Roof replacement

A roof replacement offers several benefits such as adding value to your home and giving you peace of mind.

On the other hand, you could opt for a roof restoration which repairs your roof back to its original state.

There are several signs that you might need a new roof, such as water leakage, sagging and clogged gutters. For some types of roofs, you’ll have to apply for new roof planning permission as well as conforming to building regulations.

What is re-roofing?

Re-roofing is the task of replacing a damaged roof or part of it due to it being beyond repair. This is normally to prevent the damage leading to costly issues occurring such as damp areas, water leakages and clogged gutters.

Re-roofing is completely safe and should be carried out if repairing the roof isn’t possible. A new roof will usually take around one week to complete, depending on several factors.

Firstly, the size of the roof will be the largest element dictating the amount of materials and labour needed to complete the job. If you’re planning to carry out a roof replacement on a garage, it might only take two or three days. However, a new roof on a large house may take closer to two weeks or longer if there’s also a loft conversion involved.

A roof replacement has several benefits which can be both financially and emotionally advantageous. Firstly, a new roof offers peace of mind that an older roof can’t. If you’re worried about the potential of water ingress or other roof-related issues, a roof replacement will make those issues extremely unlikely to occur.

A new roof will also add value to your home, as well as making it more aesthetically pleasing. Depending on the size of your house and the materials you use, re-roofing your home should add between £2,500 – 5,000 on average.

What is roof restoration?

Roof restoration is the process of restoring a roof to its previous state, or in other words a roof repair. It’s wise to carry out a roof restoration on a damaged roof if it’s still within its expected lifespan. If it’s coming towards the end, a roof replacement might be the most cost-efficient solution.

There are many benefits of restoring your roof. Repairing your roof is much quicker than constructing a new roof, which will help to immediately halt any issues that you’re facing. Normally, roof restorations can be completed within three days or less.

A roof restoration also ensures that your home is as energy efficient as possible, due to the constantly evolving technologies that prevent heat loss such as vacuum glass for skylights. Some professional roofers offer a warranty with a new roof, and a roof restoration will help to keep it valid. Depending on the extent of the damage, a roof restoration normally costs between £700 and £1,500.

What are the signs that my roof should be replaced?

There are many signs that might indicate that it’s time for a roof replacement. Experts recommend that you should check your roof at least once per year for the issues listed below. This will help to prevent any serious damage occurring to your roof before it can be rectified.

Use the table below as a roof replacement health checklist:

Roofing issue Explanation
Damp areas Evidence that water from the roof is penetrating the walls of your property, potentially weakening them in severe cases. Moisture can build-up resulting in unsightly mould.
Water leakage Capable of causing structural damage to your roof, water leakage can be the cause of many other issues and should be immediately rectified once identified.
Sagging Evidence that the internal structure of the roof (normally made from wood) has been compromised and can no longer support the exterior surface effectively.
Moss or mould growth Not only is it an eyesore, but moss and mould growth could be a sign of more serious issues such as water leakage and damp spots on your walls.
Visible outside light If your roof has formed holes and cracks due to excess wear and tear, one of the most obvious signs is seeing outside light shining through into your roof space.
Damaged flashings Flashings are used to protect vulnerable parts of the roof such as the valleys and chimneys. If they’re damaged, it could cause water leakage into the interior.
Clogged gutters Water is unable to properly drain away from your home and can lead to excess build up resulting in water ingress.

What are the different types of roofing materials?

There are many types of roofing that you should consider when planning a roof replacement, each with its own pros and cons. This is one of the most important decisions you will make during the planning process of a new roof as it will have long-lasting effects on your home.

Here’s a rundown of the most popular roofing materials in the UK:

Tiles

Ideal for: Pitched roofs

The most popular choice of roofing material, roofing tiles have been around for thousands of years. They can be made from many different compounds, including metal, clay, slate, and concrete – making them highly versatile. They’re also extremely cost-effective to replace.

Lead

Ideal for: Pitched roofs

Lead roofing is known as an aesthetically pleasing option when planning a new roof installation. Lead roofing is also recyclable, meaning that eco-conscious homeowners can get a new roof while also protecting the environment. It’s also extremely durable against all types of weather.

Roofing felt

Ideal for: Flat roofs

The most affordable roofing material on the market, roofing felt can be used as a protective layer between your roof’s internal structure and the outer layer, or as a roofing material in its own right. While roofing felt offers waterproof protection to your roof, it can be easily damaged and doesn’t last long compared to other materials.

EPDM rubber

Ideal for: Flat roofs

Fast becoming one of the most popular roofing materials of professional roofers, EPDM rubber is an affordable solution to protect your roof. EPDM rubber is extremely easy to maintain and friendly to the environment. Most rubber membranes are 100% recyclable and are made from the likes of car tyres and sealants.

GRP fibreglass

Ideal for: Flat roofs

One of the more premium roofing materials, GRP fibreglass has an extremely long lifespan of 30 years or more. The biggest benefit of the material is that it can be moulded so it doesn’t have any seams, reducing the possibility of holes forming and leaks occurring.

