Your roof is one of the most important aspects of your home’s exterior. A roof in great condition will protect your home’s inhabitants from the elements, provide adequate insulation and increase the efficiency of your air conditioner. If you are planning on selling your home, restoring your roof will not only add to its value but enhance its street appeal.
A roof restoration can be a better choice than a complete roof replacement as it will extend the life of your roof without adding considerable cost. In this article, we cover the signs that you need to restore your roof, the different types of roof restoration, how much roof restoration costs, and ultimately answer the question, is roof restoration worth it?
What is roof restoration?
Over time, every roof will start to show its age. Roof restoration is designed to extend the life of your roof and is a cheaper alternative to a roof replacement where the entire roof is removed and replaced with a new one. Regardless, the end result will have your roof looking as good as new!
Roofs in poor condition can leak, attract unwelcome wildlife, develop harmful mould growth and cause significant issues when it comes to insurance claims. So if your roof is looking a little worse for wear and requires more than a few simple repairs, then it is worth considering a professional roof restoration.
Stages in roof restoration
The process usually affects the whole roof (as opposed to a roof repair where only a small section is targeted), and the exact methods depend on the type of roof and roofing materials and the nature of the damage. However, typically, the process involves:
- Visual assessment. A visual inspection by your roofing professional will identify specific target areas like breaks, cracks, holes or dents that could be compromising your roof’s stability. Rust, leaks and other elements that could weaken your roofing material will also be identified at this stage. Your roofing specialist will also inspect the inside of your house to identify problems like water stains, moulds or strange odours which need to be addressed.
- Cost estimation. The next step is the preparation of a quote. All of the required calculations and measurements will already have been done upon the inspection of your home. You will be provided with an itemised quote, which can include pressure cleaning, preparation costs, and sealers, paints and coatings if required. Once you have approved the quote, you will be provided with a timeline for each of the services required in the roof restoration.
- Cleaning. This is an important next step as it ensures your roof is ready for any restoration work. It involves a thorough cleaning with a high-pressure spray to remove all grit, dirt, moss, mould and algae.
- Repairs. Any damage will then be repaired, and depending on the type of roof, it can include fixing cracked or broken tiles, replacing metal sheets, sealing any leaks and re-bedding and re-pointing, if needed.
- Priming. In most cases, your roof will then be painted with a primer (particularly with older tiled roofs), and then a final topcoat will be added.
Can I do it myself?
The straight-up answer is no. Roof restoration requires a roofing professional’s expertise and specialist skills to complete the job to a high standard, and it is definitely not a DIY project! Advantages to using a qualified roofing company include:
They have the right equipment
Deep cleaning is required to prepare a roof for roof restoration, and most standard pressure cleaning machines won’t achieve this. If you undertake deep cleaning yourself, you risk flooding your home. Professional roofers know how to operate machinery at the right angle to avoid this. Additionally, domestic pressure cleaning machines you might have at home operate at 1,000 to 1,500 psi, which won’t be enough to clean your roof properly. Professional machines operate at 3,000 to 3,500 psi … which will!
They’ll do the job safely
Working on roofs is always dangerous, particularly because of the height factor. Professional roofers are trained to work at heights, and they undergo continual training with scaffolding. And while minor roofing work is not necessarily considered construction work, it still carries the same risks.
They’ll use the appropriate materials
Professional roofers use high-quality materials. These generally come with a product warranty, for example, a quality roof sealant will often last ten years. They will also offer a warranty on workmanship, typically ten years. Additional benefits of quality products can include thermal insulation, rust resistance and better coverage and adhesion.
Your home insurance will be maintained
Your roof is your first line of defence against the elements, so it needs to be kept in the best condition possible. A poor roof restoration job not only increases the risks of increasing damage, but it could also void your home insurance cover, so always hire a professional for all roofing repairs or restorations.
You’ll get value for money
You might think that doing your own roof restoration work will be cheaper than hiring a professional. However, bear in mind that you will not only have to invest in the appropriate machinery and materials yourself, you will also need to purchase safety equipment. If you hire a professional roofer, these are all included in their quote.
What are signs you need roof restoration?
Your roof protects your home from the elements, which can be quite harsh in Queensland and include hailstorms, cyclones, intense sun and torrential rain. You should consider a roof restoration if you notice:
Your first indication that your roof needs restoration will most likely be that your roof is frequently leaking. If the interior of your home has been compromised, you may discover dark spots of mould or rot growing on your ceiling or trails of moisture on your ceiling. These suggest water damage from a roof leak.
Generally, most roofs will last for 20 to 25 years, although this lifespan varies depending on the material used to construct your roof. If your roof has reached the end of its life, restoring your roof once will be less expensive than paying for frequent repairs.
A sagging area in the roof is a sure sign of roof damage. If you notice a visible dip in your roof, chances are you have a problem with your roof rafters.
Deteriorating roof valleys
Damaged roof valleys need to be repaired as soon as possible. If you notice worn or loose material around the chimney, vents, pipes and other areas where the roof has been penetrated and sealed, this is a sign your roof needs attention as soon as possible.
