The most common type of roofing used in Auckland houses is galvanised or coated steel, followed by coated metal and concrete tiles.
Some maintenance tasks are common to all types of roof; others are specific to the particular roof type. Some tasks will need to be completed more often if you live close to the sea or in a geothermal area. Flashings may not last as long as the roof so they will require more maintenance. Anything that penetrates the roof, such as pipes, flues or fixings, needs special care to ensure weather tightness.
Once a year you should check your roof cladding, chimneys and flashings by getting up on to the roof. This means using a ladder. Use your ladder safely. Do not work on a wet roof. Falling and slipping accidents are relatively common when people climb on to a roof to carry out maintenance such as painting or cleaning gutters. On a roof, particularly over 15 degrees in pitch, you generally have little or no chance of catching yourself before the edge if you slip.
This is why it is important to contact a professional for help as some sections of roof that can’t be reached by roof ladder – such as parts of a hipped roof or over dormer windows require the use of safety harnesses. Also, some roof materials cannot support the weight of a human and old asbestos roofs and clay and concrete tiles can be damaged when walked on so a professional will know exactly how to go about this.
This encourages rust on steel roofs, and moss and lichen on tiled roofs. This is quite common with Auckland roofs due to the close proximity to the coastline. Most manufacturer’s warranties require regular washing, particularly in areas that don’t get rain washed. Wash the roof down every 3 to 12 months according to the particular product and your location. Consult a professional for specific information.
Washing the roof also gives you an opportunity to check the general condition of your roof.
Crumbling mortar could be due to moisture getting in. The mortar will need re-pointing and this is a job for the professionals. If the chimneypot is badly damaged, you may want to consider replacing it with a metal cowl. If the chimney is no longer used, block off the top to stop birds, rain and draughts.
This could be due to a build-up of combustion deposits. Flues need to be cleaned, and the roof around it, regularly during the heating season to keep combustion deposits to a minimum. Fires can occur in flues or chimneys that haven’t been cleaned. For existing corrosion, rust needs to be removed and then painted with a zinc-rich primer. Severely damaged fastenings should be replaced with hot dipped galvanised or stainless-steel fastenings as appropriate to reduce corrosion in future.
This could be due to corrosion of the fixings, especially in areas near the sea. If the fixings have corroded, they will need to be replaced with hot dipped galvanised ones. This will only be a temporary solution – you will eventually need to replace the nails, especially if you live close to the sea. Replace or re-fix others, increasing the number if necessary.
Corrosion is common in areas near the sea but can also occur in other areas. Flashings protect vulnerable areas of the roof. If they fail, they can affect the weather tightness of the roof allowing water to get into your home.
The corrosion will need to be removed and painted with zinc-rich primer, metal primer and finish coat. If the corrosion is severe the flashing will need to be replaced.
Flashings protect vulnerable areas of the roof. If they fail, they can affect the weather tightness of the roof allowing water to get into your home. Replace loose nails with new nails or screws and increase the number if necessary. There will need to be timber underneath to attach these to.
Water ponds when there is insufficient slope on the roof or the roof is sagging. The ponding water will cause the roof to deteriorate. This is most common on flat or membrane roofs. Before addressing the cause, check if the roof structure is still under warranty. By making changes to the structure of the roof, you may invalidate the warranty. You may also need a building consent. Consult with a professional if you need to make changes to the structure of the roof to address ponding.
Trees can cause many problems for roofs of all types. Overhanging branches can scratch and gouge roofing materials when blown by the wind; falling branches can damage or puncture shingles and other roofing materials; and falling leaves can clog gutters causing water to backup or run down behind the fascia.
Trees that are adjacent to the house should be kept well-trimmed. Keep your gutters clear of leaves and debris. Consider using a product to prevent leaves lodging in guttering.
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