Looking for a gift idea for that someone who takes care of your home improvement needs? One of the best tool sets that I have ever used for general home improvement tasks is the Bosch 12 Volt Drill and Impact Driver set. These are small and compact tools that are powered by a rechargeable lithium battery. Though they are only 12 Volt batteries these tools are more than adequate for most home improvement projects.
The combo set includes both a 3/8 inch drill (Bosch PS 31) and an impact driver (Bosch 41), two batteries and a charger. Highly recommended.
Amazon Link: Bosch PS 31 and PS 41 Combo Kit.
Something is going on with this ceiling. The homeowner noticed a growing stain on the ceiling that seemed to get worse every time it rained. This corner of the ceiling is under a low area of the roof and located directly under a roof valley (junction of two sloping areas of a roof). This stain is a good indication that the roof is leaking.
There was a previous leak in this same area, you can see the square area where a previous repair has been completed. Obviously the leak wasn't repaired adequately or a new leak has formed in the same area.
Common areas of roof leaks are roof valleys, junctions where a vertical surface abuts the roof or penetrations from pipes through the roof. The homeowners had a roofing company inspect the roof and they found an improperly installed valley flashing. The roofers repaired the flashing and made the roof water tight again.
Once the leak has been repaired, it's time to open up the ceiling and assess the damage. The drywall needs to be cut from this section of the ceiling and any wet insulation needs to be removed. Inspect the attic area and try to find all the remaining water on the joists and wooden components. The repair area needs to be left open to dry before completing any repairs.
Brick and mortar chimneys exposed to water over time will deteriorate. Though bricks are more or less indestructible the mortar holding them together is prone to damage and eventual failure. Once the mortar between the bricks cracks and begins to fall out the bricks and structural integrity of the chimney are sure to follow.
These pictures show some typical long term water damage to the mortar between bricks on a above roof chimney. Someone noticed this problem before and attempted to fix the failing mortar with silicone caulking. This is not the correct repair technique - caulking is not going to do anything to stabilize the brick.
This chimney needs repair - the bricks need to be "re-pointed". Re-pointing is the process of removing the old mortar joints and replacing with fresh mortar. This is within the realm of ability of most homeowners but it is a tedious job and depending on location could pose some safety concerns. If this project doesn't appeal to you or you are not comfortable being on your roof, look for a masonry repair specialist to do the job.
The following is a link to a nice overview of repointing-brick on the This Old House website.
Brian Jovag, owner of Jovag Home Inspection.