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Is Your Roof Covered by Homeowner’s Insurance?

Being a roofer means giving hundreds of quotes every year. While most homeowners are shopping for the best roof at the best price, most of them ask me the same question when I first meet them, “Will my homeowner’s insurance cover the cost of replacing my roof?” Invariably, my answer to each and every one of them is, “That depends.” You see, there are a number of factors that need to be weighed to determine whether part or all the cost of a roof replacement can be covered by your insurer. Today, I’ll cover these topics in detail. 

  1. What caused the damage to your roof? – One of the covered perils in every homeowner’s policy is roof damage.  That means if a storm blows down a tree that punctures your roof, your insurance company will pay to repair the hole, minus your deductible.  So too are you covered if a hailstorm turns your roof into something that looks like a golf ball, or if a hurricane strips the shingles off it.  Depending on the damage done, an insurance adjuster will need to determine whether the damage should be repaired, or the roof should be replaced.  That’s good news.  The bad news is if your home’s roof was in poor repair or on its last legs prior to the storm, chances are a claim for a new roof will be denied.
  2. Can a roofer guarantee that your roof replacement will be covered by your insurance? – Absolutely not.  In fact, it’s illegal for a roofing company to make such a claim since only a licensed insurance adjuster can make that determination.  This means if you’re approached by a roofing rep who tells you point blank that he can get the cost of your new roof down to the cost of your insurance deductible, don’t you believe it.  Should you sign a contract with a roofer only to learn later that your claim has been denied, you could be liable for the cost out of pocket.  The only way to determine if your insurance company is willing to pay for a new roof is to file a claim on your own.  Even then, there’s no guarantee your claim will be approved.
Is A Leaky Roof Covered By Homeowners Insurance?
  1. What should you do to help the adjuster come to the right conclusion? – Insurance adjusters are like anyone else.  They don’t want to work any harder than necessary.  This means you need to help the adjuster out a bit.  The best way to do this is to file a claim as soon as the damage occurs.  It helps if you can tell the adjuster when the roof was installed or how old it is.  Before and after photos of the roof will also be a godsend, since much of the initial process will that you document the damage. If you recently purchased the home, feel free to share the home inspector’s report with the adjuster.  In short, the more info you can provide, the better your chances for success. On the other hand, if your roof is 20-years-old or older, chances are it has little if any coverage remaining.
  2. What makes roof coverage tick? –  Roofs aren’t like wine.  They don’t get better with age.  As they age, shingles get worn down by wind, weather, sun, and snow.  Insurance companies know this, so they build in a clause that gradually reduces the value of a roof as time goes on.  After 20-years, a roof may only be covered for its actual cash value, as opposed to its replacement cost. Another thing that many insurance companies have done recently is require higher deductibles for damage caused by hurricanes and hail in areas that are prone to either.  Some insurers also require a separate windstorm policy.  This means you need to read your policy thoroughly to make sure you understand the coverage, limits, and exclusions.
Do Roofs Come With Warranties?
  1. What else can cause a claim to be denied other than age? – Even a claim on a relatively new roof can be denied if the adjuster determines that the roof was in poor repair prior to the incident that damaged it.  For instance, if the adjuster discovers evidence that the roof was leaking prior to the event that damaged it, the claim can be denied by sighting wear and tear.  The same applies if the adjuster notices nicked as opposed to cracked or missing shingles, by writing the incident up as cosmetic damage.  That doesn’t mean that water damage caused by the leak would be denied since this is part of the covered perils section of your policy.  But the cost to replace the roof can be denied if the damage is determined to be the result of gradual deterioration.
  2. What can you do if your claim is denied? –  Even if your insurer denies your claim or offers you a fraction of what you need to make your home whole again, that isn’t necessarily the last word.  If you believe you have a legitimate claim, you don’t have to take the insurance adjuster’s word for it.  You have the right to hire a public adjuster.  A public adjuster isn’t employed by an insurance company.  They are a licensed advocate who works for the public.  While they charge for this service, they only get paid a portion of any claim that gets approved.  This means if they don’t succeed, you don’t owe them a penny.  They will also tell you if they believe your claim is valid or not since adjusters know the ins and outs of roof claims.  The bottom line is if you’ve done your part, but the insurance company refuses to do theirs, there is still hope. 

Hi, my name is Nicole Corson and I am the owner of RoofCrafters Roofing and a very blessed mother of two beautiful daughters and a handsome dog! In 2013 I decided to pivot when I had an opportunity to take my 12 years of experience in property management, property maintenance, and my passion for helping others by applying it to the roofing industry. Coming into a predominantly male industry, I am very proud to say I have created some much-needed structure for our team and an exceptional customer experience for my clients.

Take a Peek at Roof Leaks

Nothing puts the fear of God into a homeowner faster than discovering a leak during or after a rainstorm. Whether the leak is drip, drip, dripping, or gushing into your home, most people want to know what they should do other than put a bucket under the offending water. That’s a good question since by the time you discover a leak, it has probably been percolating into your home for weeks or months. What’s even more distressing is when a homeowner knows they have a leaky roof but can’t locate the source. That’s bad since a leak can do more than cosmetic damage to a home. It can cause everything from water damage and mold to electrical short circuits and fires. To help you get a bead on what you need to know about roof leaks, I thought I’d dedicated this week’s blog to help you keep your roof from raining on your parade. 

