The Importance of Roof Maintenance

A well-maintained roof protects the building occupants and structural elements from extreme weather. It is recommended that the roof be inspected annually or bi-annually to identify potential issues.

Roof Maintenance

Prompt repair of minor problems prevents the spread of rot, mold, moss, and algae. It also improves energy efficiency, which benefits the environment and reduces energy bills. Contact Red Stick Roofing Of Louisiana for professional assistance.

When it comes to preventing water damage to a roof, flashings are one of the most critical components. These are pieces of sheet metal fabricated to a particular shape that seal areas where a roof meets walls, chimneys or vents. The majority of leaks in a roof come from these areas, so they should be examined carefully on a routine basis to prevent serious problems.

If you find any damaged flashings, you need to fix them as soon as possible. This is typically a fairly simple task, but you will need to remove some of the shingles and may have to reseal the area with roofing cement. It is important to avoid putting a new layer of flashing over an existing one, as moisture can get trapped between the two layers and cause additional damage.

In addition to repairing the flashing, you should also examine it for any signs of rust or corrosion. This can occur if the flashing was not installed correctly or if it has been damaged by the elements. If you notice any rust, it should be removed and replaced immediately.

Flashing around a chimney should be particularly carefully inspected. Chimneys often leak, and this is usually caused by improper flashing installation or the presence of ice dams. A thorough inspection should include a look at the mortar, as well as the flashing and caulk around the chimney.

Likewise, you should inspect the flashing at other points where penetrations into the roof occur. If the flashing is not properly installed or the caulking is cracked or missing, you should replace it immediately.

A routine inspection should also include a look at the attic ventilation system. Insufficient attic ventilation can lead to moisture build-up in the summer and ice dams in the winter. It is important to have these systems inspected and, if necessary, cleaned and lubricated.

A final check should be made to ensure that all skylights and roof vents are in good condition. You should also examine the gutters and downspouts for any signs of debris. Finally, you should check for any moss or mildew and remove it as needed.

Trim Tree Branches

Trees and shrubs add visual interest to your yard, but they can also create issues with your roof. Branches that hang over the roof should be regularly trimmed to keep them at a safe distance from your house and to minimize their impact during stormy weather. This helps to reduce the likelihood of branches breaking off and falling on the roof or surrounding structures, as well as preventing leaf accumulation that can clog gutters.

Heavy branches that scrape against the roof can remove shingle granules and cause damage to the roof. This can lead to leaking, mold growth, and other problems that should be addressed immediately after a storm. Additionally, if a branch falls during a storm, it can break windows and damage the siding of the home.

Trimming tree limbs can be a dangerous job. It’s best to hire a professional to do this so that you don’t fall off the roof or get hurt trying to do it yourself. They’ll be able to use the proper equipment, including a pole pruner that allows you to cut high branches without having to climb the tree.

When trimming tree limbs, it’s important to start with the healthiest branches and work your way down. Cutting diseased, dead, or dying branches before they fall can prevent insect infestations and reduce the risk of branches falling on your roof. In addition, trimming tree limbs can help to keep the roots from coming too close to the foundation of your home, which can affect its stability.

Keeping trees and other plants at least 10 to 20 feet away from your home is ideal. This gives them room to grow while ensuring that they are not touching the roof or other parts of the house. It also helps to avoid soil erosion, which can damage your foundation. If you notice that a particular tree is getting too close to your house, it’s best to consult with an arborist or a professional tree service to see what needs to be done. If a tree is unstable, it may need to be completely removed.

Clean Debris

A roof is not only an aesthetic feature of a home; it protects against the elements, and needs to be maintained regularly. One important way to keep your roof in top condition is to clean the debris that gathers on it. Debris can impede drainage, lead to leaks, and attract pests. Debris can also damage shingles, making them more prone to shingle tear and shortening their lifespan. Regular roof cleaning prevents this debris from building up and causing damage.

The easiest way to remove debris is to use a blower. This method is quick, efficient, and effective. However, a soft broom is also an option that won’t damage the surface of the roof. A hose can also be used to remove debris, but it’s important not to apply too much pressure. Too much pressure can damage or strip the granules that protect the roofing material.

Before cleaning, inspect the entire roof for any damaged areas. Check for cracks in the shingles, which may need to be repaired. Also, look for moss, mildew, and mold, which can cause rot, and are best cleaned with a solution of one part bleach to three parts water. It’s best to use a ladder and wear safety gear while working on the roof, including a harness and fall arrest equipment.

