Your Home, Is it Healthy? Are parts of it asking for help? Can you identify and address issues that will make your home a more valuable, healthier and more attractive asset? How do you know something needs attention? This blog is intended to help you understand and address issues that affect your home.
We are beginning the new and improved Mr. Rick’s Blog with a series of “How do You know?” blogs. To improve a situation, you must first identify something needs to be done. We are going to address issues in the order that have come up most frequently in Mr. Rick’s inspections.
Roofs and moisture problems
Roofs that do not meet wind mitigation criteria
Lack of opening protection for windows and doors
Attics with poor insulation, shortened roof life and high utility bills
HVAC issues (heating and air conditioning, most frequently a service is required, not equipment change)
Foundation stability (not found often, but has been frequently very costly to address)
Exterior and siding problems
Wood destroying organisms – Rot and various insects
Radon (again not frequent, but important to assess and remediate if level is high)
Water Heaters (too old is the most common issue)
Electrical system deficiencies (including GFCI protection and Smoke/CO detection where required)
Plumbing issues
Interior fits and finishes
Window and door issues
We begin with roofs. But remember, if you can’t wait for the scheduled topic to come around and need information on an issue now, use our contact form at and ask away. Mr. Rick is here to help.

Roofs – How do I know if my roof needs preventative maintenance or even replacement?
First, you should be aware that a leaking roof is one of the most serious and costly problems that can affect your home. Water penetrating the home or building up in the form of high humidity can cause rot, create an attractive environment for wood-destroying insects and organisms and stimulate mold growth. High levels of moisture where it doesn’t belong can damage your home and your health. The most frequent situation allowing moisture to penetrate a home is a roof that needs repair or replacement. So how do you know your roof needs attention?
In this blog we are going to offer information, that will help you decide if your roof needs help. By far the most common roofing material is asphalt composition shingles and this blog will focus on that type of roof. Metal, tile, wooden shake or tar and gravel roofs are less common and will be addressed in the next blog.
Take advantage of a unique resource in Gainesville, FL.
Please note that we have in Gainesville, Florida, a rare resource you should use no matter what type of roof you have or who you have quote the job. is a link to a well-known roofing firm in the Gainesville, FL area. This firm not only offers free analysis and estimates, they have a unique showroom in Gainesville where they will be happy to educate you on all aspects of roof construction and the pros and cons of all types of roofing and roofing materials with no obligation whatsoever. It is free and invaluable. I have been through this education, and I highly recommend taking advantage of this resource. It will help you gain the knowledge you will need to understand repair/replacement quotes no matter who provides them.
Inspecting your roof.
It goes without saying that It is best (and safest) to have a trained/experienced inspector do the evaluation, but if you are a died in the wool DIYer, here is a list of things to look for when you inspect.
1. Age – The life of composition shingles will vary depending on quality of the shingle and the environment in which they are placed. The range is typically 15-to-25 years of useful life. If your shingles are in this range this is a clue that the end of their ability to protect your home may be near. If they are beyond this range it is highly likely that you need to think replacement.
2. Curled shingles – When the tabs of your shingles begin to curl up at the edges, this is a sign that the structure of the shingle and its adhesion to the underlying shingle is nearing or is at the point of replacement. (Photo 1)
3. Broken or missing shingles – Your shingle roof relies on the overlap of the shingles to create a water-resistant surface. If you find broken or missing shingles, repairs or replacement are required to prevent water intrusion. (Photo 2)
4. Shingle tabs easily lifted. If the adhesion of a shingle tab to the underlying shingle is poor (you can lift them with your finger) this is a sign that your roof is near or at the point of replacement. Rule of thumb, if 10% or more of the tabs you test lift easily the roof is saying replace me. (Photo 3)
5. Aggregate loss. The primary resistance your shingle has to sunlight and physical degradation is the granules imbedded in the surface of the shingle. With age, these particles begin to come loose. These particles end up in your gutters, or on the ground exiting your downspouts. If you find these run-away particles or can see bare spots visually on some of the shingles. Time to think replacement. (Photo 4)
Bottom Line
If you see any of the above symptoms, it is time to have a roofing professional assess your roof and offer a recommendation and quote.
In the next issue of Mr. Rick’s blog, we will discuss other forms of roofing and how to assess them.
Remember, if you have an issue that we haven’t addressed in the blog, use our contact page at and ask a question. “Mr. Rick” is here to help you. I’ll answer you via email, and with your permission, your question and answer may create a future blog presentation.