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.

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Protecting your largest investment

by: Kirsten Land on February 21st, 2017 about Roofing Advice

Hammering on roofFor most families, their home is their largest single investment. What’s the best way to protect that investment? Taking care of the small issues before they become humongous (and expensive).

But as far as roofs go, we know homeowners worry whether or not a roofing company will even come out for a small repair.

When it comes to small roof repairs, many people assume roofing companies won’t take their job because it’s just too small. While it’s true that many roofing companies operate this way and only do roof replacements, there are many, including Land Roofing, that happily take on repairs of all sizes. To protect your roof and everything underneath it, every repair is important, no matter how small.

What do we mean by “small roof repair”?

If you have any issue with your roof, call us to check it out. For example, we’ve come out to repair a single shingle on a roof. We’ve also repaired tiny leaks on skylights and vulnerable spots around fireplace flashing.

Consider a maintenance program

If getting to a small issue before it becomes a bigger issue is good, imagine getting to a teeny-tiny issue before it becomes even a small issue. That’s even better.

Having a maintenance program is a bit like having roof-radar. Experienced professionals will be your eyes in the sky looking for any existing or potential issues. This regular maintenance extends the overall life of your roof.

What should you look for in a maintenance program?

When you’re choosing your roofer, ask if they have a maintenance program. If they do, make sure the program offers:

  • Bi-annual inspections
  • Cleaning and removing debris from gutters
  • Inspection of all rubber plumbing boots
  • Checking for buckled roof decking
  • Inspection of all attic vents for cracking, flaking, and rusting
  • Looking for animal damage or roof penetration
  • Examination of shingles for curling, cupping, flaking, tearing, splitting, and blistering

Our roof maintenance program covers all these points and even qualifies you for discounts on repairs.

We know that small problems can turn into large problems if they aren’t addressed quickly. If you’d like to request a small roof repair or have questions about our maintenance program, give us a call.

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No, your roof may not need to be replaced

by: Kirsten Land on September 6th, 2016 about Roofing Advice

Happy customerA few years ago, a homeowner contacted us for an assessment of their roof after a hail storm to see if it should be replaced. We inspected it, and it wasn’t ready. And that was that.

But for several weeks after that, other roofing companies stopped by their house and insisted they needed a new roof.

The homeowners didn’t bite.

After another storm hit, months later, we were the first roofer they called. This time, the roof needed to be replaced. They chose us to do the job. Why? Because we had earned their trust.

That’s not an uncommon story. We make it a point to be honest when we talk with homeowners, even when being honest means that we may lose business. Usually, that goes against most people’s expectations of the roofing industry.

Here’s another example of why honesty matters, from the words of a client:

“The first time I called Brian out to my home, I was referred to him by a neighbor who was using their company for a full roof replacement. The whole neighborhood was getting new roofs because of a recent hail storm.

Brian came out and advised me that my roof was not damaged (possibly because my house is newer than some of the surrounding ones) and he said it would be better for me to not file a claim.

A couple of years later, some roofers stopped by my house and told me my roof was damaged and I should let them inspect my roof. Instead, I called Brian and when he came out, he reassured me that it was still not damaged at that time.

Two more years go by and again, another set of roofers came through my neighborhood. They told me the shingles on my roof were discontinued and I should have it replaced. When my husband and I looked at the roof, we noticed a missing shingle so I called Brian again.

This time, Brian advised me that the roof was damaged and we did need a replacement. We hired Brian and Land Enterprises because he was honest in the previous two inspections. He could have made money off an unnecessary roof replacement, but he didn’t.

After the roof replacement, my mom told me there would be nails in my yard, and that I should inspect my yard for them so my dog didn’t get hurt. To my surprise there wasn’t a single nail on the lawn.”

– Linda Sharo, Edmond homeowner

When everyone in Linda’s neighborhood was getting new roofs, it’s possible an insurance adjuster would have gone ahead and stated her roof was totaled as well, but it’s more likely that a claim would have been denied if she’d made one.

Once you make a call to your insurance company, you’ve filed a claim, even if it turns out your roof wasn’t really totaled. Often, the adjustor will in fact find dented gutters or vents but most deductibles are so large that the customer won’t receive any money from their insurance company for the repairs.

