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When it is time to get a roofer in Sydney who knows how to repair a roof leak properly?

Our world is never meant to be equal. Luck is sprinkled on just a few. I am often ‘out of luck’. On the rare occasions when I struck ‘LUCK’ – I knew that it was just what I needed and not what I wished for…

You have a roof leak. You want to get this leak repaired as soon as possible. Ideally, by a roofer who knows what they are doing.

So, what do you do?

If you are like most people, you reach out and get 3 quotes. There are plenty of ‘directory’ companies who will take your details and auction you to their database of tradies who do roof repairs.

If you are lucky, you get to tell these three roofers what your leaking roof problem is. Usually, they don’t listen and proceed to tell you what they think your problem is.

Then you get to choose between these 3 roofers. Who is the best to repair your roof?

Perhaps the cheapest roofer will do. Human nature favours the quote with the price in the middle.

Maybe, it is not the price. It is your ‘gut feel’ of the roofer who seems to know his ‘how to do a roof repair properly stuff’.

Ultimately, you call upon ‘Lady Luck’ to get that roof leak fixed.

Then (fingers crossed) after the roof repairs have been completed, you wait for the next heavy rain. Often, both you and the roofer are in luck. The roof leak has been stopped.

… But sometimes, you are both out of luck. The roof repair has been unsuccessful and it still leaks. 

If you manage to get the roofer back to have another go at fixing the leak, and the second time does the trick, luck is still on your side.

When luck runs out, and the roof repairs have gone 'egg-shaped', I get these requests through my website:

“ …contracted trades aren't able to resolve the issue or detect the entry point. box gutter leak is damaging alfresco ceiling below.”

“..Rain coming through the ceiling crevice and down the walls bubbling the paint. Has been fixed recently but obviously not properly so I need someone who knows what they are doing. Thanks for your help.”

In the last couple of decades, The Roofing Professionals Westside has been the ‘Ghost busters’ of the Sydney roof repair game. When luck runs out and all else fails, it is time to call in the roofers who are silly enough to guarantee stopping a roof leak – or MORE than your money back.

when is it time to get your roof repaired properly

Sydney in 2020 – the black swans land on our rooftops

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Sydney started the year raining ash. As the bushfires exploded around eastern Australia, we were in the middle of our ‘Black Summer’. We were all praying for rain.

The rain arrived in Sydney with a vengeance. It started on Friday 7th February. The skylight in my lounge room started leaking. I had to wait for a lull and armed with a raincoat and umbrella, gingerly climbed onto my roof to clear the leaf debris from the flashing at the base of the skylight.

My wife was not impressed with the ‘roof repair expert’ who couldn’t even stop his own skylight from leaking. But she quickly changed her mind when the steady drip from the hole in the ceiling beside the skylight stopped for good.

And the rain did not stop. It put out a lot of fires and caused a lot of roof leaks. It seemed like the whole of Sydney needed roof repairs urgently.

“…Australia’s weather agency said 391.6mm of rain had fallen in the past four days in Sydney, more than three times the average rainfall for February…” reported by BBC news.

Over 120 homeowners who needed urgent roof repairs reached out through my website from that weekend’s rains. And if the other 100 or so roofing contractors in Sydney received a similar number of enquiries, that would have translated to over 10,000 roof leaks in Sydney over a 4 day period. There were a lot of leaking roofs that needed repairing.

For me, it was an impossible volume of leaking roof enquiries to manage and unfortunately over 80% of these calls for help remain unanswered.

We struggled getting back to the homeowners who had leaking roofs through March and we made it to Friday 13th… then the biggest of the black swans landed that weekend.

When came back to work the following Monday, Sydney (and all of Australia) closed for business. COVID-19 had arrived.

The roofing industry was classified as ‘essential services’. Roofers kept working in Sydney. We kept on repairing those roof leaks, and both the homeowners with leaking roofs and my roofers became the lucky ones.

 

Lessons learnt when roofs leak

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COVID-19 will result in many lessons learnt.

We had to slow down during the early months of the virus outbreak. And in the slow down, we had the time to take a fresh look at why and how roofs leak. Then start documenting the methods of repair – so that this knowledge can be passed on to others in the roof repair industry. Performing roof repairs successfully is something of an art. And this artform should be shared.

