General

31
Aug

Can I keep excess proceeds from an insurance claim?

excess money found from insurance

Can I keep excess proceeds from an insurance claim? 

Is it legal? Is it ethical? How much can I make? How to do it? The questions keep coming once someone gets the hint they can “make some money” by putting on a new roof.

Wrong! The focus should be finding the highest quality roofer who can install a quality roof at a competitive price.

Recently we received this comment with two excellent questions. In this blog, we’ll answer #1 and next #2

Love your blog and the info that is provided here. I am a bit concerned with shady tactics #4. You talk about how disreputable companies absorb deductibles and it being illegal, which I understand and agree with. My concern falls under the spreadsheet you post on your site multiple times regarding profit to the owner.  How is it legal and ethical to make me profit from a claim? {emphasis added by RoofBidders}

Isn’t that the same as absorbing deductibles? {emphasis added by RoofBidders} I only ask as I love the idea of this however don’t want to get involved into something that could get me into trouble. Look forward to hearing from you and keep up the good work!!

How is it legal and ethical to make a profit from a claim?

The most accurate answer is: “It is not; intentionally trying to profit from a claim is not legal”.  Yet, the key word is intentional.  Whether or not it is unethical depends on whether the actions are unethical, such as lying or duping the insurance carrier.

Is it legal (or ethical) to keep excess proceeds from an insurance claim?  YES!

When a homeowner uses RoofBidders, we share our profits, so there is not “excess” but we’ll tackle how that works next blog. But it can be legal and ethical to do so.  Here are two examples:

  • EXAMPLE #1: All insurance companies must permit homeowners to pick their own contractor.  Here is a section from my personal homeowner’s policy.  Note the final sentence…“You have the right to have your home repaired by the repair person of your ”

Assume you have a friend in the contracting business who agrees to do the work at cost or even as a favor for you. The insurance company will send the initial check (the actual cash value component).  Your friend (your selected contractor) completes the work for less than the money given to you. You, the homeowner keep the difference.  This is legal.

  • EXAMPLE #2: You do the repairs yourself since you are skilled in the trade.  Again, the insurance company pays the actual cash value, you do the work for less, and again you legally keep the difference.

So is it ethical to profit from an insurance claim?  Not if you are illegally gaining the proceeds.

In the above examples, we were dealing with the Actual Cash Value part of the insurance claim.  Things go awry when the homeowner or roofer fraudulently seek the second component, the replacement value payment (or recoverable depreciation).

  • It is illegal to dupe your insurance company so you can intentionally profit from an insurance claim.
  • It is illegal to lie and claim that a deductible has been paid, when it has not.
  • It is unethical, not to mention illegal, to look the other way and let the roofer handle the lying and duping instead of you doing it directly.
  • It is illegal for the roofer to kickback the deductible and thereby absorb or “pay” the deductible.

Sadly, these are exactly the tricks shady roofing contractors and unknowing or unethical homeowners are pulling.  These roofers are not the type RoofBidders works with or recommends.  More importantly, they are not the type of roofers a homeowner should use.

Would you start a relationship with a lie?

Disreputable roofers lie and cheat their way into people homes.  They convince homeowners that the insurance company does not care, does not know, and that “everyone” does it.

The roofer, as the direct contractor (meaning the one actual doing the work), lies to the insurance company regarding you, the homeowner, paying the deductible.  They submit fraudulent paperwork saying that they collected the deductible, and charged you more than they actually did.

Simultaneously, you lie and commit fraud by signing fraudulent paperwork or intentionally omit the truth.  Both you and the roofer have committed insurance fraud. The felony-type fraud that can send you to jail.

So, how does RoofBidders put money in your pocket?

RoofBidders is a completely new concept leveraging highly sophisticated satellite technology. We can cost effectively do what previously was not only impractical but also very costly. Because of these advancements in technology, we can profitably operate and in turn share our profits.

Stay tuned to Thursday’s blog where we go into exactly how RoofBidders is different and you can save money, maybe put some in your pocket, avoid committing a crime, and stay out of jail!


Confused or want more information? Trying to understand the costs associated with replacing a roof?  Call, email, post to Facebook, or tweet to us.  No Fee, No Obligation, Just help for you.

