Holiday Checklist for roofs

Before putting your feet up for a well-deserved rest during the festive season we recommend you spend some time checking the wellbeing of your roof and drainage system so as to avoid any emergency repairs or costly callouts during the Builders’ Holidays.

To date there has not been much rain but have had a lot of strong dust laden wind which can have a negative impact on the performance of gutters and downpipes. It is common in these conditions for downpipes to be blocked by a combination of silt and debris, particularly if you have not cleared the leaves from the winter and small branches from windstorms. In metropolitan areas the combination of dust and air bourn pollutants mixed with moisture from light rainfall forms a highly corrosive poultice. Make sure the connection between the gutter outlets and downpipes or swan-necks are intact.

Ensure all valleys are free of debris, especially on low sloped roofs. The slope in a valley is only 70% of that of the adjacent roof so any blockage will force water up under the cladding. The upslope edge of chimneys and rooflights present a similar scenario.

Check that all fasteners are sound and that the weatherproof gasket under the washers have not perished. If you have cladding attached with drive screws (nails) it is futile to try and hammer them back into the timber purlins, rather replace them with a threaded roofing fastener designed for wood. Whilst the application of a sealing compound or bandage may temporarily provide a waterproof seal they do not reinstate the anchoring properties of the fastener against uplift from wind.

Check all flashings are free from Damage and are adequately attached. Ensure all counter flashings are fully embedded into parapet walls and behind chimneys.

Please visit our website www.samcra.co.za for other articles and papers on subjects pertaining to cladding.