Ensuring you have Proper Roof Ventilation


A well cared for roof lasts much longer than a roof that is left to it’s own devices. By spotting problems early on you can save yourself a lot of heartache and extra cost from big problems. Your roof is responsible for taking the damage from everything that the elements can throw at it including wind, rain, sun and snow but it is also attacked by leaves, insects and other natural predators. Ineffective roofing can mean that any of these factors find their way into your attic and eventually your home and it is important you do what you can to prevent this from happening.

Small problems lead to big problems

The roof itself is one aspect of the home that is regularly overlooked by homeowners until there is an obvious leak or damage. The best way to prevent these leaks and damages is through a regular, professional maintenance check carried out by an experience roofer on your behalf. These checks are not as expensive as you might think and problems that area spotted early can be fixed before they become worse. One such problem that you should regularly have checked is that you have proper roof ventilation and that it is working effectively.

What is proper roof ventilation?

Proper roof ventilation doesn’t consist of either an intake or an exhaust, proper roof ventilation should comprise of both of these important elements in order to create effect air circulation in and out of your home. Not only will this protect your roof and your house but it will also help control the amount of time you use your air conditioning, thus bringing down the price of your energy bills. There are a number of ways that proper roof ventilation can be achieved and each have their advantages and disadvantages. The best choice for your roof will depend on the size and shape of the roof, and the layout of surrounding trees, wires and other objects.

Creating proper roof ventilation

In order to create proper roof ventilation that adequately rotates air in and out of the house it is important to get the level of intake and expulsion just right. This should be done by a qualified professional who can work out the figures required and advise you of the best course of action. Without expert advice you may find that you have an incorrect flow of air, which can not only mean a very hot house in summer but it can also mean a moisture build up in your loft and eventually warped, split, cracked or generally damaged roofs.

Causes of moisture buildup in the attic

It isn’t always the fault of the weather either. Washing machines, dryers and other household appliances as well as the occupants of the house all create their own moisture and without proper roof ventilation this moisture will build up on the inside of your roof. With a proper roof ventilation system a negative air pressure is created that sucks the warm air out of the loft replacing it with cool fresh air from outside preventing various types of damage associated with poor ventilation systems.

What Can Professional Gutter Cleaning Services Do For You?

For a typical homeowner, cleaning the gutter of your home can end up being a substantial problem. Nevertheless, when employing a professional service provider for gutter cleaning in Sydney, the job can be completed in less than an hour. They have the best abilities, experience as well as tools that help them in cleaning the rain gutters of your home in a jiffy.

There are many systems that the experts utilise and it may be interesting to explore why they employ these tools. You can either discover how to use them yourself or perhaps strike a much better cleaning deal with your gutter cleaning service companies. Remember, you always have to make sure that you follow the security specifications discussed in the item handbooks. Ever run from a safe range and ensure that the ladder that you are using is constant and appropriately grounded. If you need to know the most reliable method to clean roofing rain gutters, merely follow these pointers.

Professional Gutter Cleaning Solutions

Among the best gutter cleaning options that you would find around is vacuuming. This is primarily utilised for dry leaves. The specialists frequently keep high-pressure vacuum systems with them. It usually requires the power of an industrial vacuum system with strength in the order of at least 3,000 watts or 200 CFM (Cubic feet per minute) of suction strength coming from at least a 50-millimetre diameter pipeline, to be able to successfully get rid of leaves and debris from your roof rain gutters. Smaller sized systems and standard store vacs have been tried and understood to obstruct or clog up continually.

The continuous air pressure sucks the dry leaves of the gutter away into a big tank which can be utilized as garden mulch or required to the green waste suggestion as in most cases all by items are entirely environmentally friendly. The best tool is the snorkel – A long hook formed pipeline which can be run from the ground with a cordless cam, and the suction inlet sits inside the gutter which can be used from the field, without needing to climb up onto the roofing. This is the set up that many expert gutter cleaning services utilise for their cleaning system. As these leaves are incredibly light, they quickly get collected in the vacuum drum and are eliminated.

A technique that can be used if you were to try yourself is the pail cleaning method. Just take a container and a leaf scooper, and you would have the ability to get rid of the dry leaves by hand from the guttering. Nevertheless, this is a very time-consuming task, and ladder security is essential here. The experts utilise the water pressure tube for cleaning the gutter. This is usually done in the case of grime and dirt or another sort of moist wastes. A high-pressure nozzle launches a targeted water stream that immediately cleans even the most challenging gunk from the guttering.

Gutter Cleaning Tools

A ladder that assists you to look effectively into the guttering is essential, even just as an initial or final evaluation. It needs to be very sturdy as it would be handling your weight and your extensive activities also. A leaf scooper is likewise required together with a pail if you are utilising the pail method. Nevertheless, if you consider your very own security, it may be better to call an expert on gutter replacement and cleaning. Remember, falling off a roofing system is not enjoyable and can lead to significant injury, even death. Whatever you decide, play safe and utilise a harness or rope for extra safety if you need to climb onto your roofing system.

Looking for A Certified Roofing Contractor

The life expectancy of your roof depends on several factors; type of roofing, quality of material, and exposure to harsh weather elements among the top. With regular maintenance and normal weathering factors, a roof can last anywhere from 10 – 100 years.

Common roofing material such as built up roofing usually lasts 12 – 20 years, metal roofing 15 – 40 years, wood shake or shingles 10 – 40 years, asphalt shingles 15 – 20 years, and specialty material like slate up to 100 years under good conditions.

Leaks start as small cracks in roofing material that may not be visible; water may collect in an adjacent area. To detect such damage, a close inspection of the roof may be necessary.

