WHY GREEN ROOFING CAN BE KEY TO SUSTAINABILITY EFFORTS

WHY GREEN ROOFING CAN BE KEY TO SUSTAINABILITY EFFORTS

Sustainability is becoming a key mission for organizations as environmental awareness grows. Exploring sustainable options allows organizations to drastically reduce carbon emissions while developing new technologies. Green roofing is one solution that is becoming popular. Here is a detailed guide to its advantages beyond simple sustainability improvements.

jackmac34 / Pixabay

Green Roofing & Its Benefits

Green roofs are covered with vegetation and plants, either partially or entirely. Vegetation is planted over a growing medium placed atop a waterproof roofing membrane. Additional features may include root barrier systems and drainage or irrigation systems.

Green roofs can be installed with new construction or retrofit for existing facilities. They are increasingly utilized as roofing for commercial, industrial, and municipal buildings. While this technology is well-established across Europe because of legislation and financial support provided by governments, green roofs are still growing in understanding, acceptance, and implementation across the United States.

Intensive green roofs consist of a thicker roofing material that can support a wider plant assortment—they are heavier, require a minimum depth of 12.8 cm, and need more maintenance to upkeep. Extensive green roofs are shallower, weigh less, and require less maintenance. Green roofs can also support other green technology, such as photovoltaic solar panels or solar thermal collectors.

Some environmental, economic, and social advantages of green roofing include:

  • Aesthetic improvement of facilities
  • Improved rainwater management
  • Increased marketability
  • Longer roof lifespan
  • Improved thermal performance
  • Wildlife habitat support
  • Air quality improvement
  • Reduced noise
  • Energy conservation

How Green Roofs Contribute to Sustainability Efforts

Green roofs contribute to the sustainability efforts of an organization through:

  • Conserving energy by insulating the building and mitigating thermal heat gain, which reduces the need for heating and cooling. This also improves the service life of HVAC systems due to decreased usage.
  • Extending the lifespan of the roof by shielding it from the elements. Green roofs offer protection that can double or triple the useful life of the structure. This keeps more roofing materials out of landfills, reducing waste.
  • Decreasing stormwater runoff on average of 40 to 60%, keeping runoff out of local sewer systems, and reducing wear and tear along with potential damage that can lead to contamination.
  • Improving air quality by trapping airborne particulates and gases and performing photosynthesis to reduce pollution while decreasing urban heat island effects that produce ozone and diminished water quality.
  • Providing habitat for local wildlife, decreasing the impacts of urbanization to local populations.
  • Absorbing radiation to better the microclimate of the immediate area.

While green roofs aren’t as widespread in the United States as they are in Europe, they can make a major impact on local organizations and communities. With a variety of installation options for new and existing buildings and the ability to incorporate further sustainable technologies, green roofs have the power to greatly bolster an organization’s sustainability efforts.

Drones Can Cut Property Inspection Costs—but Are They Safe?

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Drones Can Cut Property Inspection Costs—but Are They Safe?

Building inspectors who used to rely on binoculars and ladders are turning to drones to check property exteriors for signs of damage or deterioration that could lead to injuries.

But use of drones for this purpose is causing a dilemma. Their lower cost and greater thoroughness is coming into conflict with another public safety concern: the danger drones pose to other aircraft or people on the ground.

In New York, which has thousands of old skyscrapers, drone use is largely prohibited and the technology isn’t being considered for property inspection. The Department of Buildings “does not use drones for building inspections, and there are currently no plans to start using drones in the future,” a department spokesman said.

Drones, which had early applications in warfare and surveillance, increasingly are being adopted by a wide range of businesses—from package delivery to underwater exploration. Business applications have grown significantly since 2016, when the Federal Aviation Administration enacted a new rule making it easier to become a commercial drone operator.

Since the rule passed, technological developments have made drones smaller, more reliable and easier to fly, causing a growing number of residential and commercial building inspectors to embrace them. “We’re able to inspect areas of a building we have never inspected before,” said Vincent Boccia, founder of New York consulting engineering firm Engineered Building Inspections PC.

