Get Financing

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. 

“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. 

How Long Is A Roof Supposed To Last?

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.

How Do I Find A Good Roofing Company?
  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.

Prolonging the Life of Your Roof

When it comes to owning a home, nobody likes to do maintenance.  Yet it’s routine maintenance that helps make a home last longer.  One of the things every homeowner wants to last the longest is the roof, since it’s one of the most expensive parts of a home to replace.  Yet for the most part, all too many homeowners ignore their roof.  Maybe it’s due to the fact that the roof is out of sight that it’s out of mind.  At least it is until they detect a leak, or worse when the homeowner finally gets around to replacing their roof and the roofing company finds a lot of rotted roof timbers under the shingles.  To help your roof last longer and reduce the incidence of rot, below are the top maintenance steps you need to take.

roof examine

1.      Leave me alone at your peril – Leaves and tree litter might not seem like such a big deal, but it’s the number one cause of water intrusion on any roof.  That’s because leaf litter and twigs can act like a dam to back up water.  When shingles can no longer shed rain efficiently, the water will try to find another way out, usually by slipping under shingles.  Secondly, wet leaf litter adds unneeded weight to your roof which can eventually cause it to sag or even fail.  If you do nothing else to maintain your roof, make sure you sweep away the leaves and twigs that pile up on your roof every autumn. 

Can Gutters Cause Roof Leaks?
  1. Is your mind in the gutter? – If not, it should be.  That’s because clogged gutters can also cause leaks and add stress to your roof system.  Just as with leaf litter, clogged gutters can and do cause water to back up into the house.  If left unchecked, your home’s gutters will turn into terrariums where everything from grass to shrubs and trees will take root and begin to grow.   Once the leaves turn into dirt, the water that should run down the downspout will have nowhere else to go but out on the roof.  Worst still, this could eventually lead to the gutters collapsing under their own weight.  If you haven’t checked your gutters in a year or more, don’t wait until it causes your roof to leak.  If you live in a heavily wooded area, you might also like to consider getting gutter guards installed to keep your gutters from clogging.
new roof

3.      Are you out of your tree? – Another way you can protect your roof from unnecessary damage is to have your tree limbs trimmed every year.  In Florida, some trees can grow as much as two feet in a year.  If any of the branches of your shade trees happen to touch your shingles, you can rest assured that in no time they will begin to scour or even scrape the shingles they touch right off your roof.  Don’t think that because a tree limb isn’t in direct physical contact with your roof that it’s no threat.  The next time you have a passing thunderstorm, watch how your trees whip around.  If limbs are within 3-6 feet of the roof, a windstorm can cause them to come into contact with your shingles. 

  1. There’s a fungus among us. – Algae, fungi, and moss love damp places.  When it comes to a roof, these slimy green or black growths are prone to take root under the eaves where there’s less direct sunlight or in places that remain wet the longest.  If you see any kind of growth on your roof, mix up a solution of equal parts water and bleach to spray on the offending areas.  An even better solution is to install a zinc strip along the ridge of your roof. As the rain washes over the strip, zinc particles are released to coat the roof with a protective layer that prevents fungus, moss, and algae from growing. 
  2. A flash of brilliance? – Roof flashing needs to be undamaged and properly installed to prevent leaks around chimneys and vents.  If you notice even minor damage to the flashing, ignoring it is only going to make things worse.  Most minor flashing damage can be repaired with a polyurethane sealer.  If the damage is more significant, call a roofer to repair or replace the flashing to prevent or stop a leak. 
  1. Skylight, sky bright – Skylight seals are notorious for cracking over time.  Since they live in direct sunshine, you can’t expect them to last forever.  Before water starts to drip, drip, dripping from a compromised seal, it would behoove you to inspect any skylight on a yearly basis and repair or replace any cracked seals.
  2. Here comes old flattop – If you have a flat roof, you need to be cognizant of any cracks, blisters, or seam failures that can give water easy access into your home.  For smaller cracks or holes, you can buy roofing sealer from any hardware store.  While it won’t last forever, it can prolong the life of a flat roof.  For blisters or seam failures, your best bet is to call on a professional roofing company to assess and repair the damage.
skylight
  1. Inspect the roof for obvious signs of damage. – Bent or missing shingles are the quickest ways for a leak to get started.  After the next passing squall, go outside and take a look up at the roof.  If you see any missing, broken, or bent shingles, you need to have someone replace them sooner rather than later. 
  2. Do it yourself or hire a pro? – While every homeowner is looking to save money, depending on the size and pitch of your roof, you should always assess whether or not to attempt a roof repair on your own.  Better to pay a professional a few dollars to do the job right than to do a less than perfect repair or wind up falling off the roof.
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.

Repair or Replace Your Roof?

