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Friday, June 24, 2011

Is your roof ready for the "monsoon" season?

Summer time is coming and every Floridian knows what that means: here comes the rain.  Although Florida does not have true monsoons by definition, the summer months are wet nonetheless, with Sarasota experiencing an average rainfall (Link to Country Studies) of 8.5 inches per month from June to September.  Is your roof ready for the daily pounding?

Inspecting your roof
One of the first steps in preparing for the rainy season is to check your roof for any necessary repairs.  It’s always a good idea to inspect your roof in the spring, before summer rains cause additional damage, possibly leading to a complete roofing repair job.  Extensive water damage combined with the increased humidity can also lead to other problems, such as mold.

Fortunately, inspecting your roof for possible damage is not as hard as it sounds.  Roof inspection involves inspecting both the inside and outside of the house.

Tools you’ll need
  • Flashlight
  • Chalk
  • Ladder
  • Screwdriver
  • Thin wire

Inside inspection tips
The first step is to go inside the attic (if applicable).  While in the attic, perform the following:
  • Examine the rafters, the roof sheathing (plywood) and the ridge beam (the beam at the topmost part of the roof).  Look for signs of water stains or dry rot, which often looks discolored in appearance.  A simple test for dry rot is to insert an ice pick or similar sharp instrument into the wood.  If you are able to easily insert the tool into the wood, you may have dry rot.  Mark any suspicious areas with chalk for later reference.
  • Assuming you are using a flashlight, turn off the flashlight and wait for your eyes to adjust.  Look for any areas where sunlight is seeping through the roof.  Insert a long wire through any holes that you find, marking those for later reference.

Important safety tips for outside roof inspection
Before we get into what to look for on the outside, we should review some crucial safety tips:
  • Always have a buddy – never inspect a roof alone!  Always have somebody with you that can call for help in an emergency.
  • Have the right ladder – if your ladder does not extend a foot or two past the edge of the roof, don’t use it!  Find a replacement ladder or call a professional.  When setting up the ladder, provide enough of an angle to prevent falling over backwards, and have your buddy hold onto the base of the ladder while you climb.
  • Wear proper shoes – preventing slips while on the roof is critical.  Tennis shoes or work boots are best.
  • If you are unsure, call a professional – we understand the desire to check for yourself but, if you are unsure of any part of the process or concerned about your safety, always remember that House Calls Maintenance provides free inspections.  Don’t risk it!

Outside roof inspection tips
Regardless of the type of roof you own, there are some common inspection points that pertain to all roofs:
  • Eaves and overhangs – inspect these areas for signs of water damage.  Poke any boards along the eaves and overhangs with a screwdriver to test for rot.
  • Flashings – flashings are metal pieces installed around protruding sections of the roof, in roof valleys, and in other areas meant to deflect water from seams and joints.  Look for tears and/or buckling in the metal.

When inspecting the rest of the roof, what you are looking for depends on the type of roof that you have.  The following are some inspection points, depending on the style of roof.
  • Metal roofs – look for signs of pitting, corrosion or rust.  Also inspect the roof for any loose or open seams.
  • Asphalt roofs – look for signs of shingle warping, tearing or curling.  Inspect the roof for any bare spots (no gravel), or for unusual amounts of gravel in the rain gutters.
  • Clay, slate, and cement – although these types of roofs should last a lifetime, note any broken or cracked pieces that you can see from your ladder.  Warning: Do not climb on these roofs, as the chance for slipping and falling is very high.
  • Wood shake or shingles – inspect individual shingles for warped or rotted pieces.

Roof damage should be fixed right away, especially before the rains come.  However, if you find more damage than you anticipated, or you find that the damage is beyond your abilities to repair it, give us a call.  Our experts can repair your roof at a fraction of the cost of roofing contractors utilizing many cost saving methods.
An affordable solution for your roofing problem

After conducting an inspection of your roof, you may discover that you need some serious roof repair.  In these troubled economic times, coming up with the cash to pay for such a job may be exceedingly difficult, if not impossible.

House Calls Maintenance has a solution that you need to hear about.

As a result of House Calls strategic partnership with Stroop Design and Construction Inc, House Calls is pleased to offer an affordable solution for flat roofs and low slope metal roofs: Conklin Roof Coating Systems.

Conklin Roof Coating is a liquid applied elastomeric acrylic applied to the existing roof of your house, condo, or commercial building.  Our experts utilize foam applicators, meaning better energy savings for you.  Conklin Roof Coating has many benefits:
  • Lightweight and seamless
  • Far less cost versus roof replacement
  • 30% or more decrease in energy costs
  • Potential utility rebates (Energy Star rated)
  • Pays for itself within 4-7 years
  • Adds structural strength and can be applied to most roof surfaces
  • 10-15 yr. non-prorated renewable warranty.

If you have roof problems, or you would like to find out how you can cut down on your energy bills, contact House Calls Maintenance today for more information and a free estimate.  For more information on the web, visit Stroop Design and Construction (  or visit Conklin’s Website (Conklin Roofing)

House Calls Maintenance is a full-service home remodeling and maintenance company serving the greater Sarasota and Manatee county area since 2004.  Whether you are looking for a home remodeling contractor, need a full service maintenance company for your investment or commercial property, require some home repair work, or just need a handyman for that small repair job, House Calls Maintenance is a one-stop center for all of your needs.

Questions, comments, or concerns?  Contact us at

A New Strategic Partnership

House Calls Maintenance forms strategic partnership with Stroop Design and Construction

As part of our continuing mission to offer our clients a wider range of home maintenance, home remodeling and home repair options, House Calls Maintenance (House Calls Website) is proud and excited to announce their strategic partnership with Stroop Design and Construction, Inc. SDC. (Stroop Design Website).  With over 27 years of experience, SDC is committed to the same professional quality workmanship and convenience that has made House Calls Maintenance so popular to its clients.

“House Calls Maintenance has always specialized in high quality, low cost repairs to properties,” said owner and manager Scott Corbridge.  “Now with the addition of Ed Stroop to House Calls, we have much more flexibility in pulling permits and adding higher quality renovations as well. Ed comes to House Calls with one of the best reputations in the Sarasota/Bradenton area for quality and integrity.”

SDC is a certified general contractor (CGC 1514781) and a proven industry leader in commercial and residential remodeling, additions, and consulting.  Successful projects include office construction, condominium renovations, medical offices, veterinary clinics, and churches.  SDC is a member of the Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce and the National Home Buyer’s Alliance (NHBA).

“I am very excited about our partnership with House Calls Maintenance,” said Ed Stroop.  “I believe it will offer clients economical solutions to all of their residential and commercial construction needs!”

From maintenance issues to home repair, and from handyman services to full residential or commercial remodeling and design, House Calls Maintenance, along with Stroop Design and Construction, can handle your project!