winter-roof

Is Your Roof Winter Ready?

The winter season will soon be here, and while the weather is yet to throw the worst towards our homes, make sure you get all your roofing maintenance out the way to prevent the need for roof repairs on your London property when spring arrives. The health of your roof is imperative to the comfort level of your home and family and if your roof is suffering defects or damage, it’s more likely to be letting draughts in, letting expensive heat out and potentially affecting the structural integrity of your property.

Checking the Inside

Where it’s safe to do so, check out the inner portion of your roof during the day and check over all the joints and walls for light leaks. Cover windows to prevent too much light coming into the space, as this makes it easier to find small holes or gaps where light might be peeking through. Finding light leaks in your roof before the worst of the rainy season is vital because the longer that damp and moisture is allowed to work its way into your property, the harder it can be to dry out affected areas. In turn, this can lead to problems with damp, dry rot and wet rot.

If you do find light leaks or gaps in your roof, double check the surrounding woodwork and beams to ensure that damp hasn’t already started to spread throughout your roof space. It’s not always obvious by looking, so where possible and without risk to yourself, try a touch test on surrounding beams to check for moisture.

Should there be any pipes in your roof space, make sure these are sufficiently insulated with lagging. While heat rises, cold snaps can still make your roof space a chilly place and lagging ensures that your pipes are not at risk of freezing. Frozen pipes can rupture and burst, flooding your roof space and causing havoc in your home.

On to the Exterior

If you think of the average family home, you might be forgiven for forgetting the gutters in your mental image – they are so standard to our properties that often they get overlooked during our home maintenance sweep. However, gutters are a necessary component of funnelling water that rains onto your roof away from your property and down a dedicated drain, preventing water from dripping onto external walls or sitting on rooftops with nowhere to go.

Make sure all your gutters have been cleared of autumn debris like leaf litter and mossy patches and check that all fixings are secure to your property. Check that the connection between the downpipe and guttering is secure and watertight and ensure that the downpipe is in the correct place over the drain, which must also be cleared of any debris. Clearing your drain ensures ample drainage, preventing water puddling over paths and potentially becoming a hazard in icy cold weather.

If you are comfortable and can safely do so, get up on a ladder and check the exterior of your roof for loose, missing or damaged roof tiles which can cause problems with leaks and potentially affect the stability of the surrounding tiles. However, if you don’t feel confident, do not do so. Instead, check over your roof from the ground or call in a qualified roofing company to perform a roof health check.

Your roof is all that stands between your cosy home and the wet and cold weather, so it deserves to be looked after. If you are concerned about the stability of your roof over the winter season or need roof repairs for your London property, get in touch with our fully qualified, friendly team on 020 8291 3388 or email us at admin@chrisballroofing.co.uk.

roof-wind-damage

How Can High Winds Compromise Your Roof?

We have been treated to months of nice warm weather in London, which has seen thousands of residents basking in the sun during this most unusual British summer. However, as we slowly begin to move away from summer and into autumn, you just know that the wet weather normally associated with Britain is lurking just around the corner.

Rain, hail and storms are not exactly the most pleasant of weathers to walk out in, but we aren’t the only ones who suffer. As roofing specialists in London, we have seen first-hand the damage caused as a result of high winds – and it isn’t pretty.

Exposed Frailties

The wind has a canny knack of finding and exploiting any frailties in the roof. The most common of these is any loose material at the edge of the roof – wind blows below and pushes up the material which, over time, can result in chain peeling. As tiles are disturbed, the insulation underneath can soon become exposed, which is not good news when the rain hits.

The roof becomes susceptible to leaks and other water damage, which can have a catastrophic effect on the home as a whole. This can easily be averted by ensuring that all materials are strong and sturdy, able to withstand the torment of high winds.

Debris

It isn’t just the wind itself that can lead to roof damage as debris is often the cause of having to consult a London roofing specialist. It’s not uncommon to find fences blown over and trees damaged due to strong winds, and it isn’t out of the question that such debris can hit or become lodged in your roofing or guttering.

Damage may not be instantly noticeable, so after a bout of strong winds or a storm, it will be worth checking your roof over for any damage. Scratches and cracks can soon deteriorate into more serious issues and cluttered gutters can soon result in costly damages.

As well as an exterior inspection, checking the interior for any sign of water damage is also essential. Any impairment as a result of a leak in the roof can result in moisture in walls and timber, which if left untreated, can soon cause serious structural damage.

Roof Repairs

If your home is in need of roofing repairs, it is important that you turn to a reputable company that can guarantee you a professional job with the desired results. Here at Chris Ball Roofing, we are proud of our status as one of London’s premier roofing specialists, meaning that when you work with us, you will know that no corners will be cut.

We offer a free no obligation quotation where we will clearly outline the work that needs to be carried out along with pricing. For more information, please feel free to send us a message via our contact form today.

roof-home

Should You Keep the Roof Over Your Head?

If you have noticed defective spots on the roof of your home, such as damaged tiles or even slates that have completely broken away, you need to ask yourself if it’s time for a new roof.

Here at Chris Ball Roofing, we have installed numerous new roofs in London when the old one just wasn’t up to the job any longer. With the summer months making way for colder and wetter seasons, now is the time to ensure that your home’s roof is fit for purpose. Once a roof is damaged, it is a slippery slope until either a repair or complete replacement must take place.

The Average Roof Lifespan

The life expectancy of a roof can vary depending on its style and material. While roofs covered with standard slates or tiles can last anywhere between 20 and 30 years, natural slates can last for up to 75 years!

As well as the climate, maintenance also plays a key role in the lifespan of a roof. With the correct care, a tiled roof can last for a century, although it should be expected that individual tiles will have to be replaced. Repairs are all part and parcel of caring for your home’s roof – if you are hot on tending to any issues with your roofing, you can ensure your roof benefits from a longer lifespan.

