Severe weather, such as hail, high winds, and penetrating heat can cause our roofs to take a beating. As homeowners, we can’t afford to overlook necessary roof repairs; this can be expensive in the long run and cause future complications for your home. You can easily perform a quick inspection of your roof to check for any signs of damage:
Start your visual inspection at one corner of your home and work your way completely around the perimeter. Remember to leave the roof climbing to the professionals and keep your inspection at ground level. Binoculars, or your cell phone camera will come in handy for your inspection. Zoom in and take pictures so you can show the roofing company areas of concern. Keep a notepad handy and write down any issues with the roof that you see. Also take note of any dangling or dented gutters.
Don’t forget to inspect the interior of your home for roof leaks, including the garage and attic. Walk through your home checking ceilings and the tops of walls. Is there any staining from water leaks? Have you noticed any drips in the past? If so, these are signs that your roof could have a leak from weather damage. Take note of any staining you may see. Try to remember when the damage may have occurred, since insurance companies often ask for dates of storm damage.
Call a professional. This is by far, the most important thing you can do for your home. A reputable roofing contractor is trained to assess damage and suggest the proper roofing materials for your home. At Home Improvements of America, we will perform an extensive assessment of your roof, including inspection of the flashing, sheathing and guttering.
There is good news! Roof damage is repairable and if caught early enough will cause no further issues for your home. Repairing or replacing a roof doesn’t have to be stressful or break the bank but it does need to be addressed quickly. Our outdoor experts will help guide you through the process, from initial inspection, to filing an insurance claim, to the actual repair itself.
Extreme weather circumstances can cause your roof to need emergency repairs. Consider these three scenarios:
As excessive as these scenarios are, they do happen. And as the first layer of defense for your home, your roof will take the brunt of extreme weather.
But what do you do in such an emergency?
Your first step is to get an experienced roofing company out to your home. Water is extremely destructive to an exposed home, and by getting an expert to your property quickly, you can hopefully save your roof.
In most cases, they will assess the damage and either do a temporary roof repair or place a tarp over the affected area until they can perform necessary repairs. If roof damage is caused by fire, your contractor will wait until your home is considered safe by the fire department, and then begin their evaluation.
When there is widespread damage, and you are one of several hundred homeowners needing emergency roof repair, then just be patient. This is hard to do when the sun is shining into your living room from a hole in your roof, but it is important. You do not want to hire any ‘contractor’ that walks up to you with a card in their hand. An expert roofing company, such as Home Improvements of America, will repair your roof correctly and safely. In the meantime, you can document your loss with pictures and a phone call to your insurance company.
Flying debris, hail, rain and high winds can cause significant damage to our roofs, with some roofs being replaced several times during their estimated lifespans.
For homeowners that live in high-risk weather areas, impact resistant shingles are a great choice. Impact-resistant shingles differ from ordinary shingles in that they are constructed of a rubberized, flexible, polymer layer that strengthens its ability to resist the force of impact. These types of shingles are the most resistant to damage and have a Class 4 rating, the highest rating a shingle can receive.
What does this mean for you?
Reduced chance of roof damage and less-expensive home insurance. What’s more, according to State Farm Insurance, you can receive up to a 28% discount on your homeowner’s insurance with this type of shingled roof - fantastic savings considering that home insurance rates are steadily on the rise. And with impact-resistant shingles becoming more popular, their cost over normal roofing materials is marginal.
While this type of roof isn’t infallible, it can potentially reduce roof damage by up to 50%. It also has a 50-year or lifetime warranty available, a big improvement over the typical 25-year warranty included with a standard roof.
A roof is expected to have a long lifespan, but occasionally, extreme weather has its own ideas. Therefore, it’s important to fully understand the types of warranties that may or may not, cover your roof.
Generally, there are two types of warranties:
Roofing products, such as shingles, are protected by a manufacturer’s warranty. This warranty covers factory defects of the product itself, with some extending the lifetime of the product. Each brand has its own coverage term and conditions, so make sure you read your warranty carefully. Some warranties do not transfer to subsequent owners, which is something you will need to address when and if you sell your home.
Shingles have their own warranty, while other roofing components (vents, flashing, etc.) are covered under specific guarantees. Typically, the lifespan of these warranties varies greatly, and may or may not match the lifetime of your shingles. Understanding what components of your roofing system are covered and for how long, will help you better protect your investment in case of needed replacement or repair.
Most roofing contractors provide their own warranty against workmanship errors. These usually last from one to five years, plenty of time for you to observe the quality of the installation. After your first severe storm, you will know if the contractor workmanship is holding up its end of the bargain. If you see shingles on your lawn after high winds, give your contractor a call.
Warranties aren’t complicated to understand and should be reviewed periodically, especially if you have had a recent roof repair or replacement. Understanding your coverage protects your rights as a homeowner and ensures the longevity of your roof.
As a homeowner, it is important to understand the different components of your roof. This allows you to monitor your roof for any possible roofing repairs, as well as understand what components are covered by your warranty.
Underlayment – This element is the bottom layer of your roof and is critical in protecting your home. Without this layer, your shingles can’t do their job correctly. The synthetic underlayment is water resistant and helps to protect the attic from water damage, mold growth and rotting deck boards.
Flashing – Flashing refers to metal pieces that protect roof joints and valleys from water collection or seepage. Damaged flashing appears as dented, deteriorated or loose metal and is easily repaired.
Shingles – Shingles are the top layer of the roof and are the first line of defense against the elements. Roofs in Oklahoma are typically made of asphalt shingles that come in different weights and thicknesses, depending on your needs and budget.
Valley – A valley is created by the downward slope of meeting roof sections and helps funnel water from the shingles.
Hip – The hip is an upward angle formed by two adjoining roof sections.
Starter strip – This strip of asphalt roofing adheres to the eaves and provides additional coverage beneath the bottom row of shingles.
Drip edge – Edging that is attached to the border of the roof and lets water fall away from the home.