Safety Overhead - The Importance of Roof Maintence by ITC SA
The recent storms and aftermath in Gauteng over the last few days means that it is very important to get a professional to check your roof for damage and any potential problems before small problems become expensive ones. Your roof is the first line of defense against rain, wind, hail, fire, ice, snow and extreme heat.
The Institute for Timber Construction - ITC-SA has written an excellent article on this :-
[Johannesburg, 12 October 2016]: Although the importance of a roof structure as a component of a building and its functioning cannot be overstated, it is possibly one of the most neglected parts of a building. While some roof systems call for less intense maintenance than others, all roofing systems should be checked periodically and maintained accordingly. The Institute for Timber Construction South Africa (ITC-SA) weighs in.
As the saying goes, prevention is better than cure, and the best preventative measure one can implement in the care of a roof structure is to conduct regular inspections to help identify and remedy problems as and when they occur. A roof withstands more from the elements than any other component of a building and the frequency of roof inspections and maintenance is dependent on the geographical location of the given building; if the structure is close to the sea or in similarly harsh conditions, it will need greater care than a structure inland, for example.
That said, preventative maintenance is pivotal in saving money on a roof by providing a longer service life. The following offers a guideline towards maintaining a safe and secure roof structure for years to come:
When it comes to the roof’s exterior, be sure to check for any cracked roof tiles, loose sheeting and loose roof screws. These may cause leaks, which have the potential to cause damage to the interior timber of the roof structure and prompt or accelerate wood rot. At the same time, look for open areas around newly installed antenna shafts and chimneys; while waterproofing should be installed to prevent any leaks, the condition of the waterproofing membranes must also be inspected regularly. Crumbling chimney mortar could also signal moisture penetration and will need to be reapplied.
Timber roof overhangs are most susceptible to the elements and should be maintained regularly to prevent fungal attack or rot from moisture. Loose fascia boards and leaking gutters are the most common cause of leaks onto roofing timber. On this note, be alert to any creeper plants growing onto the overhanging roof timbers. Keep all gutters free from debris and make sure the down pipes are draining properly by water testing them.
If the roof exterior is beginning to collect moss or algae, consider installing zinc or lead control strips to help control the problem. These strips form harmless zinc oxide when rainwater runs over them, in so doing, carrying w