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Five tips to become roof aware

by: Kirsten Land on July 18th, 2017 about General

Have you been thinking about switching your homeowners insurance policy to save some money? Before you switch, make sure you do a little homework. Otherwise, instead of saving money, you might end up costing yourself-a lot. Be roof aware before you shop around.

Here are five tips to help you be roof aware before switching insurance providers or policies.

1. Have a roofer check your roof for any damage.

One friend and many of her co-workers decided to switch together to a cheaper policy for home and car insurance. Enticed by the low price offered by an agent who visited their office, they switched on the spot.

Her new insurance company sent a roofer to her home to complete an Age and Condition Report on the roof. Unfortunately, she had hail damage, and her roof needed to be replaced. Because of that, she was uninsurable. Had she filed a claim on time with her previous insurance company or asked a roofer to look before she switched, she would have saved a lot of hassle.

2. Familiarize yourself with your current policy or sit down with your agent periodically to review it.

It sounds mundane, but just knowing the basics of your coverage can really help you, both when rate shopping and if you need to make a claim. Some people switch policies trying to save money only to discover the new policy doesn't cover the same things as their previous policy.

3. If your roof is five years old or older, have it inspected.

Find an experienced roofer that you trust (and one that's Haag Certified) to come inspect your roof. Being Haag Certified is an industry-recognized certification that indicates your roofer can effectively and efficiently inspect and assess damage. Also, if you notice that a lot of your neighbors are getting their roofs replaced, it's a good sign that you should have a roofer take a look at yours.

4. Know your time limit on filing an insurance claim for roof damage.

Many homeowners insurance policies have a time limit for filing a roof claim after storm damage occurs. Usually, it's two years. Back to our friend's story above... the hail damage discovered by the new insurance company was more than two years old, which left her on the hook for the cost of replacing the roof.

Many reputable roof companies will do a free or low-cost roof inspection. It's a good idea to have an annual inspection by a qualified roofer.

5. Can't remember the date of the storm that hit you? Ask a roofer.

Many roofers, like us, subscribe to a service that archives the dates and details of storms across the country. If you think you might have damage but can't remember the date, a roofer with this service is your best bet to pinpoint the date for you.

The moral of this story and the reason for these tips? Saving money doesn't always save you money. Remember to practice the principles of roof awareness so you don't get stuck with a big bill.

Posted in General       Comments: None

This roofing mistake can cost you

by: Kirsten Land on July 4th, 2017 about General

After a hailstorm, the roofers come out looking for business. You'll see many knocking on doors and leaving flyers or offering to check the roof for potential damage. But beware-some roofers, whether they're scammers or simply inexperienced, can cause damage to your roof that your insurance company won't pay to repair.

The Case of the Fake Pictures

After a recent storm, one of our strategic partners allowed a roofer who knocked on his door to inspect his roof. The roofer came back down and said he found damage and had photos of the bad shingles. Then, he pressured the homeowner to call his insurance company immediately and file a claim.

Our partner refused and called us after the roofer left. We came out to inspect his roof and guess what? We didn't find any damage. The roofer had tried to scam the homeowner using fake photos.

The Damage Scam

Another scam that dishonest roofers might try is damaging your roof when they go up there. They'll use hammers or roofing axes to bang and scrape shingles so it looks like it was impacted by hail. Most insurance adjusters, however, can easily spot this. And even though you didn't know what the roofer was doing, you'll still be on the hook for repairs because insurance won't pay.

Inexperienced Feet

Scammers aren't the only roofers you need to be on guard against. Inexperienced roofers, even with good intentions, can cause damage to your roof by not walking on the shingles properly.

The Lesson

Whether accidental or intentional, insurance companies will not pay to repair a roof damaged in the ways outlined above. Even worse, if you file a claim and your adjuster determines that your roof is not covered, it is still filed as an unpaid claim. In other words, it's on your file and your rates may go up.

So, the moral of the story is simple: If you don't know the company that wants to get on your roof, don't let them up there before thoroughly checking them out. If you can't establish a level of trust that you feel comfortable with, just say no. Wait until you can find a roofer that you trust.

Posted in General       Comments: None

As the heat builds up this summer, your attic can get extremely hot. Did you know that there are calculations and codes that tell you how much ventilation your roof should have?

