What care and maintenance is required for roofing tiles?
When correctly installed in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations, roof tiles and slates should give trouble-free performance throughout their service life.
However, there are several standard procedures which should be drawn to the attention of the building owner, when accepting stewardship of the completed roof.
Roof maintenance inspection checklist
Carry out regular visual inspections of the roof, usually twice a year in the spring and autumn:
- Look for signs of any cracked or broken tiles caused by possible impact or wind damage.
- Inspect concrete trough, GRP and metal valleys for deterioration of side-bedding mortar.
- Examine top edge and abutment metal flashings for damage and re-fix / re-dress as appropriate.
- Clear all eaves / back gutters of leaves and other debris and check free flow of water to outlets.
- Remove moss or lichen growths removed where it is affecting the flow of water off the slope. For more information, see 'How to remove moss and lichen from my roof'.
- Check bedding mortar for cracks caused by roof settlement or shrinkage. Re-bed tiles and mechanically fix if required.
- Cut back overhanging trees or foliage which may impair roof drainage.
Considerations for roof access
Care of the roof, to prevent damage, firstly involves preventing direct access by window cleaners, chimney sweeps, aerial installers etc, without the correct use of crawling boards or roof ladders.
In some cases, purpose designed access walkways and platforms should be provided, particularly to areas of the roof where regular access is required.
Temporary access for maintenance, typically via roof ladders with the addition of crawling boards, must be undertaken with care to avoid damage to the roof tiles and components:
- Roof coverings: when using ladders, prevent breakage by using packing material between the ladder and roof covering
- Gutters: do not rest ladders against gutters
- Valleys: side coverings of metal or open fibreglass valleys are vulnerable to damage
- Lightweight tiles or slates may be more prone to damage and extra care must be taken
Health & Safety legislation may require the use of safety hooks and roof walkways, in which case these should comply with EN 516:2006.
Repair and replacement of roof tiles
Repairs, recovering and maintenance of roofs should conform to:
- Current Building Regulations
- BS 8000-6: 2013