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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

How your roofing company can help maximize your claim

by: Kirsten Land on May 1st, 2018 about Insurance

In the roofing industry, there’s a process called supplementing. It’s a pretty standard term for us, but not a term (or a process) that everyone is familiar with.

What does supplementing mean?

Supplementing is the process where a contractor submits additional expenses to the insurance company. It’s a common practice for home insurance and car insurance because there’s often damage that can’t be seen on the surface.

For a car accident, an insurance adjuster will come look at your car and provide an estimate of what they think it would cost to fix the car. But when the auto body shop starts taking your car apart, they often find additional parts and pieces that need to be fixed, or they’ll find something that takes longer or has to be repaired differently than the adjuster thought.

The process of repairing a roof is much the same. The adjuster might not realize if something on the roof isn’t up to code, and there are many other things that could need to be repaired or replaced that won’t be obvious until the old roof comes off. And sometimes it’s as simple as the adjuster overlooking something. We’re all human, after all.

What role does the homeowner pay in this process?

The homeowner’s role in the process is pretty simple in most situations. At Land Roofing Enterprises, we work on the customer’s behalf with their insurance company to get the necessary supplements approved. But in order to do that, we need to see the estimate from the insurance company.

Sometimes homeowners are a little reluctant to share that information with their roofing company or other contractors, but most people don’t give it a second thought when having a car repaired. Now, roof replacement is often more expensive than repairing body damage on a car, but the process is still the same.

We recently had a customer who had extensive roof damage that also involved interior damage. Most of the ceiling and some of the walls in the house needed to be repainted, but the insurance company had only allocated $500 for painting on their estimate.

Now, $500 might seem like plenty to paint the interior of a house, and it might be if you’re buying the paint and doing the work yourself. But for a professional paint contractor to paint the interior of a home including spraying popcorn ceilings, it’s not a sufficient amount. When we noticed that line item, we immediately contacted their insurance company and got the necessary supplement to complete the painting properly.

What else might require supplementing?

We have a lot of experience with repairing both exterior and interior of homes, and we know what all of those items should cost, including windows, gutters, and painting. Another area that commonly requires supplementing relates to city and state codes, especially for things like roof ventilation.

There are many roofs installed without proper ventilation. Ventilation impacts your utility bills, as well as the safety and life of your roof. If the ventilation on your roof doesn’t meet current code, we’re required to bring it up to code when we replace the roof. If the insurance estimate doesn’t include the code upgrade, the homeowner could be out that money unless we submit a supplement to get it covered.

What’s the bottom line?

When repairing or replacing your roof, be sure to share your full insurance estimate with your roofing contractor so they can identify any places where the estimate may fall short of the actual cost to repair or replace your roof. While we can submit a supplement at any point in the process, it’s best to know up front where the estimate falls short and get approval in advance. We’ll work with your insurance company to make sure you get the full amount needed for the repair.

Posted in Insurance       Comments: None

You may be wondering, “Why would I need a roof maintenance plan?” And that’s certainly a valid question. It’s not something that many roofing companies offer or many homeowners are familiar with. But just about everyone is familiar with car maintenance, such as regular oil changes, brake inspections, and checking fluids.

A roof maintenance plan is pretty much the same thing. Just like regular car maintenance, it can help fix small issues long before they become major problems. Even brand new cars need regular maintenance, and the same is true for brand new roofs.

Here’s what you can expect with our roof maintenance plan.

Thorough inspection

For each roof maintenance visit, we conduct a thorough inspection of your roof. This includes checking the shingles, decking, gutters, skylights, attic vents, and rubber plumbing boots for any damage or other concerns. This helps us identify any problems related to incorrect installation, storm damage, or just wear and tear over time.

Routine maintenance

The routine maintenance we perform helps minimize risk to your roof and keep it in great condition. This includes cleaning skylights, trimming back trees or bushes that are too close to the roof, and removing debris from the gutters. That’s right, we’ll clean your gutters! Gutters play an important role in protecting your roof by moving water away from it. Clogged gutters can allow water to back up under your shingles, which can shorten the life of your roof.

