It’s hard to overstate the importance of a solid roof to a structure, but let’s try: the roof is the most important thing in the history of buildings, ever. Ok, so that might be a stretch, but it’s not that much of a stretch.
The basic function of the roof is to protect the building (and its inhabitants) from the elements, be they rain, snow, wind, sun, dust, you name it. In our work, we often see what happens when a roof is compromised. As soon as water is able to penetrate the building envelope, the condition of the interior deteriorates rapidly: water trickling down party walls causes bricks to erode and plaster to crumble. These bits then accumulate on soaked floorboards, which themselves sit on water-logged (and therefore rot-prone) joists. After a decade or so, you’ve got a pile of mush surrounded by brick walls.