The chimney of a cathedral in Long Island, N.Y., could be inspected without having to erect scaffolds. PHOTO: ENGINEERED BUILDING INSPECTIONS

Mr. Boccia pointed to the inspection of a cathedral in Long Island, N.Y. Using a drone, inspectors could examine the cathedral’s chimney without having to erect scaffolds—the difference between a $1,000 inspection and an estimated $10,000 scaffolding inspection, Mr. Boccia said. Using a drone also can shorten a weekslong inspection to a day, he said.

“It is realistic that a $10,000 drone inspection could cost over $100,000 of hanging scaffolding,” Mr. Boccia said. His company, which inspects up to 150 facades a year, retains an outside company to fly the drone.

Nick Gromicko, founder of the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors, said about 8% of its 21,000 members based in the U.S. use drones for inspections. Four years ago, he said, “everybody was afraid to use drones.”

Since the technology improved and became more mainstream, Mr. Gromicko introduced a training course and began working with the FAA in hopes that his organization can certify inspectors as drone pilots.

National Property Inspections Inc., the parent company of National Property Inspections in the U.S. and Global Property Inspections in Canada, began training franchisees on operating drones for building inspections in 2016, according to Randy Yates, a training supervisor for the company. Mr. Yates became aware of the technology’s potential four years ago, but couldn’t spearhead training until the FAA passed its 2016 rule.

“The whole intent was to keep our guys safe, so they wouldn’t have to climb up on a roof, and not damage building materials,” he said.

Still, in dense urban areas, especially near airports, drone use is highly restricted. Nile Berry and Pablo Marvel, co-founders of the New York digitalization agency Nova Concepts, looked into the potential of drone inspections in New York City, considering that building height can significantly limit the scope of inspections. But they hit a dead end.

“In New York, buildings over five stories must be regularly inspected, and it’s one of the most old-school processes that exist,” Mr. Berry said. “An inspector goes out with binoculars, field notes, a pen and paper.”

Some of these obstacles could be removed as drone companies invest heavily in technology. Industrial SkyWorks, based in Canada, has developed software allowing drones to take images of a property and use the data to develop building models and issue inspection reports.

The FAA also certified Industrial SkyWorks to carry out nighttime drone inspections of walls and roofs, according to Michael Cohen, the company president. Such inspections allow inspectors to accurately track where energy is escaping from buildings, Mr. Cohen said.

Phil Larsen, global director of sales and operations for ABJ Drones, a consulting agency, said there’s “tremendous value in real estate” when it comes to drone development, particularly with software that analyzes buildings.

But he pointed to the many obstacles that still exist in the U.S.

“The three major hurdles are transparency, privacy and protection of manned aircrafts,” he said. “It’s difficult for many municipalities to use the technology beneficially because they may be close to an airport.”

Mr. Larsen estimated that drone technology undergoes significant updates about every three months.

George Mathew, chief executive of the industrial drone company Kespry, said the company is “pushing the edge of where this technology is at present, within the regulatory framework.”

Still, Kespry has developed technology in which a drone can fly automatically without a ground pilot to inspect buildings—something not yet allowed by the FAA. “It’s not a technology question of how much drones can do,” he said. “It’s a question of if the regulatory framework will open up in the next several years.”

Can Reflective Roofing Save Energy and Help the Environment?

Can Reflective Roofing Save Energy and Help the Environment?

By Bob Schildgen

Hey Mr. Green,

I liked your article about the amount of space needed to provide solar power in the United States. I have wondered how many roofs would have to be painted white to replace the albedo of the melting ice caps. We live in Houston, Texas, and I’ve often thought of painting ours white to reduce our AC bill.

— Dianne, in Houston

Painting rooftops white may have some promise, although there remains considerable debate about its benefits, especially given that the soot in our air has the potential to trap their reflected heat.

