You might be willing to tolerate a house which is aesthetically shocking but if you come to sell it, the chances are you will either struggle to attract a buyer, or you will lose a big chunk of the asking price. To avoid either scenario, you will have to replace the whole roof, simply because you tried to cut corners and save a few pounds in the first instance…

Don’t be a drip
Your roof protects your home; without it you could end up with damp, mould or other kinds of damage in your property.

Poor quality roofing may not fit properly, may shrink in warm weather or be unsuitable for the climate you live in. All of these problems will result in a roof with patches which leak which in turn, will end up being a very expensive problem…and cost more to fix than a good quality roof would have done in the first instance.

There are some things where you can take a chance on quality without jeopardising something important but a roof isn’t one of these things. A roof is a big investment even if you buy cheap and substandard roofing; don’t be tempted to throw away your money on materials which will need to be replaced as soon as bad weather arrives.

The Insulation Qualities of Different Types of Roofing Materials.

Green roof exampleWith energy prices continuously rising, it’s never been more important to have an energy-efficient home and that means using every possible tool to keep the heat in.

In the UK, keeping a warm home during the colder months is the biggest priority and the roof of a house plays a very pivotal role in the process.

Approximately 25% of the energy of a house is said to escape through the roof so by ensuring you have proper insulation, as well as the right roofing materials, you can make a very real different to the warmth of your home.

There are a wide range of different roof materials to pick from; here’s how they all compare when it comes to their insulation qualities.

Composite shingles
A very affordable type of roofing, they are low maintenance and easy to install and are one of the most popular choices.

However, this isn’t an eco-friendly option as they are based on petroleum and are often taken to landfill sites. This problem is heightened by the fact they are not particularly durable either.

Another problem is that they require a very precise temperature range when they are being installed. If it is too hot, the shingles can become too pliable which means they are liable to become damaged as they are handled; if the weather is too cold, they won’t reach the required degree of elasticity and a proper seal will not be formed.

This sensitivities means that composite shingle roofs are often liable to get blown off during high winds.

Asphalt roofing doesn’t insulate the home to any great degree, and hasn’t been shown to have any qualities which help conserve heat during colder weather.

Single ply membrane
An increasingly popular choice of roofing, a single ply membrane is incredibly durable with a long life span of optimum performance.

One of the biggest benefits is that they are easy to install and don’t require complex tools or naked flames. A hot air gun and adhesive is typically all that is requires, which allows the materials to bond quickly, forming a weatherproof and watertight seal.

Because the seal is so effective on a single ply membrane, they offer superior sound insulation as well as heat preserving qualities, and as they are reflective, they can also help to keep a house cool during the warmer months.

A single ply membrane can operate in a wide range of temperature extremes once installed, including in very hot weather. It won’t lift, blister or degrade in higher temperatures which means than when it turns cold, you will still have an intact weatherproof system. This is in direct contrast to materials such as asphalt where cracking and splitting often occurs when the temperature rises.

If you are considering a green roof (see below), a single ply membrane makes an excellent base, heightening the insulation effects even further.

Green roofs
A fairly modern initiative, green roofs don’t just provide a welcome relief from rows of drab greys, browns and blacks; they also have a number of practical benefits when compared to other roofing materials.

Laid on top of a waterproof membrane, a green roof involves grass, plants and other living materials which grow to create a decorative yet functional barrier between the elements and the roof structure.

Green roofs are renowned for vastly reduced the risk of flooding by reducing the amount of water which reaches the roof, acting as a sponge to soak up the rain. This has the effect of preventing so much water running down the walls, which in turn can help to keep the cold out.

Green roofs can also act as an external layer of insulation, keeping the house warm in colder weather as their temperature is more constant. This extra insulation can also improve the sound proofing too, helping to keep the home quieter.

Whilst traditional roof materials such as asphalt and composite shingles remain very popular, they have a habit of degrading or performing poorly in colder climates. Single ply membranes or even green roofs are the choice of many professionals and can deliver significant heat conversation qualities for homes in colder weather.

What To Do When Your Roof Suffers Storm Damage/Roof Storm Damage.

