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How can I tell if my roof is in need of repair or maintenance?

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.

How will I know when it’s time to replace my roof?

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 your home, it most likely has been an ongoing and un-noticed issue 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.

It never hurts to look! We offer free roof inspections to know for sure.

Do my gutters really need to be replaced?

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.

 

The Truth? It’s your money! Your insurance company owes you for the replacement of your gutters, even if there is the slightest hail dent in them.  “ACTUAL CASH VALUE” literally means they owe you the cash value of your damaged gutters. BUT…..whether or not “YOU” feel like they need to be replaced, is your decision to make.

 

Lets take a look at your gutters together.

(1) Are they leaking?

(2) Are they hanging off the house?

(3) Are rusted?

(4) Do you just not like them?

 

Unless you can say yes to any of these questions, your gutters are most likely just fine. Small hail indention’s do not truly cause gutters function failure. If they are still collecting and directing water away from your home, (as they were designed to) then they are doing their jobs.

 

Most gutters are made of aluminum, meaning they never rust or age like steel or metal. All our gutters are dented up pretty much on a yearly basis because of the amount of small pea size hail storms that frequent our area. Most homeowners are getting fed up replacing their gutters. As soon as they do most of them are dented again the same year.

 

The roof system, is really the only one item out of most insurance claims, that could 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. They owe you the money. Once your paid, its your money to decide what to do with it.

 

Look at your property yourself. Don’t just listen to the money hungry contractors all wanting to pocket your insurance money.

Why do contractors want to handle my insurance claims?

MONEY! IT’S ALL ABOUT MONEY!

 

Guys, there is a reason General Contractors want to take over your insurance claim. They want to subcontract the work out to who ever they want to hire and keep all of the left over money for themselves.

 

In almost all cases, they are hiring the same local companies you could have hired yourself, for a 3/rd of the cost.

 

Always buy direct! Direct means, if you need a new roof, search and find an actual hands on roof installer near you, that only does roofing and nothing else. Not a middleman General Contractor that claims to do everything.

 

Most homeowners are immediately giving away all of their claims money because they don’t want to make a few phone calls.

 

Buying directly from the person that will be doing the work saves you money and allows you the opportunity to meet and choose who will be at your home doing the work.

 

Who will the General Contractor send? Who knows? It’s your money. Spend it wisely.

HOW TO READ YOUR INSURANCE CLAIM

Insurance companies have made reading and understanding your insurance claim nearly impossible for homeowners these days.

We have a way of explaining the entire process that makes it much easier.

 

R.C.V. = REPLACEMENT COST VALUE: The replacement cost value is your insurance companies way of saying; “Hello Mr./Mrs. Homeowner, we are agreeing that it should cost you this amount to repair all of the damages listed in our summery.”

 

DEDUCTIBLE: The Deductible is your insurance companies way of saying “Hey, wait a minute Mr/Mrs. Homeowner, out of the R.C.V. amount that we owe you….,you are responsible for the deductible amount, so we are backing that out of this money and we are keeping it.”

 

DEPRECIATION: Depreciation is your insurance companies way of saying, “Hey Mr./Mrs. Homeowner, now that we have backed out your deductible, we are now going to keep some of the remaining money until you actually do the work.

 

Right now, we only owe you for the “value” of the damaged items at your home now. We do not actually owe you for replacing those items until you actually replace them.

 

ACTUAL CASH VALUE: The actual cash value is your insurance companies way of saying: “Hello again Mr. /Mrs. Homeowner, now that we have backed out your deductible and some of the money until you do the work, this is the amount that i owe you right now.

 

This amount, is all that we owe you until you actually do the work. If you actually do the work and prove to us that the work has been done, we will mail you the DEPRECIATION money that we are holding back.”

How to choose a Contractor?

GET A WRITTEN ESTIMATE

Roofing contractors in the DFW area appear to be everywhere. However, upon closer investigation you can immediately eliminate 99% 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 roof estimate “Upfront” clearly disclosing everything that will take place at your home, line item by line item, with a total 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.

 

LABOR WARRANTY is also a great way to immediately eliminate poor quality contractors. However, this information is usually hidden within the fine of print of most roof estimates. You will have to read closely.

 

A real labor warranty by a real roofing company should have a clear time-line disclosing exactly how many years the Labor Warranty is.

 

An average labor warranty is 2 to 5 years.

A mediocre labor warranty is 7-15 years.

A GREAT LABOR WARRANTY IS 20 YEARS OR MORE.

