Inspecting Roof Tips

by Tobe Walter
(New Jersey)

Inspecting roof tips. A roof system is composed of several elements that work together to provide three basic, essential functions for your home: shelter, drainage, and ventilation. The roof covering and the flashing are designed to shed water, directing it to gutters and downspouts that channel it away from the foundation.

Air intake and outtake vents keep fresh air circulating below the roof sheathing, preventing moisture buildup as well as heat buildup. When your roof system develops problems that compromise its ability to protect your home cracked shingles, incomplete ventilation, or damaged flashing damage quickly spreads to other parts of your house.

A sound roof system protects your house, and routine inspections are the best way to make sure the roof continues to do its job effectively. Because of the manner in which roofing problems develop, you need to inspect both the interior and exterior of the roof. From inside the attic, check the rafters and sheathing for signs of water damage. Symptoms Will appear in the form of streaking, or discoloration.

Of course, a moist or wet area also signals water damage. While you're in the attic, examine the ventilation system to make sure that air is flowing properly. The flow of air through vents should be adequate and unobstructed. If your attic has vapor barriers, there should be one square foot of venting for every 300 square feet of roof. Without vapor barriers in the attic, you'll need a square foot for 150 square feet of roofing. When you've completed your inspection of the interior, move to the exterior of the roof.

Pay particular attention to the condition of flashing and shingles. Flashing provides flexible, watertight joints between the roof, which expands and contracts, and the intervening roof elements, such as chimneys and vent pipes. Examine the condition of the flashing and the joint compound used to seal its edges. Failed joint compound can easily be replaced, and deteriorated flashing can be patched or replaced.

Torn or missing shingles can also allow moisture to gather and cause further deterioration. Asphalt shingles with too much moisture trapped underneath will often buckle or cup, thereby losing their protective abilities. Once moisture is reduced, buckled shingles may flatten out, but cupped shingles must be replaced.

Ice dams occur when melting snow refreezes near the eaves, causing ice to back up under the shingles, where it melts onto the sheathing and seeps into the house. To reduce damage and prevent further ice backup, melt a channel through the ice with hot water. This allows water to flow off the roof before it freezes.

Or call a professional who uses steam equipment. You can also install an electric roof cable to melt the ice. Lay the cable in the gutters and run it up or down each downspout. To permanently solve the problem, improve roof ventilation to reduce attic temperatures. Thanks for reading this page on inspecting roof tips. Go Jereme Green Go!

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