Signs of an Unhealthy Roof

Your roof is one of the most important structures that makes up your property. It offers extra support for your walls and protects the most important people and belongings in your life from exposure to the elements. Without a roof, you’d likely be very damp, cold and uncomfortable, which is why it should be considered a necessity to keep on-top of roof repairs. London and city-based properties, in particular, could be at increased risk considering the higher levels of pollution in cities that you wouldn’t want to enter your home.

Luckily, there a few signs and symptoms you can keep an eye out for which will help to keep the cost of any potential repairs down. However, it’s important to make sure that if you are checking either the inside or outside of your roof, you do so from the ground or floor level, only using a ladder if you are fully competent to do so.


There are a few different sections that make up the exterior of your roof, from the rafters and flashing to the guttering and tiles. Familiarising yourself with these can help you identify any problem sections and explain your findings to your roofing contractor. Keep an eye out for the following signs that could indicate you might need repair work carried out.

Tiles – Carefully scan your roofing tiles and make a note of any cracked, damaged, split or missing tiles. Missing or damaged tiles can lead to leaks in your property.

Guttering – Regularly check gutters for any sections of roof tiles that may have washed down and ensure guttering is secured. Loose gutters could indicate deterioration or damage.

Flashing – Pay attention to flashing around chimneys, vents and joints – this will need replacing if it has been damaged to prevent leaks and moisture getting into your property.

Sagging – Your roof should be sturdy with no signs of sagging. Should you notice dips or damage to the structure of your roof, you should get in contact with your roofing contractor as soon as possible.


Getting up to the interior of your roof may not be possible in every property and should only be attempted in buildings where it is safe to do so. You should never attempt to reach areas that are unsafe – especially without the proper safety equipment.

If you are able to see or easily access the interior of your roof, look out for the following potential warning signs.

Light Leaks – Check your roof interior during the day. If you notice daylight entering through large gaps or holes, you will need to seek roof repair.

Moisture or Mould – If you check your roof and notice small or large pools of water or unexpected moisture, your roof has likely sprung a leak. If you don’t see water but your roof area smells musty and you can see mould, you may also be affected by a leak or moisture coming in from the outside.

Roofs typically have a lifespan of between 15-20 years so if your roof is getting on in years, it’s probably wise to have a regular “health check-up” by a trusted roofing contractor. A well-maintained roof means a protected property!

If you require roof repair in South East London and want an experienced contractor, get in touch with the Chris Ball Roofing team today on 020 8291 3388.


Spotlight On: Maintaining Felt Roofs

Maintaining your felt roof is beneficial to extending its lifespan and ensures your property is protected against potential leaks. There are also regular checks you can carry out and report to your contractor if you are unsure or concerned. While maintenance of your felt roof is encouraged, and spot repairs can be easily carried out, should you be unsure if your felt roof needs to be replaced, make sure to contact your roofing contractor.

In London, roofing contractors advise that felt is particularly well suited for use on garages, blocks of flats, rear extensions and commercial buildings. Previously, felt material was considered to be poor quality, however, advances in technology have resulted in superior quality products with an average lifespan of over 20 years.

We take a look at some of the ways in which you can maintain and carry out regular checks to ensure your felt roof stays in the best possible condition.

Leaves and General Debris

Regularly check that gutters and rainwater outlets are free-flowing and clear of any debris. This will prevent water from gathering on the felt. Only carry out checks at height with the correct equipment, with supervision and if you are competent to do so.

Surfaces and Detailing

Check that overlaps between roof materials are tight and sealed, in addition to ensuring upstands are securely fixed to the wall with no damage, cracks or splits in the mortar or sealant. Keep an eye out for blisters occurring on the surface of the felt material. Blister sizes should be regularly checked and if they expand, reported to your roofing contractor.


Although not something you will see ON your felt roof, internal condensation can be a result of insufficient insulation. It can also indicate a lack of sufficient ventilation. Internal condensation can cause rotting of timber supports and eventual structural collapse. If you suspect that your property is suffering from internal condensation, be sure to contact your roofing contractor.

