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Spotting springtime leaks in your roof and gutters

by: Kirsten Land on April 18th, 2017 about Residential Roofing

April showers bring May flowers. They also bring something else: the chance for you to check your gutters and your roof for leaks.

Checking your gutters

Our house doesn’t have much guttering, and what it does have is leaky. Your gutters may have leaks, too. But how would you know? When it’s raining, the natural impulse is to head indoors and wait for the sun to come back out.

This month when it rains, grab your umbrella and head out to inspect your gutters. (Unless there happens to be lightning, of course!)

Why does this matter? In our house, the poor guttering leads to cascades of water that tear up the landscaping and ground around our house. It turns into a muddy mess. What’s more, it can also be a threat to the foundation.

So be sure to check your gutters this month. You’ll want to know where any potential foundation threats are, and you may find issues significant enough that you’ll want to have your gutters repaired.

Checking your roof

I was at my mother’s house in Houston a few months ago. I happened to go into her attic during a rainstorm. While I was getting what my mom wanted, I kept hearing this drip-drip-drip sound.

I tracked it down. It was a leak coming from the roof and dripping onto a plastic storage bin. This was fortunate for three reasons.

First, I wouldn’t have discovered it without the tell-tale sound.

Second, if the box hadn’t been there, it would have been dripping right into the insulation or onto a cardboard box that held precious keepsakes. The insulation, ceiling material, and keepsakes could all have been ruined.

Finally, an undiscovered leak creates the perfect breeding ground for mold.

Needless to say, my mom and I both were happy that I happened to be in the attic while it was raining.

During one of the rainstorms this month, head up into your attic and bring a flashlight if you need to. See if you can spot any leaks that you can proactively address this spring.

Take a rain check

A rainy day is great time to try to spot leaks in your gutters and attic.

As always, if you see something that worries you or that you have a question about, give us call. We’ll come out for free to take a look.

Posted in Residential Roofing       Comments: None

Why our business is really about people (not roofs)

by: Kirsten Land on April 4th, 2017 about General

You’ve probably noticed how one act of kindness often leads to a chain reaction of kind acts.

It may not seem like that has much to do with a roofing business, but it does for us! Here’s one way we’ve seen that chain reaction in our business.

We work with a lot of real estate agents. This leads to us helping people who are buying or selling a home. That’s a stressful time for everyone involved! So, when someone’s hit with a curveball like a damaged roof, you can imagine how that adds to their stress levels.

That was the case for a family that was selling their home and were set to close in a few weeks. The roof had just received some hail damage. We came out to inspect it as a favor to the real estate agent, and sure enough, the roof was totaled.

Despite the all-around stress of that situation, we all found ways to work together to help each other. First, we came out and met with the seller’s insurance adjuster, who agreed with our assessment that the roof was totaled. Insurance would pay to replace the roof and gutters and would expedite the process.

The seller chose us to replace the roof and gutters since we had been willing to work with them and their insurance. The roof had to be done before they could go through the closing. We promised to get the work done before the closing date.

Meanwhile, the buyers asked if they could choose the roof color and pay for an upgrade to an impact-resistant shingle. It may have seemed like an extra hassle for them to worry about, but the sellers didn’t hesitate. They graciously agreed to the request.

Afterward, the buyer of the house was so pleased with our work and our customer service, they purchased our two-year roof maintenance service.

The seller was also pleased, as were both of the real estate agents. We got the job done, and the house closed on time.

You never know what an act of kindness might lead to. Ours started small: doing a favor for a real estate agent who needed quick help before a closing. It ended with a win for all of us, and every party reaching out to lend a hand to the others.

You see, our business isn’t really about roofs.

It’s about people. And giving them what they need in a way that makes everyone feel like they are more than customers. At its core, our business is about kindness. And kindness is contagious.

If you’re worried about your roof, call us, and let us be a friendly face when you’re stressed about your house. Because you will always be more than a customer to us.

