Direct from industry experts: key advice on winter roof leak prevention

Did you know that the average UK rainfall during October alone is equivalent to about 13 days of rain?

It goes without saying then, that – when it comes to your roofs – it’s best to be fully prepared for the wet weather now we’ve well and truly hit the autumn. Water leaks can cause a massive amount of damage, cost and inconvenience, but they are largely preventable.

Flat roofs in can be more prone to leaks because they don’t allow elements like water from rain or snow to drain away and off them as easily as a more steeply sloped roof would do. This is sometimes known as ‘ponding.’

Poor construction can cause any type of roof to be more susceptible to water leaks, but that said, almost every roof has a chance of leaking at one point or another – especially if you live in a country like the UK where it rains quite often.

Here’s some easy-to-follow advice from industry experts Polycote to help you safeguard your ceilings against another wet winter; no matter whether you’re trying to protect a commercial, industrial or domestic roof.

Leak prevention

There are many things you can do to avoid the occurrence of a roof leak.

  1. Regularly inspect your roof – look for evidence of water damage; water stains, mould, wet insulation, splits, cracks or any other signs. Remember to look for signs of moisture and damage underneath the roof too.
  2. Pay attention to your roof flashings for any indications of corrosion, and also check the condition of open joints. If your roof is a fastened system, you should examine it for loose fasteners. The fasteners may become loose because they were not long enough or because of water saturation.
  3. Don’t forget to check the most likely areas for leaks – for example, chimneys, plumbing vent flashing, ice dams, skylights, wall step flashings. Also, what is the condition of the shingles like?

Any damaged areas should be patched up with a good quality, instant repair, brush-grade, flexible roof paint – providing the roof with an immediate waterproof coating and protection against future weather conditions.

If you’re sealing splits and cracks, expansion joints, differing angles and glazing bars, roofing experts would strongly recommend sandwiching a flexible membrane between two coats – as this can dramatically strengthen the coating and help prevent any further cracking. 

Other key things to keep in mind:

  • Avoid blocking ventilation
  • Try to keep your gutters and downspouts in good order
  • Be mindful about your trees and bushes – keep them away from your roof!
  • Replace any missing or torn roof shingles as soon as you discover the damage

You may be able to spot issues from the outside, such as the signs of damage mentioned above, but it’s always advisable to get a professional opinion and assistance with any repairs to ensure your roof is ready for the next spell of unpredictable UK weather.

Polycote are offering a 20% discount off all Wetterflex roof protection products this month. Take advantage of the offer by visiting their website and using the voucher code WET2019 at the check-out.