Issaquah Roof Repair

Issaquah Roof Repair

 

If Mother Nature has turned your house into a mini Metrodome, there are two immediate steps to take:

1. Get the heck outta there.

2. Call 9-1-1.

That’s pretty much it for the “Do” list. The “Don’t” list is longer and includes several potential dangers related to a failed roof. These are certainly worth mentioning because you, like any homeowner in this situation, might be tempted to do something stupid.

The Dangers of a Roof Collapse

The main thing not to do is go back into the house. A roof collapse is a serious structural failure that can affect many other parts of the home’s structural system. For example, the roof frame ties the walls together. If snow loads are big enough to crush a roof, they can topple walls like a card house. Even after things have quieted down, there’s no way of knowing what other structural elements have been compromised or are under stress until the house has been examined by an engineer or other qualified expert.

The other big reason not to be in—or even too near—the house is the great potential for leaks from broken gas lines and dangers from damaged wiring and other electrical elements. And don’t forget that the roof is also where some critical plumbing runs terminate; namely, exhaust flues from gas-burning appliances and vent pipes from your home’s drain system. Any of these runs would likely be damaged or blocked by a cave-in, possibly resulting in poisonous gasses or nasty sewer air being released into the house.

All of the above explains why you need to call 9-1-1. The gas and electricity need to be shut off immediately, and the house must be inspected by a professional to assess the situation and recommend the next steps.

Warning Signs of a Stressed Roof

Imagine the sound in the hull of an old, wooden cargo ship, creaking and moaning as it labors through the waves…If you hear anything like that coming from your roof, you might be in for an indoor avalanche. Other signs include bowed or cracked roof framing members and doors and window failing to open or close normally.

How to Prevent a Roof Collapse

In areas that get a reasonable amount of snowfall, roofs are commonly designed to hold 30 pounds of snow per square foot of roof. This is called the “live load” and includes the snow and anything else that might be on your roof, such as yourself and your 10,000-watt Santa-and-reindeer display. The “dead load” is the roof itself. So how much snow is 30 pounds per square foot? It could be a depth of up to 10 feet with very dry, fresh snow and as little as 1.5 feet with very wet snow.

The only way to prevent a roof collapse is to lighten the load by shoveling off some of the snow. For a DIYer, this is best done with a snow rake designed for roofs. You can use these from the ground—a much better idea than getting up onto the roof—and they’re less likely to damage your roofing than conventional tools. Remove the snow in a careful, systematic manner, taking off a little at a time from each side or plane of the roof so as not to create an imbalanced load that can further stress the structure.

Everett Roof Repair

Everett Roof Repair

 

The trouble with roof moss is that moss tends to allow moisture to accumulate and remain, and this moisture can lead to shortened life spans of many roofing materials.

How Roof Moss is Usually Removed

The standard method for removing moss is simply to scrape it off of the surface it is growing on and sweep the debris away.  If your roof pitch is not too steep and your are not intimidated by heights, this may be a possible DIY project.  Keep in mind that climbing about on a roof is a hazardous activity and proper safety controls should be followed.

Care should be taken to limit potential damage to roof coverings and shingles.  Older roofs can be damaged by heavy foot traffic or overly aggressive scraping and sweeping.  If in doubt about your roof’s ability to provide a sound surface to walk on, it is best to bring in a professional roofer

Copper, the Magic Metal

Once the moss has been removed, the next goal is to keep it from coming back.  There are a number of chemical products out there that contain compounds that keep moss from growing.  These compounds are effective in what they do, but there is a way to prevent moss from growing that is simple and non-chemical: Copper!  A simple strip of copper installed along the roof peak allows rain to wash trace quantities of copper over your roof, which prevents moss from growing.  Zinc is another metal that works, but it is a bit less effective than copper in preventing moss growth. A strip of copper can be added to old or new roofs.

Special Shingles

Some roofing manufacturers are producing roofing products that contain copper granules.  These leach copper just like the copper sheeting products.  If your roof needs replacing, using a product like this is one way to get the extra protection that copper provides.

Kirkland Roof Repair

Kirkland Roof Repair

 

Most roofing projects are pretty expensive and can run into the thousands of dollars.  With such a huge investment in your home, it’s prudent to consider the various warranty ramifications.

