Staying Ahead of Roof Repairs

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

Staying ahead of roofing repairs

Most people tend to treat the roof on their home in the same way most people treat the brakes on their car:  ignoring it until it is just about to fail, then rushing to make long overdue repairs.

To prevent much bigger problems down the road, it is important to stay ahead of roof repairs.

On average, roofs need repairs after 10 years. Even though the materials that were put on your roof are guaranteed for 25 or more years, the reality is that the average lifespan of a roof in America is typically 13 years, more or less depending on where you live. Oklahomans have the disadvantage of high winds and hail during the busy tornado seasons, which shortens the expected lifespan of a roof. If you are concerned that your roof may need repairs, here are a few common problems:
  • Shingles that are buckling, curling or blistering
  • Missing or broken shingles
  • Cracked seals around vent pipes
  • Moss growing on the roof
  • Leaks
If you see any of these problems, it is time to call Terrell’s roofing to have your roof checked out. We suggest to all of our clients that they have an annual roof inspection done.  Not only to check on the roofing material itself, but to also check the flashing and gutters, any skylights, vents and stacks—a complete “eyes on” inspection by a certified roofer. The key to a safe roof is frequent visual inspections of your roof from the ground and no less than one annual “on the roof” detailed inspection. These are the minimum requirements needed to stay ahead of costly roof repairs.  Let us know if Terrell’s roofing can help you today.  

Evaluating an Aging Roof

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

Evaluating an aging roof

There are many circumstances where you may not know the actual age of your roof. If you have recently bought a home and did not have the roof inspected, or you were told an estimated age, you may be suspicious that the roof may be older than you think.

Here are some easy ways to evaluate an aging roof:

1. Do a detailed, visual examination of the roof.  You can do this from the ground using binoculars to zoom in on potential trouble spots.  There four stages of deterioration that are typical in an asphalt shingle roof.  They are:
  • First, surface granules begin to wear away, leaving discolored or blotchy patches that are easy to see, particularly on light colored roofs. A dark roof will probably require a closer inspection, but you can also check by the downspouts to see if small piles of granules are collecting.  This slow loss of granules doesn’t cause leaks, but it does expose the asphalt to more direct sunlight, making the sections brittle and more likely to break off.
  • In the second stage the bare spots increase in number and are larger.  You will begin to see curling tabs.  There might not be leaks yet, but you’ll need extensive repair, and perhaps replacement soon.
  • When you reach stage three, you’ll see brittle tabs curl and crack, and will find chunks of shingles on the ground and in gutters.  At this point water can leak in through exposed nail heads.  Repair, while still possible, is really not advised.  There are just too many places for problems to occur.
  • Stage four is characterized by the majority of the singles curling and brittle, with many breaking off.  Replacement is the only solution.
2.  Also do an attic inspection.  Here are some things to be looking for:
  • Obviously any active dripping indicates trouble.  You may not see small leaks that gradually eat away plywood underlayment or the timbers in the roof structure.  Using a flashlight, carefully check the underside of the roof deck for wet spots and stains.
  • Condensation can confuse the issue.  A roof leak is almost always dry with dark rings around the edges, like a coffee stain on a tablecloth.  These rings are caused by traces of asphalt, a sure sign that the water came through the roof and not from interior condensation.
Spending a couple of hours doing these two inspections should give you a good idea of the age and condition of your roof, and help you determine if it might need repair or replacement.

8 Questions To Ask Your Roofing Contractor

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

 

8 questions to ask your roofing contractor OKC

If you are in the market for a new roof, it is important to know what to look for in a roofing company and what questions you should ask before hiring a roofing contractor. This will help protect you from fraud and additional charges for materials.

Here are eight questions to ask your roofing contractor before your hire them

1. Does the contractor have proper and adequate insurance? 

Ask for a copy of their insurance certificate prior to signing any agreement.  Never allow roofers to climb on your roof without proof of insurance beforehand.  If they happen to fall you could be held responsible for injuries.   Asking for proof of insurance shouldn’t be a problem at all because responsible roofing contractors will have both General Liability and Workers Compensation insurance as required by the state.  Terrell’s carries both.

2. Is the contractor properly licensed and bonded?

Any reputable contractor will be registered with the Oklahoma Secretary of State, and also have a current business license for our county.  Some jobs require a building permit and the contractor should be in a position to provide this when necessary.  For large residential and all commercial jobs, a performance bond is often required.  The contractor should be able to provide this information as well.

