I’m getting a new roof on my house. The home is in good condition, but the roof is getting a little old, and we’d like to rearrange things to keep more of the rain and snow away. Our home inspector introduced us to the term “grandpa work,” referring to what was done to my house before my family moved in.
Not “grandfathering,” where a rule is set aside for someone or something because it was already working a certain way before the rule was put in place.
No, this is “grandpa work,” as in, “I’m a retiree who doesn’t want to spend a lot of money, so I’ll build it myself… even though I don’t really have the necessary skills.” It’s do-it-yourself, but only to get the work done to a “good enough” level. There are odd things in the corners where years of rain and snow have worn down the protection. There’s a little space between the deck and the house not covered by the roof and shingles but just a 2-by-4 nailed in place. There are no real leaks — it is “good enough” — but it won’t last forever.
This is probably one of the most fundamental things you can do. Grab a ladder, climb up there, and take a look. Have any shingles crumbled, or come loose and are now flapping around whenever a breeze goes by? They might be curled or cracked. If any of those are an issue on your roof, get a professional to do the repairs — there’s more to it than taking the old shingle off and putting a new one on.
Get under the roof and check it out. Water can seep through corners and edges, or you might see a dark spot where a not-so-great shingle is letting in something that it shouldn’t.
Hire a roof-cleaning service to keep it clean and remove debris. Experts say pressure washing is a bad idea, though; it’s too intense and can weaken shingles. To reduce your risk for a serious fall, let experts who use proper fall protection work on the roof.
While the roof is being cleaned, have the gutters cleaned by a service as well. Backed-up gutters can push water on or into the roof itself, leading to more problems. If you clean your own gutters while standing on a ladder, make sure to follow all proper rules for ladder safety to reduce your risk for falling.
Tree branches that sit over your roof drop leaves and seeds that can get in the gutters. They can interfere with shingles and cause a lot of damage if a branch suddenly breaks and comes crashing through your roof. This is another situation where turning to a professional tree trimming business might be the best solution.
Long icicles hanging off the edge of your roof are not what you want. They can keep water from flowing away from your roof, and instead build up inside the house. That can harm the roof and ceiling, and spread mold on insulation and walls. Ice dams can be prevented with appropriate insulation.
You are responsible to make sure your roof is in good condition and well-maintained (which is just a good idea in general). If the roof is damaged by a covered peril it can be included as part of a claim on your policy. Talk with your local independent insurance agent about Homeowners insurance, and what’s best for you.
What should people look for when they’re inspecting the roof?
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