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The winter-ready roof checklist

by: Kirsten Land on October 2nd, 2018 about General

Is your home ready for winter? Before the weather starts to get cold, it’s a good idea to take a look at the state of your roof. Snow, ice, and tree branches could be in the forecast for your roof.

Here are some simple steps to follow to see if the top of your house is in tip-top shape.

Clean it

The first step you can take is to clear your roof of any debris, leaves, and twigs. This keeps the gutters from filling up and causing damage to the siding from excess weight. Go ahead and clean out the gutters as well. When gutters fill up with debris, they can damage a home and create unnecessary hazards. In the winter months, rain, snow, and ice will be falling on the roof. When the precipitation runs over the gutter instead of down the drain, dangerous icicles can form along the edge of a roof.

Examine it

After the roof has been cleaned, take a close look to see if it has sustained any damage. Watch out for frayed edges, lifting and curling shingles and flashing, and any missing shingles or bare spots you think shouldn’t be there. These problem areas can allow leaks, and it’s best to repair them before major damage occurs.

Go ahead and check the surrounding area for any potential threats like dead branches or a high concentration of overhanging trees, too. Most Oklahomans know what happens to trees in an ice storm, so be sure to keep branches trimmed back away from your roof.

Tune it

It is about to be very cold outside, and you won’t want all that cold coming inside your home. Check that your vents are clear and that you have a well-insulated attic. Depending on what kind of insulation you have, your roof may need anywhere from 14 to 18 inches. Older homes tend to require more insulation as well, so it is important to get a professional opinion.

In addition to these steps, you should also learn about possible winter threats like ice dams, sideways rain, and strong winds. Ice dams cause a similar issue to clogged cutters, but in this case the gutter is full of ice and can cause leaks in your roof. Strong winds and sideways rain can lift up edges and allow water inside the roof.

If you are concerned about your roof, Land Enterprises Roofing offers a free roof inspection. We also offer preventative maintenance plans for both residential and commercial roofs. For more information, email info@landroofingokc.com.

Posted in General       Comments: None

A covered roof vent is a dangerous roof vent

by: Kirsten Land on September 18th, 2018 about Residential Roofing

Pick a house in Oklahoma and look at its roof. Chances are you will see some big round whirly bird or turbine vents. These pinwheels are not for decoration-they are actually in place on your roof to make sure your home has proper and healthy air exchange.

Proper ventilation is important to the well-being of the actual materials your home is built from. Covering the ventilation system can lead to serious (and expensive) health problems for a home’s structure. Trust us when we say don’t cover your air vents.

In the summer, the vents let the rising hot air in your home escape. So it might seem like a good idea to trap the warm air inside during the winter months, but doing so is a mistake.

Even though you could go to a home supply store to buy relatively inexpensive covers in the winter, you shouldn’t. Trapping warm air in your attic can cause the moisture in the air to condensate. The excess moisture in your attic can lead to mold forming and growing inside the home. Warm air trapped in an attic can also lead to ice dams forming in gutters. Ice dams happen when the snow on a roof melts, runs off into the gutter, then refreezes. They can cause damage to both the gutters and the roof.

If you want to keep your home warm in the winter, try checking if you have proper insulation on the attic floor. This keeps the warm air in your house while still allowing for proper ventilation.

Covering attic vents also traps harmful chemicals, physical particulates, and unwanted moisture inside the home. It’s never a good idea to block the natural flow of air in your home. Again, proper ventilation leads to a healthy home!

If you would like more information on roof ventilation, read more from Energy Star. And if you think your roof may be in need of repair or replacement, contact us for information and to schedule a free roof inspection.

Posted in Residential Roofing       Comments: None

Subcontractor Spotlight: Jeff Birdwell

by: Kirsten Land on September 4th, 2018 about Land Enterprises Roofing

Land Enterprises Roofing is a roofing company and general contractor that helps clients with each and every aspect of their insurance claim. That means we spend a good amount of time working with all kinds of highly skilled subcontractors who can help us get the entire job done the best way possible.

Jeff Birdwell is one of those highly skilled subcontractors. As the owner and operator of Aqua-Flo Seamless Gutter Systems, he has been repairing and building gutters since 2004. We asked Jeff a few questions about the work he does and what else he enjoys doing.

What brought you to start your own guttering business?

