Roofing FAQs

Keay Roofing Services is delighted to answer your frequently asked roofing questions. If you have a question that we haven’t answered here please feel free to call us on 01753 358 267 or send us an email for advice from one of our roofing experts.

New Roofs

What are the most important things to consider when replacing or choosing a new roof?

Pitch: to determine what products you can use, determine the pitch of your roof. If you need help working out the pitch of your roof, give us a call.

Planning: you must make sure that the product you wish to use meets local planning requirements if applicable.

Weight: structural support may be required depending on which material you want to use for your new roof. Taking the weight of your chosen roof covering into account before making your final decision, can save you time and money. Slate is beautiful but very heavy.

How much does a new or replacement roof cost?

This depends on a variety of different factors such as size, complexity, location, product, fittings etc.

As an example, re-roofing a typical semi-detached property with clay tiles could cost anything between £3,500 and £5,500.

To get the best deal, get a range of quotes from several roofing companies and ensure you know exactly what you are being quoted for. If you like the look of a particular product for your new roof, don’t be afraid to ask for it.

What are the different types of roof covering?

There are many different types of roof coverings that are available to you, and all of them have designs and properties that are best for different styles of house. The main types of roof covering are:

  • Interlocking Tiles – Reduces the need for overlapping
  • Clay Tiles – Great for curves and intricate details
  • Stone Tiles – Thicker and more expensive than conventional tiles
  • Concrete Tiles – Vast range of colours and textures
  • Slate Tiles – Simple, economical, and widely available
  • Metal Roofing – Durable and adaptable
  • Thatched Roofing – Traditional and sustainable
  • Shingled Roofing – Rustic and can be aged

If my roof is leaking, do I need to get it completely replaced?

Just because your roof has a leak, does not mean it needs a complete re-fit. A leak usually stems from a loose, or broken roof tile. However, a complete roof system failure, or a generally unsafe roof, will need a complete re-fit.

What are the warning signs that my roof needs replacing?

There are quite a few different signs that your roof is on its last legs. If you believe your roof is showing any of these signs, then it’s time to call in the experts.

  • Your roof has not been replaced in 20-30 years, which is the average life of an asphalt shingle roof.
  • Your tiles or shingles are cupping (the shingles turn upwards) or clawing (the edges stay flat but the middle starts to turn upwards).
  • There are entire tiles or shingles missing from your roof.
  • There are roof granules in your gutter.
  • Your tiles or shingles are cracked.
  • Light is coming through your roof, and can be seen in your attic
  • The roof is sagging in an area, which could indicate a structural issue

Roof Repairs And Maintenance

How long will it take to re-slate my roof?

It really depends on how big the roof is. It could take up to three weeks on a standard semi-detached property.

Will I have to move out of my home while the roof is being repaired?

Only in very exceptional circumstances, such as when the roof is very structurally unsafe. Otherwise, you can stay at home.

How can I as a homeowner recognise when a roof system has problems?

Leaks are often the first sign that something is wrong. Make sure you inspect your roof and gutters twice a year. Look out for cracked, warped or missing shingles or excessive surface granules accumulating in the gutters – these can all be visible signs that your roof has a problem. Indoors you should look out for bubbled or peeling wallpaper, cracked paint, discoloured plasterboard or anything out of the norm. Remember, the longer you leave a problem the more expensive the solution is likely to be.

My roof is leaking; do I need to replace it entirely?

Not necessarily. A leak could result from loose sections where the roof system has been damaged. However, if the roof has been wrongly or badly installed or the choice of materials/roof system is inappropriate for the building and there is a complete roof system failure then the damage is likely to be irreversible and the entire roof system will need to be replaced.

Can I do work on my roof myself?

Most work should not be done by you. Even cleaning gutters can be dangerous. And please don’t use a jet wash to clear moss off your roof (it may not be dangerous for you but your tiles won’t like it). Professional roofing contractors should carry out most works as they are trained to safely and effectively repair or replace roofing systems. You could damage or further damage your roof by attempting to carry out the work yourself and possibly cause yourself injury doing so.

How long will my roofing system last?

Most new roofing systems are designed to be effective for around 20 years. Some roof types such as slate, clay tile and certain metals, can last even longer.

A number of factors determine the actual life span of a roof system. These include the local climate and environment, material quality and sustainability, whether there has been good maintenance and how the materials were installed/fitted. Make sure you take a close look at the warranties on the products offered by different roofing manufacturers.

