Spring & Summer Care Tips to Keep Your Roof in Top Shape

As the weather becomes comfortably warmer, most homeowners start preparing their gardens, washing the grimy covers on their patio furniture, and cutting down the trees that didn’t make it through the winter snowstorms.  However, with warmer weather comes time for regular home maintenance as well. Taking care of your roof may not be a top priority on your spring/summer to-do list but ignoring your roof could cost you some repairs or a new roof entirely. After all, it serves as a barrier against hail, ice, snow, rain, and branches and debris. Unfortunately, it is not indestructible, and if you want it to serve its purpose for many years to come, you simply have to put a lot of time and effort into roofing maintenance.

 

Clean gutters and downspouts regularly

As spring rolls in, showers are not the only thing that will fall on your roof and into your gutters.  Clearing away anything that clogs your gutters, such as fallen leaves, twigs, bird droppings, and other debris is crucial to proper roof health. If these can clog up your gutters and cause water to pool on your roof, you could be facing severe water damage in a remarkably short time. The gutters and drains on your home serve a critical function to the safety of your home overall and right now is the perfect time to get up there and make sure they are cleaned out and in good condition. Keeping your gutters and drains in good shape is an investment in the safety and security of your home.

 

Check for roofing damage

In addition to cleaning the gutters and downspouts regularly, you should also make sure that there are no issues with your roof’s drainage system. If you notice that water pools on your roof or doesn’t drain away, you should get a professional to check it out. This way, you will be able to make sure that water doesn’t end up causing any damage to your roof. Typically, if your home has suffered any kind of damage over the previous winter, spring is when you will notice it. However, some types of roofing damage aren’t readily apparent until they have already caused enough damage for you to see it on the inside of your home. Because this is always a possibility, you will want to take the time before the summer hits and get on your roof to look for any signs of damage that might be hiding up there.

 

Inspect and repair broken shingles

If you notice a cracked or missing shingle, you should inspect the rest of the roof to ensure that the issue doesn’t lie with a damaged piece of wood or a leaky nail. Although most homeowners don’t worry about small cracks on their shingles, you must take them seriously. The more time passes, the bigger the crack becomes and the weaker the shingle becomes.

 

Get a roof inspection

Although most people don’t consider their roofs until something goes wrong with them, getting an inspection done is one of the most important things you can do to keep your roof in top shape. In addition to preventing any serious issues, a good inspection will also let you know what kind of maintenance your roof needs and how much time it has left before it starts leaking and breaking down completely. Assessing the state of your shingles or tiles, flashing, gutters, and protrusions is necessary for preserving the good health of your roof and, therefore, its performance and efficiency. Once these components start to wear down and deteriorate, the cost of needed repairs begins to snowball. If you notice cracks or loose materials on your roof during an inspection, make sure to contact a certified roofer so you can put a halt to the damage before spring rains or, worse, summer storms begin to fall.

 

Contact us for all your roofing needs

When it comes to roofing and exterior home solutions in Omaha, HomeWise Roofing & Exteriors is the name to trust. From roof maintenance to siding, windows, and doors, you can count on our team to deliver outstanding results. We are experts in the many available options, and we will help you choose the roof that is right for your home and budget. We will communicate with you to ensure that we give you all the options that fit your needs. No matter which kind of roof you choose, we guarantee that you will be satisfied with the product and our warranty.

Roof Warranties: What Do They Cover?

roof warranties

Are you ready for your roof to be replaced by an Omaha exterior expert but worried about how your investment will be protected in the future? You’re not alone. Customers tend to be concerned about their fallback options when they encounter a problem or leak with their roof. That’s what roof warranties are for! Roofing warranties can seem overwhelmingly complicated, which makes understanding all your coverage options even more important so you can make an informed decision about your roofing material and who installs it.

 

Contractor roof warranty vs. manufacturer roof warranty

This is pretty straight forward. One comes from the roofing company that installed the roof and the other comes from the manufacturer of the roofing material. Manufacturer warranties can vary and some cover only the material while others cover the entire system. Most manufacturer warranties also require the contractor to perform warranted repairs for the first few years after the installation. Contractor roofing warranties typically do not cover materials and only cover workmanship.

