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    Roof Damage — Eliminating the Causes

    Damages to a roof can have many causes. Some of the causes of roof damage are connected to the type of roof you have on your Charlotte home. Whether you are trying to protect and extend the life of an existing roof or you want to protect a new roof, here are some of the main causes of roof damage.

    1. Poor Maintenance. It is important to regularly inspect your roof for small problems and damages and immediately make repairs. This is especially true if your roof has little or no slope. Regular inspection and maintenance will prevent small minor damage from becoming a major problem or leak.

    2. Wind Damage. Over time any wind can loosen nails in roofing materials. When this happens, a moderate wind can damage the roof. Strong winds and flying debris can also damage a roof, often removing some or all of the roofing material. The best way to avoid this potential damage is to check the roofing and the insulation regularly to be sure it is securely attached to the roof deck. You should also have a secure perimeter fastener.

    3. Other Weather Damage. Most roofing materials can be damaged over time by exposure to various weather conditions. If you live in an area likely to see large snow accumulations, you need to be sure the roof is adequately supported against the weight of the snow and properly sloped so the snow will not stay on the roof any longer than necessary. If you live in an area prone to hailstorms, you should know that hail can cause serious roof damage, and you should carefully inspect your roof after every hailstorm. The sun, pollutants in the air and other chemicals in the air or in the rain can also damage roofing materials. Inspection and repair of minor damages can prevent big trouble.

    4. Problems with Flashing. Because the purpose of flashing is to create a water-tight boundary between roof sections, between roofing materials and other parts of the house and between roofing materials and roof projections, problems with flashing often cause leaks. These leaks can damage the field of the roof as well as the interior of the house. Flashing problems usually happen because of either design or installation errors. Some flashing problems can also result from wind damage. Regular inspection of all types of flashing in all parts of the roof can catch problems early and correct them before there are major leaks.

    Each of these major causes of roof damage can be minimized by regular and careful inspection for early and minor problems. Immediate attention to any flaws or damages with competent repairs can help you avoid major damage to your Charlotte roof and prevent the need for early and costly roof replacement.


    What Happens In Homes Without Proper Roof Ventilation?

    One of the most important aspects of the way your Charlotte roof is designed and built is proper ventilation. You simply cannot over-estimate its importance.  What happens when a roof doesn’t have proper ventilation?  Improper ventilation allows formation of condensation, moisture accumulation, and damage to the roof deck and, eventually, to the stability of the roof.  Improper roof ventilation can also affect the health of your family.

    The industry standard for roof ventilation to provide 1 square foot of intake ventilation and 1 square foot of exhaust or outflow ventilation for every 300 square feet of attic space, provided the area is insulated with a vapor barrier.  If the area is insulated without a vapor barrier, the requirement doubles.

    Proper ventilation of the roof and attic of a home achieves several important functions:

    • It makes the attic space cooler
    • It makes the home more energy efficient
    • It prevents condensation and accumulation of moisture on the inside of the roof deck, and prevents rotting of the roof deck
    • It reduces the risk of fire

    Several types of vents can be used to assure efficient roof ventilation at your Charlotte home.  Roof ridge vents are placed along the ridge line of the roof. Ridge vents are used for exhaust or outflow of moisture, heat, and stale air. Soffit vents and Eaves are placed at the lower extremes of the roof and provide the intake ventilation.  If you live in an older home, your roof might not be constructed for roof ridge or soffit vents. Older homes were not built with the tight seals of today’s houses. There were cracks and openings around windows and doors, chimneys and other openings.  These cracks and openings allowed fresh air to flow into the house.  On the principle that hot air rises, the accumulated heat and moisture would rise to the attic and out the roof vents.

    Without adequate roof ventilation, moisture rises with the hot air and forms condensation on the inside of the roof deck. This moisture is released into the air inside the house from bathing, cooking, plants, laundry and other causes.  When the condensation forms on the roof deck, it begins to rot the wood.  This introduces mold spores into the air, as well as damaging the wood.  The result, if the problem is not noticed and repaired, can be destruction of all or part of the roof deck and creation of unhealthy air inside the house.

