17 Oct 2015
A failed roof can result in catastrophic damage during a storm.

When the wind is picking up, sending debris flying and bending trees under its force, it’s not the time to wonder if your roof will withstand the storm. Though northern Florida has seen few tropical storms over the last several years, you shouldn’t have to worry about the condition of your home’s roofing system as you’re monitoring hurricane warnings on the weather channel.

Your roof is the helmet protecting your home. As the highest point of your home it will take the brunt of the wind and driving rain. The roof needs to be strong enough to keep the water out; not collapse against the force of the wind and cause other parts of your home to fail; and it must (obviously) remain attached to your home to provide that protection.

When evaluating the ability of your roof to protect your home against storm conditions, there are several vital aspects of your roof to consider:

  • The covering material. Whether it’s asphalt shingles, metal or tile, it must be in a condition to remain intact during high winds. Loose or broken shingles or tiles or unsecured metal panels could become a weak spot in high winds.
  • The roof structure (sheathing and framing) to which the roof covering and underlayment is attached is he final barrier between the outside weather and the interior of your home. For roof coverings to remain intact, the sheathing (usually plywood) must also remain attached to the roof trusses. The sheathing also helps transfer the fury of the storm from the roof, to the exterior gable roofwalls and ultimately to your home’s foundation. Loss of even one piece of sheathing allows winds to enter your home and water to pour into your attic.The roof structure also includes all the framing that supports the sheathing. Homes with gabled or A-shaped roofs where the end walls go to the roof peak are at most risk during high winds. Adding horizontal braces along the trusses the full length of the roof will strengthen your roof system.
  • The connections between the roof structure and the walls below tie the roof system together so your home can resist the forces of a storm. In climates where wind-driven storms are more common, many homeowners choose to have roofing professionals install galvanized “hurricane straps”. These truss tie-downs help brace the roof in severe storms with high winds.
  • Ventilation is important to long term health and durability of most roof systems. Vents reduce the temperature rise and buildup of moisture in the attic. Even if the rest of your roof structure remains intact, vents in poor condition can be a pathway for water driven by high winds to enter your home, soaking insulation, collapsing ceilings and causing mold.

Doing a few preventative things around your home will also help protect your roof.

  • Secure yard items. Lawn furniture and outside decorations can become airborne, flying through the air and damaging your roofing. If a storm with high winds is anticipated, either tie them down or store them indoors in the basement, a garage or shed so they don’t become flying projectiles and damage your home’s roof structure.

branches

  • Trim trees that hang over your home. Trimming branches back to a safe distance so they don’t break off and fall on your roof structure during a high wind storm is s great way to protect your roof covering.

The most important thing you can do now, before a hurricane is headed toward your home, is a full inspection of your roofing system. Correcting any problems may keep you from more costly repairs down the road. Our licensed roofing professionals can inspect your roofing structure and suggest wind mitigation to ensure your roof will protect your home and family for years to come.

 

 

16 Oct 2015

Rain, snow, sunshine … normally the changing weather doesn’t give you any more pause than whether to turn on the air conditioning or grab an umbrella. Worrying about how it’s affecting our homes isn’t even a blip on your radar. That is, until the unthinkable happens and the rain pouring down outside is dripping from your ceiling inside. Then it’s all cloudy skies and visions of dollar signs and the cost of roof repairs, or worse – replacement.

But how do you know if a simple repair will solve your problem or whether it’s time to replace your roof? Here are a few tips that will help you prevent some costly repairs…and keep those raindrops from falling on your head.

Inspecting Your Roof:
If you’re like most people, you don’t give your roof a second thought except to glance up at it occasionally as you’re backing out of the garage on your way to drop off the kids or pick up groceries. But with your mind on other things, it’s easy to overlook some obvious problems.

We suggest you inspect your roof twice a year. Once in the spring when you’re freshening up the flowerbeds and again in the fall as you batten down the hatches in preparation for winter’s stormy weather.

Start your inspection inside the house on the highest ceilings. Often times this atticmeans an attic or crawl space. Use a flashlight and get as close to the ceiling as possible. Check for sagging or warped roof decking; outside light showing through the rafters; and discoloration of walls, ceiling or insulation in the form of dark spots or water trails. Manually check to be sure all material is dry. Any wetness felt or other visible staining are sure signs that your home has experienced water damage and needs immediate attention by a roofing professional.

Your outside inspection should be done with binoculars rather than a ladder. Not only is it safer, but it will give you a closer look at any potential problems.

During your visual inspection look for the following:

    • Curled or buckling shingles indicating they’ve reached the end of their useful life.
    • Loose, torn or missing shingles usually indicating the shingles are at the end of their life expectancy and have been torn by high winds from a storm.
    • Loose material around chimneys, pipes and vents where flashing is used. If the flashing is damaged or missing, water can leak into your home.
    • Loose or exposed nails which cause open holes and present the risk of water seeping under the nail head and causing damage.

mold

  • Signs of moisture, darkening areas, mold or rot. Keep in mind that water travels down to the lowest spot before it drips and wet spots may not be directly under the faulty shingles.
  • Excessive shingle granules (similar to dark grains of sand) in gutters indicating advanced wear of shingles.
  • Correct drainage through gutters and downspouts which insures proper drainage of water off your roof.

 

Pay particular attention to roof valleys. Rain flows through valleys and into gutters, making them one of the most important aspects of your roof. You could be highly susceptible to leaks if any of the valleys is compromised.

Age of Roofing Material
The type of roofing material as well as the area where you live will also determine the need for a new roof.

  • Asphalt shingles typically last 20 to 25 years, depending on whether you have one layer of shingles or your current shingles were layered over an older roof.
  • Cedar shingles typically last 20 years. When they are in need of repair they tend to split and fall apart in dry climates and become mossy in moist climates.
  • Metal roofs can last 40 to 70 years.

Changes in Heating or Cooling Costs
Drastic changes in the cost of heating or cooling your home can be an indication of roof failure. A leak in the roof could allow outside air into your home, resulting in higher heating or air conditioning bills. Insufficient attic ventilation can also cause your heating/cooling system to run excessively.

waterIf you do find water damage, don’t wait to contact a professional. If your roof was properly installed and is less than 15 to 20 years old, our licensed roofing contractors will be able to assess the damage and can often repair your roof rather than replace it. Making repairs as needed can prevent larger and more costly expenses down the road.

Sometimes however, roof replacement is either more cost effective or necessary. It’s never advisable to take a roof replacement on as a do-it-yourself project, especially if the old roofing materials need to be removed. Our roofing professionals will recommend a roofing solution that works for the climate where you live and fits within your budget.

Don’t trust the roof over head to just anyone. Give Callaghan’s a call and rest easy that your roof is in tip-top shape and will remain that way for years to come.