 

Material-only warranties vs. labor-only warranties vs. roof workmanship warranty vs. system warranty

A roofing material-only warranty usually has a lower cost than a full system warranty but only covers manufacturing defects and premature deterioration for the length of the warranty. This covers only the roof membrane and does not cover other accessories such as flashings, adhesives, metal edge, etc. This type of warranty would only cover the cost of materials to repair or offer a credit towards the purchase of a new membrane. These warranties in no way cover or include any labor coverage for installation errors. Material-only warranties also do not provide coverage for leak repair costs.

 

A labor-only warranty covers only the labor required to address roof defects and does not cover the costs of materials. These types of warranties are usually offered by the roof installer. This type of warranty is not a roof workmanship warranty and may not cover repairs for installation errors.

 

Roof workmanship warranties cover the costs associated with the actual installation errors or failures that may not be covered by labor-only warranties. Some system warranties do cover workmanship. If workmanship is not covered in your warranty, you may be able to get this coverage directly from the installer.

 

Full-system warranty will typically cover not only the material, but also manufacturer approved flashings, accessories, and metal work that is utilized in the original installation. These types of warranties will typically cover full cost. This includes labor for leak repairs within the warranty terms and conditions.

 

What does a typical roof warranty cover?

Although it depends on the type of warranty you receive, you may be surprised by what you are or aren’t covered for. It is important to know what typical roof warranties will cover before you purchase a new roof. Here are some typical things that will be covered or may require an extra fee:

 

Roof leak repair

Most full system roof warranties will cover labor and material costs for roof leak repairs as long as the circumstances of the cause of the leak fall under certain requirements. A typical roof warranty will not cover the cost of leak repair if the issue was caused by fire, lightning, high winds, hail, earthquakes, negligent acts, misuse, vandalism or loss of integrity of the structure.

 

High winds

Damage caused by high winds is another issue that can fall outside of the typical roof warranty coverage. Keep in mind that this upgrade will increase the cost of your warranty and may also require additional enhancements to the roof system such as increased fastening patterns. Those enhancements will also increase the total cost of your new roof system.

 

Hail damage

Another warranty add-on is hail coverage. Should your building be located in a hail-prone area you may want to consider a system design that will allow for this add-on to protect you from the cost of repairing a hail damaged roof. Of course, this may require enhancements that will increase the total cost of your new roof system.

 

Roof puncture

If your roof system has high foot traffic you may want to consider adding accidental puncture coverage. There is an extra charge for puncture coverage and you also may need to have a certain roof membrane thickness for your system to qualify for this upgrade.

 

What is typically not covered?

Ponding/standing water

The definition of ponding water is fuzzy, but at the end of the day what counts is what your roofing manufacturer deems “ponding water.” Most manufacturers define this as water that remains on the roof for a specified amount of time after rain has stopped. Warranties that exclude ponding water also exclude any issues caused by ponding water such as roof leaks or damage to the area in question.

 

Consequential damages

Most roof warranties do not cover any consequential or interior damages caused by roof leaks or defects such as carpets, walls, ceilings, equipment and merchandise, etc.

 

Circumstances beyond control

These are things such as high winds (sometimes extra wind coverage can be added), hail (same with hail, extra coverage can be added), tornadoes, floods, fires, etc. These items are typically not covered.

 

Existing moisture

If you or your roofing contractor is planning to install a new roof system over an existing roof system the manufacturer may require an infrared scan prior and after the roof installation to ensure there is no moisture trapped in the existing system. Existing moisture that affects a new roof system is not typically covered.

 

Improper roof repairs

Contractors using improper repair materials or improper repair methods may void the manufacturer warranty. The manufacturer will also not cover the costs to have those improper repairs fixed by an authorized applicator. It is also worth noting that there may be additional costs for you to have the manufacturer come out to inspect the newly repaired area(s) in order to reinstate the warranty.

 

Unauthorized alterations or repairs

Should you be planning to install a new rooftop unit, addition or alteration to a warranted roof system make sure you talk with the manufacturer before proceeding. For example if you have an HVAC company install a new unit on your warranted roof but neglect to have a manufacturer authorized roofer flash the unit in you may chance voiding your warranty.

 

Replacement

Unfortunately you will never find a roof warranty that will cover the replacement of your roof system. You might even get the material cost covered but never the labor to install a new roof.

