Roof Restoration Sydney for Terracotta and Concrete tiled Roofs

Terracotta Roof Restoration Sydney

If only all roof restoration companies were the same life would be so straightforwards. Terracotta tiled roof restoration however, is pretty straightforwards with a few stages requiring care.

So why can't so many roof restoration companies get it right?

For you as the customer I am going to help you identify some of the things you can do to get your roof restoration project done as simply as possible.

Hi, my name is Kev, I'm a professional roofer semi retired and I've built this website for you to read through. I call it an "Authority" website, and its all about hints and tips for you the unaware customer about to embark on a roofing project. I've got loads of experience of all types of roof work.

I had better describe the components of your roof so you can familiarise yourself with what a potential roofing restoration service provider might quote you for.

Ridge caps
These are caps that cover the gaps between the tiles where your roof covers a wall exterior corner. In addition the caps will cover the gaps between the tiles all along the very top of your roof. The top horizontal section called the ridge, the sloping part called the hip.

Valleys
The valleys cover the gap between the tiles where the roof covers an interior corner of your wall. They are generally made of metal and are prone to rusting.

Flashings
Are between the interface of the tiled roof and any wall or any other component embedded in the roof like a skylight. This has a flashing all around it to keep the water out.

Pointing
This is a coating of flexible adhesive between the ridge cap and the tiles designed to flex with the movement of the roof, to be waterproof and to provide a high level of mechanical strength to stop your ridge caps from being blown off in the wind.. The pointing coats the bedding under the ridge cap that would wash away without the pointing to protect it. Old pointing was just made from mortar and is prone to cracking and falling off even on 15 year old roofs.

Firstly you decide if you want to do just the pointing, or if you want to get the “as good as new fully restored” look.
The amount of restoration work that can be practically done will be dependent on the age of your terra cotta roof.

Terracotta Tiles
These will have been manufactured at a number of potteries over the years generally following the Marseille style of terra cotta tile.
With age they become brittle. Near the coast they can be affected by salt air.
So the rule is, the older the terra cotta tile the more likely it is that your roof tiles will require replacement. If your tiles are 80+ years old then they will be very brittle and difficult to work on.

TIP
The sequence of work is really important
If you are having pressure cleaning it MUST be done first as it will damage the existing pointing

When pressure cleaning is done, the order of work is
1. Valley replacement
2. Flashings repaired/replaced
3. Re bedding
4. Pointing
5. Clean up roof
6. Get any debris out of the gutters
7. Clean down outside walls and garden

When its finished your terra cotta roof restoration Sydney job should look something like the picture below.

Pressure Cleaning terra cotta tiles in Sydney
If you want a really clean roof then pressure cleaning will really test the age of your tiles. Modern industrial pressure cleaners produce 4000 psi and this is enough to crack old tiles. This kind of pressure can also erode the surface of the terra cotta tiles, this makes tiny pockets and you will find that the moss and lichen will grow back faster
In addition terra cotta roof tiles are fired during the manufacturing process and do not keep dimensionally stable as a concrete tile. So they will not always sit dead flat on the roof battens. When you pressure clean water can get between the tiles and into the roof space. Its possible that you might get a few water marks on your ceiling.

Get your roofer to use a lower pressure for removing the dirt, lichen and moss on terra cotta roof tiles.

Chemical Clean
One thing thats sure to kill off moss and lichen on your terra cotta roof is a harsh chemical like copper sulphate solution.
Would you want that in your water tanks? I wouldn’t, yet some roofers are using it. The EPA don’t like it either as it gets into the drains and waterways and harms wildlife.

TIP
Get a Eco friendly and Biodegradable product to kill off the moss and lichen.
Something that’s friendly to people, pets and plants.
Ask your roofer to apply this type of product after the cleaning process. It will keep re growth of the lichens and mosses at bay for some years.
roof restoration sydney

Roof restoration Sydney for Concrete Tiles

Concrete Tile Roof Restoration Sydney
Concrete tiled roof restoration is a bit more tricky with more variables to look at prior to making a decision about restoring your concrete tiled roof.

A full concrete tile roof restoration involves removing the top layer of oxide on the tile along with all the gunk to leave a spotlessly clean surface for a new coating.

Again, the amount of work that can be practically done will be dependent on the age of your concrete tiled roof.

Concrete tiles will have been manufactured by pressing in a mould and will stay dimensionally accurate for years. They can be porous but only the very top layer.

With age and erosion from the weather they become brittle developing erosion pockets on the surface. If your tiles are Atlas style then they will be very brittle and difficult to work on, and can’t be pressure cleaned.

Pressure Cleaning concrete roof tiles in Sydney
If you want a fully restored roof then pressure cleaning will really test the age of your tiles. Modern industrial pressure cleaners produce 400psi and this is the pressure required to thoroughly clean the tiles in preparation for coating.

Unlike terra cotta tiles, concrete tiles generally fit together better and are much more robust during the restoring process.

TIP
The sequence of work is really important
Pressure cleaning MUST be done first as it will damage the existing pointing

When pressure cleaning is done, the order of work is
1. Valley replacement
2. Flashings repaired/replaced
3. Re bedding
4. Pointing
5. Clean up roof/ removal dust
6. Apply with an airless spray a primer/sealer
7. Apply top coats
8. Get any debris out of the gutters
9. Clean down outside walls and garden

The roof restoration process for your concrete roof tiles is all about preparation - no different to when you paint a wall inside your home. Before top coats can be applied and after pressure cleaning a sealer needs to be applied to build up the base for the top coat and to provide a key for the top coat to grip on to. It is usual to use the same brand of base coat/sealer and top coat as this ensures that they are compatible, bond well together and conform to the manufacturers warranties. When painting a roof its important to ensure that not too much paint is applied that will block the drainage channels between the tiles - a recipe for disaster as leaks will be prevalent if this step is not done carefully. No good just spraying a ton of paint on to make it look good. In addition when you view a roof from the street level the part of the tile thats most visible is the very front edge or the nose, if this edge is not coated correctly then your hard earned cash will be wasted as you'll just see dark lines or stripes across the roof from street level.
When its finished your concrete tile restoration Sydney job should look something like the picture below.
concrete tile roof restoration sydney