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? Virginia Dale
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.
Virginia DaleHow much damage to your roof can come during a hail storm? In Georgia, hail storms are not that uncommon and many homeowners visually see hail several times during the year. That is the case in metro Atlanta, where the last few years have resulted in elevated hail activity.Most people are somewhat aware of the damage hail can cause, in particular the larger variety of hail that is notorious for damaging and denting cars. This awareness doesn't always fully translate into the impact a hail storm can have on your home's roof. While you can visually see the damage to your car after a hail storm, you can't always see the damage to a roof. The damage you can't see can put the longevity of your roof at risk.Roof replacement due to hail damage is one of the most expensive fixes for homeowners and insurance companies. Hail can vary in size dramatically, falling as small as the size of tiny pellets, or as large as baseballs. It is typically the larger hail that can cause enough damage to your asphalt roof to justify a roof replacement. Asphalt Roof Shingle Damage from Hail:Hail damage to asphalt roofs occur when hail beating against the surface of asphalt shingle results in the protective granular surface of the shingle to loosen and potentially fall off. When the granules are loosened, the asphalt shingles loses some of its protection potential and becomes vulnerable to additional damage.- Note: Damaged asphalt layers can potentially allow water seepage into the roof.- Tip: If the granules of an asphalt shingle are removed by a hail storm, the shingle's longevity can be severely diminished.Signs of Hail Damage to an Asphalt Roof:- Bruises or small dents in the asphalt shingle - Granulation is displaced exposing the asphalt - Granulation has settled at the base of your downspouts - The spots hit by hail usually leave a soft spot in the shingle - Significantly damaged metal air vents on the roof indicate similar hit pattern for roof - Damage and denting of siding, or guttersIf my Roof is damaged, how fast should I replace it?There is a misconception if your roof sustains damage from a hail storm that your roof needs to be replaced immediately. You'll find some conflicting evidence online from other roofers that advise immediately replacing your roof. In Georgia for example, any reliable roofing contractor in Atlanta should tell you otherwise. Typically the damage sustained from a hail storm will pose no immediate threat to your roof. The threat is in the longevity of the roof, because hail can dramatically decrease a roof's life expectancy. The deteriorated protection from a roof that is not expected to last its full life is why insurance companies will authorize the replacement of your roof.Will Homeowner's Insurance Cover a New Roof?This answer varies by the coverage on your homeowner's insurance policy. For some homeowners the answer is "yes." If you believe your home has been the victim of hail, contact your insurance company to determine if your policy will cover the damage. For many homeowners they will be able to have the roof repaired, or replaced and will need to pay a deductable. - Tip: If you are unsure if you homeowner's policy covers hail damage to your roof, contact your insurance company.Caution: Avoid Storm Chasers!Homeowners need to beware of 'storm chasers.' A storm chaser typically consists of an out of town roofing contractor that goes door to door after a hail storm soliciting for business. While it may seem tempting and convenient, these roofers can do more harm than good. Make sure any roofer you look to work with has a good reputation in the community. Look for a roofer that is located locally and check references. Look for references that are over a year old and ones that are more recent, within the last 30 days. Finally never give a deposit for a roof. A reliable roofer will only ask for payment once the roof has been complete.If you think your home has sustained roof hail damage, get a professional opinion. Experienced roofing contractors should be willing to provide free roofing estimates upon request.
Investigation: The Best Roof for HailFlat roofs are often the most susceptible to hail damage. In fact most types of flat roof do not even come with a hail rating. This either means that the material has not been tested, or that it wont hold up long under hail storms. This does not mean that there aren't flat systems that hold up admirably.To show the differences in roofing materials, I am going to compare three common flat roof systems. One is rubber roofing. This stuff is usually around a half inch or more thick and instead of being adhered to the roof, it is mechanically fastened with screws. This requires a further layer of insulation to complete the roof system. My Denver roofing company found hundreds of large diameter hail impacts because of the soft rubber material in one example. However, there were no leaks on this building. PVC roofs do not hold up as well from hailstorms because they are so brittle. You actually want a slightly flexible material if that material is not very strong. In once case, our roofing contractors in Denver found impacts that looked like shattered glass. Hail can go right through thin PVC. This immediately causes leaks and water damage. So make sure you use thick, impact resistant PVC in hail regions.Rubberized asphalt is a construction system that performs well under hail conditions. Rubber is mixed in with the asphalt to increase the life and elasticity of asphalt. Asphalt's main weakness is that it dries and cracks over time, so this attempts to combat this. It will not completely protect underlying fiber glass roofing, mainly because of how thin it is. However they generally do protect from hail pretty well. My roofing contractors in Denverrecommends gravel surfacing to be added to the bitumen or rubber for maximum weather protection. Gravel is very strong compared to other built up roofs. A rock will always be harder than ice. The rocks absorb the energy from the hail instead of having the fragile roofing material do the job. Generally a well built gravel built up roof never has any problems with hail damage. Other strong roofs include metal roofs, which may dent but rarely need to be replaced. Coated acrylic foam roofs are actually some of the toughest roofing materials out there. High density foam will absorb and dissipate pretty much any hail stone. To really get a strong roof, you could substitute river rocks for gravel on any of the built up roofs. This results in a much heavier but basically impervious roof.