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Roof Repair vs. Roof Replacement

When it comes to home improvement, any decision you make can be the key to multiply or reduce costs. This is especially true when the thing that needs maintenance is your roof.

 

The truth is that like the rest of your house, roofs deteriorate too over time. But when it is time to fix a roofing problem, there are so many things to consider. Can the problem be fixed with a repair service? Is it time to replace my old roof? What material should I choose? Replacing your roof when you could do with repairs can waste your money. Similarly, repairing a roof that has lived its lifespan can cause expensive damage down the road.

 

Whether to replace your roof or repair it depends on several factors. And making the right decision can ensure both optimal performance and peace of mind. If you are mulling over which one is the right option for you, we have put together this guide to help you make the right call.

 

Here’s how to make the right decision when it comes to roof repair vs. roof replacement!

Roof Repair vs. Roof Replacement Considerations

Before you decide to get a roof repair or replacement, below are a few things that you should consider:

Age of the Roof

The age of your roof is one of the most important considerations to decide whether to choose repair or replacement. Most asphalt shingles roofs usually have a lifespan anywhere from 15 to 30 years.

 

So if your roof is showing signs of aging or other signs of serious damage, it is probably a good idea to consider a roof replacement. Replacing an old and failing roof is a much better option than wasting money on repairs. A roof that has run its life is likely to show problems repeatedly. Whether you want to stay in the house for a long time or intent to sell it, replacement will be worth the investment in any case.

The Extent of the Damage

Any signs of roof damage generally fall under two categories; aesthetic damage and structural damage. The extent of the damage to your roof can be a determining factor to decide if it needs a replacement or you can do with some repairs.

 

Similarly, if you live in a region that’s susceptible to hail storms or hurricanes, you might face roof problems constantly. For problems from storm damage, it is better to replace missing shingles or other roofing materials right after a storm. Roof repairing will help prevent future issues as well as the big cost of replacement.

 

It also goes without saying that a reliable roofing company can help you better understand the extent of any roof damage. They can help you make the right decision for your home and budget with affordable roofing service.

Costs and Your Budget

The costs of roof replacement and roof repairs differ a great deal. And while roof repair are generally less expensive than replacement, you must also consider the hidden costs of roof repair, such as gutter replacement or any landscape damage.

 

For many people a roof replacement just isn’t possible due to their budget limits. If you cannot afford a replacement, a good roofing company can manage to limp you along with some repairs until you can afford it.

Roof Leaks

Roof leaks are one of the most common reasons why you might need a roofing service. If you are noticing any water stains on your ceiling, it is likely you have a leaky roof.

 

It is important that you do not ignore a leaky roof problem get the best roof repair service sooner rather than later. Often something that seems to be a small leak can turn into a more serious problem over time.

When to Get Roof Repairs

Just because your roof has a minor damage doesn’t mean that it’s time to get a new roof. You should consider roof repair if:

 

  • It is a minor damage.
  • If portions of your shingles are visibly chipped or damaged.
  • If there are moisture marks that are on the ceiling or that run down the walls.
  • You cannot afford replacement.
  • You need urgent roofing service.
  • You replaced your roof only recently.
  • If your area is susceptible to tornadoes, hurricanes, and other kinds of storms.

When to Get a Roof Replacement

When you decide to go for a roof replacement, you get to have many benefits. This includes not only a new revitalized look to your property but you also won’t be needing repairs or a long time.

 

You should consider roof replacement if:

 

  • Your roof has reached the end of its lifespan.
  • The damage to your roof is too big and serious.
  • Your roof was completely damaged in a storm.
  • Your rood is not compliant with current building codes.
  • You want a new roof to increase the value of your property.

Bottom Line

It is possible for the top of your house to be overlooked after years of exposure to sun and storm damage. But when it’s time to get an affordable roofing service, it is difficult to decide if a replacement would do or some repairs. While repairs tend to be less expensive, a new roof will last a long time.

 

If you’re weighing your options between a roof repair and a roof replacement, it is a good idea to get some professional advice. Contact Roof Crafters today to get our roofing specialist examine your roof to suggest an option. Whether you need the best roof repair or replacement, we can uplift your roof’s integrity!

 

The Most Common Causes of Roof Leaks

Imagine you look up at your ceiling during a thunderstorm only to find a big dark stain. The realization that your roof is leaking drops a stone in your stomach. At some point in life, every homeowner experiences this dreaded feeling and learns that a roof leak couldn’t be anything less than a nightmare.

