Q: A few roof shingles were blown off my home. My neighbor thought I should just go up and nail all the partially loose ones back down along...

Share story

Q: A few roof shingles were blown off my home. My neighbor thought I should just go up and nail all the partially loose ones back down along their lower edges. Is this a good idea? It’s a three-tab shingle roof that’s about 10 or 12 years old.

A: Composition shingle roofs have what is known as a self-adhering sealant strip. One shingle is basically melted onto the next when the roof heats up over a few sunny days.

If the roofing is not laid flat, or if nails poke way up into the strip, the strip is faulty or dirty, or the shingles are laid or nailed incorrectly, those shingles may never adhere. That makes them vulnerable to uplift and blow-off.

Nailing the shingles along their lower exposed edges will create small places for leakage to occur. Those areas will become larger as time goes on, and worse yet, will make the shingles prone to ripping and tearing.

The only way to get real results is to dab a bit of roofing mastic under each loose piece and push it downward onto the shingle below.

Q: I live in a new home on Snoqualmie Ridge, where the wind does blow! All four toilets in the house suddenly seem to have dropping water levels; the bowls fill to the proper level after a flush. There also seems to be water movement on occasion. My theory is that the strong winds are siphoning water out of the bowls due to venturi action (a vacuumlike effect) on the vent pipes. What do you think?

A: That sounds plausible, but unlikely, if the venting system is operating correctly. I’ve seen and heard about all kinds of weird wind phenomena on Snoqualmie Ridge — howling dryer vents, squealing windows, flying shingles, wailing feral cats, etc.

With huge gusts, I can see how the change in pressure would temporarily move the water in the toilet — temporarily, as in for a second or two. This may be as much a function of the change in pressure inside the house as one in the plumbing system. In that case, opening up a window just enough to equalize the pressure may be the ticket.

Even so, check the roof to see if there are any temporary test caps left on the vent pipes. Quite often, plumbers will forget and leave the test caps in, which would exacerbate this situation by creating a larger vacuum in the system with each gust.

Darrell Hay is a local home inspector and manages several rental properties. Send home maintenance questions to dhay@seattletimes.com. Sorry, no personal replies. More columns at www.seattletimes.com/columnists.