How To Avoid Roof Disasters

The roof on your home is the first line of defense against the elements of nature, such as high winds, heavy rain, sleet and snow. Conducting a complete inspection-inside and out-each spring can help avoid costly problems later on. Look for these key danger signals that indicate your roof is not adequately protecting your home:

• Water, water, anywhere?-A home inspection should start with a check for leaks in the attic. This can occur and be most obvious after heavy, driving rains. Also walk through each room of the house and inspect walls and ceilings. Ceiling spots can be another warning sign your roof needs repairs. And peeling of interior or exterior paint or wallpaper, sometimes from excessive moisture or high humidity, can be a sign of possible inadequate attic ventilation. If more ventilation is needed, it can be relatively easy and inexpensive to install-even if you don’t need a new roof.

• Crack down on cracks-The most common leak sources on the outside include cracks in flashing around the chimney and vents, or worn-out, decayed or missing shingles. Check your gutters for debris, including granules in the gutter. If you find an excessive amount of granules, it may indicate aging shingles that should be replaced. While up there, check for any missing, cracked or curled shingles. These should be replaced quickly to avoid structural damage to your roof deck and the interior of your home. If any shingles are blistered, decayed or “dirty looking,” they need to be replaced, too.

If you find any of these potential problems and are in need of repairs, the first and most important step to take is to find a competent roofing contractor.

Poorly installed or constructed roofing systems waste American homeowners billions of dollars every year, according to GAF Materials Corporation, North America’s largest roofing manufacturer. Fortunately, most risks can be avoided with a professional roofing system that’s correctly installed, maintained and/or repaired.

GAF offers access to a database of factory-certified, prequalified roofing contractors. Every contractor is licensed and insured, and pledges to work on the homeowner’s roof as if it were its own.

Get the Most Value from Your Roof Insulation

The basic gauge of the effectiveness of any insulation is its R-value. Insulation is designed to stop the flow of heat. The more heat the insulation stops, the higher the R-value of that insulation.

When compared to fibreglass batt insulation, spray foam insulation has a higher R-value at a given thickness. In other words, 2 inches of spray foam will insulate your roof better than 2 inches of fibreglass batts.

Cellulose fill, either blown-in or applied by hand, also has a higher R-value than fibreglass batts at the same thickness. But, again, the R-value of spray foam insulation is almost twice as high as cellulose fill insulation of the same thickness.

As important as R-value is in how well insulation works, it is not the only thing to consider when choosing the best roof insulation. Moisture will cause both fibreglass batts and cellulose fill to lose R-value. Even slight moisture, that you can’t see or feel, can reduce the R-value of fibreglass batts.

Neither fibreglass batts or cellulose fill insulation can seal every gap in your roof. Heat can pass through the open gaps and this reduces the R-value of the insulation, although the R-values listed for fibreglass or cellulose do not take this into consideration. In other words, the actual R-value of installed fibreglass batt or cellulose fill roof insulation is lower than the listed R-value.

Spray foam insulation is not affected by moisture. In fact, it can stop minor leaks because, when it is applied, spray foam insulation spreads to fill every gap and seal your roof. Pollutants and other airborne irritants that might get through the gaps left by batts and fill are kept out by spray foam insulation.

Perhaps best of all, insulating your roof with spray foam insulation costs about the same as other insulations.

The spray foam roof insulation specialists at Foam Comfort have the experience you need to get the most from your insulation.