And the next time their roof is totaled, the insurance company probably won’t give them any money for the gutters or vents if they already had done so in the past. That will have to come out of the homeowner’s pocket.

This dynamic doesn’t affect roofers nearly as much as it affects homeowners, and in fact a lot of roofers won’t discuss this with their clients. But we think that’s dishonest.

Sometimes, that means we lose out on business, but other times that means we gain loyal customers down the road. And for us, honesty and loyal customers make for a pretty good combination.

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3 pitfalls to avoid when hail damages your roof

by: Kirsten Land on June 7th, 2016 about Roofing Advice

Hands holding hailThis spring, hail has caused billions of dollars of damage across the United States. Storms have pummeled cities from from Oklahoma to Maryland. Was your roof damaged?

If it wasn’t, we’re happy for your good fortune. Chances are, however, if you live in the Plains states, you’ll face hail damage to your home at some point.

Many people wait to file a claim on their homeowner’s insurance because multiple storms will often hit throughout the spring. A newly repaired roof can be damaged again. But if you’re waiting to make the repair, keep in mind these three things that may save you money and hassles in the long run.

1 – Don't use roofing companies that want money upfront

My friend’s roof was damaged badly in the spring hail. She decided to use the small, relatively inexperienced roofing company of a relative. She thought it would be a nice gesture. But now, she’s having some problems.

The company wants to be paid in full before starting the repairs. Normally, roofers will get partial payments as claims are approved. They make the repairs. Then the insurance and mortgage companies make final payments.

In this case, the smaller company doesn’t have the means to get going. While the insurance company has approved the claim, repairs are stalled.

After a hail storm, have a few reputable roofers come assess your roof. And if they want all the money up front before starting, consider that a red flag.

2 – Don't delay in making urgent repairs

The story continues. As my friend waits on the roofer, her damaged roof is leaking. At first, she thought this was no big deal. It was part of the insurance claim that covered the hail damage, right?

Wrong. She found out that it’s considered damage due to homeowner negligence. She hasn’t made timely repairs on the home. With water damage now, and possible mold problems later, she’s in a bad spot.

If you have leaks and damage that need to be repaired, take care of them in a timely manner so you’re not on the hook for any more damage.

3 – Don't pocket the money

When your claims adjuster approves a claim, you’ll get a check from the insurance company. Did you know that some people take that money and pocket it? They cancel the roof repair, and spend the money on vacations, new cars, or cabbage. Some people really love their veggies.

The insurance company has methods of auditing how you spend the money for your roof. It’s true that you might not get caught. But more often than not, you will. And you’ll owe that money back to the insurance company.

Storm damage is awful. It’s stressful when it happens, and it’s stressful taking care of all the details to get it repaired. However, you can save yourself from additional stress by making sure to avoid these three mistakes. When it comes to your roof, turn to a trusted professional. They’ll help you every step of the way.

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Be careful when you DIY!

by: Kirsten Land on May 17th, 2016 about Residential Roofing, Roofing Advice

Homeowner doing roof repairLots 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.

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Certified roofers

by: Kirsten Land on February 16th, 2016 about Roofing Advice

Certified stampChoosing a reputable roofer can seem like a daunting task. There are so many roofers, and especially after a severe weather event, you’re likely to see signs all over town advertising different companies who are doing work even in your own neighborhood.

So, how do you decide?

HAAG certification

One way is to find out if a roofer is HAAG certified. HAAG certification is an option program for roofers and inspectors which increases their knowledge of determining and evaluating damage. It takes an investment of both time and money and must be renewed each year. In order to even qualify to take the courses, a roofer must have already completed 100 residential roof inspections.

What's the benefit?

How does it benefit you to have a HAAG certified roofer?

Aside from additional knowledge, hiring a HAAG certified roofer can save you money. By learning to identify and properly evaluate damage, a HAAG certified roofer knows the difference between natural and manufactured damage. This affects whether you file a homeowner’s insurance claim, or a warranty claim.

Contact a roofer first

Many homeowners don't realize that by filing a claim on your homeowners insurance - whether or not there are damages or repairs made - your rates can be affected. Contacting a roofer first can help you avoid an unnecessary claim on your homeowner’s policy. Contacting a HAAG certified roofer gives you a much better opportunity at having the damage evaluated properly.

