Westchase Roofing Does Homeowners' Insurance Cover a New Roof

Does Homeowners’ Insurance Cover a New Roof?

No roof lasts forever. A typical asphalt roof’s lifespan is about 20 years, though thanks to roofing innovations like those at Owens Corning, asphalt roofing can last up to 50 years. Of course, there are plenty of reasons you may have to replace yours earlier than expected. Everything from storm damage to improper maintenance can cut a roof’s lifespan short.

When it comes to replacing your roof, you may wonder if your homeowners’ insurance policy will cover the cost. The short answer? As with many things, it depends. There are a number of different factors to consider when determining if your policy will cover the cost of installing a new roof. This post will help you better understand if your insurance will help when you need to replace yours.

When Does Homeowners’ Insurance Cover a New Roof?

Homeowners’ insurance policies often cover certain types of damage that may require you to install a new roof. You’re particularly likely to be covered if the damage was caused by an “Act of God/Nature.”

For instance, strong winds can remove enough shingles that you need to replace your roofing entirely instead of simply performing basic repairs. Such damage is typically covered by homeowners’ insurance. This is because your roof is exposed to the elements to a far greater degree than many other areas of your home. Insurance providers understand it can thus be difficult to protect a roof from Acts of God. Even responsible homeowners who stay on top of upkeep and take steps to reduce hazards can’t prevent a hail storm from destroying a roof without warning.

Insurance providers may also cover other forms of damage that, although not weather-related, are out of a homeowner’s control. These may include fires and/or vandalism.

That doesn’t mean every policy is the same, though. Insurance providers account for regional dangers when determining your rates. If you live in an area where wind, hail, or other potential causes of damage are relatively common, a homeowners’ insurance policy that covers such damage might cost you more than it would in another part of the country. In Florida, it’s important to check how storm damage is covered by your policy, especially damage caused by wind and rain.

Sudden Damage & Roof Replacement: What You Need to Know

Another factor insurance providers consider when deciding whether to cover a roof replacement is how long it has taken for roof damage to develop.

Perhaps you’ve decided to replace your roof due to massive water damage and/or leaks. Your policy may cover some of the costs if the leak developed as a result of a covered hazard, though it will likely need to be reported within a particular time frame.

The problem is roof leaks and water damage can also develop over long periods of time. An insurance provider will be less inclined to cover the cost of replacing your roof if you had opportunities to address the damage earlier and failed to do so. They may argue you could have made repairs before the damage became so substantial that you had to install an entirely new roof.

Other Exclusions to Keep in Mind

There are several other factors that may influence whether an insurance policy will cover roof replacement service. You can often find these exclusions in the fine print. This is yet another good reason to thoroughly review policies when considering homeowners’ insurance options.

Insurance providers have also been known to refuse the cost of replacing a roof if your new one is made from materials that require greater upkeep than asphalt shingles or more reliable materials. Examples of materials that may not be covered include slate and recycled shakes. Research this when preparing to replace your roof. You could save yourself a lot of money by choosing the right material.

The Importance of Replacing an Old Roof

If yours is 20 years old (or older), make a point of replacing it sooner rather than later. This is important even if you don’t notice substantial damage.

Your roof protects many other areas of your house. If it’s not in ideal condition, the rest of the home is also at risk of sustaining damage. For example, an older roof that’s beginning to deteriorate will likely allow more water into the home during rain. This could lead to problems such as water damage and mold growth in the long run.

Because of this, more and more insurance companies are beginning to require homeowners to replace older roofs (and undergo full inspections) in order to renew their policies. Providers are also reluctant to approve homeowners’ insurance policies for people buying houses with roofs that are more than 20 years old. Before they allow customers to buy policies, insurance companies ask that customers install new roofing first.

That’s why it’s important to replace your old roof regardless of whether your provider covers the new installation. Doing so may be key to renewing your overall policy.

