in the Southwest desert our homes see some of the most extreme temperatures
in the nation and are exposed to some of the harshest conditions for building
materials anywhere.Â Â The information belowÂ will help you identify some of the
issues that could contribute to costly repairs or damage if not addressed
before the onset of our next monsoon storm.
Roofing System: What Should You DoÂ â€“
If your roof is 10 years old or
older and you have not had your roof inspected in the last five years (regardless
of what style or type of material is on your roof) you should contact a
licensed roofing contractor today and schedule a roof inspection!
Roofing Systems ExplainedÂ â€“ Whether it is a shingle or tile roof, roofing
materials often reach 160 degrees or more as a result of elevated
temperatures in the attic. Â Materials used to seal dissimilar materials
at the valleys, chimneys, vertical walls and vent pipes expand and
deteriorate over time at these high temperatures.Â The typical useful
life of most of these sealing materials is three to five years, so it becomes
extremely important to have the roofing system inspected by a qualified
roofing contractor a minimum of every five years.
storms typically bring driving rain that will penetrate cracks and crevices
in the roofing system and may also enter attic spaces through defective
turbines and attic ventilation systems.Â Turbines are designed to rotate
with a light breeze and will deflect incoming rain during a storm; however, a
faulty turbine will allow the wind driven rain to rapidly enter the
attic,Â so itÂ should be sealed or replaced as soon as possible.
a roofing contractor need only spend a couple of hours on your roof using
inexpensive materials to properly seal any potential points of moisture
penetration and can typically provide you with a 12-month guarantee against
future leakage.Â The cost for such service should be no more than a few
hundred dollars if no major problems are identified and will be far less
expensive than a roof leak and the associated water damage after the fact.
Air Conditioning System: What Should You DoÂ â€“
IdentifyÂ your primary
condensate drain(s) and ensure they are running freely and that the water is
clear.Â When you find the primary drain, look up.Â Normally you
will see a similar pipe high on the wall, which is the secondary condensate
drain line.Â If the upper pipe is dripping, or you are unsure about were
your primary condensate drain is running,Â you should contact a qualified
air conditioning technician to ensure your system is operating properly.
Air Conditioning Systems ExplainedÂ â€“ Typical air conditioning systems in the Phoenix
area are either a split unit with a condenser coil at ground level on the
perimeter of the home, or a package unit located on the roof.Â
Regardless of which system you have, the air conditioner acts as a
dehumidifier and removes moisture from the conditioned air within the
home.Â This moisture (or condensation) must run to the outside of the
residence in a pipe.Â This pipeÂ is typically identified by a white
3/4 inch PVC pipe terminating at a 90 degree turn-down at a low point on an
exterior wall of the residence.Â It isÂ also known as the primary
the case of a split unit, the evaporator coil, or air handler, (the other
half of this system) is typically located in the attic or, in some cases, a
hallway closet or garage.Â It is this evaporator coil which produces the
water that must exit through the condensate drain line.
normal air conditioning months this condensate drain will
drip.Â Â However, during the monsoon--months of high humidity--this
drain line will run with water.Â Additionally, in homes with the
evaporator coil in the attic, there should be a secondary drip pan to catch
any water that may overflow the coil in the attic. Â Condensation
overflowing the unit in the attic is not uncommon and is typically a result
of poor filter changes or no maintenance on the system.Â This secondary
condensate drain looks much like the primary condensate drain, only it
typically comes out high on the exterior wall.
Grading & Drainage: What Should You DoÂ â€“Â Ensure the openings from the rear of the property,
typically gate(s) and area drains, are open on both sides of your property
and are allowing the free flow of water to the front of the residence.
Â Look at the grading and drainage of your lot and ensure that excess
water does not pond adjacent to the exterior walls or foundation of the
residence. Â If neccessary, have any ponding areas modified to ensure
proper drainage away from the structure.
Grading & Drainage ExplainedÂ â€“ While the furthest thing from our minds at this
time of the year is water building up around the perimeter of the residence,
this is the most common time of the year that water intrusion or ponding
water causes structural issues and moisture damage.Â Monsoon storms can
bring as much as an inch of rain per hour or more, and ensuring this water
does not pond up adjacent to the foundation is a critical concern.
residential lots are designed to drain the water from the roof and yard
during a heavy rain to the street and, ultimately, the municipal storm drain.
Â In the case of a block fence this means there are limited ways for the
water in the backyard to get to the street.Â In most cases we have a
gate in one side-yard and a block with decorative holes at the base of the
block fence in the other side yard.Â This hole at the bottom of the
fence is typically called an area drain as it allows the water to drain from
one area (backyard) to another area (front yard).
these area drains become clogged with litter, or the landscaping has been
modified in such a way that the water from the backyard does not freely run
to the front yard, then moisture penetration and/or structural movement due
to ponding water activating expanding or compacting soils under the
foundation becomes a real possibility.
AccuPro Inspection Services
we not only do state certified home inspections, but also mold inspections
and testing; indoor air quality testing; and maintenance and safety
inspections; or any other limited inspection based on your specific needs or
concerns.Â Call us anytime and we will be happy to answer any questions
you might have, and if we can't or don't know the answer, we will find
someone who does!
$25 Discount â€“ Please mention
this newsletter when you talk to our staff about your next inspection, or let
your friends or family members know about our services, and we will give them
a $25 discount off their next inspection.