After removing the debris, it’s a good idea to rinse the whole roof with a hose. Then, choose a cleaning solution to help prevent future buildup and extend the life of the roof. A commercial roof cleaner with biodegradable chemicals is ideal, but it’s also possible to use car washing soap, detergent, or vinegar.

When finished, don’t forget to clear out the gutters. This will ensure rainwater flows through as intended and helps to avoid gutter blockage, leaks in the attic, and water damage to the exterior and interior of the home.

Finally, make sure to clean out any vents, chimneys, and skylights. A chimney needs to be cleaned frequently with a brush to clear away a soot-like substance called creosote, and vents and skylights need to be inspected for leaks.

Remove Snow

Snow may be fluffy and light, but when it begins to accumulate on the roof it can become heavy and dangerous. It’s recommended that homeowners remove snow from their roofs regularly to prevent ice dams, water infiltration and structural damage. However, since the job is often messy and risky, it’s best left to a professional.

Snow removal is best done in the spring or early summer before winter’s icy build-up arrives. However, the exact timing will depend on the type of snow. Wet snow packs tightly and requires more frequent attention, while fluffy dry snow can often be left a little longer.

The best method for snow removal is with a roof rake, which can be purchased from most home improvement stores or hired from a local landscaping and roofing contractor. Ideally, the rake should be used on a flat roof with minimal overhangs. Overhangs are the most common site of ice dam formation. The rake should be placed at the top of the overhang and pulled downward to remove snow in small sections.

It’s important to always stay on the safe side and never climb on a snow-covered roof, even with a rake. It’s easy to slip, and falling off the roof can be extremely dangerous. If you must access the roof, make sure to use a ladder that is properly secured and set up on stable footings. It’s also wise to wear appropriate footwear, such as boots or shoes with good traction, and to take frequent warm breaks while on the roof.

Sitting snow can cause shingle damage, as it becomes oversaturated and warps the underside of the shingles. It can also promote mold and algae growth, and clog gutters. The long-term damage to the shingles can lead to leaks inside the house.

Additionally, sitting debris on a roof can attract animals, such as squirrels, raccoons and mice. They may chew on electrical wiring, and their droppings can contaminate the attic insulation and create a biohazard. Additionally, they may chew through the underside of shingles and allow water to seep in between the shingles and into the house.

Water Heater Repair – What to Do When Your Water Heater Is Leaking

If your water heater is leaking, it should be repaired as soon as possible. Leaks can cause significant damage to your home and are dangerous for your family’s health.

Often, a small repair is all that’s needed to restore your water heater to good condition. If your unit is beyond its expected lifespan, however, it may be worth replacing. For more information, click the Learn More to proceed.

If you’re dealing with an insufficient supply of hot water in your home, it could be a sign that the thermostat isn’t working properly or the heating element is broken. In this case, you’ll need to replace the thermostat or the element, or both. While you can try to do this yourself, it’s often best to hire a professional plumber. They understand the intricacies of these appliances and can offer you a service guarantee, which helps protect your investment.

Thermostats can last up to ten years but might need to be replaced earlier if they become worn out or are corroded due to mineral build-up. This is why it’s important to perform regular maintenance on your water heater, such as flushing the tank and draining the dip tube and the pressure valve.

Before you begin:

  1. Make sure you shut off the power to your water heater by turning off the circuit breaker in the service panel.
  2. Once the power is off, open the access door and disconnect the wires from the old thermostat using a flathead screwdriver.
  3. Remove the old thermostat and install the new one, making sure it is set at the correct temperature of about 115 to 125 degrees Fahrenheit.

You’ll also need to reconnect the electrical wiring and restore power to your water heater by flipping the breaker switch back on. Now, turn on the water supply valve to allow water into your water heater, and then turn on the hot water faucets in your home to test if it is producing warm or hot water again.

This DIY project is only recommended for those who have experience working with electrical devices. It is especially important to ensure that you’re wearing proper safety gear, such as gloves and eye protection, while handling gas lines, which are highly combustible. If you’re unsure of your ability to handle this project yourself, call in a professional plumber from Babes Plumbing, who will be able to safely repair or replace your thermostat. They can also help you troubleshoot the issue and provide preventive maintenance to keep your water heater running smoothly throughout its life span.


