A rusty iron roof is not only unsightly, it also means that it is just a matter of time before the rust will break through, allowing water to run onto your ceiling and down internal walls. This can lead to an expensive repair bill if ceilings, walls, furniture and carpets are damaged by water and mould. You may also face the risk of damage to electrical wiring and light fittings. At the very least, you could lose your power if water short circuits wiring in the ceiling.
Once an iron roof becomes rusty, the only effective solution is to replace the entire roof. Replacing individual sheets is a short-term fix that is expensive and uneconomical in the long run. If one sheet is rusty, you can be sure there are more. In fact, it is highly likely that the entire roof is rusting, it is just the degree of involvement in each sheet of iron that varies. By the time rust is visible from the ground, it is very advanced in its destruction of your roof.
When we replace the iron on your roof, we always use full-length sheets to eliminate rust causing joins, extending the life of your new roof. Every sheet is fixed using rubber sealed Techscrews so that the roof will always remain secure and watertight.
For more information, visit our Reroofing page >>
A timber fascia is the wooden structure that your guttering is mounted to. It is important that the fascia remains in good condition as it needs to be able to support the weight of the gutter even when it is full of water, such as in a downpour. If the fascia becomes weakened from wood rot, the gutter support brackets may become loose allowing the gutter to indiscriminately sag along its length, restricting the efficient flow of water.
If the fascia is left to rot, the guttering will eventually become unsupported and collapse. There is also a risk that other attached structural timber, such as the ends of roof trusses, will also begin to rot. If this timber is damaged through wood rot, you could be faced with a very large repair bill and a structural risk to your entire roof.
Wood rot occurs when timber gets wet and becomes infected by a wood decaying fungus that thrives in the moist environment. The fungus spores lay dormant when the timber dries in summer, but immediately reactivate when the timber becomes wet again, perpetuating a cycle of decay year-after-year. The more the timber rots, the more easily it absorbs water.
The first signs of wood rot may be little more than paint flaking away from the fascia. As the wood rot advances, the ends and lower surface of timbers will look pitted and begin breaking up as the wood rot advances. It literally looks as though it is rotting! A simple test to confirm that timber is being destroyed by wood rot is to press the point of a screwdriver onto suspect areas of timber. If it pushes easily into the timber then the wood rot is already advanced.
For information about our unique timber repair solutions, visit our Timber Repairs page >
Gutters leaking or seen better days?
Guttering is very efficient at transporting large volumes of water safely away from the home, preventing flooding and damage. If the gutters and down-pipes are cleaned regularly and the supporting fascia is well maintained, then you should have years of trouble free water management.
When leaves and dust are left in the guttering they eventually build up to a thick layer of moisture retaining sludge. This sludge is abrasive and also exposes the gutter to water and enzymes that cause rust. The rust will eventually corrode right through the thickness of the gutter, creating leaky holes along its length. If you notice that your gutters are overflowing every time you have a decent downpour, this is a good indication that your gutters are full of sludge and debris.
The sludge can also add considerable weight to the gutter, putting extra strain on the gutter mounting brackets, and in some cases even causing the gutter to sag and twist between mounts. If the timber fascia that supports the guttering has begun decaying from wood rot, then it is also much more likely that the added weight will cause the guttering to collapse.
Of course, not all rusty guttering is due to poor maintenance. Time, water and air are all ingredients that eventually result in rust forming in even the best-maintained gutters. Once rust starts it is impossible and impractical to stop in steel that is as thin as a gutter.
If your guttering has collapsed, despite regular gutter maintenance, there is a very strong chance that the timber fascia has been exposed to wood rot. Wood rot occurs when timber gets wet and becomes infected by a wood decaying fungus that thrives in the moist environment. Eventually the timber will become so weak that it is unable to support the guttering.
Overflowing gutters are a sign that something is seriously wrong with your water management system. The first thing to do is check that your downpipes are not blocked, preventing gutters from draining. Putting a running hose down the downpipe (from the top) and moving it up and down to shift blockages, will soon identify if this is your problem.
Gutters that are filled up with leaf litter and sludge lose an enormous amount of their carrying capacity. Any heavy rain will quickly fill the gutter causing them to overflow. A thorough clean will soon resolve this problem.
A less obvious, but common cause of overflowing gutters is guttering that has begun collapsing randomly along its length. This creates troughs along the gutter, preventing the natural streamlined flow of water, with the low points overflowing during heavy rain even if the gutter is perfectly clean.
There are a number of reasons why the guttering may have begun to collapse. The timber fascia that the gutter is mounted to may be affected by wood rot, making it weak and unable to support the weight of the gutter when it is carrying water. The gutter may also be rusting and losing its structural strength. While there may be no visible rust, the steel may be almost completely rusted through in some sections. Mounting brackets can also rust or become damaged and sag, allowing the guttering to become uneven or even twist.
If your downpipes are clear and your gutters are clean, then it is very likely that your guttering will need replacing. Our technicians can identify the problem for you and advise what needs to be done to get your water management system back to full flow.
Signs of water or moisture inside?
Abnormal water anywhere in the home needs immediate investigation. If it’s not a plumbing problem then it is almost certainly due to either a leaking roof or overflowing gutters.
An overflowing gutter or leaking roof may not always seem the obvious source of water because it may not appear inside until well after rain has stopped. This could be because there is a slow leak, or the water pools in the ceiling putting enormous pressure on the flooded area. Sometimes you may not even see anyvisible water, only patches of mould that you have never seen before. Where there is mould there is moisture, and it needs to be stopped.
What happens if I do nothing?
• The integrity of the ceiling will eventually be so compromised that it will become weak, begin to sag and eventually may even collapse.
• Mould on ceilings or walls is a serious health risk and will only get worse.
• Electrical wiring may be damaged and short out.
• Plaster on brick or stonewalls will break down and fall off.
• Internal Gyprock walls will need to be replaced.
• Carpets will be damaged – possibly beyond repair – by moisture and mould.
All of these repairs are avoidable if you take action now.
For information about repairing a leaking roof or overflowing gutter, visit these pages on our site;
Leaves blocking your gutters?
Protect your gutters and downpipes with a Leaf Guard for gutters and a Leaf Catcher to keep downpipes clear. These revolutionary products practically fit to any type of roof and gutter. Available in a range of colours to match and blend into your roof.
A rusty roof
A problem that can create other structural damage.
Timber repairs to rotting, water damaged fascia
Removing the gutters exposes a water damaged fascia that will continue if left untreated.
The fascia damage has been repaired and is now ready to be painted or protected with a Fascia Capping >.
Rusting gutters and downpipes
A problem that can recreate other structure damage.
Gutters or roof leaking
A problem that can create other structural damage.
Ceiling mould stain: Abnormal water anywhere in the home needs immediate investigation.
Leaves blocking your gutters?
A revolutionary product that fits any type of roof and gutter.
See Leaf Guards & Solutions >