Archive for June 2010
Before you go to the expense of calling in a roofing contractor, see if you can analyze and repair your roof problem yourself. The best possible time to repair your roof problem – is as soon as you realize that you have one and if the weather is calm enough to climb up onto the roof. In fact, this could be further qualified by saying that the best and most economical way to a trouble-free roof, is to inspect the roof regularly, so that you see the problem developing.
A leak from one dislodged tile is a small and inexpensive matter, but if you do not inspect your roof regularly, this will go unnoticed. By the time that you DO notice it, it may be because water is dripping into your spare room! This means that this whole area of the roof structure is soaked, the ceiling will need to be replaced and hopefully the flooring will recover.
Always check your roof after a wind storm, as most roofing is not designed to withstand fierce winds. Scrutinize the tiles for cracks, splits and torn-off corners; also check for lifting. Lifting is a common cause of roof leaks, and can be easily rectified. Be aware of multiple tiles lifting, as this could be a sign that the roofing material is too old and is warping from all the weathering.
Climb into your attic/loft and ensure that any insulation that you have in your roof is not right up against the roof itself. There has to be a gap for air to circulate; also when a roof heats up and there is insulation directly behind it, this heat is thrown back into the roofing and excessive heating like this can damage and warp the roof.
Another weakness in all roofs is the flashing. Flashing is designed to provide a watertight junction between roof materials and structure, especially if the roof projects out or changes design (as with extension roofs). If you are installing a new roof, it is worthwhile to get the flashing ‘inspected’ as it is a common failure area.
Often the simple fact that the gutters, leading into down pipes from the roof, are blocked with leaves and twigs can cause a problem. Roofs must have adequate run off, especially in the areas which may have snow. Water trapped in the gutter will mean that it will back up the roof for a few inches and have time to seep into the edges of the roofing tiles. Not all homes have adequate perimeter protection on their roofs, although this is one good feature to ask for on a new roof.
Quite often homes incur roof leaks all at the same time (often after strong gales winds and torrential rain etc). This can mean that all contractors are busy and you have ‘stop up the leak’ until you can get help.
If you do get a leak, and you have placed buckets under the dripping water, be aware that the leak may be in a completely different place than it would seem. Locating the source is difficult, as water can run along horizontal timbers and appear to be leaking from a place that is sound. Getting up into the attic and actually looking for a wet spot on the roof decking will be an accurate way to tell.
If you can find the spot an emergency patch can be made applying roofing felt and using plastic cement to hold it until you can call in a contractor. You can also attempt to repair it yourself, if it is just a shingle that is damaged. You can carefully prize up the roof shingle by removing the three or four nails that are holding it in place; next, apply a generous coating of tar beneath the tear in question, and also coat the underside of the shingle with a with a coat of tar before putting it back in place. Add a spot of tar to each nail head. Most roofing companies advise against the ‘liquid’ asphalt repair products.
Roofs can also be temporarily repaired using roof membrane and sealants. Care must be taken to clean the roof surface first to ensure that the sealant will stick and keep the leak protected from rain etc. In fact, as long as the roof is clean and dry, the wonder of the 20th. Century – duct tape – can also be stuck onto the roof!
The world today has a plethora of advanced technological means of protecting their valuables be it jewelry, an expensive electronic gadget, piece of art, or antique that you have paid a fortune to make yours!
However, with all good things, there is something bad and security systems are no exceptions! This means technology too can fail!
Looking at the brighter side, like I said all your hard-earned valuables could be protected today without your having to worry 24/7 whether your favourite diamond ring or antique Chinese vase is no more yours when you get back home after a hard day at work!
However before you embark on a search for the best security system for your home, you need to do a reality check. Your best option is to ask your family and close friends- people you trust, about their security systems if they have one. Take a note of all the problems they may have had with their security systems since they installed them. This will help you to cross-question all the security firms that you visit and hence clear your doubts too!
Another important consideration is how much are you ready to shell out to secure your home, now I do not mean just buying the equipment required because the expenses do not end here. If you want a complete security system, you also have to consider paying the security firm that is going to monitor all the events while you are away!
Now to give you a lowdown on the options available to you,
One you can go in for a do it yourself kit, but again I suggest this option only if you are confident of setting up the system and of coarse also if you want to save on costs. However if you goof up, you are obviously going to be spending a lot more then you thought of saving in the first place!
Second, you can visit a security firm who will give you a customized system according to your requirements and budget, they also monitor all the events 24/7, and you will be charged for these daily services. For the best firm in the market and of coarse one in your area you can you can search on the internet or again ask friends and family.
To understand the technical jargon in layman terms you can read on.
In terms of location, you have:
As the name suggests such alarms are usually used to stop the intruder at the boundaries of your property. They are fairly simple in design, why? The answer is simple; because while guarding a perimeter your aim is to stop the intruder outside and hence will want to sound an alarm if somebody crosses the boundary because if they are inside the your property your alarm was ineffective! Simple switch circuits are very effective for such purposes. Good examples of these are the open circuits and closed circuit alarms explained later on in the article.
Now if the intruder has managed to bypass or deactivate your perimeter alarm then you need to protect your house too meaning the inside of the building! Again, there are various ways to do so such as use body heat to detect the presence of somebody inside the building and sound an alarm on detection or vice versa i.e. radiate energy from a source and monitor its reflection, if interrupted the reflection changes and you can sound an alarm. If you want an extensive and detailed alarm system, you can put up a surveillance system with hidden cameras, which of course will cost you a fortune but it is worth it if you have a fortune to protect!
In terms of circuits, you have:
When the intruder completes the circuit by his action of intrusion, he triggers the alarm. For example, a button embedded into the doorway or magnetic switch embedded into a window will trigger an alarm if the door or window is opened.
In such a system, the electric circuit is complete when the door or window is closed and hence if an intruder opens the door the current path is broken triggering an alarm. Now both these systems- open and closed circuit are very naïve in their designs and hence have to be controlled using a control box so that the intruder cannot deactivate the alarm easily!
In terms energy:
This means you have a source that emits either radio waves or ultra sonic rays into the room and records the reflection of these rays when they travel back; now if somebody comes in the range of these rays their reflection pattern changes and this can be used to trigger an alarm.
These systems use a detector/sensor to sense a rapid change in infrared energy in the room. What this means is, that when a human enters the field of the senor there is a rapid increase in the level of heat, which is sensed by the infrared sensor; this in turn sends a message to a controller, which in turn sounds a combination of alarms set by the user.
Therefore, if you are looking for an entire home and property security you can go to a professional who will do the installation as well as monitor your home or office for you. Otherwise, you can opt for a do it yourself kit advisable for those who are technologically inclined or at least those who can follow instructions!
Finally buying a safe to protect your valuables from fire or theft is an essential part of sound home and business security. With a wide range of safes available there is something to suit everyone.