Contractor Tips Blog

Jul
20

Take Your Shingles from Shabby to Chic

Posted in Roofing

Does your roof look shabby? An old roof is more than just an aesthetic issue – it can leak, causing thousands of dollars of water and mold damage to your home. If your shingles are falling apart, it is time to consider roof replacement. Not only will a new roof protect your home, it can give your house a new look. Go from shabby to chic with these roofing options.

Metal Roofing

Metal roofs offer longevity and can be a beautiful option for your home. Metal roofing has improved in appearance, with more aesthetic options than those in the past. They are also easy to maintain. You want to choose a good quality metal roof – aluminum roofs are inexpensive, but can easily dent or sustain damage in hail and other storms.

Tile or Slate Singled Roofs

Two of the most beautiful options for roofing are tile and slate shingles. They offer a stunning topping for your home and come in different colors and shingle sizes. However, these are premium options and two of the more expensive types of roofing available.

Asphalt Shingle Roofing

Tried and true, asphalt roofing is one of the most cost-effective options to re-roof your home. It is also the most used option in the U.S. There are many different levels of asphalt roofing – some shingles come with lifetime or 50-year warranties, which can protect your investment.

A new roof can change the look of your home – a great asset if you plan on selling your home in the future. Talk to your local roofing contractor about the different roofing options to decide which is best for your needs and budget.

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

May
16

FAQs About Getting a New Roof

Posted in Roofing

Are you considering replacing your roof? Most people only buy a new roof once or twice in their lifetime, so it is not something they do often. It is common to have questions on what to expect. Here are some frequently asked questions and answers about getting a new roof.

How much will a new roof cost?

Unfortunately, the most commonly asked question is not easily answered. The amount depends on the size, type of roofing, number of peaks and many other variables. You need a quote based on your home and roof type.

Is asphalt the best type of roofing?

Asphalt shingles are the most popular type of roofing used in the U.S. They are cost effective and depending on the type you get, they can last 20, 30 or more years. There are other options like wood, metal and tile, which are all high-quality; they tend to be more expensive, but some can last longer than asphalt.

How long will it take to replace my roof?

Having the roof replaced on your home can seem invasive, but most roofs can be replaced in less than a week, weather permitting. Some smaller homes with simple roofs can be completed in a day or two, with larger, more complex roofing systems requiring a several days.

How do I choose a contractor?

It is a good idea to vet your contractor – do not base your decision on price alone. Do your research to find a local contractor with an excellent reputation. You want a good warranty and guarantee from a reputable contractor with experience – be wary of low bids from contractors without a reliable track record.

This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the questions you may have about getting a new roof. Talk to a trusted local roof contractor to get answers to all your questions before you sign a contract to get a new roof.

Posted on behalf of:
Atwood Home Builders
227 W 8th Ave
Homestead, PA 15120
(412) 638-126

Mar
31

What Home Repairs Do You Need After Storm Damage?

Posted in Roofing

After a severe storm, your home could need repair. Hail, high winds, falling limbs and other elements can cause damage to your home. While roof damage is usually the biggest concern, this is not the only component on your home that may need repair or replacement. When you call to have a post-storm inspection done on your home, here are areas to have your contractor check for damage:

  • Even if the roof looks like it is intact, damage to shingles or seams in metal roofing can be affected. Have a qualified roof contractor do a thorough inspection of your roof to avoid problems down the road.
  • Have any siding panels sustained damage due to hail or falling limbs? Even a small crack or loose panel should be repaired, especially when you are submitting an insurance claim for other damage.
  • Fascia and soffit. Make sure that every component of your roofing structure is inspected for possible issues, including fascia and soffit.
  • Windows. Obviously if a window is broken, it will need to be replaced. Also, check the trim, shutters and other components around the windows for any damage.

To make it simpler for repair and insurance purposes, hire a contractor to complete your inspection that offers repair on all these major components. It will save time and frustration to have one contractor that can fix all your exterior issues at one time. This eliminates needing several bids from roofing, siding and window contractors, simplifying the process.

Storm damage to your home is almost always covered under most homeowner’s insurance policies. Make sure you get a complete and detailed inspection to cover every repair caused by the latest storm to get the most out of your insurance policy.

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

Jan
23

Roof Valley Flashing Matters

Posted in Roofing

When it comes to roof quality, valley flashing is one of the secrets of a durable, long-lasting roofs, yet many homeowners do not even know what it is. When your roof has different parts that meet for various peaks and parts of the home, the joints are referred to as valleys. These concave areas attract moisture and are the most likely to be saturated during rain and snow. Valley flashing is the material used to seal these joints and protect your roof and home, making it a very important element.

Valley flashing is usually made from metal and is needed to secure the joints on your roof and protect them from leaks. Once the roofing material is put on, you cannot see the valley flashing, but it needs to be there performing its job. Unfortunately, if not installed correctly or if it becomes worn or corroded, it can lead to a major problem with your roof. 

Problems with Valley Flashing

If installed correctly, your valley flashing should last with your roofing and protect your home from leaks. However, there are some poor flashing practices that can create issues with your roof valleys. These can include:

  • Not extending the flashing beyond the eaves
  • Using metal that is corrosive
  • Putting holes in the center of the valley for fasteners

Even if your roof looks great, if the flashing underneath is not high quality, you could have expensive damage occur to your home when heavy rain or snow hits. Valley flashing matters, so it is important to discuss the type of flashing that will be used when you have a new roof installed. Choose a quality roofing contractor and make sure to talk about the valley flashing that will be installed with your roof.

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

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

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