Into every life, a little rain must fall.  Or so the story goes.  The problem is when the rain falls on a leaky roof, your life can get complicated in a hurry.  That’s because leaks can be more than a nuisance.  If left unchecked, they can cause everything from structural damage to electrical short circuits to black mold.  That being said, the first sign of a leaky roof doesn’t necessarily mean it’s time to have your roof replaced.  Sometimes all that needs to be done is to seal the leak or replace damaged or missing shingles.  To help you assess the state of your roof, I’ve come up with a checklist that can help you get a handle on what to do when you detect a leak.

beautiful roof

1.      Look before you leak. – While leaks are indeed a sign that your roof system is less than ideal, before you jump to the conclusion that the stain on your ceiling is due to faulty shingles, you need to determine what really caused the leak.  Nine times out of ten that requires climbing onto the roof.  Unless you look up at your roof and notice that some shingles are cracked, bent or missing, it’s time to take to the roof.  Once up there, it’s important to look not only at the shingles, but at everything else atop the roof.  Sometimes leaks aren’t due to shingle failures.  They can also be caused by faulty flashing or worn seals around skylights.  1.      Are your gutters the source of the leak? – Another thing that can cause water intrusion is something as simple as a clogged gutter.  If your gutters can no longer shift the rain off your roof, they can let the precipitation back up to the point where it can get beneath shingles that are otherwise in perfect working order.  If you see any standing water on the roof or your gutters are full of leaves and debris, you need to resolve the issue before you point the finger at your roof.

What To Do If Your Roof Is Leaking
  1. Are tree limbs too close to your roof? – If you go outside only to find a tree limb lying atop your roof, it’s pretty obvious what created the leak.  However, if you do detect bent, broken, or missing shingles without finding evidence of what did the damage, you need to try to figure out what caused the damage in the first place.  While old shingles are more apt to fail, if you have trees that stand near your home, it’s possible that limbs whipped up by a passing squall did the damage.  That means if you replace the shingles without pruning the offending limbs, you could wind up with another leak the next time a passing thunderstorm rolls through your area.
  2. How old is your roof? – A properly maintained roofing system should last 20-years or more, provided it was installed properly using quality material.  However, if the roofing company decided to use substandard material, or if your roof is more than a couple of decades old, chances are it’s probably time to replace rather than repair that old roof. That being said, depending on the extent of damage, sometimes it’s a better bet to replace rather than repair a newer roof, particularly if the damage was done suddenly.  Sudden damage caused by wind and weather is usually covered by your homeowner’s insurance, whereas gradual degradation caused over time isn’t covered. 
  1. Are tree limbs too close to your roof? – If you go outside only to find a tree limb lying atop your roof, it’s pretty obvious what created the leak.  However, if you do detect bent, broken, or missing shingles without finding evidence of what did the damage, you need to try to figure out what caused the damage in the first place.  While old shingles are more apt to fail, if you have trees that stand near your home, it’s possible that limbs whipped up by a passing squall did the damage.  That means if you replace the shingles without pruning the offending limbs, you could wind up with another leak the next time a passing thunderstorm rolls through your area.
  2. How old is your roof? – A properly maintained roofing system should last 20-years or more, provided it was installed properly using quality material.  However, if the roofing company decided to use substandard material, or if your roof is more than a couple of decades old, chances are it’s probably time to replace rather than repair that old roof. That being said, depending on the extent of damage, sometimes it’s a better bet to replace rather than repair a newer roof, particularly if the damage was done suddenly.  Sudden damage caused by wind and weather is usually covered by your homeowner’s insurance, whereas gradual degradation caused over time isn’t covered. 
roofer on top

4.      What’s a reroof and can it save you money? – Reroofing is the process of laying shingles over an existing set without scraping off the initial layer.  While legal in Florida, there are several things you need to know before considering a reroof.  In the first place, if you already have two layers of shingles atop your roof, it’s illegal to install a third layer.  If your existing roof is waterlogged, blistered, or badly deteriorated, it’s illegal to reroof.  If the roof structure isn’t designed to sustain the added weight of the second layer of shingles, reroofing isn’t an option.  The biggest issue with reroofing is that it doesn’t allow the roofing company to detect damage below the initial layer of shingles.  That means if there’s any rotted wood lying beneath the shingles, you’ll never know it until the roof collapses under the added weight.  It can also make it more difficult for you to sell your home when the time comes to put your home on the market.

5.      Can I replace damaged shingles on my own? – While replacing damaged shingles with new isn’t all that complicated, before you climb up on your roof to do the repair yourself, there are a few things you need to know.  There’s a big difference between a few damaged or missing shingles and a leak that has caused damage to several layers of your current roofing system.  A licensed roofer will not only be able to assess and repair the affected area, but he will also be able to determine the extent of the damage and how to mitigate it.  Plus, working on a roof is a dangerous environment for an amateur.  That’s why professional roofers wear safety harnesses.

6.      Patch or replace?  – Some homeowners wonder if they can patch a worn section of the roof rather than having it replaced, or they want to replace only part of the roofing system rather than replacing the entire roof.  Again, this is something that only a licensed roofer is going to be able to determine.  Depending on the age, condition, and cause of damage to your existing roof, it’s possible that only the affected area will need to be repaired or replaced.  It’s also possible that your insurance company will decide to have the entire roof replaced once they assess the damage.  If the leak was the result of sudden jeopardy, you should contact your insurance agent as soon as possible to determine the best course of action.  If the leak was the result of age, a roofer can let you know your options

depair

7.      Why it’s important not to wait if you detect any damage to the roof. – Water has a way of finding its way into all sorts of things.  Not only can it cause unsightly water spots on ceilings, it can damage furnishings, cause electrical shorts, and undermine a building’s structure if left to its own devices.  That’s why it’s important to detect and nullify a roof leak as soon as possible.  By the time you detect a leak, the water could have found its way to other areas of your home.  The longer you wait to deal with a leak, the more serious the repercussions can be. 

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.