Your cart
Close Alternative Icon

News

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.

Continue reading

How to Get Your Roof Ready for Bushfire Season

How to Get Your Roof Ready for Bushfire Season

In Australia we are no strangers to bushfires. In cities and regional towns alike, they’re an ever-present threat as we are surrounded by the beautiful bushland of our many national parks and the tinder-dry grass of fields and pastures. Our climate is one of our biggest international drawcards, attracting tourists from around the world who are keen to soak up the sun on our stunning, world-class beaches, and to see our unique flora and fauna. Unfortunately, our climate is also one of the biggest threats to the safety of our families and homes, being prone to regular bushfires and grass fires.

When is bushfire season in Sydney?

While bushfires can occur at almost any time in Australia, there is an acknowledged “bushfire season”. Because of the size of our continent and the vast range of climate zones (believe it or not, there are eight climate zones in Australia), bushfire season varies from region to region. In the northern regions the danger period is winter, while southern regions are more at risk during the dry summer months.

Fire Seasons

Here in Sydney, the greatest bushfire danger period occurs following a dry winter and spring. According to the Bureau of Meteorology, Sydney homes are more at risk from spring to mid-summer. Particularly dangerous conditions are produced by deep low-pressure systems near Tasmania that force strong, hot and dry westerly winds into vulnerable coastal regions.

The return of more moist conditions, often brought about by the development of tropical cyclones off the coast Queensland, typically signals the end of “bushfire season”. However, our climate being what it is, with ever-changing weather patterns and significant periods of drought, the risks of bushfire never disappear completely.

 

How do homes get damaged during a bushfire?

While authorities can try to control the threat by employing backburning and other coordinated fire prevention strategies, there are actions that homeowners can take to minimise the damage to their properties.

Damage caused to homes by bushfire can occur in one of three ways:

  • Ember attack
  • Direct contact with flame
  • Radiant heat.

Research has shown that 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.

6 ways to prepare your roof before bushfire season

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. We’ve put together a list of things you can do to ensure your roof is ready for bushfire season.

Ensure trees are properly trimmed back

1. Ensure trees are properly trimmed back

It is recommended you keep at least a 2m gap between your roof and any trees or tree branches to reduce the danger from radiant heat and sparks. Ensure all trees on your property, particularly those close to your home, are properly trimmed and don’t allow any branches to hang over your roof. Remove lower branches on large, established trees, to provide a vertical fire break and reduce the risk of grass fires reaching into the treetop leaf canopy.

Clean leaf litter and other debris from your roof and guttering

2. Clean leaf litter and other debris from your roof and guttering

It is recommended you pay particular attention to removing leaves and debris from your roof valleys, gutters, and downpipes. This task can be made much easier by installing gutter mesh to your gutters, however it is recommended that any such materials have a flammability index of no more than 5.

Routinely check your roof and ensure it is well-maintained

3. Routinely check your roof and ensure it is well-maintained

It is recommended you routinely check your roof and perform roof maintenance where necessary. Take particular care to ensure that gaps in your roof are blocked, to help prevent sparks and embers from entering your roof space. This involves checking that:

  • flashing is intact.
  • sarking has a flammability index of no more than 5.
  • pointing on tile roofs is in good repair.
  • roof tiles are intact, properly bedded and secure.
  • metal roof cladding is secure and undamaged.

Ensure any openings or gaps in your roof meet requirements or guidelines for fire safety

4. Ensure any openings or gaps in your roof meet requirements or guidelines for fire safety

Gaps underneath the corrugations in metal sheeting should be sealed or protected by sarking, mesh, use of a profiled metal sheet, a neoprene seal or compressed mineral wool. Tiled roof should be fully sarked. It is recommended that any openings or gaps in the roof, through which embers may enter the roof space, are protected and have been constructed in accordance with fire safety recommendations or requirements. This includes:

  • Roof vents and ventilators
  • Skylights
  • eaves and fascia

Roof vents and ventilators

Typically, these should be constructed of non-combustible materials with openings protected by corrosion-resistant steel or bronze mesh with a maximum aperture size of 1.8mm, and penetrations through the roof to accommodate vent pipes and ventilators should be sealed with a fire-retardant sealant or non-combustible collar.

Skylights

These should be sealed with a non-combustible sleeve or lining. Ventilated skylights should have openings protected by corrosion-resistant steel or bronze mesh with a maximum aperture size of 1.8mm.

Eaves and fascia

Gaps between rafters should be sealed with a non-combustible material at the line of the wall, or the junction between the roof and walls should be sealed by a fascia and eaves lining.

Ensure roof insulation is fire-resistant

5. Ensure roof insulation is fire-resistant

If you live in a particularly fire-prone area it is highly recommended that any roof insulation you install should be fire resistant, to provide an additional layer of protection. Products like Bradford Fireseal roof batts and Gyprock Fyrcheck both have excellent fire resistant properties, being specially constructed for fire separation and use in fire rated wall and ceiling systems.

Consider a roof sprinkler system

6. Consider a roof sprinkler system

Roof-mounted sprinkler systems work to cool the area around the home and extinguish embers. There are a range of roof-mounted and gutter-hung systems on the market – some are specially-designed hoses that attach to a garden hose and rely on gravity to drop a curtain of water that protects the home; others are high-volume, high-pressure systems that use pumps that can be connected to a water storage tank or swimming pool to deliver large amounts of water via long-range sprinklers.

