To protect your building make sure the roof is impenetrable

To protect your building make sure the roof is impenetrable

A new layer of waterproofing is laid according to strict specifications.

A roof doesn’t just complete a design – almost anywhere in the world it is the first protection from a harsh and extremely volatile climate.

Incessant rains, high winds, baking sun and hail batter outer shells of buildings threatening their integrity. According to painting, waterproofing and construction company, Indawo, building owners must pay attention to roofing and waterproofing to safeguard their assets.

Indawo managing director, Geoffrey Jäck, says that roofing structures have to be sound and built strictly to specifications with a complete understanding of the risks buildings face.

“Waterproofing solutions are tailored for specific roof designs. Flat roofs need more complex solutions than steep pitch roofs, and outer structures always need to be protected to avoid water ingress. On top of this, areas exposed to rain and fluctuations in temperature, must be waterproofed and painted by a skilled workforce and the right products to provide the necessary guarantees.”

The perseverance of water to find a point of ingress is startling. Water will find the path of least resistance and make its way through roofs and down walls. The damage can be devastating, even in the short term, resulting in costly repairs, over and above the damage to furnishings and fittings inside buildings. Long-term damage can even result in buildings being condemned.

Jäck recommends a structured preventative maintenance plan.

“With the help of waterproofing professionals, identify areas on the roof and outer structures that may be prone to water damage,” he says. “A short-term plan can address areas of weakness and a longer-term maintenance strategy ensures consistent checking of the exterior of the building. This strategy should include a component that addresses ongoing maintenance needs like painting, wood and decking protection and proper installation of substructures when needed.”

Waterproofing is stripped from an old roof.

Waterproofing is stripped from an old roof.

Indawo recommends continued monitoring of the following:

Roof and roof edges. A roof has to be watertight and this should never be compromised. Full protection is needed around flashings, gutters and all the way to the edges. Any breach in the waterproofing will allow for water ingress and threaten the integrity of the building’s protective functioning. Check for discolouration, cracks, peeling or damp.

Water damage. Locating causes can be complicated. It is not always evident and can be several metres from where the damage manifests. You can follow the evidence, tracing telltale signs, but even this may not lead you to a cause. Small pools on a roof should be checked and the area repaired to provide run-off. Roofing and gutter screws are ideal spots for water to penetrate. Stains on ceilings indicate water damage whereas mould may just be the cause of insufficient ventilation. If you are unsure, call in waterproofers.

Roof weaknesses. A wide range of roofing materials and waterproofing systems is available. Asphalt can erode and move in regions where there are extreme fluctuations in temperature. Tiles break, roof sheeting rusts, asbestos is dangerous, technologically advanced membranes can be damaged when installing substructures, and the list goes on.

“Managed maintenance is critical to ensure the safety of buildings and guarantees positive returns on investment,” says Jäck. “A maintenance strategy is an owner’s commitment to the protection of this investment. Avoid water related damage by protecting against it.”

Call 021 941 5000 or email