Show Notes: WHINK, ROOFING, BEER AND NUISANCE CRITTERS (11/30/13)
What the Carey Bros. are Talking About:
WHINK, ROOFING, BEER AND NUISANCE CRITTERS
James and Morris were primed and full of energy as they helped callers tackle their projects and problems. And it is National Drink Beer Day!
Joining us this week was Daniel Rabaduex with Whink. The company is a part of the fabric of America, located in rural Iowa, making all their products, and packaging in the USA. Whink products run the gambit of uses for so many household cleaning chores.
Our “critter guru” Peter Pape with Liquid Fence was on hand today to solve listeners pest problems. Dogs, cats, gophers, roof rats, mice, and the always-popular squirrel problems. We can’t wait until Liquid fence perfects their squirrel repellant!
Ray Lopez our ACE Roofing expert was on hand to give us some
good advice to make our roofs ready for winter.
Sandy Robins reminded us that it is World Rabies Day. If you want to know how important rabies vaccinations are visit Sandy’s feature page
To read all bout it.
Thank to all our callers and listeners, you make the show!
Websites mentioned on this week’s show:
• Quikrete – Concrete Coatings
• Victor-Rat Zapper
• Whink -America’s Household Problem Solvers
• Liquid Fence- Eco Friendly “Critter” Repellents
Preventing and Repairing Roof Leaks
With wet weather on the way in many parts of the country, now is the time to inspect your roof.
A roof leak can result in significant damage to insulation, walls, ceilings, flooring and personal property. If undetected, a leak can cause rot that will endanger the structural integrity of the roof framing system and cause costly repairs.
The larger the leak, the greater the damage, however, we have seen pin hole leaks in galvanized sheet metal flashings that have required the replacement of an entire ceiling.
According to the National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA), a roof should be inspected at least twice annually once in the fall before the rains and again in the late spring to determine how it fared during winter, the season toughest on a roof.
Most homeowners can inspect a roof for troubled areas and, if handy around the house, can make the required repairs. If, on the other hand, you have a fear of heights or otherwise feel uneasy about attempting such a project, many professional roofing companies will provide a free inspection and provide a written estimate outlining the required repairs.
If the thought of climbing on the roof brings on high anxiety, consider using a pair of binoculars for a closer look. It’s a good idea to limit traffic on the roof to prevent damage to shingles or tiles.
Using the binoculars, look for loose shingles or shakes, or, if you have a tile or slate roof, for missing or cracked pieces. On shingle roofs, look for curling, fraying, and tears at the edges. Check the flashings around chimneys, vents, skylights and other roof penetrations. They should be tight and in good condition.
Good flashings, especially those at roof edges and penetrations, are crucial. Many roof leaks are actually flashing leaks. Rusted flashings should be cleaned up, repaired and painted with a rust-resistant paint. Severely deteriorated flashings and vents should be replaced.
Leaves, pine needles and other debris inhibit the roof’s ability to properly shed water, and are the cause of water backing up between shingles or around flashings. Clogged gutters and downspouts are another cause of leaks. Clear sticks, leaves, tennis balls and other debris from drains, scuppers and gutters. Bad drainage is only slightly better than no drainage.
Sometimes a visual inspection of the roof isn’t enough to determine where a leak exists. In this case, a water test is in order. You’ll need to venture atop the roof to do this effectively. Use a firmly braced or tied-off ladder equipped with rubber safety feet and wear rubber soled shoes to avoid slipping.
Using a garden hose, run water onto the areas where a leak is most likely. For example, if there is a water stain on the ceiling just in front of the fireplace in the living room you’ll want to concentrate on that general area with your water test. The chimney flashing may be the culprit in this case and a water test is sure to expose it.
It’s useful to have a helper located in the attic when performing this test. He can readily detect where the water is making its way through the roof.
When making the water test, work your way up from the lowest part of the slope. This makes it easy to tackle one area at a time and allows you to work on a dry surface.