There are several other factors to also consider. The cooling effects of the white roof could, for example, force folks to turn the furnace up in winter, thereby offsetting at least some of its benefit. As the EPA politely and rather cautiously reminds us: “Please remember the energy savings that can be achieved with reflective roofing is highly dependent on facility design, insulation used, climatic conditions, building location, and building envelope efficiency.”

If you’d like to dig deeper into the issue and come up with a specific calculation for your location and type of dwelling, the Oak Ridge National Laboratory offers a Cool Roof Calculator. Based on evidence I’ve seen, the benefits of the white roof would probably be greater in your area than in cities farther north. Good luck with your research!

Roof Maintenance

A residential property could have triple-reinforced titanium steel walls, and it still wouldn’t be worth a darn without a sturdy roof. It’s through the roof and rooftop features that many problematic elements can enter a building

jarmoluk / Pixabay

, from wind to rain to ice to debris. And because of that, the roof must be adequately fortified and properly maintained. Otherwise, the integrity of the building – along with resident safety and property value – are bound to suffer.

Basics for Beginners

Roofs are not just complicated, relatively delicate structures—they’re also harder to keep tabs on than a facade, or windows that people look at all day. Fortunately, there are myriad experts – from property managers to A/E/C professionals to trades persons who work solely on roofs – who can do the job for your building and keep your roof in good repair.

“A roof should be inspected every few years,” says Frank Sausa, Vice President of Altura Construction Company, Inc., in Garfield, New Jersey. “If a leak gets severe enough, a homeowner’s ceiling can literally collapse. The most common cause of leaks that we see is when the rubber boot around plumbing vents deteriorates. Additionally, we often conduct repairs around chimneys, skylights and valleys, utilizing shingles, leak barrier ice and water shield, synthetic paper, step flashing, counter flashing, and, most importantly, kick-out flashings.”

Between formal inspections by a roofing professional, associations should be doing routine maintenance on their own. “Inspection of roofs should be part of the basic building maintenance, and reviewed at a minimum of a few times per month, especially during and after heavy rains or snow,” says Dennis DePaola, Executive Vice President of Orsid Realty Corp., in New York City. “Not only should the roofing surface, pitch pockets, and flashings be checked, but the floor below should be looked at as well, in order to catch even the smallest amount of water infiltration as early as possible, before any major damage occurs.”

Of course, roofs are not ‘one size fits all,’ and a maintenance schedule therefore depends on the make and age of one’s model, as well as the weather to which it’s subjected. “Appropriate frequency of inspections of a roof may depend on its age, but annually is probably a general minimum,” recommends Christopher R. Berg, President of Independent Association Managers, Inc., in Naperville, Illinois. “Severe weather conditions may necessitate specific inspections, particularly for shingled roofs. If you can see the roof from the ground, loose or missing shingles can be spotted by the board or management on a simple walk. However, many problems would only be identified via closer inspection. For example, an examination of the attic may identify leaks and problems that wouldn’t be apparent elsewhere, such as insufficiently ventilated bathroom moisture or dryer lint.”

In areas like New England, where the weather in a given year can reach sweltering highs and frigid lows, roofs can wear much faster than in more temperate regions. To be proactive, an association should perform a visual inspection of its roof on an annual basis,” suggests Tim Arel, Owner and Principal at North Point Management, which has offices in both Massachusetts and New Hampshire. “This inspection should look for missing or damaged shingles, as well as wear and warping. That will allow an association to perform the small and relatively easy repairs before they develop into serious issues that result in the need for full roof replacement, or damage to the buildings. Proactive annual inspections work to extend the life span of the roof, but they also provide information needed to plan for a roof’s eventual replacement. And they can initially be performed by qualified members of the management team, or by association volunteers. The key is to have individuals who know what they’re looking for perform these inspections. Then, when issues are identified, management and the board should contact a qualified roofing contractor to perform the needed repairs, or to provide a professional assessment with recommendations.”

Damage Done

Certain roof-based dilemmas are more common than others, so it pays for a board or management to be aware of the likely suspects.

