Fix a leaky roof
If you notice water stains on the ceiling, cornice or down the walls it's time to take a look at the roof. Regular inspection of a roof can prevent costly repairs later on.
Here are some of the things to bear in mind before attempting to repair your roof as a do-it-yourself project.
Into the attic or roof space
Use the access panel to get into the attic or roof space to inspect from underneath. Look for areas where sunlight is coming through tiles to locate a slipped or broken tile.
Major leaks caused by multiple broken tiles, loose ridge caps or corroded flashings are best left to the professionals.
Most minor roof leaks are caused by a tile that has come loose or slipped and this is fairly easy to repair. A bad storm, especially with high winds, can sometimes cause a tile to slip out of position. This can be rectified by shifting the tile back into position.
Use a piece of stiff wire (or wire coathanger) and bend to create a hook at the end. Use the hook to pull the tile back into position along the laths (timber cross beams that support the tiles).
If more than one tile has slipped, use wooden battens to lift the two overlapping tiles immediately above the tile or tiles you need to move.
Replace cracked or broken tile
For a cracked or broken tile, use wooden battens to lift the two overlapping tiles above the cracked or broken tile. Try to pull out the damaged tile through the gap created. You may need to wiggle from side to side if the tile has been nailed into position. As a final resort, wear gloves and goggles and break the tile to remove it.
Position the new tile by manoeuvering it into place and making sure that it is bedded on the support laths.
Slipped, cracked or broken ridge cap
This job requires that you get onto the roof to replace and cement a new ridge cap in place. If in any doubt, call in the professionals.
Leaks around skylights and domes
Age, bad weather and poor installation can often result in leaks around skylights, solar domes and other installed fittings that are attached to the roof. Regular inspection will save you expensive repair costs.
Annual inspection of the condition of skylights and domes to correct any corrosion or wear and tear will ensure that these fittings do not leak in the future. Where you suspect a leak in this region, apply a waterproofing product and membrane around the fitting.
Do I have a leak?
If there are brown stains on the ceiling you definitely have a leak. Whether this is caused by a leaky roof or a geyser overflow pipe, you will need to find the source of the problem as soon as possible.
Mould on the ceiling is not always an indication of a leaky roof. Ceiling mould can also be caused by damp, especially in a bathroom or laundry room. However, it is better to be safe and take a look in the attic or roof space.