Every job has an area that isn’t enjoyable or tedious to do. For me, the two main areas of plumbing that I wasn’t keen on was drain cleaning and roof plumbing. During my time doing commercial and domestic work, our business rarely came across this kind of work, and if we were rung for a quote or a job, we would pass the details onto another plumber who was experienced or keen to do it. Sometimes we would do a little bit of roofing work, but only if work was slow. And it had to be really slow for us to do roof plumbing.
When I did my apprenticeship, the teachers were adamant to us apprentices that plumbers should be experienced in all areas of the trade to maximize the variety of work they could do if work was slow. I agreed, but I also believe plumbers should have a niche that they stick to so that they become known for their expertise in that area.
I remember going to one roofing job with my dad at The Gap in Brisbane. It was a local retail shopping precinct and the property owner had had a number of plumbers out to fix a leaking roof over a takeaway store, but after a couple of months, the roof would leak again. The tenants were getting upset by the damage from the water, so the property manager asked my dad whether he was interested in doing a thorough investigation on why the roof continually leaked.
The roof wasn’t too steep, but we had to use an extension ladder to reach the top. I’ve never been great with heights and I was really nervous hauling myself over the gutter onto the roof. Once on the roof, dad and I discovered that the previous plumbers had just siliconed around a flashing (a metal cover that protects a penetration through the roof) and the flashing was severely rusted and in need of replacing. I was surprised that the roof leaked with the amount of silicone that had been smeared around the flashing. There were streaks of black, grey, white and clear silicone plastered every which way on the roof. It looked like a Picasso picture!!
We measured the penetration to get a new flashing manufactured to replace the existing one. Once a diagram had been drawn with measurements in place, we went to a local steel workshop to get the flashing made.
The size of the flashing required two experienced roof plumbers to install it in place. It was not a job for a plumber with little roof experience.
It’s a common misconception that plumbers can do any type of plumbing work, and in reality they should be able to, but roof problems are not as easy to fix as plumbers would like you to think. The temporary silicone solution that the previous plumbers had done in the above situation is a classic example of inexperienced plumbers not doing the right thing by the client.
That’s why when it comes to roof plumbing, I suggest using a plumber that specializes in roofs like Roofmasters. Their plumbers know what to look for when fixing leaks and installing roofs. Their daily hands on experience means the installation can be done a lot quicker so your bill doesn’t skyrocket from hours of labour incurred from a plumber with little experience.
Back at Tafe, whenever there was sheet metal work involved the roof apprentices would have the projects knocked up quicker than the rest of the plumbing apprentices because of their experience.
So the next time you have an issue with your roof, ring a roof plumber. Your roof and bank account will be better for it.
Did you realize that roof plumbing is specialised? Have you had any problems with a leaking roof?
This is post has been written in accordance to my disclosure policy.