Damp is one of the biggest problems you will encounter when it comes to your roof. In order to prevent it from causing damage, your roof should always be kept in a good state of repair. When your roof is fully maintained it will be efficient at shedding rainwater. This will prevent damp from entering and causing problems further down the line.

If you own a house that was built before the development of modern transport links, it is likely that your roof materials were sourced from the area you live in. The type of maintenance work your roof will require depends on what it is made from. Most commonly, they are made from:


A commonly used roofing material, tiles can come in a variety of shapes and sizes. They offer an extremely durable surface, where the only real concern is tiles becoming cracked or dislodged. By staying vigilant and checking your roof often, you can identify potential problems before they become serious.

When you identify a problem tile, they are easily removed and replaced.  If your roof needs to be fully re-tiled, then it is standard practice to replace the wooden battens that they are attached to.

Stone or Slate

The most durable choice for roofing, stone or slate can last years without needing anything more than general maintenance. However, when the roof does start to deteriorate, large-scale repairs are generally needed. Be aware that the nails attaching your slates to the roof can decay and rust, leading to further problems.


Available in many different forms, a thatched roof will require the most maintenance. This type of roof traditionally has a layer added to it when needed, leading to a buildup of materials. Eventually, when the weight becomes too much, the entire roof will need replacing.

With a thatched roof, you need to keep on top of its condition at all times. Things such as moss or algae can cause a lot of expensive damage if left unchecked. Remove this kind of growth at regular intervals and get rid of any overhanging trees; these can restrict airflow to the roof and make existing problems worse.

If your home is a listed building then you may have to obtain planning permission before you carry out any work.

Flat roofs

If your home has a flat roof, it will usually be over something like a porch or extension. The most common material for flat roofs is lead.  The main thing to look out for here is corrosion. Corrosion can lead to small holes in the roof. These will require a specialist contractor to fix, so keep an eye out for damage, and get it fixed before it becomes a large problem.


Flashings are added to the point where your roof is connected to things such as chimneys. They provide a waterproof seal at junctions and are the part of the roof which is most prone to deterioration. As with flat roofs, they are usually made from lead. Keep an eye out for deterioration and if it has begun to set in, get in touch with a professional contractor.

Depending on when your home was built, you will need to figure out which roofing type your home is fitted with. Once you know this, you can find out how it can be repaired.

This piece was written by Mark Enright, a writer for Beddard Roofing, specialist roofing contractors.

Note:  Anyone doing their own roof repair will need good fall safety protection. Don’t take a chance! pb