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Roofing maintenance and repairs


Spotting roofing problems early can save you a fortune. Here are some of the telltale warning signs to look out for and how much you should expect to pay for repairs.

Roofing contractor Gary Harrison on a roof

Roofing maintenance and repairs


Roof types

Most houses have pitched (raised) roofs covered in tiles or slate.

  • Tiles are commonly made out of cement or clay. Cement tiles should last 40-50 years and are about 70p each. Clay tiles last longer but are about £1.20 each. 
  • Slate is hard-wearing but rarely used because it's expensive. More slates than tiles are needed due to how they overlap. Reclaimed slates are cheaper.


Many outbuildings and garages, and some extensions, have flat roofs. Felt is the most common covering but newer materials such as fibreglass and PVC are now used.


What you should look for

Spotting these early warning signs can prevent more expensive problems.

Tiled roofs

  • Damp or leaks may signal a cracked or slipped tile.
  • If a tile has blown off, it should be replaced quickly to prevent water from penetrating the felt underneath. Also, more tiles can be dislodged in high winds if there is one missing.

Flat roofs

  • Cracks or splits round the edges.
  • Sagging – as water builds up boards can break under the weight.
  • Damp patches on the ceiling – the roof may have a tear.


Stand back and check your flat roof from the ground periodically. If you spot uneven lumps, repairs may be needed.

Roof repairs

An experienced DIYer may be able to fix small problems on one-storey buildings.

Cleaning out gutters at lower levels will allow water to flow away, but most jobs are best left to professionals.

If you do go up a ladder, have someone with you and make sure the ladder is secure.

Find a recommended roofer in your area


How much you should pay

Scaffolding

A property's height shouldn’t affect price much. If scaffolding is needed, it costs more.

Get advice from at least three roofing contractors on what needs doing and what it might cost.

This is what you should expect to pay for some of the most common jobs:

Small roofing jobsTypical cost
These guide prices include labour and materials but exclude VAT.
Clean gutters – front and back£40-£75
Replace one to six broken or missing tiles£50-£95
Replace a ridge tile (along top)£40-£50
Replace about six ridge tiles£100-£150


Replacing a whole roof is only necessary when tiles have deteriorated beyond repair – if they’re crumbly or porous they won’t keep water out.

New roofsTypical cost
These guide prices include labour and materials but exclude VAT.
New tiled roof on an average three-bed house£4,500-£7,000
New flat roof on a typical 6m x 3m single garage£840-£1,150

Annual roof surveys

It's a good idea to have your roof and gutters inspected each year. Some contractors do this free of charge – ask in advance whether there will be a charge.


About our expert trader

Roofer Gary Harrison and colleagues

Our expert: Gary Harrison and colleagues

Gary Harrison is a recommended roofing contractor who serves domestic customers in and around the Middlesbrough area.

Gary Harrison Roofing Ltd received a regional Which? Local Business of the Year award in 2012 and 2013. 

Customers have praised the business for supplying helpful advice and thorough quotes for all types of roofing work.

Read reviews for Gary Harrison Roofing Ltd