AF Concrete Roof Restoration
Concrete is one of the most popular materials used in roof construction. It’s durability and strength are qualities make it ideal for construction and building. Unfortunately, it does retain a lot of excess heat that continues to radiate into the home well after the sun has gone down. Concrete tiles weather over time and begin to get brittle with age. Protective membranes applied to the concrete can not only significantly extend the life of the roof and dramatically improve the appearance, specialised types can also dramatically reduce the core temperature of a tile.
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Please read on to see how we go about returning your roof to its former glory while also introducing important energy saving technology.
All work carried out on a roof is dangerous. WorkSafe regulations require that physical edge protection in the form of safety rails be used on all roof restorations regardless if the home is single or double story. Much of the work carried out involves the necessity of carrying heavy objects and handling awkward machinery. The presence of a solid roof rail not only prevents falls, it also allows our tradespeople to focus closer on the quality of the work they perform
2. Broken Tiles
The first stage in the restoration process is always to check the roof for broken tiles that may be currently leaking or may possibly leak in extreme weather events. Tiles with small chips are generally left in the roof but relocated to the blind side of the roof. Anything with a larger chip or break is replaced entirely.
3. Pressure cleaning
Melbourne roofs are subject to ever increasingly high amounts of pollutants. Dust and dirt are also present to varying degrees. The complete removal of these components is critical for a lasting restoration. Not only can foreign elements adversely affect our membranes, anything left on the surface of a tile can prevent the primers from soaking into the body of the tile. This will result in peeling. Using chemicals can damage the tile and get into the surrounding gardens. For these reasons, we utilise high pressure water only for the cleaning stage. Large commercial pressure cleaning machines are used that can reach pressure in excess of 4,100 psi. A considerable amount of time is spent in this task to ensure all grime and pollutants are thoroughly removed.
The bedding concrete is one of the most important components of a roofs structure. It is the foundational concrete that sits under the ridge caps. It is designed to ensure that the ridge caps do not blow off the roof in high winds or slide off on their own. It almost all roof restorations this concrete needs to be removed completely to ensure a quality job is achieved. Trying to patch over the top or only partially replace it, will nearly always end in disaster. Failing bedding is one on the most common reasons for water ingress and, if not done properly, can also impact on your insurance coverage should damage occur to the home. All of our concrete tile restoration work comes with a complete removal of all existing concrete. All ridge caps and gable tiles are then set firmly in place onto the new bedding concrete. The mix of sand and cement is also crucial. Too much sand can allow the pointing material that goes over the concrete to fail. Expansion and contraction of the pointing can begin to come away if the concrete has too much sand in it. We use a solid mix of three parts sand and one part cement. This forms a very strong concrete base once dried.
The pointing is the second component of the concrete bedding. Many companies will apply this directly to the old bedding. This is not compliant under Australian Tiling Standards 2050 and can void your insurance coverage if leaks occur from this practice. Once the bedding has adequately set, we apply an acrylic flexible compound to the new concrete finish. This is flexible, so resists cracking during high temperatures. It is also waterproof which protects the underlying concrete and increases the length of time that it will last. Its highly adhesive quality also means that it bonds extremely well to the tile and the bedding creating a much more effective join between them.
6. Valley irons
A valley iron is the roof gutter that sits under the tiles where two roof faces meet. They are generally have a galvanised steel finish that is subject to oxidation. Even if rust is not visible on the surface, it is still likely that it will be present under the bedding concrete that secures the valley tiles. We recommend replacing all valley irons over 30 years of age. We always use Colorbond steel for our valley replacements. Even though the new valley will become coated along with the roof, Colorbond has a much more resilient finish the plain steel and will last for much longer. Concrete is not used to secure the tiles. Valleys expand and contract with temperature change. The movement can cause the valley bedding to crack and fall out. This is a common source of roof leaks. AF Prestge Roofing implement's a sophisticated form of rubber lining with an adhesive compound impregnated into it. It is very flexible and resilient and much better suited to securing valley tiles to the valley iron that conventional bedding.
7. Roof penetrations
Most tiled roofs have some types of penetrations through them. They are usually either ventilation pipes for the sewerage system or heater/hot water flus. In many cases they are sealed with inefficient lead sheeting that is a common source of water ingress. The clam system at the top of the penetration fails and the lead is prone to splitting. When we perform a professional roof restoration, these old faulty flashing systems a fully replaced with new Dektite flashing kits. A dektite has a reinforced flexible acrylic mat and instead of lead. It has an adhesive back so bonds to the tiles and it’s acrylic substance makes it extremely durable. The sealing method on the pipe is by way of a rubber sleeve that is trimmed down to suit the pipes diameter. A bead of silicone and applied to the pipe at the top of the sleeve and an adjustable clamp secures the sleeve to the penetration.
8. Chimney flashings
Chimneys are another big source of roof leaks. The lead around the sides is prone to the same issues that can plague penetrations. The flashings on the side, designed to stop water the hits the chimney faces from running down the chimney and entering your home, often fail also. A small gutter, called a chimney soaker tray, sits behind the chimney. This catches sand and debris and commonly rusts out very rapidly. We often replace the entire chimney flashing system on older homes to ensure that no further problems occur. The lead is replaced with a flexible adhesive acrylic matting, the sides of the chimney are re flashed wth new Colorbond steel and the rear soaker tray is always replaced with Colorbond.