Once the source of the leak is found, you’ll either attempt the repair yourself or call in a professional roofing contractor. Sometimes a dab of roofing adhesive, a touch of caulking or a small shingle patch is all that’s required. Other times flashing, vents or sections of roofing must be torn out and replaced, in which case hiring a roofing professional would be wise.
If your roof is fifteen years or older or has leaked periodically, its condition should be evaluated once annually by a roofing contractor. For some older roofs, repairs are temporary at best and a new roof should be considered to preserve the integrity of the home.
If you decide to install a new roof, there are two alternatives: re-covering installing a new roof over the existing one or replacement wherein the old roofing is removed. While some building codes will allow the application of up to three layers of roofing, we recommend that all existing roof cover be torn off before the new roof is installed.
Frequently the roof sheathing or wood decking below the roof cover is rotting as a result of leaks or excessive condensation due to poor attic ventilation. The only way to effectively inspect and repair this damage, is by removing all of the existing roof cover. Furthermore, having the roof sheathing exposed is a prime opportunity to look for protruding nail heads that can damage roofing, and become the source of future leaks.
Another disadvantage to multiple layers of roofing is the weight that is placed upon the roof structure. Too much can cause rafters and other roof framing members to sag or even fracture.
When selecting a contractor, remember that all are not alike. A new roof is a big investment take your time and make a smart decision. Use good common sense and follow these guidelines:
Ask friends and neighbors for the names of contractors they have used and would recommend.
Look for a company with a proven track record. Be sure the contractor has a permanent business address and phone number.
Be sure the contractor is licensed (where required) and check with the licensing agency to check the status of the license. Get three to four written estimates.
Call your local Better Business Bureau to find out if there are any complaints on file against the contractor.
Ask for a list of customer references and take the time to check them out.
Be certain the contractor carries liability and worker’s compensation insurance. Ask for certificates of insurance.
Insist on a warranty for both materials and workmanship, and at contract time, get it in writing.
Be sure everything is in writing scope of work, materials, warranties, price, and start and completion dates.
Be wary of contractors with very low bids. They may have to cut corners to make a profit. Remember, price is only one of the criteria for selecting a contractor.
Gutters, Downspouts, Drainage … and More
Gene Kelly would probably not be remembered as well for his part in “Singing in the Rain” if the movie set had been equipped with rain gutters.
When it comes to the place you live, the last thing you’ll be doing is singing if you don’t properly manage watershed at the perimeter of your home. You can control roof water, the water that hits the roof, by using rain gutters, downspouts, and sub-surface drainage pipes.
Roof gutters have been made from stone, copper, wood, metal, and plastic, to name a few. Their cost versus their value differs, to a great extent, on the architecture of your home. For example, a turn-of-the-century Victorian would not have as much value with plastic gutters as it would if it were retrofitted with the wood type that was originally installed on the eaves.
Naturally, unless you have a European castle, stone gutters are out. But the rest are all viable alternatives.
Copper and wood are among the most expensive types, but copper is the longest lasting of all the types. Yes, all metals oxidize, but copper does it more slowly than most. However, copper does have its shortcomings. As it oxidizes, it produces a by-product that is poisonous to insects, fungi, plants, and yes, people too.
Although wood lasts several decades, it is extremely expensive to replace. The most common gutters in use today are made from galvanized sheetmetal. The sheetmetal is made from heavy gauge tin that is galvanized on both sides to retard rusting.
Aluminum is less prone to rust than galvanized sheetmetal, but it is not as strong as its tin alternative; therefore, the aluminum is more easily damaged. Aluminum gutters are most commonly referred to as “seamless gutters” because the metal is so soft that it can be formed on the job site in lengths that traverse from roof corner to roof corner without joints (seams) in between.
