How To Inspect Your Roof Without a Ladder

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Your roof is one of the key components of your home. It protects you and everything you own from the elements. Making sure that it is in good repair is vital to the longevity of your home, but, while it is thoroughly inspected when you initially purchase your home, your roof may be overlooked in the business of everyday life. In fact, while it is easy to change a furnace filter or winterize an air conditioner, managing a roof and making roof repairs is decidedly more difficult. Many homeowners are afraid of heights and simply not comfortable climbing up on a ladder and walking around on their roof. Luckily, you don't have to. You can check on the health of your roof from the ground and from inside your home. 

First, it is important to understand your asphalt shingles. They are not meant to last forever. In fact, most manufacturers suggest a lifespan of 15 to 20 years. The key factor in how long your own roof will last is the weather. Heavy snow loads, ice, strong winds, sea spray, excessive rain, and intense sun can all shorten the life of asphalt shingles. While there is nothing a homeowner can do to prevent Mother Nature, you can keep vigil over your roof and be alert to any changes. 

From the ground, visually inspecting your roof is a fairly easy task. Simply stand below your roofline and look up. As shingles age, they curl up at the corners. When shingles are initially installed, they are pliable and remain flat. Over time, the edges curl up and eventually break off. Once this starts to happen, your roof is reaching the end of its usefulness. A quick visual exam every month will help you determine when your roof reaches this point.

Also, while you are outside, take a look in your splash guards, below your downspouts. If you notice a fine, gravely substance, it is another sign that your shingles are nearing the end of their life. Asphalt shingles are manufactured with a protective coating of gravel. As they age, the gravel wears off and is washed off the roof, through the gutters, and down into those splash guards. The more gravel you see, the less likely that your shingles are doing a good job protecting your home from the elements.

 You can also inspect your roof from inside your home. It may seem unusual, but your attic's ceiling is essentially the underside of your roof, and has much to tell you about the health of your roof and your shingles. The first step is to enter your attic without turning the light on. If you notice sunlight streaming in through anything other than a window, you have a problem. Tiny holes and cracks can open in an aging roof. If sunlight can get in, so can rain, snow, wind, and ice. None of which are things you want in your attic, much less your home. 

Next, turn the light on. Do you notice any signs of water damage? You may not necessarily see standing water, especially if it has been a few days since it rained. Instead, feel the plywood and insulation for any dampness. You can also look for drip marks and dark stains on the ceiling or walls. This would indicate previous water damage. The EPA, Environmental Protection Agency, warns against the presence of water, stating that mold can grow in as little as 48 hours. Cleaning up the water is important, but fixing the source is vital before it happens again. Unfortunately, if water is getting into your attic, your roof is well past its prime. You will need to contact your local roofing company and have it replaced. 

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4 December 2014

Using Reclaimed Wood For Construction Projects

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