Over the years the roofing industry has been given a bad reputation for dodgy work and itinerant(rouge) traders. This is due to unqualified and unprofessional people who use different strategies (lies) to con consumers.
Roof Restorations is the most competitive roofing field with more and more rouge traders trying to make a quick buck. I would like to help point out a list of items to be aware of to help consumers know what to look out for:
A roof restoration is generally to make your roof “look” good. A coat of paint will make your roof look like new but this is purely cosmetic and is by no means as good as new. A full roof restoration should include all required maintenance to the roof – including replacing broken tiles, Removal of old mortar (bedding) and replaced with new before pointing in flexible pointing and all other maintenance required including replacing old valley irons. Your roof is then high pressure cleaned and painted to the colour of your choice.
A trader who can advertise a set price for a roof restoration is the first sign to be wary. How can they know how bad a shape the roof is in? How many tiles are broken? How bad the bedding ( mortar) is? What shape your valleys are in?
To justify their price they have to cut corners somewhere! Generally, this is done but not actually replacing your broken tiles but moving them to the bottom row or out of site and then painting over them relying on paint – yes just paint they say will hold it all together for years! Paint really is just that, paint – all tiles should be replaced but the majority of the time owners don’t actually get on the roof and see these broken tiles and a roof leak may not appear for sometime and by then the trader is long gone.
Also a lot of the time they will not remove your old broken/cracked mortar but simply point over the top so it appears beautiful but underneath the problem is still there. You should be also weary of the term – Bedding where necessary, as this means they will only remove portions of the cracked old mortar and point over the rest. Bedding where necessary is rare and will cause premature failure of flexible pointing if not prepared properly. The ENTIRE mortar should be removed to guarantee a professional job or you have just covered over the problem. You should also check that flexible pointing has been applied ALL over the roof, not just where it is visible without getting on the roof.
Roof cleaning and Painting is purely cosmetic. Your roof will not fall in if your tiles are not sealed and sprayed. Moss will not cause leaks or tiles to fail. Roof cleaning and painting looks great and that should be the ONLY reason you choose to clean & paint your roof. It is the roof maintenance that is the MOST important part of a restoration.
Yes, Your roof WILL leak during cleaning, any trader who tells your otherwise is lying, it is unavoidable but should not affect the ceiling inside if done properly. Hard rain has 2 psi while roof cleaning pressure washes have 3000 psi.
The cleaning and paint process should be at least 4 steps, High pressure clean (not Chlorine which eats away at the zinc alum coating protecting the gutters from rust) 1 coat sealer and 2 coats of paint. Primer and Clear coats can also be applied to ensure longevity. Traders who have locked in a low price have been known to cut down on the amount of coats of paint even to the point that if they owners may be watching just water down their buckets of paint!!
Pointing should not be applied with a brush, finished ridge caps should have a smooth appearance straight up and down applied with a trowel.
Both home owners do not have to be home to provide a quote, it just enables pushy salesman an on the spot signature. Take your time, get lots of quotes, Ask for previous work, ask for qualifications, ensure you are provided photographic evidence of leak causes.
Some traders may also cut corners with Roof Safety Rail (guard rail) to save money. This is very illegal – Victoria has a 2 meter working at heights regulation and work safe may bring the homeowner into the investigation if they are caught! Make sure thorough inspections of roofing surfaces are performed when traders are giving quotes – not the ceiling inside the home.
Check that the trader has insurance, it is always great to go through a company like Service Central whom Raving Roofing are a proud member. Service Central will connect consumers to 3 qualified tradesman for free/no obligation quotes and unlike other companies who offer this sort of service they always ensure that the trader is certified, qualified and holds the appropriate insurances, ensuring they are always up to date.
Anyone can put a letter in your letterbox, advertise in the paper, internet or put a sign up on the road! Be careful, do your research and ask lots of questions. If it sounds too good to be true, it usually is.