https://uttergutters.com.au Tue, 17 Sep 2019 21:18:34 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.2.4 Problem solved: The versatility of Stratco Cooldek https://uttergutters.com.au/blog/2017/07/31/the-versatility-of-stratco-cooldek/ Mon, 31 Jul 2017 06:52:05 +0000 https://uttergutters.com.au/?p=3152
When customers come to us for advice about a verandah, patio or pergola, their objectives, and the issues that need to be overcome, are often similar for many homeowners.

Every day, we are creating solutions for covering odd shaped areas, increasing or customising roof heights, blending new patios and verandahs seamlessly with existing house structures, minimising supports to maximise space and functionality, and all while building a structure that is rock solid and aesthetically enhances the home and garden.

In this blog, we take a look at how we helped one of our customers overcome what started out as a series of significant challenges, and through some creative thinking and clever engineering solutions, were able to give them exactly what they wanted.
Some of the critical issues we had to overcome included:

  • The patio area of 124m2 needed to follow the shape of the exposed aggregate concrete section.
  • The customer requested the minimal use of columns so they could enjoy their backyard view.
  • The customer didn’t like the excessive framework of the existing structure, and wanted the new structure to have a ‘minimalist’ look to the supporting structures.
  • Lighting was essential for night time entertainment, and daytime light was also required to bring natural lighting into the kitchen and dining room.
  • A request was also made to raise the ceiling of the patio by 2.7m to tie into the roof of the house and make it feel like a part of the house structure, rather than an attachment.
Once we obtained all the necessary building approvals from the council, we started by removing the existing structure, including the post in the middle of the concrete area. 
The house eaves and gutter fascia were brought into line with the wall plate of the main house. This allowed us to raise the structure to the desired height and also keep the whole unit in line with the existing wall of the first story dwelling.
We used the Stratco 150mm outback beam with 75mm SHS columns and the 100mm Cooldek. For the roofing, we used the 100mm Cooldek composite sheeting. The vast expanse at this point is 7.2m from the back channel attached to the wall to the front beam.
Provisions were made to install the new Stratco roof lights to bring natural light into the kitchen and dining area.

We prepared the cutouts for the integrated lighting in each panel, with the wiring passing through the inside of the composite sheeting.

As you can see, the new Stratco roof lights are incorporated into the Cooldek sheeting to complement the look and increase lighting where necessary.

At the completion of the job, the finished product included everything the customer had asked for with the 7.2m span to the pool line and columns outside of trafficable areas.

A reinforced Stratco beam with knee braces on the columns, eliminated the need for an unnecessary column. The knee braces supported the extra span, leaving the area as open as possible for a barbeque and a large entertainment space.

The new patio covered the entire concrete area, fitting into the unusual shape. Only two columns are seen in the foreground, opening up the pleasant surroundings of the backyard. We achieved the customer’s height and attachment requests, giving the new patio the feeling that it is part of the house. The overall ceiling leaves a clean, clear ambience with natural lighting during the day and LED lighting for evening entertaining.
With the help of the Utter Gutters team, this customer was able to achieve their desired outdoor entertainment space.
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Persistence pays. Why one homeowner kept looking until they found a builder that could give them the patio they really wanted. https://uttergutters.com.au/blog/2017/06/28/a-builder-that-can-create-the-patio-you-really-want/ Wed, 28 Jun 2017 21:15:23 +0000 https://uttergutters.com.au/?p=3083
Carol and her husband’s story is surprisingly common. They knew exactly what their objectives were for a new patio, and they had a good idea about how they wanted it to look and how it should be constructed. The problem was, the builders they spoke to didn’t agree. They even told them it was impossible. But this tenacious couple were not the kind to give up. Here’s how their patio ideas were brought to life.
What motivated you add a Stratco Pavilion to your home?

