[AMA] I Work in Roof Restoration. Ask Me Anything!

Hi, Painter turned roof Restorer for the last 15yrs… Happy to answer any Q's anyone has…. might be a little slow to reply at times.

Might not get any Q's…. not the most exciting job.

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    I manufacture interior, exterior paints. Did you ever use exterior paints (Dulux or Taubmans) for spraying the roof?


      Hi… i personally don't… i like to go for build when i spray a roof, so prefer specific roof membranes. On a tin roof exterior house paint lays down and gives a good finish, and if your going a light colour its fine… but i wouldn't use it on a tile roof.

      I spray dulux acratex roof coating quite a bit, and other brands.


    i had my roof painted and retiled earlier this year and the roof guys bought extra tiles (about 40 of them), any suggestions what i can do with them? is there places that will take them?

    • +3 votes

      Put them under your house as spares.


      Keep a certain amount for yourself and advertise on Facebook marketplace/Gumtree for the rest. Cash only.


      Keep them somewhere out of the way. You never know when you may need one as they break all the time, or can blow off / fall off and break etc.


      Put them on gumtree… someone will want them. I'd definately keep a dozen or so for yourself for future breaks…. and if youve got storage space… id keep the lot.


    Are tiles better or colorbond roofs?


      do you like the sound of rain?


      From a maintenance perspective you cant beat a zinc or colourbond roof…. your going to get 40 years without doing a thing(unless right on the ocean).

      Tile roof require the replacement and breaks and cleaning and repointing the ridge caps at least every 15 years or so…. eventually a full rebed. They can have problems with leaking tile clips… weep holes on the top ridge blocking up… leaves get easily caught under the tiles in the valleys… ect.

      The new cement tiles that are put on roofs today are not of the same quality as the old tiles… the old tiles had a ceramic glaze and were baked in an oven and were significantly harder… the colour and glaze lasted longer.

      The new tile are only painted… and they break more easily.. some of the current style flat tile break very easily and every break is a leaking break.

      Id go colourbond.

  • +2 votes

    The insulation deaths from Rudd's era. To me the idea of blaming Rudd rather than blaming the site managers or bosses seems ridiculous. As tragic as it was, where was the employer taking responsibility for the safety of their staff during this money grab? What are your thoughts?


      I dont have a lot to do with insulation… i think most important if putting a new roof on is to make sure its sarked under the battens… with whatever your choice of insulation on top of the gyprock.

      My own house actually has the banned foil insulation… its good stuff. I think correct training wasn't given primarily… it was such a big boom that in my experience half the guys doing it were untrained backpackers working for peanuts, at least in brisbane. They should have been turning the power of and cutting around the top of down lights properly instead of just throwing it in as fast as they could to get to the next job.

      It was definately carelessness.


    Any idea how to fix my leaky skylight?

    • +1 vote

      Yes… its probably got leaves jammed under it… or its a cheap bunnings one and they havent folded up the sides properly. Strip the tiles up around it and clean all the debri out… if its a cheap bunnings round skylight you may have to bend the tin up on the sides again…. problem is the weight of the tils bend the aluminium flat when you put it back in place and cause it to leak again. I find with those puttin valley seal around the whole skylight fixes the problem.

      Or maybe you have a cracked dome… new dome.


    How many neighbours misbehave in their backyards?

    • +1 vote

      In 15 years ive only ever seen 2 sets of neighbours putting on a show… one a lady topless sunbathing, the other 3 young women nude sunbathing in there back yards.

      The first one knew i was there… i was one the roof using a pressure washer so loud i have to wear ear protection. The other sighting we were a team of three talking loudly on the roof next door… they knew we were there.

      Its just exhibitionism on there part not voyeurism on mine.


    I have a cement tiled roof with multiple issues that maybe you can give an opinion on.

