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How to Ensure Your Roof Survives this Summer

How to Ensure Your Roof Survives this Summer

Tips for preparing and upkeeping your roof in the Australian Summer

Regardless of whether you live somewhere on the coast, like Bondi or Manly, or further inland, Australian summers can be brutal – and in Western Sydney suburbs, like Penrith and Richmond, summers can often be just as harsh as far-flung places in central NSW and Australia’s outback and interior!

Homes situated further from the NSW coast may experience more intense heat, sun, UV exposure and damage and less rain during the summer, while homes in cities and regional towns closer to the coast tend to have more rain and leaf litter build up, in addition to having to contend with heat, sun and UV issues. Summer in Australia also brings with it the risk of bushfire – that ever-present threat to life and livelihoods.

So, what can you do to prepare your home for the Australian summer? Here at Sydney Roof & Building Supplies we have compiled a list  of practical thing you can do to reduce heat in your home (keeping it more comfortable during the warmer months) and what you can do to ensure your home is safe and prepared for whatever the Australian summer throws at it.

What can you do to prepare your home (and your roof) for summer?

It is important to make sure you and your home are well-prepared for summer, not least because of the effects the Australian climate can have on our lives and property and the risks posed to our personal safety and the safety of our home by our climate and the changeable nature of our weather.

Ensuring the integrity of your roof is a key part of preparing your home for summer in Australia, requiring you to proactively inspect your roof and guttering, undertake regular maintenance and attend to repairs in a timely manner. With this in mind, here are 3 important steps you can take to prepare your home (and your roof) for summer 2021:

  1. Take steps to reduce the heat in your home.
  2. Have a rainwater management plan.
  3. Bushfire-proof your home and roof.

1. Take steps to reduce the heat in your home

Reducing the heat in your home and controlling the indoor climate can make a huge difference to your comfort level during summer. With a climate such as that experienced by the Sydney region throughout summer, ranging from breezy coastal to humid suburban to stifling, dry inland conditions, it’s important to consider the energy efficiency of your home and the ways in which you can better regulate your home’s temperature. There are several steps you can take to reduce the amount of heat in your home and get a better hold on indoor climate control, including:

  • Plant trees in your garden, to provide shade to your walls, windows and roof and help to keep the air surrounding your home cooler.
  • Choose a light-coloured roof – trees can only do so much for shading your roof and lowering the ambient temperature in and around your home. Simple science tells us that lighter colours reflect more light, while darker colours absorb heat energy – this can be especially problematic if your roof has inadequate insulation. If your roof is due for a restoration or re-paint, consider going for a lighter colour, to increase the thermal efficiency of your home.
  • Ensure your roof is weatherproof – check for and repair cracks in roof tiles, ridge capping and pointing; look for and repair rust holes in metal sheet roofing; make sure there is adequate, well-installed insulation; check that sarking and flashing are intact.
  • Consider roof ventilation – a great way to reduce the temperature in your roof, which will help to regulate the temperature in the rest of your home, is to install roof vents or a powered roof ventilation system.

2. Have a rainwater management plan

The nature of the Australian climate is such that, even in coastal and urban areas, we can experience lengthy dry periods followed by drenching rains that can significantly increase the volume of water run-off. These sudden deluges, where the stormwater system is unable to cope with the additional run-off, can cause damage to waterways and result in flash-flooding.

If you have a rainwater tank installed to your home, summer rainstorms may also pose the risk of flash flooding. In the lead up to summer it is essential to check that your gutters and downpipes are clear of debris, undamaged and intact, and able to effectively channel rainwater into your water tank.

It is also important to ensure that your rainwater tank isn’t too full, to prevent water flowing back into your gutters and eaves. To that end, newer systems allow owners to more easily monitor the level of water in the tank, so that water can be released ahead of any predicted heavy storms.