“We’ve taken over buildings from other firms wherein we have found severe structural steel damage due to neglect, and the failure to stop water infiltration for prolonged periods of time,” notes DePaola. “In such instances, we’ve had to install shoring within apartments to offset the load from the damaged steel. That may require a relocation of the residents, depending on the severity of the situation.

“We’ve also been successful in spotting smaller repairs of roofing systems that are still under warranty, at little-to-no expense to the building owner,” he continues. “By regularly checking for these smaller repairs and addressing them in a timely manner, owners can greatly extend the useful life of the roofing system, sometimes well beyond their 20-to-25-year warranty.”

As one may intuit, ice is a major enemy in regions with particularly cold winters. “The improper removal of ice dams has been a significant contributor to roof damage over the past several years,” says Arel. “When faced with an emergency situation caused by interior water intrusion from ice dams, some vendors believe that the solution lies in removing the ice via the use of hammers and pickaxes. While this may temporarily alleviate the problem, the net result is often significant damage to shingles and roofs. This makes for a great example as to how proper planning and hiring vendors with the correct equipment will benefit an association in the long-term.”

And the type of roof – shingled or flat – also affects its aging process.

“Shingled roofs often age prematurely, as a result of insufficient ventilation and/or insulation, and may need to be inspected more frequently,” warns Berg. “When attics can’t vent the summer heat, cooked shingles will curl and break the adhesive that holds them down, leaving an edge up to become a sail in the wind. Sometimes you can be alerted by shingles on the ground or in the gutters, but other times they seem to have vanished from the earth. When attics can’t stay cold under snow-covered roofs, they cause ice dams that can lift shingles, split wood and bend metal, whether or not it causes visible interior damage. Rubber parts and applied sealants need to be inspected for cracking, so they can be replaced before they leak. However, gutters often have to be cleaned of leaves and other tree debris in both spring and fall, which makes for two great opportunities to just inspect all of the roofing.

“And then flat roofs have both masonry and metallic elements, in addition to drains, pipes, and other membrane penetrations, so they may need regular engineering inspections as well,” Berg adds. “Minor cracking in masonry joints and membrane transitions can lead to serious problems, whose resolution come with serious price tags. So the more complicated your roofing system is, the more regular inspections you may need, and by more technical professionals.”

Balance in Budget

The more on top (pun intended) of roof-related affairs an association is, the less likely they’ll have to spend exorbitant amounts of money to fix a disaster. With that said, unpredictable calamities, however, can happen, and an association is best served tucking away some extra funds in the event of a rainy day.

“Every association should have both short- and long-term capital plans for the essential building components,” says DePaola. “We know that roofing systems have a useful life between 10 and 30 years, depending on the system and the warranties received. Therefore, the association should be funding or implementing a plan to fund – via either borrowing or assessment – for the roof replacement during the entire life cycle of the capital component. The most costly roofing projects to which we’ve been privy are those that have not been planned for and those that have been deferred for too long.”

“Having a reserve study and financial plan in place to ensure that the funds needed for capital projects exist in the association’s reserve account is the best method to avoid the significant impact of special assessments,” Arel agrees. “Proper funding is always based on proactive planning. Unfortunately, a great number of associations are under-funded, and thus do not have sufficient reserve funds required for a significant capital project. In these occasions, associations need to evaluate their options to determine what plan best suits its owners. Due to the current financial environment, a great number of associations are looking to loans to make up for their lack of reserves. This option allows an association to borrow the necessary funding, typically through a fixed interest rate loan that may cost less per month than delaying work and facing the increased costs of labor and materials. When roofs need to be replaced within a several-year period due to leaks or other severe issues, financing the project allows an association to spread out the payment over a greater span, thus resulting in a lower monthly increase.

“However,” he continues, “it’s important to note that one option is not right for all association. A board should weigh all options and the financial impacts thereof and present that to the owners. It’s important to involve the owners when making any decision that will result in a significant fee increase, such that the owners can understand the process that the board has undergone and the options available, then provide input as to what they believe is the best option to meet the association’s needs.”

