Roof plumbing is the type of service that you might not think you need - until you do. If you’re building or renovating, there’s a good chance you’ll require a roof plumber to help with a bunch of tasks. These tasks mainly involve installing or fixing roof coverings, downpipes, or guttering. But you could also do with some help from a roof plumber for any jobs involving skylights or ventilation. With the breadth of tasks that you might need help with, it’s a good idea to scout around for different service providers and prices.
There’s a range of situations in which you might want to call upon for roof plumbing. If you’re building your own house or doing significant renovations, roof plumbing services will probably be necessary if:
You’re considering installing a rainwater tank or rainwater collection system.
Guttering, downpipe and stormwater systems need to be installed or augmented.
Your home insulation system is in danger of damaging or being damaged by water.
You need to work out what sort of drainage system you want to install
You’re thinking of putting in an entirely new roof
But there’s also plenty of occasions you might want to consider a roof plumber if you’re not doing significant work to your property. Some everyday situations include:
If you have a leaky roof
If there’s a build-up of mould or mildew in your ceiling or walls
If your property foundations are starting to shift or become unstable
If you need to repair your rainwater tank or rainwater collection system
When you simply need to do your regular clean of your gutters and downpipes
There’s a category of works involving roofs that do not fall within a roof plumber’s job description. These works are generally known as “roofing.” They include installing tiles, slates and glass onto ceilings, and concrete, timber or thatching. And you don’t need a roof plumber for this sort of task.
But sometimes, it can be challenging to know who is the appropriate person for the job. Although glass fittings in ceilings tend not to be installed by roof plumbers, skylights and ventilators are generally jobs for roof plumbers. There is some risk that you might need to engage both roof plumbers and roofers if you have involved tasks that need attending to.
Probably not. And in some cases, definitely not.
Extensive regulations are covering the qualifications needed to perform roof plumbing work in NSW. These regulations exist for good reasons: to protect clients from unskilled labour and to protect roof plumbing workers from themselves. It can be dangerous up there. Without training and decent scaffolding, there are significant risks in managing roofing situations as an enthusiastic amateur. That risk is compounded when dealing with water and plumbing systems, often located close to electricity infrastructure.
It will always be tempting to take on simple jobs yourself. And there’s nothing necessarily wrong with taking it upon yourself to keep your guttering clean. In theory, it’s just good habits to remove leaves if you see them. But it’s also tricky, of course, to get onto most roofs. And you also might not know if your roof can support your weight. Rather than assume that you’ll be able to fix any issues as they arise, it might be worth accepting that it often works out simpler, safer and cheaper, in the long run, to book in semi-regular roof plumbing check-ups simply.
The NSW Department of Fair Trading provides a list of qualifications required by licensed roof plumbers. But there is some flexibility. Roof plumbers can have a Certificate III in roof plumbing. But they can also have a general plumbing certificate, with a roofing specialisation.
There’s a whole host of things that you might want to ask for your roof plumbing, depending on the size of the job you’ve hired them for or are considering hiring them for. You might want to ask a roof plumber whether they have a plumbing licence and what qualifications it is based on. A second question is their charging method: are they proposing to bill you by the hour, the volume of work that needs doing, or by the task? A third question is whether or not they’ll supply their materials. Depending on what you need to do, the cost of new drainage materials can add significantly to the overall price of roof plumbing work. You also might want to know about their level of insurance coverage - roof plumbing can be risky, involved work, with the potential to cause damage elsewhere if not done correctly.
Roof plumbing is sort of like going to the dentist: you might think you can go a long time avoiding it, but hold out too long, and you’ll regret it.
One of the main risks of avoiding roof plumbing work for an extreme length of time is that moisture from inadequate roof drainage systems will get into the walls and structure of your home. This could lead to severe structural damage and even potentially dangerous electrical faults in a bad case.
But even more modest cases of water damage can still lead to extensive repair bills if not corrected quickly. Given the increasing prevalence of extreme weather, it will probably pay to keep on top of your roof plumbing issues.
The amount you’ll pay for roof plumbing services will depend on a bunch of factors. One of those is, naturally enough, the size of the job you reckon will need doing. But another is the type of roof plumbing task. Generally, maintenance jobs like gutter cleaning will cost a fair bit less than tasks requiring more training, such as gutter installation.
Roof plumbing service
Roof plumbing service
Take a look at some of the below roof plumbing Airtasker listings. They may help you figure out what to include in a listing of your own.
As a rough guide, expect roof plumbing work to cost upwards of $50 per hour and often closer to $100. But if it’s a more important job, you might be able to work out a fixed price with the roof plumber. In which case, the price might work out to be less. The average hourly rate for a plumber in NSW is around $75.
Roof plumbers are also likely to quote on a per metre basis. That is, they’ll quote you based on the size of the job you need to do - a longer stretch of guttering or downpipes that need fixing will attract a higher quote.
The final price you can expect to pay will ultimately hinge on a bunch of factors. The skill level of the plumber is one. Another is the level of damage or work required. A third is whether or not they’ll need to supply the materials or if you can provide them yourself. A fourth is the size of the job. And a fifth is your location; expect to pay more if the plumber has to travel a distance to get to you.
For a proper gutter clean, you might be able to pay around $100 but expect to fork out more for larger gutters. But prices can rise quickly after that. Silicone repairs could add a bit to the price. And for new build roof plumbing work, the cost of installing a new colorbond roof can easily exceed $3000.
A fair price will ultimately be whatever both you and your roof plumber are comfortable with. But given that roof plumbing is an essential - yet not obvious - aspect of home maintenance, it might be worth not trying to be too economical. It might be worth adding a few extra tasks to the list you provide your roof plumber so that all the little jobs can be done.