Choose the Right Product

When it comes to choosing a roofing product, the NRCA (National Roofing Contractors Association) has this advice:

“A roofing warranty’s length should not be the primary criterion in the selection of a roofing product or roof system because the warranty does not necessarily provide assurance of satisfactory roof system performance. The selection of a roof system application should be based on the product’s qualities and suitability for the prospective project. A long-term warranty may be of little value to a consumer if the roof system does not perform satisfactorily and leaks. Conversely, if a roof system is designed, constructed and manufactured well, the expense of purchasing a warranty may not be necessary.”

Know What is Covered in the Warranty

This varies by the manufacturer and by product, and also by levels of coverage.  It is not uncommon to have a tiered structure with classes of coverage.  What is covered in one class is often excluded in another.  Usually the higher levels of coverage involve longer time frames, (50 years to “lifetime”), and also cover a number of “labor” costs.  DIY Resource: http://www.networx.com/article/do-you-need-a-roofing-warranty

These warranties are full of exclusions to coverage and often have paragraph after paragraph of fine print.  Common exclusions:

  • Damage from foreign objects or foot traffic
  • Lack of, or improper, homeowner maintenance
  • Damage to the home’s interior due to leaks, mold, etc.

Given such a wide list of exclusions, it would seem that there are many ways the consumer could be left without roofing warranty coverage.

Most warranties also have limitations on coverage due to age, and are pro-rated over the life of the roof. Additional conditions are imposed based on ownership transfer and the sale of the home. The warranty normally just covers manufacturing defects, which, in my experience as a contractor, is pretty rare.  DIY Resource: http://www.hometalk.com

Best Practice

I had the roof replaced on my home about 10 years ago.  I chose a product from a well-known manufacturer and had it installed by a long-established roofing company.  I had them install it for the higher wind rating of 130 mph (6 nails instead of 4), and I have not looked back. A good product properly installed should not need a warranty.  If you chose a product such as “Bubba’s Basic” and it is installed by a fly-by-night outfit then you may end up with problems, and the hope that a warranty will cover you may be just a fantasy.R

Renton Roof Repair

Renton Roof Repair

 

The two very best ways to hurt yourself while clearing snow from your roof are 1) falling off the ladder on your way up to the roof and 2) falling off the ladder on your way down from the roof. Of course, you can always just fall off the roof directly, preferably with a dramatic attempt to grab the gutter on your way over the edge. On the other hand, the two very best ways NOT to hurt yourself when clearing your roof are 1) using a roof rake and 2) hiring a roof cleaning professional (who hopefully is much more skilled at grabbing gutters than you are).

The DIY Option: Roof Rake

A roof rake is sort of like a snow shovel with a ridiculously long handle. But instead of picking up the snow like with a shovel, you drag the snow down and off the edge of the roof, in the manner of raking or using a garden hoe. Rake designs vary. Some are little more than a pole with a metal plate at the business end; others have cool features like spikes for breaking up hardened snow or rollers for easy movement. The fanciest version I’ve seen, the MinnSnowta Roof Razor, is actually a push (rather than a pull) device. It cuts into the snow and sends it off the roof via a slippery “specially treated cloth” runner. This saves you the effort of lifting the head of the tool up and behind the snow, as you do with conventional roof rakes. According to the manufacturer, the MinnSnowta Roof Razor “doesn’t damage your roof as is the case with a lift, chop and pull type.”

Roof rakes are safe because you use them from the ground. In fact, you should never use a roof rake from a ladder, for a couple of reasons. First, unless you’re a tightrope walker, you’re probably not familiar with balancing long poles while standing on small surfaces (like a ladder rung). And second, when you pull the snow off the roof, it has no other place to go than straight down, right where you happen to be stuck standing on the ladder. The downside of roof rakes is that they work only on single-story houses, and some of them are downright pricey (but they’re still much cheaper than fixing a caved-in roof or even a bad roof leak). The MinnSwnowta folks said that the Roof Razor can be used on two-story houses, and that they offer various tools for different types of roofs and snow conditions.

Homemade Roof Rake

If you’ve got cold feet about purchasing a prefab roof rake, here’s a simple homemade version you might try. Bear in mind that I haven’t actually built one of these, but this is the basic design I would start with: Get the longest length of 1-1/2-inch or 2-inch PVC pipe you can find (1-inch is a little too flexible). Screw a PVC floor flange to a rectangular piece of 3/8-inch plywood, and then glue the pipe into the floor flange. The weight of the tool is an important consideration, so don’t make the plywood head too large. Once you’ve field-tested and refined your own roof rake design, you might want to paint the plywood to give it a slick coating that resists clumping of snow and ice.

