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Roof repairs beyond paint and silicone


Why do roof repairers keep making the same mistakes?

I have been following this particular ’EXPERT’ roof repairer in Sydney since August 2016.

I don’t really know what he looks like. And a person should not be judged by their appearance. Their handiwork that they leave behind is better evidence of who they are.

I know that he gets around. He has been around for over 20 years molesting roofs and leaving behind his handiwork.

And who should be the JUDGE of this handiwork?

The founders of the ROOFING PORTAL have a collective experience of over 5 decades working on roofs. Specifically, looking for sources of roof leaks and coming up with appropriate solutions that stand the test of time.

Yet, we hesitate to pass judgement on other roofers. We have been through the learning process and we have made many of our own mistakes trying to fix roof leaks in our innocent days.

We have discovered that our key to survival in the complex world of roof repairs is in the science of discovery, experimentation and proof of concept.

In roof repairs, whether it is our handiwork or the vast majority of work by other roofers, time is the ultimate JUDGE.

Sooner or later, it will rain.

It is human nature to defend our position by justification – even  after judgement to the contrary has been handed down. I am sure that my ‘EXPERT’ roof repairer who I have been stalking over the years has a defence.

And this is why roof repairers (and everyone else for that matter) keep making the same mistakes. Defence puts up lots of barriers to change for the good.

Ego protection, a fixed mind-set, avoidance, emotional push back, social barriers, and confirmation bias are the many tools used for the defence of a position.


When roofers remain STUCK in this defensive LOOP, their handiwork opens up opportunities for us at the ROOFING PORTAL to be exposed to these familiar ‘mistake-ridden’’ bits of roof repair. Eventually, property owners discover us.

We don’t mean to keep stalking bad roof repairers. It is the DUPED property owners who alert us to their passing.

Where do roof repairers go to get proper training?

In Australia, a qualified roofer who wants to specialise in repairing roofs is left stranded. There is no where to go.

Formal vocational training organisations just expose the basics to roofing apprentices. Then the employer is supposed to provide the practical training. This is where the pathway for a budding roofer starts to crumble. Most roofing companies plan for the short term and investment in training is a costly long term strategy – that has little short term pay-off.


There are over 15,000 roofing companies in Australia (and almost a third are in NSW). The majority of these roofing companies  employ roofers to put up new roofs as fast as possible. This can be done with minimal training.

The roof repair market represents less than 20 % of the total roofing industry and the big players are just not interested in this sector. This leaves the small roofing companies having to clean up behind the major players.

Big egos and small budgets plague the roof repair sector. There is no room here for ‘paying it forward’ in training.

How does a homeowner find a good roof repair expert?

Plenty call themselves EXPERTS. The challenge is to find the roofers who have the expertise to actually qualify.

Fake, false and inappropriate reviews make this rating system deceptive for the innocent homeowner.

The common, mistake-ridden, roof repair EXPERTS that we have been forced to stalk over the years, all boasts 4 and 5 star reviews on the internet. The current five star standard is an inadequate rating system for GENUINE quality.

When we are often the third or fourth attempt by a property owner to get their roof repaired properly, the others before us were obviously good at sales, but poor at actually DELIVERING the GOODS.

Until there is a register of real vs fake roof repairers operating in this town, all homeowners need to resort to ‘’trial & error’’.

What makes a GOOD roof repair specialist?

There is a saying that the old get wiser. But wisdom is subjective.

Now, try Olympians who compete to be the best in the world. The number 8, for appearances in the Olympic games may not sound like a high number. But for many Olympians who have achieved this, it is 32 years!


This is playing the LONG GAME.

Enduring scientific training is obviously imperative to get good at anything.


However, there are two other traits that real EXPERTS discover to be essential to compliment their training. Firstly, ‘growth mindset’ is needed to take in the training. Then, the demand for ‘longevity’ forces these experts to ‘’BURN THE SHIPS’’ – to eliminate the distractions.

An expert roof repair specialist is no different to these champion Olympians. They need to show all these 3 traits.


So, instead of asking the ‘how much will it cost and when can you do it?’ question when a roofer turns up at their door. A property owner will need to ask these 3 revealing questions:

1. Who is training you and for how long?

2. Do you know everything there is to know about roof repairs?

3. How much longer will you be doing this?

Roof repairs – how much do they cost?

There is a huge misunderstanding amongst us about the real cost of doing things. And this incorrect perception is adopted by a typical property owner when it comes to repairing their roof. Their cost expectations can (whether researched or not) can miss the mark by gigantic margins.

We originally thought property owners rarely make the mistake of commissioning roof repairs that end up costing a multiple of their initial hopes. Until we encountered a stream of homeowner experiences like the one below:

Client has a leak.