Reporting to Contractor

The above checks should be carried out annually but only if you are confident to do so. Should you be unsure or not able to carry out the checks yourself, we would advise you to have your roofing contractor perform an annual roofing health check.

Although homeowners are slightly restricted on the repairs and maintenance they can perform, familiarising yourself with a “healthy roof” will help you identify when your roof may need professional work carried out by roof contractors.

Looking for London roof specialists? If you require any further information on roof repairs or maintenance, contact the Chris Ball Roofing team on 020 8291 3388.

A Roof Protects Everything You Own So Take Care of it!

Our home is important to us. It gives us shelter, houses our families and holds a lot of memories. Maintaining your roof should be considered your first and most important priority to ensure that your home not only looks good but is functional in providing you with warmth for many more years to come.

Should you find yourself with a problem roof, it could lead to many more problems than a wet carpet or a soggy ceiling. It’s important to seek out roof repair at your earliest convenience before problems escalate or you may need to invest in a whole new roof.

In London, where space is limited, expansion of properties often occurs upwards so having a good quality roof should be a priority over beginning any internal renovations. Here, we look at why your roof is so important and what it can protect you from.


The most obvious reason for ensuring your roof is water-tight and undamaged; water and moisture that get into your property can have devasting effects. Leaks that go unnoticed can cause rotting to roof beams and loft structures. Over time, this can lead to structural weakness and disintegration causing your roof to collapse. What should have been a simple, cost-effective repair has turned into a much more expensive issue.

Bug or Pest Infestation

A well-maintained roof offers excellent protection against infestations of bugs and pests, which themselves carry a whole host of problems in properties. While your roof will need sources of ventilation, ensuring large gaps or holes are taken care of will prevent squirrels, pigeons or similar pests getting into your roof space.


First impressions of your home will quite often be influenced by the quality of your pitched roof and while a damaged roof could lead to damaged personal belongings, it will also affect the resale value of your property, potentially devaluing your home.

Condensation and Damp

It is important that your roof is designed and built following correct design procedures, particularly considering insulation requirements. Incorrect installation of your roof can very often lead to dry and wet rot in timbers, internal damp and eventual costly repairs.

Keeping on top of your roof repair and maintenance goes a long way towards protecting your home against the elements and potential problems caused by unwanted visitors.

Chris Ball Roofing is an expert in roof design and specifications and we are dedicated to providing a second-to-none service to our customers throughout London and the South East. Our team are waiting to help answer your queries and provide an expertly produced estimate for all your roof repair or new roof needs.

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A Look at the Pitched Roof in London

Pitched roofs have an understated but long-standing history across much of Europe, and especially the UK. Iconic images of architectural landmarks and terraced rows with red brick chimneys are known the world over.

The pitched roofs we see in London are a visual and enduring display of the city’s history, from the Elizabethan age to the Greek and Gothic revivals of the Victorian era. These buildings and their roofs have seen more history than anyone could imagine, withstanding everything from the Great Fire of London and the Blitz to the harshest winters and hottest summers. Even in the midst of urban regeneration and contemporary construction, they stand proud as part of London’s landscape.


Of course, it is no secret that pitched roofs are one of the most popular styles. In fact, they are what most would deem the ‘traditional’ roof style, easily recognisable, though the actual pitch of a roof can vary wildly.

But why exactly are pitched roofs so popular in London?


Pitched roofs are a practical alternative to their flat counterparts, especially in a soggy climate like the one we know and love in London. The pitch allows water to run-off, which is great for those torrential days and endless April showers. By encouraging water run-off, it means properties experience fewer issues from damp. Another benefit of this kind of roof is the extra storage space it provides; in fact, some roofs with steeper pitches offer enough space to allow for a conversion, adding extra rooms (and value) to your property!


While flat roofs serve a purpose and can add a certain contemporary feel to a building, the pitched roof has more charm to it. It is no surprise that the right pitched roof can be an attractive finishing touch to a building, considering the pivotal role it plays in certain architectural styles and the scope for creativity. While there is something to be said for symmetry, a pitched roof also provides an opportunity for more complex, decorative styles with multi-pitched designs and additions like chimneys and dormers. This keeps a level of consistency, without compromising the eclectic styles and individuality London’s skyline is famous for.


