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Skylights: Where the Leaks Start

Modern Skylight Installation

A skylight is basically a large hole in your roof covered with glass, or a window put on the roof instead of in the wall. The trouble is that any hole in your roof is a leak waiting to happen. 

Older styles of skylights were the worst. Plexiglass bubbles inserted in the roofing. Two problems are associated with this. First is there is nothing to channel water around the skylight. Second, the plexiglass tended to degrade from the UV rays of the sun. This caused the skylight to become brittle and eventually crack, allowing water in and cool air out.

Large old style plexiglass skylight in a flat roof

This is an old style plexiglass skylight in a flat roof. Notice the dried out patching that has already been done to this skylight.

Old Style Plexiglass Skylight

This is another old style plexiglass skylight in a shingled roof. Again, notice the dried out patching that has already been done to this skylight.

Modern Skylight

Newer skylights have curbs built around them. Usually 2×4’s with metal or peel & stick flashing to prevent moisture from getting from on the roof into the home. Now, you can get them in insulated glass with low E films to prevent a lot of the solar heat gain that older skylights caused.  

Solar Tube skylight
Finally, we have the Solar Tube type skylights. These won’t give you a beautiful view of the nigh sky, but they will pull natural daylight into the home with very little thermal gain. The opening in your roof is reduced to about the same size as a plumbing vent, much smaller than a typical skylight, and much less prone to leaks. They system works with stainless steel tubes in the attic down to a diffuser in the ceiling about the size of a typical can light.
 To get your roof inspected, call i-Inspect at 407-497-5190 or visit our website at www.i-inspect.biz. 
Copyright © 2020 i-Inspect, LLC, All rights reserved.

Time to Clean the Gutters

gutter full of leaves

Ok, it is Autumn here in Florida. The temperature may not show it, but the trees have figured out there is less daylight and are shedding their leaves. Leaves like to collect: in corners, in roof valleys, and especially in gutters.

Gutters full of leaves do not drain properly. In short, they stand water. Water standing in leaves picks up the tannic acid from the leaves and can corrode metal gutters. Standing water can also overflow the gutter and enter the home through the facia. There, it will begin rotting the wooden facia and start causing all sorts of other problems (wood rot and other fungi).

The best cure for all of this is to get your handyman or spouse or self on a ladder and dig that stuff out of the gutters. Use leather or other protective gloves as there is not much telling what is in that stuff. While you’re up there, look at the roof. Do you need to blow the leaves out of the valleys? Are the shingles still in good shape?

Be careful on the ladder and stay safe.

Roof Drains Done Wrong

One roof should never drain onto another roof. This will shorten the life of your shingles where the upper roof dumps water onto the lower roof.  Take this new home for example. The upper roof had gutters installed, but they dumped the downspouts onto the lower roof.  This took all of the water from the upper roof surface and concentrated it into a 4 inch wide pipe. Shingles were never designed to handle water volumes like that.

To make matters worse, at the other end of the home, the downspout flows water across the shingles. Shingles are not designed to be waterproof, but to shed water. Flowing large amounts of water sideways across the roof surface is inviting water to get under the shingles. Once that happens, it is not long before a leak will occur.

This was not a small home, but a large 5 bedroom home in a new subdivision.  I’ll say it again, if you are purchasing a home, new or old, you need a Licensed Home Inspector to go over the home with you.  It can save you much more than the cost of the inspection. Contact i-Inspect today for your home inspection needs.

 

 

 

 

Citizen’s Four-Point Inspections: New Form, New Price

Citizen’s has come out with a revised Four-Point Inspection form. Insurance agents are supposed to only accept this form as of September 1, 2018.  In order for our client’s to have this form by that time, we will begin using the new form July 1, 2018. This gives 60 days for anyone to close and have the new form on hand.

The new forms asks for much more information than the previous form. In addition to everything the old form asked for, inspectors are now required to test most of your household appliances for a four-point inspection, report any visible signs of leaks on the ceilings or in the attic, take photos of each slope of the roof and each side of the home. Due to the increase in time to gather information and the increase in time to report the information, the price of this form must increase as well.

 

Plumbing Vent Boots

You see these on almost every roof.  They are the vent pipes that let the sewer drain pipes “breathe”.  Without vents, your drain pipes would not function properly.  Much like holding your finger over the top of a straw and finding out the liquid will not drain out of the straw, your drainage system needs to allow air in to allow liquids out.

Most of our vent drains have a lead boot covering them.  Something like this:

DSC07927

But if you have squirrels in your neighborhood, and they travel across your roof, they will often stop to gnaw on these lead vents.  Evidently, chewing on the lead feels good to them. The down side is that once they chew through the top of the boot, moisture (rain) can get into the home via the gap now in the system.  This water will drain down into a wall cavity where it and it’s associated damage are hidden from view.

Here we can see two examples of failed boots.  They both are allowing water into the walls of the home.

DSC08842a

DSC07862

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