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How to maintain a roof: 5 tips for home owners

Home Maintenance

MyPropertyLife 25 Oct 2016

home-roof-maintenance-776735-edited.jpgThe roof is a critical part of any house, and yet many home owners never think about their roofs until something goes wrong. However, waiting until there is a major issue can often end up costing significantly more than following a regular maintenance schedule. With that in mind, here are some handy tips on how to maintain a roof...

Roof cleaning

Generally speaking most roofs need to be cleaned every three years to remove dirt, mould, lichen and salt deposits form homes located in coastal areas. This usually involves a light chemical clean and/or a low powered pressure wash. For roofs with overlapping tiles, you may need to get in closer to ensure that you are able to get in between the tiles. For safety reasons, and to ensure the best possible result, we recommend hiring a professional to do this for you.

Home owners should focus on ensuring that gutters are checked and cleared at least every quarter.  While areas that are not regularly rain washed, such as under the eaves, should be hosed down by home owners at least every six months.



The flashing refers to the areas where the roof connects to the rest of the house, which is why they are often more susceptible to leaks. The key thing to look out for when it come to flashings is signs of corrosion. If caught quickly, the rust can be removed by light sanding and the flashing recoated to seal and protect it. Instead of sanding, rust can also be painted over with a 'rust converter solution' which neutralises the rust and converts it to a primer in one easy step. 


Leak repair

It is best to catch leaks while they are still small and before any water has had a chance to penetrate the roof cavity. Typically, small leaks appear around flashings and chimneys and can be temporarily repaired by filling them with a roofing sealant, such as Selley's Roof & Gutter Silicone Sealant. Again this is only a temporary fix and eventually the flashings or cracked mortar, for example, will need to be replaced. Keep an eye-out for damp patches on ceiling or exterior walls, as these are sure sign that your roof has sprung a leak. 


Read more: Preparing your property for next winter


Roof recoating

This generally applies to metal or concrete tiled roofs and, on average, has to be carried out every 12 years.  This is important to protect metal tiles from corrosion and reduce surface weathering of concrete tiles. A good recoating system will also protect a roof from future mould or lichen build-up. 


Roof tile replacement

Cracks in tiles generally stem from extreme weather conditions or because the roof has been walked on. Therefore, if you ever go up onto the roof, always remember to work on planks or a specialised roof ladder to prevent further damage to the tiles.  

Some cracks can be repaired with a flexible (silicon) sealant, but this only provides a temporary solution. When replacing missing tiles, or attending to loose tiles, it is important to ensure they are tied, fixed or clipped correctly to the roof structure and that only compatible fastenings are used. For safety reasons it is best to entrust these types tasks to the professionals.


Falls from roofs are one of the most prolific forms of accidents reported to WorkSafe NZ. For this reason alone, we recommend using a roofing professional who has access to the correct safety equipment and who is ideally a member of reputable national trade organisation, such as RANZ


Want to add value to your home and give it the best chance of success on the property market? Check out the tips in our free guide:


Simple Renovations That Could Add Massive Value To Your Home


The information provided by MyPropertyLife is general and is not intended to serve as advice. Please see our Disclaimer for further details.