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5 Storm Damage Tips for Your Roof

Friday, July 28th, 2017

Tornadoes and turbulent weather can cause serious storm damage to your home and your wallet. Your roof, siding and other areas of your home can be damaged by wind, heavy rain, hail and ice. If your home has experienced a severe storm, it’s important not to panic. Here is a step-by-step guide to explain what to do after a storm.

Protect Your Home
First, protect your home as much as possible. If you have active leaks due to storm damage, cover the roof with a tarp to provide emergency protection. Keep in mind that a tarp is only a temporary measure until you call in a roofing professional. You may see additional signs of damage near your property, such as fallen shingles or other roof materials. Inspect your siding for telltale dimples caused by hail. Don’t forget to check your car for damage, as well.

Contact a Roofing Professional
Although you might be tempted to assess or fix storm-related damage yourself, it’s best to leave this to a professional roofing company like Findlay Roofing. You’ll receive an accurate report of the damage and an estimate of what it will cost to repair any problems caused by the storm. Professional roofing companies can ensure that you don’t overlook a hidden problem invisible to the untrained eye. Beware of storm chasers, who try to cheat and scam homeowners. Storm chasers typically visit neighborhoods after an intense storm. They may tell you that you need your roof replaced, when in fact, it only requires repair.

Call Your Insurance Agent
Be sure to report the storm damage to your insurance company immediately. Contact your agent to discuss your policy and what will be covered. It’s a good idea to keep a copy of your insurance policy handy, along with the phone number to file a claim. Take an inventory of your household items, and make a list of belongings that were affected by the storm. Take photos of any damaged items, as some insurance companies may ask for them. Review your homeowner’s insurance policy carefully, and note your responsibilities. You’ll need to know your policy limits, deductible and how to file a claim.

Look for Additional Damage
If the exterior of your home has visible signs of storm damage, check the interior of your house, too. Your walls may show signs of water damage, including water stains or discolored areas on the ceiling. Have floors, furniture or appliances been affected by the storm? Keep a list of each item that requires repair.

Stay Safe
If your home is uninhabitable due to major damage, consider staying in a hotel or with a family member until repairs are completed. Some insurance policies provide reimbursement for living expenses if your property is deemed unsafe due to extensive damage.

If your roof has been damaged by a storm, have it repaired or replaced as soon as possible to minimize water damage. Call Findlay Roofing today for a free roof analysis.

5 Things to Ask At a Roof Inspection

Friday, June 16th, 2017

Replacing or repairing a roof can be a large expense and one you’ll want to know about before buying a house. Often, a roof inspection is conducted as part of the overall home inspection to alert buyers to any potential issues. An inspection may also point out repairs that should be made prior to settlement. Here are five questions you should ask at the time of your roof inspection.

How Old Is the Roof?

According to the National Roofing Contractors Association, most new roof systems are expected to last around 20 years. Newer roofs crafted with the latest technology can offer more heat conservation and better protection against natural forces like rain and wind. In contrast, an older roof may be starting to show signs of wear and tear. The cost of replacement may need to be factored into your buying price or home repairs budget if your inspector suspects the shingles are nearing the end of their life cycle.

What Type of Roof Materials Are Used?

Asphalt is still the most commonly used roofing material, according to the International Association of Home Inspectors. A roof inspector can give you a professional opinion about how to handle the roof maintenance and repairs based on the type of shingles he observes during the inspection.

Does the Roof Have Multiple Layers of Shingles?

Some building codes allow for new roof shingles to be installed over the existing ones. This is often done to save the cost of tearing off the old shingles. Your inspector should check the roof for multiple layers of shingles for the home you’re planning to purchase. This allows you to make an informed decision about the future care and replacement costs for the roof.

How Soon Will the Roof Need Replacement?

Sometimes even newer roofs have issues that lead to partial or total replacement. A home inspection can help point out signs of wear and tear on your roof. Blistering or cracking shingles can indicate that the roof is starting to age. If the roof appears to be aging prematurely, you may want to conduct additional inspections to determine if repairs or replacement will be required sooner than anticipated.

Are There Any Cracks or Holes?

The home inspector should carefully examine the roof for any evidence of cracks or holes. In addition to assessing overall wear and tear, inspectors should check for small areas of damage, even in a newer roof. Isolated cracks, loose shingles, or holes in the roof could provide entry points for animals to crawl into your attic. Even minor roof issues can lead to water intrusion.