 

Roof leaks are a result of any of the five common factors; human error, neglect, age, rooftop equipment, and weather. Regardless of the cause, roof leaks can lead to much bigger problems than just having to run for a bucket every time it rains.

 

If neglected, roof leaks can lead to bigger problems just over a short period. Not only can the water intrusion lead to structural damage but it can also cause mold and mildew to spread throughout the house. Then there are other risks like water finding its way to electrical wiring and becoming a fire hazard. Needless to say, roof leaks can be a cause of far greater concern than just a few drops of rainwater.

 

Therefore, it is important that homeowners should always be on the lookout for the common causes of roof leaks. Finding the cause can help you determine if a quick fix would do or you are in need of a roof replacement.

 

Here are 5 common causes of roof leaks that you should nip in the bud with adequate home maintenance!

1. Cracked Flashing

Flashing is the part of your roof that creates a water-resistant barrier. They are typically made of thin pieces of metal that are installed under shingles and on the joints of a roof. If they are exposed, they appear like long runs of sheet metal. On the other hand, if concealed, they have a rubberized coating on top. Broken flashing will feature large cracks

 

Roofers usually use tar to seal the flashing together and to fill in the cracks. But over time, it can corrode, causing cracks or gaps in the flashing. Often strong winds and rains cause the flashing to crack.

2. Broken Shingles

Shingles are the outer layer of a roof structure, used as a cover for the underlay which stands as a barrier to water intrusion. If your roof has a missing shingle, simply taking a look at your roof will indicate it. This is also the best tip for preventing further damage. A damaged or missing shingle exposes your roof to external elements. It also causes air to find its way into the ventilation part of your roof.

 

You might have noticed after a night of heavy storm a few shingles or their pieces scattered across your yard. Bad weather conditions, especially thunderstorms and hurricanes, can cause these materials to come loose and fall off your roof.

3. Poor Venting

Improper venting can be another common cause of roof leaks. And this could be in two different ways; due to excess condensation in your attic or due to the leaks in the vents themselves.

 

If your roof doesn’t have enough vents, it is likely that moisture will build up in your attic. This means that it will lead to the growth of mold and mildew throughout the structure as it has nowhere else to go but to stay in the attic. As a result, this will not only weaken your roof structure but will cause roof leaks over time. Not to mention the damage from the condensation build-up.

 

Similarly, vents that have not been sealed properly can also cause roof leaks. This could be cracks or gaps around the vent pipes or gaskets.

4. Shallow Roof Slope

Shallow roof slopes allow wind to lift shingles, which can cause roof leaks during rains. Generally, the measurement of a roof slope is taken as a ratio of its vertical rise, in inches, to a horizontal distance of 12 inches.

 

As a standard rule, the roof slope has to be at least 2:12 in order to get asphalt shingles. So if the slope measurement falls between the ratios of 2:12 and 4:12, a double layer of underlay material should be used. Aside from the measurement, you must also ensure that your roofing materials are of high quality and are appropriately installed.

5. Ice Dam Buildup

A ridge of ice that forms at the edge of a roof is usually referred to as an ice dam. It prevents the water or melting snow from draining off the roof. The accumulated water, as well as the weight of the ice itself, can damage the roof. Moreover, the water sitting on the roof’s surface can also lead to damage over time.

 

Sometimes, the heat coming off from your house causes some of the snow to melt on the roof even when the temperature outside is below freezing. As a result, the melted water flows between the roof’s surface and the snow and eventually refreezes back into ice once it reaches the roof’s exterior edge.

Bottom Line

Is a roof even a roof at all if it leaks? It is rather a major inconvenience that can cause you a great deal of both; money and trouble. Roof leaks not only damage the structure but also cause mold and mildew to spread throughout your house. Not to mention the more serious dangers as a result of water getting to the electrical wiring. Thus, your best line of defense is to be always looking out for the causes of roof leaks so that you can take prompt action to mitigate the risks.

 

If you suspect or have a roof leak that needs inspection and repair, you should call the best roofer. At Roof Crafters, our specialists offer professional and affordable roofing services. So, whether your roof needs a simple fix or a roof replacement, we can get your roof back on track!

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. 

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. 

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.

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’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.  

  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. 

  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.

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.

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 15×30 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. 