Why is asbestos dangerous?

Why is asbestos dangerous?

  • Asbestos still kills around 5000 workers each year, this is  more than the number of people killed on the road.
  • Around 20 tradesman die each week as a result of past exposure
  • However, asbestos is not just a problem of the past. It can be present today in any building built or refurbished before the year 2000.

When materials that contain asbestos are disturbed or damaged, fibres are released into the air. When these fibres are inhaled they can cause serious diseases. These diseases will not affect you immediately; they often take a long time to develop, but once diagnosed, it is often too late to do anything. This is why it is important that you protect yourself now.

Asbestos can cause the following fatal and serious diseases:

Mesothelioma

Mesothelioma is a cancer which affects the lining of the lungs (pleura) and the lining surrounding the lower digestive tract (peritoneum). It is almost exclusively related to asbestos exposure and by the time it is diagnosed, it is almost always fatal.

Asbestos-related lung cancer

Asbestos-related lung cancer is the same as (looks the same as) lung cancer caused by smoking and other causes. It is estimated that there is around one lung cancer for every mesothelioma death.

Asbestosis

Asbestosis is a serious scarring condition of the lung that normally occurs after heavy exposure to asbestos over many years. This condition can cause progressive shortness of breath, and in severe cases can be fatal.

Pleural thickening

Pleural thickening is generally a problem that happens after heavy asbestos exposure. The lining of the lung (pleura) thickens and swells. If this gets worse, the lung itself can be squeezed, and can cause shortness of breath and discomfort in the chest.

Note: It is also important to remember that people who smoke, and are also exposed to asbestos fibres, are at a much greater risk of developing lung cancer.

 

This post was taken from http://www.hse.gov.uk/asbestos/dangerous.htm

Managing and working with asbestos

Managing and working with asbestos

This information will be of particular interest to employers, asbestos contractors and others with duties under asbestos regulations, together with those workers currently at greatest risk from exposure to asbestos.

The importation, supply and use of all forms of asbestos are banned. However, many buildings, and some plant and equipment, still contain asbestos-containing materials (ACMs).

Before you start any work in a building that might contain asbestos (eg built or refurbished before the year 2000), you need to do the following:

Identify whether asbestos is present and determine its type and condition

  • People responsible for maintenance of non-domestic premises, have a ‘duty to manage’ the asbestos in them, and should provide you with information on where any asbestos is in the building and what condition it is in.
  • If no information is available or it is limited and you suspect asbestos may be present you should have the area surveyed and representative samples of the material you are going to work on analysed.
  • Alternatively, you can assume that any material you need to disturb does contain asbestos and take the appropriate precautions for the highest risk situation.

Carry out a risk assessment

  • Decide if its possible to carry out the building or maintenance work avoiding the risk of asbestos exposure all together.
  • If that’s not possible, identify who might be at risk and the level of possible asbestos exposure from any work.
  • On this basis, decide what work methods are necessary to provide effective control of the risks.
  • Further information on carrying out a risk assessment is available.

Decide if the work needs to be carried out by a licensed contractor

  • Most asbestos removal work will require a contractor holding a licence from HSE.
  • All work with sprayed asbestos coatings and asbestos lagging and most work with asbestos insulation and asbestos insulating board (AIB) requires a licence.
  • Identify if your work needs a licensed contractor;
  • Find a licensed contractor, or find out how to apply for a licence.

If the work is not licensable, decide if the work needs to be notified

  • If it doesn’t need a licence, you can do maintenance work on or around ACMs with the appropriate controls in place.
  • Some non-licensed work also has additional requirements, ie notification of work, medical surveillance and record keeping. This work is known as notifiable non-licensed work (NNLW).

Ensure those carrying out the work are suitably trained

  • Any worker who is liable to disturb asbestos during their day-to-day work needs to receive appropriate training to enable them to protect themselves and others.

