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How To Stop Roof Tiles Being Blown Off
Springtime storms can bring a lot of rain, which can reveal roof leaks. What should you do when an April shower finds its way into your living room?
First, control the interior damage as quickly as possible.
Move any items that have not yet become soaked. If furniture or other items cannot be moved, cover them with plastic sheets to protect them from the water. Collect dripping water in a leak proof container and make sure the container is on a solid surface.
Remove the water.
Begin to dry up water that has soaked into carpet and furniture. For carpeting that has become wet, you may need to pull the carpet away from the padding. Expose the backing to air and allow it to dry. This will also give the padding underneath a chance to dry, and reduce the chance that mold will grow. Circulate as much fresh air as possible around the affected areas.
Call your insurance agent.
If your living space has sustained a considerable amount of damage, call your insurance agent. Your policy may or may not cover damage to the interior from a roof leak. Do not wait to call the agent. They can usually inspect the damage within hours of your call and help you get started on the process of cleaning up or replacing your damaged contents.
Inspect the roof, inside and out.
As soon as possible, check the roof for obvious sources of standing or pooling water. Make sure the valleys, gutters and downspouts are clear of debris and allow the water to move freely off the roof and away from the house. Inspect the roofing materials. Make sure all parts of the underlying roof are covered with shingles, and that the water barrier is not exposed in any way. Keep in mind that the water's point of entry into the living space may not be directly below the roof leak. Roof leaks can "travel" so inspect the entire region of the leak carefully. You may also find it useful to inspect the roof from the attic space above the living quarters. That may provide a better indication of how the water is entering the structure.
Clear the gutters and downspouts.
Remove any obvious blockages and clear the downspouts if they are clogged. You can often do this with a garden hose. If the downspout is clogged, and it cannot be cleared with a hose, you may have to remove the downspout from the gutter and clear it by inverting the downspout or using a broom handle or other long object to push the debris out of the pipe. When it is clear, reattach it to the gutter and direct the water away from the foundation.
Inspect the flashing.
Some roof leaks are not the result of clogged gutters or downspouts. Instead, leaks occur where the roofing material is worn or damaged. In other cases, the flashing around chimneys, vents, or roof projections is damaged and allows water into the structure below. Inspect the flashing, where chimneys, dormers, vents and other attachments abut the roof. If the flashing is in poor condition, it may need to be replaced. If the sealing around the flashing is damaged, a generous application of roof tar may plug the leak.
Look for hidden damage.
Roof leaks often develop over time, so water may collect unnoticed for some time before it enters the living space. When you inspect the attic, check for any hidden damage that the leak may have caused. Look for wet spots on the roof planks or panels, discolored wood, damaged OSB panels, strange odors and dirt on the insulation. Check the interior for bulges in the ceilings and walls, peeling paint, and badly cracked plaster or wallboard. All of these are signs that something may not be right in your attic or walls.
Check for pests.
Ants and other water-loving pests will find wet wood a very attractive place to build a nest. If you experience a sudden invasion of ants, powder post beetles, pill bugs, sow bugs, earwigs or other water-loving pests, immediately look for wet wood. An exterminator can rid your house of these pests, but the only way to make sure they stay away is to remove the wet wood and remediate the problem.
Call a licensed roofing contractor.
If your inspection reveals a lot of water damage, or an old roof that simply needs replacement, and if you aren't up to replacing it yourself, call a licensed roofing contractor to repair or replace your roof. Simply re-shingling the roof will not repair most roof leaks. If the roof is leaking, the most likely cause is a breakdown of the waterproofing layer underneath the shingles. In that case, all old shingles should be torn off, and the water proofing layer, along with the shingles, should be replaced.
Re-roofing can be expensive, so be sure to get several estimates from different contractors before selecting someone to do the work. Verify that the contractor you choose is licensed, has insurance and will apply for the proper municipal permits to do the work. Do not allow the contractor to begin work on the house if permits have not been issued and make sure the contractor replaces all of the damaged wood prior to re-roofing the house. After the roof work is complete, ask the contractor to go over proper roof maintenance with you, and be sure to get a final inspection from your municipal housing authority.
