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Three Quick Tests When You See a Roof Leak

roof leaks quick tests paul charles roofingWhenever you see a damp stain or actual dripping water leak inside a property, people automatically assume that it may be a whole new roof covering required.

Although this can be a sign of big issues on the roof areas, more often than not, there is a simpler solution to look at.

Therefore, it’s important to take a step back and have a quick look at what the issues and potential dangers are before going any further.

Here then are three quick tests to look at, taking an example here in a photo of a small damp stain appearing in the corner of a room:

1. Check No Dangers – Like Electrics

This is often missed by people and even basic roofers – spotting any immediate dangers from the roof leak before getting stuck into the repair.

There may be personal items and even carpets getting soaked below, as one example.

However, even more, important is making sure the electrics are not at risk of being affected by water and risk of fire and people being electrocuted.

Just take a look at this example with a clear electrical socket and wiring directly below the leak in question.

2. Clarify no Other Causes – Like Cooling Systems

Another classic mistake we see repeatedly is people not realising that such water leaks and stains may be from a completely different source than the roof.

If you take a typical office area, you often have a false ceiling above which can have pipework for heating and colling outlets.

These probably have pipes above the ceiling tiles which may well be leaking and causing the issue, not the roof above – in which case it’s time to call in the mechanical specialists.

In this example, you can see the photo that this actually isn’t the case, with a common central heating radiator around the perimeter.

However, check that such heating pipes in the floor above are not leaking and seeping down into the floor below.

3. Consider All Options – Like Drainage Systems

And finally, when you look at the roof itself, then be ready to spot an easy problem to solve.

In this example the water leak was from the hopper head off a flat roof which sends water into a downpipe – a simple clear and re-seal may be all that’s needed.

Or if you look at the roof, maybe a loose tile or ridge tile with missing mortar in the joints.

Oh so often it’s right in front of your eyes, although if not, then begin identifying where the water will be tracking from

Getting to the Bottom of Roof Leaks, Quickly

Therefore, as you look to quickly and effectively diagnose what’s causing a roof leak or stain, then these three angles will help you begin to focus on these.

Start by seeing other dangers to first deal with, before ruling out if other non-roof problems are causing this like heating and cooling systems.

And then finally use some common sense are start seeing where the leak is on the roof and spotting whats’ wrong.

Of course, if you need some experienced help with this as local Black Country and Birmingham roofers covering the West Midland, contact us today for immediate help and advice.

3 Snowy Tips for Roof Areas

At this time of year in winter, there is the risk of snow and ice everywhere, particularly in those cool and chilly mornings.

roof snow paul charles roofingOf course, usually, people are concerned about how this affects the ground; after all, that’s where people and vehicles can easily slip over and be harmed.

However, it’s important not to forget how this can also affect a roof area, as although it may be out of sight, it can never be quite out of mind.

Therefore, here are three quick tips to ensure you don’t get caught out with a blanket of snow on the roof. After all, it may look pretty, but problems can be lurking behind the scenes:

1. The Weight Factor

If you have a good coat of snow on a roof, maybe a foot or more high, then that is far heavier than what you think. And more importantly, it’s the weight that the roof was not necessarily designed to have.

Therefore, any signs of bowing of the roof joists, or slipped tiles can soon arise – particularly for older period properties or flat roofs.

Plus, even the external guttering as well, which has the weight of snow slipping down the roof pitch, can soon suffer under the strain.

2. The Wind Factor

With snow can come wind, which can cause an even bigger issue to resolve.

Suddenly, snow and rain can be blown into areas of a roof that normally do not receive this; for example, under flashings and coping on parapet walls.

Therefore, watch out for sudden leaks that occur in places that would not usually receive these, as the snow and water finds a whole new course to travel.

3. The Drain Factor

And finally, remember that snow has to eventually melt away and cause a large amount of water on the roof. Think of it as a large sponge suddenly being squeezed-out on the roof.

Plus, add to the fact that the snow's weight is still pressing against the roof, then watch out for leaks springing in places like box gutters where all this water has to try and escape eventually.

Stopping Roof Problems With Ice

As you go through these roof issues that can be caused by snow and ice, you’ll often find that it’s too late once it’s happened.

You can’t suddenly remove all this with a magic wand after it has come down, and therefore you will have to wait for it to thaw out and see what damage is done afterwards.

