Archive for Thursday, December 10, 2009

Time to look at the roof

December 10, 2009

A good roof is your home's best protection from the elements.

The average roof last approximately 20 years, and it has been that long ago since Jack Nielson put on a new roof for us. Jack lived in the east end of Lansing and was getting up in years. I imagine he did a lot of the roofs now in existence in Lansing.

I remember the advice he told me, “It is much easier to carry shingles up a ladder that has a greater angle than one that is straight up.”

Thank goodness our roof is not leaking, yet, but the time is fast approaching when it will have to be replaced. It is good to get more than one estimate and there are so many options to choose from in shingles. Some are more resistant to bad weather and hail than others, and the insurance companies take this into consideration.

One of the causes of roof deterioration is buckling, which is when there is not enough ventilation in the attic space. The minimum requirement is one square foot per 150 square feet of attic floor space, if a vapor retardant is not present. Ventilation is important.

Another problem is algae growth, which causes a dark discoloration on roofs. We see a lot of that here in town. It can be mistaken for soot, dirt or tree droppings. It is caused by the growth of air-borne algae which deposits on the roof. Algae growth, however, does not affect the service life of your roofing material.

Curling is another cause for alarm on the roof. This is usually caused by the lack of ventilation or an improper number of fasteners. Blistering is caused by the moisture in the shingle, which breaks open to reveal the asphalt; the affected shingles should be replaced. Some shingles rot. This is caused by the absorption of moisture by the mat at the core of the shingle. This is a common problem with organic-based shingles. 

It is always a good idea to have a trusted roofing professional give your roof a thorough inspection. He will let you know if you need a new roof or just a few repairs.

My wife and children complain when I even think about getting up on the roof to look around. Guess it’s time to let someone else do it.


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