Winter rains are probably the furthest thing from your mind right now. But if the mention of rain makes you think of a scramble for buckets, the time for fixing your leaky roof IS right now!
Jacques Marais of AAA Paint highlights a few common mistakes in the quest to keep the rain on the right side of the roof.
1. Not doing maintenance
You may be surprised to learn that your roof needs attention every single year. We’re not talking major repairs every time, but a coat of waterproofing every summer will prevent unnecessary large, more expensive repairs at a later stage. Jacques explains that waterproofing products get damaged in the harsh South African sun, causing it to become less effective over time. The deterioration can be slowed down with a maintenance coat at regular intervals.
2. Working when it’s too hot
The dry summer months are the obvious time to get to work on the roof. Home owners are cautioned to choose the time of day wisely, however. Extreme temperatures will cause the wet product to dry too quickly, leading to too little bonding time and a superficial coating. Do the work early in the morning or late in the afternoon to ensure a gradual drying and bonding process.
3. The wrong ratios
Leak fixing generally require two main products: A fit-for-purpose membrane to cover the gaps and a durable sealant to waterproof the repairs. Membranes (dampened with water for application) should be applied in two layers at right angles but will only be effective in the long run if complemented by an adequate amount of waterproof coating. If the ratio is wrong – too much membrane and too little waterproofing – the result will be less than desirable.
4. Coating that is too thin
How much waterproof coating is too little and how much is enough? Work on a general guideline of no less than one litre per square metre, is Jacques’s advice.
6. Skimping on product
The golden rule of home maintenance is always to use the best quality you can afford: The “savings” on a cheaper but inferior product is usually wiped out by the need to repeat the process more frequently or – even worse – trying to fix a problem that had become bigger. Remember that the correct primer or undercoat for your type of roofing will provide extra protection and will enhance the bonding and longevity of your waterproofing coat. Some good news is that a final coat of roof paint may not always be necessary as waterproofing products are available in a variety of popular roof colours.
7. Poor inspection
Some leaks may be obvious, but others can be quite hard to find. Start with missing, damaged or loose roof tiles and check for loose screws, washers, flashing and joints. Also check the space between the roof and the ceiling for signs of water damage and damp. If leaks are hard to spot with the naked eye (or if you just want to be sure that you haven’t missed a spot), use a hose pipe and an assistant to systematically identify spots where water gets through.
8. Not asking for professional help
Finally, take advantage of our in-store experts’ knowledge and experience by asking for advice before you buy. For large-scale repairs or tougher challenges, it might be best to contract a professional roof repair expert.
Visit AAA Paint at 43 Porter Street, or phone 023 347 3987, for the perfect combination of quality, price and advice.