When Your London Home Needs a New Roof

Of course, there does come a point in time – even with faultless maintenance – when a new roof is a necessity. While issues such as missing tiles and surface deficiencies can be easily fixed without needing to rip everything up, more serious defects that could affect the structure will need attention.

At Chris Ball Roofing, we are proud to offer professional and reliable workmanship when erecting a new roof in London, meaning that you will be guaranteed a job well done. With notable customers including the likes of the Savoy Theatre, Lyceum Theatre and Nickelodeon Television, we are proud that hundreds and thousands of people benefit from our work every day in the capital.

No Obligation Quotation

If you are still unsure whether your roof could benefit from an expert’s opinion, we offer a free no obligation quotation. Our team will survey your roof and provide clear written specifications, along with pricing, of the work that needs to be done.

For more information, please get in touch with a member of our team today if you believe that your home in London needs a new roof or repair work. You can call us on 020 8291 3388 between 9am-5pm Monday-Friday, or send an email to admin@chrisballroofing.co.uk any time and we will come back to you as soon as possible.

family-business

Why Should You Use a Family Business?

When it comes to hiring a contractor or company to fix or repair your roof, you want a roofing specialist in London you can trust to do a good job while keeping you informed and also being cost-effective to your pocket.

Which is why Chris Ball Roofing, a family owned and run company, is the best choice for all homeowners; we will happily take on your roof repair or replacement jobs, big or small. What other benefits can a family business bring to you, our customer?

Great Teamwork

Although we are a family business with members of the family as staff, we have an expansive team of dedicated, hard-working individuals, and after working at Chris Ball Roofing for a short while, we all become family, whether we are related or not. This means we have fantastic relationships within the team which reflects in the quality of our work as we carry out jobs more productively.

Pride in Our Work

You can trust that a family business will take the utmost pride in our finished work. We want you to proudly share our name when someone admires a job well done so we will always complete jobs to the best of our ability, often going above and beyond to provide you with top-level service.

Higher Levels of Trust

There are no pointing fingers at Chris Ball, we rely on each other to communicate openly and honestly between the team and we can trust that our employees and team members will always provide high-quality service, alongside a strong work ethic.

We Work for You

One of the strongest aspects of choosing a family business over another is that our team is here to work solely for you, the customer. Our team of hard-working employees aren’t worried about pleasing the foreman or the boss, it’s all about making sure our customers understand what we are carrying out and performing a job that will leave them happy.

Hand-Picked Team Members

The Managing Director of a company is the one who sets the important values of a business and the larger the company, the more detached the MD becomes from their team. Our Managing Director has personally chosen every member of the team, so you can trust that every individual you meet holds the same values as our MD and is considered fully-qualified, approachable and ambitious.

When you are concerned about roof repairs or replacement and need a roofing specialist for your London home, consider family owned and run Chris Ball Roofing. Our friendly team are available to contact on 020 8291 3388 or you can reach us by email at admin@chrisballroofing.co.uk.

slate-roof-tiles

Tiles or Slate? What’s the Difference?

If your roof is looking a bit worse for wear and you have been considering a repair or even a new roof for your London home, you’ll soon discover there are more choices to be made than simply the colour. Your roof can be finished in a wide selection of materials and you’ll need to make the choice between tiles or slates – which may sound rather similar but actually have many differences.

Slate

Natural roofing slate is considered to be one of the best quality roofing materials; formed underground by intense pressure and heat. The chosen fine-grain, metamorphic rocks are split into multiple flat faced, smooth pieces which are used to form slate roofing.

Natural slate is considered an extremely durable material, and when installed correctly, can last up to half a century, protecting your home against water and external elements – with relatively low maintenance required. Repairs can be made with fair ease by professional roofers and the density of slate tiles can help maintain your home’s temperature, preventing energy loss and saving you money on your bills as a result. Natural slate also offers decent fire protection and is unaffected by pest damage and rot.

Slate is typically installed flat against the roof pitch, however, it can be layered to create a textured look – although this can increase the risk of individually broken tiles. Most commonly found in various shades of grey, natural slate is occasionally available in a choice of textures and comes available in a small variation of natural colours.

The disadvantages of using natural slate are minimal, however, due to the high density, it is quite a heavy material for roofing and requires sufficient structural support in place prior to replacing an existing roof to prevent it from collapsing. Imitation slate roofing material has recently become available but will not offer the same properties as natural slate due to the different materials used in manufacture, such as plastic.

Tiles

Most commonly available in concrete and clay, roofing tiles come in a much wider variety of designs and colours than natural roofing slates. Good quality roofing tiles offer similar durability to slates with professional installation. However, concrete tiles are considered more weatherproof and able to withstand severe weather conditions.

Clay tiles are used over concrete where finer roof additions need to be outlined – such as chimneys and skylights – or where structural support isn’t available or cannot be installed to withstand the weight of concrete tiles. Standard roofing tiles tend to be less costly than their slate equivalent, particularly if further structural support needs to be added.

The main disadvantage of tiles (in addition to the weight of concrete tiles) is the increased need to clean them of algae and moss, although this can also depend on your local climate and the chosen finish on your roofing tiles.

Looking at the options available, have you considered what material you would like on your new roof in London? If you require any further information or advice, give our friendly team a call on 020 8291 3388 or send us an email to admin@chrisballroofing.co.uk.

damaged-roof-felt

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.

Exterior

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.

Interior

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.

roofing-felt

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.

Condensation

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.

Leaking

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.

Appearance

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?

Practical

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!

Attractive

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.

Versatile

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!