Use the calm be­fore storm to check if your roof is win­ter-proof

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - LIFE -

and other forms of costly dam­age. Know­ing the con­di­tion of your roof and keep­ing po­ten­tial prob­lems at bay is es­sen­tial for ex­tend­ing the life of your roof and keep­ing money in your wallet.

Con­sult a pro­fes­sional roof­ing con­trac­tor who can help you iden­tify prob­lem ar­eas on a roof. Small re­pairs can be car­ried out eas­ily, and pre­vent a ma­jor roof prob­lem. A con­trac­tor can also de­ter­mine if the roof­ing in­stalling was done ac­cord­ing to man­u­fac­tur­ers’ and in­dus­try stan­dards.

Gut­ters must be checked to de­ter­mine if they are free of cracks, fas­tened cor­rectly and drain­ing ef­fi­ciently. More fre­quent checks should be done dur­ing the au­tumn to get rid of leaves, dead birds and ten­nis balls from clog­ging up your gut­ters.

Roof tiles and other forms of roof cov­er­ing must be care­fully in­spected. Any miss­ing or cracked tiles must be fixed im­me­di­ately. If there has been a se­ri­ous storm or un­usual weather, you should in­spect your roof for pos­si­ble dam­age. Check that the roof tiles are prop­erly fixed to the bat­tens.

Look around the chim­ney and take note of any ir­reg­u­lar­i­ties. Each piece flash­ing around the chim­ney should be checked to en­sure that the waterproofing is in place. Any torn flash­ing or dam­aged flash­ing must be im­me­di­ately re­paired.

Check all the mor­tar and bricks on the chim­ney for cracks which could let wa­ter in. Wa­ter can mi­grate through old ma­sonry and ma­sonry joints with heavy wind-driven rains.

Clean all de­bris and tree waste from the roof.

Look for any signs of wa­ter dam­age on your ceil­ing.

Pay close at­ten­tion to roof edges, at­tic vents, sky­lights, so­lar panels, dorm­ers, roof ven­ti­la­tions and wall flash­ings.

If you are go­ing to ven­ture on to your roof, or even just check your gut­ters, en­sure that you fol­low ba­sic safety pro­ce­dures. En­sure that your lad­der is well se­cured; never walk on a wet roof; and watch out for mossy ar­eas which will re­main slip­pery even if the rest of the roof is dry.

The build­ing in­spec­tor tells us what needs to be in place be­fore an oc­cu­pancy cer­tifi­cate is is­sued.

Ap­pli­ca­tions for oc­cu­pancy: Sin­gle Dwellings Here are the cri­te­ria:

The build­ing must com­ply with the ap­proved build­ing plans.

Wa­ter con­nected and turned on. Drainage sys­tem (sew­er­age) tested and work­ing. No down­pipes or any stormwa­ter al­lowed in the sew­er­age sys­tem. All san­i­tary fit­tings on the ap­proved plan in­stalled.

Elec­tric­ity sup­ply turned on and elec­tri­cal com­pli­ance cer­tifi­cate sub­mit­ted.

En­gi­neer’s com­ple­tion cer­tifi­cates sub­mit­ted for struc­tural work.

No danger­ous fea­tures are al­lowed. Balustrades and glass will be checked.

Ceil­ings to be com­pleted. Where ap­pli­ca­ble, ex­te­rior walls to be plas­tered and painted.

If th­ese cri­te­ria are not met, you can be forced to move out. Ques­tions and an­swers Peter says: My house is more than 40 years old. In those days they used strong ad­he­sives for the lino. Now I want to tile the area – so how do I get the lino off? Or can I tile over the lino?

I would not even con­sider tiling over the lino, but am in­ter­ested to see if any of our read­ers have at­tempted this and if they have had suc­cess. Per­haps some­one with ex­pe­ri­ence in ad­he­sives will of­fer ad­vice.

Pre­sum­ably the lino is fixed to a ce­ment screeded floor. I would cer­tainly not want to lay tiles on an old tim­ber floor. A blow torch is not a healthy way to go, but a bit of hard labour with a ham­mer and bol­ster or a flat spade will get the job done. Ei­ther chip away at the edges with the chisel or try and get the spade un­derneath. A bit of soften­ing with a blow torch would help the spade method. Ei­ther way, you will end up chip­ping the screed which will give bet­ter ad­he­sion to the tile ad­he­sive.

Please keep your ques­tions or com­ments com­ing to don@ma­cal­is­ or SMS only to 082 4463859

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