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  • Alun Carter

Maintenance Tips - March

Updated: Apr 10, 2020

Blog objective: To help provide you the homeowner with a regular property inspection checklist. If used this can help you identify required repairs and maintenance early and thus keep the work relatively quick and simple, and thus avoid big bills. The aim is to give you a more informed idea of what to look out for. If you are a reasonably competent DIYer you may carry out the work. However, if you do not have the time, inclination, tools or expertise to do so then it is highly recommended you seek experienced help. If you do seek help hopefully this blog will help you better understand the work to be done and enable you to better communicate with your tradesmen.

Disclaimer: Because our houses vary considerably in their architecture, structure, materials and are in very varied climatic regions this blog can in no way be taken to cover all aspects of residential repairs and maintenance. It is only intended as a guide and not a definitive works. In addition, it is you the homeowner’s responsibility to ensure that all work undertaken by either yourself, or another, complies with the New Zealand Building code, Local Building Regulations, follows manufacturers and trades best practice and is of an acceptable workmanship. When you are inspecting your property, it is your responsibility to do so in a safe manner. If in doubt stop and get experienced advice and or help.

Well the weather appears to be cooling with a little bit of rain about - a real relief for the gardens. From now on in we are going into our wetter season and therefore it is a good time to check on the condition of our roofs. Roofs are very often neglected by homeowners, why? I suppose out of sight out of mind. However, they are critical to keeping our homes dry and they do have to survive some pretty harsh conditions. They can endure extreme temperature ranges (50C to sub-zero), very high rainfall, high snow loads, very high winds, and corrosive environments from the likes of salt, lichen, moss and bird droppings.

The first thing when looking at a roof is to look at the general condition of the roof itself. The first place to do this from is the ground and look whether there is any sagging to the roof which may indicate there are issues with the roof structure itself. If there is sagging, then it is best to seek expert advice.

The next step is to have a closer look at the roof. This normally requires using a ladder to access the roof. Remember to be safe when doing this. Importantly have someone else give you a hand so they can hold the ladder or get help if you get into trouble. Preferably, if possible, tie the top of the ladder off to the roof structure and be careful not to damage any guttering. If walking on the roof wear soft soled shoes with good grip. Do not walk on wet roofs they can be extremely slippery. Walk along the fixing lines of the roofing and do not stand on translucent roofing.

So what are you looking for:

1) Is there any buckling, missing, dented, broken, torn or other physically damaged roofing?

2) Are there any loose or missing fixings?

3) Is there visible, or evidence of, water ponding?

4) Is there any corrosion of materials?

a. White or red rusting of metal roofing, valleys, ridges and barges.

b. Pitting of aluminium

5) Has there been any movement of roofing resulting in not enough material overlaps?

6) Has any of the flashing deteriorated, been damaged, or lifting?

a. Lead and rubber type roof fixing seals.

b. Flashings to ridge and barge.

c. Flashings around roof penetrations such a chimney, plumbing, and skylights.

7) Is there worn, scratched, cracked, flaking to painted or coated surfaces?

8) Do metal roof tiles have significant loss of stone chip?

9) Is there moss or lichen present?

10) With sheet membrane roofing

a. does the roof feel springy or spongy?

b. Are lapped joints lifting

c. Timber substrates nail or screw fixings popping (seen prominent through membrane)

d. Membrane has bubbles underneath

e. Membrane splitting or cracking

11) With clay and concrete roof tiles is there any loose or missing mortar to ridge and hip tiles?

These should give you an idea of what you are looking for when you are inspecting your roof. Remember we have included photos of more serious cases to make it easier for you to see. If you do find anything like this or are uncertain if that is how it should be or not sure what to do next then do seek more experienced help.


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