| Article by Bertus Visser, Chief Executive of Distribution at PSG Insure
The roof on a home tends to be neglected when dealing with general home maintenance. This may be because some issues are not as visible due to the height of a roof. Yet, it protects us from heavy winds, harsh rains, and the scorching sun throughout the year, so it’s important to include it in routine check-ups.
Though winter is firmly on our doorsteps, it’s not too late to check that your roof is ready for the colder months to come. No one wants to deal with a leak (or worse), especially when it’s cold. A poorly maintained roof opens the door to heightened risks and more costs, while a well-maintained roof keeps you warm and safe. Here are some tips to get sorted.
Age isn’t just a number
Prioritise having a specialist assess the age of your roof. This is the starting point for deciding what you need to focus on. If you have had your home for several years, this becomes increasingly important to spot signs of deterioration before they become bigger problems. The same can be said for any commercial properties too.
If your roof is reviewed by a specialist, you will know exactly what is happening up there and if any action is needed to prevent damage. Water leaks from the roof can damage or weaken walls. You might be able to spot signs of this if you check your property regularly.
Managing wear and tear on an ongoing basis will also help to ensure an insurance claim is not declined if an accident takes place, for example, due to a severe storm.
Support the system
Gutters or pipes leading to drains can be found on your roof and on the ground around your property. They redirect or collect rainwater, leaves and twigs that fall onto your roof. Having your gutters cleared regularly reduces the chances of them getting clogged and avoids stagnant water collecting on your roof.
An added tip is to check that all gutters or pipes are securely screwed into the wall to prevent them from flying off during heavy winds. You can even involve the family in home maintenance checks to note any glaring issues needing repair.
Do due diligence
It’s important to check for any cracked or chipped tiles, loose sheeting, as well as loose screws. These may cause leaks, which can damage the timber that forms part of the roof structure and can prompt or accelerate rotting.
Cracked timber components in the roof structure can be a sign of deterioration. If you cannot get into your roof, listen out for sounds on windy days. In some instances, these cracked chunks of timber will blow about in your ceiling.
Avoid painting over weathered timber that shows signs of rotting as it will only worsen the situation. It’s advisable that you contact a specialist to assist you as soon as you detect a potential problem, rather than hoping for the best, or doing an impractical DIY job instead.
Get up to standard
Checking that the true replacement value (for your roof and the rest of your property) is factored in to your insurance policy is also important. In strong winds, your roof could conceivably become damaged and part of it could end up in a neighbour’s garden. Insurance will be essential in a circumstance like this, provided you have looked after your roof.
Being confident that your roof will hold up under any weather condition goes a long way. Small acts of maintenance add up, and in addition to aligning with your insurance policy, will save you time, stress and money over time.