Thursday, April 13, 2017

Post Winter Inspection: Does Your Roof and Guttering Still Make the Grade?

NYC enjoys a wonderful temperate climate, but our homes are still regularly subjected to the forces of nature, testing the very limits of even the sturdiest constructions.

One of the most important structural components of any home is the roof and guttering, which together, ensure your home stays dry and secure in even the most extreme weather. But time and damage can eventually result in this waterproof barrier being breached, leading to serious structural damage.

Spring; a great time to inspect for signs of damage

A good practice for every homeowner is regularly inspect the roof and guttering for signs of weather damage or age related deterioration, and the perfect time to do it is spring. The skies are clear, and the ravages of winter storms are gone for another year.

Roofing company NYC and guttering NYC generally last many years, but when weather related damage or deterioration begins, the external signs that indicate something is wrong can often be quite subtle despite significant, but hidden structural damage already developing.

Structural damage from a leaking roof or failing guttering system can result in permanent damage to foundations, roof and wall timbers; irreversible ceiling, internal wall and carpet damage; water penetration into electrical wiring and light fittings; and even a complete or partial ceiling collapse.

In most cases, a self inspection can be done from ground level, but for a proper assessment, you may need to get a closer look from a ladder. Inspecting attached carports, verandahs and room extensions can also be done from ground level, but it is much more accurate from the roof.

If you don't feel comfortable about climbing ladders, or you would like a professional opinion about the condition of your roof or guttering, we would be more than happy to send one of our trained Roof Technicians to conduct an obligation free inspection.


Early Symptoms

Dirty marks may be seen forming on the timber and scotia beneath the gutter. You may also see rusted nails in the Scotia, a tell-tale sign that moisture is trapped behind the timber.

To the untrained eye, these symptoms may seem like a problem originating in the timber, but they are almost always caused by a leaking corner or join in the gutter. These subtle marks can take up to 20 years before they begin to appear, and may seem relatively harmless, but beneath the surface there is a potential catastrophe unfolding.

The continuous seepage of water from the gutter becomes trapped behind the scotia and fascia. Because of the absorbent nature of timber, the trapped moisture is drawn into the fibres of the timber causing wood rot. This fungal disease completely destroys the structural integrity of the timber, eventually causing it to collapse, often without warning.

Point to remember: If you see dirty-marks or water-marks on your fascia or scotia, and it's near a join or a corner of your gutters, you can be almost certain that water is leaking from your gutters.

Advanced Symptoms

Advanced symptoms of rusted guttering and water damage can become very obvious after only just a few years of constant leaking.

Once guttering has reached a stage where it has rusted through and falling off the fascia, it not only becomes completely ineffective at channeling water away from your home, there is also the very real risk of it collapsing and causing physical injury.

The longer guttering is left in this state, the more extensive the damage to your property. Water running into the foundations of your home can create serious structural problems. Timber fascia's and scotia can become so damaged by wood rot that they will all need replacing. There is even the risk that wood rot can spread into major timber structures such as the ends of roof trusses.

Guttering is like any maintenance problem in your home. The longer you leave it the more damage it is going to cause, and the more complex the problem becomes.

If you can see rusty guttering, water dripping under carports and verandahs, or there is any evidence of water damage to timberwork, you know that urgent attention is required to prevent serious structural damage. It really is time to call in the experts

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