Caring for your roof in extreme weather conditions

Your roof goes through a lot.

If based in London like Roofpro, you will feel the brunt of the Great British weather.

Snowy winters and summers where record high temperatures of over 40 degress celcius are breaking all previous records put a strain on all of us and our roofs.

In the basking heat or the freezing cold, your roof has to act as your protection against the outside elements, and it can be tough.

That’s why we’ve created this handy guide on how to make sure your roof is up for the fight when the extreme weather conditions come around.

Let’s take a look.

Extreme Cold on a Roof

The first thing to note about extremely cold weather is it can make it very hard, and very dangerous, to carry out roofing repairs.

Slippery roof tiles are a real issue and if there are signs of frost or snow on a roof then it shouldn’t be accessed.

This can make it hard to reach repairs, and there are sometimes plenty of repairs to fix.

Something that will pop up a lot throughout this blog is thermal shock. This is when the expansion and contraction of a roof and a building structure cause it to crack.

This can’t be avoided, as it is the nature of many roofing materials such as clay tiles on a pitched roof and lead or felt on a flat roof.

When the weather drops quickly, your roof can contract quickly, and if not properly cared for and installed, it may lead to many issues.

And that’s not all freezing weather can do to your roof, there’s also a risk of:

  • Build Up of Snow – All kinds of roofs are built on an angle, even flat roofs. This is so rainwater naturally slides off. The same can’t be said about snow though which can build up and cause heavy weight on certain sections of your roof.
  • Moisture Freezing in the Cracks – As snow and ice sticks to your roof and melts away, it is possible it may seep under your tiles. This is an issue as it may lead to water getting into cracks that are there and if this water freezes again it will lead to bigger damage.
  • More Chance of Mould – As well as the risk of cracking, moisture breaking through your roof can also lead to mould forming as your attic space, and potentially beyond, is exposed to the damp and cold conditions.

Extreme Heat on a Roof

And it’s not just the cold which can cause issues.

Extreme heat can also be a problem for many roofs.

This is mostly down to thermal shock.

As cold weather causes roofing materials to contract, a flash of extreme heat will work the other way and cause them to expand.

If your roof has been installed poorly and the material doesn’t have enough space to expand into, then it will eventually buckle or crack, which could cause a major problem.

In this case, a repair of the cracked area may be sufficient, but in most cases it may need a full roof replacement.

And that’s not the only way your roof can come under danger.

As the heat outside beats down on your roof, it is often cooler in your attic. This can lead to moisture forming underneath your roof which rises upwards, and when this meets the boiling hot temperature of your tiles, it can cause them to crack and deteriorate.

 Roofs face the full brunt of the sun and in extreme heat it can cause the material to break down, and in some cases even melt.

One of the main problems with the UK climate is that a hot day is usually followed by a cool night, so the differences in temperature can be quite drastic.

This leads to issues as melted or degraded parts will solidify again in the cooler weather and can lead to cracks.

The cool nights also make the contraction and expansion so much more severe and make thermal shock much more likely, so keep an eye out for signs of cracking tiles and warping roofs.

slate roof

Windy and Wet Conditions on a Roof

Something else we are far too familiar with in London are thunderstorms.

When the wind is howling and the rain is hammering down, this can be a risky time for a roof.

Most roofs should be able to withstand a batch of heavy wind, but one thing you can be sure of is that if there is a weak spot in your structure, no matter how small, the weather will find it.

All it takes is a crack or gap for the wind and the rain to get under and there will be issues.

Especially around the edges of your roof, heavy wind can get under your tiles and push them up. It can also help push the rain at such an angle that it flies straight under your tiles.

And that’s not the only concern with heavy wind.

There is also a chance that something may fly into your roof such as a branch that can cause damage.

This may lead to a tiny crack in a tile, or something much more devastating, so if you think your roof has been hit, it’s vital to get it checked.

Heavy rain can also cause issues.

Similar to wind, most roofs should be able to withstand heavy rainfall. There can be issues though, including:

  • Pooling – If your flat roof hasn’t been installed at a big enough angle, there may be an issues with rain water flowing off it. This can lead to a build-up of water which may end up breaking through your roof if it gets too heavy.
  • Leaks – It only takes a tiny gap for water to slip through, and if there’s a long-lasting rainstorm, a lot of water can get inside your home and cause issues such as damp and rotting timbers.
  • Guttering Build Up – If you have a build-up of debris such as twigs and branches in your gutter, this may be okay with small rainfall. But when heavy rain comes this can lead to a lot of water which if allowed to build will overflow or snap your guttering.
slate roof

How to Protect Your Roof

There are several ways you can protect your roof against extreme weather conditions, and here are three important ones.

Keep an Eye Out for Damage

The main reason the weather gets inside your home is through previous damage such as tears and cracks in your roof.

If you know a bout of extreme weather is approaching, then it’s a good idea to check your roof for damage beforehand and try to get things fixed to secure your home.

If you can see your flat roof, for instance, perform a quick visual check before a storm. Alternatively, if you are concerned about your pitched roof, call a team who can perform a quick assessment.

If you are noticing whistling sounds in your home, water overflowing from your guttering, or dripping from the ceiling, then this is a sign something is wrong, and it will need fixing.

Insulation

Thermal shock is a big culprit when it comes to weather damaging a roof. One way you can minimise the sway in temperature is by providing good quality insulation to your roof.

Insulation is a great way of not just keeping the inside of your home a healthy and comfortable temperature (and a good way of cutting down on expensive bills) but it also regulates the temperature of your roof, meaning it won’t go through such a temperature change and won’t expand and contract as much.

Consult the Professionals

Roofing isn’t easy.

With plenty of areas where things can go wrong it is vital that you get a professional team of roofing contractors in to assess, install, and repair your roof.

The chances of thermal shock are much less when a proper installation has been done that allows the room space to move.

The chance of water getting inside your home is much less when all tiles have been thoroughly checked and put into place correctly.

And there’s not as big a chance of pooling causing damage if a flat roof has been installed at a sufficient angle.

When it comes to roofing it can be dangerous to try and perform a fix in extreme weather conditions, so let a team like Roofpro keep you and your home safe.

skylight

Roofpro London Ltd.

It is vital that you take every measure to stay safe in extreme weather conditions.

Falling tiles and slippery surfaces can be very dangerous, so if you aren’t comfortable or fully safe making a repair to your roof, then it is always better to not attempt it.

Through years of experience in dealing with many different roofing materials, from green and felt to slate and lead, our team have the knowledge and skills to make sure your roof is safe against the Great British weather.

For a full assessment, any repairs, or a full and safe installation of a new roof, get in touch with us today.

We can provide a free, no-obligation quote today and have one of our members on his way to your London home in an instant.

We look forward to hearing from you.

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