Plastic gutters and downspouts are the least expensive to buy and the easiest to install, but, unfortunately, they have the shortest life expectancy. The material is fragile and can’t (or shouldn’t) be painted. As with all polyvinyl chlorides, plastic begins to oxidize from Day One.
If plastic is all that your budget allows, go for it. You’ll cut down on the cost of other repairs and will be able to upgrade to a longer-lasting alternative sometime in the future.
In our opinion, you get the best value by installing galvanized sheetmetal gutters and downspouts. They should be painted to ensure lasting quality, and you will have to control rust from time to time.
Galvanized gutters can be a do-it-yourself project if you’re real handy with tools. But for many, this project is best left to a sheetmetal person. We have fabricated and installed gutters and found the process to be time-consuming, but far from difficult. Installation requires specialized tools that can cost almost $100 — a pop-rivet gun, a scribe, end cap crimping pliers, circle cutting snips, and regular tin snips, to name a few.
Although not widely advertised, you can buy galvanized sheetmetal gutter parts (inside and outside corners, downspout angles, and so on) that make installation easier for the do-it-yourselfer.
To install the gutters, follow these steps:
1. Cut the gutter to length.
2. Crimp the end caps in place.
3. Seal the seams with liquid aluminum.
If you need more than one length of gutter, simply overlap the joint an inch or so, install two or three pop-rivets, and seal the seam and the rivet holes with liquid aluminum. Soldering is not required.
The same holds true for installing downspout outlets, which also come ready-made:
1. Place the outlet upside down inside the gutter.
2. Scribe a line in the gutter along the inside of the outlet.
3. Cut out the hole, turn the outlet right side up, and push it down into the hole you made.
4. Wash the gutter with vinegar or a mild acid cleaner, use a metal primer, and then paint on the final coat.
Gutters and downspouts are only two of many elements that make for effective watershed surrounding a home. What happens beyond the downspout and the conditions that exist around the perimeter of a home can either act in harmony with gutters and downspouts to protect a home or negate their value entirely.
Winter rain and excess water due to poor drainage and excessive landscape irrigation change the condition of the soil beneath your home — expanding it in some places and making it mushy in others.
Imagine dry soil as a stack of dishes before dinner, and imagine wet soil as that same stack of dishes after dinner. The stack of dirty dishes is much taller. When the earth gets wet, water fills voids between plates in the earth and the ground level rises. The reverse occurs when the ground dries out. You probably aren’t strong enough to lift your foundation, but wet earth is.
If you can prevent water from getting under your house, the dirt underneath will very likely remain stable and house movement will be minimal. Moreover, you can prevent the wood framing members under your home from becoming damaged by fungus and rot by keeping the crawl space dry.
You can control surface water (the water that hits the ground) by shaping and grading the earth, concrete, brick and other surfaces around your house so that they shed water away from your foundation. This can be as simple as using a garden rake or as complex as replacing concrete, depending upon the conditions that exist.
Rainwater that your gutters collect (and subsequently downspouts transport) should be transported away from your home. Geotechnical engineers (soils engineers) recommend that roof and ground water be diverted to at least three feet away from the perimeter of your home. We think 20 feet is better.
The best means of transporting this rainwater is to tie all of the downspouts into a solid three-inch plastic drainpipe that is buried below the surface of the soil. The drainpipe should then discharge into a municipal storm drain system or drainage culvert.
If budget or other circumstances do not allow for this configuration, at a minimum, place pre-cast concrete or plastic splash blocks that divert water away from the foundation. In addition, a host of temporary pipes and tubing material can be placed above ground to carry water from downspouts and away from the foundation. Disadvantages to these devices are that they are temporary and can be a trip hazard.
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• Wet & Forget-The Ultimate Outdoor Moss, Mold, Mildew and Algae Stain Remover
• Consumer Product Safety Commission-Recalls and Product Safety Information
If you need any more information about today’s program, please contact us and we’ll try to help you find what you need. Thanks for listening to On The House with the Carey Brothers!