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? Carr
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.
CarrIn May of 2011 the Roofing Industry Committee on Weather Issues, Inc. conducted two investigation programs covering the effects of high wind and hail on various roof surfaces. The Roofing Industry Committee on Weather Issues, Inc. (RICOWI) was founded in 1990 as non-profit focused on identifying and solving issues associated with wind damage. Since then RICOWI expanded to cover other weather related issues. The RICOWI recently completed an inspection of over 100 DFW area homes to determine the effects of hail on various roofing systems.Meteorological DataOn May 24, 2011 several storms containing large hail passed just north of College Station, TX (Dallas/Fort Worth). According to the National Climatic Data Center, reports of hail 2 inches in diameter and larger were reported over the area. Large hail over 4 inches in diameter was also reported to damage airplanes and nearby airfields.Investigation MethodologyTrained inspection members identified affected roofs by properly identifying dents and other impact marks, known to be hail related. Property owners and other eye witnesses were interviewed to verify the extent of hail impact. Trained inspection members identified affected roofs by properly identifying dents and other impact marks, known to be hail related. Proper data was then collected and analyzed. The data included metrics covering location, roof construction details, pitch, estimated hailstone size, and severity of hail impact. Impact severity was measured on a scale of 0 (no real damage) to 5 (severe damage and potential leaks as a result). y owners and other eye witnesses were interviewed to verify the extent of hail impact.Investigation FindingsLow Slope Roofing SystemsA focus of the investigation was to determine the differences between roofing products rated for impact resistance and those that were not. It was found that low slope roof systems that had membranes that were firmly supported by gravel or stone ballast performed the best.Asphalt ShinglesAsphalt shingles that were rated as impact resistant did perform better than those not. Out of the roofs that were tested 75% of the impact resistant roofs were rated in the damage categories 0, 1, or 2 (the lowest damage categories). The average damage rating for impact resistant roofs was 1.3. The damage rating for non-impact resistant roofs was 2.5. Older roofs also showed more damage than newer roofs within the same area due to additional wear and tear and aging.TileTile roofing systems performed well. Even though hail sizes were estimated to be between 2 and 4 inches, very few tiles had any damage. The damage noted on tiles is a pattern of multiple fractures from a single hailstone impact. Tile roofs older than 12 years also showed no noticeable differences in performance, probably due to lasting materials of clay and concrete. Metal RoofsMost metal roofing systems also performed well. Of all of the metal roofs tested only 1 had severe damage where roof had distorted sides. None of the metal roofing systems, where raised, galvanized steel, or standing seam, had any evidence of leaks or punctures.Final ResultsHailstone damage was easily identifiable by the trained personnel on many varieties of roofing types. Hailstone size is more of an indicator of the extent of damage than hailstone number. Across the board impact resistant products performed better than standard products. Roofing systems that possessed a more substantial substrate also performed better than those without.ConclusionIt appears that roofing systems that provide a complete system of protection from hail include impact resistant materials, a solid substrate backing, and a proper installation.
Hailstorm Help - Choosing a Roofing ContractorFollowing 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!