9. Primer coat (1st application)
The first protective coat to be applied is critical. As it is what is directly in contact with the tile, the first coat is what determines wether or not the subsequent coatings will peel. Peeling paint on a tiled roof restoration can be disastrous. Any attempt to repaint the roof will fail as the new paint will simply peel off with the old paint that is left on the tile. In most cases the roof has to be left peeling until the old paint oxidises, a process that can take many years. So instead of improving the look of your home, a low quality roof restoration can actually make it look worse. The surface of a concrete tile is porous. That means that thick paints applied will seal the tile and trap air in the body of the tile. As the trapped air heats up, it expands. At the same time this is happening, the paint is softening from the heat. The expanding air will begin to bubble the softened paint and peeing begins to occur. This is the number one application error made in the industry. Well over half of restoration firms utilise a “sealer coat” for their first coat. It is generally a thick paint that seals the tile prior to painting. It will improve the look of the colour coats, but it traps air in the tile and peeling is a virtual certainty. Therma Guard utilise nano technology with our primary application. Nano technology is the science of miniaturisation. The molecules in our primer coat are much smaller than usual. This allows our primer to soak deeply into the roof and penetrate well into the body of the tile. It is highly adhesive so the subsequent compounds applied bind perfectly to it. In effect, our membrane system can never peel. It becomes part of the tile itself. It will, of course, eventually weather away, but this will be a gradual fading effect that will take
10. High solids sealer (2nd application)
The second application is all about aesthetics. Now that the primer is doing its job to ensure our membranes will never peel, we can focus on delivering a smooth and even finish. Concrete tiles have a rough surface. They are often pitted and grainy. In many cases the surface varies significantly from tile to tile. These discrepancies can show up, particularly when the sun is reflecting off the tiles, making the roof look patchy. Our high solids sealer is specifically designed to combat that and deliver a consistent creamy presentation. It is a thick viscous acrylic membrane with added emulsifiers. An emulsifier is a coagulant that stabilised the sealant. It affords our membrane a constitution that has less fluidity than other sealants. As it is applied, this membrane not only fills in pits and cavities it also resists running on the tiles inclined surface. The end result is a rich acrylic surface that is uniformly consistent in thickness. When the top coats go on, they apply very evenly and consistently.
11. Protective heat reflective top coats (3rd & 4th application)
Our finishing coats are the peace de resistance. They are specially engineered membranes that incorporate three separate cutting edge technologies.
+ Cross linked polymers
Polymers like acrylic paints, are molecularly structured in chains. This makes them strong within the chain, but the individual chains can separate which leads to crazing, cracking and eventual failure. A cross linked polymer is specially engineered so the the individual polymer chains cross over each other. Not only does this significantly extend the life of the membrane, it also improves dirt pick up resistance. The cross linking makes the surface smoother meaning the dirt washes off easier during periods of rain.
Becoming more widely used over the last decade, nanotechnology provides many benefits. As the molecule is smaller, the overall strength and durability of the membrane is increased. The surface is also much less porous so foreign elements like dust and pollution find it more difficult to penetrate the surface, keeping the coatings pure. The colour pigment also lasts longer because the molecule is smaller so less surface is presented to the damaging factors of ultra violet light.
+ Infrared reflective pigments
Infrared light is heat. Our colour pigments that are incorporated in the last two membrane coats have infrared reflecting technology infused into them. Global climate change and increasing energy costs make this particular technology a no brainer. While initially more expensive, long term savings can be enjoyed as both the homes comfort level, and your energy bill will be much healthier! By using our heat reflective membranes, on a hot Adelaide day, the internal temperature of your home can be as much as 10 degrees cooler than it currently is. This is based on a charcoal type colour but even in the lighter colour ranges a big difference can be felt. The other major benefit of heat reflective roof paints is that they last much longer than traditional coatings. They fade much less because they are reflective. There is much less expansion which helps to prevent pollutants from entering the body of the compounds. Even foot traffic on the roof is less likely to affect the finish as it does not soften as much in the heat. Together, these three technologies represent the latest developments in enhanced protective membranes and place our coatings amongst the best in the world.
Our restoration services are far more than just a paint job. They last many times longer than standard roof paints. The appearance, particularly over time, far outstrips standard restoration practices. The heat reflective technology incorporated within the coatings makes a restoration by AF Prestige Roof Restoration exceed the performance of even a brand new roof. Because of our exhaustive preparation and attention to detail, you can expect your roof to remain relatively problem free for decades to come. Because of this, our services are not for everyone. If you believe that you will be in your home for less than 5 years, or are prepping your home for sale, other, less expensive, options might bear consideration. But if you do intend to keep your house long term, our services work out to be much cheaper than our competitors when calculated over the full life of the restoration, particularly when energy savings are factored in. Obviously all homes are different so some of the above processes may vary from roof to roof. If you are seriously considering having your roof restored, the best approach is to contact us for a free assessment and quotation. Simply click on the contact form or call 0404 991 331 to get started.