3. Bushfire-proof your home and roof

Damage caused to homes by bushfire can occur in one of three ways: Ember attack, direct contact with flames and, less frequently, via radiant heat. Most bushfire damage to buildings is caused by embers or sparks being blown through unprotected openings, however, if flames ignite vegetation or flammable materials close to the home, there is greater risk of flames making direct contact with the home.

One of the most effective bushfire protection strategies that homeowners can use to reduce the potential risks posed to the safety of their home and families, is to ensure their home’s roof is well-prepared.

  • Ensure trees are properly trimmed – retain a 2m gap between your roof and any trees or tree branches and properly trim all trees on your property, paying particular attention to those close to your home. Don’t allow any branches to hang over your roof and remove lower branches on larger trees.
  • Clean leaf litter and other debris from your guttering and roof – remove leaves and debris from roof valleys, gutters, and downpipes. This task can be made much easier by installing gutter mesh to your gutters.
  • Ensure openings or gaps in your roof meet fire safety regulations and guidelines – make sure that all gaps beneath corrugations in metal sheeting are sealed or protected by sarking, mesh, a neoprene seal or compressed mineral wool; make sure your tiled roof is fully sarked. Make sure openings in the roof, such as roof vents and ventilators, or gaps in the eaves and fascia or surrounding skylights, through which embers may enter the roof space, have been constructed in accordance with fire safety requirements and/or are adequately protected.
  • Ensure roof insulation is fire-resistant – any insulation you install in your roof should be fire resistant, to provide an additional layer of protection from heat and fire. Bradford Fireseal roof batts and Gyprock Fyrcheck are excellent fire-resistant insulation products that have been specially designed and constructed for fire separation and use in fire rated wall and ceiling systems.
  • Consider a roof-mounted sprinkler system – Roof-mounted sprinklers operate during bushfire conditions to cool the area around the home and extinguish embers. These systems create a wall of water around your home and keep your roof and gutters wet, to protect against flying debris that may end up on the roof or in the gutters and downpipes. They can even be connected to a swimming pool or water tank, to minimise the demand on mains water in an emergency situation.
Contact Sydney Roof & Building Supplies for all your roof protection and maintenance needs

Sydney Roof & Building Supplies carries a wide range of high-quality roof materials and roofing supplies, including hand tools, roof primers and paints, flashing, cowling, gutter mesh and roof insulation. Our fantastic team of knowledgeable staff are committed to providing all our clients with superior service – expert advice, fast delivery, and wholesale prices. For more information, call the team at Sydney Roof & Building Supplies today on (02) 8090 3483 or click here for further contact details.

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Is Your Roof Weatherproof?

Is Your Roof Weatherproof?

Getting ready for the rainy season.

The roof is the first line of defence of any residential or commercial building against the weather elements. The blazing sun, heavy rainfall, and strong winds don’t easily impact a well-maintained roof. This is why it is essential to check the roof’s condition with every change in season and the rainy months are coming. Is your roof ready for heavy rain?

The Importance of Regular Roof Maintenance

Keeping the roof well-maintained is the best way to protect the home or building from harsh climate conditions. Neglecting the roof results in water leaks and structural damages and could cost thousands of dollars to fix and a roof in a state of disrepair is also a risk to the health and safety of the occupants.

Giving the roof at least twice a year inspection, by yourself or professionally, will help keep it in tiptop shape. Taking care of the basic roof repair and maintenance yourself is relatively easy, but there are cases when roof repair is better left to professionals. The roof experts will know exactly where to look and what to do with different roof issues.

Getting the Roof Ready for Heavy Rain

Give the roof a careful look and inspect for damages and signs of a leak and do not ignore even just one seemingly small issue. A minor gap can easily give way to bigger roof trouble. Here are some tips on what homeowners can do to secure their roof for the upcoming rainy season:

  • Clean the roof’s dirt and debris hotspots.
  • Check for damaged, loose, or missing roof tiles.
  • Look for water and rust damage.
  • Inspect the flashing for any damage.
  • Take a look around the chimney and vents.
  • Clear away tree branches.
  • Consider replacing the old, broken-down roof.

