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.
We often work on roofs that have been improperly ventilated. This happens for any number of reasons, but there are some common issues that occur whenever a roof isn’t ventilated enough.
It’s important to have adequate ventilation in your roof, though, because excess moisture in your roof can cause mold, mildew, or dry rot to develop. Preventing airflow between your attic and outside could also trap harmful chemicals and physical particulates, which then stay in your home instead of exiting through ventilation.
And in some cases, if your roof isn’t ventilated properly, that could void the manufacturer’s warranty for your roof. There are three main types of roof ventilation we come across on a regular basis in Oklahoma. You’ll probably notice your home has one of these types.
Passive vents: These vents are large and round, and, as you’d guess by the name, passively let air ventilate as needed. These are the best option for most homes.
Turbine vents: A turbine vent is necessary if your home has a hip roof or a pyramid-style roof. These are the vents that often look like a silver mushroom or chef’s hat.
Power vents: These vents run off electricity. We don’t usually recommend them, though. It’s hard to tell when a power vent has stopped working, which means that moisture or minor damage may go unnoticed for a while, creating larger issues down the road. Because there’s no roof ventilation while these vents aren’t working, that will create damage to your roof over time.
If your roof isn’t ventilated properly, you may notice mold or mildew in your attic, or the structural effects of too much moisture: shingles that are cracked or curling, or even roof decking that is soggy or spongy to the touch.
If you’re concerned that your attic may not have adequate ventilation and want a professional to come have a look at it, we’re happy to help. We can check to see if you have enough ventilation in your roof. If you decide you want to install ventilation, we can help with that as well.
Lots of people love to be handy around the house. It gives you a sense of satisfaction and can save you money in the short term. But if it’s something that’s dangerous or requires special training, consider doing a risk analysis before attempting it.
Imagine this: you’re trying to save money, so you decide to clean out your own gutter in the spring. It’s not a huge expense, but it’s money in your pocket if everything goes well.
I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but it doesn’t always go well. Especially when you’re working on the roof of your house, there’s a huge danger of falling. There are a host of dangers if you fall off your roof, but we don’t need to go straight to the worst-case scenario.
Let’s say you fall off your roof and break your arm. To fix it, you’ll need surgery and physical therapy. It might make work difficult for you in the future, and if it doesn’t set properly the first time, you’re in for more medical bills.
Sometimes, cheap can be expensive.
Doing projects around the house is great, but it’s important to consider your skill and comfort level before starting a project. Professionals are well-trained and it’s often cheaper for them to do something than for you to do it yourself and injure yourself.
I can’t speak for other roofing companies, but I know our practices. Our roofers are great at their jobs and know how to handle any unexpected circumstances safely. They’ll be able to explain to you what they’re doing, and if they discover further issues with your roof, they can help you create a plan for moving forward.
We have several subcontractors that we work with who are insured and whose work we trust; if one of our roofers finds an issue with your roof during routine maintenance, rest assured that we will help you resolve it with the least stress possible to you.
There’s nothing wrong with working on your own home. But if you come across a project that seems risky, consider working with a trusted professional to make sure you and your house are in good shape when the project’s done.
Imagine this: You switch carriers for your home insurance in May. In June, several of your neighbors are hiring roofers to repair spring storm damage, so you decide to do the same. But once your roof’s been inspected by a roofer, you realize there’s significant damage that happened while you were covered by your previous insurance agency.
Your new insurance carrier won’t pay for that damage!
It’s not a disaster, though. If your roof gets damaged while you were covered by your previous insurance, most insurance companies will cover that damage. You were paying premium to them at the time the damage occurred, so you’d call that insurance agency’s adjuster out.
If you hire Land Roofing, we’ll help you take care of that claim. We recommend having a roofer out to inspect for roof damage before you call either insurance agency-that way, you won’t be opening up an unnecessary claim if your roof is in good shape.
Insurance rules are liable to change, of course. It’s important to know your policy, and you might want to keep a copy of your previous insurer’s policy around until you’re sure you won’t need for them to cover storm damage that occurred while you were using them.
For example, some companies like State Farm require homeowners to report their claim within one year of the insurable event. Otherwise, the claim may be denied.
If several of your neighbors are repairing or even replacing their roofs, that’s a good sign that a recent storm hit your neighborhood especially hard and you may want to call a roofer out to see what’s going on with your roof. It isn’t a guarantee that you’ll qualify for a new roof, though.
It’s a good idea to have your roof checked from time to time, to catch any damage quickly. And if you’ve changed insurance carriers recently, it doesn’t hurt to ask if your previous carrier will cover damage that happened while you were covered by them. You already paid the premium for it! And in many situations, they will take care of it.
If you would like a roofer to be present while the adjuster is at your home, or if you’d like to call a roofer out to see if you need any repairs in the first place, we’d be happy to have a conversation with you about that.
