Hail Damage To Your Roof

One of the most dramatic weather events in the United States is large thunderstorms, which often produce heavy rain, heavy winds and in some cases damaging hail.  Many people are not aware that hail can severely damage the roof on their home, depending to the size of the hailstones, as well as the velocity that it impacts the roof.  One way to look at the impact that hail has on a roof is to consider how hail can cause dings and dents in a car made of steel.  Imaging what that is doing to an asphalt or fiberglass roof shingle! 

A qualified roofing contractor that is licensed and insured can perform a roofing inspection immediately after a hail event, to determine if the roof has been damaged by hail.  The experienced inspector will be able to immediately determine if there is roof hail damage or if there is just normal wear and tear occurring on the roof. 

One of the things they will be looking for is dings and dents in the shingle.  Sometimes the force of the hail hitting the roof can also crack the shingle as well.  Another clue they will be looking for is areas where granules are missing on the shingle exposing the surface of the shingle.  If the damage is a result of a recent hailstorm, the area will show up easily.  In normal wear and tear, the areas where granules are missing will not be as visible, because the sun has bleached out these areas and they tend to blend into the adjacent areas, indicating normal wear and tear. 

In the event that the roof has been damaged by hail, the inspector will provide the homeowner with the necessary information to file an insurance claim for a full roof replacement, which can be done promptly to protect the interior of the home from water damage.

Severe Weather, Roof Damage and the Danger of Carbon Monoxide

Most homeowners are not aware that improper storm damage roof repairs can not only lead to a leaky roof, but also to deadly carbon monoxide poisoning.  When home ventilation systems are damaged by storms and other severe weather, it can create a deadly problem: carbon monoxide, a toxic gas that’s both odorless and colorless. Carbon monoxide, or CO, can become trapped inside of a home because of damaged venting systems, and can endanger everyone who lives inside.

Every year, hundreds of Americans die from CO poisoning. The chance of being exposed to CO rise exponentially in any homes that are damaged by storms, as well as those houses which were repaired incorrectly. The entire purpose of a ventilation system is designed to direct CO and any other dangerous gas away from any internal living area and expel them safely out of doors. Ventilation systems can fail unexpectedly when they’re damaged by winds or hail, clogged by debris or installed incorrectly.  In addition, ventilation systems can fail when they are improperly reinstalled during roof repairs.

Once severe weather strikes and passes by, you need to check any pipes or connections from any appliances or machines that use gas inside of your home, as well as any piping in the attic – these should be checked to make sure they didn’t disconnect during the storm. Never, ever try to patch up a broken or damaged pipe with any material like tape or glue – this can create a CO build up, which can kill without warning. Make sure that any hail damage roof repairs are completed by a licensed contractor, and install a CO detector in your home.

Posted on behalf of Ken Christie, CZE Roofing and Remodeling

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Does Your Roof Have Hail Damage?

If your asphalt shingle roof has been hit by hail, how can you tell whether your roof has suffered hail damage?  The answer to this question is that roof hail damage is not always obvious.  Large, golf ball sized hail will cause damage that is easy to see but smaller hail can cause damage to an asphalt shingle roof that is not as clearly evident.

First, It’s important to understand what hail damage to an asphalt shingle roof is.  For really large hail, damage includes bruised, cracked, split, and broken shingles.  This type of hail damage is easily apparent to even the most casual observer and can be seen from the ground.  There is no question that the roof will need to be replaced.

Smaller hail causes more subtle damage that is harder to see but may still require a roof replacement.  Asphalt shingles are covered with a layer of ceramic granules that give the roof color and texture, but most importantly these granules protect the asphalt from the harmful rays of the sun.  Without this layer of ceramic granules, an asphalt shingle exposed to the sun would dry out in a few months and fail.

Marble sized hail and larger is capable of dislodging some of the ceramic granules from an asphalt shingle.  If a significant percentage of the protective ceramic granules have been knocked loose by hail, the roof may look OK to the untrained eye and will not be leaking, but a few months down the road the sun damage will cause the roof to fail.

An experienced roofing contractor or roof inspector can identify this type of hail damage.  Most good roofing contractors offer free roof inspections so if you even think your roof may have hail damage, it’s a good idea to have the roof inspected.

Posted on behalf of Ken Christie, CZE Roofing and Remodeling

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Roof Hail Damage 101

With Spring right around the corner, this is a good time to review what homeowners need to know about roof hail damage.  Some parts of the country get hit harder, but hailstorms can occur just about anywhere and when they do, it’s important to check your roof for hail damage. 

Not all hail will cause damage to an asphalt shingle roof.  It depends on a variety of factors such as the size of the hail, the quality of the shingles, and the age of the roof.  Wind speed and direction and roof slope can also affect whether or not your roof will suffer damage from a hail storm. 