There was nothing out the front on the water’s edge, and it was conducive to having something there. We had a side pergola, but it didn’t take in the water views. So when my husband and I bought the house a few years ago, we decided that there had to be something there that was going to be protective against the wind. We did a bit of homework and looked at many different kinds of solutions to solving our problem, but the Stratco Pavilion was drawing us back every time.

How did you go about finding the information you needed?

My husband and I had lots of quotes and lots and people coming to our house at separate times.

Did you have a design in mind before you contacted a builder?

We had an idea, but it kept changing because my husband had one idea and I had another. But I put my foot down.

You chose Utter Gutters to install your new Pavilion, was there a particular reason that influenced your decision?

Utter Gutters could provide what we needed to have done. Another building company said that what we wanted couldn’t be achieved. They said the patio was impossible to build and attach to the house. However, Utter Gutters said the job could be done, so we chose them.

Did we meet your expectations?

100%

Have you had any memorable events since your Pavilion has been installed?

My husband and I have had one barbeque, but as we still have construction going on around the house, it doesn’t feel conducive to have anything big here. But this coming year we are planning to have many people over. It will be good.

Is there anything else you would like to add?

We were impressed that the tradesman was very tolerant of my husband, who persistently asked him to come out many times to fix leaks and other small issues. Every time wasn’t a problem. It was good.

Builder: Utter GuttersProduct: Stratco Pavilion
Length: 7200 Width: 6300 Height: 2800
Roof Deck: Classic Roofing Type: 75mm Cooldeck Beam Type: 200 x 400
Column Size: 275 x 275 Gutter Type: Edge Accessories: 12 Watt LED Lights


Request A Quote

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Pavilion: Adding the finishing touch to a new home https://uttergutters.com.au/blog/2017/06/08/pavilion-adding-the-finishing-touch-to-a-new-home/ Thu, 08 Jun 2017 17:27:41 +0000 https://uttergutters.com.au/?p=2828 No matter how beautiful a new home may be, adding a feature, such an outdoor entertainment space, can create the finishing touches that turn a house into a home. That’s what Tony from West Lakes wanted to achieve, and his new Stratco Pavilion created exactly what he was looking for.

What was the main reason for adding a new patio to your home?

Our home was brand new, so we were looking to enhance what we already had.

How did you go about getting ideas for the design and construction of your patio?

My wife and I visited Stratco at Gepps Cross and were quite taken by the Pavilion. We talked with a Roofing Technician from Utter Gutters and, through that discussion, came up with the design we wanted. The patio was to be enclosed by wooden panelling. I also wanted to have a bar, with a wooden bar-top installed at the right height. And it was!

Did you have a design in mind before you spoke to our Roofing Technician?

Once we saw the Pavilion, we gave some thought to how we wanted the design for our patio to be. Originally, the layout for the water feature was going to be at the other end of the patio. But now, since moving it, we realised that we actually get to see it from the kitchen inside. We also converted the two sliding doors into three staggering doors, so now we have an open area outside that connects to our house. This change creates an extra feature to the backyard.

How did you find dealing with the tradesmen from Utter Gutters during the build?

I am happy with the two young men that did the work, they did an excellent job! We just worked through what we wanted with them. They made good suggestions and progressed very nicely.

Have you had the opportunity to put your new Pavilion to good use since it’s been built?

We had people over for Grand final day. It was great to have an area for everyone to be in. We have twenty people coming over for Christmas, so it’s good to have an area to fit everyone. We’re hiring a few trestle tables to put out there as well. We’ve also had family and friends come over for barbeques and drinks. We are looking forward to the summer to really enjoy our outdoor space.

Is there anything else you would like to add?

It took a while to research and plan our patio, but now that we have it, we love it.

