Petrus Smidt presenting the July 2021 Roof Inspectors Course in Cape Town. Photos by Neil de Villiers, ITC-SA.

Future roof inspectors enjoyed the three-day Roof Inspector’s Course presented by Petrus Smidt in June in Cape Town. The course content is approved by the ITC and allows the attendees to claim ECSA CPD points.

Smidt, is a professional engineer and member of the Institute for Timber Construction South Africa (ITC-SA). He has vast experience in the engineered timber roofing industry.

The Roof Inspector’s Course is popular and is organised nationally by the ITC-SA. Neil de Villiers, the ITC-SA’s Regional Coordinator in the Western Cape says the main objective is to train future timber roof inspectors in the crucial aspects of timber roof structures and spell out the dangers and responsibilities involved when signing off roofs.

“It is also pitched at other stakeholders in the roofing industry, such as the suppliers of roof covering sheeting and tiles. In fact, anyone involved in the supply chain of timber roofs will benefit from the course,” explains De Villiers.

The number of delegates attending the course was limited to eight because of the Covid-19 health and safety protocols. Half were engineers and the others were from the BMI Group that supplies roof tiles and Youngman Roofing that supplies sheeting profiles.

Timber Roof Inspecting students on a site visit in Cape Town. Photos by Neil de Villiers, ITC-SA

The classroom work is supplemented by a site visit where the practical issues of roof inspections are pointed out. De Villiers says the main topics are timber truss designs and the bracing of the structures, and good and bad practices are highlighted. The course ends with an assessment for which the delegates can obtain a certificate.

“Due to the engineering and other complexities and numerous variables involved in timber roof structures, this course is by no means a ‘ticket’ for the delegate to go and sign off roofs,” cautions De Villiers. “The signing off of roof structures needs to be done under the authority of a responsible ITC-SA engineer member who has the required knowledge and professional indemnity insurance.”

Smidt and the organisers received very positive feedback, with the delegates confirming that they gained valuable insights into the complexities of structural timber designs and the impacts of various loadings on roof structures.

For the next few months, if Covid permits, the main focus in the Western Cape will be the annual auditing of fabricators and roof erectors.

Future roof inspectors discuss truss erection in Cape Town in July 2021. Photos by Neil de Villiers, ITC-SA.