How to check your roof for storm damage

 

A recent storm and very high winds has recently battered large parts of the UK and is likely to lead to an increase in insurance claims from home-owners. Insurance companies are saying that they should be able to deal with all the calls fairly easily as they are used to “bad weather events”.  In the event of any storm damage you should contact your insurer as soon as possible. Most insurance companies have a 24 hour emergency helpline.

It is very important that any storm damage to your roof or house be inspected as soon as possible and fix any damage before any further problems or possible injuries occur. You should check around your house for any signs of damage as soon as possible after the storm has finished. Close inspections should be made to your chimneys and any tiles or slates on your roof and for any signs of disturbance.

One of the first instances you will notice that there has been any damage to your roof is by seeing any pieces of mortar or parts of a cracked tile on your driveway or garden. But there are a number of other signs and areas to check to ensure your roof has weathered the storm.

Slates and Tiles

Your roof is covered with either concrete tiles or slates and both of these can be deadly if they come loose and hit someone below. Apart from the obvious danger to human life they can also damage your property or any vehicles below.

Once they become loose or any of them become detached from your house there will be a gap where wind can blow underneath lifting up more tiles and creating even more hazards. Even if none are missing make a close inspection to ensure they are all seated correctly and align up with the surrounding tiles. Concrete tiles are not individually nailed and rely on the weight of the tiles above and each side to hold them in place and because of their weight they will not easily be moved apart from down the sides of a roof. Slates are individually nailed because they are light weight and have no nibs or lugs to hold them in place. On older roofs the fixing nails will wear away over time and it does not take much to dislodge them. If there are any slipped slates or missing ones they should be replaced as quickly as possible.

Ridge and Hip Tiles

Ridge and Hip tiles close the join where two angles of a roof meet. Ridge tiles are seated along the top of your roof and come in different shapes and sizes as do hip tiles which are laid up the roof to the ridge. Over time the mortar that holds in place will become worn or deteriorate altogether. Loose ridge tiles can literally be blown off the roof despite being fairly heavy. They will damage the roof coverings on the way down and can seriously damage anything below.

It is easy to see if they are missing but trying to get a good indication if they have become loose can be difficult. Try using a pair of binoculars or a zoom camera for a close inspection. If they are loose then they will need to be re-bedded on with new mortar.

Chimney

The brickwork around chimney stacks will receive a huge battering during a storm. Old or badly seated chimney pots are also a real hazard. Most of them are very heavy and the damage they cause can be enormous if they fall onto your roof or anything below. If the chimney falls over altogether the cost in damages can run into thousands of pounds.

Look for any loose brickwork, pointing or lead flashings that have become loose or dislodged and get them repaired without delay. If you suspect there has been storm damage to the chimney but cannot see anything then call a reputable roofer to make the inspection and any necessary repairs straight away.

Guttering

High winds and driving rain can loosen or dislodge your gutters and downpipes. Check for any signs of damage or leaks. Cast iron guttering is notorious for becoming loose in bad weather or collapsing altogether. It is very heavy and sharp when cracked. Extreme care should be taken when being underneath damaged cast iron guttering. Call a professional guttering repair company as soon as possible if you suspect storm damage on your guttering.

Pointing

The verges are the edges of your roof that is shaped in an apex. Often they will be pointed with sand and cement or replaced with plastic ‘dry’ verges. The edges of the roof are very exposed and it is easy for the pointing to fall out if it is not in good condition. When gaps are exposed rain and wind can penetrate your roof causing further damage. It is not usually an expensive job to have repaired or replaced altogether but very important never the less.

 

Your roof is the most important place to check for storm damage as it is your first line of defence against the elements. If you live in Nottingham or Derby and need a professional roofer to repair storm damage then please contact us through our website. We will happily arrange for a free quotation and inspection including pictures of the damage to your roof.

This article was written by: Lee Jones

I have been professional Builder & Roofer for 20 years and have been running my company for last 8 years. I also teach kickboxing for the PKA Professional Kickboxing Association