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We believe that a roof is the most integral part of a home. It’s what holds your walls together and keeps your house, your possessions, and your family safe and secure.
Roofing - A Guide To Installing Corrugated Iron Roofing
Wind pressure is a common cause of failure for tiled roofs. As the wind moves over the roof it produces upward forces causing the roofing tiles to rattle or be removed completely.
Contrary to common belief, roofing tiles are not "blown off" a roof. The wind creates an upward force as it travels over the roof, causing the tiles to be sucked upwards. It is important to understand this subtle distinction in order to build a more secure roofing system. Securing tiles against upward lift is the key to keeping the tiles on the roof.
As the wind travels over the roof area, it causes the air pressure on top of the roofing to decrease. At the same time the pressure underneath the roof increases. The increase in pressure inside the loft space results in a positive pressure on the roof tiles. The negative pressure above causes the tiles to be sucked upwards, lifting the tail of the tile. The lower the pitch of the roofing, the higher the forces will be.
If the tiles are being sucked upwards rather than blown, the old method of roof tile fixing may not be the best. Traditionally roof tiles are nailed or pegged at the head or top of the tile. This secures the tile against the force of gravity but has little effect on upward tile lift. In fact the only thing securing the bottom of the tile is the tiles own weight.
Tests in the United Kingdom have proved that a roofing tile clipped or secured at the bottom can withstand 5 times the force of a head nailed roof tile. Tiles can be clipped or wired to ensure the tail is secured against wind uplift. This also stops the annoying rattle or chatter sometimes associated with wind swept roofs. The chatter occurs as tiles are lifted and dropped by the wind vortex. I prefer to use a bead of silicone between the tile courses to act as a second line of defence against tile chatter.
It is important to note here that modern roofing tile clips must be installed correctly if they are to have any effect. Tile clips are usually nailed in close proximity to the interlocking channel. Because of the risk of damaging the tile, there is a tendency to move the nail too far away from the interlock. The clip must be positioned at right angles close to the tile. The roofing clip should be securely bedded to prevent the tile working loose. In my opinion, the old system of wiring the bottom of the tiles is superior to modern clipping. The wire fixes to an eyelet on the bottom of the tile and in between tile courses onto the supporting baton. This has the effect of clamping down the tile. I have re-roofed wired roofs that are over 50 years old and the wire is still clamped tight.
The most important roofing component when it comes to preventing wind damage is the roofing felt. Roofing felt or sarking is placed under the batons before the tiles are fixed. The primary function of all roofing felt is to prevent wind damage. The waterproofing of the paper is far less important than its ability as a wind barrier. The sarking prevents the increase in pressure inside the loft, thus preventing wind uplift. It must be fixed securely with 150mm overlaps. An extra baton should be placed at the point where the sheets overlap to prevent wind travelling between sheets. If the felt is not correctly secured the wind force will be focused on the weak spot causing more problems.
All ridge and hip tiles need to be mechanically fixed in areas prone to high winds. Roofing mortar alone should not be relied upon to hold these tiles secure. Once the bond between tile and mortar is broken the tile can work loose. They should be nailed, clipped or wired.
The areas most lightly to be submitted to wind uplift are the eaves, verges and ridges. In these areas it is prudent to take extra precautions with your tile fixing. Nail and clip all tiles around the periphery.
A little extra time taken at the installation stage will ensure the roofing tiles stay secure in heavy weather. The extra cost is outweighed by the savings in maintenance and piece of mind.
9 Things To Do When Your Roof Leaks
Roof valleys are a frequent source of leaks in older houses. Installation procedures differ depending on the roof type and materials used. We will look here at the basic installation of an open lead lined roof valley.
A roof valley is basically a gutter set between two meeting pitched roofs. Depending on the roof area it serves, the valley is the exit point for a large volume of water so extreme care should be taken with installation. If the roof has been leaking for a while or if there are any signs of rot, you will need to start by replacing the valley boards. Lead sheet is not self supporting and should be placed on treated roofing boards of sufficient strength to hold a large person. (Most roofing contractors are big guys!) Fit boards of sufficient width to accommodate the lead plus 100mm either side. This will give you something to nail the roofing batons to.
The top of the valley boards should be at the same level as the top of the roof rafters. If you lay the boards directly on top of the rafters it may cause the roofing tiles to kick up and restrict water run off. You will need to cut the valley boards to fit in between the rafters. Support the valley boards with studs or noggins. The valley should finish on an even plane at the eaves. It should not kick up higher than the bottom rafters. If it does, you will need to cut the fascia board or adjust the gutter to suit. It is a good idea to fit a tilting fillet each side of the valley. This angled strip of wood runs along the valley length and should be a minimum of 150mm from the centre of the valley. It should sit no higher than the roofing batons with the thinnest end closest to the centre of the valley.
It is common practice to fit a single sheet of roofing underlay the entire length of the valley. The adjacent roofing underlay will rest on top of this sheet. I recommend you use one of the new advanced synthetic underlay materials. The older bitumen based felts are fine for normal roofing situations but are not suitable for valleys. Over time the bitumen will bond the lead to the boards and restrict thermal movement. You should ensure you buy lead of a sufficient grade/code for valley applications. This should be between 1.80mm and 2.24mm thickness. If you are unsure ask your roofing merchant of the correct grade. The lead should be cut into sections no larger than 1.5 meters in length to allow sufficient thermal movement. Bend a welt into the lead 25mm each side. This acts as a last line of defence for water penetration. It also has the added benefit of stiffening the lead, which makes carrying it up the roof a lot easier.
Starting at the bottom of the valley, dress the lead neatly onto the valley boards and over the tilting fillets. The bottom of the lead should allow correct drainage into the gutter. Fix two rows of nails at the very top of the flashing. Use copper or stainless steel nails. Never use galvanised or aluminum nails which will just react with the lead and corrode. I recommend you use the minimum amount of fixing possible to hold the lead in place. If you over fix lead sheeting it will eventually split due to thermal movement. So don't nail the sides. When you have successfully dressed the first sheet you can move up the roof laying subsequent sheets. Overlap each sheet a minimum of 150mm. On lower pitched roof valleys you will need to increase the lap. Where the valley ends at the ridge, you will need to dress the lead so it can sit neatly under the ridge tiles. You are now ready to start fixing the batons and laying the roofing tiles. The key points to remember are to keep the sheet lengths down to 1.5 meters and don't over fix. If you follow the procedure outlined and take care with the dressing you will produce a durable maintenance free valley.
Roofing is one of the most important investments you can make. Improper, aged or substandard roofing can lead to a host of other more expensive problems. If you are selling your property, a well-chosen roof can yield a solid return on your investment. Whatever your budget or design desires, whether you want architectural shingles, tile roof installation or something in between, a Roof Master consultant will work with you to make it a reality.
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