Hiring a Pro

The safest and easiest way to remove excessive snow from your roof is to pay a roofing professional to do it. The service may cost well upwards of $100 per hour, but that’s a lot less than emergency medical care. The availability of roofing companies that handle snow removal depends on your local climate. Even in Denver, where I live, there’s no such thing as a full-time snow removal company for roofs. But in places like the Upper Midwest it’s much more common.

According to Kyle Andersen at Advanced Exteriors, one of the largest roofing contractors in Denver, their pros have to set up an anchor point before getting on the roof. Sometimes this requires throwing a safety line over the roof’s ridge and anchoring to it to a fixed object, like a truck, on the other side of the house. See why you don’t want to do this yourself?

Andersen gets only a few calls a year for snow removal on existing roofs (that is, roofs not under construction), but his company does a lot of work involving preventing problems with snow accumulation. Namely, installing ridge vents and adding heat tape along the eaves and gutters. Ridge vents improve airflow under the roof deck, evening out the temperature on the roof and thus keeping the snow accumulation more even. Heat tape, or cables, snaked along the edges of the roof and laid inside gutters helps prevent drifts and cornices from forming as wall as preventing ice dams. In areas with significant snowfall, cornices can cause structural damage and present a general risk to people and objects below. So, advises Andersen, the safest way to deal with roof snow is to prevent a hazardous situation in the first place.

Tacoma Roof Repair

Tacoma Roof Repair

Even a small roof leak can result in serious damage to your home’s structure, as well as wasting substantial amounts of water. What’s more, it may lead to mold growth, which is hazardous to human health. Find the source of your leaky roof and take care of the necessary roof leak repair fast before it ends up costing you a bundle of cash and aggravation.

Signs of a Leak

The sound or sight of dripping water is an obvious indication of a trouble spot. However, it may not be quite that easy to detect. If you have any hint of a leak in your roof, you might need to do some in-depth investigative work. Suspicious signs include a ceiling, wall, or floor which has wet, stained, or discolored patches; unexplained bulges; or peeling paint. Alternatively, you could smell a musty odor in the vicinity.

Look in the Attic

The next step, if you have access to the attic, is to try going up there — armed with a flashlight if necessary — to have a good hard look around. Chances are that the water stains will be even worse in the attic than on your ceiling and will help you locate where the leak is allowing liquid to penetrate. You may even spy evidence of mold.

Check Out the Roof

After that, ask a partner to wait inside the house while you take your garden hose and climb up on the roof. Estimate where you think the roof leak might be coming from and spray that area with the hose. Continue to experiment with spraying various spots, one at a time. Have your helper call you when water starts coming through to where he or she is stationed down below.

Check Dormer Walls While You’re at It

A “roof leak” may actually originate in a wall. Check any dormer walls for cracks or rot that may be allowing water in.

Tear off Shingles

If you still have not pinpointed exactly where the roof leak is, it’s time to take a more drastic measure. Start removing roof shingles in the general area of leakage. This should reveal water stains and rot in the immediate vicinity of the water source.

Determine the Cause

Now you have located the place, you’re ready to find out the cause. The leak may be due to improper sealing around a structure atop your roof, such as a chimney or dormer window. Roof vents are another common culprit; metal ones may develop breaks in their seams, while plastic vents are subject to cracked housings. Rusted flashing could also be at fault. Your problem might even be as simple as actual holes in the roof, especially in an older home. A previous owner may have installed — and removed — a satellite dish or other equipment, without adequately filling the holes left behind.

Repair the Roof Leak First, Then Deal with Any Mold

Friends and acquaintances may advise you to try cleaning up the mold or to have it remediated before taking any other action. However, this is unsound advice. When mold in your home results from dampness seeping in through the roof, it will recur unless and until the source of the moisture itself, that is, the leaky roof, has been repaired. Contact a roofing contractor to repair your roof leak as soon as possible; only then should you start dealing with the mold situation.

Contact Your Insurance Company

For serious mold problems, you may be eligible for compensation according to your homeowners insurance policy … or not. Many insurers state that mold caused by a leaky roof is a problem that developed over an extended period of time, and one which you could have prevented with proper vigilance — that is, regular inspections of your roof. Still, it may be worth filing a claim.

