Tips for Safely Decorating Your Roof for the Holidays Westchase Roofing is thankful to be serving the Tampa area, helping homeowners with new roof installations year round. We hope you and your family had a wonderful Thanksgiving and are looking forward to the “winter” holidays. While we generally don’t have to worry about snow or ice damage to our roofs and homes, there’s another kind of seasonal damage that can harm the integrity of your roof—decorations. Every year, big box stores and hardware shops stock bigger and bigger decorations for homeowners to deck their homes with, from inflatables and projectors to a myriad of lighting options and figures. However you choose to decorate and spread some cheer, here are some tips for safely decorating your roof for the holidays. 5 Tips for Safely Decorating Your Roof Think Ahead Before climbing on the ladder, know what you’ll be hanging and where. Have your supplies ready and your lights untangled. Check for any broken bulbs or worn wires before stringing your lights. Never use lights that look damaged or have exposed wiring. You don’t want to create a fire hazard. Use the Right Equipment Ensure that any decorations you use are meant to be displayed outside. This includes extension cords, which should specifically state they can be used outside. Find a grounded outlet that you will be using to plug in your lights and check that it can handle the lights you want to use. If you live in an older home with older wiring, you may want to opt for simpler lights. No one wants to seek out the fuse box because the holiday lights have overwhelmed the circuit! If you’re planning on a large display, try to utilize different outlets. Get Help Having someone hold the ladder steady or pass you items as you need them is a big help. This can make the experience safer and limit your trips up and down the ladder. Be clear on what you need and the best way they can help you to save yourself some hassle. Take Your Time Being on a ladder means you need your balance. Take your time and don’t try to rush throwing up the lights. It’s not worth risking your safety! Wear appropriate shoes and don’t allow yourself to become distracted. Don’t Puncture Shingles Your shingles help protect your home from wind and moisture. Putting holes in them for the sake of holiday decorations is unwise. When considering how to place your decorations, look for unobtrusive methods that don’t put holes in your shingles or otherwise damage your roofing elements. That means you’ll need to skip the staple gun, hammer, or drill. One popular way to do this is to use clips that can attach to gutters or shingles. A roof anchor can help you install decoration on your roof, however, we recommend you minimize any wear on your roof and place large decorations like inflatables or plastic structures on the ground. If you want the look of lights covering your roof, consider a projector. There are different color lights and designs that can give the look of everything from red and green lights to falling snowflakes—all without damaging your shingles or putting your home at risk. With fewer sunlight hours, holiday lights truly brighten the season and bring joy. Make sure to follow these tips for safely decorating your roof for the holidays so that joy lasts. However you plan to decorate your home, we hope you enjoy the time spent doing it as well as the results. If, when up on that ladder, you find your roof isn’t in as good of condition as you though, don’t fret. Give Westchase Roofing a call for a free replacement quote. We can help you determine whether it’s time for a new roof and show you the latest asphalt shingle offerings from our roofing partner, Owens Corning. Visit our website to learn more. Westchase Roofing Tampa Tips for Safely Decorating Your Roof

Tips for Safely Decorating Your Roof for the Holidays

Tips for Safely Decorating Your Roof for the Holidays

Westchase Roofing is thankful to be serving the Tampa area, helping homeowners with new roof installations year round. We hope you and your family had a wonderful Thanksgiving and are looking forward to the “winter” holidays. While we generally don’t have to worry about snow or ice damage to our roofs and homes, there’s another kind of seasonal damage that can harm the integrity of your roof—decorations.

Every year, big box stores and hardware shops stock bigger and bigger decorations for homeowners to deck their homes with, from inflatables and projectors to a myriad of lighting options and figures. However you choose to decorate and spread some cheer, here are some tips for safely decorating your roof for the holidays.

5 Tips for Safely Decorating Your Roof

1. Think Ahead

Before climbing on the ladder, know what you’ll be hanging and where. Have your supplies ready and your lights untangled. Check for any broken bulbs or worn wires before stringing your lights. Never use lights that look damaged or have exposed wiring. You don’t want to create a fire hazard.

2. Use the Right Equipment

Ensure that any decorations you use are meant to be displayed outside. This includes extension cords, which should specifically state they can be used outside. Find a grounded outlet that you will be using to plug in your lights and check that it can handle the lights you want to use. If you live in an older home with older wiring, you may want to opt for simpler lights. No one wants to seek out the fuse box because the holiday lights have overwhelmed the circuit! If you’re planning on a large display, try to utilize different outlets.

