How to keep your cool in the summer – Roofing in the heat

With temperatures soaring these last few weeks, it can be difficult to undertake any work on a roof without extreme discomfort and risk to health. Excess sun exposure can lead to heat stroke and severe skin damage.

We have been asking experienced roofers their advice for staying safe and keeping cool under extreme heat when working. Here is just some of their top tips:

Always have sun lotion – We often only associate sun lotion with holidays, but sun lotion should be used whenever you are exposed to the sun, even at work. Try to keep a high factor lotion on, applying 30 minutes before sun exposure and reapplying every 2 hours.

Regular breaks in a shaded area – When working on a roof, it may be tempting to work until the job is done, however in direct sunlight this could be damaging to you and your skin without taking regular breaks in a shaded area throughout the day. Try and stay aware of how long you have been working, setting regular alarms if necessary, to remind you to take a break from the sun to rest and hydrate.

Keep a bucket of water nearby – Provided the bucket is safe with no risk of falling and damaging property or people below, a good tip is keeping a bucket of water nearby for regularly splashing your face when you need to cool down. Make sure to reapply sun lotion once you have dried your face.

Wear loose fitted clothes – Wearing loose fitted clothes can help improve airflow and avoid the risk of overheating, particularly when moving around a lot of the job, however always ensure the clothes you are wearing are safe for the job and in line with PPE regulations.

Take ice packs – Keeping ice packs nearby is a great way to cool down while working, placing them on your neck or face regularly throughout the day.

Take plenty of cold water in a cool box – Staying hydrated while working in the heat is key. Keep plenty of bottles of cold water in a cool box and try to avoid alternatives such as fizzy pop drinks and energy drinks which could dehydrate you even more.

Work out of the direction of the sun – If possible, try work in the opposite direction of the sun, working in the shaded areas of the roof as the sun moves across the sky to avoid constant sun exposure.

Wear a hat – A hard hat not only protects you from potential falling objects but can also protect you from the sun. try to avoid the temptation to remove this as it is serving a vital purpose.

Avoid neglecting your PPE – It can be tempting to ditch the PPE for less layers, however PPE has a vital role in protecting yourself as well as others, and neglecting it can cause serious issues and even get you into trouble.

Make sure you have all the materials for the job

Avoid waiting around in the heat for materials you’ve forgotten for the job.

Here at Kidderminster Roofing Supplies ltd, we can provide a free no obligation quotation for roofing materials and tools you need to get the job done, no matter the weather. Contact us today to see how we can help you!

Tel: 01562 748270

Email: sales@kidderminsterroofing.com

Or drop us a message on Facebook!


Clearing gutters and why it is important

Full or blocked gutters can go undetected by homeowners, and if not cleared correctly, can cause a lot of damage to a home.

Here at Kidderminster Roofing Supplies ltd, after over 30 years’ experience in roofing, we have identified a number of reasons why it is important to keep gutters clear in preventing irreversible damage to a home.

 

What causes a gutter to become blocked?

A gutter or downpipe can become blocked for a number of reasons, including:

  • Falling leaves – Falling leaves from nearby trees can blow into gutters, where they begin to decompose and become blocked in a gutter or downpipe.
  • Moss build up– Moss build up on tiles or slates can slip down from the rooftop into the gutter where I can continue to grow and block the gutter or downpipe.
  • Animal waste – Animal waste such as bird excrement or even deceased birds, rodents or insects can often be the cause of a blockage in a gutter or downpipe.
  • Nesting birds – A common reason a gutters can block may be the result of nesting birds, however care must be taken to ensure nests are unoccupied before attempts are made to remove the nest as all bird nest are protected by the Wildlife & Countryside Act 1981.

 

What are the risks of a blocked gutter?

A blocked gutter increases risks of leaks and water damage –  When a gutter and downpipe becomes  blocked the rainwater can no longer drain properly from the rooftop, causing water to overflow and even re-route, which may cause interior as well as exterior damage to a home.

Damage to the foundations – If water is unable to drain from the rooftop correctly and forced to re-route, it may find its way into the foundations of a home and become trapped. Overtime this trapped water can expand and freeze during cold weather causing cracks to appear in the foundations of the building which can cause a lot of structural issues to the home.

Risk of rot – Wherever there is a risk of water damage to a roof, there is a risk to the structural timbers to the roof which if they become damp, risk rotting. Timbers damaged by rot cannot be  repaired, and may result in a full replacement which will cost a homeowner a lot of money.

Unwanted guests -Blocked gutters make an ideal home for many animals such as a variety of birds, rodents or insects which can cause an unpleasant infestation on a home if not rectified early.

The gutter twisting and losing it’s shape – When a gutter becomes full, water can become trapped in the pipe. During cold weather this trapped water can freeze ans expand causing the gutter to change its shape becoming twisted. Once the gutter has been twisted, the damage is impossible to rectify and water draining from the rooftop will become re-routed and will likely cause water damage to the property. In this case, the gutter would need to be replaced.