 

Do not be fooled by the words like “LIFETIME WARRANTY”. Look closer at your estimates and search for the Labor Warranty. If you can find this information, it will save you thousands of dollars and a huge headache.

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.

 

“XYZ Roofing Compaints” or  XYZ Rip Off Report. A quick google search such as this could save you thousands and keep you out of harms way.

 

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.

Should My Contractor Meet With My Insurance Company?

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.

 

You are the policy holder. It should be you meeting with your insurance adjuster. Never allow anyone to represent you. That makes things better for both the insurance company and the contractor, but not for you.

WHAT IS THE BEST SHINGLE?

The www.honestroof.com team has also written a previous blog about this very subject. https://www.honestroof.com/what-is-the-best-roofing-shingle/

It goes as follows:

WHAT SHINGLE SHOULD I USE?

This is a huge topic of debate among homeowners and roofing contractors throughout the Dallas Fort Worth area. However, there is phrase that I am going to use throughout this blog that should drop the mike on all who appose. “If the contractor is not installing the roofing shingles with his own back and two hands, then he cannot honestly say which shingle is the best. Period. End of Story.

Sadly, most contractor opinions are based on making more profit or what they have been told to say.

That’s right…If a contractor that you area dealing with is recommending shingle products that are not either Owens Corning or GAF, then they are attempting to push a less quality material onto you just so they can make a bigger profit.

It’s all about the money! Insurance companies pay homeowners more then enough money to upgrade their roof system to a Lifetime Owens corning shingle. The problem are greedy contractors. They just don’t want to give up any of the profit in the job by doing the right thing for you. Most contractors could care less about long term protection because they are only giving homeowners a 2 to 5 year labor warranty on their work. Why worry about giving a homeowner a great shingle if you are only on the warranty hook for a couple years.

WE HAVE INSTALLED THEM ALL

I am the current president/CEO/Owner and Lead Installer of Honestroof.com and can tell you first hand that Owens Corning is the best shingle on the market today. GAF, has also been a very strong contender of Owens Corning and both are by far better then any other shingle manufactures out today. But, based on my hands on handling of all these products, OC just seems to last longer with less issues. Remeber, If the contractor is not installing the roofing shingles with his own back and two hands, he cannot honestly say which shingle is the best.

HANDS ON SHINGLE ROOF INSTALLATIONS

I have installed shingle roof systems with my own back and two hands since the age of 13. 30 years later, I am still handling these materials every single day. No one can tell you honestly which shingle is the best without handling the product and installing it themselves. “If the contractor is not installing the roofing shingles with his own back and two hands, then he cannot honestly say which shingle is the best, their opinion is about making more profit”

WE SPARE NO EXPENSE

We spare no expense when it comes to protecting your home. If you are filing an insurance claim, you should really use this as an opportunity to add value to your home while solving a few issues at the same time. HonestRoof.com stands behind all roof installations with a 20 Year Leak Free Labor Warranty Guarantee. We do not want any problems out of your roof, ever. Our customers can feel confident that all of the money they are paying us is going into their roof, and not into a sales-persons pocket. We use only the highest quality materials on the market today, based on hands on installations, not how much profit we can make.

 

THE PROOF IS IN THE WARRANTY

The average labor warranty in DFW against installation issues ranges between 2 to 5 years max. This information is being hidden within the fine print of the contractors estimate and covered up by openly advertising “LIFETIME WARRANTY”. What they are not telling the homeowner is that the Lifetime Warranty they are referring to is the “manufactures warranty” against the actual shingle product, not the labor or installation of the roof shingle. That means if the shingle were to go defective, the shingle manufacture would pay for its replacement, but only after backing out money for the years it has been on the roof. Shingle defects are extremely rare and virtually non-existent with the better shingle manufactures like Owens Corning.

 

ROOFS LEAK BECAUSE OF FAULTY INSTALLATIONS

95% of roof leaks reported throughout the DFW area each year are a result of poor or faulty installations, not storm damages. There is a reason that contractors are not willing to stand behind their work for more then 2 to 5 years. Its because they are not actually doing the work themselves. They are subcontracting the work out to crews after selling the job. They do not want to be held legally responsible for your roof for more then a couple of years. The labor warranty always gives away who is a real roof installer and who is just in it for the quick money.

TRUST THE INSTALLER NOT THE MIDDLEMAN

If you are about to have a new roof installed, save yourself the trouble of having to do this all over again in a few years, or even worse having to spend thousands in leak repairs, install an Owens Corning shingle by a real hands on roof installer. You will be glad you did.