Does My Roof Need Replacing? – 5 Signs to Look For

moss on house roof

Maintaining the roof of your house is important. The roof is what protects the inside of your home from all the elements outside.

Making sure your roof is well-maintained means you are less likely to have issues during periods of heavy rainfall. It will also be less likely to have birds or other pests decide to nest in your roof and cause further damage.

Damage from the ground can be hard to see, but there are signs you can look out for to see if your roof requires replacing or repair.

  1. Sagging – If your roof looks like it is bowed in the middle, it's probably a sign that you will need it replacing. As the timber get older this happens.
  2. Mould – If you see this growing on your roof it's a sign of possible damp issues.
  3. Blocked guttering – If the rainwater is overflowing your guttering, it's a sign this and your roof need cleaning from debris.
  4. Daylight in loft – You shouldn't be able to see any daylight coming into your loft.
  5. Pooling water – This one is more for flat roofs where water is gathering.

If you are seeing any of these issues on your roof, you should contact a roofing specialist to inspect or repair your roof as soon as possible. Repairing minor issues early will help prevent larger damage in the future.

*bonus tip: Signs of discolouring on your roof can be a sign of mould starting to grow. Having your roof professionally cleaned and sealed can add years to the life of your roof.

How often should I get my roof checked?

person cleaning gutters of roof

You should cast your eye over your roof after any heavy periods of rainfall or high winds. This stormy weather is when most damage will occur.

Until you see obvious damage, it's easy to forget about inspecting your roof, but even if you do not see any obvious signs of damage, it's good practice to have your roof inspected every 3-5 years.

Make sure you also inspect the roof of your garage, conservatory or sheds. These are often forgotten and are also essential to maintain regularly.

How Long Does a Roof Last?

British cottage with thatched roof

The life of a roof will depend heavily on what it is made from and the type of roof you have.

  • Pitched roof – A typical pitched tiled roof will last up to around 60 years if you maintain it well and have any minor repairs carried out.
  • Flat roof – These this will normally last around 15 years but will depend on the type of materials used.
  • Thatched roof* – These also vary as they can are constructed out of different materials.
    – Water Reed (also known as Norfolk Reed) 50-60 years
    – Combed Wheat 25-40 years
    – Long Straw 15-25 years.

What Causes Damage to a Roof?

multiple houses roof with snow on

The main causes of unexpected damage to a roof will happen during a storm. Heavy winds and driving rain can sometimes damage tiles that have become loose over time. Larger items can also be lifted by the winds and land on the roof, causing unexpected damage.

During colder winters, large snowfall can cause tiles to crack, both under the weight of the snow on the roof and when the snow begins to thaw and then freeze again later in the day, expanding into smaller cracks and making them larger over time.

Another common cause of damage is by animals that decide to nest in or around your roof and sometimes enter through the eves. Birds and insect nests are the leading cause of this damage, and you will need qualified pest control to remove them.

Can I Put a Pitched Roof on My Garage?

Garage with pitched roof being built

Changing a flat roof for a pitched roof on a garage can be done and is a fairly straightforward job for a professional roofer to do. However, you will need to check if you need planning permission, as it is not a like-for-like replacement and changes the house's exterior.

Chances are you will be given permission, as it's not a big change to your home, especially if the roof's pitch is shallow.

If adding a pitched roof to your garage is something you are considering, you could also consider building on top of your garage and creating extra space for you and your family at the same time. The space above the garage also makes an ideal annexe for guests or a home office.      

How Much do Roof Repairs Cost?

As with all home renovations, the work costs will depend on where you live and the job's size. We spoke to our trades and found the following costs are average costs for the work done. You can find out more detailed information on this on our roofing costs page.

Type of RepairCost
Full Roof£5300
Repairing Joists£375
Garage Roof£750
Replace Tiles£190
Pressure Wash Roof£450
Flat Roof Replacement£1000

How to Repair My Roof?

Unless you are aware of the structural integrity of your roof, you should always get repairs and inspections done by trained professionals. Working on a roof also means working at height, so having the right safety gear matters.

It's worth taking a step back and looking up to your roof to see if you can see any of the signs of damage. If you need a closer inspection, this should be done by professionals, as they can inspect the roof safely for you.

How Can I Clean my Roof?

Person power washing a roof

If you see signs of moss or other debris gathering on your roof, you might be tempted to try and clean this yourself. Doing this is dangerous for you and your roof.

You'll need to have the right protective gear to stop you or your equipment from falling from the roof. This is one of the main reasons you should always hire a professional to clean your roof.   

Using the wrong settings on a pressure washer can also damage your roof, as pushing water into hairline cracks will potentially cause them to crack and need replacing.

Clean your gutters regularly. The leaves fall over autumn and winter and can quickly cause your guttering to become blocked. Over time this can also encourage things to grow and cause costly repairs, not only to the guttering but to outside walls that the rain will fall on.

Other Reasons to Maintain Your Roof

Having a well-maintained roof also helps protect your family's home. Keeping them all warm and safe inside. Minor repairs today will reduce the likelihood of more expensive repairs further down the line.

Having a well-maintained roof will also help increase the kerb appeal of your home. This can also increase the value of your home. Read more from our blog on how to increase your homes kerb appeal.

Last updated by MyJobQuote on 13th June 2022.
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