Posted in General       Comments: None

Have you ever wondered what an insurance agent might have to say about your roof repair? Here in this blog, you often get our perspective as a roofing company.

But did you know that we regularly get calls from agents asking us to come inspect a client’s roof? Here are a couple of insights on your agent’s perspective when it comes to getting your roof repaired or replaced based on our conversations with insurance agents.

Adjuster knows best

After an adjuster determines that your roof should be replaced, they will tell you how much the insurance company will pay to replace it. But shouldn’t you get three or four estimates to get the lowest price? Isn’t that the best thing to do? The ethical thing to do?

Not really, no.

In fact, the insurance company has based the cost on what it will take in materials and labor to replace your roof properly. You could shop around, but it won’t save you any money. It may save your insurance company some money, but you could end up losing in the long run. Suppose you choose a cut-rate roofer who skimps on quality and takes shortcuts? That could lead to roof damage and failure due to poor workmanship.

An agent wants what you want

Your best interests are also your agent’s best interests. They want to keep you as a client. That’s why they want to make sure you’re happy with your roofers and their work. They care about you and your property. Just like you, they want the roof repairs done with the highest quality. The whole process reflects on them and their relationship with you.

In the end, your agent wants you happy and your home in tip-top shape.

Posted in Insurance       Comments: None

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.

Posted in Roofing Advice       Comments: 1

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.

Posted in Roofing Advice       Comments: 1

How do you love your house? Let us count the ways.

by: Kirsten Land on February 7th, 2017 about General

Valentine's dayWhen was the last time you gave your house a Valentine? Yes, even houses need love, and this February you can give yours a special Valentine’s treat. Here are six things you can do this month for your house.

Door sweep and weather stripping

Check out your exterior doors. Over the years, the sweep (the weather strip along the bottom of the door) and the weather stripping around the frame can deteriorate and fail. As that happens, drafts come in and air escapes, which drives up your heating bills in the winter and cooling bills in the summer. Replace them if they’ve seen better days.

Baseboards

Baseboards take the brunt of family life. Kids crash cars into them and whack them with hockey sticks. Adults and kids both kick them from time to time. If your baseboards look tired and bruised, it’s time to buy some paint, painter’s tape, and a brush to touch them up. It’s a small thing, but it’s a detail that can breathe new life into a room for little cost and effort.

Furnace Filter

When was the last time you checked your furnace filter? If it’s been a while, take out the old, and replace it with a new one. In fact, most filters should be replaced every couple of months. Not only will it enhance the efficiency of your HVAC system, it will improve the air quality in the house for everyone. Bob Vila offers some guidelines for choosing the type of filter that will best suit your needs.

Vacuum the Dryer Vent

Out of sight, out of mind. The poor dryer vent can get neglected. Think of it like an artery. When it’s clear, the dryer runs efficiently. But as it clogs with lint, it reduces efficiency. The dryer has to work harder, and it may eventually stop drying your clothes altogether. Not only that-a clogged vent becomes a fire danger. So, pull your dryer out, disconnect the vent tube, and vacuum it. You get bonus points for going outside and vacuuming the vent tube from the opposite direction.

Light Bulbs

Do you have some light bulbs way up high that are hard to replace? If you’ve been putting that off for a while and living in the dim shadows, then let there be light! Get out the ladder and change out all the bulbs that need it. You can install energy-efficient bulbs to save some money on your energy bill and avoid changing them again for a while. In addition to brightening the room, good lighting will brighten your mood, too.

Smoke Alarms

Don’t put that ladder away yet! While you have it out to change the light bulbs, scoot it around to your smoke and carbon dioxide alarms. If you haven’t changed their batteries in a while, give them fresh ones.

In any relationship, it’s always the little things that show you care the most. It’s the same with your house. Treat your home to some TLC this month!

Posted in General       Comments: None

Will your insurance cover a roof repair?

by: Kirsten Land on January 17th, 2017 about General

Protecting your homeOver the years, we’ve found that a lot of people don’t really know what their insurance policy covers when it comes to their roof. Unfortunately, that could be a financial land mine.