 

Builder: Utter Gutters

Product: Stratco Pavilion

Length: 4900 Width: 4200 Height: 2800
Roof Deck: Classic Roofing Type: 50mm Cooldek Beam Type: 200 x 400
Column Size: 275 x 275 Gutter Type: Edge Accessories: 5 Watt LED Lights
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Smart Choice: How one homeowner decided on a patio that ticked all the right boxes https://uttergutters.com.au/blog/2017/02/05/smart-choice-how-one-homeowner-decided-on-a-patio-that-ticked-all-the-right-boxes/ Sun, 05 Feb 2017 21:34:19 +0000 https://uttergutters.com.au/?p=2775 We recently completed a new patio for Julie from Marden. Here she explains why it was so important to make the right choices for both her lifestyle and property, and how she went about it. High on her list of priorities were a superior design, technical support and advice, and an offer that delivered genuine value. Nothing hidden. A total package that gave her exactly what she wanted. Julie knew there were many factors to consider, and she was determined to get it right. Here’s her story.

Hughes patio 1

Do you remember what prompted you to get an entertaining area?

When I was in the process of purchasing a property, I wanted a nice outdoor entertainment area, but this home didn’t have one.

How did you go about getting the information you needed to make an informed decision about your new patio?

Well, I checked with the tradesman, he was great. He gave me four different quotes, as I wasn’t sure if I wanted gable or a steeper roof. I also wasn’t sure of the design I wanted. It was great to be able to ring up and say ‘can you just give me a quote on this style?’ So, that was helpful. The infill bit was also something that I was keen on having, and the tradesman said it was easy to do.

Hughes patio 2

Did you have a design in mind before you started contacting any builders?

I definitely had a few thoughts in mind.

Did your original design change much?

Yes, it did. It changed a few times. I’d sit here and think and someone else would say ‘do this and that’, so, it did change a few times as I was thinking about it.

You chose Utter Gutters to install your patio, was there a particular reason that influenced your decision, or was it the total package?

The total package was great. I chose Utter Gutters because I knew that the name was a good one. I did get a few quotes. I always believe in getting three quotes because you learn something from each person that you talk to. But, I suppose it was the total package. The electric lights were included as well, and the fact that it was all one price was very reassuring.

Hughes patio 3

Did they meet your expectations?

Yes. Even afterwards, there was a slight drip, so, the guy who did it came back twice. Luckily I was here the last time because he was fixing something else that I didn’t know was a problem, and I said ‘no, it’s this one here’. So, he put a bit of ceiling tin in the gutter, and it was all fixed.

Have you had any memorable experiences in your new patio so far?

Yeah! I love coming out here every day. I had my birthday party out here – that was the best! It feels like it was christened then.

Hughes patio 4

Is there anything else you would like to add?

I am just at the next stage of considering additions, like filling in the sides where the fence and verandah meets (infills) and working out the best way to do those infills. I was asking the tradesman for some ideas because you don’t know what you don’t know. It is nice to have the chance to do that.

A couple in my family said, ‘Oh, Julie’s taking a long time to make up her mind.’ On reflection, I thought that’s what I have to do. When you’re getting something that’s a reasonable investment, you want to be sure that you do have the best available. You don’t want to jump to the first decision and go with that. So, I was able to counteract that, which families do.

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All-weather Patio: Enriching the lives of aged care residents https://uttergutters.com.au/blog/2017/01/26/all-weather-patio-enriching-the-lives-of-aged-care-residents/ Thu, 26 Jan 2017 20:24:07 +0000 https://uttergutters.com.au/?p=2759 As we recently discovered, enriching the lives of residents in an aged care facility is an important part of adding to their personal well-being and enjoyment. Cowandilla Retirement Village commissioned us to build a second-story patio to provide the residents with an all-weather outdoor space. While we were always confident that our design and workmanship would meet our customer’s expectations, we had no idea just how transformative the experience would be for those that used it. Here’s what Kent from CRV had to say.

Patio 6

What was it that initially prompted you to consider adding the new patio to your property?

The existing balcony simply wasn’t effective at providing year-round protection from the sun and cold weather. We needed a space that would maximize the opportunities for residents to spend time outside, while still protecting them from the elements.

What was the process you went through to come up with a design and explore construction ideas?

