curling shingles

Curling Shingles and Other Signs You Need an Urgent Roof Replacement

You know how essential it is to have a roof in good shape. Without a highly functioning roof, your whole home is in danger. You may have stepped outside and noticed curling shingles on the roof.

This is a sure sign that it’s time for a roof replacement. However, curling shingles aren’t the only sign that your roof needs some TLC. Your roof may be hiding even more serious problems from you.

It’s important to know all of these signs of a roof in need of replacement. Without this knowledge, you could end up with more damage and cost than necessary. Catching the problem in its earliest stages is the best way to save money and nip any problems in the bud!

That’s why it’s essential to have a professional come out and complete an inspection. Continue reading for some scary signs that it’s time to replace your roof!

Missing and Curling Shingles

If you’ve noticed some bald spots on your roof, this means that there are missing shingles. There are many harsh elements that your roof is exposed to daily. High sun exposure, rain, snow, and other natural elements eventually break down a roof’s materials.

Shingles will also begin to curl and finally break off when it’s time to replace your roof. Other than looking directly at the roof, another great way to tell if the shingles are damaged is to look inside your gutters for pieces.

Moss Growth

Some might love the idea of decorating a home with moss. This is a fine and beautiful feature for a home when it’s not found on the roof. If you notice that there is moss growing on your roof, it’s time to dig deeper.

A roof growing moss is usually a sign that there is trapped moisture. Over time, trapped moisture and moss growth will ruin your roof. It’s best to always keep moss off of the roof, but be sure to check for further issues.

Damaged Flashing

The flashing on a roof is used to keep out water and moisture from the joints. If the flashing on a roof is damaged, then your roof will experience major water damage. This flashing could be made from metal, tar, or roof cement.

Depending on when your house was built and the quality of your roof, you’ll have one of these flashing materials. Check your roof for missing or damaged flashing as this is a sure sign that your roof needs replacement.

Sagging is Apparent

If you can stand outside your home and look up to your roof and notice sagging, then this is a good sign that it’s time to replace it. It’s most common to find drooping at the lowest parts of a roof. Drooping or sagging is a sign of immediate roof replacement.

Also, take the time to look around for rotted boards and trapped moisture.

Attic Check

Not all roof problems are noticeable from the outside. This is especially true if you’re simply observing from the sidewalk in front of your home. Another way to do a roof check is to head into the attic.

Make your way up into the attic and search for any light that’s seeping in or soggy air vents. The light coming through the ceiling in the attic means that there is damage to your roof. You’ll also want to be sure to bring a flashlight with you.

Use the flashlight to look for signs of staining or water streaks on the walls. This will let you know that water has made its way past the roof and into your home. But being aware of seeping light and stained walls aren’t the only things that’ll signal a damaged roof.

Finding any pest inside the attic is a sure sign that there is an opening within the roof. Birds, squirrels, rats, and other unwanted guests will find their way through a damaged roof and make themselves at home.

Discolored Ceilings and/or Walls

Although going into the attic is the best way to look for damaged roof signs without going outdoors, you can also see if there is damage by examining the walls inside your home. Discolored ceilings and/or walls could mean some serious water damage.

Listen closely for dripping noises as well.

Dark Streaks

Dark streaks on the roof are caused by airborne algae. This algae growth may not cause much damage to your roof’s materials such as the shingles, but if it’s not taken care of other growths may start to rise. It’s ideal to keep up proper roof maintenance to ensure that there is no growth or moisture on top of it.

Ice Damming

If there are ridges of ice beginning to form on the edges of your roof, this may be a sign that there isn’t proper ventilation. Ice damming stops water and ice from exiting the roof. If water, snow, or ice is trapped on top of your roof, then it’ll suffer water damage.

If you’ve noticed that your roof has excessive ice damming along the edges, it might be time to do some further investigating and call in the professionals.

