roof inspection

19
Feb

Spring cleaning gutters

spring cleaning gutters

Leaves and other debris in a gutter

Spring cleaning checklists must include cleaning gutters.

Run a ladder up the side for you to precariously balance upon OR do you climb onto the roof itself?

Answer: Climbing on the roof is a better way to go about cleaning gutters.  Assuming that is, your roof isn’t too steep.  The work will go much faster and you can more easily see what you are doing when on the roof.

Take care not to needlessly drag yourself across the roof as you’ll scrape granules off your shingles.  Once in position, use a trowel or a gloved hands to scoop leaves and other debris into a bucket.  Be very careful not to lean on your gutter which will likely bend or break off sending you tumbling over the edge.

Prepare your Super Soaker

On second thought, don’t use a water gun, instead grab a water hose.  After clearing out the bulk of the debris by hand, crank up the hose to run water as forcefully as you can through the gutter.  It will go much faster if you use a nozzle to amp up the pressure.  The water should clear out small debris, dirt, and other junk.

After blasting out the debris, watch the water carefully to make sure the water is flowing down the downspout.  Why?  First, to make sure you do not have leaks or cracks in the gutter itself or where they are joined (i.e. seams).  Second, poor water flow indicates a clogged downspout.  A good suggestion is to come down off the roof and take a quick break so you can check the water from below.  From ground level it is easier to see if the gutter is leaking and if the water is flowing easily through the downspout.  If water is overflowing or if only a small amount of water is coming out the downspout then it is clogged.  You should be able to clear it with water and a broomstick or plumber’s drain snake.

Take advantage of time on the roof.

Sure you could fiddle on the roof; but try to focus on cleaning gutters and looking for problems you cannot easily see from the ground.  What type of problems?

  • Fascia cracks or flashing that is damaged.
  • Missing nails or screws, loose gutters or downspouts, weak joints between gutters, or rust.
  • Branches which are dropping leaves into the gutters or hitting your roof.
  • Missing shingles, wear and tear which needs to be carefully watched, or other necessary roof repairs.

Remember that leaking or broken gutters can not only damage the fascia board but debris can rip the edges of your shingle.  Also, take time to make sure water is not entering your home or pooling somewhere that later will cause major damage.  Finally, walk around your home while looking at the gutters all the time telling yourself, “I won’t wait so long next time.”


Want more information? Trying to understand the costs associated with replacing a roof?  Call, email, post to Facebook, or tweet to us.  No Fee, No Obligation, Just help for you.

Don’t want to talk to anyone and just want a quick, satellite photograph measurement to help estimate the cost for your roof?  Order the Quick Report

If you have a specific roof issue and can send us a photo via email, Facebook, or Twitter, we will do our best to advise you on the specific issue.

22
Dec

Algae on the Roof, yuck!

Algae on the roof Moss-on-Roof-Shingles-Removal-with-green-mold

Do you have algae on the roof?

There are two main types of algae, “black algae” and “green algae”.  The green stuff is really more of a moss.  Both of these types are seen most commonly in humid climates.  Whether you have black or green algae on the roof they are both undesirable.

Algae or moss can do more than make your roof an ugly sight – it can damage the roof.

Black algae looks like black streaks running down the shingle roof.  The good news is it does not damage the shingle.  While black shingles are cosmetically unsightly, with proper cleaning the shingles’ appearance can be restored. Green algae or any kind of moss, however, can grow into the shingle and cause damage. Think of it this way, one is just dirty streaks and the other is a living organism.  Fortunately, both types can be cleaned off by a roofer or even by a do-it-yourself homeowner.

Can you avoid algae on the roof?

One way to avoid moss or algae growing is to install an an algae resistant shingle.  CertainTeed manufacturers shingles with “StreakFighter” which comes in 10 and 15 year durations.  Why not 20 or 30 years?  The reason is that the copper coating on the granules wears off over time even before the shingle wears out. The copper coating is what resists the algae growth.

 

Confused or want more information? Trying to understand the costs associated with replacing a roof?  Call, email, post to Facebook, or tweet to us. No Fee, No Obligation, Just help for you.