3. Does the contractor have a policy of conducting background and drug tests on its employees?

This is now becoming a standard in many cities before allowing a worker to go to a customer’s home.

4. Is the contractor asking for any deposits or money up front? 

If a contractor cannot afford to provide materials upfront, they are not likely to have the capital or credit cover warranty issues.  If you have already paid your contractor upfront in full, you have very little leverage for the job to be completed to your satisfaction. Plus, the “money up front” scam is very common in the roofing business.

5. Does the contractor have an office and is it local?

If your roofing contractor operates out of a pickup truck and only has a cell phone, you cannot guarantee that they will be reachable in the future should your roof have an issue. A local office in your area demonstrates stability and a commitment to the community.

6. Does the contractor have references that verify both their work and professionalism?

A reputable company will have an extensive list of past clients and allow you to contact them on your own.  They should also be able to provide you with job site addresses so that you can drive by and inspect their work independently. When talking with references, be sure to ask if there were any problems on the job and how the contractor helped resolve them.  Having an issue is not uncommon and even the best companies may encounter them, but it is important to recognize how a company handles difficulties and customer satisfaction. Did the customer feel they were well treated?  Would they recommend the contractor to family and friends?

7. Does the company have a website?  Where else can you find out about them?

The internet has made company research much easier. You can learn almost everything you need to know by doing simple research online like checking directories, customer reviews and closely reviewing the company’s website before making your decision.

8. What warranty on materials or workmanship is offered? 

All manufacturers of roofing materials offer a warranty on their products.  Can your contractor provide this for your review?  What additional warranties or guarantees are offered by the contractor?  This is indicative of the fact that the contractor has put fourth effort and expenses, to show customers they take pride in their work. Don’t take an unnecessary risk by choosing the wrong contractor.  Ask these eight questions of anyone you might consider working on your home. At Terrell’s we have more than 40 years of successfully working with Oklahoma City area homeowners.  Our warranty is for 30 years and we stand behind every job. Call us today for more information!    

Protecting Homeowners From Down Payment Scams

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

Protecting homeowners from down payment scams

As a respected roofer, we want to protect homeowners from the common “early down payment” scams. A common scam situation normally starts by contractors asking for a financial down payment before starting any work. For example, contractors will typically say they need the money to purchase the materials of pay labor, but then take the customers money and disappear.

This scam is often run where an insurance payment is involved.  The insurance company will often provide part of the funds initially, then wait for final bills to be submitted before paying the remainder of the claim.  The roofer asks for the initial insurance check, and gets the homeowner to sign it over. Many times these checks are made out to the homeowner and the mortgage company.  This makes you feel like you are protected, however we have seen instances where they will create an endorsement stamp so that the check can be deposited.  This is serious fraud, but it takes so long for the insurance check to work its way back to the company, or the homeowner to realize they’ve been taken advantage of, that the roofer is long gone with the money.

Key takeaway:

Of course the best way to protect yourself from this scam is to never give an advance deposit to the company, or wait until the supplies have been delivered and are on your roof before handing over the deposit. Be diligent when talking with any company offering to do a roof, or any other home improvements.

How to Avoid the Door to Door Roofing Sales

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

How to avoid the roofer door to door

Door to door roofing scams normally happen in neighborhoods with older homes and with a higher percentage of senior citizens. This scam has proven to be the most successful and the most pervasive when a homeowner greets a sales person who offers a free roof.  Not an inspection or service or anything like that—a free roof.

Here’s are some of the ways these door to door roofing sales work:

They first ask you to sign a release for them to go up and “inspect” your roof.  In many cases they will actually fabricate damage, tear off shingles, use a hammer and create “hail damage,” etc.  Sometimes they’ll show you a photo of roof damage from another home and tell you it’s yours.  The reason they create additional damage is to make certain that an insurance inspector will certify the new roof claim.

The insurance company is cheated, and the homeowner loses the remaining years they would have had on their roof. Another way the homeowner is victimized is that they wind up filing an insurance claim, which goes against the record of the home.  This could impact how their company resolves a legitimate claim later on, or even cause their company not to renew.

Key take aways:

You best protection against these salesmen is to never sign anything until your insurance company has done an inspection.  Do not let anyone up on your roof, even for a “free inspection.”  Some door to door sales can be legitimate however, as stated  elsewhere, check out the company before entering into an agreement.  Are they local, with a local office?  Can they provide local references for other jobs they’ve done?