Don’t want to talk to anyone and just want a quick, satellite photograph measurement to help estimate the cost for your roof?  Order the Quick Report

If you have a specific roof issue and can send us a photo via email, Facebook, or Twitter, we will do our best to advise you on the specific issue.

25
Jul

5 Secrets Roofing Storm Chasers Don’t Want You To Know

Sleazy roofing storm chaser

Sleazy Storm Chaser

What sneaky tactics do roofing storm chasers use?

Large-scale storms with wide spread damage attract contractors who know that reputable businesses are overwhelmed.

Roofing storm chasers do what their name describes. Chase storms around the country to hawk their roofing contractor services.  While some companies are legitimate, many of these storm chasers are unscrupulous.

What are these shady tactics?

  1. Prey on the elderly.  Roofing storm chasers amp up their aggressive sales tactics when an elderly person answers the door.  Many elderly tend to be more trustworthy or give people the benefit of the doubt and therefore do not research the roofer. Storm chases will inflate the cost or ask for money on top of the insurance proceeds.
  2. Ask for cash up front. When widespread damage occurs, it might seem reasonable for a contractor to ask for a deposit to reserve their services.  Sadly, the day the homeowner gives the storm chaser $2,000 or more is usually the last day they will see them.
  3. Fake or create damage. Ball-peen hammers. Spoons. Golf balls. Dimes.  The list can go on and one. Roofing storm chasers have a terrible reputation for faking damage.  Creating or “adding” damage where none exists and collecting insurance money can carry criminal and civil penalties.
  4. Paying for the deductible. It sounds so good.  Get insurance money, get roof fixed, and never pay a deductible.  Disreputable roofing storm chasers pay for or absorb the homeowner’s deductible to get the business.  A homeowner is committing insurance fraud if the contractor promises to pay the deductible and does so.
  5. Negotiate for more money. In 44 out of 50 states, roofers cannot legally negotiate an insurance claim without an adjuster’s license.  Contractors can defend their pricing but not negotiate a claim settlement.  If negotiations are necessary, property owners should hire an experienced Avvo-rated attorney since they are paid only a percentage of any new money they negotiate for the homeowner.

REMEMBER:  Only use local roofers with great BBB ratings and outstanding reputations.  Get at least 7 bids from roofers before making a decision.


Confused or want more information? Trying to understand the costs associated with replacing a roof?  Call, email, post to Facebook, or tweet to us.  No Fee, No Obligation, Just help for you.

Don’t want to talk to anyone and just want a quick, satellite photograph measurement to help estimate the cost for your roof?  Order the Quick Report

If you have a specific roof issue and can send us a photo via email, Facebook, or Twitter, we will do our best to advise you on the specific issue.

23
Jun

Hail Damage in Sienna Plantation and Fresno, Texas

May 25-26th Hail Storm Swath near Sienna Plantation and Houston

May 25-26th Hail Storm Swath near Sienna Plantation 2-3″ Hail

Did your roof sustain hail damage in Sienna Plantation or the Fresno/Arcola area this past April or May 2015?

Not only hail damages roofs.  Strong winds also cause damage to your roof, fences, and trees.

It has been roughly two years since Missouri City (77459, 77489) or Fresno / Arcola (77545) areas saw hail of this size.  The last hail storm of any significance was April 2013.

Hail paths show the center of the hail storm and its concentration point.

Note that the hail path shows just the center of the storm; the actual swath of the storm is much, much larger.   What does this mean?  If a property was anywhere near this path it got hit.  The question of course is how much damage did the hail or wind cause.  This image was taken by the NOAA and the HailStrike weather service at 2:29 AM, May 26th.  Their radar shows 3 inch hail.

The first image shows the path ONLY.   The second image below shows the swath of the storm and areas affected along the path.

May 26th @ 2:29 AM Hail Path without Swath

Hail 3 inch @ May 26th 2:29 AM

Did you get large or small hail?

Even small hail can cause significant damage in large volumes or high winds.  Ever seen a picture of hay needles or branches stuck into the side of a barn from tornado winds?  Even small hail such as pea or marble-sized can do significant damage when thrown at 60-70 mph.  The latest Sienna Plantation and Fresno/Arcola hail storms had very high winds.

Extremely strong wind and hail damage in Sienna Plantation on May 26 @ 2:34 AM

As you can see in this snapshot the radar is showing hail size of 2.5 inches.  But the entire storm lasted from May 25th @ 3:29 PM to May 26th @ 7:29 AM.

