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Keep power washers off your roof!

Posted on 17 May, 2012 at 11:37 Comments comments (1)
I was sat in my car outside a local super market a few months back and a guy was sticking leaflets under the wiper blades of other parked cars. After he noticed I was in my car he knocked on my window to hand me his leaflet, he was advertising his 'pressure washing service' that included roof cleaning. I asked him how much to have the roof cleaned? 
"It depends on the house boss, give me your number and i'll have a look" he says to me.
"But will that not damage the roof?" I asked,
"Not at all boss, sure have you seen the rain we're getting lately, its no different to that"
"Sure I have your number here, i'll think about it and give you a bell."
Yeah right! 
Seriously though, are people really paying for guys like this to get up on their roof (insured or not) and pressure wash years off the life of their roofs materials, and that's getting away lightly too!
Firstly, to put this fella into perspective, for argument sake his washer was a mere 3000psi. A very hard rain falls at around 2psi...
Secondly, every roof, whatever its material type is, has certain weak points. Take the concrete tile for example. 
Leak repair. Leak sourcing.Where the two tiles meet side by side, the underside lip is often a weak point and walking wrongly on these is enough to break them, never mind directing around 3000psi of water at it. 
If the lip breaks higher than the head lap of the tile below then you have a hole, like you can see in this pic from the water marks on the timber. 
Without having to go through all roofing materials on the market concrete tiles are one of the stronger more durable ones and it doesn't take a lot to damage them.

Premature aging and exposing weaknesses are just a couple off a long list of reasons why I believe you shouldn't let a pressure washer near your roof, but unfortunately I haven't got all day.
At the same time, I do recommend you have your roof cleaned and guttering kept clear in order for everything to function correctly and water to get away safely.
We began our low pressure roof cleaning service for these reasons, and being roofers, understand the do's and don'ts involved in having a roof cleaned correctly and safely.
So to the guy with his pressure washer and knowledge of his industry...
                                                     Jog on (boss)!


Know what your getting.

Posted on 8 May, 2012 at 8:32 Comments comments (125)
I read somewhere recently that April was the wettest in over 40years here in Ireland, most of the rain fell in a matter of days and many peoples roofing weaknesses were left exposed. 
I think we had seven call outs in a single afternoon, all of which were due to roof leaks, and the thing that surprised me most was the amount of jobs we went to that the customers told us they thought they had their problem sorted by other roofers only weeks or months previously.
One woman we went to in Naas, co.Kildare, had only days before hand paid her painters, after the leaks from her roof left her house in need of repainting, only for it all to be undone by the same problem occurring again a couple of weeks later. 
She found a roofer that served the area in the phone book, who called out to inspect and fix her roof. I can imagine that when you've water coming through light fittings and down walls you will obviously go with the first guy that calls and will probably agree to whatever price he gives just to get it sorted, but this where you risk not knowing what you are getting for your money. 
Velux windows come with a flashing that is designed to keep rain and snow out safely. Blocking these with mortar will only lead to further problems.These guys, from what I saw, mixed up some mortar and brought a tube of bathroom sealant onto the roof to do the job, sealing whatever they could in the hope of solving the problem, and not giving a toss about how it looked. She told us they were there for no more than a few hours and in that space of time found them ignorant and intimidating.
The under lip on concrete tiles is a weak point and if it breaks higher than the size of the head lap then this creates a hole for water to enter.It probably took us the same amount of time to find the real cause of the leaks, and a further day and half to to undo and redo what was needed to be done, and all for less than these fellas charged her for doing nothing other than make a mess.
Lose ridging should be rebedded, rather than repointed, and a mortar dye added to match as best as possible with whats there before. 
As well as cowboys, there are also a lot of good reputable lads out there. All which should be able to provide references at the drop of a hat and not make people feel uncomfortable in their own homes.
In cases like this with the job being a kind of emergency, my advice would be to have your homework done in advance. Have the name and number of a plumber, electrician or roofer you can trust on hand in your home and that way on the chance of situations like this at least you know what your going to get.

Where's all this moss coming from?

Posted on 27 April, 2012 at 14:39 Comments comments (389)
While looking through some old photos (late 80s to 90s), it caught my eye that in the background many of the roofs that were visible were all virtually spotless. You can drive to any housing estate more than a couple of years old, or to any house on its own in the countryside nowadays and you'll do well to find one that is not either green with moss and algae or covered in yellow lichens.
Remove unsightly growths safely with damage to the roof materials.
So why all of a sudden, in the space of a few years is there so much moss, algae, lichens and other growths present on not only roofs but other external surfaces like walls and paths?
My first thought was climate change, but surely there hadn't been that much of a change in such a short time. After looking into a bit more it slowly began to make sense.

Governments across the world, including ours here in Ireland, have been working for some time now on regulations and directives brought about by what they call 'the clean air act'. This is something that, especially in the last few years, has always been high on the agenda of these big 'summits' that seem to happen a lot lately.
Moss, algae and lichens are just a bit of proof that the measures these governments are taking to clean up the air we breathe, are actually working.

New Roof. Fibre cement slating. Moss prevention. 
Loais Its widely known in the roofing industry that copper strips placed under a ridge, can go a long way towards preventing these growths (an expensive, and not 100% effective method in my opinion), due to the sulphars that are released from the copper oxidizing when wet (not perfect wording, I'm no chemist, as you can tell) It was these sulphuric acids and other pollutants that have been present in the air and rain for many years that were keeping the roofs and other external surfaces all along...

Simple really when you think about it. The part I found hardest to get my head around was the fact that the government actually seem to be getting something right! Ah boy Enda!


Posted on 23 April, 2012 at 12:13 Comments comments (1)
Hi folks,

Welcome to the location of our new blog.
We will begin writing here shortly on all aspects of roofing, our experiences, views, and recommendations. 
It would be great to get the feed back of anyone interested, both positive and negative (we love a good debate) 
We are open to other peoples suggestions or views and look forward to hearing them.
Our aim is to deliver a first class service to customers, and if that means having to learn new things or develop our service further than so be it! 

Talk to you soon,
HD Roofing Services...