Before you renew your property insurance for the year, we recommend reviewing your policy to fully understand the coverage. Below, we’ve listed a few very important things that you need to know about your insurance policy.

Know your deductible for a new roof

The deductible is the out-of-pocket expense you will pay before insurance starts paying out on your roof claim. If you don’t know what your deductible is and your roof is damaged, you may be left scrambling for cash during a time when you’ll have enough anxiety as it is. When you review your policy, note your deductible and work toward having the funds to pay it.

Know what insurance pays on a roof claim

We often encounter homeowners who are surprised at how much or how little their insurance company will pay out on a roof claim. If you find out that insurance doesn’t cover nearly as much as you thought, you’ll have to come up with more money. The amount that insurance pays may vary depending on factors like the age of the roof. Many policies offer recoverable depreciation, while others do not. These aren’t things that you’ll want to come as a surprise.

Know what exclusions apply

In some cases, a policy might cover repairs to a roof from storms but not cover repairs for damage that was a result of improper maintenance. In other cases, a policy might not even cover a full roof replacement. Again, these are not caveats that you want coming to you as a surprise while you’re having a roof emergency. Be sure to check for exclusions in your insurance policy that apply to your roof.

Understanding your insurance policy will result in a lot less stress if you need to replace your roof. If you’d like more information about roof replacement or maintenance, give us a call.

Posted in General       Comments: None

How to prevent ice dams

by: Kirsten Land on January 3rd, 2017 about General

Snowy houseIce dams are a typical problem in states where heavy snow is commonplace. But even in Oklahoma, some winters bring favorable conditions for ice dams to form. Find out what causes ice dams, and what steps you can take to prevent them from damaging your home.

What are ice dams?

Ice dams are formed because of melting snow on your roof. The warmth of your home’s attic melts snow, which runs down to your gutters. That water freezes and forms a mound of ice at the cold edge of the roof.

That’s the ice dam. It blocks other water from running down (and off) your roof. Water backs up, seeps under your shingles, and gets into your home.

Water dripping down onto your ceiling can cause stained ceiling and walls and even rotten wood. That can create a lot of damage.

How do you prevent ice dams?

The way to prevent ice dams from damaging your home is to keep your roof cold. Keeping heat in your attic from melting the snow stops the melt that forms ice dams. There are a few steps you can take keep your roof cold.

1. Add insulation in your attic

If your attic doesn’t have enough insulation, heat from your home will more easily escape into the attic and the roof will be warm. Check your local building codes to find out how much insulation is required in your attic.

2. Close paths to the attic

Much of the heat lost in your home is lost to the attic. Heat gets to the attic through many paths, like pipe chases, access hatches, and gaps or cracks in the drywall. If you’re comfortable doing this, you can get into your attic and close these paths using foam and caulk to keep out the heat, or hire someone else to take care of it.

3. Vent your attic

Attic vents keep cold air moving through your attic, moving warmth out. Ridge and soffit vents will help prevent ice dams from forming.

4. Chimney flashing

Remember that holes for pipes and cracks in drywall allow heat into the attic? If your home has a chimney, the gaps alongside it also allow heat into the attic. You can correct this by adding flashing around your chimney in the attic.

If you find that this winter is hard on your roof, give us a call. We’d be happy to help you resolve any roofing issues the winter weather leaves behind.

Posted in General       Comments: None

Help keep your family safe from holiday crime

by: Kirsten Land on December 20th, 2016 about General

santa-thiefThe holiday season is an exciting time filled with family gatherings, traveling, shopping, gift-giving, and relaxing. It’s still important, however, to be careful during the holidays.

We can get caught up in the magic and let our guard down, making us vulnerable to holiday crimes. Here are a few simple tips to help you be safe during your holiday season.

Shopping

If you need to shop at night-a strong possibility with the earlier sunsets-try to bring a friend or family member, and park in a well-lighted area close to your destination.

Be aware of your surroundings. Avoid parking next to vans, trucks with camper shells, or cars with darkened windows.

