Homeowners often neglect their roofing system until it begins to leak or other serious damage occurs. In most cases, roofing issues can be discovered way before major (and expensive) problems happen. If you notice cracked, warped or missing shingles, broken flashing, loose seams, or large amounts of shingle granules in the gutter, it’s time to call a roofing contractor. Cracked paint, peeling wallpaper or wall coverings, and discolored plasterboard can also indicate roof damage. Periodic inspections can help uncover potential problems and allow you to address them before they become a major investment.
However, it is important to understand that hail and storm damages cannot typically be seen from the ground. In fact, some of these damages cannot even be seen up-close with an untrained eye. It takes a trained professional to correctly identify hail and storm damages. If you believe you may have been affected by recent storm damages, give us a call for a free no obligation roof inspection. We will tell you honestly what type of damages you have, if any, and prove it with pictures and a written report for you to keep.
There are a few ways to determine if it’s time to replace your roofing system.
Age: Roofing systems generally last around 2 decades. If your roof is approaching 20 years of age, it’s near the end of its useful life.
Leaks: If you see evidence of water leaking inside to your home, it probably has been leaking for quite a while. Water can damage rafters, plywood sheathing, ceilings, walls and more. Extensive structural damage can create a huge problem for homeowners. It’s often cheaper and less involved to simply replace the roof before it begins to leak.
Hail & Storm Damages: This is by far the #1 reason for roof replacements in our area. If you have lived in the DFW area for more then 5 years, you have most likely been affected by at least one or more small to large hail storms.
The short answer, No. Many homeowners are under the impression that just because their insurance adjuster put gutters in their claim, that they are required to replace them. Your insurance company owes you for the replacement of your gutters, even if there is the slightest hail dent in them. However, whether or not YOU feel like they need to be replaced, is your call. Look at them! Are they leaking, hanging off the house, rusted or look unpleasant? If not, then don’t replace them. Most gutters are made of aluminum, meaning they never rust or age like steel or metal. Gutters are dented up pretty much on a yearly basis because of the amount of hail storms that frequent our area. Most homeowners simply clean them out and leave them be. The roof system is really the only thing that cost homeowners more money in serious damages if the hail damages are not repaired. Remember, its your claims money, not your contractors and certainly not the insurance companies. Once your paid, its your money to decide what to do with it.
Roofing work is generally not a DIY project. Professional roofing contractors are trained and benefit from years of experience to safely & effectively repair or replace your roof. An untrained homeowner can actually harm a roof with improper roofing techniques and could even harm themselves if the right tools & safety equipment are not used.
Simple maintenance tasks like inspecting a roof during the spring to look for broken or crack shingles & cleaning out gutters filled with debris are suitable for most homeowners but should still be done with care. Most DIY roofing projects end in additional costs & headaches for the homeowner, so they are best left to trained & experienced professionals.
Asphalt shingle roofing systems are constructed to provide approximately 20 years of useful service life. Higher quality roof systems such as; clay tile, slate, and metal roofs can actually last longer if regularly maintained. However, there is a catch.
Clay tile, slate and metal roof systems are very risky for our area because of their higher costs and the amount of hail storms that frequent our area. Although they will most likely not be considered a total loss in the event of a lager hail storm, they will sustain some damages that will look horrible and will be clearly seen from the ground.
These damages typically range between $1500 – $4500 in repair costs, which typically does not meet most homeowners deductible amounts. Therefore, any insurance claims against such damages will be denied. This means that homeowners will now be stuck paying for these repairs out of their own pockets while everyone else around them are getting new roof systems, paid for in full by their insurance companies.
GET A WRITTEN ESTIMATE
Roofing contractors in the DFW area appear to be everywhere. However, upon closer investigation you can immediately eliminate 90% of them from being actual hands on roof installers with your best interest in mind.
It is important to find a contractor that will give you a written estimate “Upfront” clearly disclosing everything that will take place at your home, line item by line item, with a firm price that you will be charged at the completion of the project. Vague or cookie cutter contracts, claiming to charge everything to your insurance company, are very risky and are typically a sign that you are not dealing directly with the hands on the installer that will be doing the work.
If they won’t give you a written estimate or ask to see your insurance papers, something isn’t right. They are most likely a middleman company (commission salesperson, general contractors, etc..) that is just in it for the money.
DO YOUR RESEARCH
“Listen To The People”. Homeowners are doing an excellent job today of reporting and posting dishonest or greedy contractors online. It only takes a quick search to avoid a disaster.
Before you hire, always check with the contractors local Better Business Bureau website and with Rip Off Report to see if they have received any complaints against them. If they have any negative reviews at all, why risk it. Choose between companies with no complaints and a proven satisfaction record.
CHECK THE LABOR WARRANTY
This is the most important part of hiring a contractor. ALWAYS pay very close attention to the “LABOR WORKMANSHIP WARRANTY” period being offered to you on your estimate or contract.
This will immediately tell you how confident the contractor is in their work. If you do not see the length of the “LABOR WARRANTY” clearly disclosed on your estimate, ask the contractor to put into writing exactly how long they are willing to fix leaks caused by the labor or installation of the roof. The average labor warranty in DFW ranges between 2 to 10 years maximum.
NEVER PAY A DEPOSIT
NEVER, for any reason, pay a deposit or ANY upfront cost to a contractor until the completion of all the work. (In today’s times, no legitimate contractor should ever expect for homeowners to pay upfront deposits or money down to start a project).
Most DFW contractors are actually asking homeowners for their insurance checks or a deposit once the contract is signed or materials are delivered. Do Not Do IT! It’s Not Worth The Risk. If you pay any upfront money or deposits to a contractor you are taking a huge and dangerous risk and also immediately give up all control of your job.
The short answer, No! Policy holders/homeonwers should always handle their own insurance claims. It is to the policy holders advantage to keep their insurance information private and keep both sides (insurance company & contractors) out of your business.
Some insurance companies are even attempting to provide their own managed contractor programs to you. Even the insurance company wants in on all the claims money being thrown around. (Your claims money).
Where most homeowners go wrong is out of sheer laziness. To keep from making a few phone calls, homeowners will hand over their entire insurance claims to contractors who hire their own subcontractors and pocket the left over money for themselves.
The average insurance claim has a profit margin between 40-60% above cost. In fact, the insurance restoration business is a billion dollar industry nationwide yielding record profits year after year. All claims money taken straight out of your pocket.