Leaking Roof: What Causes It & How to Fix It

roof repair

If you notice water or water stains on the roof, it could be the telltale signs of a leak. Roofs leak for a variety of reasons, so it is important to have it inspected quickly to diagnose the issue. From there, it is critical that you have the leak fixed to limit any further damage to the roof or to the rest of the home. Before you try fixing it, here is what you need to know:

The Causes of a Leaky Roof

Roofs can leak after a long winter in which rain or snow penetrated through the shingles or roof deck. In many cases, water will back into the shingles because gutters were clogged by debris or covered with ice during the winter months. Roofs may also leak because there is a lack of air circulation, which allows humid air to be present near the roof and in the attic.

How to Spot a Leaking Roof

If you see water actually dripping from the roof or from your ceiling, it is likely that there is a leak that needs to be fixed. However, the source of the water and the source of the leak are not necessarily the same thing. Therefore, you may need to take some time tracing the water back to where the roof is actually failing.

Call a Professional for Repairs Immediately

As soon as you see signs of a roof leak, it is a good idea to call a roofing professional to formally diagnose the problem. From there, he or she may be able to make suggestions as to how you can remedy the situation. Even if you think that you have the experience to make the repairs on your own, it may be best to let a professional, such as one from Stevens Roofing Corporation, do any necessary roof work instead.

Repairing

If water or other damage is prevalent on the roof, it may be a good idea to replace it instead of repairing the damage. A new roof may last for up to 50 years, which could make maintaining your home much easier. You may also be able to get a warranty on both materials and labor, which means that you won’t have to pay for repairs in the future.

A leaky roof is something that you need to take care of immediately. Otherwise, you risk damage to ceilings, walls and even the foundation of the home. While roof work may be costly, it is almost always less expensive than repairing water damage throughout the entire home.

Crawlspace Corruption: 3 Storage Space Culprits You Need To Be Aware Of

Crawlspace Corruption 3 Storage Space Culprits You Need to Be Aware Of

You probably don’t spend a lot of time thinking about the crawl space under your house. Items may sometimes go there for storage, and after that the space is forgotten for months or even years at a time. Unfortunately, however, there are three potential crawl space problems you should be aware of. Ignoring them could damage any items you are storing there or cause structural damage to your home. Here is what you need to watch out for.

Water
Water can seep into a crawl space from just about anywhere. If your space has a dirt floor, it can even come up through the ground. Without proper ventilation, this water stays sitting in the crawl space, keeping it damp. Dampness leads to mold, mildew and rotting wood. The best solution is often to install a drainage system followed by a concrete crawl space liner, like those offered by Perma-Dry Waterproofing & Drainage, Inc. This allows for improved exterior drainage and a concrete shell that keeps water out.

Critters
Insects and rodents find crawl spaces very comfortable and homey. To keep them out, you’ll need to look for any cracks or crevices and seal them with caulk. A vapor barrier will also help slow the invasion of unwanted critters, as will the concrete liner mentioned previously. This works because moisture is attractive to insects and other pests who need a water source close to their nest to survive. A lack of water makes your space less attractive. Of course, it’s not always possible to exclude all unwanted guests all the time, so be sure to have an exterminator check your space periodically and address any issues that he finds.

Mechanical Issues
Your furnace and other large mechanical systems aren’t located in your crawl space, but there could still be some mechanical things there. HVAC ducts often run through crawl spaces where they can pick up mold or mildew and spread the spores throughout the house. Exposed electrical wires may also be present in your crawl space, along with plumbing pipes. Make sure any duct work in your crawl space is properly sealed. Have an electrical contractor reroute exposed wiring and make sure any insulation or plumbing pipes are in good condition.

A poorly maintained crawl space can cause many problems, including a crumbling foundation, damaged subfloor, higher energy bills and poor air quality throughout the home. Exposed electrical wires can also present a fire hazard. To avoid problems, check your crawlspace often and have a professional inspect it frequently.

