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Maintaining roofs & guttering

Your annual roof check

Identifying damage early enables you to prevent it getting worse and could save you thousands of pounds worth of repair work later. We’ll show you what to look out for and how to maintain your roofing and guttering with annual checks.

Checking your roofing and guttering

  • Ensure the ground is level then use a ladder to take a close look at your roofing and guttering. Have someone stabilise the bottom of the ladder to make it more secure and remember not to lean the ladder against glazing or guttering
  • Unusual amounts of grit in your guttering is often a sign that asphalt roof tiles are losing their protective granules and the roof may be nearing the end of its natural life
  • If using a ladder isn’t an option then you can get a good view using a pair of binoculars from ground level or a well-positioned neighbour’s window. Sagging or loose gutters are quite easy to spot from the ground and will need re-fixing

What else to check

Ceilings

Look around the top floor ceilings of your home for any damp patches. If you have an attic, check the underside of your roof for damp patches too as these are important indicators of a compromised roof.

Outside walls

Look for streaks of moss or mould coming down your outside walls from the roof. These are signs of blocked or damaged gutters that need attention. If ignored, this can lead to penetrating damp.

Fascias and soffits

Some buildings have fascias and soffits – the flat, wooden or metal boards that often sit under the edge of roofs and eaves. Fascias can be seen from ground level while soffits are usually fitted behind gutters and are better inspected from a ladder. Look for obvious rot and staining which can suggest roof damage. Soffits often have vents to the attic which need to be kept unblocked to avoid condensation.

Roof tiles

Scan for missing tiles – one of the primary causes of water damage in the home. Just one missing tile will make further tiles vulnerable to dislodge from the wind but they’re easy to spot from a ladder or with binoculars. Also, look for cracked or slipped tiles as water only needs the smallest entrance point to create damage. Moss or lichen on roof tiles probably doesn’t need removing. In fact, the most common methods of removing it can cause more damage than the moss itself.

Flashing

Made of flexible waterproof material such as lead, flashing seals the joints between solid elements. It’s used in roof valleys, around chimneys, skylights and along the joins between the roof and walls. Look for any that have come loose, buckled or started to corrode.

Chimney

Look for any crumbling or fallen bricks. These need replacing as the flue might become blocked which can have serious implications for gas or log fire users.

Flat roofs

Much of the same advice for pitched roofs also applies to flat roofs so in addition to the guidance above, watch out for any sagging or excessive pooling.

Shed, outbuilding and conservatory roofs

It’s worth checking these roofs for any signs of damage that could cause leaks.

We have a wide range of emergency repair solutions to stop active leaks and prevent damage.

Rapid Repair Roof and Gutter Spray
Rapid Repair Roof and Gutter Spray
  • Instant leak repair for roofs and gutters
  • Adheres to damp surfaces
  • Temporary solution
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Acrylic Roof Repair
Acrylic Roof Repair
  • All weather application
  • Instant leak repair for roofs, gutters and brickwork
  • For splits and cracks up to 10mm wide
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Wickes All Weather Roof Repair Mastic
Wickes All Weather Roof Repair Mastic
  • Instant leak repair for roofs and gutters
  • Adheres to damp surfaces
  • Temporary solution
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Wickes Brush Applied Bitumen Roof Waterproofer
Wickes Brush Applied Bitumen Roof Waterproofer
  • Can be used on all common roofing surfaces
  • Rapid curing and effective waterproofing
  • Rain resistant even while curing
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Thompson's Brush Applied 10 Year Roof Seal
Thompson's Brush Applied 10 Year Roof Seal
  • 10 year weatherproofing repair and protection
  • Flexes with the natural movement of the roof
  • Sun resistant to prevent colour fade
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For more help and advice on roofing and repairs, see our roofing guide. If you think there‘s any damage that might cause problems and you don’t feel confident repairing it yourself, it’s always best to call in the professionals.


Autumn maintenance

As the leaves fall and the weather worsens, it’s important to take the following precautions that’ll protect your home through the months to come.

Clear gutters, downpipes and drains

Wickes Drain & Gutter Cleaning Kit
Wickes Drain & Gutter Cleaning Kit

Leaves and other debris collect quickly in gutters and drainpipes. If not cleared before winter, they can cause drainage problems and interior damp patches. After clearing, run water down the gutter to ensure it’s flowing properly.

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Wickes Black Gutter Leaf Guard
Wickes Black Gutter Leaf Guard

Gutter leaf guards clip onto the gutter without the need for special tools or fixings. They catch debris which will then either get blown away or degrade and fall between the small gaps to get washed away with rainfall.

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Wickes Drain Leaf Guard
Wickes Drain Leaf Guard

Leaves and garden debris can gather in the drains at the base of downpipes. Clear these if they are blocked but if this is a persistent problem then a drain leaf guard protects outside drains from blockage.

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Wickes Galvanised Garden Incinerator
Wickes Galvanised Garden Incinerator

A garden incinerator is an easy and effective way to dispose of garden debris and other waste.

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