Preparing for Spring Storms in Oklahoma

Written by DAVID TERRELL on . Posted in Residential Roofing, Roofing Information Blog

10 things you can do to prep for spring storms

Every Oklahoman knows that among the green grass, flowers, and warmer weather, the spring storm season has officially begun. In an average year, Oklahoma experiences approximately 55 tornadoes. That being said, it is never too early in the spring to start preparing for storms.

Here are 10 things you can do today to prepare your family and home:

Download weather aware apps.

There are many weather apps available today. Download your favorite local news weather app for alerts. The Tornado by American Red Cross App is a great tool that shows tornado alerts, maps of Red Cross shelters, step by step instructions, and more.

Create your tornado emergency kit.

Be sure to include the following items in your emergency kit:
  • Emergency first aid kit
  • Battery powered radio
  • Extra batteries
  • Whistle
  • 72 hours’ worth of food & water
  • Blankets
  • Flash lights

Register your storm shelter.

It is important to register your shelter with your city. This provides information about your shelter that helps first responders in the case of an emergency. This information is passed along to police, fire, and emergency medical services in the case of severe weather.

Find the safest rooms in your home and practice your emergency plan.

Most Oklahomans’ already know where the safe areas in the home are, for example: interior closets, bathrooms and hallways away from windows and doors. However, it is just as important to practice your emergency plan with the family. Each member of the family needs to know what to do when the sirens start alarming. This is such an easy exercise that you can do to prevent stress and panic and keep everyone safe.

Know where your utility switches are to turn off gas, water and electricity.

If your home has encountered a significant amount of damage from a storm, you should shut off your utilities immediately. Include where to locate these utility switches and how to shut them off in your emergency plan.

Check your home and community for risks of flooding.

Last year, severe flooding took over parts of Oklahoma and Texas. Prepare for heavy rains by checking your local Flood Map. The FEMA Flood Map service is the official source for flood information and tools.

Create an inventory of your possessions for insurance purposes.

This is one of the more time consuming prep tasks, but will be very useful when making a claim after losses. Brian Harvey with Liberty Mutual Insurance says, “Something is better than nothing, and there are many tools you can use today to make this process much easier.  The best ways to document your possessions are with photos and videos. The Liberty Mutual Home Gallery App allows you to create a home inventory to catalog your belongings by room/or category. Keep things simple by taking wide shots of entire rooms, closets, your attic, garage, pantry etc.

Prepare for and prevent hail and rain damage.

Clearing debris from gutters, especially before heavy rains, can make a huge difference in balancing water runoff. Clean gutters and spouts allow runoff to flow freely away from the house.

Trim trees.

Proper pruning of tree limbs will help protect your home and property from damage. Keep limbs trimmed, especially ones that are close to structures, to prevent further damage during a storm. It may be worth hiring a professional to control tree limbs over your roof or power lines.

Repair and maintain your roof for upcoming storms.

Now is the time to assess the current state of your roof. Check for shingles that need to be repaired or replaced. Call Terrell’s Roofing for a roof assessment or make repairs yourself by using these 5 quick roof repair tips. Make your roof as strong as it can be now, to prepare for heavy winds and hail during the spring storm season.

Homeowners’ Guide to Replacing a Roof eBook

Written by DAVID TERRELL on . Posted in Residential Roofing

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5 Quick Roof Repair Tips

Written by DAVID TERRELL on . Posted in Residential Roofing, Roofing Information Blog

5 quick roof repair tips

With the frequent turbulent weather we have in Oklahoma, there are occasions where you should be able to fix minor leaks and broken shingles yourself. Here are some tips to help you do that, plus useful safety advice for when you get that ladder out.

1. Assessing a roof leak:

Some overhead leaks are due to minor problems — such as a single torn shingle or a small hole in flashing — that you can usually handle with a little DIY experience and some basic tools. But other situations call for a roofer’s expertise. If you can’t fix the problem quickly and completely, call a professional as soon as possible.  Water damage spreads quickly, even from a small leak. A licensed roofer is best when:
  • There are multiple leaks.
  • The leak is wicking across framing members or along walls, making it difficult for you to trace the source.
  • A repair you made is not holding.
  • The leak entails significant damage to roofing surface or flashed areas.
  • The roof surface, such as ceramic tile roof, is beyond your abilities.

 2. Shingle Repair:

Here’s your quick fix: Get a tube of roofing cement and a piece of aluminum flashing (available at home centers). Cut the flashing about 1 inch narrower than the ripped shingle and about 4 inches longer so that it extends under the tabs on either side. Use a flat pry bar to carefully loosen the damaged tab and the tabs to the left and right. Next, apply two or three thick beads of roofing cement to the surface beneath the shingle. Slip the flashing underneath and apply more roofing cement to the top of the flashing.  Press the tab down firmly to adhere the flashing to the roof.

3. A shingle switch:

Here’s your quick fix: A typical wood-shingle house is covered with thousands of individual shingles and, over time, it’s inevitable that a few will split or become damaged. To replace a single shingle, first use a chisel and hammer to split it into several narrow pieces, then yank them out with pliers. Slip a hacksaw blade under the shingle above and cut through the nails that held the old shingle in place. Next, use a utility knife to trim a new shingle to match the width of the space. Slide the shingle in place and tap it to within 1 inch of its final position. Drive in two galvanized cedar shingle nails at an upward angle, directly below the butt edge of the shingle above. Then use a wood block and hammer to tap the new shingle up into place. As the shingle slides in place, it’ll pull the nailheads up and behind the shingle above.