I have woodworm in my roof. Will it need replacing?

We’d recommend replacing any areas of the roof that are particularly bad. Otherwise, we would treat it using safe products.

My roof is very old. If you remove the old tiles & discover a rotten frame, can you repair or replace this too?

If you have rot, it can often be treated. Otherwise, we’d replace any damaged timbers.

How can I remove moss or lichen from my roof?

Moss and lichen tend to flourish in rural areas where there are trees nearby and there are shady, damp conditions.

There are several methods for the removal of moss and lichen including spraying with a toxic wash, scraping or using copper wire. Before proceeding yourself with any remedial work to remove moss or lichen, it is recommended that you consult a professional. Please don’t use a jet wash yourself as the force of the water can damage your tiles.

What roofing underlay should I use?

There are many different types of underlay available to you and they can be split into two categories:

a) Non breathable (1F bitumen or plastic)

These include bituminous and impermeable plastic products, and are generally seen as the more affordable of the two types of underlay available. It may not give you the best ventilation for your roof but it will be an effective second barrier against any water penetration.

b) Breathable (vapour permeable or air open)

Generally more expensive than the non-breathable option, this type of underlay provides both a barrier against water penetration and the added benefit of ventilation for your roof. There are many different versions of breathable underlay, and you get advice before choosing one for your home.

Can I jet wash my roof?

High powered jet washes have the ability to damage your roofing tiles or slate by wearing away the surface layers. We here at Keay Roofing Services do not recommend jet washing your roof. If you’d like your roof professionally cleaned, gutters cleared and moss removed please contact us for help on 0800 1577424.

What should I do if I notice cracked tiles on my roof?

Cracked or broken tiles are unfortunately a common occurrence. When they do occur we recommend that they are removed and replaced as soon as possible to minimise damage to sub-structures. When replacing damaged tiles, it’s important to use tools such as cat ladders and crawl boards to spread out your weight so as not to damage any more tiles. We also recommend that you do not put yourself in any danger, so call a professional roofing service (like us!) to ensure your safety and that the job is done properly.

How do I stop my ridge tiles coming off in high winds?

At certain times of the year in Britain, winds speeds can reach around 60 miles an hour which can lead to ridge tiles coming loose and falling off. This is generally because the original mortar used to bed the tiles has weakened. Over time, this traditional form of bedding tends to weaken because of poor mortar mixes (bad mixture proportions), building movement, and environmental conditions such as wind and rain eroding the mortar. This weakened bed makes it easier for ridge tiles to become loose and even fall off in high winds.

Although we know what the problem is, it is hard to retrospectively reinforce the mortar behind a ridge tile. We usually recommend removing lose ridge tiles in order to repair and reinforce the mortar bed. Alternatively, you may want to consider removing all tiles, and replacing the traditional mortar bed with a maintenance-free dry ridge and hip system.

Building Controls

Do I need planning permission to re-roof my property?

In normal circumstances, it’s unlikely you’ll need planning permission to re-roof your house or to insert lights or skylights. The permitted development rules allow for alterations subject to the limitations and conditions below:

  • Any alteration to project no more than 150 millimetres from the existing roof plane.
  • No alteration to be higher than the highest part of the roof.
  • Side facing windows to be obscure-glazed; any opening to be 1.7m above the floor.
  • The permitted development regime for solar panels has different limits on projections and in relation to protected areas.

There are exceptions. If your house is within a conservation area or world heritage site, then there are stricter guidelines to follow.

Do I need to apply for building regulations for re-roofing?

You (or we on your behalf if you are using us) will need to submit a Building Regulations application form to your local authority if you are re-roofing more than a quarter of the roof area.

Flat Roofing

How many different kinds of roofing felt are there?

There are approximately twenty, ranging from basic Standard 2mm felt to High Performance Polyester 6mm cap sheets.

How long will a new felt roof last?

The quality of the material selected for the roof and which way the roof faces in relation to the sun will determine this. On average, most good systems will last 20 years.


Will you need to erect scaffolding?

Only when areas are unsafe for us to use our own equipment.

Vents fitted to soffits look really ugly, do you have to do this?

Building regulations state that eaves must be properly ventilated. We install discreet continuous vents above the fascias to help the aesthetics.

It feels like my gutters constantly need to be cleared of moss & debris. Can you make a gutter system maintenance free?

There are guttering systems available that can be fitted with covers to resolve this problem, just ask.

We’re always happy to take your call & give advice. Just call 01753 358 267.

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