If you’re getting a roof replaced, make sure that your roofer knows the roofing codes for ventilation (you’d be surprised at how many don’t know this!). If you’re not getting a roof replaced, but would like to find out if your roof has enough ventilation, call a roofer who knows how to calculate it. Here’s why it matters.

Energy savings

Want to save money on your energy bill? Make sure your roof is properly ventilated. An overheated attic makes your air conditioner work harder to keep your house cool.

Mold

It smells funky, ruins stuff, and is hard to get rid of. Besides that, it can cause some serious health problems. An overheated attic is like an incubator for mold. Hot, humid air trapped in a dark place? That’s mold’s dream home.

Shingle warranty

Without proper ventilation, the oven-like heat trapped in your attic can damage the shingles, causing them to blister. This voids the shingle manufacturer’s warranty. When that happens, you’re on the hook for repairing the damage.

The ventilation calculator

Our friends at Lomanco have a tool to give you an idea of how much ventilation you need. You can compare that with how much ventilation you have. If you don’t have enough, you can call a roofer to get an estimate on installing more vents.

Know your ventilation

Want to make sure your roof is in good shape? First, find out if you have enough existing ventilation. Then, if you are adding ventilation to your current roof, or are replacing a roof, make sure your roofer knows the roofing code regarding ventilation in your area. Helping your attic breathe is always a wise investment.

Posted in General       Comments: None

Don’t let roof issues complicate selling your home

by: Kirsten Land on June 6th, 2017 about General

Thinking about selling your home in the near future? If you are, and your roof needs repair or replacement, we recommend that you take care of those repairs before you put the house on the market.

Not only will it be one less thing for you to worry about, it can also put you in a stronger negotiating position-and sometimes, it can even save the sale.

The sale that fell through

Sellers, when they find out that they need a repair or replacement on their roof, often decide to wait until they get an offer before making the repair. That can, however, backfire.

A realtor for a buyer called us to come inspect the flat roof of a house that they wanted to buy. Unbeknownst to the realtor, their client-the buyer-also arranged to have another roofer come inspect the roof. Two roofing companies showed up on the day of inspection.

That’s typically not a problem. However, the buyer’s roofer didn’t have much experience with flat roofs. Our roof inspector, with more than two decades of experience with flat roofs, assessed that this roof needed about $1500 in repairs. The other roofer, however, thought that the entire roof needed to be replaced. The buyer got spooked, and backed out of the sale.

If the seller had taken care of the repair before putting the house on the market, it likely wouldn’t have been an issue at all.

Bargaining chip

Repairing your roof before it goes on the market can enhance your negotiation position. “New Roof” looks good to a buyer. “Needs Work” makes buyers wary. It also gives them ammunition to counter-offer for less.

One less stress

Imagine all the moving parts you have to deal with during the sale of a home. Walk-throughs, inspections, negotiating, packing, and then finally actually moving. All under a time constraint.

Do you really want to coordinate with a roofing crew and have them in-and on-your house while you’re trying to get everything else done?

Taking care of it before going to market will help preserve some of your sanity during the craziness of a move.

Posted in General       Comments: None

As spring turns into summer, now’s the perfect time to do a few simple chores that will prepare your home and yard for warmer weather and spending time with friends and family.

Yard

With summer parties, barbecues, and kids running around, your yard will see a lot of foot traffic. Treat it right, and it will treat you, your family, and friends right.

First, start by removing thatch (decaying plant material that accumulates on your lawn). Feed it with fertilizer and water it (a weekly deep irrigation is typically best). Mow it frequently in the spring-that can help make the roots stronger.

Pool and trampoline

Have a pool? Clean it and treat it for the swim season. And if you have a trampoline, be sure to tie it down as a precaution for high-wind storms.

A friend of mine did not secure their trampoline, and when a spring storm hit, the trampoline took off like a kite. It ended up halfway through their neighbor’s roof. Yikes!

Fence and furniture

Repair any wobbly posts or broken slats on your fence. Also, wash the winter grime off your lawn and patio furniture.

Roof

Remove any leaves, sticks, and debris that have accumulated and possibly blocked your gutters. Trim back tree limbs that have grown close to the roof. That way, they won’t rub on your roof and damage shingles or gutters, or provide a pathway for critters to get on your roof (and possibly into your home!).

Time to play!

A little time preparing can make your home and yard places where you can play and relax all season long. And if you happen to need someone to help you with cleaning out the gutters and trimming back tree limbs, give us a call. Because we want you to have a terrific, relaxing summer!

