Earlier this year, we suffered the worst natural disaster in history, after heavy and sustained rainfall caused a series of floods along the east coast, killing 22 people, destroying thousands of homes and costing over $5.2bn
Brisbane recorded 676.8mm of rainfall over a 3 day period breaking the previous record of 600.4mm in 1974. This is equal to 80% of the city’s annual rainfall.
One aspect of this event, which has not been widely discussed, is the realisation that many people simply expect their roof to keep them safe, but have no regular maintenance program to help it do its job. Your roof takes a beating from the harsh Australian conditions every day, from wind, hail, rain and shine.
While ageing is part of a roofs lifespan, some defects from ageing will require attention to maintain its structural integrity and extend its lifespan.
Here are 6 signs you should look for…
#1 – RUST OR LOOSE SCREWS ON METAL ROOVES
Corrosion is a common sign that the roof is deteriorating and missing nails or loose screws allow the roof sheets to lift up
#2 – CRACKED OR LOOSE TILES
Broken/cracked or missing tiles need to be replaced to avoid leaks. Often old tiles will have lost their protective coating and the tiles become brittle.
#3 – DEGRADATION OF POINTING AND RIDGE CAPPING
Older tiles rooves often suffer from issues when the capping or bedding is weak or broken. If not addressed, rain can easily seep through the gaps or the capping can be blown off. Rebedding and repointing will provide strength and protection to a tile roof.
#4 – DAMAGED FLASHINGS
Roof flashing is a thin membrane which stops water from entering into roof holes for windows, skylights, vents or chimneys. When they’re damaged or missing, water can easily leak through the opening.
#5 – BLOCKED GUTTERS OR VALLEYS
Leaves, branches and other debris can easily clog up your roof. When it does, it causes water to pool and lead to water leaks inside.
#6 – ROOF SAGGING
Roof leaks are usually the result of months or years of conditions where the roofing system has been under pressure, but hasn’t received any love and attention. This becomes evident with rotting timber leading to sagging ridge lines
Internally, discolouration marks indicate mould mildew or fungus is forming and apart from the health issues it causes, it’s telling us that the protective outer layer of the roof is compromised and with the indication that we’re moving into another period of high rainfall, now is the time to get prepared. Having said that, we don’t suggest that you get on your roof to carry out this inspection, unless you really know what you’re doing. As rooves get older, tiles and gutters can give way and metal rooves can be very slippery.