About the House: Keep water where it belongs

Originally published in The Sturgis Journal

By Rob Kinsey

Keeping up with needed repairs requires looking at conditions that adversely affect the house.

Whether the economy is bright or dull it’s always imperative to make sure every dollar spent on the house gets used to the fullest extent possible. 

If you’re a follower of Benjamin Franklin, you’re already saving and budgeting. But if you operate like most of the world, you’re scrimping for every project.

To get the best bang for the repair dollar, it’s necessary to put it in the right places. This means looking at the most important aspects of the house and making sure those areas are taken care of first. Keeping up with needed repairs requires looking at conditions that adversely affect the house itself in addition to the health and safety of the people living there. 

To review a list I wrote about a while ago, I’ll review the top three items again. In no particular order of importance: Water, water and water.

Controlling those three items follows next on the list. In short: Keep water where it belongs, like tubs, showers, sinks, and pipes, and keep it away from places it doesn’t belong, such as cabinets, flooring, attics and the storage boxes in the basement. It’s basic stuff, but not always simple.

If you’re intrepid, you can personally check the exterior areas, such as the roofing and flashing, as well as chimneys, plumbing vents, skylights, antennas and anywhere a lower-level roof ties into an upper wall. If you’re not able, hiring a professional contractor or inspector to check these areas will be money well-spent. It takes a trained eye to spot those areas where work has been done in a less-than-desirable manner. 

Even properly installed flashing can wear out over time, leaving a leak-prone place on the roof. Unfortunately, many re-roofing jobs are done without benefit of proper flashing replacements. Many installers slip by with a heavy coat of tar around roof penetrations like chimneys and vents.

This is a sign of the widespread ignorance about the merits of roofing tar’s ability to last a long time. It doesn’t. Any tradesman who insists on using tar for anything other than a temporary repair is one who has not learned the ins and outs of proper flashing techniques. 

Timely inspections and proper flashing keeps the wet stuff out and keeps critical areas dry About the House.

Date : 11/3/2017