  1. Where is the water coming from? – If you climb up on your roof only to see missing or bent shingles, it isn’t all that difficult to determine where the leak originated.  Unfortunately, sometimes determining the source of a roof leak isn’t all that easy.  It isn’t necessarily coming from your shingles either.  The water could be emanating from the flashing, from a leaky skylight, or a corroded vent.  In short, unless you see an obvious source for the leak, sometimes it’s better to start beneath the roof to get a bead on the origin.  That means crawling around in your attic.  While it won’t necessarily tell you precisely where the leak is, it can definitely help you eliminate where it isn’t.  Once you are able to determine the general vicinity of the leak, it will be much easier to track it back to its source from above. 
  2. What should you do if you still can’t find the source of the leak? – Since water always runs downhill, it’s quite possible that you still may be unable to pinpoint the cause of the leak.  If that’s the case, the best thing you can do is to tarp the area where the leak was discovered and call in a professional.  Not only will a licensed roofer be able to spot the problem, he or she will also be able to plug the leak before it does any more damage to your home.

Is A Leaky Roof Covered By Homeowners Insurance?
  1. What else can cause a roof to leak? – One of the most common causes of leaks are clogged gutters.  Once gutters get clogged, not only can’t they shed water from your roof when it rains, but they can also cause costly leaks when the water backs up onto the roof.  Since shingles are gravity-fed, this means that anytime the water can’t run off, it will most likely back up beneath the gutters.  When this happens, water will find its way beneath the shingles looking for a way out.  Any crack, crevice or even the tiniest of holes is all water needs to permeate your home.  Since the gutters are located directly above the outer walls, it won’t be long before the water starts to puddle which could cause mold to grow long before the leak is noticed by you.  Fortunately, this is one of the easiest leaks to prevent.  If you have gutters, make sure you clean them out annually.  If you have a lot of leaf litter lying on the roof, this can cause the same problem as clogged gutters.  So, make sure you blow twigs and leaf litter off the roof to prevent leaf dams from forming.
  2. The light of your life or the bane of your existence? –  A skylight not only lets light into a home, it can also allow water to penetrate if they are improperly installed or the flashing around them is compromised.  If you find your skylight leaks, the simplest way to fix it is to apply a bead of silicone sealer.  If that doesn’t do the job, you’ll need to call your roofer to replace the flashing.
Can Gutters Cause Roof Leaks?
  1. What else can a leaky roof damage? – When they detect a leak, most people are only concerned with stopping the immediate source of the problem.  This could be a big mistake.  Depending on how long the leak went undetected, water could have done serious damage to a home that if left undetected could come to haunt the homeowner later.  Once a leak gets started, it can cause timber to rot or it can start mold to grow between the walls of your home.  Left untreated, either of these problems could grow to gargantuan proportions in a few months or years.  That’s why every homeowner should take the time to trace a leak from cradle to grave if they don’t want to wind up with a much larger problem down the line.  It’s cheaper to fix water damage earlier than later.
  2. What can you do to prevent roof leaks  – As Ben Franklin once said, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”  That goes double when it comes to roof leaks.  Instead of waiting for a leak to occur, by performing a little annual maintenance on your roof you can stop leaks from starting.  Make sure you clear out your gutters and blow leaf litter off your roof.  Climb a ladder every now and then to give your roof the once over.  If you don’t want to do it yourself, you can call a local roofer to inspect your roof for free.  They’re better trained than you to spot anything amiss with your roofing system.  This will help you keep the rain off your head while helping your roof last longer.  Last but not least, don’t put off replacing a roof that’s long past its prime.  Postponing the inevitable will only lead to more damage and a bigger bill in the end.

Hi, my name is Nicole Corson and I am the owner of RoofCrafters Roofing and a very blessed mother of two beautiful daughters and a handsome dog! In 2013 I decided to pivot when I had an opportunity to take my 12 years of experience in property management, property maintenance, and my passion for helping others by applying it to the roofing industry. Coming into a predominantly male industry, I am very proud to say I have created some much-needed structure for our team and an exceptional customer experience for my clients.

How Much Should You Pay Upfront for a Roof?

Getting a new roof installed on our home is one of the biggest investments most of us will ever make on it other than the initial purchase price. That’s why it’s so important to choose a reputable roofing company when the time comes. While I’ve explained in past blogs how to find good roofers and avoid bad ones, as well as what to look for when it comes to roof warranties, there’s one other bit of advice I’d like to impart and that can save you time, money, and grief when it comes to replacing that old roof. This has to do with paying all or part of the job upfront. 

  1. Beware of roofers who offer a huge discount for an upfront cash payment. – While everyone is interested in saving money, if a roofing company offers you a big discount as long as you pay in advance, my advice is to look for another roofer.  While some roofers ask for a small down payment, if you pay the entire amount upfront, it could be a long time before your roof is replaced, if ever.  Even worse is you will have little recourse should the work prove to be less than ideal.
  2.  How much of a deposit is a fair amount? – This is a trick question of sorts since any well-established company should have more than enough means to complete the job of replacing your roof without asking you for anything in advance.  I know that’s what we at RoofCrafters do. However, it’s not uncommon for some roofing companies to ask for anywhere from 10-50% upfront.  If you decide to go with any of them, make sure you have a firm date for the work to begin as well as some way to cancel the payment if the work isn’t completed or the roofing company goes out of business before it has begun. 
Should I Pay A Roofing Contractor Up Front?
  1. Why would a roofing company ask for an upfront deposit? – Since about half the cost of replacing a roof is the purchase of materials, some roofers want customers to cough up some of it in advance.  This is what’s known in the business as a “Good Faith Payment.”  If you have faith that the contractor will live up to the terms of the agreement, you may choose to pay a portion of the money upfront.  After all, it’s your money. However, if the material the contractor purchases should prove to be substandard, or if the installation is less than adequate, good luck getting your money back if you paid the deposit with anything other than a credit card. 
  2. What could go wrong? –  The more you pay in advance for a roof, the more of a disadvantage you put yourself in.  While a contractor can place a lien on your home if you don’t pay them, you as a homeowner have little recourse other than the expense of filing suit if the work isn’t done to your satisfaction (or at all). The only thing consumers have to hold over the heads of any contractor is money.  The more of this advantage you give up, the more the ball lands squarely in the contractor’s court.
  1. Doesn’t a contractor have to pay for their supplies in advance? – Not unless they have maxed out their credit.  Just like consumers, well-established roofing companies have access to credit that gives them 30-days to pay up before interest kicks in.  Since the average roof takes 2-3 days to install, this gives a roofer plenty of time to pull the permits, purchase and deliver the materials and complete the roof before the bill comes due.
  1. Why would a roofer need a substantial upfront deposit?  –  If neither good faith nor materials are the reason to ask for a substantial down payment, then what reason could a roofer have for demanding a big advance?  Rather than answer that question personally, I’ll leave you to consider a quote by Tim Carter of the Washington Post.  In his article, he stated, I’ll give you a few reasons: The contractor might be using your money to pay off his last job. Your contractor may be in a cash bind for any number of reasons. Do you really want to do business with a capital-strapped individual? The contractor may not have credit at local supply houses. Why is that? I could go on and on and on with reasons.” 
  2. Are there any legitimate reasons for a roofing contractor to ask for a large deposit? – If you live in a mansion or own a shopping mall that will take weeks to complete your roof, the answer is no.  Even then, the contractor should never ask for payment in full.  Rather they should ask for a deposit and progressive payments as the work progresses.
  3. What should you assess before you give any roofer the final payment? – Once the roof installation is complete, should you immediately stroke a check for the full amount to the contractor?  Any roofing company worth their salt will make sure they let you inspect their work before you give them the final payment.  If the job has been done properly, there should be no materials left lying on the roof or on your property.  The shingles should be evenly spaced and the roofline ruler-straight.  The vents and flashing should look shiny and new.  You should detect no bent or missing fasteners.  Last but not least, there should be no damage to your home or your yard.  