3. Get Help

Having someone hold the ladder steady or pass you items as you need them is a big help. This can make the experience safer and limit your trips up and down the ladder. Be clear on what you need and the best way they can help you to save yourself some hassle.

4. Take Your Time

Being on a ladder means you need your balance. Take your time and don’t try to rush throwing up the lights. It’s not worth risking your safety! Wear appropriate shoes and don’t allow yourself to become distracted.

5. Don’t Puncture Shingles

Your shingles help protect your home from wind and moisture. Putting holes in them for the sake of holiday decorations is unwise. When considering how to place your decorations, look for unobtrusive methods that don’t put holes in your shingles or otherwise damage your roofing elements. That means you’ll need to skip the staple gun, hammer, or drill. One popular way to do this is to use clips that can attach to gutters or shingles. A roof anchor can help you install decoration on your roof, however, we recommend you minimize any wear on your roof and place large decorations like inflatables or plastic structures on the ground.

If you want the look of lights covering your roof, consider a projector. There are different color lights and designs that can give the look of everything from red and green lights to falling snowflakes—all without damaging your shingles or putting your home at risk.

With fewer sunlight hours, holiday lights truly brighten the season and bring joy. Make sure to follow these tips for safely decorating your roof for the holidays so that joy lasts. However you plan to decorate your home, we hope you enjoy the time spent doing it as well as the results.

If, when up on that ladder, you find your roof isn’t in as good of condition as you though, don’t fret. Give Westchase Roofing a call for a free replacement quote. We can help you determine whether it’s time for a new roof and show you the latest asphalt shingle offerings from our roofing partner, Owens Corning. Visit our website to learn more.

Westchase Roofing When Should I Replace My Roof Tampa

When Should I Replace My Roof?

While we’d all like our roofs to last forever, we aren’t quite there technology-wise. Until then, it’s important for homeowners to know when they should replace their roofs and what signs of damage to keep an eye on.

Consider the Age of Your Roof

One of the easiest ways to identify whether you may need a new roof is to verify the age of your existing roof. If you have a shingle roof, for example, and it is over 20 years old, you may want to schedule a quote so you can plan to have it replaced rather than waiting for more signs of damage to appear. Shingle roofs typically last between 20 to 30 years, though current innovations are extending their lifetimes.

Check the Attic

If your home has an attic, it should be your first stop when determining whether you need a new roof. Signs of damage may be more visible in the attic area than from the outside to an untrained eye. If you spy water damage or see sunlight, there’s a good chance you need a new roof, though smaller damage may just require repair.

If you spot water damage, continue to monitor the site for change to determine whether it is an active leak that requires repair.

Look For Shingle Damage

If your attic shows no signs of wear, check the roof itself. If your shingles look like the edges are curling up or like the centers are bubbling up, they should be replaced soon. Wear from the elements and age can cause shingles to curl, which may eventually lead to leaks if not dealt with.

Cracked shingles, often caused by wind damage, can also indicate the need for a new roof, especially when damage isn’t specific to one area but spread throughout the roof.

Once shingles are damaged, their ability to do their job is diminished. While one or two shingles can be replaced as necessary, when numerous shingles are damaged, it’s time to consider a roof replacement.

Check For Granule Debris

If your shingles are starting to look bald or if you are finding more and more granule debris, your roof may need to be replaced within the next few years. Granules help protect your home from the sun. With age, granules begin to separate from the shingles. Once this starts happening, it’s a good time to start planning ahead for a replacement roof.

Identifying Structural Issues

If your roof is bowed or looks like it is sagging, this may be an indication of a structural problem with your roof or home. At this point, it is imperative that you have a professional look at your roof to determine when it needs to be replaced.

Ultimately, the best way to determine whether you need a new roof is to consult with a qualified roof contractor.

Will Insurance Cover a New Roof?

When dealing with insurance, the most common answer to any question is “it depends.” A homeowner’s policy cover roof replacement on newer roofs damaged by hurricanes, tornadoes, and other weather phenomena or unpreventable issues (fire, vandalism). Those who have an older roof may find that insurance will only partially cover their replacement costs because their original roof has depreciated in value. If you are considering replacing your roof because of storm damage, it’s a good idea to read over your policy and speak to your insurance agent.

Westchase Roofing, an Owens Corning Platinum Preferred Contractor, is happy to provide a quote to individuals who believe they may need a new roof. Because we focus solely on roof replacement, we are adept at determining when homeowners should be considering a new roof. To learn more about our company and to schedule a quote, visit our website.

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.