Steven L. Smith, Bellingham, WA Home Inspector (King of the House)


Mind the Gap

I remember, when I was visiting the United Kingdom, riding the Tube -- the underground train -- I kept hearing these words on the P.A. system in the subway --

"Mind the Gap"

At first, being a greenhorn, I did not even know what they were talking about. Actually, it is a reference to the gap from the landing platform to the train. There really is quite a gap and you have to be careful to avoid being maimed.

This same expression "Mind the Gap" is a good one to remember when flashing dormer areas at a roof. The photo below shows deterioration of the siding. At the top, you can see a piece of metal flashing.

Fact is, there was a metal flashing installed at this dormer -- I think retroactively. It had not been there forever on this older home. However, even when they installed the flashing, they failed to trim the siding to end above the roofing material. As it is, the siding had been absorbing water for years. This photo shows that deterioration and weathering, with some decay.

If you are building or remodeling, take this advice: Install a metal flashing and don't forget to "mind the gap".

Steven L. Smith

 Bellingham WA Home Inspections


Steven L. Smith

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Comment balloon 9 commentsSteven L. Smith • October 25 2008 10:23AM


Thanks for sharing mind the gap...  Lots of home have this same issue in our area...  Good to point out... Diane

Posted by Diane Daley (Caron's Gateway Real Estate) over 10 years ago


Glad it was of interest to you.

Posted by Steven L. Smith, Bellingham WA Home Inspector (King of the House Home Inspection, Inc.) over 10 years ago

Steve, as you know this is often a problem in our area.  Sometimes there is a gap----at least originally----but now with three layers of shingles on top of the old wood shingles, the gap is long gone.

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) over 10 years ago

I see this one a lot.  Many times after the home has been re-roofed fairly recently even!  I have a listing right now that just got a new roof in the Spring and has no flashing on one part, just like this picture. I keep telling them this will happen....

Posted by Joel Weihe, Helping you to use your VA home loan benefits (Realty World Alliance) over 10 years ago

I learn so much from your informative, fun and upbeat posts. Thanks for sharing such interesting information.

Posted by Vickie Nagy, Vickie Jean the Palm Springs Condo Queen (Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate) over 10 years ago


I know what you mean but, believe it or not, this place had a complete tear off. That was a single layer with only felts below.


Thanks for the compliment. The best is yet to come, I hope.

Posted by Steven L. Smith, Bellingham WA Home Inspector (King of the House Home Inspection, Inc.) over 10 years ago


Very sound advice, and it could save a person big time down the road.

Thank you

Tom Braatz

Posted by Tom Braatz Waukesha County Real Estate 262-377-1459, Waukesha County Realtor Real Estate agent. SOLD! (Coldwell Banker) over 10 years ago

Yepper .... definite water damage to that siding. Looks like they need to replace the siding with something that will not rot...... or don;t have it touching the roof.

Looks like a good job for Nutsy to be checking out.

Sean Allen

Posted by Sean Allen, International Financing Solutions (International Financing Solutions ) over 10 years ago


You are all correct.

Posted by Steven L. Smith, Bellingham WA Home Inspector (King of the House Home Inspection, Inc.) over 10 years ago