 

There are many variables when it comes to what is covered under a typical roof warranty. Remember to ask questions of your Omaha roof expert, read the fine print and understand what you are buying and what your responsibilities are before you sign off on your next roofing project. It’s your right to understand what you are buying. Also remember that a roof warranty is only as good as the roof installation itself. HomeWise Roofing & Exteriors are experts in roof repairs and replacements. We will communicate with you to ensure that we are giving you all the options that fit your needs. No matter which kind of roof you choose, we guarantee that you will be satisfied with the product and our warranty.

Roofing Tips for the Fall: Every Homeowner Should Know

With the onset of the fall season, the harsh weather conditions of winter are right around the corner. This is an important time to focus on your roof maintenance (as well as full exterior fall maintenance) because it protects your home from the strong winds, rain, and falling leaves in autumn and the heavy winter ice and snow. If your roof is damaged and in need of repair, now is the time to get it taken care of. In order to ensure that your roof has the longest lifespan possible, check out these roof maintenance tips for fall.

 

Visual Inspection of Your Roof

The first step to roof maintenance is a visual inspection of your roofing particulars. This inspection should be done by professionals who can climb onto your roof and check for missing or damaged shingles, cracked flashing around chimneys and vents, debris, and signs of warping on the roof. Call the Omaha area roofing experts at HomeWise Roofing and Exteriors to check your roof for any visual deterioration this fall. Once the exterior inspection is completed, you need to check the interior of your home for any signs of paint peeling and mold build-up. You should also check your attic for mold and keep an eye open for insects breeding in your attic. Make sure your attic is well insulated and ventilated to protect your home from nature’s fury.

 

Trim Back Your Trees

As the leaves begin to fall around your home, you will see branches on your trees that are getting a little too close to your home. Overhanging trees can be a source of problems– they can damage the roof and cause shingles to crack and deteriorate. Trim those back now so they do not put your roof in later. If you can do this early on in the fall, you can also minimize the leaves that clog your guttering system.

 

Clean Your Gutters

Clean gutters ensure that water can flow properly off your roofline. Check for loose, broken, or detached gutters that could allow water into the house.  Keep your gutters clean from accumulated debris; Any gutters which are detached or broken need instant repair. Clogged gutters will splash water back onto the roof, which can lead to cracking, mold, and other damage later on. Clean out your gutters before the fall leaves start to rain down and keep an eye on them throughout the season.

 

Install Gutter Guards

Gutter guards are not only extremely affordable, but they will greatly reduce the amount of time you spend cleaning out your gutters. These simple caps go over your gutters to prevent leaves from falling inside. Water is still able to get through thanks to small holes in the caps, but large debris will simply dry up and blow away. You won’t have much cleaning to do at all after that.

 

Invest in Roof Repairs

If your roof inspector indicates that you need repair work on a certain part of your roof, make sure you take care of that now before it’s too late. Small problems in the fall can turn into huge problems in the winter, so it’s always best to enter the cold season with a strong, sturdy roof. If you maintain your roof properly throughout the year, you won’t have to worry about excessive repair costs. Our professionals have provided roof repair and maintenance services for all types of residential roofing, and we have the experience to identify any damage or potential issues.

 

As you get ready to handle another Nebraska winter, do not forget to follow these roof maintenance tips to ensure that your home will be protected from the winter weather.  If you need a professional Omaha roofing contractor, contact HomeWise Roofing and Exteriors.  We provide a range of residential roofing services, including roof inspection, maintenance, repair, and replacement for homes in the Omaha area.

Fall Maintenance Tips for Your Home’s Exterior

It’s that time of year again! We’re not talking about pumpkin spice or fuzzy socks, though. We’re talking about preparing your home to withstand the winter weather. Just as there is a list of tips to help you be safe this fall, there is also a list of maintenance tasks to get done before the temps drop. Tackling these fall home maintenance tasks can help ward off potential issues later in the season. Most of these maintenance tips are well within the average homeowner’s ability. But if you’d like to hire a professional Omaha contractor with great reviews, it can be well worth the expense. The professionals at HomeWise will ensure your home is prepared for the cooler months and prevent costly damage to your home.

 

Clean, or possibly replace, your gutters

You are used to your gutters working properly and draining thousands of gallons of water from your roof every year. If your gutters become clogged, you can end up with a damaged exterior and a flooded interior. They are also more prone to rust and corrosion. Before the leaves fly this fall, clean your gutters, then cover them with mesh gutter guards to keep debris from returning. If your gutters aren’t in good shape, call one of the best exterior contractors in Omaha, HomeWise, to schedule a replacement.