Seattle Roof Repair

Seattle Roof Repair

 

Which part of a house is the source of over one third of all homeowner’s insurance claims? If you answer “the roof,” you’re right on the money. A leaky roof is not just annoying, but can also lead to all sorts of problems. For example, dampness and mold resulting from a leak will threaten your home’s structural soundness, as well as your physical health. Water leaks can even get into your electrical system, where it may cause power outages and fire hazards. Professional roof inspection will pinpoint potential problems before they become serious.

Why Do You Need a Professional Roof Inspection?

The purpose of a roof inspection is threefold — to assess which repairs are needed, if any; to estimate the roof’s remaining lifespan; and to issue a certificate of inspection, which may be valid for 2-5 years, depending on your location. This certificate can be a selling point if your home is currently on the market.

When you are in the process of purchasing a house, don’t expect your home inspector to thoroughly check the roof. Although he or she will point out any trouble signs visible from the ground, the home inspector will not perform a rooftop inspection and cannot give you an estimate of how much longer you can reasonably expect the roof to last. That is the task of a roofing inspection specialist.

Nor is roof inspection a job for the layperson. Walking around on the roof when you don’t know what you are doing is dangerous for both you and your roofing. A trained roofing inspector is knowledgeable in safety procedures and has the proper equipment. What’s more, a qualified roof inspector is capable of spotting potential problems which are not evident to the untrained eye, such as hail damage that will lead to leaks.

When Should Your Roof Be Inspected?

There are four occasions when it is recommended to have your roof inspected:

1) After a new roof has been installed to ensure that the work has been completed according to your area’s building code

2) Following a major storm, such as a hailstorm or hurricane, to verify whether there has been damage to your roof and allow you to make an insurance claim, if applicable, within the deadline

3) When you are preparing to sell your home, or are interested in purchasing a new property

4) As part of routine household preventive maintenance.

Do not assume that your roof will be problem-free for the entire duration of your warranty period. Also avoid making the mistake of relying on your warranty to bail you out if you experience problems with your roof. Read the fine print; often a warranty will stipulate regular professional roof inspection as part of the necessary maintenance that you are required to perform.

What Will the Inspector Look at?

The roofing inspector you hire will have a detailed checklist of items to evaluate. These include:

* roofing material (its general condition; wear and tear; damaged, curling, loose, or missing shingles or fasteners; greater-than-normal granule loss from asphalt shingles)

* exterior roof structure (sagging or other deformation; deterioration; staining; damage or rot to flashing, soffit, or fascia; gutter clog or inadequate pitch)

* condition of the roof’s interior as seen from the attic (cracks; staining or dampness; and roof or window leaks)

* inspection of the ceilings under the attic (once again cracks, stains, and moisture).

The inspector will also examine and evaluate recent repairs that have been made to the roof.

Upon completion of the examination, the inspector will issue a written report, noting any problems and recommending follow-up action if necessary.

Redmond Roof Repair

Redmond Roof Repair

“A roof over one’s head” is a synonym for home. And no wonder … your roof faithfully performs the essential task of shielding your family and your belongings from the elements. Return the favor by taking good care of your roof. These simple tips will help extend its useful life.

Maintain Your Roof

Don’t allow leaves or snow to accumulate on your roof. (Clear out gutters regularly too!) Leaves will trap moisture from dew and rain, holding it against the roof where it can do damage. Snow will melt and refreeze, causing ice dams. In addition, the sheer weight of a winter’s worth of snow may be more than your elderly roof was designed to handle.

Trim any overhanging tree limbs so they’re no less than 10 feet from your roof. Not only will this prevent leaves falling onto the house, it also safeguards against branches scraping the roof during a storm. Third, exposing the roof to sunlight deters the growth of moss and mold. Last but not least, this measure blocks access to your roof by squirrels and other animal pests.

Avoid walking on the roof to inspect or clean it. This can be dangerous for both your roof and yourself. Standing solidly on the ground, use a dedicated non-metal roof rake to pull off fresh snow or fallen leaves. Spray with a garden hose to remove moss or algae buildup in summer. Avoid pressure washing, which has tremendous destructive potential when unleashed on your roof; the powerful stream can loosen roofing tabs, unglue the shingles’ self-adhesive, and wash off the reflective granules.

Schedule a professional roof inspection regularly every 2-3 years, as well as after severe weather like hail or heavy winds.

Ventilate the Attic

During the winter, people tend to keep their homes closed up. This allows warm moist air from showering, cooking, or running appliances such as humidifiers to collect in your attic if it is not adequately ventilated. And guess what is sitting right on top of your attic? Hello! The underside of your roof.

