A leaking roof can lead to rot, mould and damaged belongings. While light vertical rain is unlikely to cause problems, a downpour may lead to indications that your roof is less than weathertight. Flat or shallow pitched roofing can be particularly vulnerable to leaks, so it’s important to ensure that your roof is properly sealed at all joints.
A pitched roof directs water flow downwards, thanks to gravity. However, leaks can still be caused by something as simple as missing roof tiles or blocked gutters. As such, it’s important to include checking the roof and gutters as part of your home maintenance schedule: otherwise, persistent leaks can lead to wood rot.
Generally, there will be a roofing membrane laid beneath the roof battens though this is not always the case, particularly in heritage properties, which can lead to leaks. Loose flashings may also cause problems, particularly at abutments. Other issues can include a lack of sarking and torching, delaminated clay tiles, cracked or displaced cement fillets, replacement tiles that overhang gutters excessively allowing rainwater run off to overshoot, and sarking being tacked to battens in strips, leaving rafters unprotected.
Minor leaks may be easily remedied with liquid applied membranes, such as Weathershield but the longer you leave a leak, the more likely you are to need significant repairs. A green roof can help absorb rainwater, but should only be placed on a sound roof, so make sure you’re up to date with repairs before installation.
If you have a leaking roof without an obvious cause, it’s worth seeking advice from a qualified professional. Should you decide to tackle the job yourself, ensure you are familiar with ladder safety guidelines and don’t take any unnecessary risks.