Written report

Every roof maintenance plan visit includes a written report that details what we inspected, any maintenance we performed, and any additional repairs that are needed. It’s a great way to keep a history on your roof and show proper maintenance if selling your home.

Discount on repairs

If any additional repairs are needed above and beyond what’s covered in the maintenance plan, we offer a 10% discount for roof maintenance customers. That means a roof maintenance plan saves you money in two different ways: by preventing major problems and by offering a discount on needed repairs.

Call us to schedule your first roof maintenance plan visit and start protecting your home today.

Posted in Land Enterprises Roofing, Residential Roofing       Comments: None

Preparing for a disaster before it happens

by: Kirsten Land on April 3rd, 2018 about General

The people of Oklahoma are no stranger to disasters. From tornadoes to flooding to fires and more, these disasters can have a significant impact on individuals and businesses. A disaster can break a business, and it can create a lot of stress for homeowners.

Here are some key things to consider both for your business and your home to be better prepared.

Know your risk

What sort of risk does your business or home face? In Oklahoma, storm damage from winter or spring storms is a definite risk. Other risk factors include flooding, earthquakes, and proximity to hazardous materials. Then, of course, there are those things you don’t think will happen, such as a natural gas explosion or even an act of terrorism.

Take some time to really think about the types of things that could impact your business or your home. It’s not fun to think about, but it’s an important part of being prepared.

Review your coverage

When it comes to recovering from a disaster, your insurance coverage matters. We’ve seen both commercial and residential customers who had insufficient coverage end up paying a significant amount of money out of pocket for a new roof. Or, they end up paying out of pocket for flood damage. Most standard policies don’t cover flood or earthquakes, so be sure to talk to your insurance agent about what your coverage includes.

When you get your renewal policy every year, read through it and make sure your coverage looks good. Ask your agent if anything has changed from the prior policy. Yes, it’s a thick stack of paper (or a long document to read on the computer), but knowing what’s covered and how to file a claim can save you time and lots of money after a disaster. Businesses may also want to ask about business continuity coverage, which can help cover the cost of business disruptions and lost revenue.

Photograph and protect belongings

Your insurance policy should protect both your home or office and the contents inside, but that process is much easier if you know what was inside. Take pictures of your home or office and the contents to document items that insurance will need to replace. It's also a good idea to note serial numbers and appraisal value for more expensive items. Store irreplaceable items and documents plus your photos in a fireproof safe or at an off-site location.

Before each storm season, clean out your storm shelter and stock it with necessary supplies, such as a flashlight, personal size fan, drinking water, and a radio. Be sure to register your storm shelter with your city or county so that first responders know to check it in the event of a disaster.

Have a plan

There are a couple of different plans that can be helpful, including a disaster plan and a business continuity plan. A disaster plan can be helpful for a business and a home, as it details what should happen in the event of a disaster. If a disaster occurs and your high school students can’t safely make it back home, where should they go? What escape route should each person take if a fire occurs at home? Where do you keep copies of your insurance policy and account numbers for access if your office is hit by a tornado? These are the types of questions to address in a disaster plan.

For a business continuity plan, the focus is on the impact to your business and what steps are necessary to continue operating at some level following a disaster. Your business continuity plan should include key contact information for all employees, as well as procedures for contacting customers and suppliers following a disaster. It should also include information on how to access necessary files and computer systems, which should be backed up in the cloud or offsite in case of a disaster.

If you don’t have a current disaster plan and business continuity plan, now is the time to spend some time pulling the plan together before a disaster strikes. You can find additional tips for creating an emergency kit on the ready.gov website.

Posted in General       Comments: None

In the early years of Land Roofing Enterprises, we only offered roofing services. Brian did the labor along with roofing crews we hired. However, that created a challenge in managing the day-to-day duties of the business plus overseeing roofing crews plus estimating new jobs. Many other roofing companies were using subcontractors for their labor, so we decided to look into that option.

