General roof problems

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Chat' started by blakeyboy, Mar 21, 2008.

  1. Right, I have no clue of how to describe all of this but I'll try my best...

    Situation was last sunday morning I was woken up by a rather large drip in the corner of my bedroom ceiling. I ventured into the loft and it appears that I have no felt lining underneath my roof tiles and a gap between where my roof ends and where it joins my house. The wood is fine but the loft is like a wind tunnel and this is affecting the heat in my main bedroom.

    I am aware that some old proprties were not originally fitted with a lining but from further inspection it looks like the div who lived in my house before has taken it out for some strange reason. I, of course, can only summise, but am lead to believe this as there is a slight overhang of felt from next door that looks to have been hacked at with something to cut it away and water has come through from their side.

    Firstly I'm not sure how to go about fixing this and the best solution, and secondly I know nothing about roof stuff and with bad weather coming this weekend I'm slightly anxious

    Help appreciated...
  2. Cornet Nev.

    Cornet Nev. Member

    I can only suggest finding a reputable roofing expert as doing anything to any roof means being out on top of it. For a none expert as yourself, a dangerous place to be perhaps.
  3. NeilW

    NeilW Member

    Bucks/Oxon borders, UK
    From your description it sounds like next door may have been re-roofed and the put felt under the tiles. Of course they didn't extend it under your roof, so it would look like a cut edge.

    Usually where the slates/tiles meet a wall there is either a lead flashing (which is what is getting stolen, at least round here, for scrap) or a fillet of sand and cement mortar which closes the gap. Of course mortar ages and cracks away from either the roof or wall and leaks.

    Another alternative is that next door have got a leak, and it is running down their felt and dripping onto your side. Have a good look for broken/slipped roof on both houses with a pair of binoculars.

    I would, however, concur with Cornet Nev's advice and get a roofer to fix it: its a long way to fall!
  4. geordiecolin

    geordiecolin Active Member

    Hetton-le-Hole, Tyne and Wear
    Sounds like you may have lost bit of verge?? Roofer should be able to fix that reasonably easily, cheaply and quickly.
  5. The problem is definitely on the inside of the roof, the outside is fine on my side of the roof apart from the gap between my roof and the brickwork.

    More advice is welcomed though...
  6. on_castors

    on_castors Member

    I am puzzled why there would BE a gap between the roof and the brickwork
    Such gaps are normally filled with lead flashings or cement fillets at least.

    You are referring to brickwork that is above the level of the roof, but between your house and the next one? Like a small wall, with some sort of coping stone on it? (Some houses are built this way, some just join on seamlessly with the next house in a pair or in a terrace.

    If the house is older, it may never have had felt. In the past, roofs were underlined with sarking, a bit like mortar or plaster, with animal hair mixed in to stick the slates or tiles down and cut down the leaks and draughts. Newer stuff does have felt (called sarking felt, naturally enough), but it is mainly a second line of defence, and I have lived in old houses where the sarking has dropped off years before, and had no leaks at all, even in fairly high winds and snow!

    It may be that next door has been re-roofed and the raggy edge is where the new felt has been finished off, and as mentioned, it is even possible that if that was poorly laid, it is allowing seepage to leak into your roof space!
    As NeilW says, the flashings around chimney stacks or roof valleys are common places for leaks to happen, and they SHOULD have lead, or if mortar have lead "soakers" inside, but even lead gets old and sags or gets pinholes eventually (I have seen it, but have NO idea how this actually happens, it sounds just impossible!)

    If your side IS OK, and if the source of the leak IS from next door, it is possible that if could be considered a "Statutory Nuisance," and the council MAY be able to take action to get them to put it right, but first things first, you need it looking at and need to talk to the neighbour first too.

    Old felt-free roofs ARE like wind tunnels, the benefit of this is, it stops the timbers rotting!
    Insulation is put above the ceiling, and the loft space is MEANT to be cold! You DEFINITELY need that looking at if the house is cold, apart from anything else, it is very cost effective to uprate loft insulation
  7. Thanks everyone, I've taken some advice from some mates in the trade and they've pretty much said the same thing and advised me that if I need a hand getting it sorted out they'll give me a dig out or at least recommend one of their trade mates they regularly use to help out.

    Thanks again, I feel a bit better, its strange how you frek out when its your first house not knowing what to do. I just didn't want to wake up one morning with no roof and no ceiling. :clap:
  8. omega56

    omega56 Member


    MY OH MY this website is amazing ! roofing repairs, car repairs, computer fault diagnoses its all here folks !:D
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