Roof Defects: 7 Common Issues Found in Property Surveys

roof defects
Posted on February 27, 2017 Categories: Getting a Survey, Looking After Your Home

Roof defects are a very common find on property surveys – and, unfortunately, often a costly one! Problems are often left to get worse, usually because owners don’t know they’re there.

We’ve put together a few of the most common roof defects problems we find with roofs on surveys, so you have a better idea of what you should be looking out for.

Roof Defects and Issues!

Slipped/broken slates or tiles

Individual slates or tiles can suffer breaking or cracking. This can be due to weather conditions (such as high winds or a storm), the corrosion of the nails holding the slate in place or the rotting of the wood which the slates are fixed to. You may just have to replace the individual slates that are broken, or this could be part of a larger problem that could mean re-roofing.

Blocked roof valleys and cracked lead 

A blocked valley will cause water to overflow and can cause further problems if left – but unblocking the valley is a fairly simple task and won’t put you out of pocket too much. If the lead in the valley is cracked and water is leaking through, however, fixing this is a larger, but necessary task.

Roof leaks and moisture 

Roof defects like leaks can only be visual at certain times of the year. For example your roof may only leak in the winter and not show in the summer when it is dry! Leaks are a serious problem and can be identified by checking for moisture and damp in the loft. When moisture gets under the layers of the roof, this can cause mould and rot, which will lead to more extensive problems in the future if left un-repaired. This becomes a more urgent issue if the moisture has spread to the rafters as they carry the weight of the roof, and a roofing specialist should be contacted ASAP!

Poorly installed, torn, or weathered flashing 

Flashing seals the areas where there is an opening in the roof, such as sky lights, chimneys, vent pipes, and where an extension roof joins the main wall. If the flashing has been improperly installed, it can cause open seams, damaged tiles and other issues. Flashing can also become damaged over time.

Ponding water 

Water that ponds on your roof is a sign of a problem that can be caused by many things, such as debris build up or issues with draining of gutters.

Overhanging Trees Can Cause Roof Defects!

Overhanging tree limbs can rub on the roof, wearing away the protective layer of the roof. Branches can also fall in bad weather, potentially causing serious damage, and leaves can cause blockages in gutters and valleys. You should ensure that trees are trimmed back or even removed if they pose these problems.

Inadequate ventilation 

Roof and loft ventilation is an important part of ensuring a roof will last. Vents should be placed at the base of the roof and near the ridge so that warm air can leave through the top and cool air can enter through the bottom. This regulates the temperature and moisture levels in the loft – left unchecked, heat and moisture can build up, potentially causing damage to rafters and insulation, and can cause mould and damp problems.

Contact us

Although we cannot currently offer specialist roof inspections for potential roof defects for private customers, our wide range of HomeBuyers, Home Condition Reports and Building Surveys can be tailored to suit your specific needs or concerns and may detect these common roof defects. To speak to our expert and friendly sales team regarding these enquiries, get an instant personal quote now or email us via

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