tips-news | Watch out for these 6 causes of roof leaks

The roof is an essential part of any wise building. It protects the house from rain and wind, keeps the heat inside and the walls in good condition, so ensuring that the roof is well maintained is key to a healthy and energy efficient home. Not even the best roofs last forever. Depending on the material, roofs can be from tiles or slate, fibre glass, metal, wood, have rubber or even plastic parts built in.

At Belmondo Building we build new roofs, but often enough we repair broken roofs that have minor or severe leaks. Only rarely do we recommend changing the entire roof. There are several main causes for which roofs fail; if the house owners understand them this can helps in promptly determining the problem and delivering a faster and more accurate service. Sometimes finding the cause of a leak is the most difficult part of the process even for a highly experienced team. Here are some of the causes we identified:

1. Slipped slates or broken tiles: when rain reaches the underlay of the roof due to broken tiles, it creates a leak in the inside part of it. Houses built after 1950s usually have this extra under layer. Replacing tiles is not a difficult task, but it should be done as soon as possible to prevent damp from spreading. Spaces of up to 5-10mm are not significant, but they might require attention depending on the problem they cause.

2. Poor or old underlay: if the wind creates a path for rain to reach the underlay, this may begin to rot and water may reach the ceiling of the house. It’s a sign it’s time to fix some parts of the underlay or to replace it completely.    

3. Old roof or poor workmanship: if the roof is built from materials that break because they are just too old (and there is no underlay) leaks appear. Rotten or beetle-infested timbers can also cause serious damage. Another cause is that the installation itself was not properly done or the contractor that built the roof didn’t use good quality materials, so various parts of the roof need replacement or reinstallation.  

4. Gaps at the joints: this is one of the most widely spread causes of failure – minor gaps or loose mortar between tiles, especially tiles from the V shaped roofs where the two sloping parts of the roof meet. The gaps can become bigger if the wind dislocates them, so a leak is increasingly likely to happen. Don’t neglect big storms and have a professional take a look after, no matter the season.  

5. Loft ventilation and poor insulation: this is also essential to lengthen the life of the roof because the lack of ventilations leads to condensation and unwanted moisture that ultimately causes structural harm to the entire house. A good level of ventilation in the loft and in all the rooms, especially bathrooms and kitchens disperses moisture and prevents long term damage.

6. Blocked water flow: keeping the gutters clean and free of rubbish helps water to flow normally after heavy rain. Any obstruction can lead to damage to the roof or to different parts of the house. Also, a house extension that was not properly connected to the rest of the house can make water from the main roof discharge onto the extended one and in time can create leaks due to pressure. 

Understanding the main parts of the roof, how all the materials involved work together and having regular checks make a huge difference in maintaining the integrity of any roof, modern or traditional. If you are not sure it’s a roof problem, it’s always better to ask a professional, we are serving both domestic and commercial customers, install new roofs and repair leaking roofs. Our services.