How To Stop Roof Tiles Being Blown Off
In Australia, roofing materials usually fall into one of two possibilities: concrete roof tiles; or corrugated metal roofing with a bonded paint finish (known in Australia as Colorbond, or CB). Which option is best for your situation? Both will keep the weather out, so weigh up the factors below before you decide.
A Bit of History: The concept of bonding paint to a galvanized base originated in Chicago, and was further developed in Australia into a product that has remarkable corrosion resistance and is aesthetically interesting: Colorbond©. It comes in many standard colours and is resistant to the elements. Whereas a galvanized corrugated roof might last 20 years, a Colorbond roof would have a 50 year life or longer.
Terra cotta tiles are also an option; they literally last forever. Think archaeological dig. There are examples of terracotta roofing that have been around for 1000s of years. However it is about double the price of a concrete tile roof.
For our purposes, we will compare concrete roof tiles and Colorbond roofing, and will focus on Melbourne conditions. Both products do an admirable job at what they're designed for (keeping the weather out). Concrete roof tiles have been used in Melbourne for at least 75 years and there are many houses in older suburbs such as Heidelberg and Camberwell that still have their original concrete tile roofs.
Why would you select one product over another? It comes down to personal taste, lifestyle, a few other factors... and COST.
Architectural Merit: This is a personal matter. Colorbond has a modern stylish look with clean lines. However, there are many concrete roof tile profiles that give a different architectural result than a standard half-pipe tile. For a small addition in price, you could (for instance) select a flat shingle style. There are also many colours in concrete roof tiles.
Noise: This is an important consideration. Insulation and ceiling notwithstanding, you will hear rain on a Colorbond roof. While we might think of raindrops falling on a metal roof as a pleasant sound, it can be disturbing to some people, especially in heavy downpours. Tile roofs are much quieter.
Water Collection: If you want to collect roof water in a tank for household use, Colorbond is the best option. You will harvest more water because concrete tiles have a level of absorbency. Also they tend to retain dirt, dust and so forth which washes into the water tank. During the recent 10 year drought in Melbourne, home owners were encouraged to collect rain water for household use. This influenced the demand for Colorbond roofing.
Weight: Colorbond is a fraction of the weight of a concrete tile roof (10% to be precise!) So your roof framing can be much lighter. Also, a Colorbond roof is no heavier wet than dry. A concrete tile roof will absorb water before it runs off, so a wet tile roof is heavier and engineering specifications need to allow for this.
Rodents: It is simpler to make a Colorbond roof pest-proof by nature of the way the product is installed.
Bushfire: Melbourne is a city adversely affected by summer bushfires. If you are building in the outlying fire-prone areas, BAL (Bushfire Attack Level) regulations will make it in your interest to choose a Colorbond roof, as they are easier to seal against external ember attack.
Resilience: If you need people to climb on your roof for maintenance reasons, Colorbond is more resilient. However, if you need to penetrate the roof (for instance for a vent or air conditioning) this will be more expensive with CB.
Eaves or Veranda. If you have extensive verandas or eaves, a Colorbond roof will be more desirable because of its lighter weight. With verandas you want a shallower roof pitch, and this can only be achieved by some form of sheet roofing. Typically roof tiles are not recommended on a roof pitch of less than 20 degrees. And because Colorbond is a descendant of old-fashioned corrugated steel, this delivers the traditional Australian veranda look.
Cost: Concrete tiles are over 20% cheaper than Colorbond, which is why more than 90% of homes built in Melbourne have a concrete tile roof. The advertising might have you think that CB is as cheap as tiles, but this is not the case. Designers sometimes prefer Colorbond. One client paid to have plans drawn up by a designer. When seeking quotes, they were horrified to see thousands of dollars extra for a Colorbond roof, when they actually preferred a traditional tile roof.
Which roof is best for you? Look at each factor as it relates to your situation. Weigh up its degree of importance, and then decide which roofing material best serves your particular needs, tastes, lifestyle, and budget.
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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