The tricky part is that small hail “pock marks” cannot easily be seen from the ground.  Also, much of the damage is likely from the wind.  Wind can lift up the shingles essentially tearing your roof apart; BUT at the same time if the damaged sections do not literally detach from the roof they will settle back down and the damage cannot easily be seen from the ground.

Do not let this opportunity pass by!  Have your roof examined by your insurance company free of charge and without risk of a rate hikes.  Then get a new roof!

Sienna Plantation Hail 2.5 inches May 26th 2:34 AM

Hail 2.5 inches May 26th 2:34 AM

What to do if you suspect you have hail damage in Sienna Plantation or Fresno/Arcola areas?

Call, Examine, Act

  • Call your insurance company, open a claim, and have your roof examined. REMEMBER: Your rates cannot be increased for making a storm related claim.
  • Examine the results of the insurance company’s estimate of damage before doing anything else.
  • Act by taking advantage of the insurance company’s estimate and their money:
    • If they agree to replace your roof in full then start by:
    • If they DO NOT agree to replace in full, but only part of your roof then:
      • Get 3 roofers to look at your roof to get their opinion OR
      • Hire a licensed insurance adjuster (not a Public Adjuster) to verify the actual damage OR
      • Contact RoofBidders and we will advise you AT NO CHARGE based on satellite imagery and ground spotters.
    • After getting multiple bids by high quality roofers, put a new roof on your home, and save tons of money.

NOTE: If the insurance company denies your claim and you know you have damage from the latest Sienna Plantation or Fresno/Arcola hail storms (or any other storm) then contact an attorney.

REMEMBER:  Take advantage of infrequent but powerful storms to upgrade your home by having the insurance company buy you a new roof whenever possible.


Confused or want more information? Trying to understand the costs associated with replacing a roof?  Call, email, post to Facebook, or tweet to us.  No Fee, No Obligation, Just help for you.

Don’t want to talk to anyone and just want a quick, satellite photograph measurement to help estimate the cost for your roof?  Order the Quick Report

If you have a specific roof issue and can send us a photo via email, Facebook, or Twitter, we will do our best to advise you on the specific issue.

28
May

5 Reasons To Notify The Insurance Company After A Recent Hail Storm

recent hail storm map texas

Thunderstorms Bring Hail to Texas

Why Notify The Insurance Company After A Recent Hail Storm?

One of the most frequent questions asked is “Do I need to call my insurance company?” or similarly, “Do I have to call my insurance company?”

The simple answer is YES.  Call and make an insurance claim.  Not only does it makes sense but you most likely must do it or you breach your insurance contract.

Homeowners often are nervous about making an insurance claim, even after storm damage.  Usually this fear stems from past experiences related to auto insurance.  That being, that rates will increase after a claim.  But property insurance contracts and State insurance laws are different.

Top 5 Reasons To Notify The Insurance Company After A Recent Hail Storm

1. If you have recently received damage you are more than likely REQUIRED to notify the insurance company under your policy.

2. In the future, they can deny a roof replacement claim due to undisclosed and previous damage.

3. There exists a statute of limitations on insurance claims.  Once this run out, the insurance company can deny your request to replace the roof.

4. You are paying for insurance in case of storm damage or similar reasons.  Why would you not use it?

5. Your rates CANNOT be raised for making a claim, whether approved or denied.  Repeat the words: CANNOT be raised.

So in the immortal words of Nike, Just Do It!

Notify the Insurance Company after a recent hail storm by making an insurance claim.  Get the estimated damage and monies available to replace your roof from the insurance company.

Bid out the job to at least seven different companies to find the best contractors at the best price.  Save tons of money. Enjoy your new roof.


Confused or want more information? Trying to understand the costs associated with replacing a roof?  Call, email, post to Facebook, or tweet to us.  No Fee, No Obligation, Just help for you.

Don’t want to talk to anyone and just want a quick, satellite photograph measurement to help estimate the cost for your roof?  Order the Quick Report

If you have a specific roof issue and can send us a photo via email, Facebook, or Twitter, we will do our best to advise you on the specific issue.

 

15
May

Brazoria County Hail Storm? What to do next.