Ice and snow are beautiful to look at, but they sure can wreak havoc on our homes! Pretty as it is, ice and snow can be very heavy and damaging. And the result can be quite expensive and time consuming.
Thankfully, our homeowner’s insurance usually does a pretty good job of helping put us back together after any kind of storm causes damage to our homes. But is there a way to limit your need to file those pesky claims? What if taking just a little bit of time around your property could save you from those insurance headaches?
Here are four tips to keep you, your neighbors, and most importantly your home safe this winter.
1. Trim those trees
You want to be sure that your trees are trimmed back to stay off your roof. Also pay attention to things like limbs or branches that hang over the driveway and could potentially fall on your car, or into your neighbor’s yard.
Did you know that if your tree causes damage to your neighbor’s property, that you are then responsible for damages? Icy limbs are very heavy and have been known to cause damage and even total property when they fall. If you’re not really sure how to properly trim your tree to make it safe AND beautiful, contact a local arborist to help you.
2. Clean your gutters
Gutters get very heavy when filled with ice or snow. As they get heavy, they can certainly fall or tear off your house. This can cause damage to your roof - not to mention anything (or anyone!) that happens to be beneath them if they fall.
A cluttered gutter will also prevent proper drainage which can cause even more problems.
3. Secure your belongings
You know that trampoline the kids just love to play on? They can blow into the neighbor’s yard pretty easy! When they land, they tend to do a bit of damage. Now the kids are upset, and the neighbors expect you to pay to fix damages done to their property.
It is a fairly inexpensive fix to stake things like trampolines to prevent this damage from occurring.
4. Be a good neighbor
The sidewalks in front of (and around) your home can get icy and slippery. If someone falls, the injuries become your problem. So, be a good neighbor and keep those sidewalks clear of ice and snow. Whether you use a shovel, salt or both - your neighbors are sure to appreciate you!
No one likes having to file an insurance claim. These four tips may just help keep you claim free this winter. But, even if you do still end up filing a claim for winter damages, your agent will see that you have done your diligence in keeping your home as safe as possible - and that could also save you money!
While it seems like fall just started, winter is now around the corner. And that means it's roof maintenance time! While that does mean we're going to bedding our bi-annual roof inspections for our Roof Maintenance clients, it also means it's a good time for you as a home owner to do the same.
So for you DIY people, here's a list of things you can do yourself to keep your roof operating as it should throughout the winter.
1. Trim Tree Limbs
Take this time to trim any tree limbs or branches away from your roof and any nearby power lines.
As those of us living in Oklahoma know, we have severe weather of all types. Rather than just hoping mother nature doesn't cause any damage, be proactive. Cut any tree limbs that could potentially fall on your roof or power lines.
2. Clean the Gutters
Whether you have trees near the house or not, it's important to clean your gutters. But to be safe, do it when nearly all the leaves have fallen off nearby trees. You definitely don't want to waste time cleaning your gutters just to have leaves fall right back into them.
And if your gutters aren't cleaned before the first snow or ice storm, you run the risk of damage from ice dams.
3. Inspect Roof
Finally, inspect the shingles on your roof. Look for curling, cupping, flaking, tearing, splitting, or blistering. And if anything looks suspicious or deformed at all, give a professional a call to investigate further.
And if you're not a do-it-yourself type, we would be happy to help! Read more about our Roof Maintenance plan.
Regardless of who does it, regular roof maintenance is important for the health of your roof. A healthy roof means your home will stay protected!
by: Kirsten Land on October 20th, 2015 about Residential Roofing
We frequently work with people who have recently filed a claim with their insurance. If that's your situation, you may think it's strange that we ask for your insurance papers. However, that's just part of the process to get the best roof we can with what the insurance company is willing to pay out.
If you're like many others, you may be hesitant to provide your contractor with the insurance papers. Maybe you're afraid the contractor will copy and paste what the insurance papers say, regarding the work that the contractor needs to do, and just put it into the estimate.
However, this typically is not the case. Especially with Land Enterprises Roofing, we will do the work that needs to be done. However, we can't do that without knowing what the insurance wants replaced!
In some cases, we might have to do more work than what's stated in the insurance papers, and we need to know ahead of time whether that's the case or not. Often, unexpected details come up when working on a roof that the adjuster can not see ahead of time.
Another issue that some people have is that they think the contractor will just raise their prices to match what the insurance adjuster has spelled out.
While we can't speak for anyone else, we don't price match with insurance adjusters. We want to make sure that your house receives all the work it needs; not more and not less.
We actually want to help save you money, rather than paying more out of pocket expenses!
This is one of the primary purposes we ask for your insurance papers. We're checking for details and we want to make sure the adjuster didn't overlook something. Adjusters have several roofs to look at, and it can be easy to accidentally miss the small details when they won't be the ones working on the roof. We're is only interested in the line items of the insurance papers, not the actual price estimate.
With your consent, Land Roofing will speak with your insurance adjuster and coordinate everything. This allows us to make sure that all of the job operations flow smoothly, and it takes most of the stress off of you.