Hi, my name is Nicole Corson and I am the owner of RoofCrafters Roofing and a very blessed mother of two beautiful daughters and a handsome dog! In 2013 I decided to pivot when I had an opportunity to take my 12 years of experience in property management, property maintenance, and my passion for helping others by applying it to the roofing industry. Coming into a predominantly male industry, I am very proud to say I have created some much-needed structure for our team and an exceptional customer experience for my clients.

10 Signs that You’re Working with the Wrong Roofer

When it comes time to replace your home’s roof, you want to make sure you’re working with an experienced, reputable roofer who will get the job done right the first time. When you consider the cost and time it takes to replace a roof, you also want to make certain that the estimate and warranty you receive are both going to stand the test of time. Below are ten things you need to consider before, during, and after you hire a roofer. 

  1. Beware of roofers who refuse to set foot on your roof before giving you a quote. – While it’s fairly easy to use Google Earth to rough out the amount of material needed to replace your roof, only by walking the roof and inspecting your attic can a roofer be able to produce an honest quote.  A reputable roofer will take the time to examine the roof and everything connected with it before writing a quote.  To do otherwise would lead to a lot of guesswork that could later come to haunt you when the roofer demands more money for damage that should have been discovered before the estimate was written.
How Do I Find A Good Roofing Company?
  1. Did your roofer quote you a lowball price only to jack it up during the installation? – This is a variation of the old bait and switch scam.  Some roofers will underbid the competition only to later demand more money once the shingles are removed.  While it’s possible that an old roof may have more than the average amount of rotten decking beneath the shingles and underlayment, make sure you see the damage before you authorize the work, or you could wind up being nickeled and dimed to death when the roofer soon points out other expensive repairs that weren’t included in the initial bid.
  2. Did your new roof quickly spring a leak? – This is a big red flag that indicates the roof or the flashing wasn’t installed properly.  While the error could have been caused by an honest mistake that can easily be repaired by your roofer, it could also be a symptom of deeper systemic problems.  Cut rate materials or fasteners could have been used to save money.  Old underlayment or flashing could have been installed   While any of these underhanded tactics can save the roofer money, they are guaranteed to cost you big when your roof springs a leak or wears out years before its time.  Beware of roofers who come in with a significantly lower bid than the competition.  They have to make up for the difference somehow.
What To Do If Your Roof Is Leaking
  1. Did your roofer neglect to replace the old roof vents with new? –  Just like shingles, roof vents have a limited useful lifetime.  That’s why a reputable roofer will always include their replacement in the quote.  That’s also why consumers need to read the itemized estimate to make sure that new roof vents have been included.  Poor ventilation is one sure way to increase your utility bills and decrease the useful lifetime of your new roof. 
  2. Does your new roof look like an old horse? – Just like horses that are past their prime, an old roof can start to sag if the decking or the support timbers below them start to rot.  One of the first things that a competent roofer will do when they strip off the old shingles is to check the roof decking for signs of rot.  If water damaged wood isn’t replaced before new shingles are installed, the decking won’t hold the roof nails in place for long. This will result in leakage or loss of shingles after a windstorm.  If rotted support timbers aren’t replaced, the result could be the collapse of a portion of the roof.
  3. Did the roofer neglect to install drip edge flashing on your roof?  –  Drip edge is a thin strip of metal flashing that’s installed next to the gutters.  Their task is to keep the rain from getting under the shingles to rot the wood that lies beneath.  It also helps steer runoff into the gutter instead of letting it seep behind it, which could cause the wood that supports the gutters to rot.  If you climb up on a ladder and look at the area where the shingles meet the gutters and see the shingles overhanging them, this is a sure sign that the roofer cut corners by excluding drip edge flashing.  While this will work for a few years, what will inevitably happen is that the shingles will start to curl at the edges which will allow water to get beneath them.
  4. Have you taken a good look at your roof? – Unless you climb up on a ladder, you can’t really appreciate your roof properly.  What may look like a picture-perfect roofing job from the ground can expose obvious errors in installation from a higher vantage point.  Since homeowners are only required to pay a portion of the quote upfront and the balance when the job is done, it would behoove you to take a good hard look at the final result up close before you sign off on the work.  A properly installed roof should have no damaged or missing shingles.  The flashing and roof vents should shine.  The roofline should be ruler-straight.  There should be no mismatched shingles or stains on the roof. 
  5. How long does it take for your roofer to respond to a question or a concern? – Whether it’s during or after installation, a reputable roofer should respond to a question or concern about a roof within 24-hours.  If your roofer either fails to or takes forever to respond, this is a sign that the roofer cares more about the bottom line than about establishing a long-term relationship with their customers.
  6. Is your roof warranty worth the paper it’s written on? – While a roof warranty is important to every homeowner, it only works if the roofing company honors it.  That’s why you need to make sure that any roofer you hire is not only licensed and insured but a local roofer who has been in town for a long time.  If your roofer moves out of town or goes out of business, the warranty you receive won’t be worth the paper it’s written on.
  7. Other danger signs – A reputable roofer will always provide you with an itemized estimate that lists what is and isn’t included.  A reputable roofer will never hesitate to show you their certifications, their insurance, and their references. A reputable roofer will never ask you to pay for a job upfront.  A reputable roofer should never ask you to pull a permit or purchase materials to complete a job. 

