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The right ventilation can save your roof

by: Kirsten Land on September 19th, 2017 about General

Does your home have proper roof ventilation? The right ventilation can result in lower electric bills and longer-lasting shingles. Plus, it can save you money in other ways, too.

A Case Study: Our Neighbors

This summer, some of the homeowners in our neighborhood asked us to inspect their houses. No matter how low they set their thermostats, they couldn't get their second-story rooms cool. Sure enough, we discovered that their roofs had inadequate ventilation. We added the proper ventilation, and we recently received this testimonial from Ashley Corbett: ”Just a shout out to Brian Land and Land Roofing. We had them out and they put turbines on the roof. It has made a huge difference in the cooling of the upstairs. It has always been so hot in the past up there we would have to use a portable AC unit. This year we haven’t even turned it on. HUGE difference. Thank you so much.”

The Many Benefits of Ventilation

Proper ventilation goes beyond helping your home stay cool. It can boost energy efficiency, lower electric bills, and increase the lifespan of shingles. In the winter, ventilation is important, too. It allows warm, moist air to escape, which reduces your chances of getting mold and prevents ice dams from forming in your gutters.

Not All Ventilation Is Created Equal

Some types of roof ventilation that seem like they might be a good idea really aren't. We don't recommend ridge vents or power vents for a couple of reasons.

Ridge vents: In areas like Oklahoma where we get wind-driven rain, a storm can blow rain sideways into the ridge vents and cause major leaks in the roof.

Power vents: The power vent, electric or solar, is marketed as being able to keep your attic up to 30 degrees cooler. Allison Bailes at Energy Vanguard outlines the problems with power vents: unless you have a perfectly airtight attic-and virtually no house does-the power vents pull air conditioned air from the house into the attic. This, of course, makes the roof cooler, but only because you're paying to air condition your attic!

Check Your Roof Ventilation

Making sure your house is properly ventilated can help you be more energy efficient and extend the life of your shingles and roof. Like us, many roofers offer free inspections. Call your trusted roofer to see how well ventilated your roof is.

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Protect yourself from scammers after a storm

by: Kirsten Land on September 5th, 2017 about Roofing Advice

Scam alert road sign

When a damaging storm hits, the last thing you should have to worry about is insurance scammers. But they are out there and will try to con you out of money when you are stressed and vulnerable. In fact, The Oklahoma Insurance Commission warned of phone and door-to-door scammers who hit neighborhoods after storm damage in Elk City and Perkins.

Here are six ways to protect against insurance scammers and fraud, according to Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner John D. Doak.

1. Ask for references-and check them. This is a simple initial step, but it could save you a lot. If the potential scam artist cannot or will not provide references or tries to talk you out of checking references, it should be a big red flag.

2. Work only with licensed and insured contractors. You would be surprised at how many times a homeowner doesn't ask to see the licensing credentials of the contractors they hire. Be vigilant and ask. Take pictures of or jot down their licensing information.

3. Get everything in writing. This is always a good idea, even if you're dealing with a legitimate service provider. It sets expectations and gives you a document you can refer to in case of a dispute.

4. Ask to see the salesperson’s driver’s license. Write down their license and plate numbers. Scammers will probably try to avoid providing you with this information.

5. Never sign a contract with blanks. This is the equivalent of endorsing a blank check and handing it to a stranger.

6. Never pay in full until work is completed. This seems like a no-brainer, but con artists can be charming and convincing. Even if they seem above-board and trustworthy, never pay a roofer or sales person in full before the work is done and meets your satisfaction.

It's also important to find a roofing contractor you know, like, and trust. Once you have identified a trusted contractor, that company can work with your insurance company to ensure your home is repaired correctly and back to new. If a roofer talks about how they can help you make money through your insurance claim, that's likely a scam that also classifies as insurance fraud.

Follow these tips when approached or called by people who say they represent insurance companies. It may help you avoid losing money to those who prey on storm victims.

If you live in Oklahoma and have questions about contractors, you can call the Oklahoma Insurance Department at 1-800-522-0071. If you live outside the state, you can check the National Association of Insurance Commissioners for your local organization's contact information.

Posted in Roofing Advice       Comments: None

Does your insurance adjuster know your area’s roofing code?

by: Kirsten Land on August 15th, 2017 about General

Do you know the latest details of the roofing code in your area? Don't worry. Most homeowners can't cite the specific roofing codes that might affect replacing or repairing a roof.

You might be surprised to find out, however, that many insurance adjusters aren't aware of roofing codes either. When it's time to make a claim on your insurance, show your insurance policy to your trusted roofer. Here are three reasons why.

