At first glance, a roof looks pretty plain. But on second look you will see many accessories that require care. Some of the most common are:
– Roof vents
– Chimney spark guards
Flashing is sheet metal bent to fill the gaps around chimneys, vent pipes, and valleys where two roof slopes come together. Remove rusted old flashing and install a new pieces.
Tuck the new flashing carefully under the edges of the roofing. Always seal it with asphalt emulsion or calking compound.
There are several kinds of vents. Small pipes, two or three inches, are usually sewer vents. Larger pipes, frequently made of asbestos, are for venting gas or oil water heaters, exhaust hoods over stoves, or bathroom fan exhausts. Vents that discharge hot air must rise four inches above the roof although local codes vary.
Inspect roof vents for rust or clogging. If the vent has a protective hood, keep that in good repair, too. Extend broken or rusted vent pipes by using a slightly larger pipe as a collar. Then add the extension pipe.
Gutters control water running Dff the roof. They should slope toward the downspout about 1/8 inch per running foot. Clean out gutters at least every six months. Screen guards and leaf strainers will help prevent clogging. Check the hangers and secure or replace them when necessary. Be sure to cover with roof cement any nails that are driven into the roof.
It is a good idea to have a chimney spark guard on every chimney. Spark guards are made of 1/8-inch mesh hardware cloth. They keep sparks from landing on the roof. Don’t use a smaller mesh or it will clog with soot.
Gutters direct water flowing from the roof. They must be kept clean and securely attached to the roof. Pay special attention to cleaning elbows and bends. A clogged downspout can be snaked out. Galvanized gutters are joined with solder; aluminum gutters are held together with mastic cement and aluminum pop rivets.
Broken or rusted vent pipes are hazardous. Leaves and debris can lodge against them and hot air from the vent could set this material on fire. It is important to keep vents long enough and hoods in good repair.
Two ways of building spark arresters from hardware cloth. Every chimney should have one.
When you are on the roof also check antennas. The wires and anchors should be secure and free from rust. Be sure the roof is solid when the anchors are set.
When checking anything attached to the roof or eaves, look for rust getting into the wood. Rust can cause a type of rot that weakens wood.