5 tips for new homeowners

Just bought your first home and not sure where to start with roof maintenance? Don’t worry, our handy tips will ensure your roof keeps you dry and cosy whatever the weather.
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Maintaining your home

Maintaining your roof is easier than you might think

Buying your first house can be a daunting process. But now you’ve made your choice and got the keys, it’s important to give your home a quick health check to ensure there are no nasty surprises down the line. Whether you’ve bought a brand-new home, or one that has stood for over a century, our quick tips will help to ensure your roof will support you for years to come.

Which roof to choose and warranty checking

1. Roof options
In most cases, even if you are buying a new build property, the design and construction of the roof will already have been decided by the housebuilder or the previous owners. However, if the existing roof needs to be replaced due to issues picked up in your survey or you are lucky enough to be building your own home from scratch, then you have important decisions to make and lots of options to choose from.

 

If you find yourself in this situation, it is best to take some time to consider what you want from your home. Beyond the basic choice between a pitched or flat roof, you should think carefully about the weather your roof is likely to have to handle (both good and bad). For example, if it will receive lots of sun then it might be worth considering a cool roof which will reflect the sun’s rays and maintain your home at a more comfortable temperature. Alternatively, in cold and windy locations, a metal roof can provide a highly durable long-term solution which can resist some of the most challenging storm conditions.

 

Don’t forget about renewable technologies either. If you’re building from scratch, you can choose technologies which fit seamlessly within the roof providing a beautiful appearance along with ‘free’ heat or electricity from the sun.

 

BMI are here if you need any help and advice. We can work with you and your builders right from the initial plans through to long-term maintenance. Get in touch for help and support.

 

2. Warranty cover
When you get into your home it is worth checking if there is a warranty in place. If you are buying a new house, then you should be able to access clear information about who installed the roof, precisely which materials were used (including underlays and insulation) and, if a warranty exists, what it covers and for how long. These details will be invaluable should anything go wrong in the future, helping you to ensure that repairs are appropriate and, in some cases, saving you from having to pay at all.

 

Maintenance and Inspection

 

3. Basic check-up

Regular maintenance is an important part of home ownership. In many cases, the roof will not be covered by home insurance. By picking up issues earlier, you or a professional can repair them cheaply and avoid serious damage to your home. 

 

You can often start your roof check-up process without having to leave the ground. In the case of pitched roofs, stand back and take a look from the outside. Keep an eye out for signs of obvious issues such as slipped tiles, bowing roof surfaces and damaged guttering. 

 

Next, go inside and look at the underside of the roof surface. If you have a flat roof or an attic room, look for signs of damp forming such as wet patches or bubbling paint (bear in mind these may not be in the same location as the leak). Alternatively, if you have an attic space, check the condition of the roof timbers, look for signs of mould or condensation and for daylight appearing through the tiles.

 

To complete the check, you’ll need to invest in a ladder. Check all of the gutters and downspouts for loose debris and give them a good clear out. This will help to ensure the water can drain away effectively. Clear off any moss or lichen with a brush or broom and make a note of any loose tiles or signs of membranes blistering – these may need to be addressed by a professional. 

 

Carry out these checks in the spring and autumn and your roof should keep you well sheltered all year around. 

 

4. Potential problem spots

Any roof design will have areas where issues are more likely to occur. In most cases these will be around fixings through the roof surface, such as those used to fix solar panels in place, or junctions around features such as rooflights, chimneys or ventilation stacks. By familiarising yourself with these areas, you can be extra vigilant of any signs of trouble and be ready to act. It pays to take photos of these areas on your phone, that way you can check if there has been any noticeable change since the last check-up.

 

5. Get a professional inspection

If you suspect there may be serious issues with your roof, it is particularly difficult to access or you simply don’t feel safe working from height, call in a professional.