Hi, my name is Nicole Corson and I am the owner of RoofCrafters Roofing and a very blessed mother of two beautiful daughters and a handsome dog! In 2013 I decided to pivot when I had an opportunity to take my 12 years of experience in property management, property maintenance, and my passion for helping others by applying it to the roofing industry. Coming into a predominantly male industry, I am very proud to say I have created some much-needed structure for our team and an exceptional customer experience for my clients.

Does It Pay to Play with Your Roof?

When it comes to home maintenance, keeping a roof over your head should be at the top of the list. That’s because a well-maintained roof keeps out the weather, the bugs, and other pesky critters that would like to make your home their home. It helps keep you warm when it’s cold and cool when it’s hot outside. A properly maintained roof can last for decades. But like any other edifice, sooner or later any roof will start to show its age. While there are several things you can do to keep a roof over your head longer, there are some maintenance tasks that are best left to the professionals. In today’s blog, I will explore roof maintenance in detail.  

roofer

Out of sight & mind? – Most homeowners don’t give their home’s roof a second thought until a named storm passes through town or a leak rears its ugly head. What these people don’t understand is if you ignore your roof, not only will you limit its useful life, you’ll also wind up paying more when it comes time to repair or replace it. If your roof is in disrepair, when a storm whips up the wind it will cause much more damage than it would to a well-maintained roof. High winds can peel shingles back or tear them loose. Once shingles are damaged, it can be weeks or months before leaks are detected. In the meantime, the water that has slowly been trickling into your home can cause everything from rot and mold to water damage and electrical short circuits. 

How Long Does A 30 Year Roof Really Last?

Can you spot signs of trouble before it’s too late? – Just like a good detective novel, signs of roof rot leave clues that are subtle but telling if you know where to look. While some of them can only be seen by climbing atop the roof, others can be seen from ground level. If you ever leave your home only to find a piece of shingle lying in your yard or on your driveway after a thunderstorm, this is a sure sign of wear and tear. So too is a rough or uneven looking roof. As a roof ages, wind and weather can bend, buckle or break shingles. It can crack caulking and cause gutters to sag. If you see obvious signs of damage, it’s high time to climb up on a ladder to assess your home’s roof in greater detail. Secondary signs of damage include missing or exposed fasteners, loose or buckled flashing, as well as piles of granules that have shed from the shingles. While you’re up there, also keep a weather eye for things like leaf litter, moss, and mold.

 

Is it time to trim your trees? – While not attached to your roof, trees can do major damage to any roof if a branch falls on or come into contact with shingles. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that tree limbs hanging a foot or more above the roof can’t fall on or scrape against it in a windstorm. If you’ve ever seen trees whip around in a thunderstorm, then you know that branches can move several feet when severe weather occurs. It doesn’t take a hurricane to cause trees to peel shingles from your roof or cause a heavy limb to come crashing down atop your home. The time to trim the trees on your property is during autumn and winter when they aren’t growing. That means now is the time to take stock of any trees that are near to or overhang your home. 

What To Do If Your Roof Is Leaking

Is your mind in the gutter? – Well, maybe it should be. That’s because another source of roof leaks can occur when gutters back up if they get clogged with leaf litter and dirt. Left unchecked, clogged gutters can cause severe damage to your roof, since water that can’t find its way to the ground can back up beneath shingles. Clogged gutters can also become so heavy that they warp the eaves or come crashing down to earth. If it’s been more than a year since you cleaned your gutters, this is the perfect time of year to do so. It also wouldn’t hurt to sweep or blow any leaves and twigs that have accumulated on the roof.

 

What should you do if you detect roof damage? – While everyone wants to save money, unless you’re a professional roofer, trying to repair roof damage can actually cause more damage than it cures. Here’s why:

roofer
  1. A DIY repair can invalidate the warranty. – All manufacturer’s warranties are predicated on the proper handling and installation of the materials involved. If you try to repair or replace shingles yourself, it’s likely that you will invalidate the manufacturer’s warranty. Instead of gambling with your roof warranty, if you spot obvious signs of wear and tear, it’s much more prudent to contact the roofing company that installed it to assess the damage and make the repair.
  1. You’re more likely to miss collateral damage. – Even if you successfully make the repair, how do you know if there was any subsidiary damage done to the underlayment, roof timbers or other areas of your home? Professionals know where to look for collateral damage that can cost you big bucks months or years later. They also have the experience to mitigate any less than obvious damage before it turns into a big headache for any homeowner.
  2. Is saving a few bucks worth a trip to the ER? – Like it or not, roofing is a risky business. That’s why professional roofers wear safety harnesses. Falling off a ladder or a roof could land you in the emergency room or in the morgue. Why risk your safety, when you can call on a professional roofing company to safely and correctly repair or replace your roof when the time comes?

