The primary function of a building’s roof is protection against natural hazards like rain, hail and wind and extreme fluctuations in temperature. Day-in and day-out, a roof is exposed to varied weather conditions, all contributing to its deterioration placing the building and its contents at risk.
Painting, waterproofing and construction company, Indawo, says that is vital that a roof not only protects the building, but assets, staff and visitors. This begins with the design, meticulous selection of materials and precise installation. As the building ages, maintenance should become a top priority.
Indawo managing director, Geoffrey Jäck says a detailed maintenance programme serves to prolong the life of the building and, importantly, this includes the roof as primary protector of the building and assets and employees within.
Indawo highlights common signs that could indicate a deterioration of a roof:
• Look inside for signs of roof damage. Roof damage may be evident inside a building. Signs include:
o Ceiling stains. This is an obvious sign, but may not mean a leaking roof. A crack or hole in the roof will, of course, lead to leaking, however, so too can a damaged geyser, or leaking pipes. A leak detector will identify where a leak is if it is not clearly visible. If the roof is damaged, a qualified roofing company will offer a solution.
o Mould. Also not necessarily a leaking roof. Steam in kitchens and bathrooms often cause mould. However, never ignore any signs.
• Look outside and on top. Depending on the risks, it is often okay to inspect the roof. If the slope is steep, contact a qualified roofing company to assist.
o Pooling. Prolonged pooling of water on a flat roof is never good for a roof. Waterproofing membranes could deteriorate prematurely resulting in water ingress and an attack on the integrity of outer structures. On large roofs, the weight of pooled water can be significant enough to collapse the roof.
o Sub-structures. Incorrect installation of sub-structures (air-conditioning units, aerials, skylights and tanks) without adequate waterproofing can cause leaking.
• Undetected leaks. A concern for building owners is leaking that is not detectable. Gradual water ingress slowly causes damage and only manifest after days or even weeks.
• Flashing. The steel strips installed where the roof joins the wall to deflect water away from the joints, may have shifted creating a gap susceptible to water ingress. Regularly check flashing that can often be blown off causing further damage to property and injury to passers-by.
• Beware of the obvious. Danger points include screws in roof sheeting, cracked and broken roof tiles, damaged waterproofing and unsecured sub-structures. Keep your roof clean. Leaves block gutters and downpipes.
Jäck says the best way to avoid problems related to roof deterioration is to implement a maintenance regime that includes regular roof inspections, especially after severe weather. This prolongs the life of the structure and protects your employees, clients and machinery, as well as the investment value of the fixed asset.
Regular, thorough inspections will allow for damage repair rather than expensive replacement. Any sign of damage should be attended to right away.
Indawo can be contacted on 021 941 5000 or email email@example.com.