Brazoria County Hail Storm Hail Paths

“Hail and wind like I haven’t seen in all the years I’ve lived here,”

said James S., a Lake Jackson resident who also works in Brazoria County.  Later he remarked “Northwood and West Columbia got hit pretty good and the weather service said Angleton got some 4 inch hail”.

This is no surprise if your reside almost anywhere in Brazoria County, Texas.  Last month’s April showers brought high wind, hail, and what some were calling a 500-year rain.

While a Brazoria County hail storm is not unheard of, it has been several years since Brazoria has seen hail larger than a marble.

The picture above shows a hail path we mapped around Angleton and Lake Jackson from just a single day.  The hail path shows just the center of the storm; the actual swath of the storm was much, much larger.   What does this mean?  If a property was anywhere near this path it got hit.

Did you get large or small hail?

Even small hail can cause significant damage in large volumes or high winds.  Ever seen a picture of hay needles or branches stuck into the side of a barn from tornado winds?  Even small hail such as pea or marble- sized can do significant damage when thrown at 60-70 mph.  The latest Brazoria County hail storms had very high winds.

Brazoria County Hail Storm pea sized hail

Small hail which caused damage in Brazoria
County

What to do if you suspect you have roof damage from the Brazoria County hail storms?

Call, Examine, Act

  • Call your insurance company, open a claim, and have your roof examined. REMEMBER: Your rates cannot be increased for making a storm related claim.
  • Examine the results of the insurance company’s estimate of damage before doing anything else.
  • Act by taking advantage of the insurance company’s estimate and their money:
    • If they agree to replace your roof in full then start by getting at least 7 bids from qualified roofers (Better Business Bureau, etc.).
    • If they DO NOT agree to replace in full, but only part of your roof then:
      • Get 3 roofers to examine your roof to get their opinion OR
      • Hire a licensed insurance adjuster (not a Public Adjuster) to verify the actual damage OR
      • Contact RoofBidders and we will advise you AT NO CHARGE based on satellite imagery and on the ground spotters.
    • After getting multiple bids by high quality roofers, put a new roof on your home, and save tons of money.

NOTE: If the insurance company denies your claim and you know you have damage from the latest Brazoria County hail storm (or any other storm) then contact an attorney.

REMEMBER:  Take advantage of infrequent but powerful storms to upgrade your home by having the insurance company buy you a new roof whenever possible.


Confused or want more information? Trying to understand the costs associated with replacing a roof?  Call, email, post to Facebook, or tweet to us.  No Fee, No Obligation, Just help for you.

Don’t want to talk to anyone and just want a quick, satellite photograph measurement to help estimate the cost for your roof?  Order the Quick Report

If you have a specific roof issue and can send us a photo via email, Facebook, or Twitter, we will do our best to advise you on the specific issue.

 

 

30
Apr

5 Myths About Insurance Claim Disputes

Insurance Claim Dispute Denied

Insurance Claim Denial

There are a lot misconceptions regarding insurance claim disputes.

Most roof replacements leverage insurance.  If you have storm damage, use your insurance!  You have paid premiums all these years, now reap your reward.

Remember an insurance company CANNOT raise rates for making a claim related to an Act of God (weather).

But what happens if your claim is denied?

Should you fight it?  Do you need an attorney?  

We get this question a lot!  But interpreting the state insurance code or your insurance contract is a legal area we do not handle. So, we asked Chip Lane from The Lane Law Firm to pen an article about denied insurance claims.  This article was also posted on The Lane Law Firm Blog.


Have a denied insurance claim but don’t know whether or not to hire an attorney?

Chip Lane, Esq – April 2015

Homeowners and roofing contractors often go it alone or hire a Public Adjuster because they believe one or more myths about how attorneys work and get paid. Unfortunately, these myths cost both homeowners and roofers lots of money.

Don’t fall prey to these 5 Myths About Insurance Claim Disputes and Attorneys:


MYTH #1: There will not be enough money to replace the roof after the attorney is paid.

TRUTH #1: There should be more than enough money to replace the roof.  Property owners, contractors, and public adjusters can only recover the amount of the property damages. By law, attorneys are entitled to their fees and costs, 18% interest, plus other penalties; all of which is paid by the insurance company, in addition to the amount of the property damages, when a denial or partial claim is improper.

MYTH #2: Attorneys demand money upfront.

