October 2005 Edition 

Chimney Leaks

We constantly have problems with roof leaks at our brick chimney. The roofer said it was because we do not have a saddle. What is a saddle, and how do you install it?           
Most older homes do not have saddles or crickets behind the chimney. The water running down the roof hits the brick chimney and, depending on the intensity of the rain, water can run beyond the flashing into the structure.
A saddle or cricket is a slope section of roof that is installed directly behind the chimney to divert water around the chimney.
A contractor needs to remove a section of the roof shingles behind the chimney. Then a frame needs to be installed with framing members called rafters. The frame is then covered with plywood and finally covered with roofing felt. Metal flashing is needed to prevent water leaks and is installed with the new roof shingles. 

 Roof Leak

We have a large water stain in our living room ceiling. How do you check for a roof leak?           
First of all, what is the slope of your roof? If the slope is over 3 in 12, which means it rises over 3 inches in a horizontal run of 12 inches, it may be too dangerous to walk on the roof and probably would be a good idea to call in a pro.   If it is a low slope roof, go outside and look at the roof directly above the area that has the stain. Do you have roof shingles that have been disturbed by a tree limb or are missing? Look for any type of damage to the shingles. Sometimes the roof may be leaking much higher up the roof, and the water is running down the roof decking and dripping on the ceiling further down the roof. It is advisable to go into the attic during a hard rain and look for water running down the decking. You can also look for wet spots in the attic insulation.
The most common type of roof leak is where a pipe penetrates the roof, and the roof flashing is leaking. Plastic plumbing pipes have rubber boots, and after 10 to 15 years, the rubber seal cracks allowing water to enter. Again, check for wet insulation directly under the pipe in the attic.           
Fiberglass asphalt shingles have an average life of 15 years. If your roof is older, it may be at the end of its normal life span. The older the roof, the more likely it is to start leaking. If you do not trust a roofing contractor to determine the life of your roof, have an independent home inspector take a look at it. They will give you an unbiased option. If you have multiple leaks, that is normally a sign that the roof is at the end of its normal life and probably needs replacing.

 Water Hammer

When we turn off the water, we hear a loud bang. What is causing this, and will it hurt anything?           
Such sounds are usually caused by a phenomenon called a "water hammer".
A water hammer happens when you turn OFF a water flow suddenly (like a dishwasher, a clothes washer, a toilet or even closing a hand faucet suddenly). Shutting off the flow suddenly sends a pressure or shock wave down the water line through the water shocking the pipes and creating the "hammer" noise. These shock waves travel faster than the speed of sound and can exert very great instantaneous pressures. Over time, water hammer can damage pipes, valves and eventually weaken pipe joints.            
To eliminate the problem, you can install a "water hammer arrester". (They're called various things such as air chamber, air cushion, water capacitor, etc.) They are air filled chambers connected to the plumbing that let the pressure wave dissipate
harmlessly into a cushion of air. If your banging has been happening forever, you may not have one.
A licensed plumber can easily install one for you on the water piping. 
Source: http://www.factsfacts.com/MyHomeRepair/PipeNoises.htm 

If you have a question, change of address, comment, home tip or would like to send Home Tips to your clients, send your letter to Home Tips, Christian Building Inspectors, Inc., 3697 Habersham Lane, Duluth, Georgia 30096. You can E-Mail your questions to us at rodharrison@christianbuildinginspectors.com. We reserve the right to edit questions for length. 

Quote Of The Month

"Criticism, like rain, should be gentle enough to nourish a man's growth without destroying his roots."

Frank A. Clark 

A Tip Of The Hat To:

Young Sook Park

America's Realty, Inc.

595 East Crossville Road

Roswell, Georgia 30075

**** Thank You****