A certified roofing contractor can be called to avoid further damage to the roof, or personal injury to the homeowner caused by trying to inspect it his or her self. A roof inspection should be performed annually; constant weathering by sun, heat, rain, snow, hail, wind, and cold can cause roofing material to break down. A certified roofing contractor will know what to look for.

A roof and soffit system should be properly vented to prevent over-heating and moisture retention, two factors that can cause a roof to break down prematurely.

Selecting a Qualified Roofing Contractor

A certified, experienced contractor offers various services. From completely tearing off an old roof and replacing it with a new one, to inspecting and “certifying” an existing roof. The latter is a process in which the roof is inspected and “guaranteed” to function properly for a certain period of time; usually 2 years. The contractor takes responsibility for any necessary roofing repair during that period.

A certified contractor is knowledgeable of roof system types, materials, and installation procedures best suited to each project, and will ensure there is adequate venting.

Ask potential roofing contractors questions such as whether or not they are licensed and bonded. What liability insurance coverage they carry, and whether it is up to date. Ask which roofing product manufacturers they are licensed and approved by, for installation of products and warranty purposes. Also ask if they are a member of any regional or national trade organizations.

Several resources are available to find a certified roofing contractor; referrals, local government licensing agencies, and web sites that offer contractors for hire, or a list of contractors who are licensed and bonded.

In Canada, visit www.handycanadian.com for a listing of certified roofing contractors in your area.

Home Inspection – Going On Top

Everyone who buys or sells a house, apartment or condo is going to use a home inspector at one time or another and even though you pretty much know what they do, many of you might have more appreciation for them once you learn more details of there chosen profession. Home inspectors have been around for a long time and they will be here for a lot longer, preparing reports, giving advice and recommendations and to some, a peace of mind. Because this is a big subject and there is a lot to say, right know I will focus on roof inspection and also give a little class on roof construction.

First the basics – Pitched Roofs
The basic structure of a typical pitched roof is: the framework, a deck and a weather resistant covering. The purpose of the deck is to serve as a base for supporting the roof covering, which is what protects the roof. (Pretty simple so far, right?) A pitched roof has a series of parallel beams (joists) joined at the top at angles, like tepees with a supporting overlay (the deck), usually plywood or similar material that serves as a base for supporting the roof covering (shingles), which has the purpose of shedding the water away from the roof either into gutters or just falling off the roofline. The deck is not waterproof so the shingles must be intact and able to withstand all types of weather, (except tornadoes and meteoroids) be it snow, hail, or rain.

I can’t speak for all home inspectors because they have there own techniques and working procedures. Like most people I had a couple of them look over my house, so from my experience they generally do a outside visual of roofs that entails walking around the house, sometimes with the aid of binoculars for close-up viewing or use a ladder for ranch type houses, if practical. They generally don’t want to walk up there for liability issues (fear of there foot going through the roof), but I feel that is the best way to check for roof structural integrity and they need to do it anyway for flat roofs. Needless to say they would be responsible for any damages they do in the course inspection!

A typical roof inspection will include checking for:
Uneven shingles – poor installation of a second layer over an old one. This might be ok but will be prone to water damage. When making an attic inspection the deck should be checked for damage and signs of leakage.

Sagging roof – probably deck damage, but may be a structural problem like a damaged ridge beam (A beam placed on end at the top of the roof and fastened to the rafters) or a roof deck that may not have adequate bracing or spacing of wood-frame support members. This is better left for a structural engineer for evaluation.

Roof ventilation – in a way roofs have to breathe too, that’s why there are roof vents on the roof and in the soffit (a horizontal board nailed to a roof overhang). Warm air must have an escape in attic space or there will be moisture buildup and the wood will rot. This can also cause streaks on interior walls and peeling paint. An inspection should be made of vent placement and count to evaluate if there is adequate ventilation.

Shingles- If the roof is pitched it will most likely have overlapping shingles to shed water away and down the roof. The south and southwest sides of the roof gets most of the sun that makes brittle and age faster, thereby causing deterioration. If there is any cracking, pealing or breakage of these ‘tiles’ they will need repair or replacement because it will not protect the roof.

Flat Roofs
Even if a roof has a slight pitch it is considered a flat roof. As with the pitched roof this is the first thing inspected. Sometimes an interior wall that has signs of water damage could be traced back to the roof. Since this type of roof can’t be seen from the ground inspection must be made at top of the house. On a two story or more building access to the roof has to be made from inside, a stairwell, ladder, or an access hole in the ceiling of a room, probably a bedroom closet or pantry. As with any type of roof ventilation is key so checking for air vents is a must. A ventilation opening can be a pipe coming from the roof top or an open space on the side of the roofline right below the roof. A flat roof differs from a pitched one in that it is water tight, not just shedding water like a pitched one. At one time standing water was considered a good thing because it would cool the roof a bit during the summer months. There should be no ponds of standing water because this could be a breeding ground for insects and more importantly plants, where the roots can break through the asphalt covering. Special attention should me made when inspecting flat roofs because even small cracks between the roofs drain and the roof covering could become serious.

There are many types of flat roofs like single-ply membrane, roll roofing, metal roofs, hot tar covered or built-up roofs an inspecting them is similar in every case. The inspector will look for any visible cracking, blisters, weak spots or any kind of corrosion that will compromise the structural integrity of the roof. The cause of a leak on an interior wall or ceiling may be hard to find because it may have started on the roof, then zig-zagged its way down, but several feet away from the area you saw it.

These are some of the things home inspectors look for and report on when checking roofs. They not only go in 120ºF attics but also crawl under houses, and look in chimney stacks, but do so with a great deal of courtesy and professionalism!