You’re a homeowner and determined your home’s roof needs fixing or needs to be improved with a replacement roof. You’re all set to get moving. What’s the optimal way to get a high quality roofer who will accomplish a good job? What could you look for in a roof contractor or contractor to obtain this work? Lucerne
When homeowners choose to repair a roof or replace that roof with asphalt during the cold winter months, they’re often plagued by worries that their family will freeze before the job is completed. In the same vein, those starting a roofing job in the sweltering summer months worry that they’ll be facing heat stroke. These concerns are perfectly normal and common among many homeowners looking for roofing fixes or roof replacement contractors.
LucerneAccording to East Tennessee SKYWARN, "Hail is a form of precipitation that occurs at the beginning of thunderstorms. They consist of near spherical pellets of ice and snow, usually combined in alternating layers."By this definition alone, you can already imagine what potential damage hail can do to your home, specifically your roof. And, if hail can damage your roof, just think how it can damage your vehicle. In fact, big hailstones that fall with force have been known to cause fatal harm to humans and animals.Scientists have been trying to reduce the destructiveness of hail by injecting large quantities of silver iodide into a thunderstorm. They are trying to overseed storm clouds so that smaller hailstones will form. This will prevent them from developing into large hailstones. But as of this date, results remain inconclusive.What damage can hail do to your roof? Hail damage on vehicles can easily be seen but the damage that hail does to your roof will not be as obvious. Hail damage results in a random pattern of strike marks in different sizes. You may find dents, cracks or bare asphalt (if you have asphalt shingles on your roof). Additional signs of hail damage to an asphalt roof could be: granules that have settled at the base of your downspouts, metal air vents that have significant damage and damaged and dented siding or gutters.Generally, hail has to be at least 1 and 1/4 inches in diameter before it can cause damage to wood shake shingles or heavy composite shingles. Hail that is 1 inch in diameter may damage lightweight composite shingles. However, if you have deteriorated composite shingles on your roof, hail that is less than 1 inch in diameter can easily cause damage. What do I do if my roof has been damaged by hail? Most hailstorm damages are cosmetic and won't have any adverse effects on your roof. However, moderately severe hail damage that strips shingle of their coatings may affect the longevity of your roof and this may qualify for repairs covered by your insurance. If the damage will cause leaks, exposed areas should be covered with tarps held in place with wood strips and nails. When you can access the roof, you should permanently repair the sheathing and replace missing and damaged tiles, shingles or shakes.Are there available hail-proof roofs in the market? There are hail-resistant roofs but to this day, you cannot find any hail-proof roofs in the market. These hail-resistant roofs have Class 1 through Class 4 hail-resistance ratings, 1 being the lowest and 4 the highest. These roofs are rated based on test results done by The American Society of Testing and Materials (ASTM). A steel ball is dropped from a predetermined height and the damage that the roof sustains is then measured.There are several roofs that carry this rating but the most likely to endure hail with minimal or no damage would be concrete tile, composite shingles and metal roofs. When you purchase a roof be sure to check with the manufacturer to determine what hail rating is given to a particular product.What damage can hail do to your vehicle? If hail can damage your roof, then an exposed vehicle can sustain much damage. Dents will most likely be the most common problem. If your vehicle will be exposed to large hailstones however, there is a probability that you might end up with broken windows and/or a broken windshield. The good news is, with your vehicle, you can take preventive measures so that it will not be damaged by hail.What can you do to prevent your vehicle from being damaged by hail? When hail is in the weather forecast, put your car, boat or RV into a garage. If you have no choice but to leave your vehicle outside, cover parts of the vehicle that is most susceptible to hail damage, with thick blankets. These would be the roof, hood, trunk, windows and windshield.In cases where you are suddenly caught in the middle of a hailstorm while driving your car, seek cover in a covered parking lot or garage. Another option would be to go under an overpass or any place with an awning. If you are on a long stretch of road with no cover in sight, pull off the highway, park at the side of the road and just wait it out.What do I do if my vehicle has been damaged by hail? Contact your insurance company and report the damage immediately. Find out if your insurance has a preferred body shop that can do the necessary repair to your vehicle. If you want to choose the repair shop yourself, make sure that you will have your vehicle serviced by a reputable facility. Make sure that you discuss with your insurance company and your body shop, what kind of repair should be done to your vehicle. Ask how long the repair will take. But if several vehicles were damaged in your area during the hailstorm, do not expect the repairs to be finished immediately. After repairs are made, make sure that everything was done to your satisfaction. Check for remaining dents and scratches before taking your vehicle back home. Before having your vehicle repaired, you must check if the repair shop guarantees its work. Make sure that you get the guarantee and contact information in writing. If you find any flaws in the repair, you should be able to bring it back to them at no additional cost.Hailstorms are part of nature. While most parts of the world may not experience this kind of weather, those who live in the middle latitudes are not so fortunate. If you are one of those people and have no choice but to live with it, just do the best you can to protect your roof and your vehicle by following the simple steps mentioned earlier.
