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Repair your roof while the sun is still shinning!
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Repair your roof while the sun is still shinning!

I personally have a procrastination problem. It is one of my fatal flaws. When it comes to important tasks I have a nasty habit of waiting until the last minute when I do a rush job and often that gets me in trouble. A lot of people are like this but sometimes getting reminders helps goad people to action. This is why we are going to talk about the importance of getting your roof looked at during the dry summer before the ruinous wet part of summer forces your hand.

It is usually cheaper to be proactive and have your house checked for possible leaks during dry summer rather than waiting until the rain starts when the leak is actually in action. This is because moisture getting into your house can lead to all sorts of problems none of which are cheap to fix. The health maxim that prevention is better than cure helps here. Most contractors will charge you a nominal fee to look at your roof and even when leaks are found they are likely to be fixed at a lower price.

You should also note that it is important that it does not matter whether your roof is new or old. Brand new roofs, especially those of houses built in the current year and have never faced a rainy season can still have hidden leaks within them. While your original roofing contractor might have given it a pass it will not hurt to have someone qualified take a look there. Some leaks only come to light when the rain starts but it is important to get the most glaring ones fixed in advance.

Leaks on old roofs are easy to explain. Most roofs have a typical lifetime rating:

  • Thatched roofs have the shortest lifespan and generally start to develop leaks after about 5-8 years depending on how good the thatch job was.

  • Shingles have a life expectancy of just over 10 years and tend to develop issues about 8 years in.

  • Asbestos has a lifespan of about 50 years. These tend to be stronger but are now considered a health hazard. So if you have such as roof you need to consider it replaced rather than just looked at for leaks

  • Zinc-coated sheets last longer but given their metallic nature they tend to wear often and develop links, especially around nail holes and where they are joined together

Old roofs tend to develop leaks because they are exposed to the elements. Their natural function is to shield you and they tend to take the worst battering. During hot dry summer months, these roofs are exposed to the worst of the hot African sun and depending on your province temperatures can go as high as 35 degrees during the day only to fall to about 10 degrees at night. The stress of these contractions can cause shears and tears that develop into leaks. Depending on your roof type, moisture during summer can also cause damage to your roof. For example, grass, which is part of thatched roofs rots due to moisture seepage.

Getting your roof repaired and looked at

Depending on where you live there are many ways to find the best contractors at affordable prices. Most neighbourhoods have some sort of WhatsApp group these days or several. Often there are people who advertise their services there. This tends to be the easiest and best method to get a hold of someone to take a look at because people who do a shoddy job tend to not last long in these groups. Just look for someone who is available and has good reviews. Do not expect perfection here, no one is perfect.

You can also look at various home building and construction groups on Facebook. You can just post asking for someone who can take a look at your roof. The good news is that not only do the best companies almost have someone in that group, if someone who is not good tries to comment asking for the contract you can hear about their mistakes from comments by others as everything tends to be very transparent.