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Roofing tips related to energy savings at buildings

energy efficiency maintenance roof paul charles roofingWith a sudden interest in properties becoming more energy-efficient and having a higher EPC rating, the focus is often on big issues such as roof insulation, LED lights and even new heating sources like heat pumps.

However, looking into more details about the roof of a property can be very important, particularly when you realise that heat rises and, therefore, the top is the direct point where you’ll be losing heat in your home or business premises.

So here are a few points to consider also linked with good general maintenance of roof areas. Although some can be implemented immediately in a maintenance regime, others are there to make a note of when making more significant decisions about the property and energy efficiency measures to reduce carbon emissions.

1. Amend any roof gutters

Although not directly affect the energy efficiency of the building, it does have a knock-on effect. For example, a leaking downpipe overtime, then causes dampness and water ingress into the property; it also can be wasting rainwater which could be otherwise channelled and used and recycled outside in the container rather than into the drains

A classic problem with guttering is the joints, breaking and dripping as well as sagging of the central systems.

2. Losf insolation

This is one of the top tips for general energy efficiency properties anyway, with the proper installation to a higher 270 mm.

However, you can go even further, including spraying this in rather than the traditional roles and also placing on the roof pitch behind any tiles, as well as within the conventional flat base of the loft area with boarding on top.

3. Spotting roof leaks

Look carefully both outside the property on the roof and inside any loft area to see whether any leaks are emerging. Look out for any loose tiles or slates and signs of them slipping, plus mortar at junctions and along ridge tiles or parapet walls becoming loose.

Excessive moss growth on roof areas can also cause problems, and simply brushing this off can be another big help, and making sure that this is correctly disposed of rather than blocking any gutters and downpipes.

4. Sweeping any chimneys

Birds' nests in chimneys can cause fires and attract all kinds of pests; therefore, arranging a qualified chimney sweep nearby to clear the chimney can be a huge help. Also, double-check your home insurance and any open fire and requirement for certificates from the chimney sweep in case of future claims.

5. Maintaining trees in vegetation

Cut these back away from the building can help stop loose, fallen branches causing damage and blockages to the roof and guttering and more daylight exposure to the building itself. The extra daylight on the roof can help deter any growth of moss and other algae.

6. Checking any roof windows

If you have any skylights, such as Velux windows, then making sure these are as energy efficient as possible is also essential.

The glazing should already be double-glazed but also make sure the seals are still intact and no issues with the condition of the window.

Hopefully, these half a dozen tips related to roof areas will help you start thinking about better energy efficiency from them and good roof repairs and maintenance.

Three problems with a small roof

small roof problems paul charles roofingHere’s a picture of a roof we recently looked at – admittedly not very big and hidden away, but a source of many problems!

After a good dose of rainfall and leaks in the shop below, it was essential to get on the flat roof and start seeing where the problem was.

Fortunately, it was easy to identify this particular roof section as directly above the water leak and, therefore, the cause of the problem—a shallow-pitched corrugated roof in between the area of the Victorian terrace property.

It’s a great example of how to spot problems with roofs, and hopefully reasonably apparent to even the untrained eye.

Therefore, here goes – three immediate problems that you can hopefully spot from this photo:

1. The patched side flashings

These are. The grey joins where this roof meets the walls at the back and two sides – or multiple joins and flashings.

Not only is this a mixture of different types that have been patched over, but there’s also even gaffa tape on one side – the ultimate bodge.

Need we say any more? Any severe rain on joins like these, plus the wind that may drive it in the gaps, will undoubtedly cause problems.

2. The mysterious items on the roof

There are a few ‘items’ on this corrugated roof, which always triggers questions of where these are from and why they have appeared.

Usually, this can help highlight issues elsewhere on another section of the roof, where the wind has maybe blown ridge tiles off and debris onto this roof section.

But this can then also cause damage to the roof they fall on and stop the free passage of rainfall down here.

3. The ‘A’ word

This is a problem; having asbestos in the roof.

The style, age, and colour of this particular roof section give it away, really, and a common material at the time.

Although it’s usually okay to leave without being disturbed when it needs to be or any form of work on or around it, you do have problems.

Therefore, in reality, there’s only one answer here – have the roof professionally replaced by a licensed asbestos contractor and a new one placed on (with correct flashing etc.).

Okay, not very cheap – which is why it has probably been left like this for so long – but now essential to deal with.

Spotting the roof issues

This photo of a leaking roof section is a classic example of what issues you can spot on a roof.

Although seeing any roof directly is always best, even looking at photos of it can give you a good idea of the issues and what’s needed.

Or, of course, call in the local professional roofers to help you.

