January 2, 2015
How Much Snow Can a Roof Handle?
We’ve all seen the unbelievable pictures of the record-breaking snow that recently buried the Buffalo, NY area. While homeowners have been asked to stay in their homes and off the impassable roads, a new worry has surfaced – can their roof handle the pressure? Here’s some information you can share with your homeowners while they are stuck inside.
Signs that a roof may be at risk from bearing the weight of the heavy white stuff:
- Visible sagging
- Noises that sound like creaking or popping
- Leaking coming from the roof
Flat or low-pitched roofs are more vulnerable, but pitched roofs can still be at risk when the snow is very heavy.
When it’s safe to travel, contractors in the area or within driving distance have an opportunity to help homeowners repair an unsafe roof (see our article “The Benefits and Risks of Replacing a Roof in Winter”). In general, as much snow as possible should be raked off their roof, but leave a few inches to avoid damaging the shingles. Also, make sure the snow is thrown away from the building and be careful using metal tools around power lines. Contractors should advise homeowners to call their insurance company to see if they are covered in the event of a roof collapse.
Liza Barth (2014 November 14) How Much Snow Can a Roof Handle? Retrieved on December 10, 2014 from GAF.com
December 12, 2014
5 Tips for Holiday Decorating Without Damaging the Roof
It may be the most wonderful time of the year, but installing festive lights on a home can be a headache and potentially cause damage to your roof. Avoid the hassle and make decorating more enjoyable with these tips for contractors to share with their customers to avoid roof damage.
- Don’t let your shingles jingle. Never hang Christmas lights from your shingles. To properly put up lights, they need to be secured to something (that’s why it’s so easy to wrap them around trees). Making even the tiniest of holes in a shingle or roof component will let moisture or leaks in and potentially rot the roof. The best way to put up lights is with clips that hang from the gutter or eaves. Also, before you even climb up to work, untangle the strands and test them to make sure they all light up.
- Don’t let ‘er rip. We know you don’t want to be that house that leaves decorations up until summer, but don’t dissemble hastily either by pulling lights off the roof from the cord. This can cause damage to the gutter or potentially your shingle if you didn’t clip them correctly in the first place. Take the time to remove each clip individually. It’s cheaper than replacing gutters or shingles.
- Avoid the shock. Make sure decorations, including inflatable items, are away from power lines and plugged into a portable outdoor circuit. In addition, don’t overload the breaker, which can be a potential fire risk.
- Bring a buddy. Another person should be on hand to help secure the ladder, carry items, or to help in case of an injury or emergency.
- Call a pro. We know most people don’t have extra money lying around during the holiday season, but if you want elaborate decorations, are not comfortable on a ladder, or have areas that are hard to access, it’s best to leave it to a professional to install lights properly without risking damage to the roof—or yourself.
By sharing these tips you can help protect a homeowner’s biggest investment from damage and allow them to safely bask in the season’s glow.
5 Tips for Holiday Decorating Without Damaging the Roof. Retrieved on December 10, 2014 from GAF.com
November 21, 2014
How to Identify Hail Damage
You may think that just because you can’t see any signs of damage, or because your roof isn’t leaking, you don’t have damage. Remember, hail damage can be particularly difficult to identify and many homeowners discover major roofing damage years down the road, after it’s too late to file a storm damage claim with their insurance company. If you have any reason to suspect hail damage after a storm, you should have a full property damage inspection performed by a reputable contractor, right away.
Roof Hail Damage – Roofs are the most commonly damaged part of a home or business in hailstorms. A damaged shingle may allow water to seep through the roof causing additional damage to the roof deck, support structure, interior walls, or windows, and can cause leaking, staining on walls and flooding inside your home. Leaking roofs lead to costly damages and many insurance policies have strict time limits on submitting claims after hailstorms, so it’s in your best interest to act fast after hailstorms and start the repairs process, if necessary.
Asphalt Shingle Damage: On an asphalt roof, hail damage looks like a dark spot, or bruise, where the roofing granules have been knocked away (look in gutters for accumulation of granules). In some cases you may find holes, cracking, or missing shingles on roofs with hail damage. This can result in leaking and serious water damage, which can lead to mold formation and wood rot, which can compromise the structural integrity of your roof resulting in collapse. In severe wind storms, it is common for shingles or sections of the roof to be missing altogether.
Other Types of Shingle Damage: Shake (wood), metal, tile, and slate roof shingles can all suffer damage from hailstorms. Due to the materials, each type of shingle shows unique signs of damage from hail. If shingles are cracked, missing, torn or split at seams, you should definitely have a damage inspection performed. Similarly, if you notice leaking inside your home after a hailstorm, get an inspection right away.
More about Shingle Damage
Siding Damage often results from wind-driven hail. The three most common signs of damage to siding are cracking, chipping and holes. Read more about siding damage here.
Window Damage is similar to siding damage, but usually more obvious to identify. Wind-driven hail can strike windows and break the glass itself, or cause damage to the seals on windows. Read more about window damage here.
Exterior Appliances can also sustain damage in hailstorms. Denting and intake of excessive amounts of water often affect AC / HVAC units after severe hail. Read more about exterior appliance damage here.
How to Repair Hail Damage
Hail damage can be very difficult to detect and often occurs to roofs, siding and windows, all of which are difficult DIY repair projects that could void your homeowners insurance or manufacturer warranty, if not performed by a licensed contractor. Due to the risks associated with hail damage, it is recommended to cut to the chase and have a storm damage repair contractor inspect your damages right away.
Staff Writer (2014 November) How to Identify Hail Damage. Retrieved on November 17, 2014 from the National Storm Damage Center
April 25, 2014
Top 10 Factors affecting your roof
Even the most well-built, durable, high quality roof will only last for so longer before repairs or a replacement is required. While there are many factors that can lead up to this situation, including lack of regular maintenance, there are 10 factors that are considered the top culprits affecting your roof today. Learn how to identify each.
Sunlight is not just detrimental to the human skin. The UVA and UVB rays can also degrade and deconstruct roofing materials over time. Add in heat and in time shingles will begin to deteriorate.
Rain will affect a roof if it is not properly maintained by seeping into cracks and crevices and damaging the interior.
High wings are a major culprit in tearing off or damaging shingles. Even if shingles are not completely torn away, debris can collect beneath damaged shingles and in time degrade the quality of the roof.
Snow and Ice
As snow and ice accumulates during the winter season, the sheer weight can cause cave-ins. As well, ice and snow can block debris, which can then block gutters and drainage pipes, leading to the need for gutter cleaning and sometimes shingle replacement.
Condensation forms in humid conditions and can lead to wood rotting. The moisture really affects shingle wood and compromises its integrity.
Moss and algae
Trees and leaves
Trees and leaves can cause degradation of the roof’s integrity in more than one way. The weight of falling tree limbs or branches can damage or tear away shingles. Leaves and debris can also collect and build up, leading to dangerous blockages.
Missing or torn shingles will cause leaks in the roof and in time will cause adjacent shingles to also begin to tear away.
As shingles get older, moisture, the elements, and other causes can create weakened wood. Affected shingles may curl, tear, break, or even fall off.
“Flashing” is the sealant material used to ensure no cracks or fissures between the roof and ducts, vents, and other pipes can create leaking. As the flashing material ages, it degrades and pulls away from the roof, creating dangerous situations where moisture and debris can contact wiring, insulation, and interior spaces.