Posted in Residential Roofing       Comments: None

We frequently get called out to repair or replace roofs that were damaged after severe storms. High winds and hail-those are two things you never want to see in a forecast.

But, weather happens.

What can you do to protect your home from potentially damaging storms? One way is to fortify your roof and your home. Here’s what that looks like.

The FORTIFIED Home™ Program

Benjamin Franklin said, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” That’s certainly true when it comes to protecting your home.

And that’s the philosophy behind the creation of the FORTIFIED Home™ program by the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety (IBHS).

FORTIFIED Home™ construction standards and techniques can help make your home more resistant to damage from a variety of severe weather conditions-everything from hurricanes and tropical storms to hailstorms, high winds, and wind-driven rain associated with thunderstorms.

Those last three sound pretty familiar around here, right?

Three Levels of Protection

There are three levels of FORTIFIED Home™ designations available-Bronze, Silver, and Gold.

Bronze

The FORTIFIED Home™ Bronze level addresses the roof system. Upgrades reduce wind and water entering the attic through the roof covering and vents.

Silver

In addition to the roof system addressed in the Bronze level, the FORTIFIED Home™ Silver level addresses windows, doors, and attached structures.

Gold

After the roof, openings (windows and doors), and attached structures have been addressed, the FORTIFIED Home™ Gold level ties the house together by connecting the roof to the walls to the floors to the foundation, so your fortified home acts as one system in a storm.

What would it take to fortify your home?

Land Roofing is certified in the FORTIFIED Home™ program. We have built and installed fortified roofs for customers and for Habitat for Humanity.

If you’d like to set up a free consultation to find out more about the FORTIFIED Home™ program (especially your roof’s level of severe weather protection), give us a call at (405-359-3951).

Posted in Residential Roofing       Comments: None

Spotting springtime leaks in your roof and gutters

by: Kirsten Land on April 18th, 2017 about Residential Roofing

April showers bring May flowers. They also bring something else: the chance for you to check your gutters and your roof for leaks.

Checking your gutters

Our house doesn’t have much guttering, and what it does have is leaky. Your gutters may have leaks, too. But how would you know? When it’s raining, the natural impulse is to head indoors and wait for the sun to come back out.

This month when it rains, grab your umbrella and head out to inspect your gutters. (Unless there happens to be lightning, of course!)

Why does this matter? In our house, the poor guttering leads to cascades of water that tear up the landscaping and ground around our house. It turns into a muddy mess. What’s more, it can also be a threat to the foundation.

So be sure to check your gutters this month. You’ll want to know where any potential foundation threats are, and you may find issues significant enough that you’ll want to have your gutters repaired.

Checking your roof

I was at my mother’s house in Houston a few months ago. I happened to go into her attic during a rainstorm. While I was getting what my mom wanted, I kept hearing this drip-drip-drip sound.

I tracked it down. It was a leak coming from the roof and dripping onto a plastic storage bin. This was fortunate for three reasons.

First, I wouldn’t have discovered it without the tell-tale sound.

Second, if the box hadn’t been there, it would have been dripping right into the insulation or onto a cardboard box that held precious keepsakes. The insulation, ceiling material, and keepsakes could all have been ruined.

Finally, an undiscovered leak creates the perfect breeding ground for mold.

Needless to say, my mom and I both were happy that I happened to be in the attic while it was raining.

During one of the rainstorms this month, head up into your attic and bring a flashlight if you need to. See if you can spot any leaks that you can proactively address this spring.

Take a rain check

A rainy day is great time to try to spot leaks in your gutters and attic.

As always, if you see something that worries you or that you have a question about, give us call. We’ll come out for free to take a look.

Posted in Residential Roofing       Comments: None

Why our business is really about people (not roofs)

by: Kirsten Land on April 4th, 2017 about General

You’ve probably noticed how one act of kindness often leads to a chain reaction of kind acts.

It may not seem like that has much to do with a roofing business, but it does for us! Here’s one way we’ve seen that chain reaction in our business.

We work with a lot of real estate agents. This leads to us helping people who are buying or selling a home. That’s a stressful time for everyone involved! So, when someone’s hit with a curveball like a damaged roof, you can imagine how that adds to their stress levels.

That was the case for a family that was selling their home and were set to close in a few weeks. The roof had just received some hail damage. We came out to inspect it as a favor to the real estate agent, and sure enough, the roof was totaled.

