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How to fix a leaking conservatory roof

Sometimes conservatory roofs can leak, it may not be a constant problem, just an issue in bad weather but sourcing the cause of the leak is the first priority so you can work out how to fix a leaking conservatory roof.

This problem is not just confined to older-style conservatories but can occur in new builds which have not been properly installed.  Glazed or part-glazed conservatory roofs can be vulnerable because they are made up of multiple sections sealed together and each joint represents a potential vulnerability.

Conservatory Roof Replacement

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Common causes of leaks in a conservatory roof

Here are some of the common places where water can find its way in on a conservatory roof:-

  • The corners between the polycarbonate or glass panels
  • The point where the conservatory joins the house if the flashing is worn or compromised
  • Vents on a conservatory roof are another common point for leaks even though they are a desirable feature to improve internal air quality.  The seal can perish over time and the vents become worn or faulty
  • If you have a part solid roof with roof lights then the fitting can deteriorate over time and allow water to penetrate
  • Slipped roof panels so they no longer sit snugly in the roof frame
  • Damaged roof panels particularly after a storm or bad weather event if they have been hit by debris
  • Simple, inadequate installation even on a new conservatory
  • Faulty guttering due to damage or cracking just caused by age and wear and tear or something as simple as blocked guttering which over time, will not carry away the rainwater leading to possible ingress

The most common problem with older conservatories is simply age and wear and tear.  All roofing materials are subject to deterioration over time and conservatories attached to properties in more exposed locations will inevitably suffer more.

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How much will it cost to fix a leaking conservatory roof?

How long is a piece of string?  The answer to this depends wholly on the nature of the repair required and how extensive the problem is.  A small leak may cost a few hundred pounds – handy householders may even be able to fix this themselves – but a larger problem could leave you with a bill of several thousand – this is where the option of a new roof may become a serious consideration.

There are other factors which can affect the cost aside from the nature of the problem and this is the choice of materials used to effect a repair and whereabouts you live in the UK; trades and services are almost always more expensive in London and the South-East.

Don't delay the repair as this will likely make the matter worse and the bill will just continue to rise.  Find a reputable conservatory company and ask them to come out and give you an estimate for the work.  If the issue is storm damage caused by an extreme weather event, for instance, the branch of a tree falls across the roof and damages it, then you should be able to claim on your household insurance.  A loss adjuster appointed by the insurance company will need to assess the damage first and then you will usually be required to source two or three quotes for repair before the insurer will authorise the works to go ahead.  An insurance claim will also include any damage to the interior including water affecting furniture and other items.

Your conservatory may still be under warranty whether you installed it yourself after purchase of the house or inherited a still valid warranty at the point of sale.  The devil is always in the detail so it is always worth reading the small print and familiarising yourself with the warranty before a problem occurs otherwise you could be making a false assumption.

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The implications of a leaking conservatory roof

Water ingress even a small amount over time will cause damp and mould which can spread into the house and condensation problems within the conservatory itself.  Sometimes leaks can be very small over a prolonged period of time and may be hard to spot.  Leaks never get better, they only get worse.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to replace my conservatory roof?

This depends on how bad the leak or damage is and if the water ingress has been caused by a bad weather event or is just old age and wear or tear.  If the roof is beyond its useful life then replacement may be a good option as there could be more leaks to follow and it can be uneconomic to keep repairing them.  However, a leak caught early may just be a case of replacing one or two components like flashing or guttering, vents or roof panels.  It will also depend on how long the conservatory roof has been leaking for and what impact this has had.

Is wear and tear covered under buildings insurance?

No, ageing and natural deterioration is not something that you can claim for but damage caused by storms or freak events will usually be covered by a buildings insurance policy.  The conservatory needs to be covered under your buildings policy which will be the case if the conservatory was already there when you bought the house but if you add the conservatory yourself then remember to also add it to your buildings insurance.

The answer to how to fix a leaking conservatory roof is quickly before the damage gets worse.  It is possible that you can at least find the leak yourself but equally, if the problem has been there for a while then an installer may need to trace the source for you.  Finding the leak will give a clear indication of the remedial work required and what the final cost will be.  Make sure that you use a reputable company who can give you a guarantee on their work and materials; you don’t have to go back to the original installer unless the conservatory is still under warranty.