Inspection asphalt shingle roof

If you own a home, you have a roof to take care of, and my guess is seven out of ten of you have an asphalt shingle roof. Here in the southland, asphalt shingles cover the vast majority of homes, and for a good reason. They are the least expensive option to choose from when shopping for a new roof and will get you fifteen to thirty years of good use if properly maintained.

You have a few types of shingles out there to choose from. A very popular option is called a three-tab shingle. It’s the lightest weight and least expensive of the options and will typically yield 15-20 years of good life.

Another type is what is called an architectural shingle. Next time you drive through your neighborhood, take a look at the roofs in the area. When you see a roof with a neat-looking pattern, you know you are looking at an architectural asphalt shingle. These shingles are typically a lot thicker than the three-tab shingle. They are more durable, too, often boasting an expected lifespan of thirty years or more.

Asphalt shingle roof

Asphalt shingles are an excellent roofing material but are not immune to problems either. Roofs can leak when it rains and will eventually become damaged by the elements. Strong winds can rip shingles off and throw debris from trees onto the roof, causing damage, and UV rays from the sun will deteriorate the surface over time. I recommend setting a ladder at the eaves of your roof and taking a good look at it about twice a year. Finding and identifying small problems now, will help you prevent big expensive issues later. Remember, there is no convenient time to discover a roof leak.

What to look for

 

When you take a look at your roof, I want you to pay attention to the following. Search for nails that are sticking through your shingles; there shouldn’t be any exposed fasteners. Exposed nails can allow water to slowly creep through the shingles and into the roof sheathing allowing moisture damage to occur.

Damaged asphalt shingle roof

Furthermore, look for cracked or missing shingles. Strong winds can rip off older shingles that have been weakened by years of exposure to the elements. A missing shingle is a significant issue when it comes to water-shedding capabilities. If you find any damaged shingles, I recommend contacting a licensed roofing contractor to replace any affected shingles.

Worn out asphalt shingle roof

 

Lastly, I want you to look at the overall condition of the roof covering. You should check for general wear and loss of the granular material covering the shingles. Shingles that are starting to lose the rough sand like material on top will age faster and faster as the material gets washed away by wind and rain. When you see areas of the asphalt roof covering that look shiny when the sun hits it, you should start thinking about budgeting for repairs or replacement. Shingle roofs that look shiny have lost a considerable amount of granular material and are about at the end of their lifespan.

As a homeowner I recommend you integrate a periodic roof check into your yearly home maintenance plans. Catching small issues now will go a long way to ensure your home is in top shape for years to come.

 

 

 

Bathroom fans and why you need them

 

Have you ever wondered why some bathrooms have fans in the ceiling? Bathroom exhaust fans are designed to remove the inevitable humidity created by running hot water at the sink and running the shower. Excess indoor humidity often times helps create an environment prone to indoor mold growth, which no homeowner wants to have to deal with.

 

There are a few different types of bathroom fans available, but we are only going to focus on two types in this post. Those types are ducted exhaust fans and ductless exhaust fans.

Ducted fans are far more prevalent in residential buildings and are my preferred design. Ducted fans should be installed so that the duct carries the humid air from the bathroom directly to the exterior of the home. This means it should not deliver the air to a crawlspace or to an attic space as this will create a humid environment that could cause paint to peel, wood to warp, and mold to grow.

 

The second type of bathroom fan that we’ll discuss is a ductless system. Ductless bathroom fans typically use a canister with charcoal in it to filter odors out of the air. Some companies also claim that they reduce the humidity in the room by soaking up moisture. Personally, I disagree with that method; there’s no place for the moisture to go after the charcoal absorbs it except back into the ambient air where it originally came from. If you are going to install a ductless fan, then make sure to install it in a half-bath where there isn’t a shower or a tub.

 

Thankfully bathroom exhaust fans don’t require a ton of maintenance. Every year or so get up there and clean all the dust and lint off the fan screens. A buildup of debris on the screen significantly increases the risk of a fire. The air that passes through the fan is also the air that cools the motor and electrical components in the fan.

 

Who knew bath fans were so important features of a home? Make sure you have the right type of fans in the right places and ducting properly and you’ll be in good shape.