We initially went to an architect and building company, looking for a cost effective solution. They invited Utter Gutters to submit a proposal that covered a range of prices and design options.

Patio 4

Did you already have a design in mind?

We did have an idea in mind, and looked at a flat roof option, but felt that we needed to add something more to the design. We ended up going with a combination of peaks and flat roof. The Utter Gutters’ tradesmen made absolutely sure the design would work, and they were very specific about the procedures and details involved in the construction process.

What was the reason you ultimately chose Utter Gutters to build your patio?

Stratco’s decision to use Utter Gutters as the builder influenced us to use the company.

Did they meet your expectations?

For sure. In fact they exceeded our expectations, especially in the way the tradesmen interacted with us, and were so mindful of the residents needs throughout the whole process.

Patio 1

How have the residents responded to their new outdoor space?

As soon as the verandah was constructed, we started heavily rotating barbeques every fortnight. It allows the residents to socialise at a greater capacity and gives them more of an opportunity to be social. We have a dining hall, but they may only spend 20 minutes eating and chatting, whereas when they’re outside they can spend an hour or two. Also, this way, the residents are protected in all weather conditions, hot or cold, which will provide them with the protection they need.

Is there anything else that you would like to add?

Utter Gutters managed the project very well, and communicated with us very well. We couldn’t afford to have it delayed. They completed the job within 3 to 4 days without any disruption to the resident’s daily activities. This was important, as most patients have a level of dementia, so it was essential that the contractors were always mindful of the residents, which they were.

 

Builder: Utter Gutters

Product: Stratco Clearspan Cookdek Patio

Length: 10,700 Width: 4200 Height: 2700
Roof Deck: 50mm Classic Roofing Type: Cooldek Beam Type: 150 Outback
Column Size: 150×100 Gutter Type: Existing Accessories: –
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Discover how a clever design turned a Pavilion patio into part of a home https://uttergutters.com.au/blog/2017/01/24/discover-how-a-clever-design-turned-a-pavilion-patio-into-part-of-a-home/ Tue, 24 Jan 2017 13:47:15 +0000 https://uttergutters.com.au/?p=2735 ‘It just takes a conversation with the right people for an idea to come to life’ – that was exactly how Frank from Golden Grove felt when he started out with a gutter quote, and a casual chat with our Roofing Technician, and ended up with a Pavilion design that became part of his home.

Discover how Frank was able to use our unique engineering and design suggestions to turn a few fleeting thoughts about adding a patio to his home into an integrated Stratco Pavilion, which we built as though it was part of the original house design.

Pavilion - Frank

 Do you remember where the initial idea came from to add an outdoor entertainment area to your home?

My kids are 23, 21 and 18, so we were looking for a bit more space where we can spend time together. They also have friends that like to come over, so it is nice for them to have space out here.

How did you come up with the ideas for the design and construction of your new Pavilion?

I had an idea in my head, and when I saw the Pavilion at the Utter Gutters show-yard on North East Rd, it confirmed in my mind what it was that I had pictured. I then worked with the tradesmen from Utter Gutters and came up with an original concept to blend the patio with the house. That feature really impressed me. It’s not separate from the house, it’s part of it.

Did you have a design in mind before you contacted a builder, or did you rely on the ideas from a particular builder?

I had a basic picture, but bringing all the structure in, and all the building work; that was the Utter Gutter guys.

You chose Utter Gutters to install your patio, was there a particular reason that influenced your decision, or was it the total package?

It was the approach that influenced me. When I was originally getting a quote for gutters from one of the Roofing Technicians, there was no hard sell or anything. The Pavilion came from a general conversation. We just talked about the house, which is a work in progress. I told him I liked the Pavilion at the Utter Gutters show-yard, and he said, ‘How about I do you a quote?’ and I said, ‘Go on, but I probably won’t go ahead with it.’ Once he came up with the concept, it formed in my mind that it was what I wanted.

Pavilion - Frank1

Did we meet your expectations?