 

Inspect your roof

Ice, rain, snow, and wind combined with the rapidly changing weather of fall can wreak havoc on your roof. Finding the source may be time-consuming, but it is important to stop problems before they turn into disasters. Start by inspecting your roof from top to bottom, using binoculars if necessary. Check shingles for cracks and wind damage. Look for damage to metal flashing in valleys and around vents and chimneys. Scan the entire roof for missing, curled, or damaged shingles. Look in your gutters for large accumulations of granules, a sign that your roof is losing its coating, which can portend larger problems. Finally, make sure your gutters are flowing freely. Roof-mounted television antennas, even if they aren’t in use, may have guy wires holding them in place. Look for loose or missing guy wires. If you see some, and your antenna is no longer being used, consider having it removed altogether.

 

Check for drafts and seal air leaks

Heat loss through windows is responsible for 25-30 percent of heating energy use, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.  Weatherstripping is easily the most cost-effective way to rein in heating and cooling costs. This humble material also reduces drafts and keeps your home more comfortable year-round. Because weather stripping can deteriorate over time, it is important to inspect it periodically. If you suspect a problem with your weatherstripping, try closing a door or window on a strip of paper. If the paper slides easily, your weatherstripping isn’t properly sealing the opening. Alternatively, close the door or window and hold a lighted candle near the frame. If the flame flickers at any spot along the frame, you have an air leak.

 

In addition to inspecting weatherstripping, check for missing or damaged caulk around windows, doors, and entry points for electrical, cable, phone, and gas. Seal any gaps with a suitable caulk. If drafts around windows persist, consider getting your windows replaced. Glass with multiple panes, spacers, or filler gasses (such as argon or krypton) will likely solve these problems. A professional can swap out your problem windows with more efficient models that will increase your level of comfort while decreasing your heating bills.

 

Protect your faucets from freezing

Close any shut-off valves that serve outdoor faucets and open the outside faucet to drain the line. If you don’t have shut-off valves, and your faucets are not “freeze-proof”, you may benefit from faucet covers.  Drain and disconnect all garden hoses from outside spigots to prevent any water freezing. Not doing this can result in pipes bursting.

 

Preparing your home for the fall and winter months may be the last thing you want to do on a crisp fall day, but it is necessary to get your home in shape for the months to come. Call HomeWise Roofing & Exteriors to keep your home in peak condition all winter long.

Types of Roofing Shingles

Thinking about replacing your Omaha-area roof sometime soon? The Midwest is subject to some nasty weather conditions, so before you get too caught up in the style and design you want, you’ll need to look at what material suits your home best. As the roofing industry introduces new materials and products, it can be overwhelming making a choice both practically and personally. Here is a quick reference guide to four popular roofing shingles to help you pick the perfect roof for your home:

 

Asphalt

To say that asphalt shingles are popular is a huge understatement as over 75% of homes in the United States are covered with this type of shingles. Here’s why: They’re affordable, easy to install, come in a variety of colors, are surprisingly durable, and many brands carry warranties up to 40 years.

There are two basic kinds of asphalt shingles: organic-based shingles and fiberglass-reinforced shingles. Organic-based shingles are typically reinforced with wood or cellulose and are typically less expensive. Fiberglass-reinforced shingles are lighter in weight, last longer and are more resistant to fire. Asphalt shingles also come in two categories: three-tab shingles and architectural-style shingles. Standard three-tab shingles are basic and generic. Each shingle is a single layer thick and has two narrow slots, creating the three tabs. Architectural-style shingles consist of two strips laminated together. They are a dramatic improvement from three-tab shingles in terms of visual impact, but also in durability.

 

Composite

Composite shingles are growing in popularity for a number of reasons. They mimic the look of natural shingles such as wood or slate, but are made of polymer, rubber, or plastic. Composite shingles also come in a variety of colors and retain their color over their lifespan of 50+ years. These resilient shingles are rot-proof, weather-proof, fire-resistant and virtually indestructible. They also come with additional defenses like moss and UV protection.