My best friend owns and operates a rain guttering company in Dallas, TX. He recruited and trained me in the business in 2001. With his blessing, I ventured out and started Aqua-Flo in Edmond after the large hail storm hit Oklahoma City in 2004. I networked with many roofers and soon met Brian and Kirsten Land. I am truly blessed to be a preferred subcontractor for such amazing people.

What is the best part of your line of work?

I wouldn’t be honest if I didn’t say that being my own boss is the best part of my business. Managing my time so I can be around my family and my four-year-old daughter as much as possible is a great reward that I do not take lightly. I must also mention that my installers are an awesome part of my business. They are simply amazing. Without them, there wouldn’t be an Aqua-Flo.

I also have time for golf, golf, and more golf. That time management thing I mentioned really helps out here. Haha!

How is Aqua-Flo different?

I believe what sets Aqua-Flo apart from the rest is our customer-focused mindset. We will go above and beyond to ensure our clients are getting the best products, design, and installation in the gutter industry. We have a solid reputation and more than 2,000 happy homeowners who have entrusted us with their rain guttering needs.

What is the weirdest thing you’ve found stuck in someone’s gutter?

Besides the countless nerf and tennis balls we have pulled out of gutters, the strangest thing we found was a raccoon that got itself stuck in a downspout. We had just finished the installation a week prior when the homeowner called and said her gutters overflowed in the latest rain storm. We checked and rechecked our levels and were scratching our heads as to what could possibly be the problem when we heard a loud noise coming from the downspout. I’m glad to report neither myself nor the raccoon were injured during the removal process.

Posted in Land Enterprises Roofing       Comments: None

Summer home maintenance checklist

by: Kirsten Land on August 21st, 2018 about General

Summer is rapidly drawing to a close, which means it’s a good time to make sure you’ve completed your summer home maintenance tasks. Before we know it, fall will be here, which means cooler temperatures but shorter days. Take advantage of the extra sunlight now to complete these tasks.

Inspect and touch up exterior paint

Check any painted wood or siding on your home for chipping, peeling, or flaking. The typically dry weather makes it a good time to paint, although be sure to check the paint label for any restrictions on temperature or sun exposure during application. A fresh coat of paint can improve curb appeal and protect your home from weather exposure.

Wash your windows

As temperatures cool off in fall, you may want to open your windows to let in some sunlight and some air. You’ll enjoy that fresh air and sunlight even more with clean windows. Be sure to wash your window screens, too. After all, what good are clean windows if you’re still looking through a dirty screen?

Seal window and door drafts

A broken or missing seal around windows or doors lets summer heat and winter cold in your home, which means you’re paying more than you should for energy. Grab some caulk or weather stripping and increase the energy efficiency of your home.

Clean your dryer vent

It’s amazing the amount of lint that can get clogged in a dryer vent, but most people rarely clean them. A clogged dryer vent can increase drying time, increase the humidity in your home, and increase your risk of a house fire.

Check your roof for damage and clean any debris

As temperatures cool down, animals begin to seek shelter anywhere they can find it. And if the soffits or other areas of your roof are damaged, those critters are going to find their way into your attic. Check your roof for any damaged areas and clean any debris, or call us to ask about your roof maintenance plan so we can check it for you.

Enjoy the final days of summer!

Posted in General       Comments: None

Any manufactured product has the possibility of having a defect. Think about the number of safety recalls on cars or the limited warranty that covers your kitchen appliances in case of a manufacturer’s defect. The products used in roofing are no different. Sometimes, defects happen.

The roofing materials we use are all covered with a manufacturer’s warranty. We’re even required to attend trainings and be certified in their installation process to ensure that we’re installing the roof correctly. But even with correct installation, sometimes problems show up later that are tied back to an issue with the product. That’s why there’s a warranty on the materials.

So what’s the process when a manufacturer’s defect occurs? Well, first we’ll tell you that it’s sometimes a bit of a long process. If you suspect something’s wrong with your roof, contact your roofing company and the manufacturer right away to report the issue. It’s important to note that the warranty is between the homeowner and the manufacturer. The roofing company is involved in the process, too, but some manufacturers want to hear directly from the homeowner at each step of the process.

Time is especially critical if you’re selling a home, as the replacement process may take longer than the closing process and could interfere with the sale. The normal time frame for a warranty roof replacement is between 30 and 45 days, but we’ve also seen it take longer than that.

