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A professor once told a class, it doesnt matter if you’re afraid of heights, when you need to, you will have to check your roof. Years later this writer considers these words, as one negotiates a roof during inspection. Most times you just try not to fall, and not damage anything on the way down.

One of the first things is done on the ground, close to the safety of terra firma when the roof materials are delivered. We check between the thickness specified and the thickness of the roof material that arrived, check the bended materials like: gutters, fascias, end flashings, and that everything is in the correct color. It’s usually good to leave the approved sample on site to compare to when needed.

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Upon installation and you’re up there against your better judgement, see if all the tekscrews or whatever methodology for fastening was executed properly. If there is an agreed coloring or retouching this should be applied prior to final acceptance. The over all shape and form should generally be as shown on plan or as seen in the agreed shop drawings that the supplier and installers sent to the client and architect. All the lines that are level specially along the roof edges should be straight, eyeballing is sometimes good enough but for really large roofs some measuring tools might be needed. The roof height aside from whats specified on plan must also conform with the city and village design requirements.

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The details to be checked may include the fasteners for the roof gutters, these should be intermittently spaced for proper support. All roof ridges and valley gutters should be installed to prevent leaks along the joints and seams. Any material or unit sticking out should be fastened by tekscrew or blind rivet to prevent pieces flying off during high winds and rains. Fascias shoud be properly secured and sealed with the proper sealants to make sure everything is water tight.

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Usually its good practice to have a load of water poured by pressure washer or to await a good downpour to see if everything holds up. Warranties and guarantees should have been clarified with the general contractor and specialty contractor during the start of the process, but all of that is useless during the actual storm when a roof leaks, so its important to get everthing right the first time.

In a tropical country such as the Philippines the roof of a house contributes greatly against the intense heat of summer and the pouring rains of the rainy season, not to mention it crowns and gives character to the over-all look, hence the great importance given to its design and execution.

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Just remember when you’re up there, don’t look down.

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