Moss growth on roof surfaces should be discouraged. I see it all the time when inspecting homes in the Pacific Northwest and call it out on most Home Inspection Reports. The effects of moss on roofs can be devastating, even after a relatively short period of time and allowing it to grow can be an expensive mistake. In fact, most insurance companies will require the removal of moss from roofs.
The problem is that moss will attack and can ruin a composition roof. It can also create dams, causing water to run sideways under your shingles causing a leak. Another issue is that moss can grow under the bottom edge of your shingles thereby pushing the shingles upward, breaking their seals, and rendering the roof more vulnerable to wind damage and wind driven rain. Moss also soaks up water and keeps your roof wet; and, as we all know when most things stay wet for a long period of time, they eventually break down.
Moss has root-like structures called rhizomes which are sent out and embedded into the roofing materials to anchor the moss to the roof. These rhizomes, or roots, supply nutrients for moss (similar to tree roots), but in so anchoring to the roof surface they dislodge the protective granules from the roof surface and expose the roof to further attack by more moss! Left completely unchecked, moss can penetrate all the way through the roofing materials , deteriorating the shingles and obviously rendering the roof surface very vulnerable to leaks.
Moss should be removed quickly before it overtakes your roof to extend the useful life of your roof coverings. Here’s a YouTube Video I created addressing why moss should be removed from your roof surfaces. Please watch the video, Like It, and share or re-blog at will!
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.
At a recent home inspection on Orcas Island, I discovered plywood sheathing in the attic that was stained with a mold-like growth. This typically, almost always, indicates an insufficient ventilation or elevated moisture issue within the attic. Vents could be restricted, vent ducts may be discharging into the attic, or the interface between the main home and attic may need to be better sealed. In any event, a contractor needs to first resolve the underlying cause of elevated moisture and make necessary repairs. The mold-like growth is then typically remediated with a mildicide and then painted with mildicide paint to encapsulate historic mold growth. I recommend tinting the paint TAN because white or black mold growth will be obvious if it returns (e.g., you’ll see it on tan paint). If the attic is forever tan, you know the issue has been addressed satisfactorily. Because most home buyers want this issue addressed prior to closing, and remediation can be expensive, I recommend peeking into your attic on an annual basis and dealing with any apparent mold-like growth sooner than later if noted.
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.
Standing water was discovered at a recent home inspection on Orcas Island in the San Juan Islands. If you see standing water or water intrusion in your crawl space, it’s important to deal with it sooner than later as standing water can lead to structural settling and WDO (wood destroying insect) activity/damage in the home, together with moisture related issues within. The longer water intrusion persists, the more expensive the fix typically becomes.
At a recent Oak Harbor home inspection, I discovered deterioration, rot and water damage at the interface between the deck and exterior siding. This interface really should be flashed with a metal flashing detail to prevent water intrusion which can lead to WDO (wood destroying insect) activity and water damage. When deterioration is presenting at this interface, there’s always the possibility of underlying structural damage not visible without invasive inspection. A qualified contractor should further evaluate, invasively, to determine the extent of deterioration and make necessary repairs.
Dangling, loose exterior outlets were discovered at a recent home inspection on Orcas Island in the San Juan Islands. When new siding is installed on a home, sometimes over existing (original) siding, it’s important to properly re-secure exterior outlets and fixtures to the (thicker) new siding and perimeter envelope. Securing loose electrical fixtures and appliances is important for safety reasons because (1) it’s important to keep rain out of electrical connections and (2) as wires move back and forth with use, because they’re not secured, they can become mechanically damaged and wiring connections can be compromised.
It’s important to insulate any and all exposed water supply piping- whether it be in the crawl space, attic, or garage- as freezing weather conditions can lead to breakage in unconditioned (unheated) spaces of the home. Water pipe insulation is readily available at hardware stores and is easily installed. This video was taken at a recent home inspection in Anacortes on Fidalgo Island.
A non-functional sump pump and standing water conditions were discovered in a crawl space at a recent home inspection on Orcas Island in the San Juan Islands. It’s important to monitor crawl space sump pumps to ensure they’re functioning properly as standing water conditions can lead to structural settlement and insect activity/damage. Inquire with contractors about a remote monitoring system to alert you remotely to a non-functional sump pump; this will keep you from having to go into a dirty crawl space!