Covering your overheads

by Andy Bryenton

If your home is your biggest asset, then the protection for that asset is what protects it from the elements — your roof. Taking care of what’s overhead is of vital importance, but how do you choose the right path when it comes to restoration, renovation or a full replacement?

It’s a whole other world up there, and most homeowners never venture on to their roof. There’s a good reason for this, as a fall from a ladder or the roof itself can be extremely dangerous. It’s worth taking precautions and getting assistance from a mate to assess conditions up there safely. Repairs and restorations now may stop leaks developing when the rain inevitably comes.

Take a good look at the condition of materials. Concrete tiles can become weathered and porous, with many small holes. Metal can rust, and in extreme cases rust through. Mortar can crumble, silicone sealants degrade, and flashings and pointings (the detail work that binds tiles or plates of iron together) can also deteriorate.

If things are looking good, it may be possible to remove algae, moss and other filth to give your roof a new lease on life.

Organic contaminants can eat away at your roof over time, so treating them with an approved substance from your hardware store can be a great preventative. Remember to uncouple the feed to your water tank when washing the roof with chemicals. If things have progressed a little further than you can handle alone, a restoration and recoating may be just the thing. Many companies offer these services, which work best on roofs with weathering and ageing but no critical leaks and holes. If there are loose tiles or problematic panels, having a professional roofer tidy things up first can make all the difference. A good resurfacing can add a decade or more of life to your roof — but only if it’s within the boundaries of possibility.

If your roof is rusty all over, has cracked concrete tiles, or has existing leaks that are penetrating to the interior of the house, it’s time to consider a complete replacement. It’s a big investment, but one, which can guarantee the integrity of your home for decades to come. If there’s any doubt that resurfacing and repairs may be impossible, get a professional opinion, or better yet, two.

Summertime is the season to undertake roofing tasks, as good weather is a requirement when the roof is taken off.

The good news? Even if extreme measures and a new roof are needed, it’s the perfect time to install fresh insulation, or even to run internally reticulated tubing for ventilation, air-con and extractor fans.