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Thursday, December 31, 2009

Santa Is Not The Only Stranger On Your Roof, the 300 Rule

Imagine a chimney. Start a fire. Step back and enjoy the warmth. You expect the smoke to leave and go up the chimney. It does. Magic!
Now let's put a random hole in the chimney somewhere between the fireplace and the top of the flue. Now what happens. Coughing, choking, gagging, smoke damage... The random hole now is the intake. The chimney effect has been short circuited.
That's what happens when a roofer guesses and starts putting random holes in your roof. The chimney effect stops. Put turbines in a house with gable end vents and soffit vents and the gable end vents become intake rather than exhaust. The soffits don't draw in cool air anymore and the floor of the attic, the part that attacks your pocketbook, remains hot while the top of the attic, where nobody cares, is cooled.
Another random venting solution the untrained roofer uses is the placing of lots of vent ridge. If the ridges are of different altitudes, even just one of them, they communicate but the soffits are left out of the conversation. Plus, too much exhaust and the suction will look to pull air out of the house through the light fixtures, kitchen vent a hood, the hall attic access, the hot water closet, or anyplace it can. The negative pressure can even pull from your ducts and plena. Now that will cool your attic.
Next the spent gas from your gas fired HVAC and hot water heater is drawn back down and will at least cause headaches but at worse death. Then because the house has a slightly lower pressure, measured in fractions of an atmospheric unit, radon gas starts infiltrating the home from the ground. The slab won't protect you. It makes it worse. As the concentrations of gas build up they start penetrating along plumbing penetrations and cracks. (Read this last link please.)
Now look what the roofer did. He killed your kids. He at least made them sick with carbon monoxide. And don't forget the mold. No wonder your kid has asthma. You used a guy, who said he was a roofer, that had no training, no certification, no liability insurance, no clue as how to do anything but nail on a shingle. Even that part of his job is suspect because he started wrong. Instead of using a starter shingle he took a 20 year shingle, the cheapest made, and turned it upside down and backwards. If your lucky, the roof will blow off before your wife divorces you and reports you to the authorities for jeopardizing your children by letting this stranger, one you didn't check out, on your property, and on your roof. The only stranger getting on my roof is Santa Claus, who the proper municipal authorities have vetted and granted a permit to do such things as get on an icy roof.
Lord knows you didn't mean for all this to happen. Maybe all you wanted to do was stimulate the economy by paying for energy, destroying your decking, compressing your insulation, shortening the life of your roof, and filling up the landfills. Now the medical bills are piling up along with the divorce attorney's. What's a homeowner to do? Cut fewer holes in the roof guaranteeing hot attic syndrome or cutting holes and torturing the family with radon gas and CO, not the friendlier CO2?
Do a little research is all. Check for certifications, insurance, Better Business Bureau, and if you get that pit in your stomach, do a criminal background check. The guy knocking on your door may have killed other families with RANDOM ROOF HOLE SYNDROME.
See you at the funeral.
I love Dallas and it's people. I've lived here my whole life, except for a semester in Rome, so I'd like to keep her people and her roofs safe.

Jon Wright

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