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Tip of the week: Check your roof

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Ensure that you have any leaks repaired properly and professionally, advices Don McAlister.

I am fortunate to have tenants in my properties who try to take care of the little things themselves because I try to give them good rental deals. However, one of my properties has just raised two interesting issues. 

It is a house that belonged to my late mom so I don’t inspect it as often as I should (memories). The tenant phoned the other day to ask if I would drop off some paint so that he could paint the backyard walls. What walls I asked, and he said the ones the neighbours had built. 

Of course, I had never been asked for permission for these walls and my tenant knew no better, so it is important that you regularly visit any properties you may own, because I now have an unsightly and illegal problem to deal with. The second part was he pointed out leaks to me in the outside laundry room. 

He said he had been patching them for years and doing his best. I sent one of my teams to check it out and you could see that he had been trying – the roof is covered with DIY waterproofing systems, each one making the situation worse, not better. And this is the point that I really wanted to get to with the onset of winter. 

Roofs and their coverings are designed in such a way that water runs downs channels of some kind until it reaches the gutter. Once you start interfering with these channels by applying any old patching material you can find over cracks etc, water is going to start building up behind the supposed repair and cause leaks in other places. So, ensure that you have any leaks repaired properly and professionally.

Handy Mac, aka Don MacAlister, is our expert on household DIY issues. If you have a question for him, please send it to or SMS only to 082 446 3859. Find Don on FB:

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