TRUTH #2: A reputable insurance claim dispute attorney will not ask for money upfront; because they work on contingency and get paid only if they win.

MYTH #3: The insurance policy will be cancelled or the property owner’s rates will be raised if an attorney is hired or files suit.

TRUTH #3: State law forbids insurance companies from raising rates or terminating coverage because of a weather-related claim or if a property owner hires an attorney who sues the insurance company.

MYTH #4: Public adjusters (PA) are better suited to handle insurance disputes than attorneys.

TRUTH #4: Only an attorney can dispute denied claims or handle legal issues such as bad faith, slow payment, mental anguish, loss of income due to time off, or reimbursements. 

MYTH #5: Attorneys get paid on money they did not earn or the homeowner got on their own.

TRUTH #5: Attorneys only gets paid on the “net new” money; in other words only the additional money over and above what the homeowner already has. 


Remember, insurance policies and Texas insurance law provides that the insurance company should pay for the homeowner’s attorney’s fees and costs for a wrongful denial of a claim.

The bottom line is that an experienced insurance claim dispute attorney should get money over and above what the homeowner, roofer, or public adjuster is able to get and better yet, is only paid on net new money.  It is a no lose scenario for property owners and roofing contractors.


Thanks again to Chip Lane.  We hope you never have to deal with an insurance claim dispute but if you do and especially if it denial then take action.

Confused or want more information? Trying to understand the costs associated with replacing a roof?  Call, email, post to Facebook, or tweet to us.  No Fee, No Obligation, Just help for you.

Don’t want to talk to anyone and just want a quick, satellite photograph measurement to help estimate the cost for your roof?  Order the Quick Report

If you have a specific roof issue and can send us a photo via email, Facebook, or Twitter, we will do our best to advise you on the specific issue.

17
Apr

Architectural Shingles or 3-Tab Shingles

Architectural Shingles or 3-Tab Shingles is a question most new roof buyers ask themselves.

But what are Architectural Shingles?  Should you get them for your roof even if you had 3-Tab before?

First, architectural shingles are asphalt shingles just like 3-Tab.  Most of us know what an asphalt shingle looks like, whether we know it or not.  Just look at your roof and more than not you have asphalt shingles; unless you have a specialty roof such as tile or metal.  Second, an asphalt shingle is one of the most widely used roofing covers in North America because most varieties are affordable and straightforward to install. 

Main types of asphalt shingles

The first type of commonly used asphalt single is the “3-Tab”.
Architectural Shingles or 3-Tab Shingles. This is 3-Tab

3-Tab Shingles

As you can see, it is a very straight forward simple shingle.  It is called a 3-Tab because it comes in 3tab sections.  This types of asphalt single is more commonly found on lower value properties but is still very popular.

Why is 3-Tab found more frequently on lower valued properties?

3-Tab is inexpensive compared to most types of roofs and can be installed very quickly.  But all asphalt shingles will protect your home so choosing between the various types is as much about the look and feel as it is the protection and price.   3-Tab shingles used to be the “Go To” shingle but over the last several years architectural shingles have quickly gained traction and are now the “Go To” shingle for most roofers and homeowners.

Architectural or 3-Tab?  Look, warranty, and price are the key drivers for most homeowners.   3-Tab also comes in many colors and has acceptable warranties for most people.

The second most common type of asphalt shingle is the architectural or “dimensional” shingle.
Architectural Shingles or 3-Tab Shingles. This is Architectural

Architectural Shingles

These shingles have more character and customization options than 3-Tab.  As you can see, this type of shingle has dimensions to it and more of a 3-D “custom” look.   These types of shingles are heavier than 3-Tab and have better warranties in many cases.  Also, more and more Property Owner Associations are demanding that roof replacement use architectural style shingles; unless you live in a neighborhood with tile roofs.

Comparison: Architectural or 3-Tab

Both types of these shingles can last for many years but the architectural shingles are thicker and come with a larger variety of warranties. Rarely do you see an architectural or “dimensional” shingle with less than a 20 year warranty.  In fact, some even come with what is being styled a “Lifetime Warranty”.

At the end of the day an architectural shingle is still an asphalt shingle but it looks better, performs better, lasts longer, is heavier, and usually has a much longer warranty.    Just look at these compared side-by-side and you can see that an architectural shingle is more attractive than a 3-Tab.