1. Sometimes, adjusters aren't aware of the code.

This isn't a knock on adjusters. It's just an acknowledgment that it can be difficult to stay informed on roofing codes. Think about it: codes can vary from state to state and even city to city. Or they can be changed and revised multiple times in one year.

That's why it's critical to involve your trusted roofer in reviewing your policy. If you suspect damage to your roof, either after a storm or otherwise, call your roofer to come inspect it. Show them your policy when they get there and ask about any roofing code requirements that the insurance company should be aware of. If your roofer knows your policy, they can communicate these specifics to your adjuster.

2. Money is on the line.

In both the short term and long term, adhering to roofing code may save you money. In the short term, when your roofer knows your code, they can work with your adjuster to make sure your policy pays for code-compliant work and materials. In the long term, if you sell your house, you won't have to lower your asking price due to a failed inspection or pay to bring the roof up to code before the house can sell. Also, a roof that meets code is more likely to hold up over time, which can save you money on repairs and deductibles.

3. Even more money is on the line.

Some cities will inspect a project to verify that it meets code. If your newly replaced roof doesn't meet the code requirements because your adjuster was unaware, it could lead to fines and perhaps even the necessity to re-do all that work.

Respect the Code

Share your insurance policy with your roofer so they can help make sure your insurance pays for everything that they're supposed to. We work with homeowners and adjusters to make sure all the paperwork is properly filed. Each insurance company does it differently, and we can help you navigate it. In the end, it's good for you, your bank account, and your roof.

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The pros and cons of solar shingles

by: Kirsten Land on August 1st, 2017 about General

You've probably heard of-and maybe even seen-solar panels. And perhaps you've seen some of the early-version solar shingles that have been developed in recent years.

Many people have been asking us about solar shingles, especially with Tesla launching a new version. These shingles are designed to look like various types of regular shingles so you can't tell the roof is solar. Let's take a quick look at Tesla's solar shingles and review some of the pros and cons.

Overview

Other companies have created solar shingles in recent years, but Tesla's new shingle has a texture and color that makes them look like the materials they were designed to mimic.

For homeowners who have always wanted to go solar but were hesitant because of how the panels and shingles look, that is no longer a worry. Based on the pictures I've seen and the reviews I've read, the Tesla solar shingles look like regular shingles.

Robert Tenent, a senior scientist at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, says, "the aesthetics side of [solar] often gets ignored. Ugly doesn't sell in the building space." If the tiles look cool while delivering performance and durability, Tenent believes they could lead to mainstream adoption of solar roofs.

Pros of new solar shingles

Aesthetics. They look great. From street level, you really can't tell that these are solar cells.

Durability. They have an infinite warranty. Seriously. According to the Tesla website, these tiles are three times stronger than standard roofing tiles and are under warranty for "the lifetime of your house, or infinity, whichever comes first."

Hail tested. The shingle tiles were tested for the highest (class 4) hail rating. They shot a two-inch hailstone traveling 100 mph at the shingle. No damage. Pretty impressive. (Incidentally, they also shot hail at other standard roofing shingles; they didn't hold up so well.)

Wind and fire rating. For you roof nerds out there, the wind rating of the shingles is Class 4FM ANSI 4473, and the fire rating is Class F ASTM D3161. For you non-nerds, that's another way of saying that they have the highest rating against wind and fire.

Return on investment. Hey, you're going to pay to replace a roof at some point anyway, right? Why not pay for solar shingles and start to get some of that money back through the energy you produce? It may not only reduce your electric bill-in some states, power companies will purchase the surplus energy your solar shingles generate.

Power backup. You have the option to purchase a battery that stores your energy and provides uninterrupted electricity when the grid goes down.

Tax breaks. You can claim a 30% Solar Investment Tax Credit that applies to the cost of the solar tiles and associated solar energy equipment.

Cons of new solar shingles

Cost. This will be one of the biggest obstacles for the average homeowner. Compared to asphalt shingles, these solar cells are the Rolls Royce of shingles.

Moving. What happens if you move? Can you take the shingles with you and have them installed at your new place? If you take your solar shingles, will you have to pay to re-shingle the roof of your old house before anyone will buy it? If you leave the shingles with the old house, can you recoup the value of them? Will it increase your home value?

Specialized installation. You'll need to go through Tesla-owned SolarCity or use a roofer who has been trained in installing these shingles.

Bottom line-are they right for you?

These shingles seem like quality product that will give you the option to go solar while maintaining home aesthetics. However, for the time being, they may be cost-prohibitive for the average homeowner. Regardless, having more options is always a good thing for consumers.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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