There are reports that the February 2020 rains caused the insurance companies about $800 million in claims. Insurance companies could not find enough roofers in Sydney to assess damage claims to roofs. And as usual, in times of low supply, the insurance companies had to rely on low skilled roofers to do their roof repair assessments.

We have seen many insurance assessments on leaking roofs. Most of them have been proven to be totally useless and misleading.

The main lesson we have uncovered is the lack of ‘roof repair’ knowledge amongst the ‘best’ roofers operating in Sydney. We consider ourselves as veterans in the game of finding the causes of roof leaks – yet we continue to prove ourselves wrong.

The second lesson we have learnt is that after 20 years, we are still ‘juveniles’ in this game. Every day, I come up with surprises. There is always a roof leak that breaks the current state of knowledge.

We still learn. Every day.

Roofers who install roofs don’t know how to repair them

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I have hired lots of roofers and I have kept only a few. These are the ones who are willing to learn how to repair leaking roofs properly.

Automotive assemblers build cars and a car mechanics repair them. There is no such distinction in the roofing industry. All roofers start off putting roofs together. Only a few end up fixing faulty roofs. And they are all broadly classified as roofers with the skills to do roof repairs properly.

If you take workers out from a car assembly plant and present them with broken down cars, you will have a messy result.

I have used a lot of good roofers on roof repair work, and the results have also been very messy. Even good roofers don’t know how to fix the tricky roof leaks.

We have all heard of the super smart characters in the finance industry. They invent sub-primes and derivatives to fool ordinary folks. The construction industry is the mirror opposite. All the actual work is performed by ‘blue collar’ workers who drew the short straw when brains were handed out. Roofers can be high in skill. But most are low on what it takes to repair a leaking roof properly.

We don’t need to be brilliant thinkers to create works of art. There are a lot of skilled construction workers out there who can do work that ‘Mr brain’ would have no hope of duplicating. But there is a pecking order in the building industry. Carpenters are where the smart cohorts hang out, followed by electricians and plumbers.

Roofers and scaffolders tend towards the bottom of the pile. And surround themselves with a culture that prevents lifelong learning. And it is a life of learning if a roofer wants to be good at repairing leaking roofs.

Most roofers struggle through their TAFE course and their employers seldom have the capacity to properly train them. This leads to the unfortunate culture of this industry. That of: “following outdated ‘industry practice’, copying bad habits and inventing shortcuts.”

In such a training environment for Sydney roofers, there is no learning path for the proper understanding of how roof elements work and this means that blotched roof repair jobs become the norm.

To know how to treat homeowners honestly, and deliver the promise of excellence in providing a roof repair service – takes a lot of training.

Why are quotes generally ‘FREE’ in the roofing business?

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‘Is the quote free?”

Homeowners often ask me this question when they want me to inspect their roof to find out where the roof leak is coming from, come up with a appropriate roof repair solution, and spend time providing a comprehensive quote to fix the roof leak.

But I hardly ever ask this same question anywhere else where I spend my money. Why should a service… like providing a comprehensive roof repair quote – be free?

I pay whatever the barista asks for when I pick up my coffee. I spend lots of money at Coles and Woolies without once asking for a quote. My mechanic just tells me what I owe him when I pick up my ute after a service. I get a bill at the end of my restaurant meal and the only question I ask myself is “should I leave a small tip and actually pay MORE than what is on the bill?”

Yet the building industry in Australia is locked into the expectation that a free quote should be provided first. Just to be in the running to have a chance to tender for any work. The roofing industry here in Sydney has followed this tradition and free roof repair quotes are the norm.

I worked for multiple building companies in my youth and the estimating departments (I even spent some time in some of them) spent hundreds of thousands of dollars preparing tenders. These departments did not get shut down when their work went into the bin on failed quotes. Our roofing company is still viable – after decades of providing free roof repair quotes.

So, who paid for all these estimating costs? Someone… somewhere has to pay for all those free quotes.

Because we spend much of our lives asking the wrong questions, so we get fooled by the wrong answers.

