One of the most common questions I am asked as I go around looking at roofs around Sydney is:
Sometimes, it is not the roof that is the problem, but the guttering (usually box gutters) or the roof flashings. . And there are the situations where future home improvements are planned and a roof repair is a good ‘bridging’ option. So, this question is quite valid for most home owners.
Using the picture (above) of a typical Sydney roof as an example, the metal skillion roof is in a very advanced state of rust. It is quite obviously a candidate for replacement. Any repair work done on this rusty roof has a very short service life because another spot elsewhere would fail … Add up the cost of all the repairs and still having to do a roof replacement very soon, it is cheaper to just forget the repair option and go straight for a roof replacement now.
The tile roof in the picture is a good example of when repair is a very viable option. The tiled roof valleys may need replacement if they are rusty and the ridge capping may need re-pointing. A repair job on the tile roof should provide another 20 years of good service before any further expenditure is required.
Slate roofs are a slightly different story. I do not do slate roofs because it is an area that I do not carry enough expertise on. In Sydney, slate roof work is best carried out by someone like Heath (a slate specialist) at Westwood Roofing. Slate roofs can be expensive (and difficult) to repair. They are also expensive to replace with new slate – although a colorbond roof replacement for a slate roof is a very good (and cheaper) alternative.
Roofs in Sydney have fairly long lives. 40 to 50 years is typical – and when an enquiry comes through about a 20 year old roof that the owner thinks may need a roof replacement, it calls for some further questioning. A 20 year old roof is a ‘young’ roof.
The reduced serviceability of a Sydney roof points to an installation problem. Typical examples are:
So, should you repair or replace your roof?
My first priority when I get onto a roof is to see if the roof can be ‘saved’ by doing effective roof repairs that can add many years to the life of the roof. Some roofs that I see scream “Roof Replacement” at me. And this is usually the correct option.