Absolutely. It’s been a great experience from the initial contact with the Roofing Technician for the quote, through to the builder. The builder was amazing, meticulous and very thorough. He spent time explaining the procedures, and didn’t rush in and throw it all together. He took his time to clarify the price, quote and sales. The marketing was very discreet, it wasn’t in my face, and the building work was professional and hassle free.

Have you had any memorable experiences or events since its been built? Do you plan to?

We’ve had a few family get-together’s here, however, the weather was cold and raining. Most people spent time outside under the patio, whereas normally in the wintertime with the old pergola, they’d stay inside.

Pavilion - Frank2

Is there anything else you would like to add?

I think the key thing is, in terms of people who are considering building a patio, is sharing their idea. It just takes a conversation with the right people for an idea to come to life; to bring a basic idea that’s simple, or even plain, and turn into something great.

 

Builder: Utter Gutters

Product: Stratco Pavilion

Length: 6480 Width: 7250 Height: 2620
Roof Deck: 100mm Classic Roofing Type: Cooldek Beam Type: 200×400
Column Size: 275×275 Gutter Type: Edge Accessories: 12 Watt Downlights, Integrated Electronic Blinds
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How one idea grew into a great design for Joanne’s new patio. https://uttergutters.com.au/blog/2017/01/06/how-one-idea-grew-into-a-great-design-for-joannas-new-patio/ Fri, 06 Jan 2017 04:24:08 +0000 https://uttergutters.com.au/?p=2696

As part of our Case Study series, we spoke to Joanne from Nova Gardens about how she ended up with the final design for her new patio. What started out as a pitched roof design, ended up being something completely different – and for good reason – after some practical advice from one of our Roofing Technicians.

Do you remember what prompted or initiated the need to get an entertaining area?

It is a new home, and we wanted to enjoy the backyard space.

How did you gather information about the design and construction?

There was lots of contemplation, and ideas grew as we spoke. The design we wanted for our patio was complex. The Roofing Technician was helpful in understanding and getting what we wanted.

Did you have a design in mind before you contacted a builder or did you rely on ideas of a particular builder?

We wanted a peaked roof and only that. We thought, ‘that’s the way it should be.’ We wanted the patio to

pass the door and have the whole backyard undercover. The tradesman, however, helped us to see that is was more practical in our circumstance to do a flat verandah rather than a peaked.

You chose Utter Gutters to install your patio, was there a particular reason that influenced your decision, or was it the total package?

The design Utter Gutters came up with included everything we wanted. Throughout the building process, they were excellent and really polite.

Did we meet your expectations?

Totally, yeah. Utter Gutters really listened to what we wanted, and we love it!

Have you had any memorable experiences or events since it has been built, or do you plan to?

We already use it every day and every evening. We haven’t celebrated any monumental moments just yet, but we are planning lots of barbeques with family and friends in the New Year.

Is there anything else you would like to add?

We are extremely happy with our new patio! The guys from Utter Gutters were polite and very good on site.

 

Builder:  Utter Gutters

Product: Stratco Outback Flat Attached Type 2A 

Length: 9050mm Width: 7500mm Height 2700mm
Roof Deck: 100mm Cooldek Footing Type: in Ground Beam Type: 150 Outback
Column Size: 100mm SHS Gutter Type: Edge Accessories: LED Lights
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‘Pavilion complemented the design of our home perfectly’ – Fred & Wendy https://uttergutters.com.au/blog/2017/01/06/pavilion-complemented-the-design-of-home-perfectly-fred-wendy/ Fri, 06 Jan 2017 03:28:59 +0000 https://uttergutters.com.au/?p=2687

If you have been thinking about an outdoor entertainment space, then here’s some food for thought. We had a chat with one of our recent customers, Fred and Wendy, about why they chose the Pavilion to create a contemporary entertainment area in place of their existing patio. They also gave us an interesting insight into the process they went through to choose who they wanted to install their Pavilion, and why they ultimately chose Utter Gutters.