Understanding Partial Coverage

It’s worth noting that insurance companies sometimes offer partial coverage for a roof replacement. Some policies only cover the cost of repairing a roof. For example, your insurance company may help if a storm blows away a few shingles that need to be replaced. However, if the damage is so widespread that it’s necessary to install an entirely new roof, your provider may only cover part of the cost. Make sure you understand how much they will (and won’t) cover when scheduling service.

That said, when it’s time to replace your roof, whether due to unexpected damage or simple old age, don’t delay. A roof that’s no longer in strong condition can’t protect your home from damage effectively. Wait too long to replace it, and you could wind up with additional forms of damage. That means you’ll also have additional bills as a result.

While you should absolutely check to see if your insurance policy will cover the cost of replacing your roof, you should also get in touch with Westchase Roofing as soon as you know it’s time to install a new one. For over a decade, we’ve helped homeowners by installing high-quality, reliable asphalt roofs. Let us help you pick the perfect roof.

Westchase Roofing Buying a House with Roof Damage

How to Handle Buying a House With Roof Damage

You’ve been searching for months, and it looks like you’ve finally found your dream home. The neighborhood is perfect, there’s a pool out back, and there’s even plenty of room for your growing family. There’s just one catch — a recent hurricane has blown shingles off of the roof. Is it buying a house with roof damage ok? What exactly are you be getting yourself into?

Is Buying a House with Roof Damage a Good Idea?

Roof damage is serious, but it doesn’t have to be an instant turn off for buyers, either. Here are some tips for buying a house with roof damage.

Assess the Damage and Get a Quote

Not all roof damage is the same, so the first step in your decision-making process should be to assess the severity of the situation. During the home inspection period, have a licensed roofing contractor do this for you so that they provide you with a quote for repair or replacement.

Minor Damage

If the damage is minor and there are just a few shingles missing, the repairs may only cost a few hundred dollars. In this case, the seller will either fix it or take the cost of repair off of the price of the house so that you can fix it yourself.

Hidden Damage

That being said, what looks like nothing more than a few missing shingles could actually be a far more costly problem underneath. Over time, a small leak can result in major water damage. Before you buy a home with roof damage, have a professional home inspector look for signs of structural damage, mold, and mildew on the interior.

If the only evidence of water damage is a few spots of discoloration on the ceiling, that’s usually an easy fix. But if the leak has been present for some time and the home’s structure is compromised, you’re better off putting your money elsewhere.

Severe Damage

If the damage is more severe — a large number of shingles are missing, the roof is rotten or caving in — then things get a bit more complicated. When the damage is so severe that the roof is past the point of repair and needs to be replaced completely, most buyers choose to walk away. While this is certainly an option, it isn’t the only option. If you’re able to negotiate with the seller, you might be able to get the replacement you need for a fair price.

Who Should Fix the Roof Damage?

You decide that you want to fix the roof and buy the home. Should you close the deal and fix it yourself, or have the seller take care of it beforehand?

Option #1: The Seller Fixes It

This is usually the most common option, especially if the repairs are relatively minor. They may choose to fix the problem before selling or subtract the cost of repairs from the selling price. However, the seller is not obligated to do this.

Option #2: Split the Cost

You don’t want to have to pay the full price of a new roof, and neither does the seller — that’s why it’s becoming more common to split the cost. If the seller refuses to fix the problem or reduce the price so that you can fix it yourself, you might be able to negotiate a 50/50 deal.

Option #3: The Buyer Fixes It

This last option gives you the most control but also costs you the most money if the damage is severe. If you plan on fixing the roof yourself, it’s recommended to get a second opinion from another roof inspector so that you can make your budget as accurate as possible.

Whatever you do, don’t let the seller fix the roof after you’ve closed the deal. At that point, their only goal is to save money. They’ll likely choose the cheapest roofing service available and leave you with a second-rate repair job. If you’ve already proceeded with the sale, try to negotiate the price down so that you can hire your own quality Tampa roofing contractor who will get the job done right.

Should You Buy a Home with an Old Roof?

Like homes with roof damage, homes with older roofs tend to scare away buyers. Should you buy a home with an aging roof, or will it be more trouble than it’s worth?

