Westchase Roofing Storm Season Roof Maintenance

Keeping Your Roof in Good Shape Throughout Storm Season

Storm season in Florida can be pretty unpredictable. While some storm seasons carry with them gale force winds, others are more of a breeze. However, we won’t be able to classify the season until it’s over, which means we all need to be prepared just in case. An often overlooked area during storm prep is the roof of one’s home.

That’s right, once your gorgeous asphalt roof is in place, it’s necessary to do some maintenance tasks to ensure it lasts and is ready to withstand a storm. Here are some tasks to complete to help you maintain your roof throughout storm season and hopefully lengthen its lifespan.

Check for Overhanging Branches

Palm fronds and other branches that reach across your roof could potentially damage your roof during a storm. Trimming back any foliage, especially dead or damaged branches, can help save you trouble later on. As well as stocking up on your essentials before a storm hits, take a moment to survey your home and take note of any problem trees that need attention. Trim that back or hire a tree service if necessary to remove large branches or dead trees.

Remove Debris

Fallen limbs, leaves, and other debris on your roof can damage your shingles. Storm winds can further abrade your roof by blowing the debris around. Sweeping debris off your roof can protect your roof and lengthen its lifespan. In addition, it provides you with an opportunity to inspect your roof for any damaged or loosened shingles that could be further damaged during a storm. Loosened shingles should be resecured and damaged shingles will need to be replaced. Keep an eye out for other types of damage like sagging spots or bald shingles that may indicate it’s time to get a new roof.

Clear Your Gutters

When gutters get clogged, water can get backed up and ruin your roof, causing it to leak or to experience water damage. Clogged gutters can also lead to water stains on your siding, cracked foundations, and more.

Gutters help you control the path rainwater takes to get off your roof. When they’re clogged, they’re of no use. Once you’ve removed any debris from your roof that could get stuck in your gutters, take a moment to inspect your gutters. If they have leaves or other debris stuck in them, carefully remove them. If you have an issue with your downspout, you may need to use your hose to force the clog out. (Doityourself.com has some more tips for this, though you can also call a gutter service.)

Your roof is an investment in your home. Maintaining your roof helps lengthen its lifespan and ensures that it is adequately protecting your home from the elements. Doing so regularly also provides you an opportunity to spot problems before it’s too late. Consider inspecting it regularly, like it at the start and end of storm season, to help make it part of your routine.

Need a New Roof?

If your roof has taken a beating and you believe you may need to replace it, call Westchase Roofing for a free quote. We offer numerous asphalt roofing choices to help homeowners select the shingles that help bring out the best in their homes.

As an Owens Corning Platinum Preferred Contractor, Westchase Roofing provides premium service to the Tampa area and additional warranties to help protect you and your home. We carry quality Owens Corning products to ensure every home gets the star treatment it deserves. We’re dedicated to helping Tampa homeowners make the right choice for their homes.

If you think you need a new roof, don’t delay, make an appointment today.

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Storm Damage | How-to Choose The ‘Right’ Roofing Contractor for Your Roof Repair or Replacement

It’s not uncommon for thunderstorms to happen in Tampa between the months of June and September. This is the time when the area is its most humid and experiences the a majority of its rainfall. In the aftermath, the damage can be both devastating and costly for homeowners. High winds can cause shingles to lift up or blow away or your vent pipes to corrode. This will leave your roof deck exposed and allow water can get into the interior of your roof.

When damage like this occurs, it may be hard to tell if your roof requires repair or replacement, this is where an experienced professional comes in very handy. They are able to assess the damage, necessary and provide you with all the details you need to make the right decisions about your required repairs. Before you call a professional, you should understand the characteristics of a great one. Here’s a checklist to help you hire the right one.

Choose The Right Person to Handle Roof Damage

Most homeowners don’t want to just hire anyone who calls themselves a roofer. They much prefer someone who is professional, seasoned, and who has the experience to get the job done right.

Below is a great checklist to help you get started:

  • Find a contractor with a physical address nearby, try using Google
  • Make sure your chosen professional has a business that is established
  • Check out customer testimonials and/or reviews left by other homeowners

Don’t call anyone just yet! You’ll want to read the next section first.

The Cost

Pricing the repair may be quite challenging, since you probably don’t  work in the industry. To get the most accurate quote here’s what you need to do:

  • Report the damage to your insurance company for damage and cost assessment
  • Avoid hiring a contractors that only do ‘work-on-the-side’ jobs, this can cost you more in the long run
  • Get multiple quotes, the lowest price doesn’t mean the job will be done right

Once you’ve contacted your insurance company, met with an adjuster, assessed the actual damage to your roof, and gathered a few quotes, it will be time to contact professionals to start asking the important questions you need to know.