Objective & Challenges

Our goal was to completely renovate our outdoor entertainment area, which included replacing an old 70’s style Oregon and shade-cloth patio.

Our biggest challenge was finding a product that would complement the style of our cream brick home, which had been built in the late 60’s. Virtually everything on the market had a very modern look which we felt would clash with the design of our home.

There were also a number of engineering challenges to factor in as we wanted the new structure to attach to the house, just as our old patio had done. Importantly, we had also just finished a major kitchen renovation, which opened up into the entertainment area, so it was critical that whatever we chose had to integrate with the kitchen design.

The search begins

It didn’t take long before we realised that finding a replacement patio was going to be much harder than we first thought. While there were some interesting designs, they just didn’t look right for our home, and quite frankly, they simply weren’t the quality we were looking for. As my wife quite poignantly stated, ‘they just look like a shed without walls’.

One day we were watching TV when the Stratco Pavilion ad appeared. It was the first time we had seen it, and as soon as it was over my wife said what we were both thinking, ‘I want one of them!’.

Not long after we saw the ad, we were driving down Northeast Road and noticed that a Pavilion was being erected in the Utter Gutters display yard. We had to have a look, so we turned around and had a chat with the guys.

The real thing was even more impressive than the ad. We were in no doubt and immediately arranged to have one of the Roof Technicians come over and give us a quote.


Why we chose the Pavilion

From the moment we first saw the Pavilion, we knew it was a high end product compared to anything else on the market. The thought that had gone into its design, the precision engineering, the solid construction, and the quality of the materials created a total package that stood head and shoulders above anything else in the market.

What really surprised us was the price. Considering the materials and design of the Pavilion compared to similar products, we felt like we were getting a lot for our money.

This point alone made our decision very easy. And most importantly, the Pavilion won hands down for the way it complemented our home. We couldn’t be happier.

Why we went with Utter Gutters

From the very beginning, we knew we were in safe hands. When we had the initial measure done, there were a number of technical issues that we needed to address. The Roof Technician was fantastic the way he handled our questions and came up with some very practical solutions.

Once we were ready to go ahead, Utter Gutters sent another guy out to do a Check Measure, and he was able to offer additional advice on a number of points that we hadn’t even thought about.

We had spoken to other companies, but their approach was completely different. They were just there for the sale, in fact some didn’t even bother getting back to us with a price, which was disappointing.

When it came to the installation, we really knew we had made the right choice. The tradesmen were outstanding. They treated our home and the whole build process with absolute respect.

The care and workmanship applied to our Pavilion ensured that it was finished to perfection. Not a mark anywhere, all the joins were beautifully finished, and the entire structure was immaculate.

Want to know more about the beautiful Stratco Pavilion? Then take a look at the following links.

All you need to know about the Pavilion 

Pavilion: Creating luxury alfresco living for your home

Stratco Pavilion: No Comparison

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Four essential steps for choosing a verandah or patio https://uttergutters.com.au/blog/2016/02/19/important-tips-on-choosing-a-verandah-or-patio/ Fri, 19 Feb 2016 15:10:50 +0000 https://uttergutters.com.au/?p=2188 Verandahs in Australia have been around as long as settlers have been building homes in this sunburnt country. They provide shade from the relentless sun, and are just as effective at keeping things dry.

What began as just a bit of an ‘overhang’ progressively grew, inching wider and wider into an elaborate covering that could be built in all shapes and sizes. Today, the verandah’s uses are as varied as your imagination, from a simple traditional perimeter covering, to a complex outdoor entertainment space.

Barely a home in Australia is built without some form of verandah or patio. Not only do they add enormous functionality to the exterior space surrounding a home, they also influence aesthetics, either contrasting dramatically with the structure of the home, or blending perfectly with the existing architecture. Either way, the results are both stunning and beautiful.

Gable-Multispan-05sml

So you’re thinking about a verandah or patio. How do you know what’s going to look right for your home, and what do you really want it to do?