Hi, my name is Nicole Corson and I am the owner of RoofCrafters Roofing and a very blessed mother of two beautiful daughters and a handsome dog! In 2013 I decided to pivot when I had an opportunity to take my 12 years of experience in property management, property maintenance, and my passion for helping others by applying it to the roofing industry. Coming into a predominantly male industry, I am very proud to say I have created some much-needed structure for our team and an exceptional customer experience for my clients.

All About Roof Warranties

Replacing a roof is expensive. In fact, it’s one of the most expensive maintenance items thatch any homeowner has to deal with if they stay in a home for more than a decade or so. When you’re looking to replace your roof, you want to know what you’re getting for your money. In many cases, this boils down to the quality of materials, the workmanship, and the warranty. 

lifetime warranty

What is a roof warranty? – No two warranties are written alike. A roof warranty works like insurance in that it protects your investment from manufacturer defects and shoddy workmanship. Most roofing systems come with several warranties. A manufacturer’s warranty typically covers both the shingles and underlayment for 25-50 years. If you purchase a material-only warranty, should the shingles deteriorate before the warranty is up, the manufacturer would be required to replace them. A workmanship warranty has to do with how well the roof system was installed. If your roof were to spring a leak after it was installed, this usually indicates poor workmanship. A labor-only warranty would require the roofing company to fix any leaks for a specified amount of time after it was installed. However, only a full-system warranty covers both labor and material defects. This type of warranty typically covers things like shingles, underlayment, and flashings, along with other materials used in the installation of a roof. Full-system warranties usually also cover the full cost of repairing leaks, including labor and material. As a result, this type of warranty is more expensive than either a material-only or labor-only warranties.

Do Roofs Come With Warranties?

How long does a roofing warranty last? – That depends on how the warranty is worded. Even if a manufacturer or roofing contractor tells you the warranty lasts for 25, 35, 50-years or a lifetime, the actual term of coverage can be abridged depending on how the contract is worded. For example, while the bold print may read “30-years” or “Lifetime”, the fine print may indicate that the actual warranted value of the roof drops by 80% or more after just a few years. Other exclusions can include such things as deterioration of underlayment, caulking, and/or flashing.

 

What’s a lifetime warranty? – While most asphalt shingles manufactured today come with a lifetime warranty that’s good for as long as you own your home, you should be aware that most come with a proviso that has a specified non-prorated period that typically only lasts 10-15 years. After that, you’ll be required to pay a portion of the replacement cost that’s determined by the age of the shingles. (This is another reason you need to carefully read the warranty in its entirety.)

What Is A No Dollar Limit Warranty

What’s a no dollar limit warranty? – This type of warranty is only available through the manufacturer. Considered the Cadillac of manufacturers warranties, it provides the homeowner with the satisfaction of having the manufacturer take full responsibility for repair or replacement of a defective roof, no matter how much it takes to affect the repair including material and labor. The bad news is that this kind of warranty only covers damage caused by defective material or faulty installation.

 

Do roof warranties cover hail damage? – Unless this is specified in the warranty, the answer is no. However, your homeowner’s policy should cover damage caused by hail, unless it is listed as an exclusion.

 

Can you transfer a warranty? – That depends on several things. First of all, the warranty must state that it is transferable, along with the terms of transfer. Typically, this means that a roof can be transferred to the next owner should you sell your home while the roof is still under warranty. However, doing so may also reduce the rate of coverage for the next owner. It may also require you or the new owner to pay a transfer fee.

 

What isn’t covered by a roof warranty? – Just as any homeowner’s policy has limitations and exclusions, so too do roof warranties. Here are several things that aren’t covered by or can make a roof warranty null and void. These include:

 

  1. Subsidiary damage to the structure or belongings in your home.
  2. Damage caused by standing water.
  3. Acts of God, such as earthquakes, tornadoes, lightning strikes, and storm damage.
  4. Fire damage
  5. Unauthorized repairs
  6. Negligence
  7. Improper attic ventilation
  8. Improper roof cleaning
  9. Improperly installed solar panels and satellite dishes

Are roof warranties worth the paper they’re written on? – Not if the roofing contractor goes out of business. No matter how the warranty is worded, it isn’t worth a dime if the roofing company goes bankrupt or moves out of state. That’s why you need to thoroughly research any roofing company before you sign on the dotted line. Check not only their reputation, but how long they’ve been in business. Ask for references and speak with customers who have recently had their roof replaced by any roofer you are considering. Avoid companies that have either bad reviews or no reviews, since the latter could indicate a company that is either brand new or one that has changed its name to avoid past liabilities. 

Hi, my name is Nicole Corson and I am the owner of RoofCrafters Roofing and a very blessed mother of two beautiful daughters…and a handsome dog! In 2013 I decided to pivot when I had an opportunity to take my 12 years of experience in property management, property maintenance, and my passion for helping others by applying it to the roofing industry. Coming into a predominantly male industry, I am very proud to say I have created some much-needed structure for all our team and an exceptional customer experience for my clients.

How Long Should a Roof Last?

When it comes to expenses related to maintaining your home, replacing your roof is the highest.  That’s why every homeowner wants to get as much life out of their roof as possible. One of the questions that roofers like me get asked frequently is, “How long should my roof last?”  My answer is invariably, “That depends.”  What most people don’t realize is that all roofs are not created equal.  By that, I mean that when it comes to the life expectancy of a roof, there are a number of variables that have to be considered.

rooftop

1.      What kind of roof does your home have? – There are four basic types of roof currently available are asphalt, tile, slate and metal.  Depending on the type of material, used, there is a huge difference between their expected lifetimes.  While asphalt roof systems have an expected lifetime of between 15-25 years, architectural shingles can last 25-35 years.  However, this pales in comparison to a clay tile roof that typically lasts between 35-50 years.  Metal roofs can last for 50-70 years or more, depending on the kind of metal used in their construction. Slate roofs can last for a century. The chief differences between them are price and weight.  