However, we will only speak to your insurance once you provide us with your insurance papers and once we have your permission to coordinate with them.
Finally, to help put your mind at ease, it's actually illegal for contractors to take advantage of insurance companies. So even if we wanted to (and we don't), it would be against the law for us to do that.
Of course, we only want to work with you if you're comfortable working with us. So if you're not comfortable giving a contractor your insurance papers, you might consider whether you should be working with them in the first place.
If you are in the market for a new roof, you have a lot of decisions to make. One important factor, other than deciding what type of roof you want, is the color of shingle you want. Many people have a hard time trying to decide on the color of shingle that best suits their home.
One great tool to help you decide is actually online. GAF.com is a great website for you to help envision your new roof on your home. You can visit their Virtual Home Remodeler and upload a picture of your house to see what would look best.
Another website that you could try is atlasroofing.com. Head to their Shingle Visualizer to test out different colors and different styles of shingles.
When you are in the process of picking your shingle color, you need to know a few things beforehand.
- If you have a house that is primarily made of stone or brick, you must decide on the perfect shingle color because the color of your home is most likely not going to change.
- Your roof should not be the first thing that you see when you look at your home. Instead, your roof should blend with your home to match the style of your home.
- Black shingles look great on homes, however there is the issue of temperature. Black attracts heat, and we all know how hot Oklahoma summers get. With proper ventilation, the temperature should not be a problem, but this is still something to keep in mind.
- Monotone shingle colors look best for the roof because it is easiest to blend with your home. Weathered Wood is the most popular shingle color because it is one of the higher quality shingles on the market.
- If you live in a neighborhood that has an HOA, or a Homeowners Association, you may be told what kind of roof to purchase. Some HOA’s may not be as strict as others, so that’s why it is important to do your research about your HOA.
Need help? After you have looked at the websites mentioned above, we can provide you with a sample board of shingles. And if you still need some help making a decision, we can give you a few addresses to see the shingles on similar looking homes.
Ultimately, the shingle color you pick is up to you. It is your home, and we want you to be happy with whatever color you choose. Feel free to schedule an appointment with Land Roofing today. We are here to help!
by: Kirsten Land on September 15th, 2015 about Residential Roofing
When you think about it, buying a roof is a pretty big commitment. This thing protects your home. It shelters you and your family. So, it’s important to make the most informed decision possible when purchasing a new roof. The average life span of a roof is 8 to 10 years in Oklahoma. So, once your roof is put on your house, it’s on there for a good amount of time.
However, that life span of your roof may be shortened depending on whether it’s hit by a hail storm or not. For a regular residential roof, this could mean utter destruction, but for an impact resistant roof, it could be a very different story.
Impact resistant roofs use stronger, more flexible shingles. This can help prevent significant damage in regards to high winds and hail storms. We have seen the proof when we traveled to Yukon to replace a client’s roof after a major hail storm. We didn't have to replace any impact resistant roofs, because they had not sustained any serious damage.
As you might expect, these roofs are more expensive than traditional roofs. However, you won't even see the higher cost if it is covered by insurance. The impact resistant roofs also have the ability to lower insurance premiums as much as $500, depending on the insurance carrier.
Really, the only downside to the impact resistant roof is that the gutters may still sustain damage from hail, which would mean you have to pay to replace the guttering yourself. The cost can vary around $500 to $800 depending on the size of the house, and the extent of the damage.
When working with insurance regarding the installation of a new roof of any kind, always communicate with your agent and determine what exactly you will be responsible for when storms head for your roof.
And if you are interested in the impact resistant roof, do not hesitate to give us a call.
Have you ever considered going off grid? If you’re like many others, the idea of disconnecting from the utility company appeals from you. But you may be concerned because it’s a huge step.
Believe it or not, you can actually go off the grid incrementally. Here are three small ways you can dip your toes in before fully committing.
1. Rain Barrels
First, purchase rain barrels. These rain barrels collect rain water due to the placement under the gutters. You can hook your hose up to these rain barrels which will cut down the dependence on city water, or even cut the dependence out completely depending on how much water you have stored.
Rain barrels may not sound appealing due to their lack of cosmetic appeal, but think again! We’ve installed rain barrels that blend in with the home.
2. Solar Panels
Second, try out solar panels. Rather than trying to power your entire home with them, start out by powering something small.
Try a solar powered cell phone charge, or even a more general solar powered USB charger. Or, if you enjoy building things, there are all sorts of do-it-yourself projects online to inspire you, including some projects with instructions.
3. Bat House
Finally, an unusual option is to get a a bat house. It’s basically a small box with a hole in it that is hung in your tree. Bats help cut down on mosquitos, and this is a great way to avoid using chemicals for pest control.
While a true off-grid house can operate without traditional utility services, these small ways can make the transition easier. And if you find out it’s not for you, you haven’t invested too much.