Despite the all-around stress of that situation, we all found ways to work together to help each other. First, we came out and met with the seller’s insurance adjuster, who agreed with our assessment that the roof was totaled. Insurance would pay to replace the roof and gutters and would expedite the process.

The seller chose us to replace the roof and gutters since we had been willing to work with them and their insurance. The roof had to be done before they could go through the closing. We promised to get the work done before the closing date.

Meanwhile, the buyers asked if they could choose the roof color and pay for an upgrade to an impact-resistant shingle. It may have seemed like an extra hassle for them to worry about, but the sellers didn’t hesitate. They graciously agreed to the request.

Afterward, the buyer of the house was so pleased with our work and our customer service, they purchased our two-year roof maintenance service.

The seller was also pleased, as were both of the real estate agents. We got the job done, and the house closed on time.

You never know what an act of kindness might lead to. Ours started small: doing a favor for a real estate agent who needed quick help before a closing. It ended with a win for all of us, and every party reaching out to lend a hand to the others.

You see, our business isn’t really about roofs.

It’s about people. And giving them what they need in a way that makes everyone feel like they are more than customers. At its core, our business is about kindness. And kindness is contagious.

If you’re worried about your roof, call us, and let us be a friendly face when you’re stressed about your house. Because you will always be more than a customer to us.

Posted in General       Comments: None

Have you ever wondered what an insurance agent might have to say about your roof repair? Here in this blog, you often get our perspective as a roofing company.

But did you know that we regularly get calls from agents asking us to come inspect a client’s roof? Here are a couple of insights on your agent’s perspective when it comes to getting your roof repaired or replaced based on our conversations with insurance agents.

Adjuster knows best

After an adjuster determines that your roof should be replaced, they will tell you how much the insurance company will pay to replace it. But shouldn’t you get three or four estimates to get the lowest price? Isn’t that the best thing to do? The ethical thing to do?

Not really, no.

In fact, the insurance company has based the cost on what it will take in materials and labor to replace your roof properly. You could shop around, but it won’t save you any money. It may save your insurance company some money, but you could end up losing in the long run. Suppose you choose a cut-rate roofer who skimps on quality and takes shortcuts? That could lead to roof damage and failure due to poor workmanship.

An agent wants what you want

Your best interests are also your agent’s best interests. They want to keep you as a client. That’s why they want to make sure you’re happy with your roofers and their work. They care about you and your property. Just like you, they want the roof repairs done with the highest quality. The whole process reflects on them and their relationship with you.

In the end, your agent wants you happy and your home in tip-top shape.

Posted in Insurance       Comments: None

Three actions you should take after a hail storm

by: Kirsten Land on March 7th, 2017 about Roofing Advice

Storm season is here again. If your roof gets damaged by hail, or if you’re worried that it may have already been damaged, what should you do? It’s always helpful to review the steps you should take after a severe storm. Hopefully, you won’t need this information-but if you do, you’ll be prepared.

1. Call your roofer

Do this even before calling your insurance company. It’s possible that there is no damage, and most homeowners we’ve spoken to are happy to avoid starting a claim unnecessarily.

Have a trusted, experienced roofer inspect your roof. Even if you’ve gone up to check things out and they look okay to you, there are things that a roofer might find that you wouldn’t know to look for. If your roofer says that your roof is okay, you can both toast your roof for being defiant before Mother Nature! On the other hand, if your roofer says that there’s sufficient damage to make a claim, proceed to step two.

2. Call your insurance company

Call and make a claim. Be ready to provide the date of the storm. Your company will send an adjuster to inspect your roof. They will make the final determination whether the roof needs to be repaired or replaced. We can’t speak for other roofing companies, but we’re happy to offer insight about your roof or attend the inspection at this point.

3. Decide when to replace the roof

If the roof is so damaged that it needs to be replaced right away, then of course, replace it as quickly as your roofing company can get to it. Otherwise, you have a choice to make. Many people opt to wait until the spring storm season is finished and have the roof replaced in summer. Others wait longer until the fall storm season is finished and have the roof repaired before winter sets in. If you want to wait, it’s still best to call your insurance company and schedule it ahead of time.

We hope that the storms pass by you this year. But what happened in Plano, Texas, last year could easily happen here, too. One brutal hail storm was followed by two more that caused billions in damages. It’s always good to know what to do and who to call when the hail drops.

Posted in Roofing Advice       Comments: 1

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