A couple months ago, I had to dash out to the truck before bedtime to grab my trusty travel mug. There was no way I going to go out in the morning before making my first coffee of the day, like a common chump. No, I like to sit that mug in position for immediate, morning deployment.
As soon as I cleared the front door, I was buffeted by strong, evening winds. Tiny bits of greenery from the mesquite tree and sandy grains peppered my face as I jogged towards the driveway. From above, I heard the howling fury-of a burning helicopter being swallowed whole by a drunken banshee. It was a high-pitched squealing mixed with a violent, metallic clatter. It was one of our rooftop, turbine vents. I'd need to get up there before it destroyed itself.
This post is sponsored by WD-40 Company. All the experience and opinion is 100% my own.
I promptly ignored it for the next 60 days as the weather calmed to the absolute paradise of springtime in Phoenix. But after that brief pause, I figured I'd better get after it, before the horrors of summer in the desert would make rooftop and attic work significantly unpleasant.
To the Roof!
I had plans for a weekend without an emergency room visit. Our single story home isn't Mount Everest or anything, but scaling it with an extension ladder is so much easier and safer than an A-frame. I like to wear a pair of good, grippy boots too.
We have four of these whirligig vents scattered across our undulating rooftop. They are supposed to twirl and pull the heat out of the attic space. Not one of ours were spinning in the light breeze of the afternoon. Lazy slackers.
I trudged around the roof giving each one a good spin. I could feel a little gritty, grindy resistance in one of them, two of them gave a humming kind of squeak, and the fourth was pretty smooth. I used some paper towels to do a little cleanup to get some of grit and grime in and around the pivot points.
One neighbors had a fan torn up in a previous storm. The next morning it looked like the jagged top of an old tin can, bent 90 degrees, leaving an open, circular tube directly into the attic. They'd put some plastic over it since, but it still wasn't repaired.
In the past, I'd given a similar vent a shot of the old-school, magical elixir, WD-40® Multi-Use Product . It takes care of the problem, but is not a long term solution for exterior conditions where the wind, rain, dust and sun are beating on it, especially in the scorching heat of the desert. For this treatment, I kicked it up a notch and used one of their Specialist line of products, WD-40® Specialist® Spray & Stay Gel Lubricant.
I didn't know WD-40 Company had all these extra products before they'd sent me a box of cool stuff to try. WD-40 Specialist reports that its WD-40 Specialist Spray & Stay Gel Lubricant features:
- Thick gel lubricant
- Stays where you spray it
- 12x longer lasting lubrication
- Prevents rust for up to 1 year
- No drip, No mess
- Ideal for vertical surfaces
- 50-state VOC compliant
The Specialist Spray & Stay Gel Lubricant gets a quick shake before use. It has one of those rattle-can, ball things inside like a can of spray paint, to mix it up quickly. I shot a bit into the open hub at the top of the first vent. The thick gel foamed up a bit and surrounded the protruding shaft.
I wiped off a little overspray and attacked the lower connection. It was a bit hard to see, but I could stick the spray straw through the turbine blades and slightly press it to one side, angling it towards center. The stream of spray gel hit the target, no problem.
I gave the fan a quick hand spin as I stood up. It spun smooth as silk. I even gave it a wicked, full-muscle power, super-duper spin to see what it would sound like. Nothing! It was like brand new.
With my technique down, I traveled the rooftop repeating the process at the other units.
It was an absolutely beautiful day to be doing rooftop maintenance, sunny with a slight breeze and temperatures in the mid 80's. Perfect. I ambled around the roof, shooting WD-40 Specialist Spray & Stay Gel Lubricant into all the vents, getting them spinning smooth and easy.
In fact, when I was headed to the last vent I noticed the the others were spinning on their own, quietly with only the slightest hint of wind wafting by.
The last vent actually had a little damage, the top hub had come loose, dropping the whole wirlygig's weight onto the bottom, inner hub. It still worked fine, but I think I'm going to have to repair this one at some point. I gave it a good shot of lubricating gel and headed down to look at it from below, in the attic.
That damaged fan was almost directly above my attic hatch in the garage. With the hatch open, I could stand on the floor and see the light through the turbine blades.
I climbed up and found that I had stored a cloth suitcase stored directly under the vent. Incredibly, none of the lubricant gel had dripped down onto it. I had seriously hosed this one down too. The WD-40 Specialist Spray & Stay Gel Lubricant had indeed sprayed and stayed. I'd not have to be embarrassed dragging stained luggage through an airport like a greaseball.
I zapped the lower bearing at point blank range, sticking the spray tube right up close to it.
It took a few minutes of work and I extended the life of the vents, probably preventing catastrophe, like my neighbor. WD-40 Specialist Spray & Stay Gel Lubricant lasts 12 times longer than the original WD-40 Multi-Use Product, so it’s ideal for situations like these that require longer-lasting lubrication.
You can buy WD-40 Specialist Products locally at The Home Depot, Lowes, Ace Hardware, Walmart, and many other locations. Find more local locations on the product web page.
Thanks to my new friends at the WD-40 Company for sponsoring this post, I can't wait to try out some of their other cool products