Contractor Tips Blog

Jul
21

What Is the Best Roofing for Your Needs?

Posted in Roofing

If it is time to replace your roof or you are building a new home, you have a big decision to make. What kind of roofing will best meet your needs? There are many options available, all with their own benefits and disadvantages. To make an educated choice, consider the breakdown on the common roof materials available.

Asphalt Shingles

The most commonly used roofing is asphalt shingles. This is an affordable option that usually will last approximately 20-30 years, with some lifetime or 50-year options available. While common, asphalt shingles are not the most durable or longest lasting material, yet still are preferred by many homeowners and roofing companies.

Wood Shingles

Cedar shingles or wood stakes are another option for your roof. Considered a ‘green’ option since they do not use petroleum-based products, these shingles have grown more popular in the environmentally-friendly market. Most wood roof products will last about 30 years and are a durable, beautiful option, but can require more maintenance and are more expensive than asphalt.

Metal

There are many different types of metal roofs, from the cheaper aluminum varieties to the more durable steel roof shingles. These roofs can last upward of 70 years, depending on the type. They are also fire-resistant and can withstand heavy abuse during storms.

Tile

A tile roof can be a beautiful option that lasts 50-100 years. Both ceramic and slate tile are popular in upscale homes. The aesthetic value is high, as is the cost in both installation and repairs.

Where you live, your budget and your priorities will have a big impact on what type of roofing you choose. Talk to your local roofing contractor to determine which type is the best option for your needs.

Posted on behalf of:
Atwood Home Builders
227 W 8th Ave
Homestead, PA 15120
(412) 638-1262

Apr
5

Invest in a New Roof Before Winter

Posted in Roofing

Your roof is one of the most essential components of your home; one small leak and it can cost you thousands in repairs, water damage and mold infestation. While roofs can last for decades, it only takes one bad storm to cause damage that can lead to a major repair issue. If your roof has seen better days, don’t wait for a roof emergency to strike. Now is the time to replace your roof with a new roof before the colder, wetter winter weather hits.

Choosing a New Roof

Once you decide it is time for a roof replacement, the next step is choosing the type of roofing material. While asphalt shingles are still the most common material used, they are far from the only choice. Metal roofs are very popular, with many offering a lifetime warranty. However, even metal roofing varies in quality and aesthetic appeal. Before you decide on a material type, talk to your roofer about these qualities:

  • Warranty. What type of warranty will come with your roof and what does the warranty cover?
  • Aesthetics. What are the options in color and style for your new roof? The roofing you use can affect the entire look of your home; curb appeal is important when it comes to retaining value.
  • Different roofing materials have various longevity. Choose a roofing material that will last for at least 20-30 years for the best return on investment.

Choosing the right contractor is almost as important as the roof itself. Find a local contractor that has many years of experience in your area with an excellent reputation. You want a company that will be there to stand behind their work for many years to come.

Posted on behalf of:
Atwood Home Builders
227 W 8th Ave
Homestead, PA 15120
(412) 638-1262

Jan
10

Inspecting Your Roof After the Storm

Posted in Roofing

It seems like every time you turn on the news, a major storm is hitting one area of the country. Hurricanes, floods, hail storms and high winds seem to be more prevalent than ever. The amount of damage these storms can do to your home is extensive – especially to your roof. Regardless of whether you have a metal, shingled or tiled roof, you should have it inspected after any major storm, even if you don’t see any significant damage.

Small Issues Can Lead to Big Problems

Obviously if you have missing shingles or major dents in your metal roof, you will want them repaired. But even the small issues can eventually lead to bigger, more expensive problems. Shingles that have the asphalt worn off or are slightly lifted should be repaired or replaced. They could eventually create a leak in your roof that will be much more expensive than a small repair.

Hire a Professional Roofer

The problem is that many homeowners do not know what to look for when inspecting for roof storm damage. Plus, it can be dangerous to go up on your roof without the right safety equipment and experience. If your home was exposed to a severe storm, call a local roofer to complete an inspection. They can determine if there is any damage. If there is, they can give you a written estimate for repair that you can turn into your homeowner’s insurance if it is covered. Make sure to hire a reputable, local roofer; “storm chasers” are on the prowl, looking to take advantage of homeowners after major storms.

Don’t assume your roof didn’t sustain damage just because there are no leaks or major issues. Call in a professional roofer to complete a thorough inspection to avoid costly repairs down the road.

Posted on behalf of:
Atwood Home Builders
227 W 8th Ave
Homestead, PA 15120
(412) 638-1262

Mar
13

Is Your Roof in Danger of Springing a Leak?

Posted in Roofing

A leaking roof can cause thousands of dollars in damage to your home, often occurring without your knowledge. A small leak can start as a drip, moistening materials in your attic, without dripping down into your ceiling of your top floor. This can go on for months, allowing that moisture to build and create a hazardous mold problem without any sign of water in your home. By the time a big storm hits and a major leak is detected, you may already have a home with excessive water and mold damage. To prevent this expensive and health-hazardous occurrence, you need to stay on top of your roof maintenance.