The downside? Cost and installation. Composite shingles cost about three to four times more than asphalt shingles but provide more protection than asphalt or traditional natural materials like cedar. Installing composite shingles is similar to asphalt, but there are few roofers with experience installing this material. Lucky for you, the HomeWise Roofing and Exteriors team is experienced in installing composite shingles.

 

Slate

Although there are many materials that look like slate shingles, nothing compares to the real thing. Natural slate shingles have proven their durability since the 1600s. Slate is fireproof, hail-proof, and moisture resistant. Slate can withstand large volumes of snow, rain, and hail, making them a good choice for homeowners in the Midwest. And when installed properly, this type of roof can last over 100 years.

Although slate shingles have unbeatable durability, the catch is the cost. Slate roofs are expensive as slate itself is rare and must be delivered from a quarry. It is also difficult and timely to install as the material is extremely heavy.

 

Metal

Metal, like composite, has been growing in popularity in recent years. Its ability to reflect sunlight and resistance to rain, rot, wind, and fire make it an apt choice for homeowners in the Midwest. Metal roofing can even be installed over your existing shingles if they are in good condition to avoid costs associated with tearing down a roof for a fresh start.

Although metal roofing is lightweight, installation and repair can be more difficult than with other materials. Depending on the metal (typically made from aluminum, steel, copper, zinc or alloy), it could be prone to denting from hail and can be pretty noisy from rainfall. Although trendy, metal roofs are not the best material for cost or curb appeal.

 

Now that you’ve learned about different types of shingles, you can get a better understanding of what material is best suited for your home. At HomeWise Roofing and Exteriors, our team will communicate with you and ensure we give you all the options to fit your needs. No matter what you choose, we guarantee you will be satisfied with the product and our warranty. Ready to take the next steps in installing a new roof in Omaha? Reach out to our team today. We’d love to help.

What Are the Most Common Hazards to Your Roof by Season?

Summer is finally here; a season of vacations, days by the pool, and barbeques. With as many fun, relaxing things as there are to do in summer, the season also poses some hazards—especially to your roof. It’s certainly not the only season where roof damage can happen, though. Each season in the Midwest has its own set of hazards that homeowners need to be aware of so they can keep an eye on potential damage and reach out to an Omaha roofing company when they suspect their roof has been compromised. Here are the most common hazards by season.

hazards to your roof in summer

Summer

While the heat is ideal for all your outdoor summer plans, it’s not the best weather condition for your roof. The humidity that arrives with summer can cause fungus and algae to grow on your roof, which weakens it. The main reason these undesirable elements grow is due to poor ventilation. If you’re not sure if your roof is properly ventilated, contact an Omaha roofing company that can do an inspection.

In addition to algae and mold growth, the summer’s sun UV rays can cause your shingles to warp and crack, allowing water into the home and doing more damage. A reputable contractor can also make sure your roof is sound when he does an inspection.

hazards to your roof in spring

Spring

When spring arrives, the flowers begin to bloom and the grass becomes green again. This, however, is the result of moisture—one of the main culprits when it comes to roof damage (along with spring hail storms.) Excess rain and melting snow can play havoc with your roof, leading to leaks, damaged shingles, and a compromised roof—especially if the harsh winter months led to roof damage. Now is the one of the best times of the year to have a roof inspection performed by an Omaha roofing contractor. He or she can look for pools of water collecting on the roof, leaks inside your home, and damaged shingles. Even if you don’t think your roof sustained any damage during the winter, it’s still a good idea to have it looked at to make sure.

hazards to your roof in fall

Fall

Tis the season…for falling branches, leaves, and other debris that can clog up your gutter and damage your roof. A clog in your gutter can cause ice dams if the temps dip far enough in the fall months. Ice dams can ruin roofs and cause structural damage to other parts of your home, so it’s important to make sure your gutters are free of debris as the temperatures continue to drop. If any strong fall storms hit your area, you should also think about a roof inspection before winter hits.

hazards to your roof in winter

Winter

Freezing temperatures, ice, snow, and wind are the reasons why winter is usually the roughest season for your roof. Ice dams are one of the most common reasons for winter roof damage. These form when snow that has accumulated on your roof melts, collects in your gutter, then refreezes. The result is blocks of ice that can damage gutters and shingles and cause water to leak into your home. To prevent ice dams, proper insulation is key, as is making sure your gutters are clear of debris.