Corrosion, also known as rust, is a strong indication that water is collecting around your roof’s fittings and fasteners. If you detect rust alongside flaking paint and rotting timber, you should have your roof professionally inspected to evaluate the level of damage.
Unlike algae and moss — which, in their proper settings, are healthy, natural flora — mould is a more clear-cut problem with hazardous health effects and certainly no aesthetic value! Mould is easy to spot due to its rancid smell and slimy, unattractive appearance, which is characterised by black, brown and dark-green blotches.
Deteriorating roof shingles
If your roof’s shingles look curled or worn you may have shingle granules in your gutters, and this is a definite sign your roof may need restoration.
Damaged gutters and downpipes
Gutters and downpipes are designed to divert water, and if your roof’s gutters and downpipes show rust or corrosion, holes, cracks or loose fasteners, it can lead to water damaging siding, walls, fascias and other roofing materials.
Cracked or worn roof flashing
If your roof’s tar or cement flashing looks cracked, broken or worn, it may be best to have your flashing replaced with modern metal flashing, which will prevent leaks and delay the need for premature roof replacement.
Cracked or broken tiles
Any cracked, broken or porous tiles should be replaced as soon as possible. Tile roofing is very durable and rarely needs to be completely replaced. However, if you overlook individual damaged tiles, water can seep in and cause the timber holding up your roof to rot, leading to a more expensive roof replacement or restoration.
What are the benefits of roof restoration?
There is a number of benefits to having an experienced roofing expert undertake a roof restoration, including:
Boosting the value of your home
If you decide to sell your home, the exterior offers the first impression to potential buyers, so investing in your roof’s upkeep will enhance its value by increasing its aesthetics. It will also ensure your property passes any required building and pest inspections.
Offering peace of mind
Storm season is a regular occurrence in Queensland, and wild weather can cause untold damage to a roof, even if there are no visible leaks or signs of water damage. A roof restoration will ensure any damage is detected and repaired before it gets worse.
Saving energy and money
If your roof has holes or cracks that allow cool and warm air to escape, your home’s insulation is not being maximised, and your electricity bills may increase.
Protecting it against unwanted pests
Rats, snakes and possums love taking advantage of compromised roofs, where they can build nests and cause damage in the process. Safely capturing and removing wildlife from your roof can also be a costly exercise, so ensuring it is secure and in good shape will save you money in the long run.
Increasing your roof’s lifespan
An experienced roofing expert will be able to find any weaknesses, such as any leaks or cracked tiles in your roof and work to fix them before any significant damage occurs. It will alleviate the need for a complete roof replacement in the future, which can be expensive. Clearing overflowing gutters as part of the process will also minimise fire risks.
Ensuring insurance coverage
Depending on the type and level of your home insurance, you will have certain responsibilities as a homeowner. Insurance companies can reject insurance claims if your roof has not been adequately maintained, including covering issues related to blocked gutters, rusted roofing or gutters or clogged flashings.
How long does roof restoration take?
The time frame for a roof restoration will vary based on the weather conditions at the time, what repairs are needed, your home’s structural integrity, and the size of your roof. Metal roofs require a different process to that of cement or tiled roofs. However, typically, roofing contractors will take three to ten working days to complete a roof restoration.
How long can I expect my roof restoration to last?
Generally, a quality roof restoration will last between ten and 15 years, and additionally, paint manufacturers will typically give a warranty, which is at least ten years. After that time, the roof coating should still remain on tiles, and the ridge capping only needs repointing.
Over time, the roof paint will fade, and the glaze will erode. However, as long as the coating remains on the tiles, they should be protected to an extent. Once the glaze has deteriorated, the coating underneath oxidises and becomes very chalky. The oxidised coating must be removed, along with the dirt and grit on the surface and in the craters and pores of the tiles.
Ridge capping generally lasts ten years, however, eventually the mortar will begin to break down, resulting in cracks. This is when leaks may occur, along with other roof-related issues. If you put off re-pointing, you will eventually need your ridge capping re-bedding, which is much more costly than re-pointing. When a roof’s ridge capping is rebedded, the old mortar is removed, and the ridge caps are reset.
What determines how long a roof restoration will last?
This is a critical part of the process to ensure a long-lasting roof restoration. When cleaning the roof, it is essential that all dirt and peeling paint is removed. If there is anything left on the tiles’ surface, it will interfere with the roof membrane adhesion, resulting in the paint peeling or lifting.
Correct product application is pivotal for your roof restoration lasting as long as possible. The tip size, angle of the gun, and the amount of product applied are all critical factors. If the product has not been applied correctly, the manufacturer’s warranty will often be void.
Poor quality products can result in a range of issues, including paint lifting, peeling and fading quickly, and ridge capping breaking. If quality products are applied by trained professionals as per the manufacturer’s directions, your roof will look great for many years to come.
How much does roof restoration cost?