As a homeowner, you rarely can predict when your home will be hit by damaging weather. It is important to have a clear understanding of the proper steps that should be taken when the roof of your home has been damaged. Windstorms, severe rainstorms, and snow/ice storms can all cause damage to a shingle roof.

1. Assess the damage to your roof.
The first step after you experience severe weather is to assess the damage. Approximate damage assessments can help you discuss your needs with your insurance company or contractor and avoid unforeseen costs or discrepancies. (This is usually only possible in daylight, so in some cases you may want to skip to step #2 listed below before assessing the damage.)

When looking at your roof to identify damaged areas, use a pair of binoculars. Estimate the general square foot area and specific details of the area that has been damaged. Note the severity of the damage, and look carefully to see if there are areas of missing shingles. In some cases, only a few random shingles will be missing.

Document the materials that are visible or exposed. Check for signs of exposed plywood, tarpaper, or the ends of missing shingles. Take note of the colour of the material and the approximate shade. )

2. Make temporary fixes to minimize property damage.
Repairing a damaged roofIf the roof is severely damaged in an area directly above a living space, interior property can be damaged by leaking water. Be sure to place a bucket or garbage can under leaks and remove any valuables in the area in order to prevent further interior damage. Serious damage may need to be waterproofed quickly using a strapped tarping method or ice and water membrane, while smaller repairs can be shingled immediately.

3. Contact your insurance company.
Contact your insurance company. Evaluate if the damage is large enough to be covered through home insurance, or whether it would be more economical to hire a contractor directly for any necessary repairs. In times of natural disaster, when large residential areas are hit by a storm or other severe weather, it can be beneficial to use your homeowner’s insurance as contractors can become busy.

4. If necessary, contact a reliable contractor to repair the roof.
If you decide to hire a private contractor, always hire a professional certified roofing contractor. Avoid contractors who are in the area because of a natural disaster. Traveling contractors who follow storms have no reputation to uphold and may provide sub standard workmanship.

Areas We Cover

Acocks Green
Alum Rock
Balsall Heath
Bartley Green
Birmingham city centre
Bordesley Green
Buckland End
Chad Valley
Cradley Heath
Druids Heath
Dudley Port
Elmdon Heath
French Walls
Golds Hill
Great Bridge
Hall Green
Handsworth Wood
Hill Top
Hurst green
Kings Heath
Kings Norton
Kitts Green
Lea Hall
Marston Green
Ocker Hill
Quarry Bank
Rowley Village
Selly Oak
Shard End
Small Heath
Smiths Wood
Swan Village
Ward End
Weoley Castle
West Bromwich
Westwood Heath
Winson Green
Yardley Wood

Guttering & Fascia / Soffit Cleaning Services

Guttering & Fascia / Soffit Cleaning Services.

Birmingham Roof Repair Company realise that the vast majority of the population here in the UK are not able to do our own “Gutter Cleaning” or indeed anything to do with our roof i.e. “Roofing Repairs” or “Fascia & Soffit Replacement” etc.

Only by paying a reputable local Birmingham or Solihull roofing professional can one get the work done in an honest and affordable manner. As a matter of fact, according to a number of high profile research documents, ‘Window cleaning is the most dangerous job in the UK”.  The threat arrives from an individual falling off a ladder. This is given as the main reason for ranking the job so highly in a league table of the most risky professions.’

Therefore it follows that actually cleaning out guttering can be even more of a risk. The reason for this is that the person charged with carrying out the actual cleaning of the guttering, has to work at even greater heights than a residential window cleaner.

One should always have the guttering maintained. By not doing so, you the homeowner, could receive a large bill in the future. By having your guttering regularly checked and cleaned out by Birmingham Roof Repair every year you can be sure that no nasty bills are just around the corner.

The main purpose of rain guttering is to protect your building’s foundation by redirecting all rain water away from the base of the building. In addition guttering also helps to reduce erosion to the brickwork, whereby reducing the moisture absorbed into the structure of the property. This keeps the brickwork dry and free of moss, slime, algae etc.