If a roofer determines there is damage which should be covered by your warranty, then they just saved you from the expense of an unnecessary insurance claim. Proper evaluation of damage could also mean the difference between a repair and a full replacement of your roof. Both of these examples have a significant difference in cost: warranty vs insurance claim; repair vs. replacement.

Land Roofing & HAAG certification

At Land Roofing, we have found great value in HAAG certification and receiving the training each year. We also work closely with our real estate agents and other partners to offer free inspections for any home getting ready to go on the market. These inspections can go a long way to save both headache and financial cost along the way.

As you're deciding what roofing company to use, be sure to make sure it's local and licensed, but also HAAG certified. This helps ensure you're hiring a reputable roofer.

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Don’t let your roof delay your home sale

by: Kirsten Land on February 2nd, 2016 about Roofing Advice

Sold homeWhen you decide to sell your home, many things are likely to cross your mind, the least of which is your roof. Let’s face it, it’s not like you see it very often. It’s easy for it to slip your mind when you’re ready to sell your home.

Unfortunately, many closings are delayed or canceled due to roofs. But with a little foresight, your roof doesn’t have to stand in the way of you selling your home.

Here are 4 easy tips to help ensure you have a smooth sales and closing process for your home:

1. Review claims

Do you have any outstanding claims? This can sometimes happen after a hail storm. The homeowner calls to report damage, a claim is filed, but the repair or replacement has not yet happened.

Often times, this is because the homeowner only has minor damage and another storm season is just around the corner, so they delay the process of repair or replacement in hopes of avoiding having to go through another claim.

Unfortunately, any open claim can prevent you from selling your home. In addition, if you choose to not do the necessary repairs and do suffer additional damage, your insurance company could refuse future claims or even cancel coverage altogether.

2. Cooperation is good

If you or your real estate agent have decided to have the roof inspected, be sure to have not only the inspector there, but a trusted roofer as well. Contrary to popular belief, this will not cause discrepancies. In fact, it will ensure you’re being taken care of.

Inspectors are tasked with inspecting many things - they are not roof experts. Having a roofer there will help to be sure that damage is correctly identified, and that cost is accurately determined. A trusted roofer will also be able to help determine if any damage identified is insurable damage, or if it is damage that could be covered by your warranty - thereby saving you from unnecessary expenses.

3. Partnerships can benefit you

The real estate agent that you are working with will most likely have a good working relationship with a roofer. Ask your agent about this! Often times, a reputable roofer will have an agreement with agents to offer a free roof inspection. This will let you know in advance any issues you may be facing.

Learning early on that you need repairs or replacement will save you from losing the sale at closing.

4. Use experts

Many home owners trust that inspectors and adjustors know what they’re talking about. When it comes to insurance, they do! But they aren’t experts at every aspect of a home.

Most often, that comes into play regarding the expense to repair or replace your roof. An inspector will not know many of the costs associated with the process. They also recommend a repair, when really you need a replacement - or vice versa. Either way, the cost will be significantly different.

By keeping just these four thing in mind as you prepare to sell your home, you will ensure that your roof is not the cause of any delay in the closing process.

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Pre-winter roof maintenance

by: Kirsten Land on November 17th, 2015 about Residential Roofing, Roofing Advice

Roof in winterWhile 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!

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First-time home buyers roofing guide

by: Kirsten Land on August 18th, 2015 about Residential Roofing, Roofing Advice

First-time home buyersIf you're buying your first home, you're probably transitioning from a renting situation. When renting, you don't have to worry about doing the maintenance yourself. You don’t have a lawn to take care of, much less a roof to keep up with. As a home owner, there are maintenance concerns you may not have considered, especially when it comes to your roof.

Before you own the home

Before you actually own the home, your roof needs to pass inspection for insurance purposes. If your insurance carrier detects roof damage, your house may not be covered. You may have to shop around for different insurance carriers in order to get the house you want covered.

Some roof damage could be so extensive that no insurance carrier will cover the house. If that's the case, the buyer will need to buy a new roof as an out of pocket expense.