Your Roof is 20+ Years

When all’s said and done, the easiest way to tell if it’s time to replace your roof is when it’s more than 20 years old. A standard asphalt roof lasts around 20 years. If your roof is made of tiles or metal, then it’ll have a bit longer lifespan.

Even if your roof looks like it’s in okay condition, if it’s undergoing one of these issues listed above, then it’s time to replace it. Fixing a roof that is more than 20 years old might cost more money down the road. Have a professional come out and inspect your roof for the best solution.

In Need of Urgent Roof Replacement?

Are curling shingles and water leaks tormenting your roof? Are you in need of urgent roof replacement? Contact us today to set up an appointment to have a high-quality professional come out for an estimate!

Westchase Roofing Prevent Roofing Problems

What is the Best Way to Prevent Roofing Problems?

In the Gulf Coast region of Tampa, roofs are subjected to intense sun, strong winds, and heavy rain on a regular basis. These weather conditions all take a toll on your roof. Without proper maintenance and regular inspections, you may be in for an unpleasant surprise the next time it rains. The key to preventing roof issues is detecting problems as early as possible and making sure any work you have done is done well. Here’s what you should know about preventing potentially costly problems with your Tampa roof.

What Type of Roof Do You Have?

In the Tampa area, three types of roofing materials dominate the residential roof landscape: asphalt shingles, clay tiles, and concrete tiles. Each material has a different lifespan and responds differently to the elements. You will also need to watch for different warning signs of trouble depending on whether you have a tile or shingle roof.

Asphalt Shingles

Asphalt roofs are the most popular option across the United States, including the Gulf Coast area. Asphalt shingles are the most affordable roofing material and are typically rated to withstand winds up to 130 mph, but they are still susceptible to damage from wind, hail, sun, and fallen debris. The extreme heat in Florida tends to wear down asphalt shingles by causing the fiberglass to shed. When this happens, the shingles and roof become vulnerable to water damage.

We find that asphalt roofing is one of the best materials for the area. In fact, we only install asphalt roofing.

Clay Tiles

Clay tiles are a classic choice for the Florida coast, and they come in many styles or shapes including the popular Spanish style tile roof. Clay tile roofs offer an excellent lifespan of up to 50 years, and they work well in Florida because they withstand heat very well. Clay tiles do have vulnerabilities you should keep in mind. A clay roof can be vulnerable to rain, and the tiles need to be removed during a hurricane when winds will exceed 90 mph.

Concrete Tiles

Concrete tiles are more popular in Tampa than clay tiles because they’re more affordable and easier to customize in terms of appearance. Concrete tile roofs offer very good resistance to hurricane-strength winds because they are heavier than clay. In fact, a concrete tile roof can withstand all categories of rain and wind.

How to Prevent Issues With Your Roof

Now that you understand the unique vulnerabilities of your roof, you can take the steps necessary to prevent serious problems. Here are some important ways to protect your roof.

Schedule an Annual Inspection

Your roof may look fine from the ground, but pinhole leaks hidden from view can cause extensive water damage over time. Your roof may have other signs of damage that you can’t easily recognize like granule loss or asphalt shingles that have lost adhesion due to wind damage.

An annual roof inspection is an affordable and smart way to catch and address problems with your roof as early as possible. The best time to have your roof inspected in Florida is during the winter when hurricane season is over, temperatures are milder, and conditions are dry.

Take Action Quickly

When a visual or professional inspection of your roof turns up a problem, don’t delay in getting it fixed. Putting off a problem like cracked tiles, missing shingles, or a tiny leak will only lead to more significant damage as water infiltrates your roof deck and home. By delaying repairs by even a few weeks during the summer, you may transform a small problem that would cost a few hundred dollars into thousands of dollars’ worth of damage.

