Cold Weather Installations

Hey folks! Thank the Lord, we are coming upon the fall. I absolutely LOVE this time of year!! Changing of the leaves, football (Go UK!!), hunting, cooler weather... I love it all! With cooler weather coming, it's a good time to talk about cold weather installations. There are some differing opinions on whether a roof can be installed in freezing weather or not. I'm going to tell you right now, if a contractor agrees to install your roof when the temperatures are below freezing, he is more concerned with your money than he is giving you a quality roof. There are exceptions to every rule and matters/needs that sometimes can't be helped, but as a general rule, I'm very hesitant to put on a new roof if the weather is below freezing.

Now, in Louisville, we've seen some pretty harsh winters. Most of the time, we will get snow. We also have seen some milder winters, that didn't have much or any snow. With that being said, I like for it to be about 40 degrees or above outside to install a new roof. The shingles need to seal, and in order to do so they need to reach about 70 degrees. Now that doesn't mean it needs to be 70 degrees outside, they will warm by the heat of the sun.

I love putting roofs on in the spring because there is plenty of warmth and sunshine. Unfortunately, roofs don't decide to fail on us only in the Spring time. They tend to have minds of their own, so whenever there is damage, leaks, or anything causing the failure, we have to replace the roof. If it's freezing outside and there is not a desperate situation, I will just wait for the weather to warm up enough to get the job done. Freezing temperatures can often times cause the roof to not set properly, can cause shingles to fly off prematurely, and ultimately, cause the roof to fail way before it should.

Now, all that being said, there are certain techniques and procedures we follow in colder weather (and freezing temps if need be) in order to produce the best quality of roof possible. If your roofing need absolutely cannot wait, we will get the job done.

All in all, when we have the choice... warmer is better when it comes to installing a roof!

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Standing algae growth

Have you ever noticed black/green streaks down a roof? Maybe they're on your own roof and you've never given much thought about it, other than it having a pretty bad appearance. Well those streaks you see are actually algae growth. This algae thrives in humid climates, and it is airborne. Yes, it sounds pretty disgusting. If a house in your neighborhood gets this growth, all the other houses are susceptible to it due to its' airborne nature. The algae spores are spread by the wind and are just looking for new hosts to attach to. Once one house is infested with it, the whole neighborhood can become overrun with this roof algae. It's definitely not a very sightly problem to have on your roof.

Now, there have been new shingles developed to combat this algae problem. If you live in a humid climate, you will definitely want to look into these new shingles. They use a Scotchgard system that blends 3M copper granules. These granules are manufactured into the shingles. These copper granules act as a natural biocide, which basically prevents any algae growth. Without this algae growth, you don't have to worry about the unsightly streaky appearance of your roof! There is actually a lifetime warranty against algae growth with some of the companies distributing these new shingles, which is amazing.

Personally, if I lived in a warm/moist/humid climate, and I knew there was a way to prevent algae growth on my roof, I would do it in a heartbeat. Not only do I not like the appearance of algae on a roof, I'm weary about the side effects of this algae growth. Over time, roof algae can eat through your shingles and into your roof deck, causing rot. We all know that wood rot is never a good thing in a home, but specifically on the roof, it's REALLY not a good thing. When the wood rots, water can get in through the cracks and create the perfect environment for mold growth. I'm not even going to get into the dangers of mold in your home, I think everyone is very aware of how dangerous that is.

So all in all, if you have stains or streaks on your roof, get it checked out. Don't ignore it! If your roof needs to be replaced because of the damage, consider these algae resistant shingles so that you won't have to worry about it again!

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Haag Certified

If you're like most, you're probably wondering what the title means. Haag is actually the last name of the man who founded the Haag Engineering. This company was established back in 1924 to basically examine why structures or components fail or do not function properly. Haag Engineering has a research and testing laboratory that has tackled the roofing industry. They assess the damage to a roof and determine where the damage came from (hail, improper installation, defects, etc.). Now, where does this come into play with contractors and roofing companies?? The expertise that Haag Engineering has acquired is the foundation of the Haag Certified Roof Inspection Program. Contractors have the privilege of going through this intense training program and learn the in-depth forensics behind roofing and roofing products. If the contractor completes the program and passes the test, he and his business is then Haag Certified.