However, these tips help spot what the issues are when this does happen and also prevent serious damage beforehand.

A well-maintained gutter and roof area well before the snow comes, can help stand up to the weight and water penetration issues that come later.

Therefore, contact us today for further help and advice and a free no-obligation proposal for your own property.

Don’t Let Downpipes Drip onto Flat Roofs

flat roof gutter paul charles roofingAs local Midlands roofers we see this time and time again, and yet it’s so simple to resolve.

A downpipe is coming down the wall of a property at a higher, as you might expect.

Therefore, when it rains heavily a lot of rain will come shooting down here and straight onto any flat roof area directly below it, after all, that’s what it’s meant to do – take water away from the roof.

However, the question then is where all this water goes.

Often there is an area further out on the roof where the water is supposed to eventually trickle to. Maybe a hopper head at the top of another downpipe taking water down another story.

So, in simple terms, if water can make itself along this flat roof from where one pipe ends and another begins, then bingo.

But the issue is this journey across this flat roof area.

Water can soon pool on here as it spreads, rather than neatly travels. This can eventually cause water ingress and leaks through say the felt covering, plus turn into during cold spells and potential trip-hazard for people walking on here.

The solution though is often simple – a horizontal pipe stretching across from the bottom of one pipe to the top of another, therefore preventing water even needing to touch the flat roof.

However, with just a few pieces of advice with this as well.

Firstly, to position this at a slight angle downwards, so that water can naturally filter down by gravity.

Secondly, making sure this is right at the end of the roof so it’s out of the way of people on here.

Thirdly, firmly fixing to the walls and each pipe, so that no harsh weather or heavy rainfall can disturb it.

Fourthly, check the downpipes and gutters of everywhere at the same time. Look out for signs of damp and water leakage, or wonky pieces that may easily come away.

Plus of course, the gutters themselves being clear of leaves and debris, after all, this is always going to stop the natural pathway of water along these.

Fifthly, to check the joints between sections of pipe, as these typically fail over time and begin causing classic water leaks and issues.

And sixthly, that they are looking as good as they can do, because you really want them to hide well and not stand out too much. So maybe black plastic material to match others, or making sure any metal ones are not rusting away.

Need any more help? Then as good local Birmingham and Black Country roofers, contact us today for more help and advice.

When a ‘Roof Leak’ Isn’t a Roof Leak

paul charles roofing gutters birminghamWhen you get to look at a ‘roof leak’, then be ready to look at all kinds of possibilities as to what has caused it. Water may be pouring down and out, and although you might always assume that there must be a hole in the roof, then watch out, it may be different.

Here’s a classic example we came across, with one look outside revealing something very different; a tree growing from the roof area.

Therefore, here’s a few lessons to learn from something like this in order to get to the bottom of things:

1. Spot Where Something is Growing From

When you look closer at something like this, you see that it’s growing from the downpipe rather than the roof itself. Very unusual, but potentially easier to resolve with no actual roof works being required.

Also, check out where other vegetation and growth may be cropping up, for example the gutters above, and in this case the window sill below.

2. See Where Water’s Going

In this example water was penetrating through the wall in places, and you can see signs of green-growth on the wall as well. With such vegetation blocking the natural flow of water, then it still unfortunately still needs to go somewhere.

Remember that water can travel in all directions, not just downwards – including movement through walls and masonry.

3. Suss Out How to Gain Access

Although it sounds simple to just pull out weed growth, gaining access high enough is often the difficult part, as with most roof jobs.

Something like this will take strength and room to renounce in order to then remove the vegetation afterwards, and so certainly more along the lines of full-on scaffolding than quick-ladder access.

4. Sense What Else to Look Out For

And finally, look around and see what other issues need dealing with, in this instance pigeon netting all around the outside area.

Not only will this be difficult to move and deal with, but you then have problems considering that it was put there in the first place to stop – pigeons roosting in there.

The Right Roofing Solutions

Therefore, whatever roof repair or replacement you’re looking at, always remember to delve deeper into not only what is causing this, but then what issues are involved in resolving this.

At this point it’s worth brining in the experts for a full inspection, ideally on a no-obligation basis to genuinely try and come to a practical and affordable solution. As local Sandwell roofers covering the wider Birmingham area, simply contact us today to let us help out.