How Long Is A Roof Supposed To Last?
  1. Asphalt or architectural shingles? – If you buy a new home, chances are it’s covered with asphalt shingles which are the least inexpensive type of roof covering available today.  That isn’t necessarily a bad thing, since asphalt shingles are inexpensive to install and maintain.  They’re also simple to replace when they’re damaged or displaced.  While both they and architectural shingles are made of the same material, the chief difference between the two is their density.  Architectural shingles are as much as three times denser than standard asphalt shingles.  That’s why they have longer manufacturer warranties and are considered more attractive than typical asphalt varieties.  That’s also why architectural shingles are well worth considering when it comes time to redo your roof, 
  2. Can clay make your day? – Clay tiles are extremely durable, require little to no maintenance and are long lasting.  They’re also more than twice the price of architectural shingles and weigh significantly more than their asphalt counterparts.  This is one reason why you normally only see them on premium homes near or on the beach.  It takes a substantial structure to handle the weight of clay or slate roofs.    
roof

Should you put the pedal to the metal? – When most people think of metal roofs, they assume that they’re expensive and noisy.  This assumption holds little water, since standing-seam aluminum panels cost little more than architectural shingles and the pitter-patter of rain on a metal roof is abated by the underlayment that’s applied below the roof panels to mitigate noise.  Adding insulation to the attic reduces the noise even more.  The difference in sound between an asphalt and a metal roof is only 5-10 decibels.  However, the difference in durability of metal roofs can be 2-3 times as long when compared with asphalt roof systems.  Metal roofs also require little maintenance and are designed to shrug off high wind and torrential rain.  Metal roof panels are a greener choice since they are 100% recyclable and are typically constructed of recycled metal. 

  1.    Maintenance makes a huge difference when it comes to the longevity of a roof. – Roofs are for the most part out of sight and out of mind.  Unless you find a shingle lying on your lawn or detect a growing stain on a ceiling panel, homeowners usually don’t give their home’s roof a second thought.  Perhaps they should, especially after a major storm.  While the roof is designed to shrug off wind and rain, as a roof ages it becomes more susceptible to the elements.  So too does roof flashing.  Everything from solar radiation and frost to leaf litter and tree limbs can take their toll on roofs.  By taking the time to make sure that leaf litter doesn’t accumulate on your roof, you will reduce the incidence of water intrusion and mold.  By getting up on a ladder to take a look at your roof, you’ll see wear and tear that aren’t apparent from the ground.  You can also see if any tree limbs are growing too close to the roof for comfort.  The secret to making your home’s roof last as long as possible is to make sure that minor signs of deterioration don’t become major sources of leaks.  
  1.  Signs that your roof needs to be replaced. – Just as an old car shows signs of age by requiring a lot more maintenance than a newer car, so to do roofs show their age.  Some of the signs that your roof is on its last legs are readily apparent. 
roofs
  1. Missing, bent or broken shingles are one sign of age.
  2. So too is ridge rot or soft spots on the roof which may indicate water intrusion or a compromised underlayment.
  3. Signs of moss or mold shouldn’t be ignored, since they can force shingles apart.  They also speed up the process of rot.
  4. Do you see gaps in the flashing or cracks in the caulking?  These will inevitably result in leaks and/or mold.
  5. Even worse are leaks in the attic and/or a sagging roofline which can indicate rotted roof timbers that can compromise the structural integrity of your home.

Hi, my name is Nicole Corson and I am the owner of RoofCrafters Roofing and a very blessed mother of two beautiful daughters…and a handsome dog! In 2013 I decided to pivot when I had an opportunity to take my 12 years of experience in property management, property maintenance and my passion for helping others by applying it to the roofing industry. Coming into a predominantly male industry, I am very proud to say I have created some much needed structure for all our team and an exceptional customer experience for my clients.

What Should You Do When You Have Roof Damage?

When it rains it pours, especially in Florida.  Known as the hurricane capital of the USA, the Sunshine State is renown for named storms and pop-up thunderstorms that occur on a daily basis during the long hot summer. Any squall can pack a punch that combines wind, rain and hail.  If you’ve ever hunkered down to weather a hurricane, then you know the aftermath of a storm can leave downed trees and power lines in its wake, along with a fair share of property damage.  Should you find yourself in a situation where your home sustains roof damage, do you know what to do to minimize the damage and file a claim with your insurance company?  Below are some helpful hints.

roof damage

1.      Timber! – One of the things that strikes fear into the heart of any homeowner is the threat of a tree falling onto their house.  Since some oak trees weigh almost as much as a loaded Mack Truck, it should come as no surprise that if one were to fall atop your home, the damage it can inflict could be catastrophic.  Even branches on many full-grown oak trees weigh as much as a tree.  That means if one comes crashing down, don’t even think about trying to move it.  You’re going to need a chainsaw and a crane to safely shift a fallen oak.  The best you can hope to do in the short term is to try to cover the hole it makes with a tarp to keep the water from entering your home. 

