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Spotting Roof Problems from a Cleaner

downpipe leak paul charles roofingFor those on the ground, so to speak, like a regular cleaner, they can quickly 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 splashing on the wall afterwards.

Leave it undetected, and dampness 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 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 are a few takeaway pointers on how to effectively detect and then deal with this kind of issue:

1. Make Sure You Regularly Inspect These Areas.

This can be under the regular 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 cordoning 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 repeatedly when people delay bringing in the correct local roofer to get to the bottom of things, even if it means accessing 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 to eliminate the absolute mess and allow time to dry out.

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

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 genuine team effort can then help get things back on track.

Remember that a seemingly minor issue and discolouring may worsen over time and only result in 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 dripping water leak inside a property, people automatically assume that a completely new roof covering may be required.

Although this can be a sign of significant issues in the roof areas, more often than not, there is a more straightforward solution to look at.

Therefore, it’s essential to take a step back and look at the issues and potential dangers 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

People and even essential roofers often miss this – spotting any immediate dangers from the roof leak before getting stuck into the repair.

Personal items and carpets may get 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.

Look at this example with a precise electrical socket and wiring directly below the leak.

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 cooling outlets.

These probably have pipes above the ceiling tiles, which may 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 isn’t the case, with a standard central heating radiator around the perimeter.

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

3. Consider All Options – Like Drainage Systems

And finally, when you look at the roof itself, 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, straightforward 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, these three angles will help you begin to focus on these.

Start by seeing other dangers to deal with first 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 what’s wrong.

Of course, if you need some experienced help with this as local 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 on 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 entirely 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 higher, that is far heavier than 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, which has the weight of snow slipping down the roof pitch, can soon suffer under 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 generally do not receive this; for example, under flashings and coping on parapet walls.

Therefore, watch out for sudden leaks in places that would not usually receive these, as the snow and water find a 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 the issues when this happens and prevent severe roof 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 property.

Don’t Let Downpipes Drip onto Flat Roofs

flat roof gutter paul charles roofingAs local West Midlands roofers, we see this repeatedly, 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; 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 trickle to eventually. 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 a potential trip-hazard for people walking on here.

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

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

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

Secondly, make sure this is correct 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 everywhere at the same time. Look for signs of dampness, water leakage, or wonky pieces that may quickly disappear.

Plus, of course, the gutters are clear of leaves and debris; after all, this will permanently stop the natural pathway of water along these.

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

And sixthly, they look as good as they can because you 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.