Birmingham Gutter Cleaning

Therefore why not leave the maintenance of your upvc guttering to your local West Midland Gutter Cleaners.” We carry out the work so you don’t have to and why not have your fascias and soffits cleaned at the same time, to keep all your upvc plastic looking like new.

So to get an instant quote from Birmingham Roof Repair gutter cleaning services – simply email me telling me with the type of property you own and exactly what service you require.

Birmingham Roof Repair Company

Roof Maintenance Tips

Roof Maintenance Tips. The primary reason for premature roof failure is due to lack of periodic roof maintenance. The following is a list of maintenance procedures that can be performed without contracting a roofing professional. 1. Removing debris from roof surface 2. Cutting back overhanging READ MORE…


How To Find The Right Roofer

How To Find The Right Roofer

Installing new roofing can often feel like a grudge purchase, something you need but take for granted. Plus, people don’t usually comment on how nice your roof is. In some parts of the US new roofs go on every 5-7 years, fortunately ours tend to last a longer.

Here is a list to help you save money and aggravation if you have to put on a new roof.

Before you call:

Compare hourly rates or job rates of several roofers.
To the best of your ability, contact a roofer during the off season when it is not snowing or raining. It can be a mess if you call a roofer when you realize your current one can’t turn water.
Compare the base price of different roofing material, e.g. asphalt shingles, slate tiles, cedar shakes.

Ask to see projects your roofer has completed in your area and talk to the homeowners.

Consider skill and experience over a cheaper hourly rate. Having an inexperienced, inexpensive roofer who doesn’t apply the roof correctly, will just cause you to hire another roofer to fix his mistakes. Avoid those situations by hiring quality first.

Roofing Contracts:

Consult with your roofer about which material would be best for your roof. If possible, try to secure a warranty or even a guarantee on his work.

Agree to how long your roof will be off and how long their equipment will be on your property.

Come to terms about who is responsible if the roof leaks within a certain period of time from the install.

roof tiles

Roof Inspections

Roof Inspections.

Although in this country we don’t tend to see a lot of snow, we do see our fair share of rain.  So when buying a home it is usually a good idea to have the roof inspected. As a matter of fact, many lenders required this to be done before they will cut a check. In most states, a properly ventilated roof can last 20 years or more. In states where the snow is heavy, they often have to be replaced every five years. While having a secure roof is one of the most important parts of a home, it can also be a very expensive investment, especially if you bought a home under the guise that everything was on the up and up.

Roofing Inspections.

Roof inspections are simply inspections that determine the integrity of a roof, how long it may last, and when it will need to be replaced. Roof inspectors are not going to climb up on your roof or the roof of a home you are thinking of buying and pull up shingles or tiles. Roof inspectors have special procedures wherein they can determine the lifespan of a given roof without tearing into it. At first glance it might seem that roofing inspectors would have to pull up part of the roof to do a thorough examination, but if you consider your own roof, you would not want anyone tearing holes in it just to see if it was in good shape.

Roof Inspectors.

Roof inspectors also have super-technical techniques like infrared roof inspections where they don’t even have to touch the surface of the roof itself to determine a roof’s integrity. This process uses infrared rays to locate parts of a roof that are at higher or lower temperatures than the rest of the roof. These “hot spots” can show a roof inspector just exactly where heat is escaping.

Roof Inspections.

Because replacing a roof can be quite an investment, insurance companies and lenders require that this has been checked off. It makes sense for these companies to protect their investments, but you as the homeowner should want this to be secured as well. You don’t want to be stuck with a bill that you weren’t expecting, and you also don’t want to sell a home to a family and put them in the same spot.


Do You Need a New Roof?

Do you need a new roof?

Here are some ways to tell you if you do.

How often do you look at your roof? If you’re like me, you run in and out of the house, shuttle the kids back and forth, and glance up at the roofline only occasionally as you back out of the driveway.

But inspecting your roof regularly and making little fixes as needed can prevent some costly repairs down the road — and keep those raindrops from falling on your head. There’s another benefit, too: Keeping your roof in good condition will also be a big plus if you decide to sell your home.

