After approximately 18 to 20 years’ hard service, which included exposure to strong Highveld winds and minor earth tremors, the roof structure at Steve’s Auto Clinic’s Truck division in Centurion finally cried uncle.

On the morning of the 21st of April, Johan van der Merwe, Co-Director of SAC, was visiting one of their clients when he received a phone call from his office. The report came in that the ceiling had lowered a bit in the kitchen and dining room.

Johan recalls that at first, he did not think much of the call, thinking that it was perhaps just a ceiling board that may have been giving in. He returned to the office and upon closer inspection, noticed that the ceiling was sitting much lower than normal. At this point Johan could see that these were not merely a few broken ceiling boards, as some of the snapped trusses were now protruding through areas of the ceiling in the tea-break lounge.

Johan decided to take immediate action and contacted their regular maintenance contractor to come and assist. As soon as the contractor arrived on site, they performed an inspection to try and ascertain the level of the damage, as well as the threat it posed.

Within a few minutes, a snapping noise was heard and the trusses had started failing one by one!

Although some of the staff members had started panicking at this point, Johan was very grateful that no one was hurt. Action was taken immediately and the whole top floor was evacuated.

Upon closer assessment of the situation, Johan and team proceeded to contact Mr. Theunis de Kok, Co-Owner and Operations Director of Radon Painting and Renovations to urgently assist with stabilization of the existing structure. Radon was on site the very same day to try and assist wherever possible.

LCP Roofing’s carpentry foreman, Wilhelm Kotze, drove past SAC’s building on the N1 highway and pulled over immediately to take a picture. The picture was then sent to LCP Roofing’s management team and a call was made to send someone to site.

I was dispatched and found Radon’s team busy with preparations on site. After brief introductions were made, Mr. De Kok took me up to the first floor where the roof trusses had snapped.

After all necessary inspections were done by the relevant authorities, LCP Roofing had the pleasure of assisting Johan and his friendly team with their new roof over the office building.

Johan’s orders were to stick with the original look of the roof, but to alter the designs to accommodate Safintra’s IBR sheeting instead of the original roof tiles.

After drafting our initial designs, Errol Hobden, Pr. Eng from International Truss Systems, reviewed all designs and gave us the go-ahead.

Due to the pitch and the design request, this meant that the apex of these roof trusses would be a staggering 4.5 metres high. The height of these trusses made them very difficult to transport, as these trusses would only just clear some of the bridges en route with as little as 35mm! It goes without saying that great care was taken with the delivery of these roof trusses.

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On an icy cold winter’s morning, on Friday the 9th of June, our carpentry teams stopped on site and prepared to erect the big trusses.

Warren Richardson, a super friendly Logistics and Sales Executive from Marlboro Crane Hire, came to our aid with a 20 ton mobile crane. Warren and his team had also previously assisted Radon Projects with the removal of the collapsed section of the roof. Within a few minutes of arriving on site, the big 20 ton crane was set up and ready for action.

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With the help of the crane, our carpentry teams hammered away and tackled the big roof. With careful planning, step-by-step on-site management and pure perseverance, Wilhelm Kotze and his carpentry teams managed to erect all 600m² of the roof trusses within one day. By Sunday night, our carpentry teams were exhausted but managed to finish installing all of the purlins and relevant bracing.

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The following week the A19 inspections were performed by International Truss Systems and the go-ahead was given to install the roof cover.

Werner Hanekom, Sales Representative for Safintra South Africa, followed suit and delivered the new IBR sheeting on schedule as promised. The quantities and the quality of the sheeting was double checked in LCP Roofing’s yard and sent to site on Friday the 16th of June.

LCP Roofing’s sheeting foreman, Gavin Mostert, was standing by ready to install the new roof cover.  The sheeting team showed true dedication by willingly sacrificing their public holiday to get the job done. By Saturday afternoon, all sheeting works had been completed.

Finally, our quality assurance inspections were then carried out to ensure that the quality of the work executed was of the highest standards.

We wish Johan van der Merwe and his friendly (and patient) staff members the best of luck in all their future endeavours. Our sincere thanks to the following people who helped us make this project successful:

Theunis de Kok (Radon Painting and Renovations)

Werner Hanekom (Safintra South Africa)

Warren Richardson (Marlboro Crane Hire)

Errol Hobden (International Truss Systems)

Article by Freddy Robertson, LCP Roofing Sales Manager.