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Puerto Vallarta News NetworkPuerto Vallarta Real Estate | May 2008 

What Your Home Wants You To Know - It's Time to Fix Your Roof
email this pageprint this pageemail usJim Morrison - PVNN


The rains are coming to Vallarta soon. It rains just about every day in the summer here - from 1-10 inches of rain or more per night. Roof leaks are tolerated, even expected in some buildings, but it doesn't have to be like that
 
Puerto Vallarta - When Senator Bill Bradley was running for the Democratic presidential nomination in the 2000 election, he got a lot of attention for using the phrase "The time to fix the roof is before it starts raining" in reference to our national budget. The man was more right than he could have known.

But in a very literal sense, the rains are coming to Vallarta soon. It rains just about every day in the summer here - from 1-10 inches of rain or more per night. That's a lot to ask of any roof. Roof leaks are tolerated, even expected in some buildings, but it doesn't have to be like that. Your roof can and should be watertight, and there's still enough time to have someone make it that way for you.

The first thing you should do is make sure it is clean. Most of the flat roofs I see are covered with trash, leaves, and old branches. If your roof has drains, make sure they are clear. Roofs and roof drains should be cleaned at least once each year, and more often if needed. The buildup of trash and tree matter is the cause of a lot of leaks on bay area roofs, and is very easily preventable.

Once it is clean, you can inspect it (if you can do so safely from the ground with binoculars) or hire someone to do that for you. Cracked, broken, or missing terra cotta tiles should be replaced.

If the roof is flat, is it simply painted concrete? Or does it have a waterproof covering? Concrete is naturally porous and absorbs moisture. Even if it is covered with a thick paint, it will leak. However, these roofs are common throughout the tropics, if yours is one of them, inspect carefully for cracks and have them sealed. Then, a water resistant coating should be applied annually. Ideally, a watertight roof covering should be applied over the concrete.

You should also pay close attention to roof penetrations (skylights, plumbing vents, air conditioning linesets, etc.) These are impossible to flash properly on a bare, flat concrete roof, and must be resealed regularly. Also, anyplace where the roof plane meets or intersects another portion of the house should be flashed, or regularly resealed.

Your inspection should also include a walk through the interior of the house. Look closely for areas on the ceiling where there is staining or peeling paint. These indicate a leak nearby, but not necessarily directly above the affected areas. If you find them, hire a roofer to locate and repair the leak.

The roof is one place where preventative maintenance really pays. Unrepaired leaks in our humid summers can deteriorate the structure of the house, ruin paint and furnishings, ruin your guests' vacation, and even foster some prodigious mold colonies. The time to fix your roof is now. You'll be glad you did.
Casas del Mar is a property services firm that manages, rents, and inspects homes all over the Banderas Bay area. Their philosophy is simple: "Listen to your customers, and don’t quit until they are happy. Ever." You can send them your questions at info(at)CasasDelMarPV.com. They are your real estate resource.

Click HERE for more articles by Jim Morrison.



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