Don’t want to talk to anyone and just want a quick, satellite photograph measurement to help estimate the cost for your roof?  Order the Quick Report

If you have a specific roof issue and can send us a photo via email, Facebook, or Twitter, we will do our best to advise you on the specific issue.

 

25
Nov

Roof Maintenance Tips for Winter

roof maintenance needed for snow on roof

Snow laden roof

Winter Time – Tip for Preventive Roof Maintenance

Fall has quickly passed and we’re moving into Winter, although in the South it stills feels like Fall.  Yesterday, I had a Christmas light installer put lights on my home.  He pointed out that several sections of the roof had “slippery” shingles – meaning the granules easily came off.   I assured him that I knew and asked him to use a ladder instead of running around on my roof.

Preventive roof maintenance is an absolute necessity.  The heat of the summer is behind us, but it’s possible that you have buckled shingles, dried out caulking, or leaking roof areas which are unidentified.  Strong winds over the past several months may have lifted shingles or blown debris such as tree limbs onto your roof.  Take a good look at your drains which easily become clogged which then results in improper drainage which can set up a water penetration situation in the future.

Cold weather issues

Winter brings cold weather, higher winds, and blowing dead or loose debris, which will damage your roof.   As your roof continues to be exposed to nature’s elements, your roof integrity will degrade resulting in damage that can go undetected until it becomes a serious problem.  It is good to remember that your roof is the skin protecting your home or commercial building.  If you have a lot of snow then you should consider snow guards such as those designed by Rock Mountain Snow Guards like this:

Roof maintenance instrument snow guard

Snow Guard from Rocky Mountain

Roof maintenance is as important as auto maintenance

Preventive roof maintenance should be viewed as important as preventive maintenance on a car and truck.  Skipping oil changes or mileage service points will slowly degrade your vehicle – roof maintenance is no different.  I encourage you to have your roof inspected by a professional every three years, or more frequently if you do no engage in preventive maintenance or have moved into a new home and have no idea if the seller did any type of roof maintenance.

Remember though to not jump to conclusions about your roof needing to be replaced simply because a single roofer says you need one.  A quality roofing company will present ideas on how to patch or otherwise mediate your damage.  When you are ready to replace your roof get multiple bids from quality roofing contractors.

Maintenance conclusions

If you are able to get up on your roof, even if only partially via a ladder, do it.  Do your own inspection looking for problems that need to be addressed.  You will save a lot of money by proactively maintaining your roof and heading off issues before they become big problems.

Confused or want more information? Trying to understand the costs associated with replacing a roof?  Call, email, post to Facebook, or tweet to us. No Fee, No Obligation, Just help for you.

Don’t want to talk to anyone and just want a quick, satellite photograph measurement to help estimate the cost for your roof?  Order the Quick Report

If you have a specific roof issue and can send us a photo via email, Facebook, or Twitter, we will do our best to advise you on the specific issue.

12
Nov

Rats in attic and other nesting nuisances

Rats in attic giant rat

Giant Rat by Randy Parsley

Rats in attic or pesky squirrels running rampant?

Animal roof inhabitants are not pets.  They are a real concern for homeowners.  They damage your roof, and they constitute a health hazard for humans — either through the spread of pathogens or by direct attack.

Giant rats in attic?

While Texas is home to some large critters, the largest rat I have ever seen was posted by Randy Parsley at Rat Control Reviews in Florida.  The photo above is evidence of his find.  But whether you are dealing with small mice or giant rats either kind can be a giant pain.

Beyond rats in attic to other rodents

The most common types of rodents that cause damage to your roof are: Norway rats, roof rats, house mice, squirrels, and raccoons.  With sharp claws and teeth and a love of gnawing, these animals will easily damage your roof and any other part of your attic and roof.   They not only nest in your attic but will creep around and cause damage inside your home as well.  They sneak around looking for tasty morsels and easily accessible water.  Beyond the general damage caused they are distributors of bacteria and viruses, all of which spread disease.

