Keeping tabs on your shingles

When you clean out your gutters in the winter, the absolute best thing you can do for your roof is to take a long hard look at the shingles. Shingle repair and maintenance is a big reason why your roof will last a long time, and if you don’t regularly (about twice yearly) check that your shingles are staying strong, you are doing a major disservice to your roof.

At the bottom of this article, you will see a link to a video explaining how to inspect your shingles. We would strongly recommend that you do this at least once, if not twice per year. If you are unsure of the proper steps to take when looking at your shingles, then I would call your local roofer, because they would absolutely know what to look for on your roof.

A simple shingle repair could save you thousands of dollars in the long run. Damaged shingles can lead to water damage coming from your roof. This normally deeps through the shingles into the plywood, and into the drywall holding up your ceiling. If this is happening in your home, you could be looking at a massive cost to repair, which could have been saved simply by inspecting your roof in the first place. Here’s an example of shingle damage:

Shingle damage

We fortunately know some great roofing companies that will take a look at this for you, and you will never have to worry about wondering if you are looking at a damaged shingle correctly. Centennial Best Roofers is one of those companies, and we can’t recommend them more.

Most of the time, asphalt shingles are going to hold up against hail or other storms, but that depends on the integrity of the shingle that you have bought, and how old the shingles are. Also, you have to be aware of who installed your roof. There are companies out there that don’t have good practices when it comes to installing roofs. We’re sure you’ve heard about these companies. Most of the time, they are referred to as ‘storm chasers’ ,and they invade your city after a hail storm, only to leave after they are done poorly repairing all the roofs, leaving no trace of themselves in the process.

We’ve seen to many consumers unfortunately being taken by these companies, and we are all about raising awareness against them for the purpose of shutting them down. There are so many great roofing companies that are in each city that all the bad ones should be exposed and driven out.

Have you had a bad experience with a roofing company that put up your roof poorly, and then didn’t honor their ‘warranty’, or said that you are now responsible for all the damages that the roof incurred, even though their shoddy work was the factor for damages in the first place? If so, we want to hear about it.

There are also many ways you can raise awareness about poor roofing companies in your location. Posting on Facebook, Yelp, and other social media outlets greatly increases the chances that a bad roofing company will be exposed.

Here’s the video about shingle inspection. This highlights the misuse of nail guns on roofs.

 

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Ensure your Roof is Insured for What you Claim it is.

What’s duller than insurance? With the exclusion of asphalt roofs, not a whole lot! But the last thing you want to have to deal with after a major incident is the bureaucratic nonsense and reams of paper that an insurance company are capable of producing for your (in)convenience. We’re gonna run you through some of the processes, tips, and expectations you should have when making an insurance claim for your roof.

Does your homeowner’s insurance policy cover you for damage to your roof? Are there any exclusions in your policy that you need to be aware of? Mostly everyone will know if they’re roof is covered by their policy, but not everyone is aware of what exclusions exist in their specific policy. Giving your insurance company a call is definitely the best way to find out, but sometimes gray areas do exist and that’s where disputes and headaches arise. We’ll tell you the sorts of things to expect when making a claim and how to get the whole process to run a little bit smoother.

Roofing Insurance

Many people have been shocked, and frankly outraged (with good reason) to find out that the insurance policy they originally took out no longer covers them for the same things they signed up for. As natural disasters increase, with climate change partly to blame, insurance underwriters are reassessing many of their “known” risks.

These companies have us pay for a presumed risk – the higher the risk, the more money we pay. However, as more claims are made for more damages than those same underwriters had originally modelled for, they begin looking for any extra dollar they can get to keep their companies in the green. But it’s a double edged sword – they charge more money and they exclude certain events in order to stay in business. This allows them to keep paying us our claims, but we, the consumer, can get stuck with a near useless and/or overly expensive policy! If these things were properly adjusted for in the first place there’d be no surprises… But them’s the breaks unfortunately.

Presuming you haven’t been caught out by a surprise adjustment to your policy and you did know what you were signing up for to begin with, most insurance policies will cover most cases of fire, flood, storms and sometimes malicious damages. The only person who can assess the damages to your roof is the insurance companies’ assessor. Depending on your policy you may or may not be able to choose your own contractor. You should rest assured that if your insurance company selects the roofing contractor for you, they are guaranteed to be fully qualified and capable of completing the work as required. If at any stage of the process you have any doubts regarding their ability or qualifications contact your insurance company ASAP. Regardless of who hired the contractor, never enter into an agreement with them directly, always go through the insurer for any expenses.

In most instances you will be able to choose your own contractor to complete the repairs to your roof. If this is the case, ensure that you choose somebody who you trust. A trustworthy professional will be able to explain the processes involved from start to finish, and you should feel confident that they know what they’re doing. You shouldn’t expect them to take you through every single step of their job (they’d never get anything done if they did!), but they should at least be able to describe the major steps and requirements of the job to be completed. After all, as the old saying goes, if they can talk the talk, they can walk the walk.