Clean the Roof’s Dirt and Debris Hotspots

The gutters, downpipes, and drains are debris hotspots and prone to blockages. When these areas get blocked, rainwater will overflow and get under the eaves and into the roof cavity. Another thing about uncleared dirt and debris is that mould and algae can form and cause the gutter and roof to rot.

Cleaning the roof of dirt, leaves, twigs, and other debris will help clear away surface water. Don’t forget to clean the roof valleys as well to prevent leaves from making their way into the gutters and cause blockage during a heavy downpour.

Rainwater can easily flow and move away from the roof with a clean gutter, downpipes, and drains. Homeowners should therefore make roof cleaning a priority during roof maintenance.

Check for Damaged, Loose, Or Missing Roof Tiles

Inspect the roof space for any cracks, loose, displaced, or missing roof tiles and get them fixed right away. Don’t forget to also check inside the roof space for signs of roof or sarking damage. A light passing through whatever tiny cavity there indicates the presence of cracks or tiles shifting out of place.

Look for Water and Rust Damage

The roof is also prone to water and rust damage, and the most obvious sign of these would be discolouration. Another tell-tale sign would be the presence of mould, lichen or algae. Moisture build-up causes these signs and should not be ignored.

Roofing material made from concrete or terracotta will show discolouration as a sign of water damage. Metal and tin roof, meanwhile, will have rust on it. Any of these signs means only one thing: The roof is leaking or is about to.

Inspect the Flashing for Damage

Roof flashing may look small, thin, and insignificant, but these roof installations do a crucial job of directing the water flow away from delicate roof areas as this is typically installed in places where water might seep in, such as valleys and joints, protrusions, ridges and around vents and chimneys.

Since roof flashing is critical in keeping the water out, it must not be ignored during roof inspections. Repair or replace loose and rusted flashing, and the roof will do a better job of keeping the water out.

Take A Look Around the Chimney and Vents

Heavy rain, coupled with whipping wind, is a recipe for disaster for any roof, driving water up into projections like chimneys, vents and pipes, and even skylights. Unfortunately, these installations are also huge leak hotspots and should not be ignored. Look for cracks, gaps, worn-out sealant or flashing, and signs of water damage around these areas. Problems can be easily repaired with sealant, caulk and flashing and shingle installation.

Clear Away Tree Branches

Leaves, twigs, and dead branches may fall off and accumulate on the roof. These will become a massive contributor to clogged gutters, downpipes and drains. Tree branches may also scratch the roof and wear away the tiles as they move in the wind.

To prevent damages on the roofing and for better defence against leak, clear away any hanging branches by cutting hanging limbs and foliage to make sure nothing will touch or fall on the roof.

Consider Replacing Old or Broken Roofing

In the case of an old roof with recurring damages, it might be best to consider a replacement. If it’s been more than 25 years since its last replacement, it may become saggy, with badly damaged shingles or mould and will have seen better days. It might be time for a new one.

Although this is an expensive option, perhaps the last resort, a fresh roof installation gives the home more robust weather protection. Think of new shingles, neat flashing, and better sealants. Sometimes, replacing the whole roof can be more cost-effective in the long run than having constant spot repairs.

Keep Your Roof Ready for All Seasons with Sydney Roof and Building Supplies

It is a good idea to check the roof after major weather events like hailstorms but giving it a careful assessment before the bad weather approaches would be extremely beneficial. Make it a point to check the roof’s status from time to time.

If your roof shows signs of damage and deterioration, it will not stand a chance against heavy rains. Give your roof a fighting chance and have it ready for all seasons. For all your roof needs, you can count on Sydney Roof and Building Supplies. We carry a wide range of supplies, from flashing and insulation to workwear and many more.

Visit our shop at Unit 2, 6 Yatala Rd, Mt Kuring-Gai 2080. We are open Monday to Friday, 6am to 4pm. Alternatively, for enquiries, visit us online at srbs.com.au, email us at mark@srbs.com.au or call us on 0280903483.

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