roof maintenence: baja style

By gary kaufman, los cabos home inspections


    Repairing or replacing your roof can be expensive. Spending a few minutes every six months looking closely at your roof can help you identify roof maintenance opportunities that will help prevent costly repairs later.

Roof maintenance: What to look for

It's critical that you inspect your roof every spring and fall.

The 3 most common types of roofs found here in the Los Cabos Area are:

Flat roofs with a water proof membrane

Flat roofs with a torch down material

Tiled roofs
Water proof membrane roofs are a Liquid roofing application of a monolithic, fully bonded, liquid based coating to a roof. The coating cures to form a rubber-like elastomeric waterproof membrane, capable of stretching and returning to its original shape without damage. Such coating systems are usually reinforced with additional materials like fiberglass cloth to provide additional strength. The coatings can be applied over the most traditional roofing material found here in Mexico which is concrete.

To inspect a flat roof with water proof membrane, walk the roof and look for areas where the membrane is blistered or peeling. Sometimes a fiberglass fabric is applied along with the water proof membrane so check to see that the fabric is not ripped or deteriorating. If you find any areas of concern call a Roofing Contractor

 Torch down roofing is a type of roofing that consists of levels of modified bitumen--similar to asphalt--heat-adhered to layers of fiberglass. Used only for flat or nearly-flat roofs, torch down roofing is an excellent means of preventing moisture build-up and if properly installed will last for years. To inspect a torch down roof walk the roof and inspect all torched seams to see if they are deteriorating or peeling, if you find any areas of concern call a Roofing Contractor

 Tiled roofs are covered with clay tiles which come in various colors and some tiles are stronger than others. You have to be especially careful to walk a tiled roof. Try and spread your weight between two tiles and once you can walk on the ridge beam or “caballete” you can walk a little easier as these tiles are usually cemented in. Inspect the entire tiled roof area looking for: cracked, loose or missing tiles. If you find any problems call a Roofing Contractor.

If you see any signs of leaking, like dark spots on the ceiling, or mold or dampness take action immediately. Roof leaks get worse, not better, and it's better to spend a few dollars on roof maintenance rather than a lot on a big repair.

Other roof maintenance issues
The most common problem I encounter on my roof inspections is the amount of debris on the roof and especially in front of the roof drains:

Sweep or blow off excess debris on the roof. Sticks, leaves , palm branches, golf balls and other debris can damage shingles, cause algae to grow and eventually clog the roof drains
Trim any branches that are hanging over the roof to prevent damage
Especially inspect and clean in front of all roof drains

By Gary Kaufman, Los Cabos Home Inspections, 624-142-5592 office/fax, 624-180-2948 cell, www.loscaboshomeinspections.com