Helping with more than just the roof

As our business grew, clients also began asking for help with other aspects of their insurance claim, such as guttering, siding, windows, painting, and fencing. Our clients trusted us and valued the quality of service we provided. They wanted us to help them with more than just their roof.

We wanted to provide the highest quality of service to our clients, so we began developing relationships with companies who could provide the other services that often went along with an insurance claim. Instead of the customer having to work with multiple different companies on different pieces of the claim, we began offering a one-stop-shop approach to clients.

We communicated with the customer and their insurance company, and then we handled all of the subcontracting for other services. It made the process much easier for our busy clients!

That’s the business model we still use today. It’s a smart move for our business, since we can tap into different subcontractors as needed for specialty jobs or high-volume periods. Plus it’s the right thing to do for our clients.

Maintaining high standards

We have high standards for quality at Land Enterprises Roofing, and we expect those same high standards from all of our subcontractors.

We require that they hold a specific level of general liability insurance and worker’s comp insurance as well. That protects us and our clients, plus the subcontractor’s employees. We also stay in close communication with our subcontractors on any job to ensure they provide quality work. If a problem arises, we work with them to correct it and ensure we always meet the client’s expectations.

Many of our subcontractors have been working with us for a long time. Our roofing subcontractor has been working with us for more than a decade! We take good care of them and they take good care of us by providing the best possible service for our clients.

Roofing industry jargon and what it really means

by: Kirsten Land on March 6th, 2018 about Residential Roofing

Every industry has its own fair share of jargon, and the roofing industry is no exception. When we work with our customers, we do our best to explain all the different terms for products or parts of the roof so that it’s easily understandable.

Here’s a list of some common roofing industry jargon and what it really means.

Flashing

In the roofing industry, flashing is all about preventing water from seeping into your roof. It’s primarily used to cover joints. Whenever two pieces of material come together on the roof or between the roof and wall, you have a joint. That joint is a spot where water can work its way under the shingles and cause damage.

Flashing is usually made of aluminum or galvanized steel, and it’s a solid sheet of metal that covers the entire joint. On a roof, you’ll often see flashing around the edges of a chimney, around skylights or dormer windows, and in the sections where two peaks of the roof come together. Sometimes minor roof leaks can be easily fixed by adding or replacing flashing.

Drip Edge

A drip edge is a specific type of flashing installed under the first row of shingles that helps prevent pesky critters from invading your attic. It’s installed between the shingles and the fascia, which is the long straight board that runs the length of your roof. Gutters are usually attached to the fascia. If there’s no drip edge installed, gaps can form between the fascia and the first row of shingles, and squirrels and other critters love taking advantage of those gaps.

Ice and Water Shield

Most of the time, an ice and water shield goes under any areas with flashing, and it’s another layer of protection against leaks. During winter, especially in Oklahoma where precipitation might freeze and thaw and freeze again, something called ice damming can occur.

An ice dam is a ridge of ice that forms at the edge of the roof and blocks melting water from dripping off the roof. That means the water sits on your roof much longer than it should, which can increase the risk of leaks. An ice and water shield is a specific layer that helps prevent water from leaking through your roof even if the water stays on your roof for several days.

Class IV Impact Resistant Shingle

Wait... what? Yes, this one amounts to serious jargon, but it’s all about quality. Basically, it’s the best shingle out there. Class IV (four) means that a shingle holds up in even the toughest tests for impact with no cracking or ruptures. What does that mean for you? It means your roof will hold up during severe weather and hailstorms. Some insurance companies will even offer a discount if you show proof that you installed this type of shingle.

Eaves

The eave of the house is the part of the roof that extends beyond the walls of your home. The eave serves two purposes: it provides a bit of shade for the walls of your home and it prevents water from dripping directly around the foundation. The soffit is the paneling that covers the underside of the eaves. Soffits are another place that critters explore looking for ways to get into your attic, especially during the winter months when they’re looking for warmth.

Together, these elements create a high-quality roofing system that protects your home from wind, hail, rain, and freezing rain. We always take the time to explain our roofing systems to our customers and answer any questions they have about the parts of their roof.

