DIY Roof Safety Tips
- Step as little as possible on the roof to minimise damage to the roof. Too much stress causes leaks and your money-saving DIY winds up costing you more.
- Use a high-quality extension ladder, and secure it to the house in two places at a minimum.
- Got extensive work to do? Use a roofer’s ladder with a bracket that bridges the ridge of the roof.
- Don’t go naked! Use a strong safety harness or belt secured by a lifeline attached to a strong, stable fixture such as the base of a chimney. Do we really have to say that falling off a roof can cause serious injury or serious death?
- Always work with another person.
If you’re not 100% confident of inspecting your own roof – don’t, DIY’ers have died. Be safe and call in the professionals from Pipe Perfection Plumbers.
Metal roofs can be slippery when wet. Climb the roof ONLY when it is completely dry.
DIY Annual Roof Inspection
INTERNAL VISUAL CHECK
- Inspect the ceilings and walls for water stains. Look for cracked walls, peeling paint or wallpaper near the ceiling. internal-visual-checkIf these signs appear near a bathroom,the roof may not be the source.
In the picture right, you can see a very slight brown line running to the left from the corner of the blue wall. When the water dries, it turns brown.
Any signs of a leak – call in a professional. Thorough testing by a competent plumber will determine the source of the leak.
- Check your attic for signs of leaks (water stains, mouldy smell, wet patches, peeling paint etc).
On a sunny day check all structures that penetrate the roof (e.g. chimneys, skylights, antenna or solar panels) following the table below:
Conditions around Penetration
No light, sealed and tight
Some gaps, missing sealant
Badly deteriorated, gaps, holes
Check next year
Check interior for signs of leaks***
Hire a professional to replace flashing etc.
Signs of leaks in the interior
Dark marks on the insulation
Exposed timbers (e.g. trusses) are dark, wet spots
Hire a professional to check if the leak is new or old
Call in a professional
Condition of Vent Pipes
Vents wiggle back and forth
Check next year
Hire a professional to check and improve attachment
EXTERNAL VISUAL CHECK
- Access the corner of the roof with a ladder
- Avoid walking on the roof as much as possible. This act alone can cause buckling and leaking.
- Lift up the edge metal to ensure it is well attached near the eaves and at the seams.
- If you see exposed fasteners make sure they aren’t loose.
- Check for rust and loss of the protective coating. (if you see tiny flecks of rust, it may be that metal shavings remained on the roof after installation.)
- Complete the table below:
Loose metal at eaves of roof
Loose metal at seams between sheets
Loose metal ridge or edge covering
Rusted metal or loss of protective coating, granules
- Check the gutters are free of debris and rust. Run a hose into the down pipes to ensure they are running freely. If they are dirty or need repair, attend to the problem or have your professional roof plumber do it for you.
- Check the mortar on chimneys or parapet walls using the table below. Ideally stay off the roof and use binoculars.
Cracks in the mortar joints