Frequently asked questions
Is restoring my roof worth it?
A quality roof restoration Adelaide will improve the overall aesthetics of your home and help to keep your roof maintenance free for decades if done correctly. So, in most cases, the value that a high quality restoration adds to your home coupled with the long term savings on constant repairs, far outstrips the initial investment. Our heat reflective compounds also improve the comfort of your home while reducing your energy bill. There are some cases, however, where roof restoration is not entirely viable. If you have good tree coverage, your roof presents low visibility and the overall condition is well maintained, a roof restoration may be a needless expense. We can assess these issues for you and advise accordingly.
How long does a roof restoration last?
The durability of a roof paint or membrane is determined by the initial quality of the product and the application process. Their are thousands of different options on roof paints. The majority of restoration firms are very price conscious. This is a competitive industry and, as a result, many firms cut corners to keep their prices down. We have seen full roof restorations fail many times within months of application. Rushed cleaning, watered down and cheap paints coupled with inadequate drying time between coatings (all hallmarks of many cheaper restoration companies), can cause the paints to begin peeling almost immediately. On the other side of the scale, excellent preparation, very high quality membranes, professional application techniques along with heat and
UV control can see the best restorations exceed 20 years of quality life.
What is a roof restoration?
The exact definition of what a roof restoration is can be a little ambiguous. Their are so many different approaches to roof restoration that it can be a little confusing for the layman. Essentially “restoration” means “to return to a former state” or to make new again. In the case of concrete tiles, they originally had a protective colour coating on them and the mortar, valleys and other flashings
were new. So a roof restoration is the process of replacing all old flashings and valley with new ones, replacing all old mortar, pressure cleaning the tiles and resurfacing the roof with a new colour coat. Many companies skip lots of steps and just patch others. Roof paints and sealants vary tremendously in quality and price. It is essential to perform adequate research prior to engaging a roof restoration Adelaide company to ensure you adequately understand what you are being quoted for.
How much does a roof restoration cost?
Because the processes in a restoration vary so much, the price also can range wildly from lowest to highest. Many companies just lightly clean the roof and put a couple of coats of cheap paint on. The entire process only takes a day and can be as little as a few thousand dollars. In other cases, some repairs are included, but these generally are just patching up mortar. Skimming over old cracked concrete is a very common practice. This is generally referred to as “re bedding as required and repointing”. It is a band aid fix that will quickly fail, but quite cheap to have done. This type of restoration generally comes in at the 4K to 8K range depending on the size of your home. A true restoration, however, one that returns the roof to a new condition, is a little more. If everything is addressed so that all components of your roof are taken care of, the price will vary from around $4,000 to $20,000 depending on the size of your home, the complexity of the roof and the overall
starting condition. The best way to know the exact amount is to contact our firm to assess the condition of the tiles and provide a free no obligation estimate.
How long does a roof restoration take?
Guardrail installation, 4 hours for most homes so allow a full day after delivery and pack up is
Pressure cleaning, allow a full day as even if less, time for drying is required.
Valley replacement, around 2 hours per 5 meter valley iron.
Chimney rear flashing, 30-60 minutes.
Flashing of penetrations, 30-60 minutes each.
Re bedding of ridge caps, 1 day for 80 ridge caps.
Repointing, 2 hours for 80 ridge caps.
Application of protective membranes, 4 hours for 150 square meters per application.
Guardrail down, 4 hours.
So if your home is 15 squares or approximately 150 square meters in area and has 120 ridge caps,
three roof penetrations, 1 chimney, three standard sized valleys and 4 membrane coats are being
applied, you can expect the job to take around 7 days if one tradesperson is working on it.
Will I need to restore my roof again in the future?
Yes. All roof restorations, regardless of the quality will eventually fail. The higher the quality, the longer the time between restorations. A very poor restoration may require renewal after only 6 months or so while an excellent job utilising the latest technology can last for over 20 years. The second restoration, however, need not be as expensive as the initial one. We recommend cleaning and top coating our restoration after 15 years. This is still under the warranty period and you can expect the coatings to still be firmly intact with little or no oxidation. The cost to top coat a roof at this stage is only around 40% the cost of the initial investment.
What will happen if I don’t restore my roof?
Roof maintenance is essential to ensure the tiles and ridge caps remain waterproof. Roofs require maintenance approximately every 10-20 years. Failure to adequately maintain your roof can void your insurance cover should damage resulting from storm events be incurred.
Can I collect drinking water from my roof after it has been restored?
Yes, provided that the acrylic coatings are water based and remain inert upon drying. It is best to check with the individual applicators to ensure this is possible. AF Prestige Roof Restoration uses water based inert membranes that are completely safe the collect drinking water from.
Do I need to remove my solar panels before I have my roof painted?
No. If a suitably skilled tradesperson is contracted, they can reach far enough under the panels that the uncoated tiles are not visible from the ground. The panels themselves offer significant protection to the tiles from the elements. In saying that, if you are planning on installing new panels, it is best to have the roof restored first. If tiles break later under the panel, it can be very expensive to have them replaced as the panels often need to be removed.