Take it from the top

So, what should you look for when inspecting your roof? The National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA) recommends you do a roof inspection at least two times a year — spring and fall. The best place to begin is inside your house — grab a flashlight and make a trip to the attic.

Here are four things to look for on the inside:

1) Places where the roof deck is sagging

2) Signs of water damage or leaking

3) Dark spots and trails

4) Outside light showing through the roof.

Exterior check

When you take a look at the exterior of the roof, pay attention to such things as damaged flashing, missing shingles, curling, blistering, buckling, rotting and algae growth (which occurs most often in humid climates and appears as dark or greenish stains).

The HomeTeam Inspection Service offers these tips on what to check on the outside:

5) Visually inspect your roof for cracked, torn, bald or missing shingles.

6) Scan the roof for loose material or wear around chimneys, vents, pipes or other penetrations.

7) Watch out for an excessive amount of shingle granules (they look like large grains of sand) in the gutters — this is a sign of advanced wear.

8) Check for signs of moisture, rot or mold. Note that wet spots may not be directly under your faulty shingle; water can travel down to its lowest spot before it drips. Mold, fungi and bacteria can grow quickly — within 24 to 48 hours of a water-related problem.

9) Examine the drainage, and make sure gutters and downspouts are securely attached. Also ensure all drains are open and allow water to exit, and all gutters and downspouts are free of debris.

10) Check that all bath, kitchen and dryer vents go entirely outside of your home, not just into the attic space.

What’s the roof made of?

Dean Bennett, president of Dean Bennett Design and Construction, Inc. in Castle Rock, Colorado, says determining when you need a new roof also depends on roofing material as well as the part of the country in which you live. With that in mind, he offers tips on the following roofing materials:

Cedar: A cedar roof in need of repair or replacement will split and fall apart in dry climates. In moist climates, it will get mossy. The lifespan of a cedar roof is about 20 years.
Tile: “Look for broken or cracked tiles,” Bennett says, “but don’t walk on the roof to do so or the tiles will break. Tile roofs can last up to 100 years, but individual tiles can break. They can be replaced, but only by a specialist.”
Concrete: should never need replacing

If you have a roof with wooden shakes, you should also watch out for damage from termites, carpenter ants and/or other wood-boring pests.

Check the simplest solutions first

If your roof has water damage, don’t jump the gun and assume you need to start all over with a brand new roof. The California Contractors State License Board says that if your roof was properly installed and is less than than 15 to 20 years old, it can often be repaired rather than replaced.

Contact a licensed roofing contractor — or three — to find out what they think needs to be done and to get an estimate.

Starting over

If you do decide to go ahead and replace the whole roof, keep weather and other issues specific to your locality in mind when choosing materials.

For example, wood and asphalt shingles aren’t especially fire resistant — and this could be a problem if you live near a lot of dry brush and trees. Slate, tile and metal are more expensive materials, but they are a worthwhile investment because of the extra protection they offer against fire.

If, on the other hand, snow loads are an issue where you live, you might want to consider a durable and lightweight standing-seam metal roof. These can typically cast off the snow before it becomes a problem.

But before setting your heart on slate or tile — and we know they look really gorgeous — realize that these are very heavy materials. Some house framing just isn’t strong enough to support the extra weight of this sort of roofing.

Start now — before you have no choice

Don’t wait until water is unexpectedly pouring into your home by way of a leaky roof. Start protecting your home by using some simple observation skills. If you find problems, it doesn’t necessarily mean you need to replace your roof. Many repairs can be made before a major rebuild is necessary.

If you do need a new roof, be aware that this isn’t an average “do it yourself” type of project. It’s tough work — especially if you’re taking off the old roof — and can be dangerous, too. (Roofs slope and are up high… need we say more?)

It’s all looking up

Most people list “Having a roof over my head” as one of life’s essentials — and there’s a reason for that. It’s not just a matter of practicality or aesthetics (though both of those play a part). Your roof is what keeps you and your family safe from the sun and snow, lightning and rain.

So cozy up with the knowledge that once your roof is in tip-top shape, it will stay that way for years to come.