This post was taken from http://www.hse.gov.uk/asbestos/detail.htm

Where can you find asbestos?

Where can you find asbestos? From HSE.GOV.UK

Asbestos can be found in any industrial or residential building built or refurbished before the year 2000. It is in many of the common materials used in the building trade that you may come across during your work.

INDUSTRIAL PROPERTY

Inside

1. Sprayed coatings on ceilings, walls, beams and columns

2. Asbestos cement water tank

3. Loose fill insulation

4. Lagging on boilers and pipes

5. AIB ceiling tiles

6. Toilet seat and cistern

7. AIB partition walls

8. AIB panels in fire doors

9. Asbestos rope seals, gaskets and paper

10. Vinyl floor tiles

11. AIB around boilers

12. Textiles eg fire blankets

13. Textured decorating coatings on walls and ceilings eg artex

Outside

14. Asbestos cement roof

15. Asbestos cement panels

16. Asbestos cement gutters and downpipes

17. Soffits – AIB or asbestos cement

18. Asbestos cement flue

AIB = Asbestos Insulating Board

Residential Property

Inside

A. Asbestos cement Water tank

B. Pipe lagging

C. Loose fill insulation

D. Textured decorative coating eg artex

E. AIB ceiling tiles

F. AIB bath panel

G. Toilet seat and cistern

H. AIB behind fuse box

I. AIB airing cupboard and/or sprayed insulation coating boiler

J. AIB partition wall

K. AIB interior window panel

L. AIB around boiler

M. Vinyl floor tiles

N. AIB behind fire

Outside

O. Gutters andAsbestos cement downpipes

P. Soffits – AIB or asbestos cement

Q. AIB exterior window panel

R. Asbestos cement roof

S. Asbestos cement panels

T. Roofing felt

AIB = Asbestos Insulating Board

All information in this article is only from http://www.hse.gov.uk/asbestos/building.htm website.

Are roofing tiles that act as mini solar modules a good idea?

Are roofing tiles that act as mini solar modules a good idea?

Are roofing tiles that act as mini solar modules a good idea?

Each year, thousands of Arizona residents email or call Rosie Romero’s radio show with questions about everything from preventing fires in their chimneys to getting rid of tree roots invading their sewer system. His goal is to provide answers that suit the specific lifestyle wherever someone lives in Arizona.

QUESTION: We aren’t too interested in putting solar panels on our house, but we are interested in other new roofing products, like glass tiles that also act as mini solar modules. When you buy them, you also get a battery that will let you use the solar power your roof produces and possibly keep the lights on if the electrical grid goes out. They are pretty expensive, but are they a good alternative?

ANSWER: A lot of the appeal of these roofing products seems to be based on the fact that homeowners like their looks better than that of traditional solar panels. They look like tiles that have been made out of glass. However, some versions of these tiles have been around for a while and generally don’t seem to be too effective. The tiles get too hot and then they stop working. Then they have to be replaced. Generally, they only last five to 10 years while traditional solar panels can have a 25-year life expectancy. One Web site we saw said they could cost about $22 a square foot, compared with $5 a square foot for traditional shingles.

 

Q: I recently had a contractor come in to do a whole house energy audit and to talk to me about installing solar electric panels. But he also suggested a lot of other energy saving alternatives like buying a variable speed pool pump and adding more insulation in the attic. Why did they do that?

A: It’s always a good thing to find ways to make more of your house energy efficient. But not all home energy audit companies are the same. Many times, they promote the items that have the highest profit margin and could greatly benefit the contractor if you installed them. So proceed with caution.

Q: Off and on for a long time, we’ve been considering installing solar panels for electricity. But we’re afraid that tighter regulations to solar might be coming along in future. The solar industry and the utilities always seem to be fighting with each other.

 

A: Yes, the two parties have had their issues in the past, but they seem to be getting along better now. As for more regulations, that could happen. But so far, every time the utility companies have tightened up the rules and cut back on solar benefits, homeowners that already have their solar systems have been “grandfathered in” under the old regulations. The federal tax benefits of solar have also been retained.