In addition to creating a protective wall of water in front of your home these systems also work to keep your roof and gutters wet, as protection against any debris that may have been blown in by the bushfire front and ended up on the roof or in the gutters and downpipes.

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.

Continue reading

The Importance of Insulating Your Roof

The Importance of Insulating Your Roof

Proper insulation can significantly impact your comfort, as well as the energy efficiency of your house. Australia has an extreme range of climates, and your residence should be prepared for scorching days as well as freezing ones.

During cold months, heat can be lost through your ceiling, and during the summer season, heat can penetrate your home through the roof. That’s why aside from insulating your floors and walls, you must also insulate your roof.

Types of Roof Insulation

There are different types of roof insulation for you to choose from. Your choice will depend on the type of roof that you have, the insulation that you need, and your budget too. Each comes with its own sets of benefits and drawbacks, so it’s vital to understand them before you decide.

·  Spray Foam Roof Insulation

Polyurethane spray foam, aside from helping you reduce a maximum of 20% off your energy bill, can also lower your carbon footprint. This type of insulation is applied directly to the slates of your roof, tiles, or roofing felt.

Spray foam roof insulation helps extend the life of your roof, provides acoustic insulation, and helps prevent pests from entering your loft space. This type of insulation, however, should be installed by a contractor.

·  Rigid Insulation Boards

If you are using your loft as an extra bedroom or as an attic, then you can use rigid roof boards for your insulation. These boards are placed between your roof rafters and are then covered with insulation plasterboards for a cleaner finish. The walls of your loft must also be insulated in the same way. Just make sure to keep the loft well-ventilated.

The use of rigid insulation boards with insulation plasterboards can be more costly than other types of roof and loft insulation.

·  Blanket Insulation

This type of insulation comes in rolls of foiled-backed felt or mineral fibre. One of the main benefits of blanket insulation is that you can apply it on your own. Of course, if you are not confident, you can always call a professional roof insulation installer.

·  Loose-Fill Insulation

Loose-fill insulation that is blown and installed in the gaps between your roof joists is the perfect choice for lofts that are not easy to access. Your professional roofer will use special equipment to blow loose and fire-retardant insulation materials. The loose insulation materials may be cellulose fibre, cork granules, mineral rock wool, or recycled newspapers.

·  Structural Insulated Panels

These refer to prefabricated panels that you can use to insulate your roofs. They provide better insulation than other insulation methods. Although you can add some insulation to existing structures, these panels are preferrable for new structures.

Benefits of Roof Insulation

Here are some benefits of insulating the roof of your home.

·  It makes your house more comfortable.

Your comfort is fundamental. Your home is a place of rest and relaxation, and the quality of your rest will depend on the comfort of your house. Your resident is a place that provides you with protection against extreme weather conditions. However, if your home is too cold or too hot, you sacrifice the quality of your sleep and rest.

Roof insulation can perform either heat retention or heat prevention. During the cold months, efficient roof insulation keeps the heat from escaping through the roof, keeping the interiors of your home cosy and warm.

During summer months, you want your roof insulation to do the opposite. Excess heat entering your home can make your home feel like a blistering oven, especially when the temperatures are soaring high.

If you want your home to be a comfortable haven, ensure that is well-insulated from the heat and cold.

·  It makes your home more efficient.

Efficient roof insulation keeps the temperature in your home more stable. This puts less work on your heating and cooling devices, allowing you to save on your utility bills. The initial cost of installing insulation can soon be rewarded with savings on your power bills. Some types of roof insulation materials can help you save up to 20% off your usual energy bills.

·  It helps extend the life of your roof.

Some roof insulation materials can help extend the lifespan of your roof and help reduce the need for roof maintenance. Spray foam, for instance, gives you a more stable roof. Roof insulation reduces the temperature within the structure during summer and keeps it dry and moisture-free as well. Consequently, this reduces the risks of moulds and mildew, which can affect the integrity of your roof.

Extreme temperature changes can slowly take its toll on your roof. A poorly insulated roof will be more susceptible to damage and you will end up with more costly repairs and replacements.

·  It helps make your home more sustainable.

Your house can be made more sustainable with proper insulation and ventilation. It will not be too dependent on heating and cooling equipment. Not only does this help you save on energy bills, but this also helps reduce pollution and carbon footprint. It’s the first step that you can take for a greener home and lifestyle.

·  It makes your attic liveable and more comfortable.

Without proper roof insulation, your attic will be unbearably hot or cold. With insulation in place, your attic becomes a more comfortable space that you can use. Instead of just a storage space, you can even convert it into an additional bedroom that you can still use for the children or your guests. It’s an efficient use of space that big families will appreciate.

Visit Sydney Roof and Building Supplies for your roofing needs in Sydney.

Sydney Roof and Building Supplies is your one-stop-shop for all your roofing needs in Sydney and the Central Coast. We offer a wide range of roofing products, from paint, flashing, roof tiles, scaffoldings, to your insulation. In case you cannot visit us, give us a call and we can deliver your purchases right at your footsteps.

Continue reading