“Lifetime” Metal Roofs and Their Common Misconceptions

Like it or not, some fine day it will come time to replace your home’s roof. The question is, whether you should replace it with shingles or choose to replace your existing roof with metal. Once relegated to high-end homes, metal roofs are now available to the masses. That’s because the cost and complexity of installing a metal roof have come down significantly in the past few years. Today, fifteen percent of all roofing installations are metal. If you’ve been thinking about changing your roof from shingles to metal, here’s some food for thought. 

metallic roof

1.      How long do you want your roof to last? – This sounds like a trick question, doesn’t it?  Well, it’s not.  Depending on the type of material used on a roof, it can last anywhere from 15-70 years or more, provided it is installed correctly and maintained properly.  Asphalt shingles can last from 15-20 years.  Architectural shingles, typically last from 25-30 years on average.  That’s because they’re up to three times thicker than asphalt shingles.  Terracotta roofs last up to 50-years, but they’re twice as expensive as architectural shingles.  Metal roofs can last up to seventy years, depending on the type of metal used.  Like terracotta roofs, you can expect to pay more for a metal roof.  But you’ll recoup the cost down the road as long as you intend to stay in your home for years to come. 

2.      Aren’t metal roofs noisy? – Some homeowners refuse to consider a metal roof because they fear the noise will be unbearable every time it rains.  But this is hardly the case.  Once installed over plywood sheathing and underlayment, a metal roof is only 5-decibels louder during a driving rainstorm than an architectural shingle, according to This Old House.  They’re also far more durable during everything from hailstorms to wildfires.  Due to their high reflectivity, they’re more energy-efficient than a shingle roof.  During the summer months, metal roofs are actually 50 degrees cooler than their asphalt equivalent.  Best of all, they’re nearly maintenance-free provided they’re installed properly.

metal roof

3.      Don’t metal roofs rust? – There are four different metals used on houses nowadays: aluminum, copper, steel, and terne.  Choosing the right one for your home comes down to two factors – local conditions and price.  If you live near the ocean and are worried about corrosion, aluminum, copper, or zinc roofs are impervious to salt air.  But they are pricier than a galvanized steel roof.  However, an aluminum roof is lighter than other kinds of metal roofs and it has a higher strength to weight ratio than other metals, which makes it an ideal roofing material for hurricane-prone areas. 

4.      Aren’t metal roofs prone to lightning strikes? – Absolutely not. Not only are metal roofs, no more likely to be hit by lightning than roofs covered with singles, but if they are struck, they are 100% noncombustible. Typically made of steel with a protective zinc coating, a galvanized roof is also resistant to rust and high winds that accompany electrical storms. They are also less costly than other types of metal roofs without sacrificing longevity since they typically last up to 60-years. But they do need to have their protective zinc coating reapplied every 20-years. Terne roofs are composed of stainless steel sandwiched between layers of tin, are also highly corrosion and weather resistant. Corrugated metal roofs are also some of the most affordable steel roofing systems on the market. The downside is they have exposed fasteners and require more maintenance than other metal roofs.

5.      Is copper king? – If you want the ultimate in durability and ease of maintenance, you can’t beat copper. Copper roofs are corrosion resistant and they never need to be painted. They can last for 100-years or more. Talk about a lifetime warranty. The only downside to copper is that they are less dent-resistant than steel roofs. However, the cost of copper can also be a king’s ransom when compared to other metal roofs.

6.      Metal tile and metal slate roofs won’t rock the boat. – If you want the look of a slate or tile roof with the price and durability of steel, one of these products could be just the ticket.  However, the real reason some homeowners choose these over actual tile or slate roofs is the price and weight differential.  Metal slate and tile roof panels look like the real McCoy, but they cost half as much.  They’re also much lighter than tile or slate, which means you won’t have to risk your roof caving in after a rainstorm. Not only are clay tiles heavier, to begin with, they can absorb up to 15% of their weight in water.

terracotta roof

7.       What’s in a warranty? – While many traditional roofing companies offer “Lifetime Warranties” on shingle roofs, you need to read the fine print. Far from guaranteeing a roof for life, some roofing companies and manufacturers define lifetime as short as 5-years depending on the severity of the climate in a given area. According to State Farm Insurance, a homeowner will typically replace their home’s shingles 2-3 times over the course of 50-years, while those who install a metal roof will rarely have to install a second roof since they typically last from 40-70 years. Metal roofs are also impervious to fire, rot, and damage by insects and rodents.

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 to Find a Great Roofing Company?

