Never blow off the monsoon season prep work on your roof
So, you figured you could skate through another monsoon season without having your roof inspected? Didn’t expect the record rainfall and winds we saw this year? Regretting that you didn’t call a Rosie-Certified Partner to get your roof inspected earlier?
The monsoon season is still in full swing, and you can’t get a professional roofer to come out for a few weeks just to inspect the roof for possible leaks or damage. And even if you can get someone out for an inspection, it could be weeks until they can come back and do the repair.
Tyler Johnson of Rosie-certified Johnson Roofing offers tips to get you through the season.
The biggest source of homeowner preventable leaks we have seen is from debris on your roof. This is something that should be addressed before it starts to rain – afterwards the roof is too dangerous to walk on.
If there are holes in the roof and water is leaking inside the house, it needs to be addressed immediately.
Call a roofer and request they cover the holes with a tarp secured with nails and furring strips until they can repair it. Here’s the tricky part. Because the roofers are so busy with repairs, they may not be able to come over and tarp your roof. You may have to find a licensed and insured handyman to do it.
To make matters worse, there may not be any tarps available. So, not only are you waiting for a repair, you may not even be able to find a tarp.
If you know there is significant damage, call your insurance company first, to see whether the damage is covered. Generally, storm damage is covered, but normal wear and tear on your roof are not.
If you are not sure about the degree of damage, call your agent anyway.
Also, don’t have any work performed until you determine whether or not your roof has a warranty. A repair may void it.
When hail the size of marbles hits your house, you are likely to have a roof problem. Three tell-tale signs your roof needs attention:
1. A heavy hailstorm or windy rain touched your neighborhood.
2. You’ve noticed roofers working at your neighbors’ homes.
3. Your car or the doors of your house have hail or wind damage.
If you suspect hail damage, call a licensed and bonded roofer and your insurance company. Hail damage may not cause a leak this season, but you may not be so lucky when the next storm rolls in.
In the meantime
When a storm is not approaching, and it is safe to do so, climb onto your roof – or ask a licensed and insured roofer to do it and do the following:
• Inspect every roof penetration around the chimney, vents, skylights, walls, flashing, air conditioning elbows and stands, antennas and support wires, and satellite dishes. Patch cracks along the seams of rolled roofing and over holes pecked by birds in foam roofing. Tip: Make the fewest emergency roof repairs necessary to keep your home’s interior dry. Too many patches can mask the problem, causing the roofers more time and costing you more money to find the source of the leak.
• Trim tree branches. Heavy branches hanging over your roof can break and slam so hard onto the house during a storm that they can damage a foam roof or asphalt shingles. Likewise, dead or rotting branches can snap off and fly into windows and siding.
• Look for worn-out shingles. A palm tree too close to the roof can brush against it often enough to wear away the tops of the shingles in its way. If you see patches of shingles that look black instead of the color they used to be, lay a tarp over the area. Use a tarp big enough to cover the damage and go all the way to the ridge and over it, so water can’t leak underneath the tarp. Anchor the tarp with something heavy. Do not drive any nails into your roof.
• Make sure there is no debris or even piles of dirt on your roof. This is typically an indication of larger problems that are not allowing the water to flow off the roof. Check valleys, gutters and any other area that might trap debris.
• Look for broken roof tiles. This will cause the roof to wear out quicker and cause much worse problems down the road. Simply replacing broken roof tiles will greatly increase the chances of your roof lasting as long as it was designed to without leaks.
• When watermarks or bulges in your ceiling form during a storm and you can’t find a reputable roofer to help you, poke a hole in the ceiling with a pencil or a Phillips-head screwdriver and let the water drip into a bucket. Repairing that hole will be a lot easier than replacing the ceiling and cleaning up the floor when the water bursts through.
A handyman may be able to do this type of maintenance but often a roofing company will have time when it is not raining and they are slower. Proper preparation is key.
It’s a good idea to clean off the roof a few times a year: once before monsoon season and again after every big storm.
Keep in mind that roofers are always busy once a storm moves through. It’s good to build a relationship with someone you trust before the storm clouds blow in. As a regular customer, you may be moved to the top of their list.
Since 2004 Johnson Roofing has been offering the highest quality roofing services in the valley of the sun. You can feel confident that you are getting not only the most professional service available but the best pricing for your particular need. Johnson Roofing specializes in roofing repairs, replacements, and new roof installations. Doesn’t matter if it is residential, commercial, or industrial, Johnson Roofing can assist you with any home roofing need.
Join Rosie on the House every Saturday morning from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. on KTAR News 92.3 FM. If you’d like to send us questions or comments, email mailto:email@example.com. Follow us on Twitter and “Like” us on Facebook. For more do-it-yourself tips, go to rosieonthehouse.com. An Arizona home building and remodeling industry expert since 1988, Rosie Romero is the host of the syndicated Saturday morning Rosie on the House radio program. Call 888-767-4348 with questions & comments.