Chris Kugler Roofing
Home Profile Our Services Our Quaifications FAQS & Tips Photo Gallery Video

FAQs & Tips

Hints and tips with your roof

1. Let me ask you a question, as a home owner, would you just let anyone get on your roof without knowing about their qualifications and whether they are covered by insurance?
Roofing is on the top rung of the risk rating table for insurances for a reason, there is a high level of risk involved with constantly working at heights.
We are able to supply copies of all liability policies and workers comp on demand. This gives a home owner or builder the peace of mind that should anything go wrong, they will not be liable for damages or injury.

2. Not many people realise that in the ACT the roofing industry is not a regulated industry, meaning there is no licence for a roofer. As such a large proportion of so called ‘roofers’ in Canberra are not really qualified in anything. They may have some experience in the game, but ask yourself this, if you have paid a tradesperson to undertake repairs that turn out to cause further problems a few years down the track, what guarantee do you have that you will be able to find them to come and fix the problems? They could have moved town, gone out of business or simply don’t have the same phone number anymore. With a licence you are able to track down the business and get them back.
I am a NSW licensed roof tiler and also a member of the HIA.

3. Changing from tiles to Colorbond.

I get a lot of requests for re roofing with Colorbond.  I think the reason this is so common is that due to bad workmanship from roof tilers in the past, the problems associated with constant leaking and breaking tiles lends home owners to think that a Colorbond roof is a superior roof. This is not true. If a tile roof is installed correctly you will have at least 25 years before you need to look at any maintenance, then a simple re bed and point of the ridge capping will get you another 25 years of performance. Most roof tiles these days are actually warranted for a period of 50 years, which trumps the Colorbond warranty.
The biggest issue with changing to Colorbond;
Many customers that have had several quotes before I meet them are surprised to hear that to take tiles off your roof and install Colorbond you need to get it certified by a building certifier.
The simple reason is this:
Roofs are designed when new, to have a particular type of roof covering, generally either metal or tiles. The architect therefore designs the roof framing based on the requirement of either a roof held down mostly by the weight of tiles or alternatively a light metal roof that needs to be strapped down accordingly so it basically does not blow off.
If you take off your tiles and put Colorbond on you are changing the design requirements of your roof framing. Older houses are usually not up to a sufficient standard to enable a certifier to sign off on this work. In many cases extra work is required, such as strapping and triple grip fasteners to fix the roof to the walls sufficiently to warrant it will not blow off.
The problems with non compliance:
Let’s say we do get a big storm one day and your roof gets damaged or blown off. If you have not had it certified do you think your insurance company will pay out to get it fixed? The short answer- no.
Now I know this makes it sound like I am against putting Colorbond on, not at all. We have done this many times. I just think it is important to know these facts, because for many people the extra cost that can be associated with this can be the deciding factor of Colorbond versus tiles for their new roof.

Our tile roof repair procedure

Ok, so you have noticed some leaking in parts of your ceiling, you have a look on your roof and notice there is some debris that looks like the pointing, (this is the coloured finish that seals the side of the ridge capping making it waterproof) scattered on your roof. There may only be some cracking along the sides of the ridge capping but in both cases this is a sign that your tile roof is at the age where it requires some maintenance to avoid further problems later on.
Roof tiling has changed a little over the years but the basic principle is still the same. The ridge capping is first bedded down to the tiles with a mortar mix, same with gable ends.  Once sufficiently dry, a pre-mixed compound is applied with a smooth finish over the top, sealing the sides to the tiles and also the overlaps of the ridge caps. This pre-mixed compound is the main advance in roof tiling as it enables a small degree of flexibility to avoid the cracking that occurs due to the movement of the roof.
Many companies will certainly come and redo your ridge capping and you may find that they have done a good job. But along with the ridge capping there are also a few other parts of your roof that will require attention to ensure there are no other problems further down the track.
Lead flashings degrade over time and will let water in, gutter issues will also let water in, degraded skylights, broken or rotten roof battens and broken tiles are all potential problems. Our process covers all aspects of roof maintenance, not just the visible stuff. It enables us to offer a 10 year warranty on your roof as a whole, not just the ridge capping.
The process with which we repair your tile roof goes like this:

First the customer is made aware of our requirements regarding power and access etc, sometimes the need to have washing taken off the line for a certain day as we do make a bit of dust. Also arrangements made if there are any pets. We don’t like losing customers dogs when they sneak between our legs to get through the gate.
Next we remove the ridge capping and the perished mortar is disposed of into a trailer at the base of the roof, at this stage we also remove the broken tiles and replace them with good ones. Usually it is difficult to obtain an exact colour match so we always choose a side of the roof which cannot be seen from anywhere and put the replacement tiles in there. This avoids the spotty look you sometimes see on roofs where the roofer has been lazy.
Also worth noting is that not all tiles with small broken corners require replacing. Our policy is that any tile that has the potential to leak gets replaced, this means broken down the middle or large corners. Small corners which are smaller than the lap of the tile do not pose a threat and are merely glued back into place for aesthetic reasons. This can save 50-100 tiles on some roofs.
At this stage any replacement flashings to gable walls are installed.
Next step is blowing the small debris and dust away from the work areas and re bedding of the ridge capping and gables takes place. Weep holes are installed while the mortar is fresh. If any fibro strips on the gables are damaged we install new ones, if any ridges are broken we replace these also. We always aim to bed everything straighter than it was originally, however sometimes humps in the roof framing mean this is not possible.
During the whole process, as we are walking all over the roof, we are looking for signs of any broken roof battens underneath. These then get replaced.
During bedding down, the flashings to the flues are checked and rectified by re-dressing, sealing or both. In many cases we install an extra piece of flashing to allow more cover.
After bedding down is complete we brush the sides of the ridge capping with a stiff brush to remove any dags and dust from the surfaces to be pointed. Then, once the mortar is sufficiently dry, the flexible pointing is applied with a smooth and even finish. Once again the weep holes are re installed in the pointing.
The last step involves blowing the whole roof area off where the small debris falls into the gutters and some on the ground. The gutters are then cleaned out and debris put in the trailer.
A small amount of pointing is applied to any small missing corners of tiles for aesthetic reasons only. The trick to doing this is to keep the water course of the adjoining tile clear of pointing to allow the tile to shed water and function properly.
The final stage involves a complete clean up of the ground and our work area. Any debris is picked up and anything we have moved to gain access is put back in place. We always leave a few spare tiles in case of emergency situations.
Now your tile roof is good for another 20-25 years. And you can rest assured we have covered all aspects to give you peace of mind that your roof will not leak.

Roof painting

While I do not offer this service I am happy to give some advice on this common topic.
 The main thing to remember is that painting your roof is for one purpose only, LOOKS.
I have heard stories of some roof painting companies telling potential customers that their roof will leak because the tiles have lost their colour. This simply is not true.
Concrete roof tiles do absorb slightly more water as they get older however this is all part of how the tile is supposed to function. Basically they absorb a small amount of water until they are completely saturated then they shed 100% of the water. They may appear wet on the underside in long periods of rain but they do not drip, they are simply fully saturated and doing their job perfectly.
Another thing to be wary of in Canberra is my previous mention of unqualified roofers. Many of the roof restoration companies are not much more than painters and do not know very much about roof plumbing or roof tiling, and very few of them are licensed roofers. This I know because around 25% of my repair work is fixing problems caused by them.
A common problem is the painting over of weep holes in the ridge capping. The reason weep holes are important is because as your roof ages the mortar and even the ridge capping absorbs a little water in long periods of rain. If weep holes are not installed then this water will build up and run over the top of the tile into your roof space. I have seen hundreds of cases where completely broken roof tiles are merely painted over also. The list of faults is endless and to be honest there are more bad companies than good ones.
It is also worth mentioning that once painted, you will need to re paint every 5-10 years to keep it looking good. For the cost of 2 re sprays you can usually get new tiles put on, so do the math.

However, if painting is the way you want to go, do your research, check references and get 3 quotes. There are a few good businesses out there, you just need to find them.

Chris Kugler Roofing Licenced Roof Tiler No. 188568C

0418 443 375 or 6292 3670