When was the last time your roof was inspected by a professional? If your roof is several years old or older, it may be beginning to show signs of wear or damage. Even newer roofs can be damaged during hail storms and other extreme weather conditions. All it takes is for a shingle to become lifted, allowing water to penetrate the material underneath or a screw to come loose on your metal roof. Before long, that water will rot the material underneath and begin dripping into your home.

The best way to prevent leaks and the ensuing damage cause by the water and mold in your home is to have annual inspections of your roof. A professional roofing company can perform a thorough inspection to ensure that your roof is protecting your home from water damage, replacing shingles or tightening screws as needed. This small maintenance step is a solid investment into your home, protecting you against expensive roof repairs, water damage and mold removal expenses in the future.

Posted on behalf of:
Atwood Home Builders
227 W 8th Ave
Homestead, PA 15120
(412) 638-1262

Jan
28

What to do if Your Roof has Storm Damage

Posted in Roofing

Winter storms are notorious for roof damage. Whether your roof is damaged from a falling limb or tree, or wind and hail do their part to ruin your roof, getting it repaired is crucial. A damaged roof can quickly lead to water leaks and expensive water or mold damage in your home. So what do you do when you think your roof has been damaged from a storm? Here are a few tips.

  • Call your insurance company. In many cases roof damage from a storm can be covered under your home insurance policy. If you think you may have damage from a recent storm, call your insurance agent and find out what coverage you have available.
  • Get coverage for your roof. If there is obvious damage, you need to have protection immediately to avoid water damage to your home. Call your local roofing contractor to have your roof inspected and temporary protection added to your roof. They can also help you negotiate repairs and cost coverage with your insurance company.
  • Avoid storm chasers. There are unscrupulous companies that take advantage of homeowners with roof damage. These ‘storm chasers’ often show up at homes with obvious roof damage and offer to repair the roof quickly and affordably. Unfortunately, they often also take the money and run, or do a poor quality fix on roofs, leaving the homeowner with a large expense.

Having a trustworthy, local roofing contractor on your side is your best option when you have storm roof damage. Make sure to choose a contractor that is located in your area and has a stellar reputation with many years of experience.

Posted on behalf of:
Atwood Home Builders
227 W 8th Ave
Homestead, PA 15120
(412) 638-1262

Oct
26

Beware of Storm Chasers After a Hail Storm

Posted in Roofing

There are always criminals that are looking to take advantage of a bad situation to make money for themselves. Whether it is someone pretending to be collecting money for a charity or offering to fix damage on your home after a storm, you need to be aware of those trying to steal your money. One of the recent issues has been ‘storm chasers’ that come into towns after a big hail storm and offer fast, cheap repairs on homes with roof damage.

The problem with these ‘storm chasers’ is they rarely give homeowners what they pay for. They either do a poor job fixing the roof, then leave town, or worse, take a down payment and never do any work at all. If you have roof damage due to a hail storm, be careful who you hire to fix your roof. Here are a few tips to avoid being taken advantage of by a storm chaser.

  • Choose a local company. Don’t hire a contractor from out of town. Make sure the roofing company is locally owned and operated.
  • Check their license and insurance information. Contractors must be licensed to work in the city where you live. This should be public record.
  • Look at the permits. Pull the permits needed to do the job and make sure the company name on the permit matches the company you have working for you.
  • Never pay cash for your down payment. If possible, use a credit or debit card for your down payment. This can be easier tracked and is often protected through your bank for fraud.

The golden rule to avoid criminals is that if it seems too good to be true, it probably is. So when someone comes knocking on your door offering to repair your roof for a low price or right away after a hail storm, there is a good chance they are storm chasers. Hire a legit, local company that will do the job right and stand behind their work.

Posted on behalf of:
Atwood Home Builders
227 W 8th Ave
Homestead, PA 15120
(412) 638-1262

Jul
3

5 Signs It May Be Time To Replace Your Shingled Roof

Posted in Roofing

If your home’s shingled roof is fifteen years old or older, it is time to start keeping an eye out for signs that it’s time to start considering replacement. Many roofs can last twenty years or longer, depending on how well they are maintained and the weather conditions they have endured. Still, it’s not age that will tell you whether your roof needs to be replaced; it’s the signs of damage or degradation that you should be aware of when evaluating the life left in your roof. Here are five common signs that it may be time to replace that old roof. 

  1. Curling. If you have shingles that are curling or buckling, it may be time for a new roof, or at minimum, some shingle repair. Your shingles should lie flat against the roof; otherwise water can get underneath and leak into your home.
     
  2. Rotting. Rotting spots on your roof is a severe danger sign that you may need a new roof and could have even more damage in your rafters and house structure.
     
