Briesemeister and his crews worked around the clock when the disaster struck, and kept up a grueling schedule for several weeks after the hurricane conditions subsided. He explained that one of the worst things you can do to your home is to allow moisture to permeate the interior and sit for any length of time.
“As much as we enjoy the Virginia rain for our gardens, it can do irreparable damage to a house. Mildew, mold, rot – not one of those things does a bit of good. The volume of water that came down last year was really harmful to people that were not ready for it. Ceilings were caving in all over the place and ruining everything below.”
When asked how home owners can prepare for stormy weather, the roofing contractor had valuable advice to offer. His first point was obvious – make sure your roof is in top condition! But if you have not kept up with the repairs, look for signs of accumulating water and get rid of it as quickly as possible.
“The one thing you want to watch out for,” he said, “is your ceiling bulging under the weight of pooling rainwater. Once it starts to soak through the drywall you’ve got big trouble. When it loses structural integrity, your ceiling will come down in a minute, bringing gallons of water with it.”
Briesemeister emphasized the importance of providing the water a way to drain off. You start by placing a bucket directly under the swell in the ceiling and then poking a hole through the drywall with a screwdriver. The force of the water streaming through may continue for hours, but in most cases the ceiling will stay put. The drywall will have to be replaced, but you’ll save the rest of the house from water damage.
He added, “I would rather see people spending money for improvements that increase the value of a home than using it to repair damage that could have been avoided. Let’s hope Fairfax citizens take the precautions needed to protect their homes.”
Ken Briesemeister is the owner of Improve Today Inc, a Fairfax roof repair company. You can visit his website at www.roof.net or read his roof maintenance tips for homeowners on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/