Winter is Coming... How to Get Roof Ready

Preparing your roof could save you time, money and headaches

So you’ve stocked up the wood pile, the oil tank is full, and leaves litter the garden – it can mean only one thing; winter is on the way.

With the change of season your house is likely to come under attack from more extreme weather conditions, and your roof is particularly at risk. Spending time now preparing and protecting your roof could save you time, money and headaches, while helping to keep you warm and cosy all season long.

What Are the Risks to Your Roof In the Winter?

Before you can protect your roof from all that winter throws at it, it helps to know the likely risks it will face during the toughest of seasons.

Falling Trees and Branches

The wind is a major problem during winter, increasing the risk of trees falling. If one hits your roof, you have a huge bill and an even bigger headache in the making.


One thing Britain is famous for is its rain; this has its advantages, but in winter the extra rainfall increases the strain on your roof. Gutters are designed to magically transport these torrents away, but if blockages appear the pressure builds, leading to flooding above and below.

Leaks In Your Roof

Wind, rain and extremes in temperature can create a multitude of issues up above, including loose or missing slates, cracked tiles and gaps where once there was a covering. The result is leaks in your roof, leading to drips and more sinister problems.

Lack of Roof Insulation

Winter equals snow, and although it can be fun for a while, it adds an extra stress to your roof. Couple this with freezing temperatures and the heat will try its best to seep out of your roof.

Roof Checks to Make

But all is not lost; a few simple checks in advance can keep the gloom and doom of winter at bay.

Weak Spots in Your Roof

Winter will find your weak spots, and attack them with a vicious determination. So get ahead of winter, and seek out those areas at risk before the weather bombards them. Look for likely entry points, and damage that has occurred over the summer (that beating sun can also damage your roof).

Cleaning Your Gutters

Got moss growing over the top of your gutters? It’s a sure-sign they need cleaning. If you don’t want a waterfall, floods and overflows, clean them quick and that water overload can flow cleanly away.

Check the Roof Flashings

The flashings act to seal your roof, in any areas where there is a join. A join is a natural weak spot, and it’s just begging to be the focal point of bad weather. Be one step ahead and make sure they are weather proof.

Loose Roofing Slates and Tiles

Lying in bed listening to the slates rattle in the wind? Chances are you have a few loose ones, providing a place for the rain to get in. Make sure your slates and tiles are carefully checked over; it’s an easy fix for an expert.


When you (or your trained roofer), is checking the tiles, have a quick glance for debris on the top. You’ll be amazed how it builds up. If left, it’s another hazard, and could lead to extra strain and stress on your roof.


If you have trees near to your house that could be a risk, prune them. Trim them until they are no longer a threat. You’ll be able to sleep easy at night during the winter if you do.

Insulate Your Roof

A well-insulated attic space will stop the heat escaping out of the roof during cold spells, but stop the chill seeping through the roof into the house below. Insulating directly below the exterior roof (known as a warm roof system) keeps the heat where you want it, and not leaking from the roof itself.

Waterproofing Your Roof

Unfortunately, your roof can’t don a big raincoat over the winter, but you can help it to be more water-resistant. All of the above tips will help protect your roof from excessive moisture and if you have a flat roof it’s important to treat it with waterproofing solution. It’s also possible to use a waterproofing compound on top of slates, or below them when installing a new roof.

Routine maintenance

If you have a routine maintenance programme in place, then none of these issues will arise – you will always be winter ready! Don’t let winter creep up on you – be prepared and instead of worrying about the elements, enjoy curling up by the fire, curtains closed against the dark of the night. You’ll know your house, and you, are tucked up beneath its protective roof.

Posted on 12 October 2016 in Roofing, News, Weather, Roof Cleaning, Roof Maintenance and tagged roofers, london roofing.
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