Before you invest in a new home purchase, make sure to have a certified professional complete a roof inspection. Signs of past water intrusion inside the house, such as stains on the ceiling, should also be investigated. To give you a clear picture about your home purchase, any potential problems observed during the inspection should be discussed prior to your closing date.

How Does the Sun Affect My Roof?

Monday, February 20th, 2017

When people think of roof damage, they usually think of wind or storms, which cause direct, obvious problems. But there’s another cause of roof problems, one far more subtle and long-term – the sun. Sunlight poses several problems for your rooftop, including:

Asphalt damage

As you probably remember from science class, sunlight is made from different types of radiation, including ultraviolet radiation that can damage skin and housing materials. The asphalt coatings on shingles are particularly vulnerable to this type of radiation, which quickly heats the asphalt and causes it to warp, run, or wear out. Shingles under the hot sun will simply deteriorate more quickly.

This is why, if you live in an area that gets a lot of sun, roofers generally recommend an alternative to shingles, like stone panels or clay tiles. Homes in arid places like Nevada almost exclusively use these materials, but they have their place in Georgia too.

Damaged Tiles

Coating longevity

Asphalt isn’t the only thing that can be damaged by radiation. Coatings and sealants also absorb that radiation and can wither under persistent sun. Just as paint can crack and fleck, protective coatings on roof panels and tiles can wear out when exposed to too much sun.

However, there are coatings, including reflective coatings, designed to withstand long-term sunlight effectively. We suggest you match the type of coatings on your roof products with the type of weather the house endures.

Bleaching

If you’ve ever seen driftwood or old decks, you know how sunlight can bleach objects, damaging the particles responsible for color until the object fades. This type of wear happens to rooftops too, especially darker rooftops. Over the years, the sides of the roof facing the sun can bleach out, particularly if the house has wooden shakes or coatings of paint.

The best solution here is to find a shingle or tile color that won’t easily bleach out after a few years. We can recommend a variety of gray, white, and even tan shingle colors that prevent any potential problems with color loss and help keep your house cooler in the summer, which saves energy.

Rooftops in Sun

Warping and cracking

We see this damage most often with plastic materials (including plastic siding) and metal components. Sunlight tends to heat up these materials easily. In addition to potential “thermal shock” (moving from cold to hot too quickly), this extra heat can also destabilize the materials. Plastic warps and cracks over time. Metal components like flashing or brackets can warp too, or they may become weak and brittle, breaking more easily.

Overall temperature

Do you see the common thread? Sunlight wears out your roof, and the more sun a roof gets, the faster it will age. If you have a house that endures a lot of direct sunlight and still has old shingles, consider replacing the roof with materials more suited to dealing with all that solar radiation.

Photo Source: Flickr

New Year, New Roof?: 10 Signs Its Time to Replace

Friday, January 6th, 2017

As the new year dawns, thoughts turn to new projects…so do you need to replace your roof this year, or can it wait a while longer? Here’s a simple list of signs that homeowners simply can’t ignore when it comes to full roof replacement.

1. Leaks From Multiple Spots

A couple leaks can usually be repaired effectively (they may even have the same source). But if your roof has multiple leaks in different areas, that probably means your underlayment and sealants are failing and it’s time to get a new roof.

2. Multiple Buckled or Missing Shingles

A few missing shingles are easy to replace. But if shingles are buckling, cracking or missing on every side of your house, it isn’t just about storm damage. Your shingles are too old to do their job, and you need to replace them.

3. An Uneven Roofline

Never ignore an uneven roofline. This signifies extensive rot and serious structural damage. You need to get your roof replaced ASAP, and that probably includes a lot of structural repair as well.

Old Roof

4. A Serious Moss Problem

Moss can be scraped or washed off, but if there’s a thick layer over most of your roof – and it’s been there for a while – you’ll need a replacement. The weight and moisture of that moss has already ruined your current roof. Look for moss-resistant shingles!

5. Bare Shingles

“Bare” shingles are those shingles that are missing most of their granules. You can often find piles of granules along your foundation if your shingles are bare. These are old shingles at the end of their lives, and they can’t protect your roof anymore. Time to take them down and replace them.

6. Widespread Rust

Rust attacks your flashing, the metals strips on all the edges of your roof – as well as any metal roof panels or tiles you may have. This usually means that protective coatings have worn away over time and you need to replace your flashing, at a minimum.

Roof Replacement

7. Massive Storm Damage

It is rare, but sometimes there’s one of those storms that whips up so much debris, or huge hailstones that your roof just can’t take it. If your roof has multiple holes, dents, and missing shingles after a storm, then call up your insurance company and get ready for a replacement.