That depends. Exactly how old is it? The average lifespan of a roof varies by material. Twenty years may sound old, but a 20-year-old clay roof may still have 80 more good years in it. Under normal conditions, the average lifespan of each material is as follows:

  • Slate/Clay – 80 to 100 years
  • Metal – 40 to 80 years
  • Wood Shingles – 20 to 25 years
  • Asphalt Shingles (3-tab) – 20 to 30 years
  • Asphalt Shingles (Architectural) – 25 to 35 years
  • Asphalt Shingles (Luxury) – 30 to 50 years

A roof’s lifespan also depends on the quality of workmanship that goes into it. Extreme weather conditions like hurricanes or tornadoes may also shorten the lifespan.

If the roof is old but undamaged, you shouldn’t have to worry about replacing it just yet — as they say, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. At the same time, you don’t want to put off replacement until the last minute, especially if there are signs of significant wear and tear. It’s a good idea to start planning ahead for an eventual replacement.

Asphalt Shingle Roof Replacement in Tampa, FL

Don’t let roof damage stop you from buying your dream home. If the roof needs to be replaced, call our roofers in Tampa to install brand new asphalt shingles. Made from high-quality materials and expertly installed, you won’t have to deal with the stress of repairs for many years to come.

On the other hand, if you’re a seller struggling to sell your home, a beautiful new roof might be exactly what you need to attract buyers. Give Westchase Roofing Services a call today to request a quote for a roof replacement in Tampa.

Westchase Roofing Roof Leak

Top 8 Causes of Roof Leaks You Should Know About

Small roof leaks might not seem like a big deal, but it can lead to bigger (and more expensive) problems like mold, roof and ceiling damage, and even rotted framing. Finding the exact cause of a roof leak isn’t always easy, especially for an untrained eye. Keep this list of the 8 most common causes of roof leaks handy so that you can narrow down the culprits and patch up the problem before it gets out of hand.

Broken/Missing Shingles

One of the most common causes of roof leaks is broken or missing shingles. You might find shingles in your yard after a heavy storm or notice patches of discoloration on your roof where they’ve fallen off. Cracked shingles are trickier to spot, and may require a professional roof inspection.

How to Prevent This: Stay on top of roof maintenance. Replace any shingles that are missing or cracked before they can cause a leak.

Poor Attic Ventilation

If you notice that your ceiling starts to drip when the temperature changes, not when it rains, then your roof may not be damaged at all — the problem might be coming from your attic. Nestled right between the warm outside air and cool indoor temperatures, condensation can build up quickly in a poorly ventilated attic.

How to Prevent This: Make sure your attic is well-ventilated so that moist air can escape. It should also be well-insulated to prevent cool air from leaking in.

Walking On Your Roof Incorrectly

Your roof is more fragile than it looks. Stepping in the wrong place can break a brittle seal or damage asphalt shingles, both of which can leave your roof vulnerable to leaks.

How to Prevent This: If you can help it, don’t walk on your roof at all. If your son’s rocket toy gets stuck up there, try knocking it down with a long pole or stick before you try to walk over to it. If you need something fixed, call a professional roofer to come do it for you.

Debris

You really can’t miss a giant tree limb or patio chair on your roof, but debris damage isn’t always that obvious. Leaves, twigs, and pine needles that fall from nearby trees can also cause roof leaks by clogging your gutters and causing water to build up on your roof.

How to Prevent This: If you have tree branches hanging over your house, have them trimmed by a professional arborist. If you know that a major storm is on the way, move your outdoor furniture into the garage so that it can’t do any damage to your property.

Damaged Flashing

This is one of the hardest causes to spot, so if none of the other items on this list match your situation, you might be looking at damaged flashing.

Flashing, typically made from sheet metal, is used to create a watertight seal between your roof and your chimney, skylights, or any other fixtures. But if your flashing wasn’t properly installed or damaged by severe weather, that seal can break. Even the smallest opening can let in a great deal of water over time.