Pea sized hail and smaller generally will not cause any damage to an asphalt shingle roof, but when the hail is the size of a marble (about ¾ inch in diameter) or bigger, it can cause roof damage, especially to older roofs and you should have the roof inspected by reputable roofer.   Hail larger than an inch in diameter can cause significant damage almost any asphalt shingle roof.

Older roofs are more susceptible to hail damage than new roofs because years of sun exposure has usually caused the shingles to dry out a little and become more fragile.  Higher quality shingles such as laminated shingles are more resistant to hail damage than standard three tab shingles and steeply sloped roofs will usually suffer less damage than roofs with a shallow slope.

If you know or even suspect that your roof has been hit by a hailstorm with hail capable of causing roof damage, have the roof inspected by a reputable roofing contractor even if the roof is not currently leaking.  If your roof inspector identifies hail damage, call your homeowners insurance carrier before getting any work done.  Most hail damage is covered under your homeowners insurance policy.

Check With The Better Business Bureau To Help Find A Good Roofer

Do you need to find a reputable roofer to repair or replace your roof due to hail damage, storm damage, or just ordinary wear and tear?  Finding a top roofer can be tough.  The roofing industry is plagued by fly-by-night roofers who engage in all sorts of unscrupulous tactics to get your money.  So how do you weed out the bad ones and find a good roofer who will do a professional job at a reasonable price?

One way it to check with your local Better Business Bureau to see if any of the roofing contractors you are considering has a record of consumer complaints.  Roofers rank near the top when it comes to number of complaints filed with the Better Business Bureau.

If your roofing contractor has been in business under the same name for several years and has no complaints with the Better Business Bureau, then that is a pretty good sign.  However, if the roofer has a few complaints against them you will need to dig a little deeper.

Don’t automatically eliminate a roofer just because of a few complaints with the BBB.  Keep in mind that almost any business that has been operating for a few years can get a few complaints.  Some customers are impossible to please.  What you need to find out is whether the roofing contractor responded to the complaint and whether the complaint was resolved to the satisfaction of the customer.

The most important factor is whether the roofer responded to the complaint.  You should avoid a roofer that has numerous complaints that they did not respond to.  If the roofer has a history of not responding to customer complaints, they will probably not be response to your concerns either.

On the other hand, if the roofer responded to the complaint and appears to have made a good faith effort to satisfy the customer, you can probably expect similar service from them in the future.  Responding to complaints is an indication that the roofer cares about their reputation and is willing to go the extra mile to make the customer happy.

Posted on behalf of Ken Christie, CZE Roofing and Remodeling

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Online Reviews of Roofing Contractors

Finding a great roofing contractor for hail damage roof repairs, installing a new roof, or any other roofing needs can be difficult.  According to the Better Business Bureau, roofers are near the top of the list of professions for number of complaints.  There is no question that there are lots of shady roofers out there waiting to take your money, but there are also many reputable roofing contractors who do good work at a fair price.  So how do you tell the good roofers from the bad ones?

Many people turn to the internet to find reviews about roofers in their area. There are many websites that allow users to post reviews on everything from duct tape to dentists.   The internet can be an excellent source of information, but it can also be a source of misinformation.  When reading reviews of roofers on the internet, ask yourself a few questions.

First, can anyone post reviews on this site?  If so, highly positive posts could be from the roofer or from the roofer’s friends or family members.  Negative posts could be posted by unscrupulous competitors, ex-girlfriends, or disgruntled former employees.  Unusually positive or negative reviews should be regarded with caution.

Second, are reviews posted regularly over a period of time for this roofing contractor or are they all posted at about the same time?  Businesses can hire a service to post positive reviews on the internet and the reviews will sound “boilerplate” and be posted around the same time period.

Finally, do the reviews sound like they were written by “regular people” who were customers of the roofer?  Expect to see some spelling and grammar errors.  If most of the reviews sound like they were written by an English professor, they probably were.

Internet reviews can help you find a great roofing contractor if you use them wisely and remember not to take every review at face value.

Hail or Storm Damage – An Excellent Opportunity To Upgrade Your Roof

If you need to replace your three tab asphalt shingle roof due to storm or hail damage, think about upgrading to high quality laminated shingles.  Laminated shingles are far superior to standard three tab shingles and are fast becoming the industry standard in the residential roofing market.

Laminated shingles are similar to common three tab shingles in that they are made from fiberglass matting soaked in asphalt and covered with a layer of ceramic granules. In addition, laminated shingles are installed in much the same manner as three tab shingles.

However, the similarities stop there.  Instead of a single fiberglass mat, laminated shingles are made from two or more layers of fiberglass matting bonded together to form a thicker, heavier shingles.

