Colourbond tin and concrete tile roofs are extremely durable. They are also well suited to the unique challenges from the warm Australian climate. For instance, tin and tile roofs can withstand fire, severe weather and pests with few problems. However, despite their durability, they can spring a leak if you don’t maintain them or at least monitor them regularly.
Has your Colourbond tin or concrete tile roof started to leak? Then one of the following four problems could be to blame.
1. One or More Tiles Are Broken
Both concrete and clay tiles have long lifespans, with concrete tiles lasting about 50 years and clay tiles lasting at least 100 years. However, just one broken tile can compromise an entire roof. For instance, instead of rainwater hitting the tiles and draining into the gutters, it will gush past the broken tile and onto the sarking or felt.
Tile breakages can occur due to debris falling onto your roof during storms or because someone didn’t take care while walking on your roof. Generally, asphalt-based sarking is waterproof and so guides rainwater into your gutters during severe storms. However, constant exposure to rainwater causes the underlay to rot and eventually crack. This is when leaks happen.
In this instance, you should replace the broken tile(s). However, ensure that you examine the sarking for water damage before you do so.
2. Screws Are Missing or Perished On Tin Roofs
Roofing screws are responsible for the majority of leaks on metal roofs. Metal roofing screws seal water out by compressing a rubber washer at the base of the screw head. When the screw is driven into the metal roofing panel the rubber washer forms a ‘gasket’ between the roofing panel and the screw head. It sounds simple enough but several things can go wrong like under driving screws, over driving screws, driving screws at the wrong angle and screws that missed the framing member.
Even if the screws were installed correctly with the right amount of torque it doesn’t mean that the rubber washer is safe. Hot summers are unkind to the rubber washers. They degrade and lose their seal and it can be very difficult to distinguish which screw is leaking and which is not.
3. The Sarking Is Compromised
Your roof’s sarking probably won’t last as long as Colourbond tin or concrete tiles will. This is especially true in areas of Australia, such as Sydney and Brisbane, which sometimes experience severe rain and hailstorms from early spring to summer. Over time, the sarking will deteriorate until it can no longer keep rainwater out.
Unfortunately, the water will then soak into your roof. Unless you hire a company to repair or replace your roof’s sarking as soon as possible, the damage could extend to your ceilings and walls.
4. The Valleys or Gutters Are Blocked
The combination of trees and wind is a roof’s worst enemy with water damage. For instance, during windy days, leaves and twigs from nearby trees may end up clogging the valleys or gutters of your roof. Add rain to this equation, and you have a high risk of a leak occurring somewhere on your roof.
On an unobstructed roof, rainwater runs down the valleys and into your gutters and poses little threat to your roof. However, if debris clogs those valleys, rainwater will have nowhere to go and so will pool on your roof until it finds another outlet. Unfortunately, even a minute gap in your roof flashing or sarking, something that would not normally be an issue, could cause a leak.
The same applies to your gutters. If leaves and twigs clog your gutters, pooling rainwater could end up soaking into your roof and causing a leak. If tree debris has blocked your roof’s valleys and gutters, hire a roofing company to clear them and carry out any necessary repairs or additions before the next storm hits.
5. The Weather Has Been Especially Severe
Even the most well-designed roofs can suffer in severe storms. This usually happens because strong winds force rainwater under your roof’s tiles and onto the sarking. If a powerful storm rages for hours and forces rainwater to saturate your roof’s sarking, eventually that water may find its way into your roof’s sarking.
In this case, repairs might not be necessary. However, a roofing company can make some changes or additions to your roof’s flashing or sarking to ensure that severe storms don’t cause leaks in future.
Has your roof sprung a leak recently? Then act quickly if you want to minimize the damage to your home’s structure, while ensuring that moisture problems don’t harm the health of your home’s occupants.