How to Prevent This: Have your roof inspected annually. If you replace your shingles, it’s a good idea to have your flashing replaced at the same time.

Improperly Installed Skylights

If the leak is coming from your skylight, there’s a good chance that it wasn’t properly installed. Especially if the leaking skylight is brand new, chances are it wasn’t fitted correctly or poor flashing techniques were used.

But before you climb up on the roof to look for damage, make sure that the problem isn’t actually condensation. If you have a skylight in your bathroom or kitchen, the steam from a hot shower or a boiling stove pot will condense and form water droplets when it reaches the cool glass of the skylight.

How to Prevent This: Make sure your skylights are installed by a professional roofing contractor. If condensation is the problem, make sure the room is well-ventilated and consider using a dehumidifier to reduce the amount of moisture in the air.

Severe Weather

When strong winds and heavy rain roll in, it can take a serious toll on your home. Not only can severe weather lead to many of the problems listed above (missing shingles, debris, and damaged flashing), but the storm itself can be a direct cause of roof leaks. The wind can lift your shingles just enough so that the rain can slip underneath and into your home.

How to Prevent This: You can’t stop mother nature, but you can prepare for her. Before storm season starts, have your roof inspected and repair any problems so that they aren’t made worse by bad weather.

Old Age

No roof lasts forever. Eventually, your roof will become old and worn. Most shingles will start to crack and curl at the edges after a few decades. If your old roof is leaking, it’s time to invest in a replacement.

How to Prevent This: There’s not much you can do to prolong the life of your roof aside from staying up to date on repairs. However, if you’re building a new home or replacing your current roof, you have the opportunity to significantly increase its lifespan by picking a durable roofing material from the start.

Long-Lasting Asphalt Shingle Roofs in Tampa, FL

By keeping up with maintenance tasks and being able to spot the source of roof leaks, you can extend the life of your roof and save money on major home repairs. But when it is time to say goodbye to your old roof, investing in a new asphalt shingle roof will provide your home with the protection it needs for many years to come.

The experienced technicians at Westchase Roofing in Tampa, FL, install your roof right the first time so that you don’t have to worry about fixing leaks and other problems. We install the best asphalt shingle roofing systems available and customize it to complement your home. Call us today to request a quote!

 

Westchase Roofing Signs of Storm Damage

Top 7 Signs of Storm Damage to Your Roof

Your roof is designed to protect your home from rain and wind, but even the best roof will be vulnerable to storm damage eventually. Especially in states like Florida with stormy summers and devastating hurricane seasons, it’s important to be able to spot signs of storm damage to your roof so that you can make repairs as quickly as possible.

When Should I Inspect My Roof for Storm Damage?

No one’s saying that you need to inspect your roof every time that it rains. However, it’s a good idea to check for damage after a hurricane, once before storm season starts in early June, and again after the storm season ends in late November. The sooner you fix minor problems, the less likely they are to become major issues later on.

Roof Safety

If you choose to inspect your roof yourself, you’ll need to take the proper safety precautions to reduce your risk of injury.

  • Never conduct a roof inspection alone.
  • Never walk on a wet roof.
  • Never leave a ladder unattended.
  • Keep at least 3 points of contact with the ladder at all times.
  • If the storm damage includes hazards like downed power lines, do not attempt to access the area.

Don’t walk on the roof at all if you can help it. Instead, stay on the ladder and inspect the shingles from there. Not only is walking up there dangerous, but you may also do unnecessary damage to your shingles.

Assessing the Damage

The next time you inspect your roof, look for these 7 signs of storm damage so that you can save money on repairs and protect your home.

1. Damaged/Missing Shingles 

High winds can cause your shingles to curl, crack, or fall off completely, creating gaps where water can get in and damage your home. The shingles on the edges and ridge lines of your roof are the most vulnerable to this type of damage, so these are the areas you’ll want to check first.