The situation is no better in summertime when an insufficiently ventilated attic can play host to air at temperatures as high as 160 degrees. This kind of heat is very, very bad news for your roof rafters and asphalt shingles.

Don’t despair, though. If you have properly functioning air intake vents combined with exhaust ventilation in your attic, excessive heat and moisture will be directed where you want them, outside the house.

Watch Out for Roofing’s Red Flags

Stay alert. Loose, buckled, or missing shingles need to be taken care of ASAP, as they are an open invitation for moisture to penetrate your roof. If you tackle the problem early enough, you may need to replace only the affected shingles, instead of paying for a whole new roof.

Damp or peeling patches on your attic ceiling, dripping water, or light shining through are obvious signs that your roof is in big trouble. However, those are not the only red flags to watch out for. Exposed roof beams or doors and windows that are suddenly hard to open may also be signaling that excess moisture is getting into your house, most likely via the roof. All of these symptoms are another indication that it’s time to call in a roofing contractor.

Recognize when it’s Time to Replace

All good things eventually come to an end, and your roofing material is no exception. After a certain point, it makes more sense to replace, rather than to repair, the roof, namely when one or more of these is true:

  • At least 30 percent of the roof has become damaged over time.
  • The supporting structure is seriously rotted.
  • A natural disaster such as a hurricane has taken a heavy toll on your roof.
  • The roofing is approaching the end of its expected lifespan — approximately 25 years for asphalt shingles, 35 for hardwood shakes, 45 for high-end shingles, 80 for clay tiles, or 100 for slate. After this point, repairing the roof rather than going for a replacement usually no longer makes financial sense.

Bellevue Roof Repair 

Bellevue Roof Repair

 

Smart homeowners are aware of a great way to keep their property in tip-top shape. They follow one surprisingly simple bit of advice: get to know your house inside and out. Be sure to check it over regularly, especially the roof. A serious roof leak is not a pretty sight as it can lead to thousands of dollars’ worth of damage to your home and its contents. The ideal time to look for potential danger signals is in spring or summer, before the autumn leaves begin to fall and cover up the clues. So be wise and learn how to inspect the condition of your roof.

When to Check Your Roof

Perform a routine visual inspection of your roof at least once a year, preferably twice, in late spring and then again in late summer through early fall. In addition, check the roof as soon as possible after extreme weather — severe rainfall, strong winds, or a heavy snow or ice storm — to see how it has survived. An emergency inspection is called for when you notice a leak, dampness, mildew, or a musty smell anywhere in the house that has no other obvious source. You may also want to check your roof more frequently when your roofing material is coming close to the end of its warranty period.

What to Check

Be sure to include all of the following roof components in your inspection:

Roof surface — look for missing, cracked, warped, loose, or rotten shingles or tiles (depending on what your roof is made of), moss or mold, standing water, and debris that will need to be removed.

Flashing — watch out for rust, cracks, or dents in the flashing (the metal pieces which cover the chimney area, dormers, and vent pipes). Faulty flashing will let in rain and snow, resulting in rot unless the problem is taken care of promptly.

Roof overhangs — stay on the alert for peeling paint found on the underside of roof overhangs. This is a warning indicator of moisture.

Gutters — make sure that the gutters are clear of leaves, dirt, and dislodged roof tiles or masses of colored granules from aging asphalt shingles. The latter is a distinct sign that your roof will need repair pronto.

Underside of the roof — from the attic, check for sagging ceilings, leaks, and holes. A good clue that there may be some serious trouble is sunshine visible through gaps in the roof. Note the exact spots (taking a photo is the simplest way) so that you will have a clear guide when you bring in a roofer to fix the problem.

How to Check Safely

Use good quality binoculars to check your roof out from the ground, if you can manage to get an unobstructed view from there. Otherwise, climb up on a sturdy extension ladder; make sure that it is steady, placed on solid level ground, not in front of a door, and extended at least 3 feet above the roof edge. Using a fiberglass ladder, rather than an aluminum one, will help safeguard you against electrocution from nearby power lines. (Even wood can conduct electricity if it becomes damp.) Work with a buddy on the ground, if at all possible, or at least let someone know you will be climbing up to the roof. Wear rubber-soled shoes or sneakers with good treads to give you traction and never walk on a tiled roof. The safest course of action is to call in a knowledgeable, licensed roofing contractor for an in-depth inspection.