Roof Pointing: A Clear Explanation of What It Is and Why It Matters

Roof pointing is a process that involves applying a second layer of mortar to the roof tiles. This layer helps to create a stronger hold for the tiles, which in turn helps to prevent water and dust from entering the roof. Traditionally, cement mortar was used for roof pointing, but in recent times, flexible pointing compounds have become more popular.

Roof pointing is an essential part of maintaining the integrity of a roof. Over time, the mortar that holds the tiles in place can become damaged, which can cause the tiles to become loose and allow water and dust to enter the roof. By applying a new layer of mortar, roof pointing helps to ensure that the tiles remain firmly in place and that the roof remains watertight.

If you are considering having your roof pointed, it is important to choose a professional who has experience in this area. They will be able to assess the condition of your roof and recommend the best course of action. By choosing a professional, you can be confident that your roof will be properly maintained and that it will continue to provide reliable protection for your home or business.

Understanding Roof Pointing

Pointing refers to the second layer that goes over the roof bedding. It helps to create a much stronger hold for the ridge tiles by bonding them to the roof, while also sealing the roof against dust and water. In the past, cement mortar was commonly used for pointing. However, more recently, flexible pointing compounds have been used.

The process of pointing a roof involves mixing cement, sand, and water to create a mortar mix, which is then applied to the roof tiles. The mortar mix is then spread evenly over the tiles, filling in any gaps or cracks that may be present. Once the mortar has dried, it provides a strong and durable seal that helps to prevent water from seeping through the roof.

The Importance of Roof Pointing

Roof pointing plays a vital role in protecting the roof from water damage. Without proper pointing, water can seep through the gaps between the tiles and into the roof structure. Over time, this can lead to leaks, which can cause significant damage to the roof and the interior of the building. By creating a tight seal between the tiles, roof pointing helps to prevent water from entering the roof, ensuring that it remains dry and structurally sound.

Weather conditions can also have a significant impact on the roof’s health. Heavy rain, strong winds, and extreme temperatures can all take their toll on the roof structure. Roof pointing can help to protect the roof from these weather conditions, ensuring that it remains strong and stable for years to come.

It is essential to have roof pointing inspected regularly to ensure that it is in good condition. If there are any cracks or gaps in the pointing, it is a clear indication that the roof requires repointing. Loose structures such as the brickwork above, damp surfaces on the masonry, and even signs of water infiltration on the interior walls may also indicate the need for repointing.

Materials Used in Roof Pointing

The most common materials used in roof pointing include:

  • Cement Mortar Mix: This is a mixture of cement, sand, and water that is used to bind the roof tiles and create a strong hold. Cement mortar mix is a traditional material used in roof pointing, but it has been replaced by flexible pointing compounds in recent times due to its lack of flexibility.

     

  • Flexible Pointing Compounds: These are modern materials used in roof pointing that are more flexible than cement mortar mix. They are made of a blend of acrylic or silicone and sand, and they offer better flexibility and durability than cement mortar mix. Flexible pointing compounds are available in a range of colours to match the roof tiles.

     

The Process of Roof Pointing

The process of roof pointing typically involves the following steps:

  1. Inspection: Before starting the roof pointing process, a visual inspection is carried out to identify any cracks or gaps in the pointing, loose structures such as the brickwork above, damp surfaces on the masonry, and even signs of water infiltration on the interior walls. This inspection helps to determine whether the roof requires repointing or rebedding.

     

  2. Preparation: Once the inspection is complete, the roof is cleaned to remove any debris, dirt, or moss that may have accumulated on the surface. This is done to ensure that the pointing material adheres well to the roof surface.

     

  3. Repointing: The pointing material is then applied to the roof surface using a pointing trowel. The pointing material is applied in a thin layer over the top of the bedding and is then smoothed out to create a strong seal.

     

  4. Finishing: Once the pointing material has been applied, it is left to dry for a few hours. Once it has dried, any excess pointing material is removed, and the roof is cleaned to remove any remaining debris.

     

Repointing is the process of replacing the pointing, while rebedding is the process of replacing the bedding. The bedding is typically made of cement mortar, which was also commonly used for the pointing. It is recommended that roof pointing should be carried out every 20-30 years, depending on the type of pointing material used and the condition of the roof.

Signs of Roof Pointing Damage

Here are some signs that your roof pointing may be damaged:

Cracks

One of the most common signs of damaged roof pointing is cracks. These can occur due to age, weathering, or poor workmanship. Cracks can allow water to seep through, leading to leaks and potential structural damage.

Loose or Missing Tiles

Another sign of damaged roof pointing is loose or missing tiles. This can occur due to poor installation or age. Loose or missing tiles can allow water to seep through, leading to leaks and potential structural damage.

Efflorescence

Efflorescence is a white deposit that forms on brickwork due to water including dissolved salts rising to the surface. This can be a sign of water damage caused by damaged roof pointing.

Dampness

Dampness is a common sign of roof pointing damage. This can occur due to water seeping through cracks or gaps in the pointing. Dampness can lead to mould growth, which can be a health hazard.

Structural Damage

If left untreated, roof pointing damage can lead to structural damage. This can occur due to water seeping through cracks and gaps in the pointing, leading to rot and decay in the roof structure.

The Role of Professionals in Roof Pointing

Roof pointing is an essential process that requires the expertise of a professional roofer. The professional’s role is to ensure that the roof is in excellent condition and that the pointing is done correctly to prevent any leaks or damage to the roof.

A professional roofing company has the necessary skills and experience to determine the best type of pointing material to use for a particular roof. They can also advise on the best time to carry out the pointing process, taking into account factors such as weather conditions and the age of the roof.

When it comes to the actual roof pointing process, a professional will ensure that the old pointing material is removed entirely before applying the new material. They will also ensure that the new pointing material is applied evenly and thoroughly to avoid any weak points in the roof.

It’s really important to hire a professional for roof pointing because they have the necessary tools and equipment to carry out the job efficiently and safely. They are also familiar with the health and safety regulations that need to be followed when working at height.

Maintenance and Long-Term Care

Regular maintenance is essential for the longevity and durability of a roof. Wear and tear due to weather conditions and natural ageing can cause damage to the roof. Loose mortar and cracked tiles can lead to leaks and dampness, which can cause further damage to the roof and the structure of the building. Therefore, it is important to have a professional roofing service inspect the roof periodically to identify any issues and carry out necessary repairs.

Overall, regular maintenance and care can prevent costly repairs and increase the longevity of the roof. It is important to have a professional roofing service inspect the roof periodically to identify any issues and carry out necessary repairs.