Westchase Roofing Choosing a Roof Color

Tools & Tips for Choosing a Roof Color

Whether you’re building a new home or replacing an old roof, you will be tasked with choosing a roof color. But before you go and choose the same exact color you had before, consider the impact that roof color has on the rest of your home.

The right color can significantly increase your home’s value and can even improve your home’s energy efficiency. Not to mention, you (and your neighbors) will have to live with the color you choose for decades!

So before you make a hasty decision, check out these tools and tips for choosing a roof color you’re guaranteed to love.

Helpful Tools

The internet has revolutionized both interior and exterior design – it’s easier than ever to envision your dream home with the following tools.

1.  Create a Style Board

Style boards, also called mood boards, are a fun and simple way to visualize exterior home design. They are a collage of sorts, bringing together images that evoke a certain aesthetic or feeling.

Not sure where to start? You can make your own style board here using Owens Corning’s free style board creator. Simply choose a shingle color and exterior color, then drag and drop images into the template. These images could include a front door, exterior accents, and outdoor furniture you think would pair well with the new roof.

Besides being helpful, creating a style board using this tool and submitting your creation enters you in a contest to win some pretty cool prizes, like the chance to meet with Two Chicks and a Hammer and receive some free design tips from the pros!

2. Browse Pinterest

Contrary to popular belief, Pinterest isn’t just for moms and crafty college students – anyone can use the site to find unique exterior design ideas. Here, you’ll find hundreds of galleries full of photos and color palettes for every type of home, from farmhouses to beach houses.

A good place to start your Pinterest search is on the Owens Corning contest board, where you’ll find dozens of exterior design style boards. You could also start by typing “roofing colors” into the search bar and exploring on your own.

While not as design-focused as Pinterest, Instagram and Flickr are other popular online photography resources that are great for generating ideas.

3. Interactive Design Tools

You won’t know exactly how your new roof will look until it’s installed. However, you can get a pretty accurate idea of how things will turn out by using an interactive design tool like ColorView.

ColorView lets you upload a photo of your home and change the color of the roof, siding, and trim with a few simple clicks. After exploring color combinations on Pinterest and creating a style board, using an interactive design tool is a great last step to see how it would all come together before committing to anything.

4. Get Inspired the Old Fashioned Way

Not a fan of these tech-based solutions? Go for a walk or drive through your favorite neighborhood. Look at houses similar to yours and what colors they chose – you’ll quickly get a feel for what color schemes you’re drawn to and which ones aren’t up your alley.

Roofing Color Tips

No matter where you turn to for design inspiration, there are practical elements to choosing a roof color to consider as well.

The Current Color of Your House

It’s much easier to repaint your house than it is to change the color of your shingles, but you’ll save time and money by choosing a roof color that complements your current exterior.

That being said, if you absolutely can’t stand the current shade of your home’s exterior, this is a good time to go all out and change everything at once. It doesn’t matter which order the work is done, just make sure you don’t schedule the roofing contractors and painting contractors at the same time.

Climate

If you’re the type of person who is more concerned with function over form, you might choose a roof color based on the type of climate you live in.

Premium white shingles can reflect up to 35% of the sun’s rays, keeping your home cooler in the summer and helping you save on energy costs over time. Dark colored roofs have the opposite effect, absorbing sunlight to keep your home a bit toastier on cold winter days.

HOA Approval

If you live in a community governed by a homeowner’s association (HOA), you may need to get the new roof color approved by them first. You might be in love with a certain color, but if the HOA feels that it will lower the property values of the surrounding homes, you’ll have to come up with something else.

To save yourself a major headache, always check with the neighborhood HOA before you begin making any major changes to your home’s exterior. Also keep in mind that with most HOA’s, the approval process can take quite some time – anywhere from a few weeks to a few months.

Find a Roofing Contractor in Tampa, FL

Once you’ve decided on the perfect exterior design, it’s time to go to work. At Westchase Roofing in Tampa, FL, we are committed to staying up to date with the latest roofing techniques. When you choose us for your next roofing installation or replacement project, you are guaranteed a result that is both beautiful and protective.

We are proud to be one of fewer than 1% of roofing contractors with the honor of being an Owens Corning Platinum Preferred Contractor. More than just a title, it proves that we are a well-vetted and reliable roofing company with all of the proper licensing and insurance requirements.

To schedule a consultation for a roof replacement or new roof installation, contact us today!

Westchase Roofing Signs of Roof Damage after High Winds

Check for These Signs of Roof Damage After High Winds

Don’t make the mistake of assuming it takes a major storm with lightning and hail to damage your roof. Wind is actually the leading cost of home insurance claims, beating out hail and fire in terms of claim numbers but not cost. According to the Travelers Companies Inc., exterior wind damage was responsible for 25% of all home losses between 2009 and 2015.