What To Do If Your Roof Is Leaking
  1. Hail no! – Another common cause of roof damage is hail.  Depending on the size of the hailstones and the duration of the hailstorm, your roof can wind up as dimpled as a golf ball.  Hail damage can sometimes seem inconsequential.  Unlike wind or tree damage, most of the time hail damaged shingles remain in place.  What most people don’t understand is the way in which shingles are constructed.  Asphalt shingles are made with granules that block harmful UV rays which would otherwise dry them out.  These granules are gradually lost over the lifetime of a roof system.  But hail damage can accelerate the aging process or even invalidate the warranty.  Hailstones can also dent or damage flashing. If you experience a strong hailstorm and notice even the slightest damage to your home’s shingles, call a qualified roofer to take a look at them as soon as possible. 
  2. That she blows! – While hail, windblown debris and falling tree limbs can do a number on your roof, so too can the wind alone.  Depending on the age and condition of your roof, strong winds can bend, crack and even break shingles.  If roof damage goes unchecked, this can result in leaks that can take weeks or months to surface inside your home.  Internal water damage can cause more than unsightly stains on the ceiling.  It can lead to everything from rot and mold to electrical short circuits.  The problem is, even if you walk your roof, you may not be able to detect the signs of roof damage.  If your home’s roof is more than 5-years-old, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to have your roof inspected by a professional for damage that you may not be able to detect before more serious complications arise. 
lightning

Flash Bang – Another potential hazard with any electrical storm is the possibility of a lightning strike.   A lightning bolt can pack more than a million bolts and be hotter than the surface of the Sun.  Should a bolt from the blue strike your home, it can cause serious damage to your roof, as well as the contents of your home.  It isn’t unusual for a lightning bolt to drill a hole in a roof or even set one on fire.  It can also melt asphalt shingles in and around the area of the strike.  If your home is struck by lightning, you should call a roofing company to have them send someone over to give your roof the once over. 

  1. How can you spot roof damage? – While a tree limb sticking out of your roof is obvious, not all roof damage is readily apparent.  Other than detecting a leak from inside your home, the way to spot roof damage is to inspect the roof.  This can be sometimes be done from the ground.  If you stand in your yard and look up at the roof, shingles that are bent or missing should be readily apparent. Sometimes after a windstorm, you won’t even need to look up, since displaced shingles usually wind up in your yard.  If you detect roof damage, the first thing you need to do is to cover the damage to prevent leaks.  Then you need to have the damaged or missing shingles replaced as soon as possible.  
  2. Should you file a claim with your insurance company? – Filing a damage claim after a storm has damaged your roof is always a good idea.  One of the things that homeowner’s insurance is designed to handle is sudden damage due to wind, hail or a bolt from the blue.  Just make sure you document the damage before you cover or repair it if you want to get full value.  Also, make sure you document all the damage, including any water damage that was caused after the fact.  Whether the damage to your roof is significant enough to warrant a replacement or a repair is in the hands of the insurance adjuster.  Provided the roof was properly installed and maintained, you could wind up only having to shell out the cost of the deductible to make your roof whole again. 

Hi, my name is Nicole Corson and I am the owner of RoofCrafters Roofing and a very blessed mother of two beautiful daughters…and a handsome dog! In 2013 I decided to pivot when I had an opportunity to take my 12 years of experience in property management, property maintenance and my passion for helping others by applying it to the roofing industry. Coming into a predominantly male industry, I am very proud to say I have created some much needed structure for all our team and an exceptional customer experience for my clients.

All About Attic Ventilation

You put shingles on the roof to keep out the elements, right? Then why do roofers tell you to let air flow through your attic, no matter the time of year? The answer is really quite simple. While you want your home to be weather-tight, you don’t want your attic to be airtight. If your attic couldn’t breathe, it would trap both heat and moisture, neither of which is good for the roof or the contents contained there. Far from reducing the heat stress on your home, an airtight attic would work like a balloon by expanding in the summer and contracting in the winter. This in turn would undermine your roofing system and inevitably spawn leaks. This is why you need to place attic insulation on the floor rather than on the ceiling. If you’ve ever wondered about attic ventilation, let me tell you a thing or two. 

attic

1.      How does an attic breathe? – While your attic has neither lungs nor gills, it does indeed breathe. Intake vents located under the eaves allow fresh air into the attic. Intake vents are usually installed in the soffit either individually or as one continuous unit that runs the length of the soffit. Gabled roofs may have vents located on the side of the house, within the peak of the gable. Exhaust vents located atop the roof allow hot air to escape the attic. Known as passive ventilation, this system promotes air exchange. As a rule, your attic should have 1-square-foot of vents for every 300-square-feet of attic space. Exhaust vents come in three varieties: Static vents, ridge vents & powered vents. Static vents often protrude from the roof like metal mushrooms, due to the covers that are meant to exclude precipitation. Some static vents contain wind-powered blades meant to suck the air out of the attic any time the wind blows. Ridge vents are a little harder to see since they run the length of the roofline. This type of exhaust vent works by leaving a screen-covered gap in the sheathing that runs along the ridge. Powered exhaust vents use electricity to power an exhaust fan whenever the temperature inside the attic reaches a preset limit. To keep from adding to your electric bill, some of these units are solar-powered.

The Roofcrafters Experience

2.      Why does an attic need to breathe? – There are basically three reasons why air needs to flow into and out of your attic. In the first place, if hot air gets trapped in your attic, it will add to the amount of time your home air conditioner needs to run in the summer. This will not only cost you more when you pay your utility bills, but it will also reduce the life of your home’s HVAC system. Secondly, without adequate ventilation, condensation can occur in your attic. This can lead to several problems, including mold, damage to the attic insulation, not to mention potential damage to your roofing system and supporting timbers. Thirdly, trapped heat in the attic can cause snow, ice and frost to melt only to refreeze along the eaves, potentially undermining the shingles that are affixed there.