The first step in the process is the manufacturer sends a representative to inspect the roof. They look at the shingles, check to ensure there’s proper ventilation on the roof, and verify that everything was installed correctly. They might also take a shingle to analyze more carefully to try and figure out exactly what went wrong with the material.

Once the manufacturer confirms that it was a defect in the material, they’ll authorize the replacement roof and will work with the roofing company to provide materials and pay them for labor. The manufacturer will send you some paperwork to sign, and then the shingles will be shipped to your home. Be sure to keep an eye out for that paperwork and return it promptly, because shingles won’t be shipped until the company receives the paperwork.

As soon as the shingles arrive, the process is pretty similar to any roofing project where we remove the old roof in small sections, replace the necessary layers of the roof, and then ensure the job site is cleaned thoroughly of any nails or roofing debris.

Another important thing to note about roof warranties is that they’re often transferable to a new owner but you usually only get one transfer. If you’re buying a house, be sure to ask about the roof warranty and what company installed the current roof. If you’ve had a new roof installed, be sure to complete any paperwork to register the warranty and ensure you’re covered.

Posted in Residential Roofing, Roofing Advice       Comments: None

Subcontractor spotlight: C.J. Swickey

by: Kirsten Land on July 17th, 2018 about Land Enterprises Roofing

As a roofing company and general contractor that handles every aspect of your insurance claim, we work with a lot of talented subcontractors who handle things like fencing, gutters, painting, and much more. It’s all part of restoring your home to its pre-damage condition, and we wouldn’t be able to do that for our customers without our trusted subcontractors.

Today, we want to introduce you to C.J. Swickey, owner of New Creations Painting. He has done interior and exterior paint for us on many jobs, and he also does custom woodworking and home remodeling projects for customers.

What drew you to your business and your line of work?

I grew up remodeling and building houses with my parents. Later in life I did a lot of work on my own house and everyone kept asking me why I hadn’t started a business doing it. Until then I thought everyone grew up doing this type of work on their house and knew how to do it. I didn’t realize that people needed home remodeling as a service. So, I decided to take what I loved doing and turn it into a business, and now I’ve been doing it for twelve years.

What is your favorite part of your business?

Honestly? I like payday. Anyone who owns a business and says their favorite part is not payday is not telling the truth. But my next favorite part is seeing the transformation of a house from outdated to new and current. I especially love when the homeowners go out of town and we get to do a reveal for them and see the looks on their faces.

What makes your company unique?

I would say the most unique thing about what we do is the fact that we go beyond basic job training for our employees. They are apprentices until they have a good understanding of what they are doing and how the whole project comes together. We also train employees on personal finance and communication skills to help them in all aspects of their life.

A few people even started their own companies after training with us. Many would think that would be a bad thing, but we see it as a compliment. In this day and age when many contractors are unskilled and make us all look bad by being less than honest, we welcome newcomers who have skill and integrity and know how the project should run. There’s plenty of work out there for all, and it’s nice to have other contractors in the business who know what they are doing and will do quality work for a fair price.

We also now have a low-mess system for refinishing popcorn ceilings that utilizes a HEPA vac system to remove the popcorn from the ceiling and bag it. This allows us to keep the dust to an extreme minimum in a house, which is a huge improvement over the old way of popcorn ceiling removal.

What do you do outside of New Creations Painting?

I volunteer to work natural and man-made disaster sites all over the world and am certified in the USA and in Israel. I am certified as a suicide intervention instructor and am certified in critical incident stress management (CISM). CISM skills come into use almost daily.

I own one of only two certified organic Aquaponics system in Oklahoma, which combines raising fish and raising plants in the same water system. We are also working with partners to take this system into third-world countries and low-income areas in the United States to help with their need of water and soil conservation when growing food.

Posted in Land Enterprises Roofing       Comments: None

Roofing is an industry that involves some risk of injury, whether that’s from falling off a ladder, getting injured when tearing off or putting on a roof, suffering a dog bite on a job, or some other injury. So what happens if a roofer (or any other contractor) gets hurt at your house?

You might be thinking, “Well, that’s not my fault.” But if the roofing company or other contractor doesn’t have the proper insurance in place, that worker could end up suing you to cover the cost of their healthcare and lost wages.

That’s why it’s important to make sure any company you hire to work on your home is properly insured. But what does that really mean? First, there are two types of insurance they should carry-workers’ compensation and general liability.

