The purpose of a house is to protect your family and property from the elements. A major part of this is the roof. Any good roof should be able to handle UV, hail, moisture, torrential rains and vigorous storms.
Your local council will also have peculiar requirements for your area. My neighbour built a new house ( we live rurally just north of Sydney ) and had many bushfire regulations to comply with that included specifications for their metal roof and guttering. One of these was a guttering system that would not fill with leaves, and they wanted easy maintenance too. This was handled with a leaf guard.
Major roof work is always going to be costly, and everyone wants to save money on these jobs. So what should you consider when you need to get a roof ?
1) Your Location
If it’s likely that you need to re-roof your house, or you are building a new house, the first thing to consider is your location. What materials are available to you in your area, what are the best for your location, and which will suit the structure of your roof ?
- Slate and tile are Sydney’s most popular roofs yet you would be hard pressed to not find an attached metal roof with them also. A combination often suits, but you should find out the properties of each, and get a roofer who deals with all materials so that everything will work correctly together.
- A metal roof has the advantage of lasting 40 – 50 years, and requires less wooden structure than for tile and slate. This is an advantage for bushfire areas, as the woodwork is less dense ( but nothing is really 100% safe ).
2) A Good Inspection
Roofs are generally out of sight and out of mind, but not when you are purchasing a new home. If you have someone inspect it or you are doing it yourself, get a pair rubber soled boots or shoes and a safe ladder of course and make your own inspection. Look for any dips or irregular lines, which could indicate a structural problem. Check for loose tiles and any that may have fallen to the ground. Metal roofs have their own indicators like rust, too many bends and poor workmanship. A sure sign that care hasn’t been taken is poor placement of roof screws which should be lined up straight. Roof Sheets placed irregularly is a sign of hasty placement and future leaks.
No matter what your roof type, it pays to know what your roof is made up of, and then to maintain it preventing future problems. Start by checking the gutter. You can find holes by flooding it with water. Do this slowly, because you also need to check if the gutter is frail, in shich case a tremendous amount of water will collapse it and cause water to go into the house. A strong gutter can be very useful, as it can be flooded to support a sprinkler system on your roof in case of fire.
The addition of whirlybirds and vents to a roof will prevent moisture problems, which is important for older houses. We, as roofers, sometimes get calls for rising damp problems and a percentage of these could have been prevented with a roof that allowed airflow.
3) Emergency Repair Kits
I really good idea I was given by a friend, is to have an emergency roof repair kit. This includes a large tarpaulin, plastic sheeting, hammer and long nails, duct tape, an industrial stapler and staples, medium ladder and a harness or a rope. Just these average items can hold the fort in an emergency, until the emergency service comes, and a roofer can fix the problem properly later.
To learn more about home roofing, or if you need ideas or advice, contact us !