    In our increasingly airtight homes, the importance of proper Charlotte roof ventilation in home roofing systems cannot be over-emphasized.  It is important to take the time and do the research to understand the ventilation needs for your Charlotte home in your area and how best to meet those needs.


    Home Protection – Install the Right Roofing Material

    Whether installing a new roof or re-covering an existing roof, you need to make certain that you select the right roofing material for your home. Your choice of materials affects both the external appearance of your home and the inside comfort of your family. Furthermore, the materials used on your roof can also play a major role in energy conservation. But… Making the right choice is not always easy. Several factors are involved:

    The first consideration must be the architectural style of your home. The pitch or angle of the roof might suggest a particular type of roofing material. The style of your home will also suggest some materials and argue against others.  For example, cedar shakes would look out of place on a southern colonial home.

    1) Asphalt Shingles… The most commonly used roof material is asphalt shingles.  Asphalt shingles can work on the roof of many home styles. They are often chosen because they are less expensive and they are considered the most cost-effective option.

    2) Cedar Shakes… are a good option if you are trying to create a “rustic” look. Like asphalt shingles, cedar shakes can be expected to last up to 30 years. They are made from wood blocks and usually are not of uniform size or thickness. They are usually pressure-treated to make them fire resistant. They can be stained or painted to change their appearance.

    3) Concrete Tile Roofing … has become increasingly popular in recent years.  The concrete tiles can look like slate, shake or terra cotta tiles. The concrete is much more durable and can be effectively used to create a well-ventilated roofing system that will help to prevent loss of interior conditioned air.

    4) Metal Roofing Materials… Several types of metal roofing products are also available.  Metal costs more than asphalt shingles or cedar shakes, but will last a lifetime with relatively little maintenance. They will also reduce air conditioning costs if properly insulated and installed.  Tin is still used in many areas of the country. Copper offers a wonderful antique appearance, but probably is unaffordable for most people today.  Thing is: get the right roofing materials for your taste, financial range, and family’s long term comfort.

    A number of new metal roofing materials are now available that will last a lifetime, provide the insulating value of a metal roof, but look like other materials.  These roofing materials are shaped into panels, baked to various colors, and backed with insulating fiberglass or foam in some cases. Some of these materials are made from recycled materials, making them more environmentally friendly.  Painted aluminum and steel roofing are often made from recycled drink cans.

    Evaluate, Estimate, and Then Install The Right Roofing Material

    To choose the right roofing material for your Charlotte home, first consider the architectural style and the type of roofing “look” that is right for the house. Then evaluate the natural materials and the metal simulations.  You should be able to find a roofing material that matches the style of your home, fits your budget and provides better insulation for your home.  This will make the home more attractive, more comfortable and more energy-efficient.


    Electrical Fatalities Makes 2013 OSHA “Fatal Four”

    From home roofing to basement remodeling, the risk of electrical fatalities cannot be ignored. Water and electricity do not make good company. And whether you are working in a wet basement or resolving issues with a leaky roof, personal safety demands that you observe all electrical safety rules.

    The OSHA 2013 construction safety report marks 71 out of 828 deaths as a direct result of electrocution. Although focused on roofing safety, the following 18 electrical safety tips are good for helping anyone avoid accidental electrocution.

    1) Safe Electrical Setups – Check to avoid overloaded circuits. Ensure your power tools and the local electrical outlets are properly grounded. Never use a power tool in an area where water or moisture has accumulated.

    2) Electrical Roofing Tools – Never modify a plug by bending or removing components. When prongs are bent, loose or missing, replace the entire device.

    3) Electric Plug Adapters – Avoid use of three-prong-to-2- prong cord adapters. System ground connections exist for your safety. By passing a ground is not a sound electrical safety practice.

    4) Broken Prongs – If a plug prong breaks off into a receptacle, do not attempt to remove it. Turn off the circuit, and call a licensed electrician.

    5) Receptacles – Ensure that all used receptacles are mounted securely in their boxes and do not move when the plug is inserted. A loose receptacle can cause a short circuit. Never use loose receptacles or other faulty electrical equipment until the equipment is repaired or replaced and inspected by a licensed electrician.

    6) Damaged Components – Replace all damage electrical enclosures such as receptacle, switch, and junction boxes. If you are not equipped for such service work, call in a licensed electrician.