Have I lost you yet? Yours truly (yes, that would be me), has gone through this training program, passed the test, and become Haag Certified, which I'm extremely excited about. I've increased my knowledge in more exact roof damage evaluations, more precise cost estimates, more accurate damage assessments in general, and much more! So basically, choosing a contractor with this certification is more insurance for you that he will do a great job with whatever task he is dealt. Another important point about being Haag certified is that the contractor is then recognized by all insurance companies. If there is ever a discrepancy about the cost of repair between the insurance company and contractor, the Haag certification always carries assessment validity.

Hopefully you've now come to the realization that Haag Certification is pretty crucial when it comes to picking a contractor. Even as a contractor myself, I love having the backing of Haag because they have already done the so much research and testing on the products I'm using, it gives me even more of a peace of mind in my line of work.

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Filing your claim

It's the weekend!! In honor of the weekend, I'm going to spice things up for you loyal blog readers. Instead of talking specifically about roofing, I want to touch on insurance claims! If you've ever had to deal with an insurance company on a claim you're filing, more than likely, it was probably a more grueling process than you were hoping for. Now for smaller claims, insurance companies are pretty easy to work with. When you get into the bigger claims, insurance companies don't tend to fork over the money as easily. Whenever I'm working with my customers, I also insist they have an advocate with them. That's part of my job! I work with the insurance company to get my clients what they deserve.

Before we even speak with the insurance company, you need to read through your coverage and find out exactly what is covered for you. If you need the shortcut, just go ahead and contact your insurance provider and they will be able to tell you. Different companies assess situations differently. For example, if your roof is 14 years old, they may give you the depreciation value of your roof (at the time of damage) versus a full roof replacement. You just have to find out your coverage.

Now here's a tip I would love for you to follow through with. Insurance companies work well with documentation. It obviously makes the claims process a little smoother. So my tip is for you to go outside this weekend and take "before" pictures of your roof and the exterior of your home. If you ever do any repair work to it, take pictures of that as well. When you have any damage, take the "after" photos. Submit these photos, as well as any quotes or invoices you receive, to your insurance company. This will help you immensely when you go to file your claim.

Now the last part was submitting any quotes, etc to your insurance company. This quote you should receive from a professional contractor, like myself. Most of the time, you will be able to choose whomever you would like. Your contractor will be very familiar with insurance companies and will be able to help you navigate your way through the claims process.

I hope this has opened your eyes to the insurance claims process, and helped you to see that it's not as daunting as some may think... just reach out to the professionals to lend you hand!

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Nails, nails, and more nails!

As if you ever even considered trying to do a roofing job yourself, let me just give you one good reason not to..... nails!! If you've ever done any kind of work around your house that required a nail, you quickly realize how many different types of nails there are to choose from! You can't choose one that's too long, or it will stick out too far. You can't choose one that's too short or it won't hold in what you're trying to secure. You can't use one too small or it won't do the job it's intended to. You get the point! Similarly, when working with roofing, you have to pick the right nail!

Now, you may think... easy peasy... how hard is it to pick the right nail to attach some stuff to a roof? Well friends, I've got news for you.... you do NOT want to pick the wrong nail to attach shingles and other material to your roof! There are lots of codes and exact measurements you must follow for the nails to be used in roofing. The nail should have a shank diameter of 12 gauge (.105") and a minimum head diameter of 3/8". One of, if not THE, most important jobs, which is to attach the shingles to the roof! The nail is the way the shingle is attached to the roof, so it has a pretty big job. Proper nailing is absolutely essential to good performance. Not only does the nail need to be the right size, but it also needs to be corrosion resistant.

As simple as a nail is, it comes in many different sizes and can do many different tasks. I think you've learned by now that roofing is actually much more technical than it appears. A person has to really know what he's doing when he steps off the ladder onto the roof to perform a certain task. Your roof is your home's first line of defense against adverse weather, and you want to know you are being protected to the best of its' abilities. Make sure you're doing your periodic upkeeps on your roof and your home. Winter will be here before we know it and no one wants to be stuck after a rain or ice storm with a leak due to an overlooked notch in the roof!

If you're not comfortable giving your roof a check, give us a call! As I always say anyways, leave your roof work to the professionals! It's not worth the risk.

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