How’s it going up there? Have you taken a trip to the top of your house recently to say “hello?” Have you even looked at it lately?
If you haven’t checked in with your home’s roof coverings, you may want to sometime soon because here in the Pacific Northwest, weather can get wet and wild—and moisture can cause havoc with roofing systems if the systems are not adequately maintained.
Today, I’m going to share some tips on how to care for asphalt composition roof systems.
Below are some key points I’ll elaborate on in the video below. I hope you enjoy it!
• Treat your roof 2x annually
• Use zinc granules and powders
• Spray treatment can work
• Don’t pressure wash!
If you have questions or comments about roofing, tweet me (@AIHomeInspect).
Every month, we seek to bring our readers insight from the worlds of home construction, home repair, and home maintenance straight from local Northwest Washington contractors in a segment we call “3 Questions.” Yep, you guessed it: we ask three questions, and the contractors answer them.
This month, in our inaugural edition of “3 Questions,” we spoke with Norman Flint—owner of Timberline Construction LLC—about some common roofing questions.”
Q1: What’s your favorite type of composition roof and why? “Architectural composition is the most universal and widely used. It has longevity and looks good on a variety of buildings.”
Q2: What are your thoughts about pressure washing roofs? “Pressure washing roofs tend to cause more damage than benefit. Moss treatment products are best applied early. Consistent maintenance for moss is a better approach. Once the moss gets rooted, it is a difficult process of scraping and light pressure washing. It is best to address moss in the dry months when the roots of the moss are dried out.”
Q3: For asphalt composition roofs, what are the most significant issues you discover when inspecting roofs coming to end-of-life? “The biggest problem with any roof coming to the end-of-life is that owners wait too long to replace them. This leads to a host of issues, ranging from (roofing) blow off, leaks, water damage, and rot-related issues.”
About Timberline Construction Timberline performs full construction services for new construction and remodels, including services related to roofing, siding, decks, additions, etc. The company—started in 1990 by Norman—is based in Eastsound on Orcas Island, and serves Orcas Island, Shaw Island and the outer islands.
“We are a small, hands-on crew, which ensures quality for our customers,” Flint said. A big thanks to Norman and Timberline for their responses.
Questions or comments about roofing or home inspections in general? Go “All” in and tweet us (@AIHomeInspect).
Tim Hance with All Islands Home Inspections discusses vulnerable roof-to-wall flashing details discovered at a recent home inspection. All Islands Home Inspections services all of Anacortes, the San Juan Islands, Skagit, Whatcom, Island, San Juan, and Snohomish counties. If you’re looking for a home inspector that’s so thorough and experienced that you won’t get stuck buying the “Money Pit,” then you need All Islands Home Inspections working for you! We’ve inspected over 8,000 homes to date and feel we are simply the best in the industry. We look forward to working with you soon, THANKS!
Tim Hance of All Islands Home Inspections documents handyman DIY repairs to a roof from a recent home inspection. Noted were displaced shingles, recently repaired and failed which, because they were displaced, I was able to tell there wasn’t a necessary tar paper underlayment installed. If you plan to conduct DIY repairs on your roof, please follow the installation instructions found on every package of roof shingles! Better yet, hire a roofing contractor.
If your roof isn’t too steeply pitched and has material that won’t be damaged by walking on it, AND you are mentally and physically fit to do so, carefully inspect it in good weather. Look for broken or missing shingles, missing or damaged flashing and seals around vent pipes and chimneys and damage to boards along the eaves. Shingle damage up-slope will often cause water damage far downhill. Check the chimney cap and screen and look down the flues for obstructions or animal nests. If you can’t or don’t want to get on the roof, you might want to use a ladder around the perimeter. Pay close attention to valleys and flashings; these are the primary leak-generators. Some simple, easy fixes now can prevent thousands of dollars of water damage later.
Tim Hance with All Islands Home Inspections discovers improperly installed roof coverings at a recent home inspection on Orcas Island. Without sufficient eave overlap, the underlying fascia trim, sheathing, and rafters are vulnerable to water and insect damage. Water and insect damage were presenting in many areas of this particular home. A qualified roofing contractor will likely advise the installation of a metal drip-edge flashing detail, installed under the roof coverings and overlapping the wood fascia board to help prevent water and insect damage; a roofing contractor may also want to improve the roof covering overlap/overhang as well.
Colored granules on your roof coverings are what protect the roof coverings themselves from the elements. This is why it’s important to NOT pressure wash your roof as doing so can lead to granular loss and reduce the roof’s life expectancy. In fact, I’ve seen newer roofs completely destroyed by pressure washing (treatment with zinc granules is the most common way to keep moss off your roof). Pictured here is substantial granular loss and exposed underlying fiberglass underlayment. These roof coverings were in poor condition, clearly due for replacement. This was discovered at a recent home inspection on Orcas Island in the San Juan Islands.
At a recent home inspection in Friday Harbor on San Juan Island, I discovered a substantial amount of corrosion presenting at standing seam metal roof coverings. Of course, rust and corrosion will only worsen over time with exposure to the elements, so I advised further evaluation by a qualified roofing contractor to make necessary repairs. Fortunately, there was no evidence (yet) of water intrusion to the interior at the time of inspection, but this is another great reason that it’s important to annually inspect and maintain your roof, even a metal roof.
Handyman roof repairs and displaced, missing roofing shingles were noted at a recent home inspection on Orcas Island in the San Juan Islands. Exposed nails and handyman repairs along with missing shingles put this roof system at clear risk of water intrusion. Amazingly, no evidence of water intrusion was presenting at the time of inspection. In this case, I recommended further evaluation by a qualified roofing contractor to make necessary repairs. Continue reading →