Architectural or 3-Tab Singles Comparing

Compare the differences.

 


Confused or want more information? Trying to understand the costs associated with replacing a roof?  Call, email, post to Facebook, or tweet to us.  No Fee, No Obligation, Just help for you.

Don’t want to talk to anyone and just want a quick, satellite photograph measurement to help estimate the cost for your roof?  Order the Quick Report

If you have a specific roof issue and can send us a photo via email, Facebook, or Twitter, we will do our best to advise you on the specific issue.

 

5
Apr

Happy Easter – He Is Risen!

Easter

Easter Sunday

Who Is Jesus?

18
Mar

Common Low-slope Roof Problems : Part 2

low slope roof decay

Shingle failure

Common Low-slope Roof Problems

In our previous post we noted that many “standard” housing units in the United States primarily use what is considered a “low-slope” roofing style and some  of the common issues with low-slope roofs by highlighting an article by Jane Madison at Builders Magazine.  Below is the wrap up of the most common problems.

PUNCTURES AND THE ADDITION OF PENETRATIONS POST-INSTALLATION

For all owners, but especially those with single-ply or spray polyurethane foam (SPF) roof systems, damage from foot traffic can be problematic. “Punctures are something on high-traffic areas that can be a problem,” says Harriman of single-ply systems. “One of the things we like to do is add walkway paths or extra sacrificial layers of membrane.”

C.A.R.E. notes abuse of the finished roof as one of the nine most common problems plaguing single-ply systems, stating, “Heavy construction traffic can cause scrapes/cuts in the membrane and damage to the underlying substrate. In addition to leaks, this can cause premature problems with the roof membrane and may void the guarantee.” Limit traffic and conduct cursory inspections after tradespeople have been on the roof.

All roof systems’ performance is compromised when new equipment and penetrations are added to an existing roof, unless proper precautions are taken. When penetrations are added and deleted from a metal roof, the results can be disastrous. “You are sometimes left with a compromise and a lot of caulking and sealants. Metal roofs move a lot. There is a lot of expansion and contraction, and if you are left to deal with caulking, you’re probably going to have problems eventually,” Harriman warns.

SAFETY

The installation of hot bituminous and torch-applied mod bit systems requires strict adherence to safety procedures. Overheating asphalt can result in burns, and fires in the kettle and on the roof, C.A.R.E. warns. In torch-applied mod bit applications, fire extinguishers should be present and MRCA CERTA program guidelines should be followed.

During installation, odors from cold-applied mod bit systems can cause discomfort and alleged illness among building occupants. Outside air intakes should be covered in roofing areas, recommends C.A.R.E.

IMPROPER REPAIRS

Using materials that are not intended for application on specific roof types can result in permanent damage to the roof. “One of the most common problems we see with metal roofs is improper repair. People go up with caulking and plastic roof cement and improper materials that are in no way intended for that purpose,” Harriman says. “You can make a small problem worse through that improper repair.”

Pierce agrees. However, this problem isn’t exclusive to metal roofs. “On a built-up or modified roof, that five-gallon bucket of plastic cement can solve a lot of problems. But if I take that five-gallon bucket of plastic cement up on a single-ply membrane, I may actually damage the membrane itself,” she says. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for proper use and take note of repair products with a shelf life.

SHRINKAGE

Single-ply roof types are each unique. “If you walk out onto an EPDM roof today, one of the first things you’re going to look for is evidence of shrinkage,” Harriman notes. “The two most common things I see, especially on ballasted membranes, are pulling of the flashings (which is due to shrinkage of the field membrane) or you could have deterioration – surface crazing and cracking of uncured membrane, commonly used at perimeter and penetration flashing

BLISTERING

Blistering, ridging, splitting, and surface erosion are symptomatic with BUR, and can eventually lead to bigger problems. While blisters are not always worth fixing, one of significant size should be addressed. According to C.A.R.E., inadequate attachment of hot bituminous roof systems due to asphalt heated to an improper temperature can cause blistering, along with the slipping of felts, and accelerated aging. Bad interply integrity and dry laps can also result in the appearance of blisters.