8. A Holey Attic

Climb up to your attic or crawlspace in the day and take a look. If you can see multiple holes letting in daylight then you 1) have a large number of leaks and 2) probably don’t have great insulation. It’s time to rethink your roof from the bottom up.

9. Bubbled Paint Around the Roof

This indicates problems with ice dams and leakage, so get ready to repair the edge of your roof and more.

10. Your Roof Is Way Past Expiration

Most rooftops last between 20 and 30 years. How old is your roof? If it’s many years older than this, then you may want to consider a replacement.

Photo source: Flickr

Animals & Your Roof: What’s the Risk?

Thursday, October 13th, 2016

Worried about birds or other animals damaging your shingles? Here are the top offenders, and why these animals are so dangerous for your rooftop!

Sparrows: You may not think these small birds pose much of a threat to your home, but they love to build nests in your eaves and along your roof – and those nests are trouble. Not only can the nests block vents and gutters when you need them most, but they also tend to attract bugs and long-term moisture, creating damaged spots along your roof. Get rid of these nests quickly!

Starlings: All bird droppings are bad news for your roof: Bird poop is highly acidic, and stains your shingles while also eroding their protective layers (not mention the smell). However, starlings are infamous for some of the worst bird dropping problems around. These messy, dark-colored birds tend to fly in large flocks, so when one descends on your roof 20 others often join it. That’s a lot of bird crap! Fortunately, starlings don’t often stay around for long, but they can do a lot of damage while they are there.

Woodpeckers: The good news about woodpeckers is that you can often hear them drumming on your chimney or vents, so they are rarely a surprise. Everything else about this animal is bad news: Woodpeckers can be particularly destructive as they hammer at your roof looking for bugs, sounding mating calls, or creating roosting holes. Those holes can easily turn into leaks! If you have a lot of woodpeckers in your area, ask roofing professionals about guards and deterrents you can use to prevent problems.

Crows: Crows are big, curious birds who can create several problems on your rooftop. First, they may build their large nests in your chimney or on your roof vents. These nests need to be cleared away before they cause safety problems. Second, these large birds have large droppings, which can quickly build up over time. However, the worst problem may be their tendency to peck, yank, and pry anything they can while exploring. This can cause widespread damage to your shingles. There are repellents you can use to help control them.

Raccoons: When people think of raccoons, they often think of basement or attic problems. They rarely think of problems associated with the outer roof. However, raccoons will try to gain access to dark, warm spaces anyway they can – and the shortest route to your attic is right through your shingles. If you notice a surprisingly large hole that looks like it’s been gnawed or ripped into your roof, you know the animal responsible – call an exterminator.

Squirrels: Remember, squirrels are rodents…and they love to gnaw on everything. An energetic squirrel will gnaw on your shingles, your vents, and even your lead flashing, causing widespread damage. Keep trees far away from your house to help stop squirrel problems.

Photo Source: Flickr

Roof Insurance: How Does It Work?

Thursday, August 25th, 2016

When rooftops get damaged, it’s natural for homeowners to start wondering about their roof coverage and policies. After all, no one really talks about “roof insurance.” Is your roof covered? How much will you have to pay out of pocket? These are the questions, and we’ve got the answers:

Homeowners Insurance

Your roof should be covered under your homeowners policy. This is the same policy that covers your home if theft or fires occur. Homeowners policies cover both the belongings inside your home as well as the home structure itself. This includes your roof.

Sometimes people aren’t sure if they have homeowners insurance or not. Requirements for homeowners policies and what they cover vary from state to state or from agency to agency. However, chances are good that if you are paying a mortgage— you have a policy. Lenders typically require it. Homeowners policy payments are often bundled into your mortgage payments, which is why you may not be making a separate payment.

Take a look at your homeowners policy or visit your agency’s website to learn more about making a claim. It’s important to also talk to your roofing contractor about your policy and what is required.

Repair and Replacement

So, what exactly does homeowners insurance cover when it comes to your roof? Usually, you’ll have two choices: Repair and replacement. Which one your policy covers depends on several factors. Here are a few of the most important:

  • The Fine Print: As we mentioned, policies do vary a bit. The parts of your roof that are covered may be narrowly defined by your policy. This isn’t usually a major concern, but it always pays to read the small print.
  • Damage: Generally, immediate damage caused by external events will be covered by your homeowners policy. This refers to storm damage, events like house fires, and similar catastrophic problems. However, damage caused by old age or an issue that could have been prevented with changes or maintenance will not be covered. Inspectors will examine your roof before making this decision. This can be particularly complex when it comes to leaks, as this Florida redditor learned.
  • Age: The age of a roof can be important when it comes to coverage. For an older roof (say, older than 10 years) a policy may only cover repairs or part of the costs, while for a new roof the policy may cover the full cost or a replacement option. This is closely connected with the depreciated value of your roof.
  • Liability: If you are at fault for roof damage because of negligence or mistakes, your policy probably will not cover repairs.
  • Materials: This is another odd factor, because it can depend on location and fire hazards. Bottom line: Some materials may only have partial coverage or no coverage at all. Common materials (like shingles) will most likely be fully covered.

