Maintenance: Roofs

In this chapter we explain some roofing terms along with common problems faced by unit groups. We also look at preventative maintenance.

Legislation - Strata Titles Act

Click on Legislation above, to view strata title legislation and hints.

Legislation - Community Titles Act

Click on Legislation above, to view community title legislation and hints.


Roof Structure

The following picture is a view of a timber framed roof. These are used widely in building units.

This roof is a mixture of rafters and roof trusses. The rafters/trusses are secured to the top of the timber framed walls. Purlins are nailed to the top of the rafters/trusses. The cladding, tiles or steel are secured to the purlins.

Common Problems

  • Roof movement, as a result of a failed roof strut (supports rafter) or in part, failed truss.

roof structure
Click on picture for large image

Best Practice

Engage a licenced builder to inspect the roof if there appears to be any movement including cracking in the ceiling below.


Tiled Roof

Many units have their roofs clad with tiles, either teracotta or concrete.

Common Problems

  • Terracotta (clay) tiles delaminate with age, more so in seaside suburbs. Secondhand replacements are often available for repairs. If most of the tiles are damaged we suggest the group look are replacement with concrete tiles or steel e.g. colorbond.
  • Cement falls out of the ridge & hip capping over time. The picture below shows a roof that has had some cement replaced. It has not been coloured with matching oxide.
  • Tiles can break from storm damage or being walked upon. (see insurance claims for storm damage)
  • Lead flashing deteriorates with age and can result in leaks. Flashing is used around pipes (sewer, solar water heater pipework, skylights, heater vent etc) and where walls protrude through the roof (parapet).
  • Low pitched tiled roofs can suffer water leaks. Sarking (metal foil) is required under these roofs, however it can breakdown over the years.

roof tiled
Click on picture for large image
gutter

Best Practice

We suggest:

  • (self managed) officers view all of the roofs before Winter each year.
  • (professionally managed) arranging for the roof to be checked when the gutters are cleaned before Winter each year.
  • repair cracked and broken tiles - matching secondhand tiles are often available

Steel Clad Roof

Some units have their roofs clad with steel, either plain galvanised/zincalume or colorbond.

Common Problems

  • Rusting
    • whole sheets - usually takes decades
    • where sheets join or are cut
  • Loosened nails - sheets lift, flap and potentially leak
  • Low pitched roofs can leak at the ridge and hips.

roof steel
Click on picture for large image

Hint

Where steel sheets are joined rusting may occur. 'Slippers' can be a cost saving alternative to whole sheet replacement. These are short lengths of roofing that are 'slipped' under the rusted areas to stop water leaking through.


Best Practice

We suggest:

  • (self managed) officers check all of the roofs before Winter each year.
  • (professionally managed) arrange for the roof to be checked when the gutters are cleaned before Winter each year.
  • repair any loose flashing - a roofer or licenced plumber can help with this.

Asbestos Clad Roof

There are still some units with asbestos roofs.

Common Problems

  • Asbestos roofs are now many decades old and often suffer from cracking, leaks and flaking of the surface.
  • Asbestos roofs are a potential health hazard if the surface flakes and then become airborne.

asbestos roof

Best Practice

We suggest:

  • Cladding of the asbestos roof using battens and steel roofing or
  • Removal of the asbestos all together by a licenced contractor
  • All those walking on the roof must use crawl boards
  • Consider insalling warning signs (required for commercial groups)
  • Consider having an Asbestos Register (required for commercial groups)

Tools

The following tools may assist in the maintenance of your group's roof.

Gutter Clean & Roof Checklistgutter clean checklist
Click on picture for printable version

Fragile roof guidefragile roof guidelines
Click on picture for printable version

Tiled roof careroof tiled questions
Click on picture for printable version

Living with fibro (asbestos cement)living with fibro
Click on picture for printable version

Roof structures explained

roofs explained

courtesy of City College Coventry

 

Click on picture for printable version