Zinc roofing

Ideal for: Flat roofs

Zinc roofing can be effortlessly shaped to suit the form of any building, as well as being rust resistant. However, there are some disadvantages of zinc roofing, such as its high cost and noise generated during adverse weather conditions. Also, the lack of weight can jeopardise the zinc roofing structure in severe wind.

Are there any permits and planning required?

Building regulations

Building regs for new roofs will be needed in some instances but will generally be taken care of by the professional roofer that’s carrying out your roof replacement. They’ll conduct checks and plan to ensure that the new roof will adhere to all existing building regulations.

According to Planning Portal, pitched and flat roofs won’t require you to submit a building control application if:

  • Less than 25 per cent of the total ‘building envelope’ (walls, floor, roof, windows, door, roof windows and roof-lights) is affected; and
  • Less than 50 per cent of the roof is affected

However, seek approval if:

  • You exceed the limits stated above (in which case there may also be further considerations that could require work to the entire roof, such as ensuring the thermal insulation is sufficient).
  • You carry out structural alterations.
  • The performance of any new covering will be significantly different to that of the existing covering in the event of a fire.
  • You use a new covering material which increases the weight of the roof covering by 15 per cent or more.

Planning permission

There’s also the potential to require planning permission for a new roof. Generally, if you’re carrying out a like-for-like roof replacement, it’s unlikely that you would need to seek planning permission. This is because the structure of the roof is ultimately remaining the same.

If you were to swap a flat roof for a pitched roof, for example, you may have to apply for planning permission due to it causing potential changes in the surrounding area and there may be structural considerations that need to be taken into account.

Extra work such as a new roof loft conversion will always require planning permission. It’s always wise to check if you need new roofing planning permission with your local authority before you begin work.

What roof jargon should I be aware of?

Being aware of roofing jargon will give you a better understanding of the language behind new roof installations. It will enable you to speak to a professional roofer on their terms and without getting left behind.

Below are the most used roofing-specific words and phrases that you might hear or read about.

Roofing jargon buster

Roofing jargon Definition
Batten A secure frame used to fasten the roofing materials to the structure.
Dormer Typically a window that vertically protrudes from the roof.
Drip edge A preventative metal flashing that stops water getting under the roof.
Eaves The section of the roofing that overhangs the wall of the house.
EPDM A type of synthetic rubber used in a variation of roofing works.
Fascias The supporting UPVC that keeps guttering in position.
Flashing A protective metal layer that prevents water ingress at meeting points.
Flat roof A visually horizontal roof that actually has a slope of up to 10 degrees.
Gutter A plastic trough on the side of the roofing used to collect rainwater.
Pitched roof A roof with steep, sloping sides that meet at the peak.
Rafter Typically wooden beams that form the structure of the roof.
Ridge The point of a pitched roof where both sloping sides meet.
Hip A roof structure with all four sides sloping and no vertical sides.
Sheathing Roof decking made from plywood boards to strengthen the roof.
Shingle A flat, overlapping roofing material widely used on modern homes.
Slate A traditional roofing material made from natural rock.
Truss Wooden framework that provides support to the roof.
Underlay A protective layer between the roof and the insulation.
Valley The point where two slopes meet, normally at the corner.
Void The space between the ceiling and the roof’s surface.

Roof replacement FAQ

Should I hire a professional to replace my roof?

If you decide it’s time to replace your roof, then My Local Toolbox recommends that you seek a professional roofer to carry out the job. A professional roofer will have undertaken this kind of project on many occasions, and their experience will be invaluable.

If you attempt to carry out the new roof replacement on your own and fail, it could lead to more issues and an increased cost to correct in the future.

Professional roofers will also be able to take on more complicated projects, such as loft conversions and replacing roof insulation.

What are the signs my roof may need replacing?

Keep an eye out for the signs listed below. If you see any of these there’s a good chance your roof may need at least repairing, possibly even replacing.

  • Missing tiles
  • Cracks or blistering on flat roofs
  • Damp areas
  • Water leakage
  • Sagging
  • Moss or mould growth
  • Visible outside light
  • Damaged flashings
  • Clogged gutters

If you’re unsure, contact a local professional to help diagnose your problem. They’ll be able to recommend the best course of action to help prevent further damage to your home.

What are the benefits of retiling my roof?

There are several benefits of retiling your roof, such as:

  • Boosting the layer of protection that your roof gives your home
  • Making your home warmer due to the brand-new materials and sealants
  • Avoids time looking into building regulations and planning permission

The main benefit is that it adds an increased layer of protection to your home. As a roof gets older, holes and cracks can start appearing due to wear and tear. This is especially the case in the varied British climate, where it rains often throughout the year.

Over time, bad weather wears down roof tiles making your roof more susceptible to water leakages and other issues. Retiling your roof prevents these issues from occurring and the potential costly damage that results from them.

Retiling your roof will also make your home warmer due to those tiles with holes and cracks being replaced with brand new tiles. This reforms the protective seal that your roof provides which better prevents heat from leaving your home.

Also, retiling avoids having to investigate the building regs for a new roof and planning permission. This saves a lot of time and money as your project can begin right away without having to wait for the local authorities to give you the green light.

Thinking about getting your roof replaced and need some more information? Head over to our roofing page to find everything you need to know in one place. If you’re researching the potential cost of a roof replacement, then our new roof cost guide  will help you out.

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