Taking your insurance to new heights

26 May 2021 Bertus Visser, Chief Executive of Distribution at PSG Insure

A roof is an essential component of any built structure and even though you can’t see all of it from where you usually view it, if there is an issue lurking, it can impact everything you can see.

Neglecting a roof during general home maintenance is not uncommon, perhaps because it is not as visible as other home improvement issues, but it’s time to get on top (literally) of any maintenance issues that might be on your roof. It’s best to do so before the protection you thought your roof was giving you (and you thought you have in place through insurance) goes up in the air.

Leaks left unattended can cause deep damage where more of the roof needs to be repaired or replaced. Leaks from your roof can also lead to additional issues like water damage on your walls. If an old leak has not been repaired and has been ignored over the drier months, get it sorted soonest. Insurance policies have a clause that states the clients should do all in their power to prevent a loss.

Maintenance matters most

There is seldom a time when you shouldn’t keep up maintenance on your roof, gutters or any external walls (as well as any issues inside your property too). Managing wear and tear, small repairs (or big ones), as well as keeping areas like your gutters clean, are your responsibility and your insurance only stays in place if you keep up with this.

If your repairs aren’t up to scratch (maybe you tried a DIY leak solution to save money), you may be covered to some extent if a storm comes, but there is likely to be some monetary commitment needed from your side to fix any problems that might come with a leaking or collapsing roof, as examples you would probably prefer to avoid.

Thatch crazy

The top layer of a roof made of thatch rots as time goes by and so generally, every five to eight years or so, this layer needs to be brushed away. The roof should be thick enough to cater to this level of maintenance but if not, you may need to repair or rebuild. Failing to maintain your thatch, however, will mean failing to keep cover in place too against fire or flooding.

Keep structures like garden sheds, standalone garages or granny flats and lapas in mind too. All roofing needs repairs and maintenance as you enjoy using the structures. You can’t simply leave these without any attention. Regular check-ups are helpful; some may even reveal no repairs are needed.

Don’t throw in the ‘tile’

Tiled roofing may need repairs or replacement or at least a thorough inspection every five years, so ensure you keep an eye on that as well. Tiling in the form of outdoor flooring or anywhere tiles are enjoyed on your property, are worth a glance as well. Look for areas where water could pool for example and level these out.

Replacing broken tiles, removing algae, mildew and moss, and repairing damaged flashing details are all vital steps in maintaining both the aesthetic and protective qualities of your roof for years to come. If you paint your roof, this may need to be done every five to ten years too, depending on the quality of the paint. Paint is not necessarily a concern for insurance aesthetically but it can be evidence of a poorly maintained roof, in the event of a claim.

Your true colours

Checking that the true replacement value (for your roof and the rest of your property) is factored in to your insurance policy is also important. In strong winds, your roof could conceivably become damaged and part of it could end up in a neighbour’s garden. Insurance will be essential in a circumstance like this, provided you have looked after your roof too.

Being confident that your roof will hold up under any weather condition goes a long way. Small acts of maintenance add up, and in addition to aligning with your insurance policy, will save you time, stress and money over time.

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