In the Midwest, no season can be considered “safe” for your home. There are hazards to look out for year-round, and the more you know about them, the better you’ll be at spotting red flags and getting an Omaha roofing contractor to look at your home as soon as possible. Prevention and early intervention are the keys to preventing a roofing emergency. Want to have your roof inspected? Contact HomeWise Roofing & Exteriors to get one scheduled.

Hail Damage and Your Roof

We get asked a lot of questions as roofing professionals. While some of the questions involve how to choose a roofing contractor or what they can expect from the roofing process, many of them are concerning storms and the damage they do to their homes. Of all the storms the Midwest experiences, hail storms are the worst when it comes to damage to your roof. Most hail storms occur in the months of May through September, though they can occur at any time during the year. That means that the storm season is upon us and it’s always a good idea for home owners to know how they can spot hail damage and what to do next. 

Knowing if You Have Hail Damage

Spotting hail damage on your roof has a lot to do with what type of roof you have. Damage to composition or asphalt shingles looks much different than damage to wood shingles. If you have asphalt shingles, you may notice that your shingles are losing granules and that the underlying materials are exposed. You may also notice that areas of your roof look polished or shiny or that parts of your roof are soft to the touch or spongy. Wood shingles may have splits in them or you may see splinters.

To really get a good idea of whether your roof has hail damage or not, you need to get on it—something we don’t recommend as it can be dangerous. If there was a heavy hail storm in your area and you believe your roof may have been impacted, it’s always best to call a professional like those at HomeWise Roofing and Exteriors. Our team can inspect your roof and determine if it needs repairs or replaced and answer any questions you have about the damage.

Determining the Severity of Your Hail Damage

Know you have hail damage but not sure how bad it is? You can sometimes tell how severe your hail damage is by paying attention to the hailstorm that caused it. The following factors will determine how much damage your roof has sustained:

  •         The size and density of the hail. How large and dense the hailstones are that strike your house is one of the  biggest factors when it comes to damage to your roof. A hail stone  can range anywhere in size from a pea to a softball. Stones with jagged corners and stones that are large are more likely to do damage to your home.
  •         The strength of the wind. The direction and strength of the wind involved in the hailstorm will determine how hard it strikes your roof. Obviously, the stronger the wind, the more damage your home will have.

 

There are a few other factors that can help you determine how much damage your roof has likely sustained after a hailstorm. They include:

 

  •         If there are any barriers. If you have barriers around your home such as fences, trees, other homes, or landscaping features, your home will be safer during a hailstorm and experience less damage.
  •         What your roof is made of. The quality and type of your roofing materials will affect how much wind and hail your roof can absorb before it becomes damaged. A hailstorm can easily crack tiles, ding metal roofing, and tear shingles. It can also create tears in vinyl coating. The better condition your roof is in and the higher quality of materials used, the less damage hail is likely to cause.  

 

Knowing what to look for during and after a hailstorm will give you a better idea of how much damage it has caused to your roof. However, the only way to know for sure is to have an inspection done by a qualified roofing contractor like the pros at HomeWise. Have more questions about your roof or exterior of your home? Give us a call. We’d enjoy talking with you more.

Frequently Asked Questions About Roofing

As roofing pros, the team at HomeWise Roofing always gets asked questions from homeowners in the Omaha area about their roofs and the roofing process. To help answer some of those questions, we’ve gathered together a few of the most common inquiries in this article. If you don’t see the question you’ve been wondering about, please feel free to reach out to one of our experienced roofing personnel. We would be happy to help you out!

How long will my roof last?

 

Have you just gotten a new roof or do you wonder if your current roof is coming to the end of its life? Most homeowners don’t understand exactly how much life expectancy they can get out of their roof. And while there is no “real” answer to this question as lifespan will vary depending on climate, type of roof, and frequency and severity of storms, the general answer is about 20 years.

When will my roof need to be replaced?

 

Again, this isn’t a question with just one easy answer. While most roofs last around 20 years as we explained in the last question, there are numerous factors that can contribute to the need for a roof replacement. For example, a roof that is only a year or two old could need replacement if a strong hailstorm hits and damages it. When we inspect roofs to determine if they need to be replaced, we look at the age of the roof as well as its condition. Does it have curling shingles? Are there leaking valleys or seams? Have shingles lost granulation or are there missing shingles? This will all contribute to our decision about whether you need a new roof.  