Photo Source: Flickr

Roofing 101: Twisting Defined

Sunday, July 31st, 2016

While there are many roof exterior problems worth noting, most can be attributed to excess moisture, poor workmanship or a combination of the two. Roof work that is twisting or curling in an abnormal way is no exception to this rule. Here is what you can expect when you notice shingles or shake that has become twisted.

Why Roofing Twists

When Cobb County roofers notice shingles that have twisted out of position, the first place they check is the attic. Moisture that has accumulated below shingles can cause your exterior roofing to twist upward. There are several reasons why water can reach the attic. Tiny holes in roofing (from poor installation) will allow droplets of moisture to enter the space, eventually leading to deterioration in shingles or shake. This, in turn, lets in more moisture from outside.

Other problems can be traced to poor ventilation in the attic or the production of the shake or shingles. According to the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors, the grain appearance on shingles and shake may determine the long-term stability of the roofing. Wood that cups, curls or twists often comes from poorly shaped grain.

Consequences of Twisting Roofing

While distorted roofing is usually the result of excess moisture, any shift in your home’s protective covering will allow more moisture into the building. Roofers who diagnose the problem will attempt to replace damaged shingles while addressing the problem at the source. When caught before the damage is extensive, homeowners may able to have the roof fixed without a heavy repair bill.

When it comes to an older roof where twisting is widespread and moisture is creeping inside rapidly, roofers have fewer options. Damaged shingles are more likely to tear off and blow away in an intense storm. You may have large areas of roofing disappear in the coming months, especially if storm season is approaching. Roof replacement may be the best option left.

Contact the professionals when you have concerns about any abnormality on your roof. They can diagnose the problem and outline your best options.

Roofing 101: Warping Defined

Friday, June 3rd, 2016

The condition a home’s roof is in is crucial. Whether you are house-shopping in Alpharetta or hoping to maintain your property investment for the long term, it’s important to ensure that your roof stays in tip-top shape. If you notice warping or any other irregularities in the structure, be prepared to fix the problem or factor that cost into the home’s purchase price. In addition, if you have problems with your roof—like warping— use the following to identify and alleviate issues:

Defining Terms and Causes

Roofing is described as “warped” when there is visible sagging in parts of the structure. You may notice an unevenness in the shingles, blistering sections of the roof, or parts that seem to curl up from the ends. The causes of these distortions are various, but can often be traced to the technique used during installation. Common causes include:

  • Uneven Rafter Levels: If a roofer installs a roof deck without ensuring the rafters are even, warping often occurs. Poor spacing between roof deck panels can also lead to the same problem.
  • Underlayment Issues: Underlayment must be dry and flat for roofing to stay in place. Otherwise, wrinkling of the materials can create a warping effect.
  • Poor Ventilation: Without proper ventilation, moisture will accumulate in a home’s attic, where it will reach your roof deck and distort the materials underneath the roofing.
  • Water Damage: Plywood in a roof deck creates a warped effect when holes in the exterior allow water inside your home. Poor installation may also create movement in the plywood.
  • Multiple Shingle Layers. InterNACHI describes some of the effects multiple layers of roofing can have on a home. These include weaknesses in the overall structure. In addition, having several layers of shingles creates ventilation problems as well as structural issues.

Solutions for Warped Roofing

While a poorly installed roof can plague a home for years, professionals may be able to take care of the problem without doing a full replacement. Through a diagnosis (i.e., roof analysis), contractors can determine whether local repair is possible. In some cases, the removal of sections and installation of new shims and chips can fix most of the trouble. Warping caused by water damage is typically more problematic. This may require a costly solution.

Either way, damaged roofs do not go away on their own, as they threaten a home’s stability from the top down. Contact a professional to diagnose and correct any warped sections of your home’s roof as soon as you notice the issue.

Protecting Your Roof: The Top 3 Most Damaging Debris

Thursday, March 17th, 2016

Don’t let wind storms cause lasting damage on your roof! Keep an eye out for the worst sorts of rooftop debris. If it looks like a storm was hard on your roof, don’t take any chances: Have your house inspected.