To keep the process running as smoothly as possible, document everything! And we do mean everything. Every conversation you have – keep a note of it, any letters you send or receive – keep copies! But one of the most important things to do is to take photos. Keep a solid record of any changes, damages and repairs your roof undergoes. This applies even when you don’t intend to make an insurance claim. The insurance company will not pay you without proof, and if there is any doubt, they’re unlikely to come through with the goods. Keep everything above board, keep your insurance policies up to date, and you should end up getting exactly what you paid for.

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The weather this past year in Colorado

Hail was in the forecast earlier this year…

Hail Stone on the roof at impact

The weather this past year made it very interesting for builders and exterior contractors in Colorado. Normally there is not the amount of work to go around for contractors like roofers, but since there was so much hail that fell during the late spring and early summer, there have been so many hail claims that builders, contractors, and roofers have been busy all the way through the summer with not too many days off. A lot of the contractors that we have spoken with, like Hill Country Handyman, based out of Fort Collins, have been working on exterior and interiors with only Sundays off, and sometimes they have been working Sundays.

Garrett Dean, owner of Hill Country Handyman, said ‘I can’t believe how busy it’s been, but that’s a good thing. We haven’t had to advertise much this year just because of referrals and people calling us left and right looking for bids. We just got finished with two roofs, and one basement refinish in the last week, and already have another roof to complete before the snow hits this week, and then two more basement finishes and a new kitchen to build. This has been a record year for us, and we don’t see it stopping anytime soon.’

We asked a couple of other owners, one at Premier Roofing, how they have had to deal with the onslaught of work coming at them this year. Scott, one of the owners at Premier, said that they hired an additional 20 staff to account for the workload. Most of those hires have been roof installers, but they have also had to hire more people to run their support team because of the amount of bids they have been asked to perform, and all the invoicing that has come with the busy year. Scott said that they hopefully wouldn’t have to lay anyone off after the busy year, so hopefully the work keeps coming over the winter, and there is not too much snow to inhibit workout outside. ‘Unfortunately, the roofing work can be seasonal, and we don’t have much that we can do about that. When the snow hits, sometimes it hits hard and we have to be ready for it. We try to keep our financials in line to keep people over the holidays and through the slow season, and sometimes offer sabbaticals for those that want them to avoid layoffs.’

In Colorado, the snow is suppose to hit this week, and most companies have prepared for that by gearing up their marketing efforts for the calendar 2016 year. With all the records that were hit this year, and the continued growth in Colorado housing, roofers are looking to have a lot of work coming their way for a while now. All of the companies that we spoke with recently in the fall said they are aiming to either add staff next year, or add to their product and service line. All the companies that simply specialize in Roofing Repair may go into roofing replacements, and add commercial work to the portfolio.

Here at the Colorado Valley Valley Services and Builders District, we want to hear from you about what you are doing at the end of 2015 to prepare for 2016. Hopefully you are gearing up for a big year and pushing your company forward by offering top quality roofing services to the Colorado customers!

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Building Services – Get the Right Contractor

Every once in a while, almost everyone may be in need of a building service, and when this happens, it’s better to call for a professional to do this for you. However, finding the right building contractor is not always easy, because not everyone is specialized in every type of construction. Some are specialized in building houses, while others are specialized only in building roofs, for example.

weston super mare buildersWhen you need something from such a contractor, there are plenty of things that you have to be careful about, especially because they perform a job that should pass the test of time.

Here is what you need to be careful about when you want to hire a building contractor.

The Company

When you’re in search of a professional builder, make sure you hire someone who has experience. This is because the right contractor can be hard to find, and he needs to have both experience and offer a quality performance.

Dorset_Builder_&_HandymanMake sure that you can find the location of the contractor, because if you find it online but you can’t find the location, this only means that it is a bogus company. A trusted building contractor will invite you over to their location and discuss the terms of the contract at their own headquarters.

Questions

After you have decided to visit some contractors, meet them and talk about the details of the job. This also means that it is a good opportunity to ask more details about their company – how long have they been on the market, if they know how to build what you need ( a roof, a house, a second structure to the existing one and so on). Don’t forget to ask about the license of the company, as they need to have credentials for this.

The Details

There are plenty of details that you need to discuss with the builder, so if you want to hire them, they will have to come with a plan of construction. The plan will have to contain all the details of the building. Usually, this is done by an architect, but today many of the photo-1building contractors have at least one architect in their team.
This way, you won’t have to make too many visits from one to another, as you will find both in the same location.

Ask for Estimation

The estimation is actually a kind of report, which contains everything that is of interest to you – the materials used, the time that the work will go on for, how much money will it cost you, who offers insurance and guarantees for the quality of the work, what happens in case one of the parties doesn’t respect the terms of the contract and so on.

Make sure you read that carefully, as this will be useful to you when you sign the contract.

The Contract

builderAs with any other contract, this is a legal document that obliges both you and the contractor. You will have to pay the price, while he will have to perform the work you have hired him for. However, before you sign the contract make sure you read it carefully. If you’re not sure about something, go ask a lawyer about different terms and different stipulations. This will be very useful, because if you sign something that you don’t agree with, you will be obliged to respect it.

If you see something that you don’t want to sign in the contract, all you have to do is ask the contractor to change the contract. However, make sure that your requests are within the limit of the law – this is why it is essential to ask the opinion of the lawyer before signing it.