A friend recommended a good roof repairer – who climbed the roof and did a $1,000 repair job. The leak persisted. The roofer did not.


Hipages had 3 to give, and they all came with high reviews. They quoted higher prices than the first dud roofer (because  additional roof work was ‘discovered’)…


Client took the middle quote. The roofer took a deposit. Then demanded progress payments for materials that they had delivered – which they had no intention of installing. They stopped turning up to do the work. They eventually stopped answering their phones.

Roofers can be a tough bunch and most property owners fear retribution from a hounded and spiteful tradie.

Client capitulates on the $3,000.00 wasted expenditure.

But the problem still required resolution. 

When we finally get called in on the case, it cost the Client $800.00 to undo the previous fixes and another $2000.00 to perform an effective roof repair.

So the final cost of a typical $2,000.00 roof repair, had blown out to $6,800.00 for our Client. And this excluded the intangible costs of wasted time and high stress!

If you were to take your partner out for a nice meal, you would NEVER ask the waiter “how much will this cost me tonight?”. Unless you are suicidal.

Instead, you would check out the restaurant beforehand. Make a booking. Choose an expensive wine perhaps. Suggest the chef’s speciality and so on…

All the while, with this question in mind “how can I spend my money wisely?’’

This is how all property owners should frame the cost of roof repairs.

How long should a roof repair last?

I have lost count of the number of appliances that have expired soon after their warranty expiry date.

I feel wasteful when I throw out food that is past its ‘’use by’’ date.

A roof repair should have an EXPIRY date. But unlike food, it should not be measured in months.


An expert roof repairer will perform a repair that is ‘Fit For Purpose’.  Once this is done, they will then have the confidence to provide a warranty to suit that style of roof repair.

So, don’t ask how long a roof repair should last. Instead, ask the question : ‘’How long is your warranty?’’.

Can a roof be repaired instead of replaced?

The ‘’easy (or more profitable) way out’’ choice has escaped the marriage industry and permeated into all corners of our culture.

Some roof repairs are hard work.

“Chuck in the towel and get a new one’’.

While we embrace the hard work of repairing roofs, commitment to this unpopular option continue to negatively impact our ‘bottom line’. There have been memorable occasions when we have made an assessment that a roof repair was more appropriate than the more expensive roof replacement option. Then we promptly started to lose money because we underestimated the complexity of the roof repair.

But we remain as committed as ever.


Because, in most instances, we have the confidence that we can tackle the roof leak with our expertise. We don’t simply ‘’Chuck in the towel’’ when we encounter a difficult roof situation. A replacement is not always the better option.

Why does a roof repair always have to be an emergency?

‘’When one plans for an emergency – suddenly, it doesn’t happen’’

We all love overreacting and creating emergency situations. Sirens gives us comfort that ‘help is on its way’ to a ‘life or death’ situation..

So, when did a leaking roof become an emergency? What is wrong with a handy bucket to collect a bit of natural rainwater?

Home insurance is a necessary evil that every property owner has to put up with. This insurance covers water damage inside the house.

So, just relax

Don’t try to find an emergency roof repairer – just ring your insurance company and let them do all the running around for you. It is in their interest to organise temporary repairs as soon as possible to limit the internal water damages that they have to ‘foot the bill’ for later on.

Having now eliminated the roof repair emergency from your list of responsibilities, you can carry on with the rest of your life.

The insurance company may later report that the cause of the leak was due ‘’to maintenance issues’’ and pass that ‘’CAN’’ back to you. But they have taken care of all the other costs for you in the meantime. And as a bonus, they will have also produced a ’’FREE’’ roof report for you to prove your negligence – which you can now use to engage your own roof repair expert at your leisure. No emergency…

Remember: It is NOT your emergency when the roof springs a leak during a storm..

Why do roofers insist on a roof restoration when I want my roof repaired?


Roof Restoration in Australia has taken on a different meaning to the rest of the world. I cannot find a synonym for restoration on Thesaurus that says “‘PAINTING’’.

Yet, this is what Aussie Roofers have created as a new roofing category.

A roof restoration in Australia just means a ‘’CLEAN & PAINT’’. Nothing to do with a roof repair. And in lots of instances, it turns a watertight roof into a weeping roof.

Property owners should be clear on what they ask for. Not just SOLD on the idea of a pretty roof in the short term that is no healthier than the old roof.

Roof tiles DO NOT get porous over time. they just lose their factory paint surface and grow a bit if patina. This will not cause a roof to leak.

Roof Restoration companies DO NOT know how to repair roofs. They just clean and paint. Don’t succumb to their sales pitch… 

The last words on Roof Repairs

Did we say:




when we started this treatise on roof repairs?

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