    7) Extension Cords – Use extension cords only when necessary and on a short-term basis. Never install an extension cord as a substitute for permanent wiring. Also, take care that your extension cords are properly sized and rated for the use intended.

    8) Stumble Hazards – Keep electrical cords and all other working materials in clearly identified areas of the work zone. Avoid putting items in high-traffic work areas. Roof replacement and stumble hazards make very bad company.

    9 Frayed Cords – Don’t use appliance or extension cords that show signs of wear, such as frayed or drive sheathing or exposed wires.

    10) Inspection – Visually inspect all electrical equipment before use.

    11) Proper Usage – Never staple, nail, or otherwise attach an extension cord to any surface.

    12) Cord Care – Always turn off tools before unplugging them. Never unplug a tool by yanking on the cord.

    13) Avoid Water – Unless using a wet/dry shop vacuum or some other tool that is rated for use in wet areas, keep all electrical equipment away from any source of moisture or water.

    14) GFCIs – When possible, use ground ground–fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs). When working in wet, damp and moist areas, GFCIs are regulatory.

    15) Receptacle Overload – Limit the use of receptacles to one appliance. If more than one appliance will be on the circuit, use an approved plug strip with a built-in circuit breaker.

    16) Lighting – Use proper lighting in areas where the risk of an electrical hazard is present. Also remember to keep emergency backup lighting readily available.

    17) Tools – Use only tools that have double insulated casings.

    18) Safety Awareness – Make yourself aware of potential hazards before beginning your roofing project. If electrical components are in any way involved in the work, use appropriate protective equipment, including safety glasses, insulated gloves, rubber mats, etc.

    Even among the most safety conscious worker, roof repair and roof installationcan result in accidental injury. Increase your odds for a safe workday. Applying these 18 electrical safety tips may not fully prevent electrical fatalities, but they make a strong defense.



    Before Replacing your Roof, Read This

    Before jumping in with a complete roof replacement, you need to make sure that a less costly repair or simple maintenance process is not the better solution. Annual roof inspections can help you quickly identify signs of shingle deterioration or damage long before the problem can reach critical mass. And since roof gutter systems typically need a yearly inspection and/or cleaning, why not coordinate your roof inspection with your home gutter-cleaning project?

    Roofing surfaces can damage easily. Asphalt shingles are especially subject to damage due to foot traffic, even in cold weather. Although a yearly inspection is a good idea, do it in a manner that keeps the traffic to a minimum. Some parts of the inspection can be performed without even a need for climbing on the roof. Under the right conditions, a set of binoculars and a bit of high ground can be used for a safe and simple inspection of your roof.

    When determining whether to perform a full roof replacement to go with a less costly roof repair, consider the age of your existing roofing materials as well as the condition as revealed via your visual inspection. Also, take time to climb into your attic. Look for signs of moisture, water tracks and damaged venting. Be extra careful around installed flashing. The areas near chimneys, skylights and plumbing vents are vulnerable to improperly installed flashing. Not all Charlotte
    roofers are qualified for the job.

    Take care when inspecting roof valleys and any other place where the roof changes slope or places where previous repairs already exist. Pay special attention to roof areas where the concentrated drainage of an upper roof dumps onto a lower roof. Also check the areas where one type of roofing material meets with another type of roofing material.

    After performing a complete check, rule out the trouble areas before you resort to a complete tear-off and replace.

    Signs That Your Roof Needs Replacement or Repair

    • Curling shingles
    • Broken tiles
    • Evidence of excessive moss
    • Damaged of clogged attic ventilation
    • Granular layer missing from asphalt shingles
    • Torn or twisted flashing
    • Evidence of sloppy roof repairs
    • Protruding roofing nails
    • Misaligned shingles
    • AND any other point that seems out of order.

    If a new roof installation seems in order, consider the value of going green.

    Consider some of the benefits:

    • Green roofs provide additional home insulating thus reducing winter heat loss as well as summer heat gain
    • Green roofs establish a natural filtering system that helps slow roof runoff
    • Green roofs help eliminate puncture damage to the underlying waterproof membrane
    • AND more.

    For more details on roofing and green roofing options, download the attached Green Home Remodel PDF report from the City of Seattle…