Check the condition of your roof


Check the condition of your roof and any attachments.

The roof of your house cops a daily battering from our harsh Australian elements, weather that's rain, hail, wind or sunshine. You should regularly check the roof, especially after high winds and storms.

The best way to examine the roof is by climbing into the roof space. Look through the internal roof space to check for any light filtering through defects, holes and cracks; that's where the rain can enter and damage internal ceilings. The timber frame may show white powder or dark water stains, which can be followed back to cracked tiles. For a tile roof, the bedding and pointing (or mortar) usually lasts 10 to 15 years.

Extreme weather events or general movement of soil around the house can reduce the life expectancy of bedding and mortar. When replacing, repositioning or mortaring defective tiles, always place the back of the foot on the tile joins. Tiled roofs deteriorate with age also and concrete tiles, in particular, require new sealant after about 25 years, otherwise can become porous and deteriorate at a rapid rate.

Metal roofs can rust quickly once their protective coating is scratched. During daytime, pinprick rust holes will show up like stars at night, from the roof-cavity. Check for metal and lead flashing metal fatigue, rust, and deterioration. Corrugated iron roofing sheets should be fixed with screws, which will secure the roof better than nails. Metal roofs can lift at the laps and joints so check screws are secure at these points.

If you plan to enter the roof cavity, watch out for unexpected lodgers, such as possums or carpet snakes.

Is your roof pitch poor? Poor roof pitch (slope) is the most common cause of roof drainage problems.

While you're on the roof, or moving long ladders, watch out for overhead powerlines.

House attachments such as porch roofs, carports and screen enclosures can get damaged by strong winds, which then could lead to damage to the main part of the house. Attachments should be built as strong as the house itself, and kept in good repair. Intense winds could tear these from external house walls, or smash them into other buildings causing avoidable damage.

Carports, screened enclosures, patio and deck roofs, awnings, external hot water systems, roof-mounted solar panels and hot water systems all are subject to wear and tear. So, check these attachments regularly for signs of metal corrosion or rotting timber, in particular the hardware that secures the attachment in position, or any hardware that enables folding and extension.

External blinds and awnings that protect windows and prevent direct sunlight entering are a great idea. However, awning fixtures can rust and come loose in high winds, so check they're secure at the beginning of summer.