Worker's compensation

Workers’ compensation is what covers an employee who gets injured on the job. Accidents happen, even to people who focus heavily on safety. Workers’ compensation by the employer takes care of the medical bills in the event of an accident, which means a worker is far less likely to sue you as the homeowner to cover the cost of medical treatment.

General liability

The second type of insurance is general liability. It’s a broader coverage that protects you and your home. Let’s say an employee gets injured by falling from the roof and through the ceiling of your living room. Not only is the employee injured, but your home is damaged. While that repair may be pretty basic for the company to fix, more significant damage can happen, whether from an electrical contractor who starts a fire in your home or a rainstorm that pops up right as we tear off your roof.

If the contractor doesn’t have general liability insurance or enough cash to cover the cost of the repairs, you may end up filing a homeowner’s claim to cover that damage. If that were to happen, that contractor would probably go out of business, but you’re still stuck with the bill.

How do you check?

So how do you know if someone’s properly insured? In the state of Oklahoma, you can check their Construction Industries Board (CIB) number and ensure they’re in good standing. The CIB regularly verifies both workers’ compensation and general liability insurance for registered companies, so if they have a CIB number and are in good standing, their insurance should be sufficient.

The other option is to ask the company for proof of their insurance. If they refuse to show you paperwork to prove their insurance coverage, it’s probably time to find a new contractor. The industry standard for general liability coverage in roofing is a minimum of $1 million, although many roofers (including Land Enterprises Roofing) carry more than that.

Some trades are heavily regulated and must prove their level of insurance to a board of some kind, but other trades don’t have any regulation at all. We require the same level of insurance from all of our subcontractors to ensure both their employees and our customers are protected at all times.

Before a contractor does any work on your home, be sure to verify their level of insurance so you’re not facing a legal battle with an injured employee.

Posted in Residential Roofing, Roofing Advice       Comments: None

Do your research and ask the right questions

by: Kirsten Land on June 19th, 2018 about Residential Roofing

Putting a new roof on your home is a significant investment. Even if your insurance company is paying for most of the cost, you’ll still likely have to pay a deductible and invest the time and effort to go through the process. Most roofs should last eight to ten years (or more), so you want to be sure it gets done right.

When severe storms and hail damage occur in Oklahoma, it’s pretty common to see roofing companies come from surrounding states and set up a temporary office in the area. Some of them are reputable companies who simply travel to different states for work, while others are less reputable overall. Some do quality work, while others don’t.

When it comes to choosing a roofing company, it’s important to do some research and ask the right questions.

Find out what’s really included in the price

We’ve seen situations where a roofing company will offer a post-storm special that undercuts the price of every other roofer in town. But when people start asking questions about the price, it’s often not as great of a deal as it originally appeared because it doesn’t include the same materials.
For example, we install an ice and water shield with every roof because it’s an important part of keeping your roof safe in an Oklahoma winter. But many other companies will skip that step to lower the price. If you’re getting estimates from multiple companies, be sure you ask for an itemized estimate that shows everything included in the cost.

Take your time making a decision

After a hailstorm, people see their neighbors getting new roofs and are anxious to get their new roof as well. While it’s helpful to have a qualified roofer come inspect your roof relatively quickly if you suspect damage, in most cases you don’t have to rush to replace it. If there’s significant damage or visible leaks inside your home, you certainly want to take care of it quickly before damage spreads. But otherwise, take your time making a decision.

Whether you’re making a quick decision due to significant damage or have a little more time, be sure to ask plenty of questions about the process, what’s included in the estimate, and any other questions you have. A good salesperson will be forthcoming with information and answer all of your questions. If they dodge your questions, they may not be the right roofer for you.

Ask about the process for warranty issues

One of the biggest challenges that can occur with using an out-of-town company for your roof happens a couple years down the road when a problem occurs. Maybe it’s a shingle defect or an issue with how the roof was installed. Whatever it may be, you’ll want to get in touch with the company who installed the roof to process a warranty claim. But sometimes that’s hard to do if the company is no longer in your area. The local phone number they provided at time of install is out of service, and they may not have anyone in the area to come inspect your roof even if you do get in touch with their main office.

Before you sign a contract with any roofing company, whether local or from surrounding states, be sure to do your research and ask the right questions so you know what you’re getting and what will happen if a problem occurs in the future.

Posted in Residential Roofing       Comments: None

During the hot summer months, we see an increase in phone calls from people who say it’s unbearably hot in the second floor of their home and their air conditioner can’t keep up. When we go out and inspect their roof, the vast majority of the time we find inadequate roof ventilation.