Almost every homeowner is faced with these two questions, which can make the simple idea of installing a verandah or patio suddenly seem quite complicated. But it doesn’t have to be. Here’s four important tips that will make your choices much easier.

1.The area – spotting the limitations

The size and shape of the area where you want to install your verandah or patio is an important starting point, as the new structure may be limited by factors such as property boundaries, fixed structures including retaining walls and trees, and the slope and terrain of the area.

2. How the space is used

How you want to use the space will have a big influence on the overall design and roof shape. Creating a shaded garden area will be very different from creating an outdoor entertainment space or kitchen. You may even want a modular design that accommodates multiple functions all in the one structure.

3. How you want the structure to look

Style and design are very personal choices, and there are a wide range of options available in style and colour. At this stage, it is also important to factor in the practicality of the design. Sometimes a small compromise in design can add significantly to functionality.

4. Roof profile

The roof profile you choose is one the most important choices you will make. While different roof profiles may not look dramatically different to the casual observer, the way they are engineered will have a dramatic influence over the environment you create under the roof.

Some of the key factors to consider include;

Do you want to reduce noise and heat?

Is letting natural light into the space important?

Do you want air to circulate easily?

Is the ability to open and close the roof a priority?

Do you need rain to filter through onto plants below?

Would you like a combination of features across the span of the roof?

Whatever you need, there is an engineering solution to give you exactly what you are looking for.

 

Like to know more? Take a look at some of these related articles.

There’s more to roof shape than just style

Choosing the right roof profile for your lifestyle

 

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The risky consequences of doing nothing about roof leaks https://uttergutters.com.au/blog/2015/08/07/the-risky-consequences-of-doing-nothing-about-roof-leaks/ Fri, 07 Aug 2015 06:27:18 +0000 https://uttergutters.com.au/?p=1954 By the time you become aware of roof and gutter leaks, there’s a strong chance they have been developing for years, and may have already caused significant structural damage that is simply not visible from the ground.  

Doing nothing creates a significant risk of sudden and catastrophic damage to your home and possessions in extreme weather. Left long enough, irreversible structural damage can mean a major, and unavoidable repair bill.

Over the years, we have seen hundreds of homeowners suffer unnecessarily, simply because they didn’t respond to the first signs of water leaks.

The first indications of a leak may be nothing more than a subtle streak of water running down an interior wall, or there may be an annoying drip in the middle of the room.

Sometimes the only clue is a sudden loss of power. If it’s been raining, and your neighbours still have power and you don’t, there is a very good chance that water has shorted out some electrical wiring.

Any water that penetrates the home needs to be take seriously as it may be just the tip of the iceberg as far as damage is concerned.

What water damage can do to your home

Ceiling mould from water leaks

Ceilings and Walls

Plasterboard ceilings and walls are extremely vulnerable to moisture damage. They are highly absorbent, and any moisture completely degrades the inherent strength of the panel. Moisture also adds an enormous amount of weight to a material that is designed to be dry and relatively light weight. The added weight and degraded lateral strength can cause ceilings to collapse without warning.

Moisture also causes the panels to swell, distorting the smooth surface and alignment with other panels, leaving no alternative but to replace them.

Even when wall panels don’t appear damaged, they will need to be removed so that wet insulation can be taken out and the timber frames left to dry to prevent any long term damage.

Floor coverings, furniture & electrical equipment

As the lowest point in the home, floors become the inevitable collection point for any water that has found its way inside the home. Some carpets can be saved by getting a professional carpet cleaner in to remove the water and clean the carpets immediately. Others are impossible to save.

Laminated timber panels that have been laid over a concrete floor are also very vulnerable to water damage. Saving this style of floor requires immediate action, and is definitely a job for the professionals who use purpose built drying equipment to remove any moisture.

If you are out of the home and unable to move furniture or electrical equipment such as computers, TV’s and sound systems, a little water can do a lot of damage.

