The roof is one of the most important and generally most neglected parts of a house.
Many homeowners only take the time for repairs when a real problem like falling tiles or a leaking ceiling occurs, or if they’re planning a reno.
To avoid being surprised by a serious and ultimately costly problem, inspect your roof a few times a year and do maintenance work as required.
From the inside look for places where the ceiling is sagging and search for signs of water damage or leaking. Also check for sunlight shining through in the attic or the space between the roof and ceiling.
From the outside check for missing, damaged or fretted tiles, algae growth signified by dark or greenish stains on tiles, signs of moisture rot or mould on the timber fascia plus general wear and tear.
Doing the research
A new roof is a big investment, so be certain to choose one you want to live with for the next 50 years.
If the roof needs to be replaced, do the homework to choose the best style and material for the home, comparing prices and installation costs.
Collect images of the style you like from websites, blogs, display village brochures and magazines to use as a reference when making decisions.
The material affects your entire home. It should look good, withstand the local climate, resist wear and tear, and insulate against sound and heat.
TIP: Check with local council to see if you’re restricted from using certain materials or colours.
Consider the shape
The supporting structure of a roof can be a variety of shapes.
The degree, pitch or slope is an important consideration.
A flatter roof pitch maximises internal height while a steeper pitch allows for faster runoff in wet areas.
Hipped roofs have all the sides sloping down toward the walls.
Gabled is triangular in shape between sloping sections that meet at a peak.
Skillion is single-pitched with a flat sloping surface like the roof of a shed.
Convex has a simple curved shape that looks like an upside down U.
Cranked forms a continuous roofline with a curve on top instead of a ridge.
Sarking is a layer of flexible insulation installed under the roof battens when the home is being built.
Aluminium foil is laminated onto paper or plastic backing with a flame retardant adhesive and fibreglass mesh.
Sarking helps keeps a home insulated from summer heat while retaining warmth in winter.
It’s water resistant and weatherproof, stops condensation and is fire retardant as well as being thermally reflective.
TIP: Ensure the sarking you buy complies with the Building Code of Australia, specifically with AS/NZS 4200.1.