A Roof coating most definitely does not stop leaks, but if you are not aware and there’s a leak over your head, you’re most likely not going to think straight and dash breathlessly to the hardware store and buy whatever roof repair product catches your eyes.
This is often a roof coating or a sealant, but what the hapless homeowner doesn’t realise is that the claims on these products are false.
What you actually need to do is take a deep breath, get informed and call a professional roofer.
What is Roof Coating?
Roof coating is a part of the roof system which helps fill in the tiny gaps where water can seep through, it does not however on its own stop water leaks. If water gets beneath the surface of the roof, it can wreak havoc on the supporting structure and eventually appear above your head as a water leak.
A properly built roof should come together like a giant puzzle, with the roof coating filling in the seams between the pieces, when applied by a professional, a roof coating helps make the roof watertight along with the use of many skilled techniques.
It is also important to know, in the building code, the use of silicone on a roof is not classed as a waterproof joining method but simply a finish to help seal a proper install.
When done properly however, a roof coating is a joy to behold.
Benefits of Roof Coatings
A roof coating is barely noticeable until it’s missing, at which point you lose all of its benefits, which are:
Protect Against Deterioration
When you have a properly installed roof coating, you have an impenetrable barrier between your roof and the atmosphere. This barrier helps keep out not just the rain but also the wind, the dust and anything else that might want to burrow itself underneath your roof, such as insects, and combined with other techniques used by a professional, helps prevent leaks.
As soon as there’s even the tiniest gap in the barrier, it’s only a matter of time before all the unwelcome guests start pouring in. Out of all of them, water is the most dangerous as it’s everywhere and the most difficult to remove.
All it takes is one drop of water working its way into the roof to start causing trouble. When a single drop of water leaks through a seam, it steadily works the gap open and the problem keeps spreading. Even the ambient humidity can cause a problem if it can condense, since then it works just like a regular raindrop.
When you install a roof coating, you get a water-repelling surface between the seams that keeps out everything that belongs in the outdoors. It binds itself to the roof material, filling up even the tiniest pore that would normally get acted on by water.
Lengthen The Life of Your Roof
Every material has a lifespan, within which it performs as you expect it to. For example, Colorbond roofs have a lifespan of about 70 years but that only applies if they are properly maintained. That includes:
- hosing down every 6 months
- surface-level maintenance every 12–18 months
We love Colorbond since it’s such a quality product that makes our roofing projects smooth. It’s got five layers of protection that will get chipped away by the weather and environmental damage. When you apply a roof coating on top of a Colorbond roof, it gets a sacrificial, sixth layer that we can easily renew whenever you want to.
Strong, Secure and Energy Smart, tried and tested in Australian conditions to look great and deliver outstanding, long life performance. – Colorbond
For Colorbond, the process is called sealing and is done using a sealant that also comes in a variety of types and colours. You can lengthen the life of your roof and spruce up its look at the same time.
Reduce Energy Consumption
The roof accounts for about 25% of heat transfer in and out of the house. Granted, the roof coating itself accounts only for a fraction of that 25%, but it all adds up in the long run, helping you create a thermal envelope around your house. When it’s airtight, the thermal envelope minimises the energy needed to maintain the indoor temperature, which translates into lower energy consumption.
Increase the value of the property
Curb appeal is that unique charm that makes passersby crane their necks to take another look at your house. It increases when the property has a well-maintained look and feel to it, such as when it has a fresh roof coating.
That curb charm translates into property value, which also means you’ll find it a tad easier to sell the house or get more value out of it. Sprucing up your roof could be a wise investment, so get in touch and ask us about increasing the curb appeal of your roof.
Reduce Maintenance Costs
A solid, professionally done roof coating is not only pretty, watertight and airtight but also perfectly sticks to the roof material. This creates a slick, glossy surface that dirt and other pollutants simply slide off of.
How To Stop a Roof Leak
What can I put on my roof to stop a leak?
Silicone is NOT a universal sealant but it does help prevent leaks combined with other products and a well maintained roof. The two most common roof types in Australia are metal and terracotta, though as mentioned above silicone alone will not stop water leaks.
Some DIY homeowners try to silicone roof sheets or roof tiles together, only to make it worse.
Metal roofing sheets that are folded at the ends, also known as “weathering roof sheets”, are another good idea. You can find technical data for them on this document.
Our advice is to put a professional roofer on your roof to stop a leak.
Are there dangers to do-it-yourself leak repairs?
The biggest danger in DIY roof leak repairs is the amateur roofer slipping and falling off or through the roof. That turns a relatively benign roof leak into a life-threatening disaster.
