To avoid a leaky roof, keep a watch out for any cracks or movement in your roof tiles or slates. It’s important to fix them back into place, or replace them, as quickly as possible to prevent any water damage. If your tiles or slates are held by nails, check the underside of your roof to see if there is any corrosion as this will make them more likely to slip.
If part of your roof is flat, maybe due to an extension, watch out for standing water. If you notice a damp patch on your ceiling, it could be because water is pooling above. Any signs of lifting, cracking or vegetation growth could cause water to seep through too.
Look out for deterioration of the mortar pointing and any displaced render or leadwork. This could cause the chimney to lean, meaning the structure is no longer secure. Damp patches in the rooms below the chimney could mean that it has gaps which water is getting in through.
Maintaining your guttering is relatively simple. Regularly check for foreign objects that may have fallen into the gutters and cause them to overflow. If they remain overflowing, the excess water could drip on to woodwork below, causing it to rot, or cause internal dampness on the walls below.
Similarly to your guttering, regular maintenance of your drains can prevent any more serious issues. Unblock your drains, removing any leaves or debris, as often as possible. Avoid washing any substances that you shouldn’t down the sink. If your drain is blocked, you’ll notice water overflowing out of it, and possibly a damp or unpleasant smell.
5. Cavity walls
If you live in a house made from brick, it’s important to know how to spot the early stages of cavity wall tie failure. If there is an issue, you’ll notice regular horizontal cracking on the exterior of the building. At this stage, you could still maintain the cavity by inserting replacement ties. If the problem is left too long, the wall will look as though it is bulging and this could lead to the wall needing to be rebuilt.
6. Japanese Knotweed