4. Chimney seep:

Here’s your quick fix: how to correct this:Install a galvanized (good), stainless (better) or copper (best) rain cap. These start at about $30 and are available at most home-repair and building-supply outlets. “Peeling chimney paint is almost always caused by water working its way from the inside out,” explains John Stauffer, technical director at the Paint Quality Institute. “A rain cap will keep the bulk of the water out of the flue.”

5. Staying Safe When on Your Roof:

Working on a roof is obviously dangerous. Here are some simple safety measures you should employ:
  • To minimize the possibility of a slip and to prevent damage to the roof, step on the roof as little as possible.
  • If you are going to do extensive work on the roof, buy or rent a roofer’s ladder with a bracket that bridges the ridge of the roof.
  • When on the roof, use a strong safety harness or belt secured by a lifeline attached to a stable fixture such as the base of a chimney.
  • Access the roof by way of a high-quality extension ladder secured to the house in at least two places.
  • Never work on a roof in icy conditions. Dark-colored shingles can hide ice patches.

If all of this seems like a little more than you want to handle on your own, please consider joining the Terrell’s Overhead Safety Club.  Our professional inspectors will “walk your roof” annually, following our 17 point safety inspection checklist.  We’ll give you a copy of the report, and of course schedule any necessary repair work.

Not only will you get peace of mind, but your feet will stay firmly planted on the ground.  Call me at 405-799-7700 to learn more.  

Homeowner Beware: The Fluctuating Bid

Written by DAVID TERRELL on . Posted in Residential Roofing, Roofing Information Blog

How to avoid fluctuating bids

Selecting the right bid:

Contractors know that homeowners don’t have a lot of experience dealing with a roof replacement, and given the high expense of the job to begin with, far too often they will jump at this lower bid.  Some contractors will offer homeowners a bid for a roof replacement that is significantly below the market price.  For example, if you were to ask four contractors for bids, three of them would be quite close to each other, and the last would be 25-30% lower. Homeowners feel like they are getting a great deal, however “unexpected” costs and “unforeseen” problems start to appear early in the job costing you more money.This could be a simple “increase in materials cost,” or finding damage that wasn’t visible when the contract was entered into.  In the most extreme cases the contractor will remove the old roof completely, and then threaten to leave the job if additional money isn’t paid.

Fluctuating material cost:

By the time the job is finally finished, not only is the cost significantly higher than the original bid, it can often exceed the range of the other original proposals.On the surface, it would seem that an increase in materials costs is a legitimate reason.  It is a fact that materials costs fluctuate all the time, but every reputable contractor gets written notices of these changes from the manufacturer several weeks in advance before those prices goes up. It is certainly possible that when the old roof material is torn off that there can be damage that was concealed during the bid process.  At Terrell’s we handle this in the same way any reputable home improvement contractor does.  In our agreement is a section that explains how we will address unforeseen damage, and the cost per square foot should we have to replace any damaged decking.  Everything is fully disclosed up front.

Key takeaway:

If one bid is substantially lower than the others, you should read the agreement carefully and ask a lot of questions before considering accepting it. Read our article, ” 8 questions to ask your roofing contractor before hiring them” to help you with the next steps.

How to Spot a Roofing Storm Chaser

Written by DAVID TERRELL on . Posted in Residential Roofing, Roofing Information Blog

How to spot a roofing storm chaser- Terrell's Roofing

The “roofing storm chaser” is one of the best known roofing scams known today. These roofers travel around the country following the paths of storms and look for homeowners in need of urgent roof repair.  In spite of how well publicized this strategy is, each year many people still fall victim.

Here is how to spot a roofing storm chaser:

Storm chasers pay close attention to the Weather Channel and look for specific areas that will be hit the hardest with high winds and hail. They travel to those locations and target neighborhoods that have been affected the most to offer their services, (most of the time offering a free inspection). If the storm hits a significant area, sometimes insurance companies become overwhelmed with claims and may allow for roof replacements without a full inspection by an adjuster.This creates the perfect situation for the chasers to capitalize on the urgency of the matter and offer inspections and repairs very quickly.   The homeowner is left with a “new” roof that is poorly installed and typically incomplete. The roofing company that was so eager to help is nowhere to be found.  Their work is generally good for just five to seven years, and then requires another replacement. This time without financial help from the insurance company.

Licenses and insurance:

Another issue with storm chasing roofers is that they almost never have a license to work in the area, and rarely hold insurance.  If they have an accident, the homeowner could find themselves in litigation with this unlicensed and uninsured contractor.

Tips from Terrell’s Roofing:

The best way to avoid the storm chaser scam is to do your own research by doing simple online research and local listing. You may also notice these little red flags:
  • Ask for a current workman’s compensation and liability insurance
  • Check the roofers license plate
  • You may also call the local building department.
  • Check the address of the company, look for a local address and not just a PO Box number.
  • Ask for local references.
Hopefully these tips will help you make the best decision with your roofing contractor selection this storm season. Terrell’s roofing is a member of the Better Business Bureau and has over 40 years of service. Call us today for your roofing needs.