Q: I’m getting my work check-off list started before winter comes. Do you have recommendations of what should be on the check list?
A: After checking and repairing any roof damage, we recommend looking at the outside walls of the property. Stucco—wood siding or other vertical surfaces—is the building’s skin. Cracks, breaks and other damage to the siding invite “infection” to your building. This “infection” can take the form of wood rot, mold, siding delaminating or separation from the subsurface, material breakdown of the stucco will cause discoloration and crumbling. Common siding material found in most buildings is stucco, wood, brick, vinyl or concrete panels, etc. Water intrusion of the siding can find its way through the smallest cracks by capillary action or more directly from misaligned sprinklers or other water sources. A little known and often forgotten solution to leaky windows is the clogged weep holes along the bottom of the window frame and track. These weep holes clog with dust and debris and very easily can cause water to enter the building through the window frame or even through small cracks in the stucco or siding at the edges of the window frame.
Q: When is the best time to do an annual roof inspection? Can you give me some pointers as to what to look for when I inspect the roof?
A: The best time is before it rains! However, we find summer and fall to be the most prudent time to inspect and repair the roof. In other words, don’t wait to do roofing work after the first rains of winter. The roofing contractors will be very busy and costs may go up or you may have to wait in line for the work to get done. Inspect the roof during the summer and fall and get the roofing work done before it becomes an emergency. During the roof inspection, pay close attention to the flashing. Flashing is used to transition between the roofing material and the building or a change in roofing direction or angle. Flashing can also be found where pipes or a chimney come up through the roof. The flashing is sealed with roofing tar and water leaks can form when the sealing tar cracks or separates from the building or the flashing material. Look for curled up roof edges on composition roofs, low spots on flat roofs and bird nests in tile roofs. Check all roof drains and cut away any tree branches that are touching or overhanging the roof. While you are inspecting the roof, check the gutters. Winter storms have a way of loosening gutters and filling them with gunk thereby causing them to lose their pitch and pool water. Pooling or overflowing gutters can deteriorate fascia boards and siding.