Saturday, December 4, 2021

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Home Improvement Tips

Greetings everyone and thanks for your continued following. This week I will focus on some home tips that have been popping up at the home where I have been helping with in exchange for rent.


Some roofing repairs may gone unnoticed because of the drought but are needed now. The repairs I have encountered are pretty simple fixes that you can do yourself as long as your roof is not overly steep.

1. Leaks in tile roof ridge lines under caps

In general, tile roofs are lifetime roofs that need little or no care so long as there are no issues with moss growing on the roof. A tile roof can last over 200 years.

Tile roofs became very popular when tiles made out of composites and with a lifetime expectancy came out. This type of roof is now the cheapest over all, considering other products only last 15 to 30 years.

In new construction the name of the game is to cut costs anywhere you can. This has been done by going cheap and using tar paper underlayment where a rubber membrane is indicated by the manufacturer in order to honor the warranty.

When tar paper is used in place of a membrane, the tar paper collects condensation and slowly rots away over 25 years, give or take five years. Tar paper is often used on ridgelines.

The easy and proper fix can be done with supplies from your local DIY megastore. Remove the tiles carefully — only one nail holds each tile in. Remove enough to completely expose the rotten area of tar paper up to where it meets the intact tar paper. Apply a rubber strip with glue backing over the ridge. Use roofing tar in a line to tightly seal the ends and put tiles back in place on the ridgeline.

2. One-over-twelve low pitch roofs with torch-down roofing materials

One-over-twelve low pitch roofs work great. They are often used in a single area of a home, such as a porch or at the top of an older gambrel roof. They are not used for the whole roof, especially on homes with wood shakes on steep slopes.

The problem with this type of roof is that when a worker is cleaning the shingle roof while wearing spiked shoes, they step onto the torch-down portion and pokes holes in the 1-over-12 roof. The holes don’t leak right away but grow and cause problems as water sinks in.

If the damage is found early and there are no signs of rot, you can just fill in the holes with Henry® roof patch and a tar spatula. This will fix the holes and redeem your roof for the rest of its life expectancy.

No gutters is a bad idea

A roof with no gutters will cause premature wood rot and also wash away soil from your foundation walls and cause leaks in basements. Get seamless gutters or, if you have trees and a second story roof, install leaf guard-style gutters if they are available in your area. (I say this because we have readers all over the country.)

Leaf guard-style gutters keep debris out of the gutters for the most part. Instead of cleaning your gutters every year, or even two or three times a year, leaf guard-style gutters will reduce cleaning to once every five years. Most vendors will do the cleaning free of charge as part of their guarantee.

Tips for hiring contractors

As always, read the agreement with your contractor and make sure you understand it. If you don’t like it, tell them what you don’t like see if they will revise the bid or guarantee. If you are still not happy, say “Thanks for your time,” and move on.

Never pay more than 30% up front. If the contractor can’t cover their labor without your deposit, they are not likely to be around for long.

Pay with a credit card. Credit cards guarantee consumer rights a check does not. If the contractor does not take cards, move on. That’s another red flag.

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