Look up! How is your roofline fairing? Maintaining your property’s roofline is not something which ignites elation, yet, it is a very important aspect of preserving the integrity of your build.
Poorly maintained rooflines invite a whole host of problems for a home owner. Roof timbers can rot, guttering can leak onto brickwork and moisture can accumulate in the roof void. A tired roofline (the fascias and soffits) also has a drastic impact on the overall appearance of a residence. So if you are planning to invest in a new roofline then it is important to choose the right material for the job.
The choice is fundamentally between timber and PVC. Those who have already switched to PVC know that the installed costs of full replacement cellular PVC systems are now comparable to timber, and have major advantages in terms of maintenance costs and appearance.
The currently accepted life expectancy for PVC products within the construction industry is at least 35 years. It is unlikely that even the best external gloss paint currently available will last more than four years without requiring attention, and without this maintenance cycle a conventional timber roofline will soon fall into disrepair. When it does, ideally, the old timber boards should be completely removed and replaced with a new PVC fascia board. The board should be a minimum of 16mm thick in order for it to be capable of taking the weight of the lower row of tiles. Although capping boards are available and cost marginally less than a full replacement unit, they are only cosmetic and are not necessarily good value for money. There is always the risk that the original boards will carry on rotting beneath the capping board, a risk not worth taking.
Before beginning the refurbishment of your roofline it is imperative that you inspect the condition of the rafters and the roofing felt in particular. Roof tiles sit directly on top of the felt which, over time, can degrade and sever above the fascia. When this happens, the felt drops back and allows moisture into the roof structure causing unseen damage to occur in the form of rot.
In this case the degraded felt must be cut back and a damp proof material fitted under the exposed end of the felt. This should then properly dress down into the gutter to carry moisture away from under the tiles. Alternatively a rigid eaves protection system may be fitted. This sits on top of the fascia and supports the end of the old piece of roofing felt, completing the original function of the felt.