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Engineer Insights

Downspouts that discharge directly onto lower roofs can cause excessive wear on shingles. The downspouts should be routed directly to the ground or connected to the gutters of a lower roof.

Check your pool and spa for compliance with the Virginia Grahaeme Baker Act.

At playgrounds, monitor the mulch level to ensure proper depth. Some playground equipment even has depth markings to indicate recommended mulch levels.

Don't use an oil-based stain on decks installed over EPDM rubber roofs.

Past problems with hydraulic elevators with single-bottom cylinders built before 1972 were subject to possible catastrophic failure. Although some juristictions have delayed the requirement for replacement, we strongly recommend contacting your elevator specialist to evaluate your elevator for compliance with current local code requirements.

To maximize the useful life of wooden posts and columns, keep mulch, vegetation and other debris clear of these components.


Previous Insights

  • Replacing shingles on a sloped roof? Specify the tear-off method. It provides you the opportunity to have all the roof components, such as the roof deck, thoroughly inspected for problems.
  • If your building has plywood siding, keep vegetation or landscape elements away from it to prevent water absorption, which can cause warping, delamination and rotting.
  • When repairing or replacing stucco, specify a noncholoride, high-strength Portland cement repair mix to minimize future deterioration. Visit www.cement.org/stucco for more details.
  • To maintain asphalt pavement in parking areas, apply seal coat periodically. But first, repair cracks and patch where needed. Asphaltic emulsions are the most cost effective seal coat.
  • If your property uses electric heat tape in the gutters, be sure to turn the heat off during the summer months.
  • Remind homeowners to keep grills away from vinyl siding to prevent warping and scorching.