 

Thinking of DIY Repairs? 7 Times You Should Call a Pro

Thinking of DIY Repairs? 7 Times You Should Call a Pro

The growing popularity of home improvement and repair shows can make us believe that we are capable of doing just about anything when it comes to improving or repairing our homes. However, that is just an idea that is far from reality. In case of an emergency, you might want to grab a tool and handle the problem yourself, but DIY repairs are rarely as simple as they may seem on TV, and they can end up in a disaster that could cost you more money than hiring a professional. The common rule of thumb is that you can fix some cosmetic flaws yourself, but just in case you are wondering, here are the situations when you really should seek the help of an experienced professional.

Fixing electrical wires

Here’s another rule for you: if it can put you in a hospital, don’t do it. Really, fixing faulty/burnt electrical wires might remind you of the familiar movie scene where you should cut the red wire or match some colors, but it is far from being so. Unless you have some practical knowledge about working with electricity, it is better to leave this job to the pros.

Adjusting electrical lines

This is an even more complicated chore. Again, if you are not well-versed in this skill and you’re not familiar with the local code requirements, you could put yourself in an extremely dangerous situation. Poorly performed electrical works are a common cause of fire, so even if you don’t see any consequences right away, there could still be a pending doom. Also, if one day you decide to sell the house, this problem could be discovered by inspection and you could end up spending much more money than you’ve saved by taking matters into your own hands.

Window repairs and replacement

Unless you’re doing it on the first floor, window repairs and replacements can be quite tricky. In fact, anything that requires a ladder or scaffold can lead to a nasty fall. Don’t you think that the risks are too big to justify saving a few bucks?

Unclogging blocked drains

In some cases, this can be solved by an amateur, but unclogging drains isn’t always a simple task. Sometimes, clearing a blocked drain pipe requires professionals working with high-tech tools that can detect and remove blockages from your pipes quickly and efficiently. You will notice such persistent blockages when the usual boiling water and plunger methods fail.

Frozen pipes repair

Frozen pipes are quite common in some climates, but that doesn’t mean that you should tackle this problem all by yourself. They can lead to accidents that can cause some serious damage to your home. If the cold hasn’t already caused them to burst, professional plumbers can solve the problem before your whole house is flooded. Altering plumbing lines is also out of the question.

Leaky roof

There is nothing more annoying than hearing tiny raindrops dripping from your ceiling to the floor or furniture piece. Besides being annoying, this problem may damage the ceiling structure and cause health hazards like mold and mildew. This is not the time for showing your housework skills. Remember what we mentioned a couple of paragraphs above? Improper use of ladders and scaffolding can result in falls, and you don’t want that.

Removing large amounts of paint

What could possibly be dangerous about this? Nothing, unless you are removing large amounts of paint that may contain traces (or even larger amounts) of lead. Health concerns and legal requirements make this job an endeavor that should be left to professionals who possess protective equipment that can shield them from hazards associated with lead (e.g. kidney damage and anemia).

Wishing to take things into your own hands when it comes to maintaining your household is perfectly understandable. However, in some cases, it is better to call the professionals instead of biting off more than you can chew.

Guest Post By:

Chloe TaylorChloe is an art historian, recreational ballet dancer and a contributor at smoothdecorator.com. She is passionate about photography, dance and music. Her biggest dream is to travel the whole world with her husband and take stunning photographs of beautiful places. She also enjoys learning and writing about home design, since she is crazy about aesthetics. You can find Chloe on FB, Twitter, and G+.

 

 

4 Safety Hazards That Your Home Might Have & You Don’t Even Know It

Even if you have a relatively new home, there might be more dangers lurking on your property than you realize. Everything from contaminants in the air to damaged appliances can pose a major risk to you and your family, and that is why it is so important to be vigilant around the home. Here is a closer look at four common dangers and what you can do to take care of them.