Why would I need my roof inspected?

 

Not sure why you would need a roof inspection if you’ve not experienced a recent storm or if you think your roof is in good shape? You’re not alone. The idea behind regular inspections is that you may not know your roof has been compromised if there aren’t obvious signs like leaks or visible damage. We suggest homeowners have their roofs inspected after severe storms and/or every year if the roof is reaching the end of its life. When we inspect a roof, our pros will check the overall condition of it and ensure that all necessary components are intact. If we determine there’s an issue, we can either fix it or replace the roof before more damage to the roof or the rest of your home occurs.

If my roof is leaking, does it mean it needs to be replaced?

 

A leak doesn’t automatically mean you need to replace your roof. When we inspect a roof that is leaking, we look at the location and size of the leak. In some cases, we will be able to repair the damage without having to put on a whole new roof. If you notice a leak, it’s important that you call a pro immediately to assess the damage. Small leaks that could have been easily repaired can quickly turn into major leaks that can damage your home or necessitate a full roof replacement.

What exactly is a valley and why does it leak?

 

A valley is the spot in a roof where the two slopes meet. This is a common area we always look at for leaks as debris can build up in the area and block the water flow from the roof. If water pools in this area, it can cause the roof to leak or rot. Want to keep your valleys from leaking? Keep debris like leaves and branches off your roof as much as possible.

Can I wash my roof?

 

If you want to keep your roof free of debris and looking its best, you’ve probably considered washing it with a pressure washer or bleach. Unfortunately, both of these methods can lead to damage to your roof as they can cause the mineral surface to release from the shingles. When this happens, the base of the shingles will be exposed to sunlight. This causes them to adhere poorly to the roof and become brittle. Think your roof needs a good cleaning? It’s always best to call in a pro.

What do discolored shingles mean?

 

Are your shingles no longer the color they were when they were installed? This usually means they’ve developed a buildup of mold, algae, or fungus. If you want these substances removed, call in a professional who is experienced in cleaning roofs safely and effectively.

Did we answer all your questions? If you have more, or if you have questions for us to determine if we are the right roofer for your project, please reach out! We’d love to talk more.

Best Questions to Ask a Potential Roofer

Is it time for a new roof on your home? One of the most important parts of this process is choosing the right contractor for your project. When you choose the right contractor, you increase your chances of the job being done right and also ensure that the process will be a smooth one. When deciding on a contractor, it’s usually a good idea to narrow down the list to two or three good potentials who are local and have excellent reputations, then interview each of them to make a final decision. Not sure what to ask in the interview? Here are some questions to get you started.

  1.   Who is the business owner?

If the company has been owned by the same person for many years or if the owner started the company, these are usually good signs. A red flag is a company that has changed hands multiple times in a short amount of time.

  1.   What experience and training do your crews have?

Keep in mind that it’s very rarely the owner of the company who will actually be performing the work. That’s why it’s important to ask what type of experience and training the crew who will be on your roof has.

  1.   What crew will actually be on my roof?

Once you found out the crew’s experience and training, find out if you can meet the people who will be on your roof. Are they employees of the company or are they subcontractors?

  1.   Can I see some recently completed jobs and talk with the owners of the homes?

The best way to get insight into the finished project delivered by contractors is to take a look at their past projects. Even better, see if you can talk to some of their past customers so you can ask about their experience with the contractor.

  1.   Does your company have all the licensing, certifications, insurance, and workers’ comp coverage needed?

Don’t assume that the contractor has all their bases covered. Feel free to ask them for proof of these items. It’s a red flag if they refuse to show you or get upset when you ask.

  1.   Is a building permit required for my roofing project?

If the answer is yes, you can then ask how they will get one (and how long it will take.)

  1.   When can you start?

Roofing contractors can get very busy, especially during peak seasons. If your project is an emergency (or you just want to get it done ASAP), finding out when the contractor’s next availability is could be a deciding factor.

  1.   How long will the project take?

It’s always a good idea to know how long your roofing project will take, but keep in mind that the shortest timeline is not always the best one.

  1.   Who is my point of contact for questions?

There’s nothing more frustrating than having questions with no one to ask them to. Having a single point of contact who will return your calls promptly is an important consideration when making your decision.

