All roofs, particularly flat roofs, should be inspected a minimum of every two years by a qualified builder or property surveyor. It’s not just good sense to do so, but a condition of many insurance policies. If you have flat felt on a timber roof, make sure you don’t break the conditions of your insurance cover and get your roof checked at least once every two years.
Any defects identified must be repaired straightaway, proving the importance of a healthy roof! A bit of wear and tear can be fixed with relative ease – but leave the problem to fester and it will eventually become a much more costly issue.
Take a look at our tips to avoid flat roof faults and minimise your chance of having to make a claim this winter.
Things to look out for on a flat roof
Check the roof surface for any cracks or weak spots. Small amounts of damage can be quickly repaired. Don’t procrastinate. In winter, small cracks become a bigger problem. If water finds its way into the cracks and expands when it freezes, suddenly you’ll find yourself with substantial roof damage that’s not as easy to fix.
You should maintain your roof all year round. Debris such as leaves can collect heavily on flat roofs, so it’s important to remove this regularly – don’t make it just an annual occasion!
As your roof ages, you might notice some tell-tale signs it’s time for a new roof. Even the very best materials have a guarantee period – and if your roof’s long past its guarantee you might start thinking about moving on to bigger and better things. If your roof’s prone to ‘ponding’ (an accumulation of water) blistering (raised patches), or if the material is loosening around the edges, you’ll definitely want to keep a close eye on your roof over winter.
The impact of bad weather on flat roofs
While theoretically a flat roof is no more likely to leak than a pitched roof – it’s still something to keep a very close eye on. The condition of your roof is a big factor, as is its age, design and installation.
The design should allow for a very slight slope so water can drain. And, of course, it goes without saying to make sure all drains and gutters are cleared properly and regularly. If not, pools of water could gather on the roof eventually leading to leaks due to the material degrading. Even if the leak isn’t visible, it can cause structural damage and associated issues (anyone fancy a bit of mould and mildew? We thought not).
Snow, hail or even heavy rain could lead to the roof bowing – yet another reason to check those drains!
Do it yourself won’t do
A quick glance over your roof when you’re not really sure what you’re looking for might seem like an easy way out, but it could invalidate your insurance claim and end up costing you a fortune.
A professional builder or property surveyor knows how to spot issues and can advise on the best way to fix them.
Keeping a record of roof inspection
As with all claims, evidence is key. Make sure to record and retain all roof inspections (and remember – make sure to have an inspection every two years!) in case you need to use them in the future. Again, your builder or surveyor will know the information you need.
Check your cover
Contact the Club Insure team to discuss your cover, and any specifications regarding flat roof cover.