Peter Gifford has experienced it first hand.
The second biggest danger is a seemingly fine leak repair job, which gives the homeowner a false sense of security. Roof leaks are insidious and barely noticeable until they do serious damage, meaning that shoddy DIY repairs can look great but backfire further down the line and quicker than you might think.
Finally, you can inadvertently do damage to your own roof. One wrong step and you can put a dent into the roof or crack a tile without even noticing it. Even though you had good intentions, you might end up doing the exact opposite of what you intended and cause a roof leak.
Why hire a professional?
Professional roofers have a proven track record and know how to deal with unusual situations and crises. They are also licensed and insured, know their job inside out, giving you another layer of safety when dealing with roof leaks.
In most cases, a roof leak is a roof leak. But if a crisis happens, the DIY amateur won’t know what to do. On the other hand, the professional roofer will act immediately and nip the problem in the bud.
For urgent or large roofing repairs, a professional roofer will bring in a team and haul in heavy-duty tools that make quick work of any problem. These are immensely powerful, allowing the team to immediately deal with all but the biggest roof issues.
Hiring a roofing professional is a sound investment in the structural integrity of the roof and the house. You also get the benefit of scheduling a follow-up roof inspection or maintenance project right on the spot.
How do professionals stop a roof leak?
They first get up on the roof and do an inspection. This shows them every problem that might be causing the roof leak, such as clogged downpipes, pooling water, cracked tiles, damaged roof. We recommend you schedule a professional roof inspection at least twice a year or after any incident that might have damaged the roof. You should pay attention to nearby sources of damage to the roof, such as falling tree branches.
After the inspection, a professional roofer will discuss your options and the timetable. Every situation is different and requires a unique approach.
Flat roof leaks
Flat roofs are particularly vulnerable to water leaks. By their nature, they tend to pool water in niches and depressions, which give way to the house interior. These are most common where some structure goes through the surface of the roof, such as a pipe or a gas line. In our experience, the majority of all flat roof leaks happen around these structures and thin pieces of metal meant to keep the water out, which are known as flashing.
We most often start the inspection by following the line of least resistance across the roof, which is the biggest indicator where the water will go and where it will pool. Rust, mould and other similar telltale signs can also mean there’s a roof leak in the making. Any debris on the roof can stop the water runoff and cause pooling, so we will need to take care of it. Clogged gutters and downpipes can contribute to the water problem and cause a lot of pressure on the weak points of the roof.
While roof coating will help prevent flat roof water leaks, it shouldn’t be used in isolation. Depending on how your roof is set up, we might suggest some additional work that will prevent costly repairs later on. We advise scheduling a professional roof inspection within 48 hours of a major storm, especially if your roof has a history of leaking. What you can do is tap the downpipes and listen to the sound — if they sound full, they’re most likely clogged, so do give us a call to check the roof.
Terracotta tile leaks
Clay tiles give a gorgeous, exotic look to the roof but are typically porous, which means they can soak up water and develop a grimy, slimy surface. The water will seep into the tile pores and cause the appearance of mould, which will eventually weaken the tiles in question and make them crumble. That is, unless you have your tiles cleaned and sealed professionally to keep the water out.
Direct damage to any tile, such as from a hailstorm, can also cause minute cracks that again break the seal, invite water and weaken the thermal envelope. The good news is that one cracked tile doesn’t necessarily mean you have to replace the entire roof; we can simply replace the tile. However, several cracked tiles across the roof might mean all the tiles have been jeopardised, in which case it would be simpler and safer to replace them all.
We at Vivify Roofing provide an entire range of terracotta roof restoration and repair services, which also includes tile roof coating to seal them against leaks. After spraying the roof with an anti-fungal solution and letting it work its science, we pressure clean all the tiles of moss, lichen and stains.
Next, if your tiles are unglazed, we can apply a sealant that gives a glossy, spiffy look to the entire roof. It glistens in the sun and gives a lot of curb appeal to the roof, which looks brand new. The glazing will still need to be maintained and taken care of, but that’s a given with terracotta roofs.
There are new roof care products coming out all the time, so do give us a call and ask about the latest developments. After all, if there’s a brand-new roof care product out there and your house is the only one on the market that uses it, you could be looking at a huge boost in your property’s resale value.
Trust Vivify Roofing For All Your Roof Coating and Roof Leak Repair Needs
We have the roofing repair know-how, the team and the tools. Point us to a roof leak and let us take care of it.
We guarantee we’ll leave you breathless when you see how we do roof coatings and repair roof leaks. Call us now at 1300 475 097 or get in touch through our contact page.