Top 10 Tips To Prepare Your London Roof for the Winter

Where your roof is concerned, prevention is the best cure.


Your roof is like the guardian angel that oversees the rest of your home; it sits high above protecting everything beneath it. As such, it deserves special treatment to ensure it can maintain its’ lofty status and carry on in its shielding duties for many more years to come.

As each season brings its own trials and tribulations to assault your roof, spending time regularly throughout the year on small maintenance tasks can pay dividends in the longevity of your roof.

So What Could Possibly Go Wrong With Your Roof?

Hopefully, if your roof was installed by a reputable roofer, nothing – but, let’s face it, life has a way of throwing problems at us when we least expect it. So even if you think your roof is strong and secure, it’s worth considering the potential pitfalls so you can do your best to prevent them.

The weather is one of the major causes of roof issues, including rain, ice, wind and even sun. Battening down your roof against any extremes of weather is one of the most important things you can do.

Your roof is also subject to wear and tear, and regular maintenance should keep this to a minimum. However, time takes its toll on everything so be aware that problems can occur as your roof ages, so regular checks can be just the thing to prevent the cracks from getting worse.

1. Inspect Your Roof and Reflect

Assess your roof and make a note of any suspected weaknesses. Look for leaks, rotting framework, misplaced slates or tiles, damaged flashing or guttering or anything else that is likely to cause concern. Regular checks will prevent tiny holes from turning into gaping gaps.

2. Clear That Rubbish From Your Roof

Rubbish and debris can collect just about anywhere, and this includes your roof. The build up of moss is a big problem, as it holds onto water and can lead to long-term damage over time. Deal with it before your roof becomes a green garden (unless that’s your intention, of course!)

It is also possible for rubbish to get stuck within nooks and crannies on your roofs, such as on roof joints or chimney stacks. Any rotting material will weaken your roof, so keep it as clear as possible.

Old bird nests can be a big culprit so keep your eyes open for these, as they may be hidden under eaves.

3. Get A Roof Safety Survey

Storms can cause much collateral damage to your roof, so make sure you survey the area around your roof and home and check for objects that could fall. Big suspects are tall trees growing too near, so make sure these are pruned sufficiently or removed if deemed to be a danger.

4. Check Your Roof is Weatherproof

Moisture can collect in the gaps in roof masonry, which freezes then expands and thaws. The result can be holes and separation, leading to leakage.

Make sure your roof is as waterproof as possible by minimising any gaps in your roof's masonry structure and replace the sealant or cement. Check the roof area for missing slates or tiles and replace. Make sure the roof is as secure as possible against any possible extremes of weather.

5. Check Your Roof Flashing Isn't Faulty

The flashing area is a common spot for leaks and needs a thorough inspection to ensure it is not loose. If so, get your roofer to deal with this as quickly as possible, and while he’s up there he can deal with any slipped tiles as well!

6. Check Your Gutters For Blocks

During a downpour, heavy rain washes everything in its way before it – directly into your gutters. These can easily get blocked if not regularly checked, which has a knock-on effect of preventing the flow of water through the downspouts. If water collects on your roof it can have a long-term damaging effect, so it's vitally important to keep the water flowing away from your roof.

Gutters are also prone to a build up of moss, so while cleaning away the leaves and debris make sure you get rid of any other vegetation you might find up there. Try to do this regularly as it's amazing how quickly they can become blocked again.

7. Fix That Leaky Chimney

The chimney breast is an important part of your roof, and if it should collapse or crumble it could harm the structure of the roof as well. Deal with any issues before they become a calamity – repoint the cement as required and keep the top free from obstructions.

8. Insulate Your Roof To Protect It

You might not realise it, but by adding insulation you are also helping to protect your roof. Insulation may make you feel all cosy inside, but it also has the added advantage of keeping your roof cool. This ensures that snow and ice melt slowly and are less likely to damage your roof in the process. Next time you are out in the snow, glance at the roofs around you. Those with a good covering of the white stuff are more likely to be well-insulated.

9. Inspect Your Roof From The Inside

Checking your roof from the inside can pinpoint problems difficult to see from the outside. Any daylight shining through will indicate a loose or missing slate, or you may spot dark spots that hint at damp seeping through. Get to know your roof inside out and it’s easier to spot potential problems.

10. Find a Professional, Reliable Roofing Company

We don’t mean having your local roofing contractor on speed dial but introducing yourself and asking him to put you on his client list can save time when there is an emergency with your roof. Book your roofer for a yearly maintenance plan – after all, he has the equipment and the skills, is highly trained and has the Health and Safety certificates to prove it. Why chance your own safety when your new best mate will be happy to do it for you?

Don’t close the stable door after the horse has bolted; instead, get on top of any possible problems before they happen by making sure your roof is in tip-top condition all year round.


If you need some advice, or to arrange a free, no obligation site visit please get in touch with our expert team today.


Posted on 11 November 2020 in Roofing, News and tagged roofing maintenance, roof repairs, london roofing.
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