A pitched roof is one of the most versatile components of any building. It can be laid with tile, slate or shingle, as well as the iconic thatch synonymous with chocolate box cottages and Tudor masterpieces. Whatever material you fancy, the principle remains the same; the right pitch, with your chosen material, laid by a professional team makes all the difference. Keep it classic with traditional tiling or play with a mix of vertical and horizontal styles. You can even experiment with different shaped and multi-coloured tiles.

As a team of experienced roofing specialists in London, we have seen it all. From thatched Tudor cottages and grand Gothic mansions with multi-pitched roofs to low-pitched Regency roofs and the red clay tiles of mid-20th-century suburbs. Every home and business has a story, and so does their property.

If you have a pitched roof of your own in need of some care and attention, feel free to speak to one of our experts!

Benefits of a Flat Roof

Depending on your particular project and needs, you may be toying with the idea of a flat roof instead of a pitched one. Here at Chris Ball Roofing, we are big fans of flat roofing, having seen the wonders it can work for residential and commercial properties across London. However, if you’re not convinced or you’ve not yet thought seriously about the benefits of a flat roof, we can help round up the top perks of this pitch alternative.

Check out our brief overview below.

Accessibility – Have you ever climbed a steep pitched roof? No? Well, we have, and it is a challenge as far as accessibility is concerned, even for seasoned professionals. If you intend on managing the upkeep of your roof or even accessing it for things like practical outside storage or something more enjoyable, like a roof terrace, you are likely to find a flat roof far easier than a pitched one.

Easier Maintenance – Maintenance is key when it comes to making an investment like a roof last. Flat roofs mean you can climb up to check the gutters, have a look to see how it held up after winter or reach it with a broom to brush off dead leaves and debris as the seasons change. The flat roof is just easier when it comes to basic maintenance. Of course, it is always better to leave bigger jobs like repair and replacement to professionals, but general, regular upkeep will ensure your roof stays in good condition for longer.

Durable – Some of the key components in the making of a flat roof include high performance felts. These are both extremely hardy substances when it comes to weather and general wear and tear, meaning that you won’t have so much to worry about after a storm or massive temperature plummet. Unlike their more delicate clay and slate tile counterparts, flat roofs prove durable season after season, year after year.

Storage – Cumbersome ladders? Air conditioning unit? Solar panels? All great and handy things to have, but a potential headache when it comes to sensible out of the way storage. Even aerials and satellite dishes can cause havoc when it comes to balancing them and bolting them down on a pitched roof decline. However, all of these items (and more) are easily installed and secured on a flat roof, without the careful considerations needed for steeper pitched roofs.

Options – Of course, you have plenty in the way of options for pitched and flat roofs alike. For example, the attic space of a pitched roof can be transformed into extra living space, sometimes with storage retained in the eaves. With a flat roof though, chopping, changing, adding and creating new spaces in your property is even easier – especially if you need a more traditional box-style four walls. You can build out, you can build up and you don’t have the added expense of having to top your extension off with a new and potentially costly pitched roof, which is likely to pose all kinds of architectural and structural challenges.

Cost-Effective – Compared to other roofing options, a flat roof is a cost-effective choice. With a pitched roof, there are many variables that can easily take it from a sensible to a very costly design, depending on the type of tile, whether you have single or multiple pitches and what additional features are needed. On top of this, the awkward installation process for new, replacement or repaired pitched roofs can prove more expensive than flat roofs. As well as reasonably priced materials, the installation of a flat roof is straightforward, and as long as you enlist the help of qualified roofing specialists for repairs and replacements (avoiding costly fixes for bodged jobs) you will have a roof that can last very well indeed. And, the longer your roof lasts, the less you have to pay out for it.

We’ve kept it short and sweet, but it is easy to see that a flat roof can offer plenty in the way of benefits. So, whether you are looking for a new roof or a replacement, speak to our team about flat roofing and its benefits!