You certainly know that having a good roof will ensure you plenty of comfort for you and your family. There are different things that can lead to roof damage, and one of the factors is the time and the lifespan of the roof.
Each material has its qualities, and when you have a certain type of roof, you need to check it for damage at least once a year. It’s easy to do it, and it will take you less than an hour. If you don’t feel up to this task, you can call a professional to do it for you.
We’ve made a short list with the steps you can take to make sure you have a proper roof.
Home Roof Inspection
You need to check your roof at least twice a year, especially when the seasons change. You can call a roof contractor to inspect the roof, and, in exchange, you will receive an official certificate about the condition of the roof. That written piece of paper will contain every details you need to know about potential damage, lifespan or any other detail that might interest you.
You will also receive a list with the needed materials for the repairs, if there are any that need to be done.
This is something that you can do in the course of a day. It will take you only a few hours to complete this task and you will also save some money.
All you will need is a ladder and the willingness to do it. To reach the gutters, you need to step high on the ladder until those are within easy reach. Cleaning the gutters will make sure that there are no debris gathered there and the water can freely pass.
The gutters are the first barrier for the water – they make sure that the water doesn’t fall directly on your walls, wetting them or damaging them, also protecting the foundation of the house.
If you have any trees around the house, it’s better if you can cut the branches. If the branches are big enough to touch the roof, if there is a storm, they can damage it. Cutting the bigger branches will prevent the roof from taking any damage. The weather damage is enough for the roof, so it doesn’t have to stand also the damage made from a bigger branch or branches. Trimming them is the easiest solution, without cutting the whole tree.
This is another portion that you have to check. The attic is a place that you usually don’t use, so make sure it is dry and with no water spots. If the roof took any damage from a storm or simply as a result of the passing time, the attic will show you those things.
Make sure you follow closely the isolation and see if there is any breaking point where water can get in. Also, if you have windows or illuminators installed in the attic, make sure that there is no water damage around them.
If you see water anywhere or if there are water stains or mold, you need to check the roof to see where the problem is.
A Roofing Contractor
Once you have finished with the visual inspection on the outside, and with the attic inspection on the inside, it’s time to call for a roofing contractor, especially if you have discovered some problems.
This is different from the home roof inspection, as these are the professionals who will actually make the repairs. When you call them, make sure you have the written document from the home roof inspectors, and you also have a list with the rest of the problems that you have discovered by yourself.
The roofing contractor will give you a price estimation and you will have to decide which one to hire – that’s why it’s best to call at least 3 different roofing contractors to evaluate the site.
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Flat roof leaks. How to find a moisture leak on a flat roof with multiple elevations.
In this video, we will show you how to find and diagnose a flat roof leak. There are two types of flat roofs. The ones that leak and the ones that are going leak. Additionally, many flat roof leaks are misdiagnosed and many times, unneccarry expensive repairs are performed. The owner of this flat roof has had flat roof leaks since the day the building was purchased which was roughly 10 years ago. The building owner employed many roofing contractors to make roof repairs which included the installaion of new roof membranes, installaion of new flashing, and the installation of new top reflective sealant coating. After all these repairs, the roof membrane still leaked. The building owner and his secretary would control the roof leaks with buckets.
The last roofer decided to get an opinion from a building scientist Marko Vovk (that would be I) to help diagnose the roof leaks. The roofer cut the roof membrane and found trapped water. Water was travailing between roof membranes and leaking at two different room locations below.
While on the roof, I asked the maintenace man to bring me a 5 gallon bucket full water. I threw several cups or water to an upper elevation brick wall. The water beaded off. I ask the maintenace man who sealed the brick. He said, that 10 years ago, when they bought the building, the previous owner disclosed that the window at this location leaked and it was repaired. He wasn’t sure about and brick sealing. He stated that since this repair, the window has not leaked. Well it was quite obvouse that somebody 10 years ago knew it was the brick that was leaking and not the window. This is why they sealed the brick with what appeared to be a water resistant coating. While on the roof, I walk over to the location where one of the roof leaks was occuring. A brick higher elevation roof wall also existed at this area. I threw several cups of water onto this brick. This time, the water was absorbed or sucked into the brick. Brick and mortar joints are naturally absorbent; this is why you need weep holes in brick. This brick upper roof wall did not have weep holes. This brick wall was once an exterior wall of an older building. The building roof that has the two flat roof leaks was an addition that was built over 20 years ago. The brick was getting saturated during long duration rains. This wall also faced the southern and western exposure which is more suseptable to weather. The water was getting sucked into Bick and mortar joints and running down that back side if the brick in the ¾ capillary space. This newer addition building had roof joists that rested on pocket ledges that were cut into the brick 20 years ago. Instead of water running down into lower levels, it escaped at these cut pockets. This was going to be an easy fix. Simply by sealing the exterior brick would fix this leak. I did warn the owner that when you seal brick, it no longer breaths and the potential, of brick spalling may occured. I told the owner to control indoor humidity by running a dehumidifier during cold climates. The reason for this is that if you have high indoor humidty it will travel to the exterior through a vehicle called vapor diffusion. If the brick is sealed, it will act like an exterior vapor barriers. During the winter, it is cold, it freezes, and brick Spalding can occur.
The second leak diagnostic was also simple. Directly above this second leak was 12 year old HVAC unit. We cut into the roofing membrane at this location and encountered moisture. I asked the maintenace man to be bringing me a second 5 gallon bucket of water. This time, I dumped it into the HVAC unit fan area. It wasn’t long before the water started dripping into the room below. In the room below you could see a roof fasteners rusted and dripping water. The secretary said, the roof would leak for several days after rain storms. This leak existed for 12 years due the HVAC installaion contractor not being a roofer. This roof top unit had a roof duct penetration that was poorly sealed. The HVAC installing contactor created this leak 12 years ago. This was also an easy repair. The HVAC unit needed to be lifted and roof membrane needed to be replaced. Sometimes when looking for leaks you need to apply some building science knowledge, not just roofing knowledge. Sometimes, roof leaks are not roof membrane related as they were in this case. Please subscribe and watch my other videos.
Ryan Lawrence Manthey (Lakewood Ohio)
Thank You Ryan, you are great.
Mold The Truth We have all been scammed
Flat roof leaks
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