June 13, 2016 / by admin admin / 1604 Comments

Spotting roofing problems early can save you a fortune. Here are some of the telltale warning signs to look out for and how much you should expect to pay for repairs.

Roof types

Most houses have pitched (raised) roofs covered in tiles or slate.

  • Tiles are commonly made out of cement or clay. Cement tiles should last 40-50 years and are about 70p each. Clay tiles last longer.
  • Slate is hard-wearing but rarely used because it's expensive. More slates than tiles are needed due to how they overlap. Reclaimed slates are cheaper.

Many outbuildings and garages, and some extensions, have flat roofs. Felt is the most common covering but newer materials such as fibreglass and PVC are now used. 

What you should look for

Spotting these early warning signs can prevent more expensive problems.

Tiled roofs

  • Damp or leaks may signal a cracked or slipped tile.
  • If a tile has blown off, it should be replaced quickly to prevent water from penetrating the felt underneath. Also, more tiles can be dislodged in high winds if there is one missing.

Flat roofs

  • Cracks or splits round the edges.
  • Sagging – as water builds up boards can break under the weight.
  • Damp patches on the ceiling – the roof may have a tear.


Stand back and check your flat roof from the ground periodically. If you spot uneven lumps, repairs may be needed.

Roof repairs

An experienced DIYer may be able to fix small problems on one-storey buildings.

Cleaning out gutters at lower levels will allow water to flow away, but most jobs are best left to professionals.

If you do go up a ladder, have someone with you and make sure the ladder is secure.