Watch out for the following, as these types of debris are the worst:

1. Building Components

When it comes to catastrophic damage, we often find that nothing holds a candle to building components. You see, with high winds (and serious weather events like tornados or hurricanes) some of the first things to give way are actual pieces of other houses around you. Plants, trees and rocks are better at withstanding windstorms.

Think of the things that are likely to break off and come careening at your rooftop. We’ve seen antennas, shutters, posts, nails, glass, roof vents, fencing, lawn chairs, bits of masonry, and of course, other shingles make their way towards roofs. You’d be amazed at the kind of damage those things can do when they’re thrown through the air at high speeds.

Issues with building components also pose a problem because while you can protect your own house, you can’t really do anything about your neighbors’ (except hope they learn from their mistakes). If it looks like your home was hit by a building component of any kind, call us out to inspect your rooftop and siding. We’ll see if your underlayment was damaged. If it was, we’ll diagnose what needs to be done to repair it.

2. Tree Branches (on or Off)

Strong winds will indeed tear tree branches and sometimes entire trees away, especially if they are old and poorly supported. These objects may not reach the velocity of man-made debris, but they can still tear shingles off of your roof and puncture your protective rooftop membrane. In addition to signs of damage, look for wood chips, leaves, and other evidence that the destruction was caused by a tree branch. One way to do this is to look at naturally large branches missing from nearby trees.

Interestingly enough, some of the most common tree damage happens when trees are healthy. Trees that are close to a house can be bent and whipped across a home by strong winds (especially if there are any overhanging branches). This creates friction that can damage or remove your shingles. This is yet another reason to keep trees away from your rooftop and siding.

3. Hail

Hail is a problem for a few reasons: 1. There’s not much you can do about it or how bad it gets and 2. The damage it does is often hidden. Heavy hail may not rip off shingles, but it can crack shingles and wear down their protective granules, shortening their lifespan. Hail can even puncture the lining under your shingles with no visible sign, just a good chance that a leak will develop in the future. Keep a careful watch on your roof after a hailstorm, and pay attention to any new signs of wear and tear.

Photo Source: Flickr

Most Common Types of Roof Damage Threatening Your Home

Monday, December 21st, 2015

We see certain types of roof damage far more often than others – here are some of the most common types, and why you need to seek out repairs immediately if you experience these problems.

Moisture Damage

Moisture is always bad news when it goes past your shingles. Many different problems can cause moisture damage, from cracks and loose tile to failed sealants, torn underlayments, and more. Moisture can cause decay, rot, mildew, mold, moss – and invite a host of pests to take advantage of your weakened roof and house structure.

The most common signs of moisture damage are the dreaded stained ceiling or walls. However, moisture damage can occur long before these signs show up, so quality roof maintenance is very important.

Punctures and Cracks

While closely related to moisture damage, punctures and cracks are in a category of their own, because they tend to have very direct, often preventable causes. One of the most common causes is poor installation or maintenance. Some parts of your roof are very fragile, and careless steps or improper use of tools can puncture seals, tear underlayments or moisture barriers, and crack flashing. If you don’t know what you are doing, always leave work to an expert roof technician to prevent roof damage.

A more rare cause of punctures and cracks is flying debris, which occurs during strong windstorms. Check your roof after a bad storm for signs of damage.

Loose and Broken Shingles

Shingles aren’t made to last forever, and when they are improperly installed the damage gets even worse. Strong winds, especially in the presence of weak flashing and bad adhesives, will blow off shingles and leave parts of your roof bare. Associated debris and heavy hail can also break and tear away shingles. When this occurs, it is important to quickly replace the shingles with new patches.

Worn-Down Roofing Materials

Bare, grayed-out shingles, piles of shingle granules, rust and moss are all signs of an old roof that needs serious work or a full replacement. When materials enter the last years of their life span, they grow old and fragile. A professional roofer can tell with a quick inspection if your roof needs one of these common replacement or repair jobs.

Ponding Water

This is a little less common, but we are seeing this sort of roof damage grow as more modern, flat rooftop styles become popular. A flat roof must be delicately angled and sealed if you want to avoid water forming small pools on the roof every time it rains. Those pools will cause moisture damage if left alone, and they are a sign that you need repair work.

Structural Damage

Structural damage occurs if the supports under your roof start shifting or failing. Your roof may buckle, tilt, or experience other odd issues. This is a very serious problem that often requires a large repair project to treat.

Photo Source: Flickr