Roof ventilation helps air circulate through your attic to control the temperature. Air comes in through the soffits under the eaves of the house, and it exits through some type of vent on top of the roof.

There are several types of vents, including power vents, powerless vents, and turbine-style vents. Powerless vents are the round or square domes you might see on a roof, while turbine-style vents are the kind that spin. Power vents can create a challenge sometimes because they require an electrician to install and there’s no way to monitor whether or not they’re working unless you inspect the roof.

Roof ventilation is a critical aspect of any roof installation, yet it’s often overlooked by inexperienced roofing companies or people who are cutting corners on time or expense.

Here are three reasons roof ventilation matters.

Energy efficiency and temperature control

Trapped hot air in your attic is never a good thing. It can quickly increase the temperature in your home and cause your air conditioner to run nonstop and still struggle to keep up. Not only will it increase your electric bill, but it also can mean extra repairs and a shorter lifespan for your overworked air conditioner.

Damage to wood, metal, or other materials in your attic or roof

Trapped hot air also means trapped moisture, which can lead to warping of your wood frame or roof decking, rusting of nails in the shingles or frame, and rusting of metal components of ductwork or other materials in the attic. Moisture can also lead to mold or mildew in your attic that can then seep into your walls and cause allergies or illness.

Buckled shingles and premature aging of the roof

When hot air gets trapped in your roof, it can create unnecessary heat beneath your shingles and cause them to buckle or cause your overall roof to wear faster. In some cases, it may also void the warranty on your roof. Quality roofing materials come with a manufacturer’s warranty, and if an issue arises with the roof, the manufacturer will send a representative to inspect the roof. If they find inadequate ventilation, they may refuse to cover the issue because of the possibility it was caused by inadequate ventilation rather than a manufacturing defect.

While inadequate roof ventilation often causes significant heat in the second story of a home, it can impact single-story homes as well. If your air conditioner is struggling to keep up in the summer and a service company can’t identify a problem with the unit, it’s probably time to have your roof inspected for proper ventilation.

Posted in Residential Roofing, Roofing Advice       Comments: None

Roof coverage terms demystified

by: Kirsten Land on May 15th, 2018 about Insurance

When looking at your insurance policy for roof coverage, it’s easy to get confused. Every industry has its fair share of jargon, and the roofing industry and insurance industry are no different.

Let’s take a look at some of the terms you might see in your insurance policy when it comes to repairing or replacing your roof.

Actual cash value (ACV)

Actual cash value takes the total replacement cost of your roof and subtracts the depreciation. If you have an ACV policy on your roof, there’s a good chance you’ll end up paying something out of pocket for a roof replacement. How much you pay out of pocket will depend on the depreciation of your roof.

Depreciation

Depreciation is the loss of value over time of any product, including the roof of your home. Insurance companies determine the depreciation of a product based the expected life of the product, age, and wear and tear. Basically, it’s an estimate of how much of the total product value has been lost due to its age or other factors.

Recoverable depreciation

If you have a total replacement cost policy, then you will also have recoverable depreciation. That means the insurance company will pay you for some or all of the depreciated value, provided you meet the requirements. For most roof claims, your insurance company will first write a check for the actual cash value of the roof. Then, once the roof replacement is complete, they will write a check for the recoverable depreciation.

Deductible

Most homeowner policies include a deductible, which can be a set dollar amount or a percentage of your home’s total value. The deductible represents the amount you must pay out of pocket before the insurance company will pay the claim. However, it’s not an amount you actually pay to the insurance company, but rather an amount that’s subtracted from the claim amount they pay. For example, if you have a $1,000 deductible and your claim is for $9,000, then the insurance company will write a check for $8,000. You will then pay the roofing contractor the difference of $1,000.

Overhead and profit

A roofing company that acts as a general contractor will oversee your entire roofing project, which includes hiring the various trades needed (guttering, painting, etc.), obtaining permits, and coordinating the flow of the project. In order to run their business, they have overhead expenses for office space, administrative tasks, licensing, advertising, and more. Profit is the difference between the cost of goods sold and the price for which they are sold. Overhead and profit can vary significantly in the roofing industry, but most insurance companies will include a set percentage of overhead and profit that a company can include in the claim.

Posted in Insurance       Comments: None

Oklahoma Roofing Contractor: Registration #80000030

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