Risk of falling – An overloaded gutter can become heavy, and in some cases detach itself from the roof if can no longer handle the weight. A falling gutter could cause a significant amount of damage to property in its path, but could also risk hitting a bystander. A falling gutter can also become costly to a home owner as it will require re-fitting, or if the gutter becomes damaged in the fall, require a new gutter to be fitted.

 

Send in the professionals

A homeowner should always ensure their gutters are checked and cleared every spring and autumn to reduce the risk of blockages which left untreated can cause significant damage to their home.

Not only should a home owner ensure the interior of the gutter is cleared, however it is also important to make sure the exterior of the gutter is cleaned regularly to prevent moss from breaking down the gutter’s protective coating causing a discoloration to the gutter.

 

How can we help?

If you have a client in need of gutter repair or cleaning, we can help! Here at Kidderminster Roofing Supplies ltd, we can provide a free no obligation quotation for roofing materials and tools you need. Contact us today to see how we can help you!

Tel: 01562 748270

Email: sales@kidderminsterroofing.com

Or drop us a message on Facebook!


The dangers of a slipped roof tile

A professional roofer will notice a slipped tile straight away, where as a homeowner probably wouldn’t notice there was an issue at all, or wouldn’t think it was significant until it was too late.

Here at Kidderminster Roofing Supplies ltd, we’ve seen after over 30 years of experience in roofing what damage can be cause when a slipped roof tiles are ignored by homeowners.

Here are just some of the reasons a slipped roof tile would need to be rectified straight away:

Risk of a falling roof tile – What goes up must come down, and when a roof tile slips the only direction it will go is down, which could damage property, or in worse case scenarios seriously injure passers-by. It might not seem too risky at first, however just a bit of wind can be enough to blow a tile off a rooftop. If a roof tile should land on a public footpath, the homeowner will be liable for any personal injury claims, so it would be in their interest to ensure any loose tiles are repaired.

Leaks and water damage – Once a tile slips, a weak spot is unearthed and a bit of bad weather can make one small problem into a massive one. Once you client notices a damp patch in their home, unfortunately the damage may have already been done, and what could have been a small repair on a slipped tile will probably be much bigger job, with major leaks often destroying insulation as well as other structural materials.

Unexpected visitors – A slipped tile doesn’t just mean access to water, but the potential for new house mates, such as nesting birds and even rodents or insects. Once a bird nests, it is illegal to remove the nest until the young flown the nest under the Wildlife & Countryside Act 1981.

Mold – Mold grows anywhere that is damp and warm, making leaky rooftops the ideal place to thrive. Mold can spreading across damp walls inside the home where a leak from a slipped roof tile has dripped down into the walls and even the brickwork. The mold caused by leaks not only look unsightly, however can also cause risks to health such as asthma, allergies, sinus issues and headaches, with children and the elderly particularly at risk.

Wood rot – A slipped tile means the timber structures to a home become exposed to the elements. Just a bit of rain, and these timber structures become damp and in time can rot. Timbers that begin to rot are irreparable and can end up costing a homeowner a lot of money to replace.

Risk of losing market value – If a homeowner is looking to sell, it would be in their best interest to have any slipped tiles repaired. The first thing any potential new buyer will look at when buying a new home is the roof. A slipped tile may be the difference between a successful sale or a substantial loss.

 

When not to repair a slipped tile

It is always advised to have a slipped tile repaired if it is easily accessible, however if the slipped tile is difficult to access, such as a slipped tile on the very top of the roof, it may cause more damage to repair than to simply leave alone. For instance, a slipped tile in a difficult to access area of a roof may require stepping on other tiles to access which in turn may damage or move the other tiles. Any slipped tile repair must be assessed with great care to judge if it could cause more damage to fix the issue or to leave it alone.

 

Send in the professionals!

It is always advised that any homeowner has a professional roofer review and assess their roof regularly to ensure small repairs can be rectified safely and affordably before they risk turning into big repairs.

 

How can we help?

If you have a client in need of a slipped tile repair, we can help! Here at Kidderminster Roofing Supplies ltd, we can provide a free no obligation quotation for roofing materials you need. Contact us today to see how we can help you!

Tel: 01562 748270

Email: sales@kidderminsterroofing.com

Or drop us a message on Facebook!


Nesting Birds In Roof Eaves

A common question we are asked at Kidderminster Roofing Supplies ltd, is how to stop birds nesting in roof eaves on a house.

Customers often have clients who will complain about noisy birds in their roof eaves and ask if they can remove the nests.

The answer is that it is illegal to remove nesting birds once they have settled. There are however ways to prevent birds nesting in roof eaves the following year, provided the correct work is done during the winter months when birds are no longer nesting.

We will explore the different reasons why birds decide to nest in roof eaves, and how they can be prevented from nesting in rooftops in the future.

 

Why do birds nest in roof eaves

According to the RSPB rooftops are vital sanctuaries for a lot of birds due to the loss of a lot of natural nest sites.

Birds that commonly nest on rooftops include:

  • House Sparrows.
  • Starlings.
  • Swifts.
  • Swallows.
  • Blue tits/Great Tits.
  • Jackdaws.