Don’t Ignore Mold and Algae

The humid, warm weather in the Tampa area offers the perfect environment for moss, mold, and algae to grow on your roof. Aside from being an eyesore, these dark spots on your roof absorb more heat and make your roof hotter which can damage your shingles and make the inside of your home uncomfortable. Algae and mold can also accelerate damage to asphalt shingles by eating away at the minerals.

Algae, mold, and moss shouldn’t be pressure-washed off your roof as this can cause extensive damage to the roofing materials. Instead, a solution of bleach and water can be sprayed on the roof to kill the algae and mold. To stop them from coming back, copper or zinc strips can be installed under the shingles closest to the peak of the roof. When it rains, metal molecules are washed over the surface of the roof to kill moss and algae.

Work with a Local Expert

While you certainly don’t want to pay more than you need to for roof repairs or replacement, price alone should never be your only consideration. A roofing company that seems to offer a bargain may be far from it: subpar work performed by unlicensed contractors who may not be using the right materials can cost you much more in the long run. Poor installation or repairs can make your roof more vulnerable to leaks, improper drainage, wind damage, and other problems.

Rather than focusing on price, first make sure the roofing company has the experience and expertise you need. It’s always a good idea to choose a local roofing company with extensive experience dealing with the unique weather conditions in the Tampa area because they will best recognize early signs of roof problems and know the appropriate steps to prevent further damage.

Always Check Roofing Credentials

For your protection, always verify the credentials of any roofing company or contractor your hire. Unfortunately, there are always those who are willing to take advantage of property owners—especially after a hurricane or major storm. An established roofing company should have plenty of customers who can testify to the company’s professionalism and quality of work. You can also check for complaints with the Better Business Bureau. Absolutely ask to see the company’s documentation and call to verify they are licensed to work in Florida and have workers’ compensation coverage.

Get a Guarantee

Be wary of fly-by-night roofing companies or companies that offer no guarantee as to the quality of their work. The last thing you want is to be left dealing with even worse roof damage or water damage in your home after paying for sub-par work. Make sure you receive some type of guarantee from the roofing company to make sure you have some recourse if there are problems.

Contact Your Tampa Roofing Experts

Concerned about possible problems with your roof? If you think it may be time for a replacement roof, contact Westchase Roofing for a quote on a quality Owens Corning asphalt shingle roof.

Westchase Roofing DIY Roof Replacement vs Professional Roofing Replacement

DIY Roof Replacement vs. Professional Roofing Replacement

You know it’s time to replace your roof. Your shingles are starting to curl, your gutters are filled with granules, and the new shingles need to go on before a major storm comes through.

This leaves you with a big decision: should you tackle replacing your own roof or hire the professionals? Here are some important points to consider before embarking on a DIY roof replacement.

DIY Roof Replacement

There are some cases in which DIY roof replacement is a good choice. Before attempting to replace your own roof, here’s what you should keep in mind.

How Much Experience Do You Have?

There are plenty of roofing repairs that are suitable for the typical do-it-yourselfer including fixing loose shingles, sealing a small leak, or replacing a shingle that’s blown off. Before tackling roof replacement, ask yourself honestly how much experience and comfort you really have with roofing.

Roofing isn’t just dangerous; there isn’t much room for error. Improper installation is a leading cause of premature roof failure, which may shave years off the life expectancy of your roof. Incorrect installation of the barrier or shingles—or failing to check the structural integrity of your roof deck before installation—can spell disaster the next time a storm blows through Tampa. Without the right experience and knowledge, you may be costing yourself more money in the long run by replacing the roof yourself.

Replacing the roof on your home isn’t something you should tackle if you don’t have experience roofing. Instead, your shed is a better place to start.

Don’t Overlook the Tear-Off

Roof replacement involves more than just installing new shingles; don’t forget the amount of work that goes into the tear-off. The removal of the old roof often accounts for a large amount of the labor paid towards a professional roof replacement for a reason: it’s time-consuming, labor intensive, and produces a lot of trash that needs to be recycled or thrown away.