If you have questions about your roof or the steps taken to repair or replace it, just ask. We’ll be happy to answer them.

Posted in Residential Roofing       Comments: None

Oklahoma is known for its wild and unpredictable weather. From the wind sweeping down the plains to pouring rain to blazing hot sun to snow and ice, Oklahoma weather can be rough.

We often take for granted the buildings that protect us from the elements. Consider for a minute that your home may be your biggest financial investment and housing your greatest asset. Now consider that your roof is the best protector your home can have. Wouldn’t you want to do everything in your power to keep your roof in great shape?

Many new homeowners are under the impression that because they have a brand new roof, they don’t need a maintenance plan. That’s a scary thought! Think about when you buy a new car-you still need to change the oil. If you neglect oil changes, you’ll be stuck on the side of the road waiting for help to arrive. If you want to keep your roof looking new and prevent leaks, you have to maintain it as well.

Can’t I just inspect it myself periodically?

There’s come a point in time where most homeowners realize it’s been a while since they’ve really looked at their roof. While it can be tempting to grab a ladder and check it out, we recommend leaving roof inspections to the professionals. First, they know exactly what they’re looking for in terms of damage or other concerns. Second, they know how to safely navigate the roof.

How do I protect my investment?

Taking care of the small issues before they become large (and expensive) is the best way to protect your investment. A lot can happen to your roof if no one is paying attention. A small issue like a slow leak in the attic can become an emergency when it becomes a major leak and damages priceless belongings.

If a small leak goes undetected for a period of time, it can easily turn to mold and cause your family to become ill. To protect your roof and everything underneath it, every repair is important, no matter how small. 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.

While it’s true that many roofing companies only replace roofs, there are many companies, including Land Roofing, that happily complete repairs of all sizes.

What is a maintenance plan?

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 to protect the overall life of your roof.

A good roof maintenance program should offer twice yearly inspections for damage from environmental factors, like high winds or trees rubbing against your roof. The maintenance program also helps identify and fix any gaps or entry points where animals could burrow into your attic and cause a significant amount of damage.

Our roof maintenance program also qualifies you for discounts on any necessary 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.

Let’s face it-you have a lot of expectations out of life. But you have even more expectations from your roof.

You may not have thought much about it before, but a roof’s job is hard. It’s about so much more than a pretty shingle color to make your house look nice. Yes, we want our homes to look great, but your roof’s job exceeds that. It keeps you dry and warm all while protecting your largest investment-the people under it.

Since most homeowners are not professional roofers, they may not really know what’s over their heads. Hint: it’s much more than just shingles! A roof and a roofing system are significantly different, as we discussed in last month's blog. A roofing system has many layers, each designed with a specific purpose to aid in a long-lasting roof.

Why the process matters

Each roofing manufacturer creates a roofing system, which includes materials specifically designed to work together. The manufacturer has high expectations for their product. To ensure their product is efficient and lasts, the system must be installed properly.

The manufacturer offers trainings and literature to contractors who will be installing their roofing system. After a contractor has completed the certification, the manufacturer offers a warranty on the roofs that the contractor installs. This process ensures that you as a homeowner are receiving the best materials possible, constructed in the most efficient manner possible, with a lifetime warranty just in case it’s needed.

That is what I call protecting your assets!

Make sure you’re protected

When your home needs a new roof, how do you decide who will install the roof? Do you call a couple of friends and head to Lowe’s or Home Depot? That sounds dangerous. Do you call an on-the-side roofing crew a friend recommended? Hopefully not. Although your friends are great, they are not certified.

Choosing a roofing company that offers certified contractors ensures that they know how to apply each individual layer of the roofing system properly. Each layer-and each system-has different application methods, and if it’s not done right, it could void the warranty. Even worse, an improperly installed roof could put you at risk. Make sure you protect your greatest investment by choosing a certified contractor to install your roof.

Posted in Residential Roofing, Roofing Advice       Comments: None

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