 

Why nests cannot be disturbed or removed

It is illegal to disturb or remove nesting birds from roof eaves once they have settled under the Wildlife & Countryside Act 1981. This includes removing or blocking the bird’s access to their nest. Nests must be left with access until the young have had chance to develop and leave the nest on their own and the nest is no longer in use.

The reason for this is conservation. The RSPB have identified many of these rooftop nesting birds are in decline. Swifts have declined with Starlings and House Sparrows now red listed, and House Martins and Swallows now amber listed.

 

When will I be able to carry out work on a client’s roof?

If a client requires work on their roof that risk’s disturbing a occupied nest, try to recommend leaving the work until the winter months when the birds are no longer nesting, ideally between October and February.

This may be frustrating for both yourself and the client, however legally an morally it is the correct thing to do.

 

What if you don’t have a choice?

You should always avoid roofing project if you are aware of birds nesting in a roof, however often, bird nests go undetected until major roofing projects or renovation projects begin.

If this happens and the roof cannot go untouched until the young have left the nest, one option recommended by the RSPB is to make an artificial nest box for Starlings or Sparrows by cutting a four-litre ice cream tub.

See the RSPB website for advice on building an artificial nest box

 

Ways to discourage birds nesting in roof eaves

There are many recommendations you can make to your clients to help prevent birds nesting in their roof eaves in the future, such as:

  • Keeping on top of roof maintenance, ensuring they have their roof checked each winter by a professional roofer (between October and February), ensuring to clean out and seal any holes or gaps as appropriate, to reduce the risk of birds nesting or becoming trapped.
  • Putting out bird houses, providing alternative safe nesting spaces for birds.

 

How can we help?

Need the right tools for the job? Here at Kidderminster Roofing Supplies ltd, we can provide a free no obligation quotation for any roofing materials you need. Contact us today to see how we can help with you!

Tel: 01562 748270

Email: sales@kidderminsterroofing.com

Or drop us a message on Facebook!


Removing moss from rooftop tiles and slates

 

A common request many of our customers at Kidderminster Roofing Supplies ltd will be asked by their clients is if they can remove the moss from their roof top.

To the inexperienced, removing moss from a roof may seem very simple, however reality is that moss removal can potentially cause even more damage if done incorrectly.

 

What causes moss to grow on a rooftop and what damage can it cause?

To deal with moss on a roof, first we need to understand what causes moss of a roof and the damage it can cause.

Moss and algae love to grow anywhere which is damp and shaded, making rooftops and gutters the perfect place to live. This moss that grows on the rooftop can then cause damage to the tiles or slates by both holding water, causing roofing materials to rot, or even causing trapped water to freeze and expand, resulting in damage to the tiles or slates, making them move, slip or even crack. Moss can even grow into the tiles or slates themselves, making them weak.

With excessive damage to tiles or slates as a result of years of moss, removing moss from a rooftop can be a very dangerous job, which should only be handled by someone who knows exactly what they are doing.

 

How not to remove moss

We often are asked at Kidderminster Roofing Supplies ltd how to approach removing moss from a rooftop, and there are many misconceptions about the best approach this particular job. Here are some of the questions we are asked below:

 

Question: Can the moss be pressure washed off the rooftop?

Answer: No. A pressure washer will only further damage the rooftop and tiles or slates as it is too abrasive.

 

Question: Can I use chemicals or a cleaner to remove the moss?

Answer: We wouldn’t recommend it. There are many products on the market that claim to remove moss from tiles and slates, however in our experience, moss will often grow into the tiles or slates, and using harsh chemicals and cleaners on a tile or slate surface will only aim to remove the protective coating from the roof tiles or slates, making them weaker and more susceptible to further moss damage. Not only this, however moss removing chemicals can be damaging to the environment, potentially harming both plants and animals.

 

Solutions and options 

Although moss may now seem to be a never-ending issue, there are some solutions and options we here at Kidderminster Roofing Supplies ltd can suggest removing or reduce a rooftop moss issue.

Brush or scrape the moss from the tiles or slates – Using a scrubbing brush, you can gently brush moss from roof tiles or slates to reduce damage to them. You can even use a shovel to scrape the moss from the tiles or slates. This option would require regular treatments to ensure the moss does not mount up, which may seem inconvenient to a client, however will save money in the long run.

Re-roof – If a roof is too far gone with moss to simply be brushed away, and the damage has already been done to the tiles or slates, a re-roof may be the only option to remove all the moss from the rooftop.

Leave the moss alone – It may seem an unusual option, however if a roof is too far gone to simply brush the moss away, yet your client cannot afford a complete re-roof at this particular time, the best option would be to leave the moss alone. Although it may be tempting to pressure wash the tiles or slates or put a treatment on it, it may cause far more damage to the overall roof than to simply leave it alone, resulting further issues such as leaks.

 

Tools for the job

To attempt to remove moss from a rooftop, you need the correct tools and equipment to do the job safely and effectively. Here at Kidderminster Roofing Supplies ltd, we stock everything you need to do the job right. Contact us today to see how we can help with you!

Tel: 01562 748270

Email: sales@kidderminsterroofing.com

Or drop us a message on Facebook!