I think the correct question that a homeowner should ask me is: “Will I be charged for you to do a roof inspection and provide me with a quote for the roof repair work?”

“Of course!” would be my answer.

But..

“Only if you decide that you want us to do the roof repair work – if you decide not to proceed, we will not charge you.”

“That is not fair!” Most people would think.

But the reality is that life is indeed not fair.

Our philosophy is that we do not ask anyone to pay us UNTIL we have acceptance that we have provided them with something of value. Fixing a roof leak for good is the value that we can provide you.

We may take the trouble of turning up at your property, doing a thorough investigation/inspection and then putting together a detailed quote for you. But if you decide not to go ahead, then all this work is of no value to you. We have not solved your leaking roof problem yet.

Therefore, we should not charge you for this service.

Another one of our clients will pay for this cost on your behalf. They will have their roof leaks repaired properly by us. And they are happy to pay.

This is roof economics101.

Guarantees on roof repair work?

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Every car comes with a manufacturer’s warranty – and there is a process to ensure that these warranties are honoured.

If you bought a car manufactured between 1996 and 2000, it may have been fitted with defective Takata NADI 5-AT airbags. To date, over 3.5 million of these have been replaced.

However, if you had a house built in Sydney and the roof leaks, you have a slim chance of getting it repaired by the builder under home warranty. And remember that all house builders use roofers who are installers. Not roof repairers.

So the chance that the builder’s roofer can do the repair properly is severely diminished.

Consumer protection for faulty building workmanship is generally very messy in Australia. Most homeowners I have spoken to, just ‘give up’ after many failed attempts to get roof repairs done under warranty

When we started doing roofing work, we copied everyone else. Installing new roofs and replacing roofs was our target market.

Then, we slowly got to participate in the roof repair game.

It was not fun to start with – because we were usually presented with tricky roof leaks which we could not repair properly. We usually lost money on roof repair jobs when we had to do more than two attempts.

…And we learnt why a lot of roofing companies end up giving a 7 year warranty on new roof work and only a 6 month warranty of roof repair work.

Even though we knew that the roof repair market in Sydney was challenging, I decided to build this side of the roofing business. I am an ‘outlier’ at heart.

The last decade in the roof repair business has given us the ‘edge’ that is needed to succeed. We now know a lot more about how roof elements work and how water on a roof behaves.

With confidence comes certainty.

When we know that we have the expertise to fix a roof leak for good, then providing a warranty does not frighten us anymore.

A lot of our roof repairs are over 7 years old and still watertight. And since the 7 year period is common in the building industry, we now simply state that “New roof is 7 years and a roof repair is the same – 7 years warranty”.

But, there is no such thing as perfection in this world. We do have leaks that take us many attempts. And we also give the homeowner the choice of a full refund – where they can even have more that 100% money back on their roof repairs.

To date, we have only one householder who decided to take the offer of a roof repair refund. There were two distinct separate roof leaks at this house. One was repaired successfully. But the other chimney leak persisted. After our 7th attempt at the leaking chimney, there was a bit of frustration (on both sides!).

We offered a refund – which was accepted on the condition that it was a full refund on the TOTAL invoice (that was to repair the two separate leaks). We made a total loss on this job and since the householder was reluctant to let us persevere, the money went back into their bank account.

There were many lessons learnt from this roof repair and I was glad to do the ‘more that 100% money back guarantee”.

What is the next step?

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Congratulations!

You have taken the time to read this far and your persistence will have its rewards.

If you ask us to repair your roof, our promise is to make sure that it is done with all the expertise that we have accumulated – or your money back.

Most people don’t want their money back. They just want their roof leak fixed.

What I cannot promise is that everyone who makes contact with us will get their problems resolved. We have a severe problem with the availability of good roof repairers and this has meant that only a portion of people who make a request on this website will be served in a timely manner.

I have phones – but I do not usually pick up.

I do respond to text messages – but they are inefficient.

So, if you have decided that NOW is the time to get hold of a Sydney roofer who can fix your roof properly, the best way is to click the CONTACT form and register your roof repair enquiry. All the information on this form will go into our database and you will have less chance of being ‘forgotten’.