Wind can cause damage in other ways, too. Flying debris like tree branches and outdoor furniture can destroy shingles and put holes in your roof. However, not all shingle damage is this obvious. Something as small as a few loose nails in your shingles may lead to costly repairs down the road. This is why it’s a good idea to have your roof inspected professionally every few years.

2. Hail Damage

The sound of hail hitting your roof is hard to ignore, but the damage it causes can also be hard to spot. Hail damage can appear as round dimples in your shingles, or it can be as subtle as a few patches of missing granules. If shingles cracked by hail aren’t fixed, water can start to seep in through these small gaps.

3. Problems in the Attic

If you can’t climb up to your roof, the next best thing is to check your attic for signs of storm damage. Here, you’ll want to look for light shining through holes, water stains, and wet insulation.

Before you call a roofer, make sure that the water in your attic isn’t actually coming from your pipes. If that’s the case, you’ll want to call a plumber instead.

4. Water Damage on Walls & Ceilings 

Discoloration on your walls and ceilings is a common sign of water damage caused by a leaky roof. If you notice a musty smell in your home the first few days after a storm, this could be a sign that mold has developed as well.

While you may be tempted to treat any stains or mold right away, the best thing to do is treat the source of the leak first. If you try to remove a stain before you fix the roof, it will just come back and all of your work will be for nothing.

5. Leaky/Clogged Gutters

Another good way to check for roof problems without having to touch a ladder is to inspect your gutters. It only takes a quick look to identify leaks, dents, rust, and bending.

The next time it rains, observe your gutter to make sure it’s not clogged. A clogged gutter may seem like a minor inconvenience, but it can cause serious roof damage over time. After all, the purpose of a gutter is to direct water away from your roof – one clogged with debris after a storm can’t do that effectively. Water that’s left to sit on your roof will cause your shingles to sag, weaken, and crack.

6. Chimney Damage

Chimneys aren’t as common here in Florida as they are up north, but if you do have one, there are signs of damage you’ll want to check for after a major storm.

Start your inspection indoors by checking the moulding around your fireplace for water stains. Then, inspect the chimney itself. Can you see a gap between the chimney and the roof? This gap is allowing water to enter your home. To fix it, you’ll likely need to replace the flashing, which is what seals the joint.

7. High Energy Bills

If you don’t notice physical damage, you might notice the damage a roof problem does to your wallet. Cracks and holes in your roof can cause air to seep out, making your AC or heat work harder than it needs to. Fixing it can help lower your energy costs and keep your home more comfortable year round.

Protect Your Home with a Brand New Roof

Don’t want to be worrying about the condition of your roof every time lightning strikes? When repairs aren’t enough, you need a brand new roofing system installed by the skilled contractors at Westchase Roofing in Tampa, Florida.

The strong asphalt shingle roofing systems we install are guaranteed to protect your home from the unpredictable Florida weather for many years to come. And with a wide variety of shingle styles and colors available, your home is guaranteed to look great, too! Contact Westchase Roofing today to learn more about our installation and replacement services and to request a free quote.

Westchase Roofing Service Asphalt Shingles in Tampa

How to Enhance the Look of Your Home with Asphalt Shingles

If you’re looking to boost the value of your home, replacing your roof is a great way to do it. A new roof doesn’t just provide better protection from leaks and storm damage — it’s also an opportunity to enhance the beauty of your home. Asphalt shingles are one of the most aesthetically pleasing roofing options you can install. They’re also one of the most durable, so you’ll be able to enjoy them for many years to come. Here’s what you need to know about asphalt shingles in Tampa.

The Difference a New Roof Makes

The roof is often the first thing you notice about a house. When it looks good, it can make the entire house look good. The opposite is true, too. An old roof that’s in poor shape or a roof that’s just plain ugly can make your home unappealing, even if your lawn is perfectly manicured and your interior looks like something out of a magazine.

For home buyers, curb appeal is everything. A stylish new roof will make your home easier to sell and can provide a significant return on your investment.

Why Asphalt?