Voids and holidays can be problematic in the application of torch-applied modified bitumens. “If the membrane is not torched properly, it will result in delamination, slippage, and blisters,” the C.A.R.E. CD-Rom reports. Moisture and air trapped in modified bitumen roofs can vaporize, causing a blister. “Many times it’s non-threatening, unless it’s affecting the lap area and then it probably needs to be repaired,” says Harriman.

With cold-applied mod bit systems, the entire membrane should be installed in the same application (i.e., scheduled around work breaks and/or holidays). C.A.R.E. pinpoints the consequences of improper sequencing of work as contamination and poor adhesion between the cap sheet and base ply: ultimately, blisters, delamination, leaks, and voids.

During the installation of spray polyurethane foam systems, recovering over a wet substrate can result in severe blistering and delamination, notes Harriman.

Ensuring a quality installation, providing the roof with consistent maintenance, and the early detection of problems through routine inspections can help maximize roof life. As the roof ages, the likelihood of problems increases. However, it is how these problems are addressed that will determine the fate and future of your roof system.

This wraps up the part two of the Most Common Low-slope Roof Problems. 

Thanks again to Jana J. Madsen (jana.madsen@buildingsmedia.com) the managing editor at Buildings magazine.   For more information about C.A.R.E., visit (www.gaf.com) or e-mail (care@gaf.com).


Want more information? Trying to understand the costs associated with replacing a roof?  Call, email, post to Facebook, or tweet to us. No Fee, No Obligation, Just help for you.

Don’t want to talk to anyone and just want a quick, satellite photograph measurement to help estimate the cost for your roof?  Order the Quick Report

If you have a specific roof issue and can send us a photo via email, Facebook, or Twitter, we will do our best to advise you on the specific issue

14
Mar

Most Common Low-slope Roof Problems : Part 1

Low-slope roof in Chicago

Low-slope roof in Chicago

Common Low-slope Roof Problems

Many “standard” housing in the United States primarily uses what is considered a “low-slope” roofing style.  So what are some of the most common issues with low-slope roofs?

“Obvious or unforeseen, roof problems are always a pain and undoubtedly a significant expense,” says Jane Madison at Builders Magazine, who posted a great article about low-slope roof issue.   Below I posted the first part if her article.

Problems Plaguing Low-slope Roofs

Buildings magazine examined which problems are most common and the conditions that can either cause or be the result of premature failure and reduced service life of low-slope roof systems. This is not a self-diagnostic guide, but rather an informative list of some of the problems most often battled by building owners and facilities professionals.

“If you look at a failure curve, most roofs are the best they’re going to be at the time they are installed. The curve is pretty flat in terms of their deterioration for the first several years, and the last 25 or 30 percent of the roof [life], the curve becomes more steep,” explains Ron Harriman, vice president, Benchmark Inc., Cedar Rapids, IA. Unfortunately, problems are inevitable as the roof ages. Without proper and routine maintenance, these minor problems can even become catastrophic.

ROOF LEAKS AND MOISTURE

“With any roof – no matter what type – if you’ve got roof leaks, then you’ve got a problem,” explains Charles Praeger, executive director, Metal Building Manufacturers Association (MBMA), Cleveland.  Leaks can occur for a number of reasons. Built-up roofs (BUR) might experience leaks due to flashing details that weren’t fastened properly during installation. “The problems an owner is typically going to have [with a BUR system] is that 95 percent of leaks occur at flashing details – anywhere the membrane itself is terminated or interrupted,” explains Helene Hardy Pierce, director of contractor services, GAF Materials Corp., Wayne, NJ. Additionally, hot bituminous and torch-applied modified bitumen roofs may experience leaks when a proper moisture barrier is not installed underneath a coping cap on parapet walls, according to Avoiding Common Roof Installation Mistakes, a CD-Rom produced by the Center for the Advancement of Roofing Excellence (C.A.R.E. Ltd.).

The C.A.R.E. CD-Rom also pinpoints improper installation of flashing as a source of leaks on torch-applied modified bitumen roofs. Inadequate head laps and backwater laps are another mod bit installation problem that can allow moisture infiltration. “Water can get under the membrane if the field of roof is installed so that water flows against the lap. The consequences of backwater laps are leaks and blisters, which can lead to roof failure,” C.A.R.E. explains. With cold-applied modified bitumens, improper storage of materials can result in moisture infiltration built into the roofing system, and under-application of adhesive can result in poor lamination and roof leaks.

