As a Licenced Builder and all-round roofing guru, Greg Catton from My Home Improvements has been called in countless time to fix up dodgy roof replacement jobs all over Brisbane and Queensland.
A shonky roofing contractor can not only leave you thousands out of pocket, but can leave you with a roof prone to leaking and serious damage.
If you are considering getting a roof replacement or are thinking you might need one in the near future, here’s some things to check with a roofing contractor before you hire them.
#1 – Is the roofing contractor QBCC Licensed?
The Queensland Building and Construction Commission (QBCC) is the State’s building and construction industry regulator. Any contractors performing building work valued at over $3,300 must hold a QBCC licence.
The licence shows that a contractor holds all the relevant qualifications and experience necessary to complete your roof replacement thoroughly and to code.
If a roofing contractor doesn’t hold a QBCC Licence or is unwilling to show you their Licence, well, run for the hills. They clearly won’t be able to conduct a roof replacement job professionally.
#2 – Will the roofing contractor create a Safety Work Method Statement?
As much as I enjoy my job, working on a roof is no joke.
There are obvious hazards to working at heights that need to be mitigated, such as the risk of falls and exposure to electricity. There are also less obvious hazards to consider like exposure to ultraviolet radiation.
A professional roofing contractor will always identify potential risks and prepare a Safe Work Method Statement (SWMS) before commencing work on a roof replacement. This document outlines what measures will be put in place to control any risk factors such as the use of personal protective equipment and the supervision of workers completing certain tasks.
Always confirm with a roofing contractor that they will be preparing a SWMS and ask to see a copy. If they fail to prepare a SWMS, the contractor is endangering not only themselves, but your own safety too.
#3 – Will the roofing contractor use high quality materials?
The quality of the metal roofing sheets used in a roof replacement has a massive impact on the lifespan of the roof.
The best sheet manufacturers use BlueScope Steel for its premium quality and reliability. Some roofing contractors will use “second tier” products from overseas to cut costs.
A roof with brand new BlueScope roof sheets will carry a up to a 30-year warranty whereas cheaper sheets will only last for 15 – 20 years.
My advice – if they aren’t using BlueScope, forget ‘em!
When it comes to roofs, it’s always better to get it done once right to avoid having to pay more in the long run.
#4 – Will the roofing contractor lay the roofing sheets correctly?
This is harder for an average homeowner to check, but many roofing contractors fail to install roofing sheets correctly.
Roofing sheets need to be laid down using highly detailed specifications from the manufacturer. For example – the distance between each screw has to be exact and consistent across the whole roof.
A key thing to confirm with a roofing contractor is if they will “turn up” the ends of the sheets when doing a roof replacement. Metal roof sheeting must be turned up at the high end of the roof to stop wind driven rain entering the roof cavity.
Roof sheets which have been turned up at the ends.
This is incredibly important for low-pitched roofs, particularly for properties in Queensland. We might be called the “Sunshine State”, but our extreme weather conditions pose a constant battle for roofs.
Turning up the sheets is relatively easy and can be done by a roof contractor using a special tool, yet many contractors still fail to do so.
Also, the sheets need to be installed AGAINST the prevailing wind direction. Otherwise, water will fly up against the join of 2 sheets, impacting on the longevity of the roof. You’d be amazed at how many roofs I’ve seen where someone has installed the sheets in the same direction as the wind!
I strongly suggest checking with a roofing contractor which way they plan to lay the sheets and whether they will turn up the sheets to gauge whether they are pros or not.
#5 – Will the roofing contractor install a roofing blanket?
A roofing blanket should always be installed during a roof replacement.
The blanket is installed over the battens and has a foil side and a glass/wool side. The 2 sides work to provide insulation as well as a moisture barrier.
Without a blanket, the longevity of your roof will be compromised. The blanket will prevent rust caused by condensation from moisture.
A roofing blanket being installed during a roof replacement.
Ceiling bats are different to a roofing blanket and work separately to insulate your home.
Some contractors may not bother to install a roofing blanket to reduce the amount of labour and time on a job. But take it from me, a blanket is almost always a must.
Want to make sure you get a proper roof replacement? Talk to us!
My Home Improvements have 20 years’ experiences as roofing contractors. We experts at roof replacements, especially in Queensland. So much so, we’re often called in to fix up the mistakes of other contractors.
If you would like more information about roof replacements or roofing work in general, My Home Improvements will be happy to help. Simply click here to contact us.