Alban Home Inspection Service

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Maintaining The Roof

Roof damage can be an expensive affair. Here are four things you can do to maintain your roofing system. Save this list for a once a year checkup. 

1. Check the roof surface for loose, damaged, or missing shingles.
Also check
between the tabs on asphalt as granules wear off here first and cause leaks even when the rest of the roof looks good. Older slate roofs should be inspected and maintained annually by a professional roofer. The normal life expectancy of a cedar wood roof is approximately 20-40 years, depending on the quality of the cedar, slope of the roof, and quality and frequency of protection. Other wood shingles last 15-20 years.
2. Inspect flashings at vents, chimneys, and roof valleys for tight seal or defects.
Repair, reseal, or protect all flashings periodically.

3. Check trims, soffits, facias, and barge boards for paint failure or deterioration.

4. Gutters, gutter-strainers, and downspouts should be cleaned of leaves and debris
When gutters and downspouts become blocked, overflowing water finds
its way into the facias, soffits, roof, and roof sheathing. This problem is the major cause of paint failure and decay in soffits and facias. Most gutters require regular maintenance. All joints should be checked and resealed if they show the smallest sign of leakage. Galvanized guttering generally requires regular painting or spot painting. Underground downspouts should be checked and kept clean as clogging could cause water in the basement.

Life Expectancies

These ranges should give you a good idea of average life expectancies of equipment and materials commonly used in residential housing. Maintenance (or lack of maintenance) will alter life expectancies. Normal maintenance is assumed with these ranges. No guarantee or warranties are expressed or implied. 

Water service (public)                                     Years
Lead                                                             50 to 90
Steel                                                             40 to 75
Copper                                                         At least 70
(should be dependable)                     unknown 
Interior water pipe
Steel 1/2"                                                      40 to 60
Copper 1/2"                                                  70 to 100
(should be dependable)                     unknown 
Drainage lines
Galvanized steel                                            40 to 60
Copper                                                        60 to 100
Cast iron                                                      50 to 90
Plastic (P.V.C.)                                            At least 35



Note: This newsletter is for informational purposes only. When getting involved with a project, please work within your ability. If you need help with a contractor or with any other home-related issue, please contact Alban Home Inspection Service with any questions. Thank You.

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