The cost of roof restoration depends on a variety of factors, however, roofing companies typically charge by square metre.
As a rough estimate, you can expect to pay:
- Between $250 and $500 for roof cleaning, depending on the condition of your roof
- Between $200 and $500 for a spot repair, depending on the size of the issue
- $48 to $58 per square metre for metal roof repairs
- $55 to $65 per square metre for tile roof repairs
- $2500 for a full roof restoration of an average-sized house
- Between $4,500 and $11,000 for full restoration of a large tiled roof
Resealing the roof is sometimes optional, but it does provide additional protection and is highly recommended to extend your roof’s longevity. Sealing can be done by applying roof paint or a special roof coating. The costs can be set per square metre or per hour, although some companies might have a fixed price for this.
When asking for roof restoration quotes:
- Outline in as much detail as possible in terms of what you believe needs to be done
- Mention the approximate size of the roof
- Describe the roof pitch height
- Confirm what material your roof is made from
- Let the roof restorer know if you have a single storey or two-storey home
What factors affect the cost?
The size of the roof
This is the most obvious factor. It’s worth considering having your entire roof inspected even if you think only minor repairs are required, as roofing experts can detect problems that you may not be able to see. It will save you time and money in the long run!
The extent of the restoration
While a straightforward restoration usually includes cleaning and/or repainting your roof, there are often several repairs or replacements that need to be done as part of the project. For example, roof valleys may need to be replaced, and in older homes, roof trusses may have sagged, and eaves may require replacement. Keep in mind that some issues may be detected after the project has started, particularly after the roof has been pressure cleaned.
Pitch and accessibility
Steeper, higher and more complex roofs are harder to work on and will generally cost more to restore. Guard rails will generally also need to be installed if the roof is over a certain height which will add to the cost, as will any additional safety equipment.
The type of roof
The steps involved in roof restoration will vary depending on the type of roof you have. These are detailed below.
Tile roof restoration
Whether you have a concrete or terracotta tiled roof, the process typically involves:
- High-pressure cleaning using specialised equipment
- Repairing or replacing cracked, broken or damaged tiles
- Re-aligning roof tiles
- Repointing and re-bedding ridge tiles
- Repairing or replacing flashings, clips and valleys
- Installing new valleys with valley seals
- Re-bedding ridges and installing new capping, including the application of a flexible pointing product
- Addressing mould, dirt and algae build-up over tiles
- Replacing glazing if is wearing, starting to peel or tiles have started to look porous
- Addressing roof leaks
- Treatment with an anti-fungicide and sealer to protect tiles from the elements
Colorbond roof restoration
The restoration of a metal Colorbond® roof is different to a tiled roof and includes:
- Addressing any leaks
- The replacement of compromised panels
- The refastening of loose panels
- Replacing rusted screws, nails and washers
- Sealing any holes with an acrylic mastic or thick sealant
- Removing any traces of corrosion or rust to minimise further oxidation and damage to the metal sheets
- Patching spots or replacing whole metal sheets
- Applying the appropriate coating products. This includes applying roofing sealant to the metal sheets, which could include a rust-proofing primer for better adhesion and two coats of a roofing membrane. The type of membrane will depend on the type of metal on the roof.
Dulux roof restoration
Dulux is one of Australia’s largest and most trusted paint brands, and they offer a 15-year warranty on their products’ performance. From pitched and gabled to flat roofs, their Acratex Roof Restoration Service covers a range of roof types and surfaces, including concrete tiles, aluminium, Colorbond®, Zincalume® and corrugated iron roofs. The process typically involves:
- Pressure cleaning and mould and algae treatment prevention
- Sealing the roof with an exclusive advanced technology protective roof membrane and innovative high build coating. The Dulux® Acratex® Roof Membrane formulation has been developed with Next Generation, Advanced Polymer Cross Linking Technology.
- Finishing the roof with the colour of your choice (there are over 1000!) Both the Dulux Acratex and Colorbond® range offer less chalking, a glossier finish and colours that stay fresher for longer.
Questions to ask when hiring a roof restorer
When hiring a roof restorer, it’s important to make sure they are licensed and experienced. And regardless of the extent of your roofing restoration, you should always request a fully itemised quote. Some questions to ask include:
- Are you licensed?
- Do you have valid insurance?
- Can you provide a written, itemised quote?
- How long is the warranty on your materials?
- Do you have references I can follow up on?
- 2020, Is a roof restoration worth it? Bayside Roof Repairs and Restoration
- Tamika Seeto, How much does a roof restoration cost? Canstar
- 2021, 7 reasons why house roof restoration is necessary, The Modern Group
- 2018, Why a roof restoration is better value than a replacement, Roof Restoration
- 2020, How much does roof restoration cost? Vivify
- 2021, Don’t DIY: Why you should invest in professional roof re-pointing, D&L Roofing
- 2019, How long does a roof restoration last? Brisco Roofing
- 2018, How long does roof restoration take? City2Surf Roofing
- 2021, Dulux Acratex Roofing Service, Dulux Roofing