    • We have edge tiles which I believe are called 'capping' that are separating. Evidently the previous owner tried to silicone the tiles himself.
    • In the same area of the roof, we have sagging tiles/eaves/fascia's. Home insurance declined our claim saying it's a combination of maintenance issues and a poorly supported pergola attached to the house.
    • Once all the issues are fixed, we want to repaint the roof but we have solar electricity. I assume we would need an electrician to temporarily relocate the panels rather than cover them. Or is that being to cautious?

    Ideally, we would like to restore and/or replace the roof/eaves/fascia's/down pipes. We are currently working with the company that installed the pergola to see if they will help us resolve the pergola issue first.

    Thanks in advance


      Sometimes the weight of the barge tiles when screwed to the fascia can cause it to sage away from the roof… in this case you must remove the tiles and fasten the fascia properly to the battens or truss so it will hold the weight of the tiles properly when you put them back on, its quite common… if thats what it is.

      If the roof itself is sagging then id have to look… maybe the trusses are too spaced for tile.. battens too thin… sounds like someone stuffed up.

      Ideally it would be nice to remove the panels before a roof paint…. 99 percent of the time we wash around them and tape them up before painting.. as long as your not looking right up under them… you cant tell there not painted underneath.

      It all comes down to how much you want to spend and how fussy you are.


    How do you deal with hagglers?


      I expect some haggling in the quoting faze.. it doesn't bother me. I like to do a great job at a fair price, and to be honest when i quote there isn't a lot of room for discount because im not loading the jobs up with heaps of profit….

      What really gets me is when they start to haggle at the end of the job… thats just rude and disrespectful… it can be cultural ive noticed… so i look out for that… enough said.


    How much per m2 to re-tile a roof? I currently have terracotta tiles.


      That depends on so many things… what city you live in (if sydney.. loads)… type of tile.. access… pitch.. roof size…whether or not the old tiles can be reclaimed and sold… dumping costs or old tiles if they cant….. how much profit the company wants to make.

      I can say that subcontractors get around $14 per sqm to batten up lay the tiles plus bed and point them….. but thats new work….and thats all materials supplied and delivered to site.

      In you case they would have to remove all the old tiles… possibly refit valleys… possibly remove and reset out the battens depending if its like for like tiles… new lead/wakaflex.

      Terracotta tiles are quite expensive to buy compared to cement.

      Could be anywhere from $10k up


    When did sarking become a thing?


      Im not sure.. probably was available in the 80's i reckon… but builders being tight asses hardly ever used it. Now because of the environmental energy saving code stuff pretty much every new build has it.

      Its great stuff… stops water that get blown up under your tiles in a storm from getting in your ceiling… just gets those little leaks that tile roofs often has and stops them being a problem… plus it stops a lot of heat getting in.


    What would be your recommendation for a 40 year old cliplock colorbond roof? There are no leaks and no surface rust visible, but looking at extending roof life for another 40 years would we be better to re-roof, or spray with a urethane type coating.

    Roof is on 2/3 storey high building which will be fully scaffolded during external cladding work so access for either option would be no drama.

    Could you recommend a spray on finish to achieve a 40 year lifespan over sound colorbond foundation (must be able to cope with sub zero temperatures)

    Thanks for your time.


      To be honest with you i have no experience with High build industrial urethane coatings… im sure products out there would exist for your purpose but you have to find an industrial spray painter… someone who paints oil rigs and draglines…

      I know a guy who used to do it on oil rigs and it requires specialised pneumatic airless machines because its really high solids and can be extremely flammable.

      If the roof has no surface rust id just give it a good clean and a quality 3 coat water based acrylic membrane system… as long as no water and air gets to the metal it wont rust…. will it last 40 years… no… but if applied thick enough it will go at least 15 years before you have to paint again.

      It will still get dirty… and if its in a cold climate might get lichen growth ect… but if prepped and painted properly you could pressure wash it without paint delamination.

      Another thing to note is that the colourbond has to be weathered enough to paint.. if its too new or smooth the paint won't key.

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