  3. Bald shingles. If you notice bald spots on your shingles where the granules have been worn or fallen off, it may be time for a new roof. These unprotected shingles can become brittle and fragile, needing replacement as soon as possible.
     
  4. Blistering. Blisters on your shingles can be a sign of water underneath your shingles. If water is getting trapped underneath, it’s only a matter of time before you have leaks into your home.
     
  5. Algae. Black stains from algae and moss growth can be signs that you may have damaged shingles. If the moss has been allowed to grow unchecked for years on end, the moss may have already grown into the shingles, causing extensive damage. 

The best way to know for sure whether you need a new roof is to call your local roofers for a roof inspection. They can tell you whether you just need minor roof repairs, or a full roof replacement.

Posted on behalf of Atwood Home Builders

Nov
21

Replacement Roofing

Posted in Roofing

One of the most important parts of every home is the roof, which protects the occupants of the home, as well as their possessions and the structure of the home itself from weather.  Roofing materials include asphalt shingles, slate shingles, wood shakes and a variety of synthetic specialty materials used on flat roofs.  Although these materials have a long life span and are extremely durable when properly installed properly by a licensed and insured contractor, eventually the roof will need to be replaced either due to age or other causes.  Often these other causes will include extreme weather events such as hailstorms. 

The first step in determining if a roof needs to be replaced is to have a thorough inspection performed by a highly experienced and customer service focused roofing contractor, who is also licensed and insured.  During the inspection the technician will take note of any storm related damage, as well as normal wear and tear and discuss their findings with the property owner. 

If the roof is need of replacement, the contractor will provide a written estimate and can provide assistance to the property owner if they are seeking a bank loan or making an insurance claim on their homeowner’s policy to pay for the residential roof replacement.  Once the property owner has approved the roof replacement, the work will be scheduled and performed as quickly as possible by highly trained and experienced craftsmen.  Once completed, the new roof will provide years of protection to the home, occupants and their possessions, while providing the energy efficiency of the home as well as improving the aesthetics of the home.

Posted on behalf of Ken Christie, CZE Roofing and Remodeling

Google

Jul
4

When a Roofing Contractor Knocks on Your Door

Posted in Roofing

The May 25 hailstorms have brought waves of fly by night roofers to the Dayton, Ohio area, especially hard hit Centerville and Xenia.  These storm chasers have a reputation for shoddy work, high pressure sales tactics, and unscrupulous practices.

Conventional wisdom is to avoid using any roofing contractor that shows up uninvited at your door.  Most of the time this is good advice.  Storm chasers don’t have a local reputation, they don’t get any referrals from satisfied customers, and they are not in an area long enough for advertising to be effective. The primary way storm chasers get business is by sending high pressure salesmen to knock on doors and use scare tactics to sign up new roofing contracts. 

On the other hand, the reputable local roofing contractors are so busy they don’t need to use door to door salesmen to get new work.  Good local roofing contractors with a solid reputation for high quality work get most of their business from referrals from satisfied customers. 

With that said, there may be some instances when a reputable local roofer is working in a neighborhood and takes a few minutes to knock on the doors of neighboring houses if it looks like they may have had hail damage but have not had their roof replaced. 

The bottom line is to use your common sense in these situations.  Don’t sign a contract with the first roofer that knocks on your door.  Get their business information and check them out like you would any other business.  Look at their vehicle to see if the name of the business name and license number is painted (not just a magnetic stick on sign) on the side.  If everything checks out, then you can hire them with confidence.

Jul
4

Choose a Roofing Contractor Wisely

Posted in Roofing

Thousands of Ohio homeowners in Fort Collins CO and the surrounding areas are faced with the task of choosing a roofing contractor to repair or replace their hail damaged roofs.  The hail storms that hit the area in May and June caused widespread damage to roofs throughout the area and homeowners have been scrambling to find a good roofer to handle the repairs to their roofs.

Unfortunately, a large number of “storm chasers” have moved into the area and are busy going door to door soliciting roofing work.  Storm chasers are roofers from out of state who move around the country like gypsies, traveling from one storm ravaged area to the next, undercutting the local roofers, then moving on when the work runs out, too many disgruntled customers begin to complain, or their creditors catch up with them.

To be fair, some storm chasers are good roofers, but the majority of storm chasers either do poor quality work or are just downright dishonest.  When you use a storm chaser to replace your asphalt shingle roof, you are taking a significant risk that the roofer will either simply disappear with your money or, if they hang around and install a new roof, they will do a poor job and the roof will start leaking with the next heavy rainfall. 

Your roof is too important to take this risk.  When you choose a roofing contractor for an asphalt shingle roof replacement, try to pick a contractor with a permanent local office.  Ask to see proof of workman’s compensation insurance and liability insurance.  Ask for references and check with the Better Business Bureau to see if they have a history of unresolved complaints.

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