How to look at roof problems

access look at roof paul charles roofingWhen we get asked to look at a roof repair around Birmingham and wider West Midlands, it’s often with limited information at that point.

Maybe it’s an urgent call to resolve a slipped tile, stop a leak, or even with a longer-term roof replacement in mind, and not knowing exactly what this needs to be.

But that’s where a good roofing contractor can help.

To not only discuss the issue and ask the right questions but agree on the next stage to collate more information before issuing a quote and attending the site.

In particular, here are a few practical ways to help look further into the issues at hand:

1. Go and have a look

Of course, this is an obvious one, but the detail counts.

Knowing how possible with full access is essential as to how easily ladders can be erected to look at things. The right time of day and daylight and weather conditions is also necessary.

2. Take some pictures

This can be a huge help if the problem can be easily seen from the safe ground, such as broken gutters, downpipes, stains, and dampness within the ceiling.

Simply taking on a mobile phone and sending by email, text, or Whatsapp can help the roofer spot the problems.

3. Get Google pictures

Now we’re getting technical, something that can help broad brush with a look right on top of a roof you can’t usually see.

Google earth can help zoom in from the top and have a surprising amount of detail of the roof structure and potential issues like valleys and damaged areas.

Even Streetview looking at the side elevation of properties can help to some degree.

4. Using a drone

The top level of looking at a roof, and with technology, is possible nowadays.

Ensure you have the correct and safe way to do this, experience getting into all the detail, and have comprehensive information afterwards.

5. Look inside the loft.

The last one, which may not always be possible or necessary, is to look inside any loft areas.

It’s amazing what you can see on the inside as a consequence of issues on the outside roof, whether damp stains or blatant drips of water.

Be careful of how you access it, with good lighting available, and how intrusive you must be with pealing insulation back.

Look now; save problems later.

As you begin to assess the issue with a roof, these pointers will help inspire ideas of how you can work alongside an excellent local roofer to get to the bottom of what needs doing.

Besides diagnosing the issue and providing a cost, it’s often essential to do it quickly and efficiently rather than dragging on.
Of course, if you want the experts to help you with this, contact us here.

5 Things We CAN’T Do When Accessing Roof Areas

It can sometimes be a challenge if you’re gaining access to a roof to repair, whether a quickly slipped tile or full-on re-surface.
Usually, it is straightforward for professional roofers with years of experience and safe procedures in action.

But some things are simply out of your control that others may assume can happen automatically.
Therefore, here are four of the most popular ones we come across to help explain where the roofer’s magic wand can’t reach:

cant do when roofing paul charles roofers

Of course, when it's howling with wind or pouring with rain is often when the roof does spring a leak or see deterioration. Those pressure points bring out the weaknesses.

However, those are the circumstances that we can’t simply get on a ladder and resolve when the weather is still bad. It’s just unsafe.

Therefore it’s a case of waiting for the weather to get better, even if the damage is being suffered unless a quick fix or temporary covering will suffice.

1. Gaining Access Inside

Sometimes you also need to get inside a property to see areas like where the rain is coming in or ventilation issues that are not helping.

But if this hasn’t been pre-arranged, it often can’t be done, particularly with residential premises where people understandably don’t want anyone coming in just like that.

And even if they allow access, it might be at the wrong time, or further entry into, say, a loft is impossible.

However, one way that can help a little is when people help take a photo of the area in question or discuss it over the phone.

2. Erecting Height Equipment on the Street

For those instances where you do need to get to, say, a gutter or roof area from the front of the property facing onto a pavement or street, then, in one sense, it can be straightforward to arrange this.

Maybe a temporary scaffold can be hired, or even a cherry picker arranged – although after a lot of effort and cost.

But then there is a permission problem.

It may take consent from the Local Authority, another management company or the property owner. Plus, there are all kinds of additional safety measures to assist pedestrians walking by or deter people from using at night.

Therefore, often the cost goes up, and the time is delayed further.

3. Storing Things Somewhere

There will always be something that needs to be kept safe somewhere on a roofing job, whether that’s a set of ladders, materials to be used, or even a van while you’re unloading or completing the repair.

Therefore, this can undoubtedly hold things up and cause frustrations for those not expecting this.

A few simple pre-arrangements can soon help, such as asking permission from others, issuing keys and access codes, and even ensuring protective sheets and locks are available.

Accessing the Right Roof

As you arrange for a local roofer to come and fix the problem, don’t forget all these practical pointers on access. Unfortunately, this finer detail often can get missed or forgotten.

However, a good local roofing company with experience who can talk you through a sensible Risk Assessment can soon help you come to the correct answer.


If you need more help, contact us here for a free no-obligation proposal.