Category Archives: roof repair

Lake Wenatchee Home Inspector Photo: Metal Carport Collapsed Under Snow Load

This picture was taken last week at a Lake Wenatchee Home Inspection.  The metal carport was no match for the heavy snow we received over the last winter.  Notice how much snow we still have there…in April!

Lake Wenatchee Home Inspector Photo

Lake Wenatchee Home Inspector Photo

Lake Wenatchee Home Inspection

Winterization Tips for Your Home

Follow these steps to get your home ready for the cold weather.  For more detailed information about insulating your attic or dealing with air leaks around the home feel free to contact me at info at amsinspection dot com.

  

1. Clean gutters.
Clear debris from your home’s gutters before the winter sets in.  Clogged drains can bend gutters, promote ice dams and cause water buildup- all resulting in possible moisture infiltration through your roof and/or walls.  Make sure the downspouts are carrying water away from the home’s foundation.  Clogged downspouts won’t help you either.  After a big wind storm sometimes downspouts will fall off the drain pipes, so make sure they are firmly attached.

  

2.  Winterize underground irrigation systems.

You may want to call a professional service to winterize your underground irrigation system.  Turn your system off, then bleed the line (release pressure) and drain the water.  Confirm that the settings are adjusted or that the system is completely turned off before the first freeze.

  

3. Clean the furnace and baseboards vents.
Due to seasonal dust buildup, you’ll probably notice a weird smell when you turn them on for the first time.   Using “duster” computer keyboard cleaner works great for cleaning the vents on your furnace and baseboards but you can also use a dust broom or vacuum attachment.  Throughout the winter you should change the furnace filters regularly. A dirty filter reduces air flow and efficiency and is a potential fire hazard.

  

4. Chimney sweep.

Inspect your chimney for creosote (baked soot) buildup which is highly flammable.  Inspect the chimney for any obstructions: limbs, leaves, baseballs, etc.  Wood stoves should be swept routinely throughout the winter.  Make sure the spark arrester is properly screened to avoid debris buildup. 

  

5. Wrap pipes.
Dealing with a busted pipe is never a good thing especially in the winter.  Wrap exposed pipes in crawl spaces, basements or garages with pre-molded foam rubber sleeves or fiberglass insulation. Heating tape is an added measure that is commonly used in our area.

  

6.  Store water hoses.

Turn off the water to your hose bibs.  You should find a valve turnoff inside your home.  Drain the lines and hoses.  Then store the hoses away from the elements.

 

7. Check alarms.
Fire departments have tried to educate us that when you change your clocks for Daylight Savings, it’s also a prefect time to change your smoke detector batteries.  Detectors should be replaced every 10 years. Additionally, testing them with a small bit of smoke is always a good idea. Check your carbon monoxide detector or buy one if you don’t already have one.  Refer to the installation manual regarding correct placement for the detector.

A Puddle of Problems

improper drainage seattle home inspector

improper drainage seattle home inspector

Water is a remarkable liquid.  You know that saying, “give them an inch and they’ll take a mile.”  This could be said for water.  Without adequate grading (slope adjusting) and drainage a few rain drops may compound into a huge puddle of problems.  The main objective with moisture concerns is to pull the water away from the home.  This is remedied by roof, gutters, downspouts, grading and drainage.  It seems fairly straightforward, but it’s always good to check these components regularly.  Seasonal patterns can affect the integrity of your system.  Ice build-up in the winter can bend gutters.  Leaves will clog downspouts in the fall.  Excessive rains in the spring way erode slopes or wash in debris to your drainage lines.  Check your basement and crawl spaces routinely for signs of moisture.  You may need to amend the grading to channel surface water away from the home if your puddles start turning into small ponds.

Say No To Roof Leaks!

What’s more important than the roof over your head? If you don’t know how much it costs to replace a roof, look at this. Remodeling magazine’s 2008 Report, estimates that U.S. homeowners will spend an average of $18,825 to replace a roof while the Fine Living website estimates $11,399. Either way, it’s a HUGE investment. A typical asphalt roof will last 15 to 20 years. If your location is susceptible to high winds or extreme climates your roof may require more frequent scheduled maintenance, but basically, every home should be inspected routinely for missing shingles, granulation loss, ineffective flashing or seasonal damage. We suggest you call one of our experienced home inspectors before small leaks become big headaches. You would much rather spend $100-$300 on a repair rather than deal with the issues associated with a leaky roof. This may include drywall rot, molded insulation, floor rot, compromised floor or wall supports. Our home inspectors will get on top of the roof to inspect the condition. Older homes may have multiple roof layers. We’ll let you know if this is causing undue stress on the structure. In Wenatchee we’ll often see asphalt shingle deterioration due to extreme heat exposure. In Seattle we’ve seen ineffective flashing that has resulted in slow leaks. We also recommend cutting back tree limbs and foliage because it can affect your roof and gutters. See our other blog entry:  Gutter Clutter.