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Still Time To  Inspect Your Roof Before Snowfall

Posted by John Sims on Fri, Dec, 04, 2015 @ 14:12 PM

It looks like we are getting some unusually warm weather for this time a year; don't let that fool you. With this nice weather this weekend, you may want to do one more home preventative maintenance measure.

One of the worst situations in homeownership is having your roof leak this winter when you have a snow build-up on your roof. That's a high stress factor!

Inspecting Your Roof to Get Ahead of Problems - a yearly inspection can potentially stop moisture damage and head off expensive repairs is worth it. Let's look at your roof to avoid potential damage. This is a good time to give your roof a general inspection for integrity:

I don't claim to be a roofing expert so I did a little research online to put some helpful information together. You can do a thorough inspection from the ground using a pair of binoculars. Just work your way around your house, noting any potential problems.

Here’s what to look for:

  • Start by checking the condition of the shingles on your roof. If your shingles are cracked, or curling, it may be time for replacement. Or, at least gettin an expert's opinion. When a roof leaks during a rain storm, there's very little you can do about it; that's a sick feeling.
  • Build up of algae will slowly deteriorate roof shingles while they grow or decompose. Scrape off any algae, dirt, leaves or debris that has built up on your roof.  Obviously, safety when going up on your roof is of utmost importance(if you're not comfortable hire someone)
  • Check Your Chimney - It's very common for chimney's to eventually leak over time. Also, check for missing mortar or a damaged chimney cap. Use a lot of caulk and roof cement to seal everything. You may need a mason to rebuild it.
  • Check plumbing vents - According to leading building science experts, plumbing vent pipes should penetrate the roof near the ridge near the ridge rather than near the eave, It’s much safer higher up the roof. Make sure te rubber boots around the vent pipes are in good shape and sealed with roof cement. 
  • Check the roof valleys - Valleys are where two different sections of your roof meet. They concentrate water and often clog with ice. They can wear out quicker and eventually develop a leak. When they leak, water can run in many directions in your attic. Then water can run in all sorts of directions within your home, staining walls. 

Rain Gutters:

The gutters on your house are an important part of your roof system. If you don't have them you may want to consider adding them; there's plenty of benefits.

They collect and then direct water away from your home to prevent flooding and water damage. If your gutters are dirty or clogged, problems can occur. After you check out your roof for debris, don’t forget to clean out the gutters and make sure your downspouts are attached and empty away from the foundation of your home. 


Easy Fixes for Roofing Problems:

Any loose, damaged, or missing shingles should be replaced immediately. Check for popped nails that need to be hammered back in place. If you’re comfortable working on a roof, then it’s not too difficult to replace shingles and caulk flashing yourself.
Metal and vinyl flashing around chimneys, skylights, and attic vents that has separated needs to be resealed with caulk. However, flashing and vent boots that are beginning to rust or deteriorate should be replaced.

Clearing Your Roof of Moss - They recommend applying a moss killer intended for roofs (granules for lawn-use contain iron which will stain a roof).
In the spring, use a broom to remove remaining dead moss. Spread moss killer along the ridge of the roof and on any remaining green patches. Cost: $20 for moss killer to treat 3,000 square feet of roof. Allow about three hours to sweep the roof, clear the gutters, and apply the granules.

If you find worrisome signs, especially if the roof is old or there’s been a storm with heavy wind or hail, get a professional assessment. Some roofing companies do this for free; specialized roof inspectors, like those who work through the National Roof Certification and Inspection Association, charge about $175.

Check the age of your roofing and see if it’s nearing the end of its life cycle.

This weekend I'll be tuned to the BigTen football championship game Saturday night. Go Spartans!

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Topics: Roofing, Roof Maintenance, Mold

Energy Efficiency Tips: The Problems With Icicles And Ice Dams

Posted by John Sims on Fri, Feb, 07, 2014 @ 15:02 PM

Energy Efficiency Tips: Don't Ignore Or Just Treat The Symptoms, Large Icicles and Ice Dams Tell A Much Bigger Problem

In the middle of Winter, when the icicles begin to form, homeowners experience anxiety and worry---Is water going to start leaking into my drywall, ceiling, staining it or dripping on my furniture!!

This winter unfortunately are perfect conditions for significant icicleIce Dams formation. Just look around, and if you're reading this article, your may have the problems on your home. Check out where the melting water ran down the siding and formed ice trails underneath the soffit overhang. That situation is not good.

Here's the problem, just because it will everntually go away this spring doesn't mean damage hasn't occurred. In fact where lumber gets wet for a length of time and remains wet it usually attracts insects which cause further damage. Unfortunately, it's difficult to solve in the middle of winter when the problem stares you in the face, again.

Here’s what happens, the escaping heat from your home warms the attic causing snow melt on your roof. The snow melt results in water running down your roof until it meets a colder surface (the eaves) and then freezes and makes ice. As more snow melts and water runs down to the colder area, the ice builds on itself; consequently you can have massive ice buildup and icicles. Escaping heat from your home carries moisture with it which ends up in the attic. So don’t just treat the symptom by venting the attic (it may already have some ventilation), fix the problem.

Take a look at this home:

Icicles3

Ice damming causes early roof failure and other structural damage. Mold and mildew can pose serious health risks to your family. Cold drafts make your home uncomfortable and raise your heating bills. All of these problems are caused by uncontrolled air leakage in your house through gaps, cracks, leaks, and holes.

Fact: Ice dams can be prevented.

Fact: Ice dams cause premature roof failure and allow water into the attic where it rots wood and can cause toxic mold.

Most people think the only way to deal with ice dams is to sweep the roof clear of snow.

FACT: Ice dams, the ridge of ice that builds up on roof eaves, are a common wintertime problem for Michigan residents. They cause costly structural damage to houses every year. The shelf of ice and the icicles hanging from the gutters are obvious to the homeowner. What isn’t so apparent is what causes the ice dam.

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Topics: Energy Efficiency Tips, Air Leaks, Ice Dams, Roofing

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