Mould and wood rot

Mould is an insidious problem that you may not notice at first. It can cause a range of health issues, including allergies, and respiratory and skin problems. For the young, elderly or anyone with a suppressed immune system, mould can become a serious health risk. Some strains are so highly toxic that they can even prove to be fatal.

Mould can cause irreversible damage to ceilings, interior walls, insulation and floor coverings.

When mould begins to form on the absorbent surface of walls and ceilings, it is almost impossible to eliminate completely. While bleaches and commercial mould sprays eliminate the mould from the surface very effectively, the spores that remain buried deep inside the panels eventually cause the mould to resurface as an ugly black stain.  Not only is the mould unsightly, it causes paint to lift and damages the surface of the plasterboard.

Some strains can even cause structural damage. The fungal spores penetrate the surface of the supporting  timbers causing Wood Rot that turns the timber into a rotted pulp.

Wall insulation is also a major health problem if it becomes wet. Trapped within the wall cavity, insulation acts as a huge sponge that absorbs moisture, and is never able to dry out due to a lack of circulating air, creating the perfect environment for mould to flourish.

Any floor coverings that aren’t removed or thoroughly dried following water damage, will almost certainly become a hidden mass incubator for mould.

Increased Termite risk

Termites live on cellulose based materials such as wood, books and vegetation. They also thrive in a humid environment. Timber wall frames that have become wet, and are unable to dry out due to lack of  air circulation and being in constant contact with moisture retaining insulation, create a perfect environment for Termites.

Once a Termite colony becomes established in a home, they are capable of consuming vast amounts of cellulose material in a very short period of time. They can quickly decimate a timber wall frame and move seamlessly into the roof cavity via intersecting roof timbers.

Possible causes of leaks, and signs to look for from the ground

While the exact cause of water leaks are often hard to find, there are several basic checks you can do from the ground to try and spot the source, and if you don’t have a problem, to make sure that your roof and gutters are in good condition.

Metal Roof

Metal roofs are incredibly durable, but they don’t last forever. Any Indication of rust is a sign that a roof needs to be replaced, particularly where the sheets of iron overlap. You may also see signs of rust around nail holes. Other tell-tale signs are loose sheets that tend to flap and bang in strong wind. Missing and raised nails are also a sign that there are serious problems with the roof.

Tiled Roof

dip in roof hip and valley

Tiled roofs don’t really wear out, but they all eventually need a bit of maintenance to stop leaks and restore them back to their former glory. Water leaks are mainly due to the mortar cracking and coming loose along the ridge capping, which you can see clearly from the ground. Occasionally, a tile can crack, and movement of the roof can also increase gaps that become vulnerable in strong winds and driving rain.

Split timber hip rafter

In some cases, there are even structural timbers that crack and break under the extreme weight of the tiled roof. The damaged area moves and becomes uneven, compromising the watertight integrity of the roof.

Guttering

Signs that your guttering is the cause of water leaks and flooding are not always so obvious. You may notice a gutter overflowing in heavy rain. There may be nothing more than a few spots of rust that are concealing a much bigger problem. A section of gutter may not appear to be ‘hanging’ quite right compared to other sections, or you may notice that the scotia underneath the gutter has collapsed or appears damaged. The only clue may be nothing more than a rusty coloured streak under the gutter.

All of these clues indicate that the guttering is in poor condition, and will probably need to be repaired or replaced.

Think you may have a problem? Arrange a free inspection now, before it’s too late.

The key to preventing significant structural or property damage to your home is to act early. Many homeowners think they can simply keep an eye on a problem, but sadly, some of the worst water damage happens when they are not even home. Strong wind and heavy rain don’t wait for you to get home from work or return from holidays.

If you think your home is at risk, call 08 8369 3633 to arrange for one of our experienced Roof Technicians to take a look at your roof or guttering. The inspection is free, and there is definitely no obligation, whatsoever. What you will have is a detailed inspection report and total peace of mind.

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