Understanding Your Roof Replacement EstimateFollowing any major hailstorm in the United States, homeowners in the affected area are hit with another storm; hundreds of roofing contractors! It can be very confusing for homeowners to know how to navigate through all the flyers and brochures and decide on which contractor to hire. Unfortunately there are some scam artists out there as well that put the homeowner on high alert in making their decision. This article will make the process of choosing the right contractor a much easier task.Eliminate Imposters QuicklyWith a little detective work, you can quickly figure out which companies to avoid like the plague. The obvious initial thought is to Google the company name, but for a scam artist looking to run away with your insurance proceeds, this method is not likely to be very effective. You may find a website, and not much else. If they have scammed other homeowners in another city, they likely did it under a completely different business name, and possibly even under another personal name.The next place to look is on the Better Business Bureau website. There you can see if they have any prior complaints, and whether or not those complaints were resolved. In some cases you will also be able to see when the entity was created, though this date is taken from the information the contractor sends to BBB, so further research is needed. In order to find the actual business creation date, you will need to do a business entity search on your state's secretary of state office website. Some states will allow you to search for this information, showing you the date the business was started, as well as the local entity creation. There are reputable contractors that will open a new office in your city following a major storm. But if the business itself was not created until shortly after the storm date, it gives you an idea that this might be a scam artist. Obviously if a Google search and a BBB search both result in no information about the company, you have good reason to believe you should eliminate that company. Once you have eliminated the potential scam artists, it's time to do further research on the companies you like.Knowing What You're GettingChecking references is a common suggestion when it comes time to choose a contractor, and this is a great suggestion. However, this should not be the only method used. It is unlikely that any contractor is going to hand out references that will give them a bad review. Still, by calling a few of the references you can get an idea of what kind of work they do.Another important factor to consider is the detail of the proposed work. If the contractor is vague in their work description, ask for a detailed breakdown. As you compare multiple contractors, you can see which one is offering the highest quality product.Be sure to ask about the workmanship warranty offered. You will want to be sure to get at least a 2-year warranty on workmanship. Most issues in workmanship will show up almost immediately following the installation, or the first time the roof is exposed to extreme weather conditions. Extended warranties are often offered by the contractor; in some cases at no additional charge, and others for a fee. If you want the peace of mind, you may be interested in an extended warranty, but it is not necessary. Any issues you experience with your roof beyond the first couple years are not likely to be a result of poor workmanship, but rather caused by failed materials or external damages.Interview Contractors Rather Than Comparing BidsThe insurance company is covering the cost of the repairs anyway, so the price is irrelevant. If you hope to have your deductible covered, or possibly even make money off the claim, think again. That would be insurance fraud, and you could end up getting into some serious trouble for doing so! Beware of contractors who try to lure you in by offering to pay your deductible, give you free upgrades, advertising credits, etc. If they can't earn your business because of the quality of work they do, they probably aren't worth your time. Plus, it is better to pay a little more now, than a lot later because of shoddy work. Be sure to ask the contractor their experience in dealing with insurance claims. If they have little or no experience handling claims, you're probably better off to cross them off your list. A professional insurance restoration contractor will be able to assist you with the claim process, get you the most money (and therefore the highest quality repairs), and get the claim approved. Professional insurance restoration contractors will use Xactimate software for their estimates, and some may even have licensed adjusters on staff.SummaryDon't be in a hurry to choose a contractor following storm damage to your home. Take your time to research several companies, interview them, and make your own educated decision from there. You will be glad you did when your property has been restored with top quality craftsmanship, while your neighbor complains about all the issues they have had with their project and the contractor that covered their deductible and gave them free upgrades!