4 Safety Hazards That Your Home Might Have and You Don't Even Know It

Damaged Pipes

Not only will a small leak cause an incredible amount of damage in a short period of time, but it can also be a major health risk to all residents. Within just a few days, standing water creates problems such as mold, mildew, and pest infestations. Anyone who believes that they may have broken pipes in their home should keep a close eye on their water bill to see if there are any fluctuations. They should also have a professional, like those at HELP Plumbing, Heating, Cooling and Electric, come check the situation out. Many plumbers offer affordable inspections to test pipes for leaks or other forms of damage.

Dirty Ducts

Dirty air ducts can cause a wide variety of serious health complications including chronic congestion, severe allergies, and respiratory infections. That is why most specialists suggest that families should have their ducts professionally cleaned at least once or twice a year to dislodge any lingering debris. It is also important to change one’s air filters at least a few times a year to improve the efficiency of the system and prevent dust from getting into one’s home.

Old Water Heaters

Modern water heaters have many different safety features, but they can still become dangerous when they are not properly cared for. Issues such as sediment collecting in the bottom of the reservoir or the pilot light going out can put a family in danger. Much like your HVAC system, you should consider having your water heater serviced by an experienced plumber once a year. Servicing the water heater will also improve its efficiency and extend its lifespan.

Radon

Radon is a radioactive gas that can eventually cause lung cancer if an individual is exposed to it for a long period of time. Radon is completely invisible and odorless, and that is why all homeowners should install radon detectors throughout their property. The easiest way to clear radon out of a home is to make sure that all rooms have good ventilation.

Those who are considering carrying out major home renovations to mitigate these risks should speak with experienced contractors to explore their options. Trying to complete these projects on your own could impact your home insurance policy and potentially violate local safety regulations.

What Preventative Maintenance Does an HVAC System Require?

What Preventative Maintenance Does an HVAC System Require

Maintaining your heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system helps to lower your monthly energy bills. Preventive maintenance also extends the system’s lifespan and protects breakdowns that make an impact on your comfort. There are four key steps to HVAC preventive maintenance that should be performed at least twice per year.

Changing the Air Filter

Changing the air filter is essential to an HVAC system’s performance, efficiency and longevity. The air filter is usually housed in its own chamber or within the air blower portion of the system. It may be framed with cardboard and disposable, or it may be reusable. A reusable filter will be cleaned and put back into the unit. A disposable air filter will be replaced. The filter should be changed every 90 days.

Cleaning the Condensate Line

In air conditioners and heat pumps, the condensate line is responsible for draining the water that is condensed during a cooling cycle. The condensate line can grow mold and algae. If the growth gets too thick, the condensate line can become obstructed. If it gets obstructed, water can back up into the equipment and cause a malfunction. Cleaning the condensate line consists of bleaching the interior of the pipe, removing algae and mold and rinsing it with plain water.

Checking the Refrigerant

Air conditioners and heat pumps use a chemical refrigerant such as R-410-A. Some companies, such as Classic Air and Heating, know that if the refrigerant tubing or chamber develops a leak, the system will not operate efficiently. The system could freeze up or simply blow room-temperature air. HVAC technicians use special equipment to check the level of the refrigerant. If it is low, the refrigerant can be charged after the leak is found and repaired.

Cleaning and Lubricating Motors and Fans

Furnaces, air conditioners, ventilation units and dehumidifiers all have motors and fans. The motors and fans can collect dust and debris that inhibits their motion. These parts are cleaned and lubricated during a maintenance visit. Proper lubrication of the motors and fans reduce the risk of overheating and minimize the amount of noise made by the unit while it operates.

HVAC maintenance should be performed by a licensed, bonded and insured provider. It is a good idea to schedule maintenance for the air conditioner in the spring and a checkup for the furnace in the autumn. Heat pumps and other equipment that is used all year long should be serviced twice per year, also in the autumn and spring to identify and repair any defects.