Ask The Right Questions

Now that you have a few professionals picked out and a rough idea of the cost of the damage, you almost have all you need. Now it’s time to contact the companies you are considering hiring to book some home visits for your estimate. You need to be sure to ask the right questions, so we’ve prepared a checklist of most frequently asked questions below.

  • What type of roof repair/replacement do you specialize in?
  • Do you provide me with a written, itemized estimate for the repair of my roof?
  • Is your team experienced and properly licensed?
  • Is your company properly insured, just in case of any unexpected problems on the job?
  • What type of warranty do you offer and will you provide me with a certificate upon completion?
  • Do you offer a workmanship guarantee?
  • How long will my entire roofing project take from start to finish?
  • What type of roofing products do you use?
  • What type of roofing system will I require for my replacement and how much will it cost?

Be prepared when the next storm hits by utilizing this checklist to to hire your roofing expert. You can easily find the best company to perfectly suit your needs and your budget, so long as you are sure to ask the right questions. Don’t let it cost you more in the long run, get it done right the first time!

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How Hard Did that Storm Hit? Assessing Damage to Your Roof

Tampa is no stranger to heavy rains, thunderstorms or even the occasional hurricane. You want to be sure that your home is protected from the elements, and your roof is your first line of defense. If the roof fails, the rest of your home could me more susceptible to serious and expensive damage.

Protect yourself from more expensive problems by making sure your roof is in top condition after every major weather event. Use the safety tips and the checklists we’ve provided below to find out if your roof has serious problems that need to be repaired.

Safety First

Before checking for damage, keep these safety tips in mind

Wait for inclement weather to pass completely before performing an inspection
If you have lost power, watch carefully for downed power lines while inspecting
Do not attempt to climb onto the roof without a spotter

Home Interior Checklist

Even before you leave your home after a storm hits, you can check for any damage that might be visible from the inside. Perform a thorough check of all of the following…

  • Windows: sky-facing windows such as skylights are one of the most vulnerable areas in your home to water damage, and it can invite damage into the other parts of your roof. Check all around the edges of your skylights for evidence of water or water damage. Cracked glass can let in moisture as well.
  • Ceilings: When water escapes through your roof because of damage, it will typically pool around light fixtures and other places on your ceiling where weight is being applied. Check closely around lights, ceiling fans and other hanging items for any evidence that water is pooling above them.
  • Attic: If you have an accessible attic, this is where water damage is most easily visible. Make sure you closely check the interior insulation and padding (if accessible) for any water staining. Depending on the color and manufacture, water damage should show very clearly as dark streaks.

Home Exterior Checklist

  • Shingles: Shingles need to be properly in place to protect your roof. If any have been blown off, ripped or dislodged by the weather, they will need to be replaced before the roof can function properly. This is an immediate concern.
  • Vents: Numerous vents typically regulate and move air within your attic. If any of these are bent or crushed, your roof may not be getting the airflow it needs to deal with normal moisture. Mark any damaged vents so that they can be replaced.
  • Gutters: Gutters are another very important part of a functional roof. When doing your outdoor inspection, check around all sides of the home for downed downspouts and gutters that have been wrenched out of their seals. Repairing all broken gutters is important to maintaining the integrity of your roof.

Your First Steps

If you’ve spotted roof damage, you need to react quickly.

  1. Cover anywhere water can enter with a sturdy waterproof tarp
  2. Replace damaged vent covers and reapply sealant where it may be lacking
  3. Let a professional handle necessary roof repairs.
How to understand Roofing Warranties

How To Understand Roofing Warranties

Too often homeowners put off roof repairs because they think it will be too expensive. Unfortunately, this can lead to more damage and increase the cost of repair. Rather than delaying necessary repairs, consider looking into your warranty or insurance coverage to see if your roof is still covered.

What Does a Roofing Warranty Cover?

If you’re lucky, your roof was installed with a warranty. How To Understand Roofing Warranties: Some roofing shingle manufacturers offer warranties on their products, while some companies offer warranties on their labor.

At Westchase Roofing, we use Owens Corning asphalt shingles because we believe they’re the best. Plus, they offer a good value to our customers. Owens Corning works hard to innovate. They want to ensure their products remain top of the line. As part of their commitment to quality, they offer a warranty

Owens Corning warranties cover wind damage and algae resistance as well as material defects. Some warranties even cover workmanship. And because Westchase Roofing is an Owens Corning Platinum Preferred Contractor, we’re also able to offer longer warranties through Owens Corning. If you’d like to learn more about the warranties Owens Corning offers, we’d be happy to discuss them with you.

If you’re unsure about what your roofing warranty may cover, you may want to look over any documents you received when you first bought your house or when you last had your roof worked on.

Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Roofs?

If you’re wondering whether your homeowners insurance policy covers your roof, the short answer is yes*. Note the asterisk, however. Homeowners insurance covers particular types of damage to your roof, but it doesn’t cover roof damage caused by neglect or old age. If you’re curious about your particular policy, we advise you go over it with a fine-tooth comb and note what types of damages are covered and how they should be reported.

Generally, most homeowners insurance policies cover acts of nature that cause damage to a roof. In Florida, storms and wind are frequent causes of roof damage. Depending on the age of your roof, however, your insurance policy may only cover some of your repair expenses. Many policies will cover all roof repairs due to damage from an act of nature as long as the roof is under ten years old. Once it is a bit older, some policies depreciate the value of the roof and will only pay for a portion of the repair costs.

In addition, water damage isn’t covered by all policies, especially if it is caused by a leak that would’ve been avoided with preventable maintenance. Check your specific policy for more information or speak with your insurance agent—preferably, before there’s a problem.

Getting a Quote for Your Insurer

In order to determine how much damage has been done to your roof, it’s important to get a repair quote from a reputable Tampa roofing company. Neglecting a damaged roof can compound issues and make it more difficult for your roof to be repaired. At the first signs of damage or aging, call a Tampa roofing company and speak with a skilled representative so you can get the knowledge you need to make an informed choice.

Even if you discover your repairs are not covered under a warranty or insurance, it is still important to protect your home. An honest Tampa roofing company will let you know what needs to be done, how soon it needs to be done, and how much it will cost.

Your roof is an integral part of your biggest investment—your home. Make sure you’re covered and request a quote from a Tampa roofing company today.

How Clean Gutters Protect Your Roof

How Clean Gutters Protect Your Roof

Roof Maintenance: How Clean Gutters Protect Your Roof

The average asphalt shingle roof can last from 20-30 years if it’s well-maintained. And let’s be honest, a roof is an investment that you want to last. Along with biannual roof inspections, clean gutters can help you maintain and protect your roof and add years to its life.

What Do Gutters Have to do With My Roof?

It may come as a surprise that clogged gutters can have a negative effect not just on your foundation and landscaping, but on your roof, too. However, when water can’t drain properly, it may sit too long on your roof and damage your shingles or underlying roof structure. This can be costly to repair, especially if water leaks into the house and further damages your home.

When Should I Clean My Gutters?

Gutters should be cleaned twice yearly. Plan ahead to spend time in the early spring and fall cleaning your gutters and inspecting your roof. By proactively cleaning your gutters before hurricane season, you may be able to avoid water damage later on.

We know cleaning your gutters doesn’t sound glamorous—but it is smart. Cleaning your gutters regularly can save you money on future repairs and extend the life not only of your gutters, but of your foundation, siding, and roofing as well. That seems like a pretty smart move to us.

Gutter Cleaning Tips

If you’re uncomfortable with heights, save yourself the trouble and hire someone else to do the dirty work for you. If, on the other hand, you prefer to do things yourself and are prepared to climb a ladder, these tips can make the job a little easier.

  • Make sure you have everything you need before getting started. You’ll want to have a scooping implement like a small trowel, a tarp, and a ladder. Some sunglasses or other protective eyewear wouldn’t hurt either.
  • Wear protective clothing like a long sleeve shirt and gloves to keep your skin safe. You may encounter mold, dirt, shingle grit, debris, and insects (and possibly a bird’s nest) when cleaning your gutters. We’ve even seen small plants growing in gutters.
  • Ensure you have a stable ladder and that you’re comfortable standing on it. An extendable ladder with extra supports on the bottom is ideal.
  • Keep a tarp near the bottom of the ladder to dump the gunk from the gutter in. This way, you won’t mess with your lawn and you can periodically drag the tarp to reposition it, keeping all your gutter muck in one place.
  • Flush the gutters with your hose when done to be certain you removed everything. This will also help you determine if there are any leaks in your gutters.

Your roof is an investment. Ensure its longevity by regularly checking for issues and cleaning your gutters. Surveying your roof after major storms, as well as at the beginning of spring and fall, can help you spot any issues before they grow larger. Cleaning your gutters twice yearly can reduce your risk of water damage and help your roof last longer—seems like a pretty good deal to us.

If you’ve already noticed issues with your roof such as torn or damaged shingles, sagging, or leaks, consult with a qualified Corning Owens Platinum Preferred Contractor to evaluate the extent of damage.

Westchase Roofing has undergone specialized training in asphalt shingles to provide unparalleled customer service to homeowners in the Tampa area. We understand the unique needs of Florida homeowners and can help you choose the right roof for your needs. If you’re concerned about the state of your roof, don’t hesitate to call and request a quote.

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