Now's the time to
check your Roof
  What's the condition of your roof?

If you are like most homeowners, you probably don't
pay too much attention to your roof until water leaks
into the house causing an ugly, brown stain in your
ceiling drywall. By this time, there may be
considerable damage to any, or all, of the following:
roof decking, rafters, joists, soffit, fascia, ceilings,
walls, paint and/or flooring. But, you can prevent a
good bit of damage simply by looking at your roof

Take a moment to walk around your house and take a
good look at the condition of your roof. Do you have
missing shingles? Are any broken? Do you have any
spots where the shingles buckle up? Do you see any
nail pops (nails pop up under the shingle and push it
up in the center?) Are the corners of your shingles
curling up? Any sags or large dips in the roof?

All of these should take into account the age of your
roof. If your shingle roof is more than 9-10 years old
(assuming 3-tab, 20-year shingles), and you have
several of the above listed problems with your
roofing, you may seriously want to consider having
your roof checked by a reputable and knowledgeable
roofer. (But be aware, that some roofing companies
prey on the innocent and will tell you that you most
definitely need a complete new roof, NOW!!)

Your roof may simply need a repair job. A storm may
have blown off a single tab or a corner of a shingle. A
nail pop is an easy fix that usually does not require
shingles to replaced unless the head of the nail has
popped through the shingle, but again this is simply a
repair. Even a leak at a trouble spot does not
necessarily mean you need a whole new roof, a
simple repair of decking board, felt, shingle and
flashing may fix you up for several more years.

A few common trouble spots are around chimneys, in
valleys, around pipe vents and where a roof kills (runs
into) the wall of a higher floor (pretty common on
newer houses). Any spot on the house that involves
flashing of some sort will be one of the high-risk spots
for leaks. But again, in many cases it is either poorly
done or non existent flashing, a worn out boot on a
pipe vent or in the case of a chimney, the absence of
a cricket on the backside of the chimney (a cricket
prevents water from pooling behind the chimney and
backing up under the shingles.)

Please, get several different companies to take a look
at your roof. A word of warning, if they don't get up
on your roof, be leary. If they did not bring a ladder,
then they never intended to get up on your roof.
(However, if your roof is caving in or is about to, then
that may be a safety issue.) But if your roof decking
(plywood) is in good shape, then a good roofer will
get on your roof and give it a thorough inspection.

Once they have looked at your roof, ask them about
ventilation. Does your roof have proper ventilation,
and if not, what would take to get it to that point. You
have several different options.

                                  (to be continued...)
Whirlybirds turn as heat and moisture rise from the
attic and, in theory, pull more heat and moisture
from the attic as a result. The wind also can turn
the fans, causing heat/moisture to be pulled out.
This type of attic ventilation is a bare minimum
that can be found on many houses, especially new
ones where the builder decided to save a few
bucks rather than install adequate ventilation.

During the winter, you'll see whirlybirds covered
with plastic garbage bags. Homeowners are trying
to keep some heat in their attic. While they may
trap some heat, they are definitely trapping
moisture, which can lead to a host of problems
including mold, mildew and wet insulation.
Whirlybird vents help exhaust both heat
and moisture, a damaging duo to your
roof system.
All photos/text copyright WHI, 2007.
All rights reserved.
Spend a little now, or a bundle later!
Loose, slipping and/or
missing shingles:
Loose and slipping shingles almost always
point to shoddy workmanship on the part of
the roofer. This roof was reroofed (meaning
that the new shingles were put directly over
the old ones) and the problem is that the
roofer was either ignorant or simply didn't
care about his work.

These nails were installed by a roofer using a
nail gun (not a problem in and of itself) but the
roofers did not seem to care that their nails
were blasting right through the shingle and had
no holding power at all. The nails tore through
the shingle and less than two years later, the
shingles began to slip and slide off the roof.
Only because of the fairly flat pitch of this
roof are the shingles still on the roof and not
on the ground or caught up in the gutter.

Missing, loose or slipping shingles can cause
a serious leak, which can cause serious
damage to the interior of your home, which
can cost big bucks to fix.
or suffocate!
Attic ventilation is a must for any home.
Why proper ventilation is so important.
One man's story...
(click here)