3.      How can you tell if your home’s attic is improperly ventilated? – The first sign of inadequate ventilation would be an uptick in your utility bills. If your electric bill suddenly went sky high or your home’s heating and/or air conditioning system seems to be running non-stop, it’s possible that your attic ventilation has been compromised. This can happen in several different ways. The vents could be clogged with dust or debris. This is fairly common in the autumn when the leaves are falling from the trees. It’s also possible that squirrels or other wildlife decided to build a nest on or inside one of the attic vents.

attic roof

4.      How often should you clean out your home’s attic vents? – If you want to maintain the optimal efficiency of attic ventilation, it’s a good idea to clean out the attic vents once a year. This can be done by using a can of compressed air to blow out dust, dirt, and loose insulation that can compromise ventilation by partially clogging the ridge vents. Soffit vents are best cleaned out with a broom. You may need a vacuum to clean out-static vents, although you may first have to remove the cap. Before you turn on the vacuum, take the time to inspect the vent with a flashlight to look for any obvious obstructions. If there’s a clot of leaves or a nest blocking the vent, you don’t want to suck that into the vacuum since it could clog it. If you can’t get your hand down the stack to remove a clog, try using ice tongs. 

Hi, my name is Nicole Corson and I am the owner of RoofCrafters Roofing and a very blessed mother of two beautiful daughters… and a handsome dog! In 2013 I decided to pivot when I had an opportunity to take my 12 years of experience in property management, property maintenance, and my passion for helping others by applying it to the roofing industry. Coming into a predominantly male industry, I am very proud to say I have created some much-needed structure for all our team and an exceptional customer experience for my clients

Are You All Charged Up About Solar Panels?

You can’t read a magazine or turn on the TV without someone telling you how important it is to go green. While some of the stories involve reducing your carbon footprint or using more eco-friendly chemicals, one of the best ways to go green is by reducing your home’s energy footprint. One of the best ways to do that is to install solar panels on your roof, or so the story goes. Yes indeed, solar energy is a clean and environmentally friendly way to power a home, particularly in the Sunshine State. When installed properly, solar panels can reduce or in some cases eliminate the electricity that comes from the grid, even though the sun only shines during the day. That’s because not only has solar power come a long way during the past couple of decades, so have electrical storage systems. However, before you break out your checkbook to go green by adding solar to your home, there are a few things you need to know. 

photovoltaic panels

1.      How long do solar panels last? – More importantly, since solar panels are typically laid atop your existing roof, should you wait until it’s time to replace your roof to go solar? Solar panels can be expected to last from 25-30 years on average. That doesn’t mean that the juice will suddenly stop flowing, provided the panels are properly maintained. The bad news is that a solar panel’s output will slowly degrade over time to produce less and less power. The good news is that this degradation in output typically averages between .3% and .8% per year, which equates to an average loss of around 10% in 25 years. Since typical roof systems last 25-30 years, it only makes sense to install a new solar system at the same time you replace your roof.

Do Solar Panels Void Roof Warranty?

2.      Will solar panels invalidate my roof warranty? – Possibly, if the brackets that support the panels on your roof aren’t mounted correctly. It isn’t unusual for roofing companies like RoofCrafters to get called out to repair leaks after the solar panels are installed on a home. Repairing such leaks can be expensive since they invariably aren’t covered under the roofing warranty. What’s even worse is that this is an avoidable problem. If the homeowner had the solar company and the roofer coordinate the installation to make sure that the panels were attached properly, there never would have been any leaks in the first place. It also wouldn’t hurt to ask the solar rep what kind of rack system their company uses since there are two. The first system used on residential installation requires bolts or screws that penetrate through the roof. The second system uses a ballasted rack that relies on weight to keep the rack in place. Ballasted systems are only effective with roofs that have little or no slope. However, even systems that are designed to penetrate the roof can and should have their footing installed with flashing that’s designed to mitigate leaks. The kind of mounting systems used also depends on the kind of material used on your roof. While solar installations on asphalt roofs typically use bolts, flashing, and butyl tape to ensure watertight integrity, installations on tile roofs usually employ hooks that slide beneath the tile to affix the footings to the roof. Solar installations on metal roofs use clamps affixed to the seams negating the need to drill through the roof to attach the panels.

green energy home with solar panels

3.      How many solar panels do I need? – That depends on how much power your home typically consumes and how much of that you want to mitigate. The beauty of residential solar power systems is that you don’t need to eliminate 100% of your power consumption unless you live in an area that’s off-the-grid. You can also choose to install a system that reduces the amount of power you receive from local utilities. Of more concern to most homeowners is the cost of a solar power system. To get a bead on this you must first analyze your utility bill. Take a look at the kilowatt-hours (kWh) usage figure on your bill over a 12-month period. Add these up and divide by twelve to determine your average monthly consumption. Then divide by thirty to find your average daily usage. To determine the size of a system that will more or less deliver 100% of your household power via the Sun, you’ll also need to determine your area’s peak sun hours. That’s done by doing an Internet search for the peak sun hours for the nearest metropolitan area. In Jacksonville, Florida, the peak sun hours are between 6.16 hours in the summer and 5.26 hours in the winter. Then you need to plug this and your power consumption in kWh into the following formula: Daily kWh usage divided by the average sun-hours times 1.15 to determine your home’s DC solar size. My Jacksonville, Florida home needs 6.7 kilowatts DC if I want to more or less eliminate my electric bill.

Since a 6-kW system typically requires 20 solar panels, to go completely green, I’d need around 24 panels. This would necessitate a surface area of approximately 15x30 feet of roof to install. The cost for a 6.7 kW system as of 2020 would be somewhere between $18,000-$22,000 (without storage batteries) in Florida after factoring in the 26% Federal ITC discount. While that sounds like a lot of money, if you divide say $20,000 by 25, you come up with an average annual electricity cost of only $800. (A local solar power company can give you a better idea of what it would cost for you to go green. Plus, many solar companies offer financing.)

Hi, my name is Nicole Corson and I am the owner of RoofCrafters Roofing and a very blessed mother of two beautiful daughters… and a handsome dog! In 2013 I decided to pivot when I had an opportunity to take my 12 years of experience in property management, property maintenance, and my passion for helping others by applying it to the roofing industry. Coming into a predominantly male industry, I am very proud to say I have created some much-needed structure for all our teams and an exceptional customer experience for my clients.