Take control

If your house has rats in attic issues or simply has become a nesting ground for rodents then take action to stop them from spreading.  This means employing a combination of stop gap techniques, permanently plugging entry points, and then removing them.  The Wildlife Center of Texas has some great tips:

Weak spot under eaves and soffits are vulnerable entry points to your attic, and the space under your porch, deck, or house are all ideal places for animals to live and nest as they are protected from the elements and from predators. Products such as HardiePlank can be used to reinforce weak spots on your house. Screens or metal sheeting over holes and dryer vent covers help keep small mammals and nesting birds out. Chimney caps will prevent squirrels and birds from nesting in your chimney.

Confused or want more information?

Call, email, post to Facebook, or tweet to us.  No Fee, No Obligation, Just help for you.

24
Oct

How do I know when to replace my roof? Danger signs for a roof. – part two

Roof problems that help answer the question, “How do I know when to replace my roof?” part two

Last week we pointed out that the guys over at GAF, who manufacture roofing materials, posted a really good set of photos to help you determine if you have red flags that need to be carefully examined.   They call them Key Danger Signals of a Failing Roof?

Let’s look at the other danger signs that likely point to a roof replacement need.  But remember that not every type of roof damage means you have to replace your roof.  You might be able to patch it and then prepare and plan to have it replaced in the near future.

But be on the lookout for the issues below to help answer the question, “How do I know when to replace my roof?”

Stains on Interior Ceilings and Walls or Mold and Mildew Growth

Possible cause: Leaking water supply or drain line OR inadequate, faulty shingle underlayment which allows leakage.  Mold could also be caused by inadequate ventilation which traps moisture.

 

Stains leading to roof replacement

Stains indicating water penetration

Exterior Decay, Sheathing, and/or Siding

Possible cause: Poor attic ventilation.  If the exterior of your home looks like this picture you have a real problem.  Does this answer the question, “when to replace my roof?”  Not yet.  But you need to figure out what is causing this problem. You might have a leak which is slowly eating away at your sheathing or siding.

 

exterior damage indicating roof replacement need

Siding damage

Missing, Cracked, or Curled Shingles

Possible cause: Shingles have reached the end of their useful life OR a major storm tore up the roof.  Sometimes your shingles have just reached their end of life and you need to replace the roof.  If you have 20 year shingles, have had your roof on for 25 years, and it looks like this photo you can answer the question, “How do I know when to replace my roof?” in by nodding your head repeating after me, “Yes.  I need a roof replacement.”

 


singles destroyed indicating roof replacement  need

Major damage to shingles

 

Dark, “dirty-looking” areas

Possible cause: Loss of granules due to age of shingles.  This one is tough.  Your singles might have simple been worn down over time or you might have mold growing on your roof.  It is important to take a closer look.  Do not jump to roof replacement mode just because you have a few worn shingles.  In this photo, the granules have definitely been worn away.  This is a warning sign that a roof replacement is in your future.  But does this answer the question “when to replace my roof?”  Not exactly but it is a warning sign.  At some point these shingles will fail but you still might have a few years if the rest of the roof is in fair shape.

shingles  missing granules indicating time to replace roof

Shingles with missing granules

Confused or want more information? Trying to understand the costs associated with replacing a roof?  Call, email, post to Facebook, or tweet to us.  No Fee, No Obligation, Just help for you.

Don’t want to talk to anyone and just want a quick, satellite photograph measurement to help estimate the cost for your roof?  Order the Quick Report

If you have a specific roof issue and can send us a photo via email, Facebook, or Twitter, we will do our best to advise you on the specific issue.

2
Sep

Hail Damage – What to Look For!

Hail Storm

After any hail producing storm, it is very important to check your roof to determine whether or not any damage has occurred. Here are a few things to look for:

•    If safe and easy roof access is possible, check the vents as well as shingles for any damage.

•    Inspect all your gutters and rain spouts for damage or any roof debris. If you do find damage to your gutters, usually there is also damage to the roof.

•    Check inside for any damage to your ceilings and attic. Look for any leaks that could be caused by hail damage.

Still confused or want more information?   Call or email us at RoofBidders.com    We love to provide FREE education to property owners. We will talk with you at no cost.  If you have a specific roof issue and can send us a photo via email, we will do our best to advise you on the specific issue.