Asphalt shingles have come a long way in the last few decades. Higher quality materials and improved installation methods have extended their lifespan, and new design innovations have made a wider range of colors and styles available. Combining functionality, beauty, and affordability all in one, it’s easy to see why asphalt shingles are the most popular type of roofing.

Pick the Right Color

Compared with metal, clay, and slate, asphalt shingles have the greatest variety of color options. Choose carefully — your new shingles are an investment that you (and your neighbors) will have to live with for quite some time!

Here are some factors you’ll want to consider when deciding on the right color for your asphalt shingles:

  • Your Personality: For the most part, it’s a matter of personal taste. Are you the sleek and modern type that prefers a gray or black roof, or the cozy and rustic type who would rather have brown or red? You can get all of the expert style advice in the world, but if you don’t like it, you don’t like it.
  • Natural Light: Always test color samples in natural light before making a decision. That color you loved at the hardware store is going to look completely different in the afternoon sun.
  • Distance: The subtle details that you love about the shingle sample in your hand may not be visible from the street. Make sure you know how your new shingles will look from a distance.
  • Climate: Dark colors absorb heat, while light colors reflect it. In a hot climate like Florida, installing a lighter-colored roof can help improve your home’s energy efficiency.
  • Your Neighborhood: You want your home to be unique, but you don’t want it to stand out for the wrong reasons – it can make selling your house unnecessarily hard. Be mindful of the homes around you. You don’t have to match them exactly, but you do want to harmonize with them.

What Color Shingles Go Best With My House?

Of course, the most important factor you’ll need to consider is the color and style of your home’s exterior. If you aren’t sure where to begin, the following suggestions may help.

  • Red Brick: For red brick homes, dark shingle colors like black, dark brown, and gray tend to pair best.
  • White: If your home is white, we’ve got good news — any color you choose will look amazing! Your home is essentially a blank canvas. So whether you want to go monochrome with grey or black or add a pop of color, you really can’t go wrong.
  • Cream/Light Brown: Traditional grey, brown, or black shingles, are all safe options, but a light beige or cream house may also pair well with an exciting blue roof.
  • Brown/Wood: For brown homes, it’s best to stick with natural colors like grey, green, or a different shade of brown.

You’ll also want to consider any exterior accents your home may have, such as shutters, molding, or decorative brickwork. And remember, these are suggestions, not rules. Every home is unique. A light-colored roof can look fantastic with the right red brick exterior. Experiment, and compare as many samples as you can!

Select a Style for Asphalt Shingles in Tampa

In addition to color, you can also customize the style of your new asphalt shingles to get the look you’re after. There are three styles that you can choose from.

3-Tab Shingles

The most basic of the three style options, 3-tab asphalt shingles are flat and evenly spaced. Their uniform pattern doesn’t allow for much variety, but it is the most affordable style available.

Dimensional/Architectural/Laminate Shingles

By far the most popular shingle style, dimensional shingles are probably what you picture when you think of a shingled roof. They’re layered on top of each other to create a more organic textured appearance. Dimensional shingles don’t just look better – they perform better, too. Because they’re made up of multiple layers, they’re more robust and tend to come with longer warranties.

Luxury Shingles

As you might have guessed, luxury shingles are going to be on the more expensive side. But you get what you pay for – max durability and a greater variety of designs. Luxury asphalt shingles are often designed to mimic the appearance of costlier roofing materials like slate or cedar.

They’re made up of even more layers than dimensional shingles, so while they’re more protective, they’re also heavier. Make sure your home can handle it!

Professionally Installed Asphalt Shingles in Tampa

Picking out the perfect color and style of asphalt shingles to enhance your home’s look can be a challenge, but installing your new roof doesn’t have to be. With the professional installation services from Westchase Roofing Services in Tampa, Florida, you can have the best looking and longest lasting asphalt roof in the neighborhood. We’re an Owens Corning Platinum Preferred Contractor and work exclusively with Owens Corning asphalt shingles in Tampa. To learn more about our services or to request a free quote, fill out the quick contact form on our website. We look forward to working with you!