 

Still not sure which contractor to choose after asking these questions? Here are some additional questions that can help:

  •         Do you have a plan to protect my property from damage?
  •         How will the crew access my roof?
  •         How will you keep your workers safe?
  •         Are you tearing off my old roof? If so, how will those materials be disposed of?
  •         Will you have a porta-potty or dumpster on-site?
  •         How will the project be affected if there is bad weather?
  •         What are your planned working hours? Do you work on weekends?
  •         Will there be written warranties for workmanship and materials?
  •         How will my home’s gutters be protected during the project?
  •         What are some factors that will affect the contracted price? Will I be notified ahead of time if the price will increase?

One of the most important decisions you’ll make when you get a new roof is the contractor you choose to do the project. Asking the above questions will help you get a good idea of what it will be like to work with a contractor so you can make a solid decision. Want to talk to the HomeWise team about your project? Give us a call!

What You Need to Know About Your Roof if You are a First-Time Homeowner

first home

Have you achieved the goal of becoming a homeowner for the first time? If so, congratulations on achieving a major life milestone. Buying a home is not called “the American Dream” for nothing! Being a homeowner is something to be proud of, but it also comes with unique challenges that are sometimes surprising to those who are going through the process for the first time. If you have just bought your first home, here are some tips regarding your roof that you should keep in mind so you can keep your new house safe and secure.

 

Keep in Mind Your Roof Will Not Last Forever

Many first-time homeowners think that as long as the roof is relatively new when they buy their home, they’ll never have to worry about replacing it. However, it’s important to realize that no roof will last forever. The typical roof lasts around 20 years. That means that if the roof was ten years old when you bought the house, you’ll likely need to replace it in the next decade. This timeline could be shortened if your neighborhood experiences a strong hail or wind storm, you have an infestation of pests, or some other unplanned catastrophe occurs. Developing a strong relationship with a reputable contractor should be one of your top priorities when you buy your first home. Not only can they help you with routine repairs, but they can also be a trusted resource you can reach out to when you suspect your roof’s life is coming to an end.

 

You Need to Keep Up on Regular Maintenance

To make sure your roof lasts as long as possible, you need to be an active participant and keep up on routine maintenance. Add these items to your checklist and you can feel good knowing you’re doing your part to keep your roof performing at optimal levels:

  • Keep branches, leaves, and other loose debris off your roof.
  • Remove any moss or algae that forms on your shingles.
  • Get your roof professionally cleaned if there is moss or algae you cannot remove.
  • Keep your gutters clean and clog-free.
  • Keep an eye out for loose or damaged shingles. If you identify them, call your contractor to see if repairs are necessary.
  • Remove heavy snow after storms.

 

Paying Attention to It is Key

It’s easy to ignore your roof as a new homeowner. After all, you never had to worry about the roof when you lived in an apartment, with your parents, or in a rental. It’s also easy to ignore something that isn’t directly in your line of sight every day. To make sure you’re giving your roof the proper attention, make a point to look it over on a regular basis and after big storms. You don’t actually have to get on your roof to give it a proper visual inspection. Just get a ladder that’s tall enough to lean against the home and allows you to get a good view of it. Look for missing shingles, damage to the chimney or skylights, and any noticeable damage. You can also check to make sure your gutters are clear while you’re up there. In addition to looking at the exterior of your roof, check inside as well because stains on the ceiling, moss and algae, and bubbling paint can be signs of roof damage.

 

Schedule an Annual Inspection

Though you may not see any damage on your roof, there may still be problems that aren’t visible to you. An experienced Omaha contractor can often spot damage that you were not aware of. That’s why it’s important to schedule an annual inspection of your roof by a professional. A pro can spot small problems early before they become larger, more expensive issues. This not only prolongs the life of your roof, but also saves you money in the long run.

 

Choose a Reputable Omaha Contractor to Partner With

A roof inspector as well as anyone you choose to repair or replace your roof needs to be associated with a reliable Omaha contractor that has an excellent reputation and experience in the industry. When you form a partnership with a reputable contractor, you will always know you have a trustworthy source to go to for advice and repairs. Partnering with a professional contractor will give the new homeowners peace of mind that they have an expert who will stand behind their work on their side whenever they need help with their home.

Buying a new home is an exciting experience, but it can also be a stressful one. These tips on maintaining your roof will help you enjoy your new home and working with a professional contractor will give you the peace of mind you need to be a successful homeowner.