If you want to have your roof specifically inspected by someone who specializes more than a home inspector, a roofing company can come out to just look at the roof. At Land Roofing, we have relationships with multiple realtors, and are happy to come look at the roof of new listings.

If you choose to have a roof inspector come out, be careful about who you choose. While we may or may not be a good fit for you, some inspectors actually try to cause issues on purpose, to try to get insurance to pay. When that happens, there's no longer any chance the insurance company will cover any damage. It is very important to trust your roof inspector to safeguard yourself against issues like this.

After you own the home

Once you successfully purchase the home and get settled, there are a few things you need to keep in mind regarding maintenance.

  • Keep your trees trimmed away from the roof. This will help in decreasing the amount of junk in your gutters.
  • Gutters need to be cleaned at least once a year, but possibly twice a year depending on how many trees you have.
  • Check your roof on a regular basis. This can be done by just looking at it from the ground.
  • Make sure to have your roof checked by a professional after a hail storm. Be sure you only have one to two people on your roof at a time. Too much foot traffic can cause damage to your roof.

If you are considering a new roof, you may want to look into purchasing an impact resistant roof. These roofs will get a good insurance discount. And if you'd rather hire someone to do the ongoing roof maintenance for you, read about our roof maintenance program.

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How to avoid hiring a bad contractor

by: Kirsten Land on August 4th, 2015 about Residential Roofing, Roofing Advice

Bad contractorFinding the best contractor for your job can be frustrating. Whether it’s roofing, plumbing, electrical, or something else, it can be overwhelming! There are a lot of contractors you can consider, and it’s hard to know what exactly you should be looking for.

Since we’re a contractor ourselves, we know the quickest ways to disqualify the risky contractors. Here are five tips you can use to avoid hiring a bad contractor.

1. Ask for a referral

Seeking out advice from your trusted friends and family can really help point you in the right direction. If you ask enough people, you can create a list of contractors to research. This can help you come to a decision faster.

2. Research company on BBB

Information about companies can be found online with the Better Business Bureau. Businesses may or may not be accredited. Businesses have to meet certain standards set by the BBB, and the business has to apply for accreditation as well.

There is also a rating system given by the BBB. It ranges from A+ to F. Businesses get this rating based on the number of points they have, which varies based on multiple factors from the BBB.

If a business claims they have an A+ rating, but the BBB website displays something different, always ask the business why their rating is different than what they claim.

3. Make sure the contractor has workers’ comp and general liability

It is very important that businesses have workers’ compensation and general liability insurance. Otherwise, the burden of an accident may be placed on the consumer rather than the contractor.

To verify that the company has workers’ comp, you can request to see their certificate of insurance. The contractor may or may not have this certificate on hand, so it may take a day or two if the company has to request it from their agency.

Businesses generally have general liability proof on hand. But if not, they can easily request it. General liability allows consumer protection if damage occurs and the contractor is at fault. It is best to insure the contractor has general liability in order to prevent potential legal issues, should any damage occur.

If you want to check online to verify if the contractor has workers’ comp in Oklahoma, visit the NCCI Proof of Coverage web page. You will need to know the exact legal business name.

If you visit the Secretary of State website, you can search registered entities to find out the exact business name. The legal name may not be the same as their DBA (doing business as) name.

4. Check for city and state license requirements

Every state has different requirements. The state of Oklahoma requires that all roofers have to be registered with the Construction Industry Board. If a roofer is not registered with the CIB, they are not legally allowed to be in business. Visit the Roofing Contractors page on the official Oklahoma website to look up registered roofers.

If you happen to live in a state other than Oklahoma, you can search online for more information.

At the city level, every city is different. It is very important that the contractor has the necessary city permits. Otherwise, they can be shut down in the middle of a job if they don't, and it can take up to 90 days to get the correct city permits.

You can check with your local City Hall for code enforcement.

5. Interview your contractor

Meeting with contractors is crucial before you make a decision. If you feel comfortable with your contractor after all of your research, then stick with that contractor. However, if you get a bad feeling about the contractor, don’t go with them. Go with your gut and trust your intuition. You may have to interview a few more contractors before you find the right one.

We know we're not the perfect roofer for everyone in Oklahoma. But if you're currently in need of a roofing contractor, feel free to consider us using those tips. If it makes sense for you, feel free to contact us.

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