A Complete Guide to Roofing

Roofing is essential, whether you’re a homeowner, commercial property owner, landlord or housing association. It protects your property and everything inside it from damage. In short, a good roof could save you vast amounts of money over the years.

With that in mind, it’s always a good idea to get yourself clued up on one of your property’s most important features. Read on for our guide to roofing – from inspecting your roof to getting the best deal.

The first impression

Your first encounter with any property and its roof is on the initial viewing. It’s your first opportunity to check the state of the property, and there are several things you should consider:

  • Windows – Check the glazing type and the frames
  • Wiring – Consider the number, location and condition of plug sockets
  • Plumbing – Inspect pipes, toilet flushes and taps, along with the radiators and boiler
  • Damp – Make sure the property doesn’t have any damp or discolouration on the walls and ceilings
  • Roofing – How old is the roof? Is there adequate ventilation? Are they any signs of wear and tear? Is it leaking? A quick paint over may be hiding damp ingress.
  • Guttering – Finally, check whether the gutters are fully functioning, with no breaks, leaks or overflow

Finding problems

Of course, not all problems are apparent on the first viewing and they can always develop over the years. That’s why regular property inspections are important to keep your roof functioning well. The question is, how often should your roof be inspected?

As a rule, we recommend checking your roof twice a year – on top of professional inspections. Ideally, your roof should be inspected in the months leading up to winter, as well as the months following the coldest weather. This way, you can prepare for the heavy rainfall and ensure your property is protected, then make sure your roof hasn’t been seriously damaged following winter.

Here’s a quick list of things you should look for:

  • Tiles
  • Flashing
  • Gutters (+clean out at least once a year)
  • Moss

Top tip: Remember to check the inside of your property for any water ingress too.

The right solution

Roofing problems can range from a bit of moss to major structural issues like sagging. Needless to say, these don’t require the same solution. Some issues are simply down to maintenance, while others require a long-term repair. In some cases, your property may even need a full roof replacement to rectify the problem.

When choosing between maintenance, repairs and a replacement, consider the following factors:

  • Costs – Will a more permanent solution save you money in the long run?
  • Downtime – Do you need to patch things up quickly? Or will this simply cause more downtime in the future?
  • Insulation – A roof that’s continually repaired when it needs more work will actually cost you more through energy bills
  • Appearance – Let’s not forget the eyesore of a poorly kept roof. A replacement or large-scale repairs might be the best option to maintain the kerb appeal of your property.

Choosing a contractor

With a roof being so vital to your property and its contents, you want to make sure you have the right people working on it. First and foremost, you should never attempt DIY work on your roof.

Without the right training, you won’t be able to choose a suitable solution and it will take up far too much of your time – not to mention the safety risks of roof work. Just walking on your roof without training is highly dangerous both to you and the state of your property.

Here are our top 10 reasons why you shouldn’t repair or replace your roof:

  • Safety – As mentioned, there are myriad risks when working at height
  • Weather – This can make roof work even more challenging and unsafe
  • Quality – The end results are never good enough with DIY work
  • Longevity – As a result, they’re unlikely to stand the test of time
  • Material quality – Without roofing experience, it’s almost impossible to choose the right materials for the job
  • Material cost – Buying roofing materials at retail price will hit your bank balance pretty hard
  • Appearance – DIY work is unlikely to keep your roof looking good, and could reduce the value of your home
  • Time – Try balancing your day-to-day life with roof repairs. It could easily drag on for weeks.
  • Support – Roofing is rarely a one-person job, requiring at least one person to assist. It’s difficult to get someone to commit to help you when you don’t know how long the job will take.
  • False economy – At the end of the day, DIY roofing work often costs more than it saves in the long run. It’s a classic example of false economy.

So, who should you choose? Above all else, it’s important to get a company that’s experienced and trustworthy. You may get a cheaper quote from a ‘jack of all trades’, but there are all kinds of reasons why this is unadvisable. You get what you pay for and you may find that these contractors don’t finish the job or simply don’t provide the right standard of work.

Getting roofing quotes

Quotes are hugely important when you’re looking for roofing maintenance or repairs. They let you know how contractors plan to repair the damage to your roof and how much it will cost, typically in detail. Here’s what you should expect on a roofing quote:

  • A visit to your property to inspect the problem area
  • A full report of the issues that need tackling, with photos
  • Details of how they plan to rectify problems
  • The cost of repairs or replacements, broken down with the cost of materials included

Understandably, you want to get the best deal when you get a quote – and there are a few tips to make sure you get exactly that. Firstly, try to get more than one quote to see how different contractors plan to fix your roof and how much they are charging. Make sure they inspect the site thoroughly on their inspection too.

Try not to focus solely on price. Instead, consider the materials roofers are using, the guarantee on offer and the accreditations of the roofer. Be sure to consider the duration of the job too, especially if you’re willing to pay extra to have things done quickly.

Don’t forget the gutters

There’s plenty to be said for roofing and all the different factors of roof repairs. However, what’s also crucial is the guttering around the roof. Your gutters have the important job of directing water away from your property as it runs off the roof.

To do so effectively, they need to be installed properly, with the right slope and no breaks or blockages. Gutters should be cleared regularly to allow water to flow directly down the drainpipes. It’s also important that they’re made from a suitable material. PVC is the most popular material as it’s strong, waterproof, affordable and easy to produce.

The edge of your roof is also made up of fascias, soffits and barge boards, which need to be kept in a good condition to hold your gutters.

Any issues? Speak to the experts

Whether you’re looking for regular inspections and maintenance or considering a full roof replacement, DPR Roofing in Pontefract can help. With a wide range of commercial and domestic roofing services and over 30 years’ experience in the industry, we can provide a long lasting solution to any roofing problem.