By Robert Lamoureux, Signal Contributing Writer
I really enjoy your article, it’s helped me many times over the years. I’m pretty handy but don’t know all the big stuff to do with construction but I get by pretty well.
Recently, we put our home up for sale and they required a termite report, which stated that the four large 6-x-6 posts that are mounted to the concrete, need to be lifted off of the concrete. I don’t understand this, they are sitting on concrete and are stable, what is there to do with these? It’s solid as it stands, and the report doesn’t state why this needs to be done, or what they expect of us in order to fix this properly. I’m at a loss, can you shed some light on this for us please, we’d like to not have any delays in the sale, but the clock is ticking and we need to address this promptly.
What the report is calling for is the installation of stand-off brackets. These are a metal bracket that will itself be bolted to the concrete. This bracket is about an inch high, so when you attach your post to this new bracket, you’ve now lifted the wood off of the ground where it currently sits in a way that can harbor pests and moisture, offering opportunity for rot and infestations.
If you’re handy you’ll understand what I’m about to say: Get a bottle jack or an automotive jack and lift the patio cover at each post, shore it up enough to move the post, core the concrete and install the new bracket. You’ll now have to cut the post to the new length, and reinstall this post, now into the new bracket. There are holes to core your post to bolt it to the bracket, don’t forget this step. Do this at each post, and you’ll accomplish the requirements of the report. It may sound complicated but as a handy guy I’m sure this is something that you can do.
I am a fan of the article and really thankful for your expertise. I have to admit though, I haven’t been a good student when it has come to the roof maintenance articles, as I always felt that they didn’t apply to me.
Due to a roof leak from last year that we had fixed, I have now become a believer in roof maintenance and now it is time for me to get up there and accomplish this task for the season.
Unfortunately, I failed to pay enough attention to the details of a roof maintenance and the products that are used, so am asking if you could recap in brief and mention the product also, please.
I’ve attached some pictures so you could see, and I’m hoping you’ll be able to give me a few tips specific to my roof’s condition.
Thank you in advance, for your expertise.
In looking at the pictures, it appears that you have a bit of work to do on some areas of this composition roof. Generally, the maintenance is low on these types of roofs, and it appears that the shingles themselves are in decent condition based on what areas I am able to see in these pictures. I don’t see that there are damages or curling edges, though I do see that you have at least one shingle missing.
You’ll have to purchase a bundle to replace this, but it is never a bad idea to have some extras on hand that match, in the case of a situation like this. There are other areas though, that could use your attention. Don’t worry, it doesn’t look bad, but it definitely shows the need for maintenance. You will be glad that you did this, once the rains and potential winds begin.
In the photos of the roof vents you reference, I see a good amount of cracking. You’ll want to chip away any of the loose material, which is a product called Henry’s 208. This is a very tar-like product that once dry, seals the area applied and, ultimately, looks like what you see after weathering. The cracks that you see are due to weathering and are expected, but become sources for potential water intrusion. Once you have the loose material removed, you’ll take your new Henry’s 208, which is available at all big box stores, and apply it with either a brush, old gloves or something of the sort that will help you get the product directly to the area.
Expect that whatever you use for applying it, will be the last time you use it because this product is unforgiving!
Definitely plan on throwing away the applicator. Do this to all of the areas where there are joints on your roof, you’ll see where the installers used this product and you’ll follow their lead, with these same methods.
Keep your eyes out for other problem areas, and if you have any questions, feel free to reach out and check in with me.
Robert Lamoureux has 38 years of experience as a general contractor, with separate licenses in electrical and plumbing contracting. He owns IMS Construction Inc. in Valencia. His opinions are his own, not necessarily those of The Signal. Opinions expressed in this column are not meant to replace the recommendations of a qualified contractor after that contractor has made a thorough visual inspection. Email questions to Robert at