When your water heater starts to fail, it can disrupt your daily routine in a big way. You may not be able to take a shower, wash laundry, or even clean dishes. This can create a lot of stress for your family. If your heater is on the fritz, it’s time to call a Carter professional for help.

If you have a water heater with a parts warranty, that could cover the cost of your repair. If you don’t have a warranty, repairing your unit could cost as much as replacing it. If this is the case, it might make more sense to replace your water heater instead of attempting to fix it.

Over time, scale and calcite can build up on the heating elements. This can reduce the amount of heat they can generate, leading to their failure. They can also overheat, which leads to short circuits and electrical fires. These issues are a common cause of breaker trips in electric units.

A water heater element is made of a fine coil of nickel and chromium alloy wire. The more the element is exposed to water, the lower its resistance is. This is why it’s important to keep your water tank flushed regularly. Typically, a plumber will use a drain valve and a garden hose to get rid of the sludge and sediment that accumulate in a water heater.

The thermostat is another small component of a water heater that can break down or malfunction. Its role is to detect the temperature of the water, and when it doesn’t work, the heater will not function properly. A thermostat is relatively inexpensive to repair, and it can usually be fixed by a professional.

The dip tube is a tube that transfers cool water from the top of your water heater to the bottom, where it’s reheated by the lower element. Over time, the tube can wear out or spring a leak, which means it will mix in cold water and lower your overall water temperature.

Dip Tube

If you’re experiencing a lack of hot water in your home, it may be time to replace the dip tube. This is a long, plastic tube that fits into the cold-water inlet of your water heater and stops about 8 inches above the bottom of the tank. Its job is to push incoming cold replacement water to the bottom of the tank, where it’s heated by the gas burner or primary electric heating element. This process keeps dense, cold incoming water from mixing with the lighter hot water that rises to the top of the tank for use throughout your home. If the dip tube fails, your hot water supply will suffer and you’ll be forced to rely on lukewarm water.

Like most water heater parts, the dip tube can be easily replaced with the proper tools and a little know-how. First, turn off the power to your water heater. This is typically done at the circuit breaker or, for gas heaters, by turning off the pilot light. Next, disconnect the cold-water inlet pipe at the nipple where the old dip tube is located. You can usually unscrew the nipple with either a flat screwdriver or a wrench. After you’ve removed the old dip tube, you can insert a new one by using your hands to pull it straight up. A replacement tube should be cut to the appropriate length before being inserted into the nipple.

Once your new dip tube is in place, you can reconnect the cold-water inlet pipe and test your water temperature again. If you’re still experiencing a lack of hot water, it’s likely due to excess sediment buildup in the water heater tank. It’s possible that flushing the water heater tank, with the help of a plumber, will remove this extra sediment and restore your hot water supply.

Pressure Valve

The pressure valve is a water heater safety feature that prevents tank bursts by releasing excess water pressure. If your home’s water heater has a pressure relief valve, it should be tested periodically to ensure it works properly. A faulty or non-functioning valve can result in severe water damage to your home.

To perform a simple test:

  1. Turn off the power to your water heater by switching off the circuit breaker that is dedicated to it.
  2. Locate the drainage valve at the bottom of your water heater and attach a garden hose to it.
  3. Open the drain valve and direct it to a nearby drain, such as a floor drain or outside.
  4. Once the draining process is complete, close the valve and remove the hose.

Before you begin, be sure to wear rubber gloves and protective eyewear to avoid getting scalded by hot water or gas. Once you have disconnected the electrical wiring and removed the old heating element, it is time to replace it. Screw the new one into place and then reconnect the wires. Once all the connections are secure, you can return the power supply to the water heater by turning on the breaker again.

If you do not feel confident performing this DIY repair, it’s recommended to hire a professional plumber. Professional plumbers can diagnose the issue quickly and accurately, saving you both money and stress. In addition, they typically provide a service guarantee, giving you peace of mind that your repairs will be done correctly.

As you can see, a water heater can have many components that are susceptible to leaking or malfunctioning over time. By regularly testing and performing maintenance, you can extend the life of your water heater, minimizing costly repairs and ensuring that you always have access to clean, hot water in your home. If you are in need of a water heater repair or would like to learn more about how to care for your home’s plumbing, contact the experienced professionals at Babe Plumbing. Our family-owned business is available 24/7 to help you with all your plumbing needs.