Locate your car keys before heading back to your vehicle. Do not approach your car if there are suspicious people in the vicinity.

Hold onto your packages, bags, and your purse securely-don’t set them down to open the door.

If traveling from store to store, don’t leave your packages on the seats of the car. Stash them out of sight.

ATM safety

Pick an ATM in a safe place. Good locations include a mall (if the ATM isn’t tucked in a secluded corner), a restaurant, or any other well-lighted, highly visible location.

Be careful when entering your PIN. Shield the keypad if others are standing nearby.

Keep your receipt. Don’t discard it until you can shred it at home.

Only withdraw the amount of cash you need.

Be aware of anyone who may have been watching you withdraw money and then follows you. If someone does that, stay in a public place. You can ask mall security or whatever place of business you’re in for an escort to your vehicle.

Home

Lock up your doors and windows, even if you’re only leaving the house for a few minutes.

Stash gifts and valuables so that they can’t be seen from the windows.

Be aware that criminals sometimes knock on the door and pretend to have a delivery for you.

Traveling? Arrange for a neighbor to collect your mail and pick up newspapers and packages. Ask them to keep an eye on your house. Leave lights on in a few rooms and on the porch. If possible, set them on an automatic timer. And don’t broadcast your trip on social media so people know that you’re gone.

Be aware and be safe so you can enjoy the holidays to the fullest. Have a safe, warm, and enjoyable holiday season with your family!

Parts of this list were adapted from the Holiday Safety Tips posted by the Los Angeles Police Department.

Posted in General       Comments: None

Three winter home care tips

by: Kirsten Land on December 6th, 2016 about General

winter-cottageWith cold weather already here and more on the way, you can still help protect your home from the damaging effects of winter weather. Here are three simple, inexpensive tips you can use to give your home an advantage when it goes head-to-head with Old Man Winter.

Tip 1 – Gutter socks

I know, these sound weird. Let me explain. To protect your gutters from the snow and ice that can pack-and crack-the gutters, take a long tube sock. Fill it with ice melt (not just salt!). Tie the end. Attach the sock to a bracket at the higher end of the gutter.

To attach it, you can poke a hole in the sock, put a carabiner through, and easily clip the carabiner onto the bracket. This will prevent the sock from sliding down the drain and clogging the gutter.

Lay the sock flat into the gutter, and presto! A gutter sock! Create and install several, according to how many gutters you have, so that the ice and snow don’t cause them to crack, leak, and detach.

Tip 2 – Stock up on ice melt

Speaking of ice melt, it’s a good idea to buy it before you’ll need it. You’ll be prepared and probably save money, too. Ice melt never goes bad, so you can find a spot for it in your garage, cellar, or storage and forget about it until you need it. It’s great for gutter socks, but it’s also pretty handy for your driveways, walkways, porches, and outside steps.

If you have to buy it when a storm is coming or is already here, you’ll typically pay higher prices. It’s just supply and demand. But you can be ready ahead of time.

Tip 3 – Beware of turbine covers

Here’s the main thing to remember about turbine covers: don’t use them! They’re sold at home improvement stores right next to the turbines, but you don’t need them, and they might create unhealthy conditions in your home.

It may be tempting to cover the turbines on your roof in the winter. At first glance, it seems logical, right? It’s like an umbrella for the turbines, to keep snow and sleet from accumulating and seeping into the roof. But don’t do it.

Turbine covers can cut off air flow while trapping heat and moisture. That creates the ideal conditions for mold to breed and spread.

Why they sell these covers, I don’t know. If you read the manufacturer’s instructions for the actual turbines, they clearly warn not to cover them. Keep your turbines open and unobstructed so that your roof remains well-ventilated all winter long.

As always, if you’d like to have a professional come check things out on your roof before winter digs any deeper, call us at 405-359-3951. Let’s keep your roof in optimal condition, so it can protect your house, your belongings, and your loved ones.

Posted in General       Comments: None

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