Do this, and hopefully, we will come out and do that roof repair that you need.

Sometime soon.

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Answers to Your Frequently Asked Questions Below

Who runs The Roofing Professionals Westside?

 

The Roofing Professionals Westside is owned and operated by Jack Yuen from his home in Strathfield, Sydney.

Jack started in this roofing business in 1999 and his biggest challenge in 2020 was not COVID19.

It was a case of too many job enquiries and not enough suitably trained roofers to do the work.

Read more about Jack the roofer's story on the ABOUT US page.

Do you have any reviews?

In the early 2000’s I used to collect (paper) feedback forms from clients and these had valuable insights and the earliest form of a review.

Then I switched to ‘True Local”.

Eventually, I just asked my clients to do a review on my website.

Then demand for our roof repair services became so heavy that I switched off the reviews. So, it has been a while since my last official review.

To get a bit of history you can read all my roofing reviews HERE

Do you do emergency roof repairs?

 

When I got taken by ambulance to the Concord hospital EMERFENCY, there was a triage process that I went through. It should be a similar process for a roof leak.

A roof leak is an emergency. But good roofers (just like good doctors) are rare. They don’t just stop what they are doing and jump to your aid.

Therefore, the best solution when your roof springs a leak is to go through a triage process. You can do a lot yourself to mitigate the damage before you need to call in anyone else.

The local SES is like the hospital emergency team. Use them first because they are the real emergency workers.Then contact your insurance company. They will be useless in an emergency – but they will play a major role in repairing your roof when the storm has passed.

Do not try to contact us. We are not set up repairing roof leaks in the rain and our response times are not good.

Instead, check out my post on “How to cope with a leaking ceiling”. If anything, it will reduce your panic.

Are your roof quotes free?

 

We do not charge you anything for doing a roof inspection, determining the best solution and follow up later with a detailed quote that we will email you.

There is a cost in providing quotes and I have a webpage dedicated to this topic.

What suburbs in Sydney do your roofing services cover?

 

When I first started my business, I used to travel all over Sydney for work. Then I got extremely busy. Time is not on my side – so I now prefer to travel less and stay closer to my home suburb of Strathfield. So, the further away from Strathfield you are, the slimmer your chances of getting me to look at your roof problems.

I have a webpage that details more about which suburbs I will travel to for roof repair work.

Recently, I have roofers who live in the eastern suburbs of Sydney and they have been able to do roof inspections around where they live.

What is the cost of a roof repair?

 

It was threatening to rain again and there was this cracked roof tile on Wendy’s roof that had caused a water drip through her light fitting in her bedroom.

I found a replacement tile in my ute and swapped it for her. I hate leaving a roof in a dangerous situation. Wendy gladly paid me $200 to stop the dangerous leak.

When I told my roofers that this was quite a common occurrence when I get called out to look at roof leaks, they were quite upset with me.

“You undervalue your services, boss. You had to go all the way out there – and you did not pick up any work for us. How can you afford to keep paying us good wages if you don’t charge enough!”

I had to agree.

My nominal charge now for a simple fix to stop a leaking roof is $400.

Roof repair costs will vary substantially depending on the work involved – More on my roof repair cost webpage…

How soon can I get my roof looked at and when can you do the work?

We are only a small roof repair centric business – and we get inundated every time there is a storm. We will struggle to go out and do enough roof inspections when this happens.

My roofers get delayed when it rains and their work schedule is very weather dependent.

It usually takes a couple of weeks before we can take a look at your roof.

Then it will be another 3 to 4 weeks before my roofers can do the roof repair work.

Waiting times can be quite variable and it is best to check out my ‘how soon can I get my roof fixed?’ webpage for the latest.

What is the smart way to use this website?

If you have gone through the FAQs above, you will have consumed a lot of information. People then usually ask: “Is there more – and how can I easily find it?”

There is a reason a lot of good books have a ‘TABLE of CONTENTS”.

I have created a similar table so that you can browse the content on this website and click on your interest.

Go to my ‘SITE CONTENTS’ page to start. But beware, the average visitor spends more than 10 minutes on this website and that excludes the time watching our youtubes.

Go get a life as soon as you are done here…
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