Leaks can result when single-ply membrane roofs are installed with poor seams. “You’ve got to have good seams with single-ply, because if you don’t, you don’t have much. The membranes themselves will hold water. You’ve got to have the seams either glued or heat-welded properly,” Harriman explains.

BLOW-OFFS, TENTING, REDUCED WIND UPLIFT RESISTANCE, AND BILLOWING

Leaks are not the only problem that can result from improperly installed flashing. Hot bituminous roofs where flashing is poorly attached may experience open seams and laps and ultimately cause blow-offs, reduced puncture resistance, and code issues, advises C.A.R.E. Poor gravel embedment and the use of an inadequate number of fasteners in the base sheet during application of both hot bituminous and torch-applied mod bit roof systems can also have similar consequences.

Wind uplift resistance can be reduced greatly if seams are not cured adequately on cold-applied mod bit systems. C.A.R.E. notes, “Seams made with cold adhesives do not have good integrity until the adhesive has cured. If the seams are exposed to wind and rain before they are properly cured, moisture can infiltrate the roof system or wind uplift can damage the roof membrane.”

If not adhered properly to the substrate, single-ply roofs are at risk for blow-off and billowing. “With single-ply membranes, we do a little more to hold things in place, and if it’s not done properly, then we end up with tenting of the flashings [and] we end up damaging the membrane,” says Pierce.

POOR INSTALLATION AND UNSATISFACTORY WORKMANSHIP

A faulty installation dramatically increases the likelihood of problems and reduces a roof system’s life expectancy. “Workmanship does tend to be one of the more common problems or common reasons for problems that crop up at some point in the life of the roof,” Harriman comments. BUR system installation can be problematic if specific preparations are not taken. According to Harriman, problems with adhesion can result when the area isn’t cleaned, dried, and primed properly prior to installation. “Those are things that are difficult to walk up on a roof and visually see, but could lead to future problems, premature aging, or premature failure,” he says.

Torch-applied mod bit system performance can be compromised if crews do not relax the sheets prior to installation. Material preparation is important to a quality installation. C.A.R.E. notes, “Sheets installed that have not relaxed or are installed when ambient conditions such as temperature are not right can result in wrinkles, leaks, fish mouths, contraction of sheets, or blisters.” Be sure that the contractor and crew you’ve hired are educated in proper installation techniques specific to the roof they are installing.

LACK OF MAINTENANCE

There are many reasons not to neglect the roof – including financial and business continuity reasons. Being wise to problems can prevent their escalation. “The problem in roofing is a lack of education on all levels. But if the owner of the property is better educated, the whole industry does better and less problems [occur],” explains Chris Mooney, GAFMC/C.A.R.E. national training manager, C.A.R.E., Wayne, NJ. Specific levels of maintenance are required to prevent voiding the warranty. “Perform routine inspections. You don’t have to know a lot about roofing,” Pierce explains. “Things like ponding water, a piece of slipped base flashing, pitch pockets that haven’t been filled – those should be obvious whether you know a lot about roofing or not.” Addressing minor problems before they escalate maximizes roof life as well as minimizes headaches and expense.

PONDING WATER

“Another common problem across all roof types is what I call ‘incidental ponding water.’ If we move the water off the roof, the roof has a really good chance of performing the way it should,” notes Pierce. During the design of a dead-level roof, slope should be added with tapered insulation or crickets. “If we don’t take proactive measures when we’re actually designing the roof, then we’re building in ponding water,” she stresses.

UV rays compounded by ponding water can have adverse effects on BUR and asphalt-based mod bit roofs. During installation of hot bituminous systems, C.A.R.E. warns that improper mopping can produce voids in the membrane, block drains, and result in ponding water as well as void the warranty.

Pierce cautions that before roof repairs are hastily made, the source of the ponding water should be investigated.HVAC units without condensate drain lines could be the culprit. Always inspect thoroughly before making a repair. Check drains to make sure they are free of dirt, silt, and debris.

This wraps up the first part of Common Low-slope Roof Problems. 

Thanks again to Jana J. Madsen (jana.madsen@buildingsmedia.com) the managing editor at Buildings magazine.   For more information about C.A.R.E., visit (www.gaf.com) or e-mail (care@gaf.com).

Next week I’ll post-up the rest of this great article.

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