In every respect, laminated shingles outperform and outlast three tab shingles.  While three tab shingles can typically resist wind speeds of about 60 mph, laminated shingles are typically rated for winds up to 120 mph.  Some laminated shingles can withstand even higher windspeeds when special installation techniques are followed.

Laminated shingles are also far more resistant to impact damage than three tab shingles.  This makes laminated shingles much less likely to be damaged by hail.

Finally, laminated shingles last much longer than three tab shingles.  Most laminated shingles are warranted for 40 to 50 years and many have lifetime warranties.  Laminated shingles cost a little more, but they last two to three times as long as three tab shingles and provide superior protection against the elements for your home and family.

 

 

Homeowner’s Insurance and Roof Damage

If the roof on your home has suffered hail damage, storm damage, or been damaged by fire or other cause, your homeowner’s policy may provide coverage for some or most of the cost of repairing the damage.  You should contact your insurance company to find out exactly what is covered.  The extent of coverage depends on many factors including the nature of the damage and the specifics of your policy.

Once you have reported the storm damage or roof hail damage, your insurance carrier will usually send an adjuster out to your home to assess the extent of the damage.  It is a good idea to have a good local roofing contractor make an independent inspection to verify the adjuster’s findings or to identify any damage that may have been missed.

Most policies will cover damage to the roof from hail, wind, storms, fire and other unpreventable causes.  Damage due to age or normal wear and tear is not covered. Some policies will only provide pro-rated coverage.  This type of coverage takes into account the age of the roof and reduces the covered amount for an older roof.

Other policies provide full coverage no matter how old the roof is.  If you have a policy that provides pro-rated coverage, it may provide full coverage for some period such as 5 or 10 year, then switch to pro-rated coverage for the remaining life of the roof.

Water damage directly related to the storm damage is usually covered, but a homeowner is expected to take steps such as tarping the roof to minimize such damage.  Contact your insurance carrier as soon as possible after the roof has been damaged for guidance on mitigating the damage.  On the other hand, water damage from normal wear and tear or a leaky aging roof is probably not covered.

 

Roofing Contractor Considerations

This summer, tens of thousands of homes will suffer roof damage due to high winds, hail, and other storm damage.  It’s impossible to predict where these storms, tornados, and other severe weather will strike so it’s important to know how to choose a reputable roofing contractor and avoid getting ripped off by a scam artist.

After severe weather strikes an area, roofers flock to the area who may not have the proper licenses, liability and worker’s compensation insurance, or skills to properly repair or replace a roof.  These roofers run the gamut from legitimate reputable roofers to poorly skilled roofers to outright scam artists.

The problem from the homeowner’s point of view is that it is difficult to tell the difference between a good roofer, a bad roofer, and a scam artist.  Anytime you deal with a roofing contractor from out of town, you are taking your chances.  You are almost always better off using a reputable local roofing contractor who has been in business for at least a few years and has permanent local business location.

Warning signs of less scrupulous contractors include roofers who show up unsolicited at your door offering to replace your roof cheap because “they are working in the neighborhood and have enough leftover materials to do your roof.”  Another warning sign is a roofer who uses high pressure sales tactics or offers a price that’s good only if you sign a contract today.  Avoid roofers who insist on full payment or a large down payment up front.

A reputable local roofer will drive a company vehicle with the business name, address, phone number, and business license number painted on the side.   Avoid contractors who have a temporary magnetic sign on their vehicle or have out of state plates.

Does Your Roof Have Hail Damage?

Whether or not hail damages a roof depends on the size of the hail, wind speed and direction, roof slope, type and quality of shingles, age and condition of the roof, and other variables. Slate, metal, and tile roofs have very high impact resistance and are usually not harmed by hail.

Asphalt shingle roofs are the most common type of roof to suffer hail damage.  Laminated asphalt shingles are more resistant to hail damage than older three tab shingles.  If there has been a hailstorm in your neighborhood and you are not sure whether your roof was damaged, have it inspected by a reputable roofing contractor or roof inspector. In fact, if you have an asphalt shingle roof you should have it inspected after any significant hail even if it appears undamaged.  While some hail damage is obvious, some hail damage to an asphalt shingle roof is difficult to spot.  A good roof inspector can tell you whether or not your roof is damaged

In most cases, hail damage to an asphalt shingle roof doesn’t cause it to start leaking immediately so you have a little time to work with.  On the other hand, don’t wait for the roof to start leaking before having it inspected.  It can be months before roof leaks appear and the roof leaks can cause additional damage to your home.

When choosing a roof inspector, look for an experienced local roofing contractor or roof inspector.  Be wary of anyone who shows up at your door unsolicited and offers to inspect your roof for free.  These are often unlicensed “storm chasers”.  Most reputable roofers offer free roof inspections, but good local roofers have plenty of business without needing to go door to door.