Even a storm without hail or rain can cause extensive damage to your roof. High winds may create stress points that can weaken and compromise your roof over time. Wind may also tear off shingles and tiles. With the roof system compromised, you will face even more serious damage during the next rainfall.

Your roof can easily withstand moderate winds as long as it was installed properly. Still, it’s always a good idea to steps outside and inspect your roof carefully for signs of wind damage. Here’s what you should be looking for.

How High Wind Damages a Roof

Wind damages your roof in several ways. As the wind moves over the surface of the roof, it isn’t uniform. The perimeter and corners of your roof are subjected to higher wind pressures than the center of the roof. The National Roofing Contractors Association finds that wind damage usually begins on the edge of your roof.

Once wind weakens the edge, it causes the sealant strips on an asphalt roof to lose adhesion. Now partially unsealed, the shingles are at a greater risk of wind uplift.

Wind will catch and move under any loose areas on your roofing system. As the wind gets below the shingles or tiles, it pushes them up and gives the wind more to grab the next time it blows.

High winds also move debris that can find its way onto your roof. This includes large tree branches, shards of glass, and more that may damage your roof more than the wind.

How to Check Your Roof for Wind Damage

After strong winds, walk around the perimeter of your home and inspect your roof carefully. You should check your roof from the ground and from a ladder, as long as it’s safe to do so. Here are the signs you should look for.

Loose or Clogged Gutters

High winds can carry a lot of debris that ends up in your gutters. Clogged gutters can spell disaster for your roof and foundation. As water has nowhere left to go, it begins to spill over the sides of the gutter system, puddling at the ground by your foundation. It may also wick up the fascia boards and damage your roof deck over time. Strong winds can even knock your gutters loose.

Damage to your gutters may be fixable. Clogged gutters are certainly easy to clean out and even loose gutters can be reattached. Sometimes damage from debris is too extensive and your gutters should just be replaced.

Damage to Solar Tubes and Skylights

Skylights and solar tubes are even more susceptible to damage from wind, hail, and debris than your roof. Solar tubes and skylights may be damaged after strong winds if they are hit by debris like fallen tree limbs. You may notice cracks in a skylight from inside but you probably can’t tell a solar tube is damaged without viewing it from above.

Look for Debris

One of the most common causes of wind-related damage to your roof? Blowing debris, not the wind itself. Check for visible debris on your roof like glass shards, tree branches, trash, and metal. This debris may have damaged your roof by scratching or gouging the roofing materials.

Check for Damaged Shingles

Most asphalt shingles are rated to withstand 90mph winds but some can withstand up to 150mph winds. Still, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration finds that shingles can begin to suffer light structural damage beginning at wind speeds of just 50mph.

This damage may be visible in many ways. You may see shingles that are lifted or even broken. Upon close inspection, the shingles may be curling, have missing granules, or seem like they aren’t lying flat. It may be possible to spot loose nails as well.

Check for Missing Shingles

The most obvious sign of wind damage to your roof is, of course, shingles that have been blown off. You may only see one or two shingles missing or an entire area may be gone. A few missing shingles can usually be replaced. However, a roof shouldn’t be patched or repaired if shingles have gone missing from the valleys of the roof. The valleys are the most vulnerable area and susceptible to water damage. It’s always recommended to replace your roof once the valleys are damaged.

Look for Loose Vents and Ridge Caps

The ridge and hip caps along the roof seams as well as your roof vents can become stressed and damaged over time. Wind can cause the edges of vents and caps to lift and allow moisture to enter. These elements of your roof may even be blown off completely.

Check for Missing or Damaged Flashing

Roof flashing works like a sealer between your roof’s joints to keep out water. Flashing, which is usually made from galvanized sheet metal, is used at the base of your chimney, along the perimeter of the roof, in the valleys, and around openings like skylights and vents.

High winds can loosen your flashing or even tear it away completely. Look for signs that the flashing is compromised.

Not All Wind Damage Is Obvious

Unfortunately, you can’t always tell just by looking that your shingles are wind damaged or wind-lifted. Shingles that no longer have adequate adhesion are considered wind damaged and they pose a threat to your home because they no longer offer enough protection. These damaged shingles are at a high risk of blowing away and they can allow water to penetrate your roof deck. If you aren’t sure if your roof has been seriously damaged, it’s a good idea to have a professional inspect your roof.

Depending on the extent of the damage to your roof, repairs may be possible. Roof repair is only recommended if the damage is localized to a fairly small area. This may be the case if the damage is mostly caused by a falling tree limb, for example, rather than widespread damage to the valleys and edges of your roof.

Don’t ignore wind damage to your roof. After all, your home is only as strong and secure as your roof. After serious wind damage, roof replacement may be your best bet to restore your roof’s function and safety.

Think you may need to replace your roof? Contact the experts at Westchase Roofing for a free quote!

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!