Spring is here, and summer is quickly approaching. So it's only a matter of time before daily afternoon showers and rising temperatures will accompany our every move. We can handle it, but our homes can't.
This home is nearly 100 years old and it's still standing. But as you can see, it's clearly got hurricane damage. Inside is worse. "We're still covered with a blue tarp here," says Southwest Louisiana Home builder's Association President Chad Deshotel.
He took a look at a home's attic and noticed a lot of hidden factors that may cause even more problems for this family. "These tarps here have outlived their life span of what they expected. And water is entering this house from the tarp," Deshotel says. So much so, it's leaked through the roof into other rooms. "As you look around here, you'll see buckets in areas catching the water," says Deshotel. That poses another problem. Deshotel says, "Water staying up here in buckets is breeding grounds for mosquitos now that the weather is warming, mosquitos are coming out."
With daily spring and summer showers on the way, this roof needs repairs, or the buckets need to emptied more often. Deshotel says, "If it starts raining, the volume of rain, your house may start leaking. And the wind starts tearing your tarp."
Another issue is the approaching higher temperatures. Deshotel says, "If you do have holes in your attic, you're losing your energy efficiency of the attic as far as heat coming in." Deshotel says most damaged homes have disturbed insulation and have lost overhangs. "Your energy bill will probably be a little more expensive as far as running your A/C trying to keep your house cool."
So what can you do to avoid more leaks and rising temperature? "This resident has used foam to seal up some of the cracks to keep the water out of leaking through the cracks of the house here," says Deshotel. The foam can also be used as insulation, but according to Deshotel, not much else can be done. He says, "There's not a whole bunch you can do to patch it, truthfully. You can lay another tarp on top, but anything you to with a tarp is going to be temporary," he says. And it could be dangerous. "The tarps are going to be very slippery to walk on."
Deshotel says replace and seal what you can on your attic. Just don't risk injury. The home survived Rita, and it can survive more rain and rising temperatures.