water penetration

30
Jan

Will Filing an Insurance Claim After a Storm Increase Insurance Rates?

damage storm increase insurance rates

Scared that filing an insurance claim after a storm will increase insurance rates? 

You are not alone!  But fortunately, your insurance company is NOT ALLOWED to increase your insurance rates from damage due to storms (or Acts of God).

“But my friend, neighbor, brother-in-law, co-worker, (FILL IN THE BLANK) once told me that filing an insurance claim will make my rates go up.”

Why do most people assume that filing a home insurance claim will increase their rates?

Because we have been conditioned into assuming that a claim, any claim, will cause rates to go up.

Auto insurance has worked this was for so long, we assume all insurance, including home insurance, will operate the same way.

Home insurance does NOT work this way.  

How is home owner insurance different?

The reason behind your claim is the determining factor in whether or not the insurance company can increase your rates (or drop you).

The reason behind a storm claim is very simple – a storm.

Your insurance rates CANNOT be increased due to claim related to a storm.

The answer is simple.  If you have storm damage, make a claim!

Get the money your are owed, WITHOUT the fear of increasing insurance rates.



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

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

19
Feb

Spring cleaning gutters

spring cleaning gutters

Leaves and other debris in a gutter

Spring cleaning checklists must include cleaning gutters.

Run a ladder up the side for you to precariously balance upon OR do you climb onto the roof itself?

Answer: Climbing on the roof is a better way to go about cleaning gutters.  Assuming that is, your roof isn’t too steep.  The work will go much faster and you can more easily see what you are doing when on the roof.

Take care not to needlessly drag yourself across the roof as you’ll scrape granules off your shingles.  Once in position, use a trowel or a gloved hands to scoop leaves and other debris into a bucket.  Be very careful not to lean on your gutter which will likely bend or break off sending you tumbling over the edge.

Prepare your Super Soaker

On second thought, don’t use a water gun, instead grab a water hose.  After clearing out the bulk of the debris by hand, crank up the hose to run water as forcefully as you can through the gutter.  It will go much faster if you use a nozzle to amp up the pressure.  The water should clear out small debris, dirt, and other junk.

After blasting out the debris, watch the water carefully to make sure the water is flowing down the downspout.  Why?  First, to make sure you do not have leaks or cracks in the gutter itself or where they are joined (i.e. seams).  Second, poor water flow indicates a clogged downspout.  A good suggestion is to come down off the roof and take a quick break so you can check the water from below.  From ground level it is easier to see if the gutter is leaking and if the water is flowing easily through the downspout.  If water is overflowing or if only a small amount of water is coming out the downspout then it is clogged.  You should be able to clear it with water and a broomstick or plumber’s drain snake.

Take advantage of time on the roof.

Sure you could fiddle on the roof; but try to focus on cleaning gutters and looking for problems you cannot easily see from the ground.  What type of problems?

  • Fascia cracks or flashing that is damaged.
  • Missing nails or screws, loose gutters or downspouts, weak joints between gutters, or rust.
  • Branches which are dropping leaves into the gutters or hitting your roof.
  • Missing shingles, wear and tear which needs to be carefully watched, or other necessary roof repairs.

Remember that leaking or broken gutters can not only damage the fascia board but debris can rip the edges of your shingle.  Also, take time to make sure water is not entering your home or pooling somewhere that later will cause major damage.  Finally, walk around your home while looking at the gutters all the time telling yourself, “I won’t wait so long next time.”


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.

26
Jan

What are some of the most common roof problems in the winter? – Part 2

Snow Avalanche

Snow Avalanche

In part one of common roof problems in the winter we began examining some of the frequent issues that arise in the cold.   What are some of the other issues?

Skylight leaks. While great for letting in natural light, skylights must be properly sealed.   Piled up snow and icy rains can put a lot of pressure on skylights and the flashing around their seals.  Make sure the flashing around the skylight is intact.

Chimneys.  Roof flashing leaks around the chimney or nearby areas can quickly become channels for water to enter the home.  Accumulated snow slows water drainage off the roof, providing extra time for water to enter the home through even the smallest hole or crack.

Ice dams.  Ice dams occur when snow melts from heat loss in the attic which causes the water to run down the roof and then re-freeze on the of the edge of the roof.  Ice dams are more likely to occur on structures with poor insulation.  Water then backs up because it is not draining properly.  This slow draining and pooling water can infiltrate your shingles and thereby enter your home.   Make sure to keep the gutters clean and clear.

Snow avalanches.  A pile of snow accumulates on the roof to the point of crashing down.  When snow avalanches occur they can injure anyone standing below.  Snowguards can be installed to keep snow in place so it can gradually melt and drain into the gutters instead of crashing off the roof.

Wintertime is beautiful so do not let these common roof problems ruin your snowy season.  Be proactive and keep your roof in great shape so it can protect you and your home from the elements.


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.

 

 

14
Jan

Common Roof Problems in the Winter – part 1

Common Roof Problems with snow and man

Man on roof with snow shovel

What are some of the most common roof problems in the winter? – Part 1

Most people immediately think about ice dams.  But there are other issues which can be quite common.