To everything, there is a season.  That premise goes double for the roofing industry during hurricane season.  Whether you’re wondering if your roof has what it takes to survive a named storm, or whether you just want to know if it’s better to repair or replace your existing roof, there are a few things you need to know before you start searching for local roofers.

skylight

1.      Who you gonna call? – Finding listings for local roofers isn’t all that difficult.  Making sure a roofer is honest, conscientious, courteous, and experienced is another matter.  That’s because it’s all too easy to advertise online these days.  Everyone from experienced roofers to brand new roofing companies and even roofing brokers vie for visibility on the web.  While you can look for reviews and testimonials online, the only way to know whether you’re dealing with a reputable roofer is to ask for and contact previous customers.  Ask them if the roofer they hired did the job on time and on budget.  Ask if the crew was neat and courteous or if the customer spent days cleaning up the yard and picking up nails.

  1. Should you ask your neighbors? – If you see any homes in your neighborhood that have a new roof, not only can you get a sense of the quality of work done by a roofing company, but you can also ask your neighbors what kind of experience they had with the roofer.  How professional and timely was the company?  How responsive was the staff to any concerns?  Would they recommend the roofing company to their family and friends?
  2.  How low can you go? – While nobody wants to spend more than they need to when it comes to replacing a roof, that doesn’t mean that the lowest bidder always represents the best deal for the consumer.  Just as there is no one-size-fits-all roof, the same can be said for roofing contracts.  The last thing you want to do is hire a roofing company only to find out after the job is started that flashing, insulation and replacement of rotten wood that lays beneath your old shingles cost extra.  You also want to make sure that the roofer uses quality fasteners instead of the cheapest that money can buy.  This last fact alone could mean the difference between a roof that lasts for decades, as opposed to one that needs to be replaced in ten years.  You should also find out who is going to pull the needed permits, you or them.
  3. How much should you have to pay for a roof? – That depends on the size and complexity of the project.  Of more concern to a homeowner should be how much they need to pay in advance for the project.  Most roofers will require up to half of the quoted cost to be paid in advance.  A consumer should never be required to pay the balance until the job is finished.   This also provides the roofer with an incentive to complete the job.
roofer working

5.      Who’s responsible for accidents? – Roofing has risks, both to the crew as well as to you and your home.  You need to find out upfront who is going to be liable if a worker falls off a ladder or the roof.  Are the workers required to wear safety harnesses while the job is underway? What happens if someone falls through the roof or is hit on the head by something dropped from it?  Who’s responsible if your home or your car gets damaged by the crew?  What is the company policy regarding the policing of castoff nails on your property?  Make sure the company is licensed and insured with both liability and worker’s comp before you let anyone up on your roof.

  1. Smooth operators – Need I remind you that the well-dressed young man or woman who shows up to give you a roof quote isn’t going to be part of the crew that performs the actual service.  You need to ask how long the roofing company has been in business.  If you Google the company name followed by the word “complaints,” how many negative reviews pop up?  If you query the Better Business Bureau, what kind of rating does the company have?  A flashy website does not make for a quality roofing company.
  2. What’s in the warranty? – Not only is a warranty vital to the longevity of your roof, but it could also have a more immediate impact on your home should a leak pop up shortly after it’s replaced.  In actuality, a roofing job should contain two warranties: one for the materials and one for the workmanship.  As for material warranties, make sure they not only include the shingles, but the labor and installation costs should any part of the roofing system fail before the warranty runs out.   Also, be wary of “Lifetime Warranties,” since this can be defined a number of different ways, including as short as 5-years.  Look for exclusions and any other conditions that can cause the warranty to be voided. 

8.      The devil’s in the details. – Just like a home warranty, you need to carefully read the roofing
contract before you sign on the dotted line.  Some of the things you should be concerned with are the start and end date of the project, a list of all included material and supplies, building permits, scheduled inspections, the schedule for every stage of the project, the cellphone numbers of the supervisor, construction manager, and the general contractor, plus the terms of payment, right of cancellation and any potential liens that could be placed on your property.

roofers
  1. Will my homeowner’s insurance pay for my roof? – That depends on how your roof was damaged.  A typical homeowner’s policies will only pay for sudden damage done to a roof.  If a tree limb was to poke a hole in your roof, or a windstorm strips the shingles from it, your homeowner’s policy would pay to repair or replace the damaged roof minus your deductible.  However, if the damage to your roof is determined to be the result of age or general wear & tear, then the insurance company will not approve your claim.  Either way, it takes an insurance adjuster to determine whether your policy will or won’t cover the damage to your roof.  That means you can’t take a roofing representative’s word for it that your insurance will cover most of the cost to replace your roof.
  2. Get at least 3 quotes. – Once you’ve found several companies that pass muster, then it’s time to get them to compete for your business.   Because that’s how you find a great roofing company.
RC

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.