After the old roofing material is removed, the roof deck needs to be carefully inspected for damage and repaired or replaced as needed. Unfortunately, this is an area homeowners frequently overlook when replacing their own roofs. Installing a new roof system on water-damaged plywood is like renovating your home but neglecting the damaged foundation.

Installing a new roof on existing shingles is possible, but it isn’t usually advised. While it costs less and avoids the tear-off, it adds weight to the roof and potentially hides serious defects in the roof structure. The new layer of shingles also won’t last as long as a brand new roof.

Roofing Is Dangerous

Along with the risks of improper installation and the intense work involved in the tear-off, there’s another important area of DIY roofing to consider: the danger. Roofing is one of the most dangerous jobs, even for professionals. Nearly 40% of all construction-related deaths involve falls, and more than one-third are falls from a roof. In the roofing industry, falls account for three-quarters of all deaths. Working on a roof requires care and proper safety equipment, including a safety harness system and roof jacks. If you don’t have these, you’re putting yourself at serious risk of a fall, making a DIY roof a dangerous proposition.

Professional Roof Replacement

It may be a good idea to try basic roof repairs on your own or even replacing your own roof with adequate experience, but hiring a licensed Tampa roofing contractor is generally the best and safest way to get a new asphalt shingle roof. Here’s why it’s worth it to hire the professionals.

Warranty Protection

When you install your own roof, the best warranty coverage you can expect is the one provided by the manufacturer. Unfortunately, shingle manufacturer warranties aren’t as comprehensive as you may think. They only cover defects in the material, and many manufacturers require that the shingles be installed by a licensed contractor. If you install your own roof, you may be throwing away this coverage.

When you hire a licensed roofing contractor, you will also benefit from a warranty from the roofing company. This warranty will cover workmanship which means you will be covered if you suffer damages due to improper installation.

Proper Installation Techniques

Your roof is one of your home’s biggest components, protecting your family and belongings from even the harshest elements. As your first line of defense against rain, hail, and wind, you want a roof that’s installed properly and that is ready to deliver 20 years or more of excellent service.

The best way to guarantee your roof is installed correctly is to hire a licensed roofer. A professional knows the best way to install your new roof system for years of worry-free use.

Common beginner roofing mistakes you can avoid by working with a professional include:

  • Incorrectly installed starter shingles. A starter section of shingles must be installed along your eaves or water can quickly invade the sheathing.
  • Improper valley flashing installation. Your valleys are the most vulnerable areas of your roof. If the metal flashing isn’t installed correctly, water will run under the shingles.
  • Improper nailing. Shingles need to be nailed down properly and in the correct place. Driving nails into or above the adhesive strip can allow water to penetrate under the shingles.
  • Incorrect amount of shingle exposure or overhang. Standard shingles should have a 5″ exposure. Too much exposure and the shingles will be blown off in high winds; too little exposure makes the shingles vulnerable to water. The edge of the shingles should also overhang the roof by 1-1.5″ or up to 3/4″ if you have drip edge flashing. If there is too little overhang, water will reach the fascia boards. Too much overhang makes the shingles vulnerable to wind.

Inspection of Your Roof System

During the tear-off and installation, a licensed roofing contractor will inspect your roof deck and all elements of your roof for signs of damage such as wood rot, water damage, leaks, or previous work that wasn’t done to code. Without experience and training, these problems may not be obvious when you replace your own roof.

Professional roof replacement ensures you get a safe roof that’s up to current building codes and free of potentially serious structural problems.

Don’t take risks with a DIY roof. It’s one of the largest investments you will make in your home and your first line of defense against water damage. By working Westchase Roofing, you are protecting yourself with quality and reliable installation and warranty protection with the peace of mind knowing your roof isn’t hiding hidden damage or mistakes that can come back to bite you later.

If you think you need a new roof—go to the experts. Contact Westchase Roofing for a free quote on a new asphalt roof today!

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.