Falling.  Serious fall injuries and even death occurs as people climb on their roof and attempt to clear the snow off.   Secondary damage can be caused by people chopping or hitting their roof to try to get rid of ice.  While the ice might break free, there is a real chance that the shingles or gutters will take damage.  Frequent hacking at the roof or yanking ice off the gutters can lead to water penetration into the roof where the gutters pull away.

Blocked Vents.  Snow-blocked plumbing vents will create drainage problems and even sewer gas backups into the home.  Sewer gas is not only smelly and unsanitary but an explosion risk.  Make sure all vents are tall enough to stay out of the snow.

Cracked or Broken Shingles.  Even when someone does not fall off the roof, when they climb around on frozen shingles they can snap “like a pine needle in the wintertime”.  Walking on older roofs when it is cold or they are frozen almost assures damage.

Snow. Plain and simple, it gets heavy and gets heavy fast!   Accumulated snow, particularly in the early spring when heavy snow coverings absorb rain can quickly become very heavy and cause major damage.  A roof’s core components such as rafters or trusses can break under the strain.  Newer homes with “up to date” or code conforming structures are less likely to break under the weight of snow; but older homes or those where the builder or roofer took shortcuts can easily crack under the strain.

Next up part 2 of Common Roof Problems in the the Winter….


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.

 

31
Oct

Will a new roof save energy and lower my utility bill?

Will a new roof save energy

High Energy Costs?

High energy bills?  Asking yourself will a new roof save energy?

The short answer is… Yes, a new roof almost always saves energy.   Older attics and roof are likely to be outdated in a variety of ways.

Why will a new roof save energy?

Excessive energy costs come from many different places in a home.  Previously, we mentioned how the roof is similar to a body’s skin.  One the skin breaks, the body is susceptible to infection. Any exterior component of a home such as windows, doors, or a roof all are potential energy loss points.

Consider why you are asking yourself the question of will a new roof save energy.  Why ask this question?  Because just putting a new roof on your home may save energy; but it might not save enough energy to make up for the cost of the roof – unless you look at a a long timeline such as 5-10 years.

What are some of the ways a roof will save energy?

First, determine where you can save money by determine where you are losing energy.  Is it the attic itself?  Is it a break down in the roof?  Is there adequate insulation?  Is there adequate ventilation? An issue as simple such as insufficient attic ventilation will cause heating/cooling systems to run excessively.  If the cold air or hot air  pumping into a home from these types of systems escaping as fast as it is coming in?

In warm weather, inadequate ventilation will trap hot air in the attic, causing air conditioning systems to work harder, or leaving your home’s interior hotter and less comfortable.  Additionally, in both hot and cold weather, insufficient attic ventilation may cause moisture in the attic to become trapped and condense on the rafters. This condensed moisture can drip down onto the insulation and reduce its effectiveness.

Will a new roof save energy if the insulation situation is poor?  Not much it won’t.  Without a doubt better insulation and ventilation will reduce energy usage.  So, first consider your current attic insulation and ventilation.  You can get a good idea about what insulation rating is right for your area by checking out the Energy Star government website.

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.

24
Oct

How do I know when to replace my roof? Danger signs for a roof. – part two

Roof problems that help answer the question, “How do I know when to replace my roof?” part two

Last week we pointed out that the guys over at GAF, who manufacture roofing materials, posted a really good set of photos to help you determine if you have red flags that need to be carefully examined.   They call them Key Danger Signals of a Failing Roof?

Let’s look at the other danger signs that likely point to a roof replacement need.  But remember that not every type of roof damage means you have to replace your roof.  You might be able to patch it and then prepare and plan to have it replaced in the near future.

But be on the lookout for the issues below to help answer the question, “How do I know when to replace my roof?”

Stains on Interior Ceilings and Walls or Mold and Mildew Growth

Possible cause: Leaking water supply or drain line OR inadequate, faulty shingle underlayment which allows leakage.  Mold could also be caused by inadequate ventilation which traps moisture.

 

Stains leading to roof replacement

Stains indicating water penetration

Exterior Decay, Sheathing, and/or Siding

Possible cause: Poor attic ventilation.  If the exterior of your home looks like this picture you have a real problem.  Does this answer the question, “when to replace my roof?”  Not yet.  But you need to figure out what is causing this problem. You might have a leak which is slowly eating away at your sheathing or siding.

 

exterior damage indicating roof replacement need

Siding damage

Missing, Cracked, or Curled Shingles

Possible cause: Shingles have reached the end of their useful life OR a major storm tore up the roof.  Sometimes your shingles have just reached their end of life and you need to replace the roof.  If you have 20 year shingles, have had your roof on for 25 years, and it looks like this photo you can answer the question, “How do I know when to replace my roof?” in by nodding your head repeating after me, “Yes.  I need a roof replacement.”

 


singles destroyed indicating roof replacement  need

Major damage to shingles

 

Dark, “dirty-looking” areas

Possible cause: Loss of granules due to age of shingles.  This one is tough.  Your singles might have simple been worn down over time or you might have mold growing on your roof.  It is important to take a closer look.  Do not jump to roof replacement mode just because you have a few worn shingles.  In this photo, the granules have definitely been worn away.  This is a warning sign that a roof replacement is in your future.  But does this answer the question “when to replace my roof?”  Not exactly but it is a warning sign.  At some point these shingles will fail but you still might have a few years if the rest of the roof is in fair shape.

shingles  missing granules indicating time to replace roof

Shingles with missing granules

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.