TomKruger's blog

Roofing…Overlooked and underappreciated

Overlooked and underappreciated, that’s the roof.  Most buyers drive up, may
glance at the roof and then start assessing the home's curb appeal.  Curb
appeal is important, but the roof is the most important part of the home and
deserves more than just a casual glance.  After all, here in Grayslake, IL,
the roof is going to protect the home from the sun, wind, rain, ice, and
snow.  It’s going to keep the rest of the house from being damaged.  The
whole idea of the roof and roofing materials is to keep moisture from
penetrating into the house.  Look at the roof closely.  Now is the time to
start thinking of questions to ask your Grayslake Home Inspector.
The roof can tell a story about many things
that are going on in the house. By looking
at the ridge line, or top line of the house,
there can be indications of structural
problems.  Look at roof the right. The ridge
line is slightly lower in the middle than at the
ends of the roof, it means that weight of
the roof is bearing down on the roofing 
rafters and forcing the ends of the rafters toward the outside of the house.  This can be accompanied by bowed exterior walls, or a separation of the joint between the soffit and thehouse.   A lack of what are known as a collar ties may be cause of this condition.
In the winter the lower part of the truss (the cord) can shrink forcing the
rafters to rotate slightly up thereby causing the roof to have a hump.  This
condition leaves in the spring as the lower part of the truss warms up and
expands.  If the ridge line is lower on one end than the other, it is an
indication of a foundation problem.  This condition requires checking for
vertical cracks in the foundation walls opposite one another.
Low spots or valleys that resemble waves across the roof indicate one of
several problems.  The first could be that the material used to create the
roof deck was not strong enough for the distance covered from rafter to
rafter.  Meaning, that the trusses or rafters were set too far apart for the
thickness of the material used to create the roof deck.  The wavy condition
could also be the result of wood that has become damp.  As sun bakes the roof
and heats the moisture in the wood, the wood fibers tend to relax, causing a
slight bow as they are cooked.  The wavy condition is the visual result of
either of these conditions.
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