Archive | Gutters

12 February 2014 ~ Comments Off

It’s Still Winter and You May Want to Check Your Roof Again

With the recent rash of winter storms all over most of the United States and Canada, the abnormally low winter temperatures and extreme weather might have played havoc on your roof. Because of this, you might want to check your roof again, even if you checked it before the onset of winter. Inspecting your roof regularly and making little fixes as needed can prevent some costly repairs down the road.

Interior Check:

The National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA) recommends you do a roof inspection at least twice a year, or after a severe winter storm or abnormally extreme weather. The best place to begin is inside your house. Simply grab a flashlight and make a trip to the attic. The four things to spot inside are:

  • Places where the roof deck is sagging.
  • Signs of water damage or leaking.
  • Dark spots and trails.
  • Outside light showing through the roof.

Exterior Check:

When you take a look at the exterior of the roof, pay attention to such things as damaged flashing, missing shingles, curling, blistering, buckling, rotting, and algae growth that appears as dark or greenish stains.

  • Visually inspect your roof for cracked, torn, bald or missing shingles.
  • Scan the roof for loose material or wear around chimneys, vents, pipes or other penetrations.
  • Watch out for an excessive amount of shingle granules that look like large grains of sand in the gutters, a sign of advanced wear.
  • Check for signs of rot and moisture. Mold, fungi and bacteria can grow quickly within 24 to 48 hours of a water-related problem.
  • Examine the drainage, and make sure gutters and downspouts are securely attached. Also ensure all drains are open and allow water to exit, and all gutters and downspouts are free of debris.
  • Check that all bath, kitchen, and dryer vents go entirely outside of your home.

Check the Roof Material Durability:

  • Cedar – A cedar roof in need of repair or replacement will split and fall apart in dry climates. In moist climates, it will get mossy. The lifespan of a cedar roof is about 20 years.
  • Tiles – Look for broken or cracked tiles, but don’t walk on the roof or the tiles will break. Tile roofs can last up to 100 years, but individual tiles can break. They can be replaced, but only by a specialist.
  • Concrete – Should never need replacing.

If you have a roof with wooden shakes, you should also watch out for damage from termites, carpenter ants, and other wood-boring pests.



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05 November 2013 ~ Comments Off

Get Ready for Drainage Problems from Your Gutter System

When you have drainage problems, you will need to work on repairs until you correct them. That’s why it’s so important to know what to do whenever water flow gets stopped or stuck up on your roof, or starts to enter your house.

Set a Goal

Examine your drainage trouble and determine if this is something you can fix by yourself. Sometimes, your drainage problem is a simple as a clogged gutter or drain, which merely needs to be cleaned out. Such blocked gutters can cause water to build up in the foundation of your home, which can then lead to a damp basement and potential mold or mildew problems. As a matter of maintenance, always check and clean out gutters and downspouts, and don’t let leaves, twigs, seeds, and other such things build up.

However, if you’re plagued by a creek or ditch, which never fails to overflow after a heavy rain, your options are limited, unless your drainage correction goal reaches beyond correcting your property. In most cases, however, the best solution is to dig yourself a ditch, which gives water drainage the most possibilities before it exits your property.

If a Ditch is Required

Since gravity causes water to flow downward, the end of your ditch should be at the lowest point on your property, and that place where water builds up most during big rainstorms, should be the top. Also, keep in mind that a ditch, which is low in the middle, could lead to a breeding ground for mosquitoes.

Consider an Alternative to a Ditch

If you’re set against having a ditch on your property, you may want to consider filling the ditch with gravel. And once you have done so, you might then cover that gravel with particular sorts of cloth or screen, which delay root growth in the gravel. However, eventually root growth in the gravel will slow down drainage.

Consider Using Pipes

You may also choose to place pipes in your ditches. If you do so, keep in mind that if you put in thin-walled pipes to save money and then later need a plumber to clear the pipes, the plumber’s rooter will tear them up.

Be Aware of Drainage Maintenance

After a while, the drainage path you’ve dug might not do the job very well anymore. If so, you can dig another ditch nearby to your original one. However, due to land erosion, this next ditch might require an alternative path.


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