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3 Strange Things You May Find on Roofs

hidden on roof roofer birmingham west midlandsWhen you think about what kinds of mess and things may end up on a roof, most people will not realise what these can actually be.

Maybe a few broken tiles or mortar down in the gutter, or if a low-level roof then maybe a football that kids have thrown up there.

However, with years of experience with all kinds of commercial and domestic roof areas, you’ll be surprised by what else you may find there. Both on the actual roof, but also in any hidden areas like valleys, under parapet walls, and in particular drain pipes that are meant to take water away, not get bunged up with rubbish.

Anyway, here’s 3 examples of what you might find hidden on a roof – and which become progressively stranger:

1. Leaves and Twigs

This is understandable the more you think about it, particularly when there are trees very near the roof.

If they’re touching right up to the roof fascia or even above, then you’re in trouble. As soon as leaves start to falls in the autumn and the wind blows they tend to fall onto the roof itself.

Over time with rain, they will then move down the roof and begin to settle in areas like gutters and downpipes. Left unresolved, they can soon block up and lead to water pouring out in areas where it shouldn’t.

The answer is simple - trim the trees back, or at least have an annual clearance of these from the roof.

2. Bags and Rubbish

Plastic bags and all kinds of other rubbish are a classic you’ll find in more urban areas.

Of course, they’re meant to be placed in rubbish bins, but if you have a strong wind blowing them, or people throwing them out of higher-level windows, then they can soon start to clutter a roof up.

In addition to looking awful, they can soon start blocking the natural flow of water and hence develop issues like leaks and mould growth.

In particular, things like plastic bags can be the worst; because they will travel quite far and high with the wind, and be easily shaped into something like a downpipe, and not deteriorate over time.

The answer to this one is to monitor rubbish roundabout, and have a thorough check when you carry out a routine inspection

3. Food (and Chicken Bones)

This does surprise people a lot - the remains of food on a roof causing issues.

This can be from people throwing out onto say flat roof areas, although, often it’s from birds picking up food locally and taking to a local roof to perch and have a bite to eat.

Chicken pieces are a classic example that can cause a real headache. They’re taken from takeaway meals, and once any meat has been eaten or deteriorated then you’re left with a bone carcass that can easily get blown into areas and pipes that cause a blockage later on.

The answer - like with rubbish, make sure there is little opportunity for this to happen in the first place, but when it does, then make sure you double-check all areas and have the right gloves and safety procedures to then remove these.

Prevention is Better than Cure

In addition to trying to stop the items from first getting on a roof, another way to look at good prevention of problems is to have a form of guard or shield over prone areas.

So, maybe a metal mesh over pipes and even gutters to stop things blowing on or in there. Or even spikes to stop birds even trying to perch there in the first place.

Whatever you decide, call in a good local roofer to give you some tips, sometimes without even needing to get on the roof, but using years of experience and some good old common sense.

Spotting Roof Problems from a Cleaner

downpipe leak paul charles roofingFor those on the ground, so to speak, like a regular cleaner, they can easily identify issues that crop up from a much bigger roof issue.

In short, whatever rainwater is being collected from a roof should find the correct way back down to the ground and drainage system.

However, problems start when this process breaks down.

Take, for example, these photos recently taken on a site. Awful pictures of mould and all kinds of other greenery starting to blossom at the bottom of walls and downpipes.

wall stain paul charles roofingMore often than not, this is from the downpipe and gutter not being correctly sealed or joined together, hence the clear build-up of issues on this downpipe with water than splashing on the wall afterwards.

Leave undetected, and damp will start penetrating through the wall on the inside, causing all kinds of building issues.

However, the problem can be more on the roof itself, as per this other photo with a green area further along the path, but just splash-back on the wall.

In this scenario, it’s a classic issue of an overhanging roof not correctly being sealed, causing water to drip downwards steadily.

How to Detect and Resolve

Therefore, here’s a few takeaway pointers on how to effectively detect and then deal with these kind of issues:

1. Make Sure You Regularly Inspect These Areas.

This can be under the normal duties of a gardener or landscape contractor who watches out for these kinds of issues and immediately reports them with a helpful photo – and ideally more often in winter with a greater risk of these things happening.

2. Take Any Necessary and Safe Precautions

While you look into the solution, see if there’s any immediate measure to take, for example, clearing up any moss that people could slip on or even cordon off the area altogether.

Maybe even a separate planter to cover over the terrible-looking mess.

3. Get the Cause of the Issue Rectified

This may sound obvious, but we see it time and time again where people delay bringing in the right local roofer to get to the bottom of things, even if it means access equipment like a scaffold tower or cherry picker.

They can then re-seal the joint, repair the roof, or refix the downpipe – whatever the problem is.

4. Clear up the Final Mess

This may take a good jet wash and scrub up to get rid of the final mess and allow time for things to dry out.

If the problem has caused even more severe damage, then things like stain blockers may also need painting over.

Problem Spotted is a Problem Halved

Therefore, make sure your other contractors and occupiers are geared up to help problems like this crop up immediately. A true team effort can then help get things back on track.

Remember that a seemingly small issue and discolouring may well worsen over time and be only the result of a much bigger problem.

need any further advice? Then contact Easy Cleaners who helped provide these hands-on-experienced tips. 

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.