Q: I had a new air conditioning system installed and when the installers did that job, I had them put in an extra vent and some extra ductwork designed to help cool off a bedroom located over the garage in my home. That bedroom is one of the hottest rooms in the house and the new vent doesn’t seem to have helped very much. How can I fix this problem?

A: You may need to install some insulation in your garage in order to solve the problem. You might also be able to install a mini-split air conditioner in the bedroom or in the garage in order to cool that part of your house. A mini-split consists of a very small indoor air handler that has its own small outdoor condenser. They’re not cheap, but they’re an effective way of cooling an especially hot room or a garage.

No need to feel blue with new roof guidance

No need to feel blue with new roof guidance

Technical guidance for the construction and design of blue roofs has been released by the National Federation of Roofing Contractors.

The information was put together by the NFRC Joint Flat Roofing Technical Committee whose members included membrane and system manufacturers, insulation producers, standards and certification bodies, drainage consultants and representatives from flat roofing trade associations.

Kevin Taylor, head of technical services at the National Federation of Roofing Contractors, said: “No British or European standard covers this type of application so we were tasked with producing these notes to support the design of technically correct Blue Roof construction.

“We hope that this – like Green Roof Code of Practice (GRO) has done for green roofing – will provide comprehensive information and guidance for specifiers, designers and installers of blue roofs.”

The guidance includes sections on drainage, roof deck construction, falls, waterproofing, outlets, overflows, components and finishes.

A Blue Roof is a flat roof designed to allow controlled attenuation of rain fall during heavy and storm events as part of a Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems (SuDS) good practise policy, replicating the natural environment or improving the as built environment.

It treats and releases the water at a managed and controlled rate directly into the sewers waterways and river systems.

Kevin added: “At the NFRC we help our members plan ahead and see both green and blue roof systems as providing sustainable roof drainage solutions for our sector.”

www.nfrc.co.uk

 

Roof Maintenance

Repairing or replacing your roof can be expensive. Spending a few minutes every six months looking closely at your roof can help you identify roof maintenance opportunities that will help prevent costly repairs later. It’s also important to periodically check your homeowners insurance to make sure that serious roof damage is covered by your policy.

Roof maintenance: What to look for

It’s critical that you inspect your roof every spring and fall. A good time to do this is when you’re cleaning your gutters.

Look for missing, damaged or curling shingles and any other signs of wear and tear. It’s easy and inexpensive to replace one or two shingles, or to hire someone to do it for you.
Check for signs of fungus or algae. If your roof is starting to collect moss or algae, install zinc or lead control strips.
Inspect metal areas for rust. If it’s present, wire brush the rust, then prime and paint the metal.
Examine the flashing to make sure it’s solid. If not, remove all of the old caulk and scrub the area clean before resealing.
Seal any cracked mortar or caulking around joints and chimneys, if it appears to be deteriorating.
If you see any signs of leaking, like dark spots on the ceiling, or mold or dampness in your attic, take action immediately. Roof leaks get worse, not better, and it’s better to spend a few dollars on roof maintenance rather than a lot on a big repair.

Other roof maintenance issues

Sweep or blow off excess debris on the roof. Sticks, leaves and other debris can damage shingles, cause algae to grow and eventually clog the gutters.
Trim any branches that are hanging over the roof to prevent damage and keep squirrels and raccoons away.
A thick layer of snow accumulation could lead to roof collapse. If this happens, carefully pull the snow off the roof using a snow rake available at most home improvement stores.
Roof maintenance is often ignored, but small problems with a roof can lead to some of the most costly home repairs around.

Product, coverage, discounts, insurance terms, definitions, and other descriptions are intended for informational purposes only and do not in any way replace or modify the definitions and information contained in your individual insurance contracts, policies, and/or declaration pages from Allied-affiliated underwriting companies, which are controlling. Such products, coverage, terms, and discounts may vary by state and exclusions may apply.