When buying a new property in Bath, it’s important to know how to check for roof damage.

Bath is full of elegant homes with undeniable charm and desirable period features. However, as many of these properties were built more than a century ago, they tend to have older roofs which can require more care and specialist attention. If you’re planning to buy a new property in Bath and have been wondering what to look for when it comes to roofing, we’re on hand to help. 

In this article, we’ll help you to assess common roof types and materials along with any potential issues that could arise further down the line. 

Read on to find out how to carry out a roofing check like a pro! 


Check The Age of The Roof


Any reputable Bath roofer will tell you that checking the age of your roof is a must.

So, if you’ve set your sights on a new home, it’s crucial that you find out how old the roof is and when it was last repaired. 

Older roofs are more susceptible to damage and leaks so if the previous owners have been there for over 20 years without any kind of maintenance, chances are, the roof’s going to need some attention. 

To establish the roof age of your potential property, speak to both the estate agent and seller and ask them to provide you with documentation. This way, you can establish exactly what condition the roof is in and whether it might be time for an upgrade. 


Types of Roof Materials 


When viewing potential properties, another important thing to consider is the roof material. The material that your roof is made from can give you a good indication of the roof’s expected life span and how much maintenance may be required. 

Here are some of the most common types of roofing materials used by roofers in Bath:


Classic Roof Tiles 

Roof tiles are by far one of the most popular pitched roofing materials in Bath. Offering a traditional look and a long life expectancy, it’s no surprise that we’ve been building houses with beautiful tiled roofs for thousands of years. 

But what should you look for when considering a home with a tiled roof?

Although clay, concrete and slate roof tiles have a reputation for being highly durable, older tiles can still become brittle and break. When assessing a potential property from ground level, check for any obvious cracks or chips in the tiles as this can suggest a lack of maintenance. If you notice that there are roof tiles missing or dislodged, this could indicate that they have not been properly installed or that there is a wider issue that needs addressing. 


Stone Roof Tiles

When looking at older Somerset homes, you may find that the roofs are made from traditional limestone tiles. These historic tiles were a popular choice during the 19th and 20th centuries due to the abundance of natural limestone within the local area. 

If you’re thinking about buying a home with limestone tiles, it’s important to be aware that they can be costly and difficult to replace due to limited supplies. More commonly, you will find that roofers use imitation stone tiles used for replacement which are much more readily available. 

With traditional stone roofs, you also have to consider weight. As stone tiles are much heavier than other roofing materials, a property will need to have sufficient support in order to accommodate the load. Without carefully placed beams, your roof could collapse, resulting in serious damage to the property. 


Inspect The Guttering and Drainage


When inspecting a property, don’t forget to check out the guttering and drainage system. 

Guttering that is cracked, broken or too narrow for your property, will not only cause roof leaks but can also lead to flooding at ground level. 

Another tell-tale sign of poorly maintained guttering is rust. Failure to repair guttering can speed up the rate of corrosion. As the rust spreads, gutters become weak and may develop holes which will need patching. 


Check The Chimney Stacks 


Chimney stack damage is never something to ignore. If you spot issues with a chimney stack during a property viewing, you might want to think twice about committing to purchase.

While there are some minor issues that are easier for roofers to repair, some chimney stack problems require urgent attention so it’s important to know what to look for. 

First off, if you see that a chimney has crumbling masonry, it indicates that a repair is long overdue. 

When water seeps into bricks and mortar, it can freeze and thaw, known as “spalling”. When left untreated, this can lead to bigger cracks and, eventually, crumbling. 

While small hairline cracks may not seem like an issue to begin with, it’s still important to have them sealed straight away. This is because these cracks provide an additional entry point for moisture which speeds up the spalling process. 

Another thing to look for when inspecting a property’s chimney is leaning. There are a whole host of reasons why a chimney might lean, from excess moisture and poor construction to insufficient footing. 

A chimney that sits to one side is a serious health and safety issue and needs to be seen urgently by a specialist. If left unattended, a leaning chimney becomes both a structural and fire hazard and can increase the likelihood of pests entering the home.  


Assess The Loft Space


Although it’s unlikely that your estate agent will be taking you up into the loft space when viewing a property, if you’re serious about buying somewhere, there’s no harm in asking to take a peek at the attic. 

Checking out the loft space is a handy way to identify compromised rafters, pest issues, damp problems or holes. All of which could indicate an issue with the roof or chimney stack. 

When entering a loft space, always ensure that it is safe to do so. A loft that is unstable or riddled with asbestos is an absolute no-go. 


Examine The Skylights  


It’s not always easy to tell if a skylight or roof window is broken, however, there are a few more obvious signs that you need to look out for. 

The first thing to be aware of is damage to the panes. If you spot a minor crack in a skylight, this doesn’t immediately suggest that it needs to be replaced. Depending on the size of the crack, you may be able to have it welded or caulked with a transparent solvent. Either way, it is crucial to have cracks repaired before they turn into bigger issues.

A second common skylight issue is condensation. If a skylight is filled with condensation, chances are, the seals have blown. While condensation on the surface isn’t too much of a problem, condensation between the panes needs to be seen to. When ignored, moisture can start to spread within the building materials around the frame causing serious damage and creating a breeding ground for termites. 


Will a Surveyor check for Roof Damage?


If you’ve made an offer on a property, a standard surveyor will carry out a visual inspection of the roof. In spite of this, it is still important to carry out your own checks on a property prior to making an offer to rule out any potential issues that could be a cause for concern. 

If you have put in an offer on a property and still have reservations following the surveyor’s inspection, the best thing to do is enlist the help of a trusted roofing company. In some cases, you may be able to negotiate with the seller so that they cover either the full amount or a partial amount of the cost. 


Professional Roofers in Bath 


At S&J Bath, we are experts in roof repairs and installation. So, if you require a roofing assessment or have any questions about the roof of your new home, get in touch. Our expert team can provide you with friendly, helpful advice so you feel better equipped to decide upon your next steps.