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.

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 What Goes Into a Roofing Quote

What Goes Into a Roofing Quote? What You Need to Know

We covered roofing quotes two years ago in a blog post, but we wanted to address what goes into a roofing quote again because it can often be confusing for homeowners. This time, we’ll go a little more in-depth in order to help you determine whether you’re getting a good quote and to answer more of your roofing quote related questions. And please, if you think of questions that we haven’t answered in this post, feel free to contact us for the answers.

When Should I Get a Roofing Quote?

If you’ve noticed that your roof isn’t looking its best—maybe it’s experience sagging, is missing shingles, has numerous “bald” shingles, or is dotted with torn shingles—it may be time to consider a new roof. A couple of torn or missing shingles may be remedied through a simple repair, however, when your roof is old, it’s often necessary to replace more than just the shingles. Depending on the age and the wear to your roof, you may need a new roofing system, new underlayment, or new shingles. The best way to determine this, of course, is to have a skilled roofing contractor out to look at your roof. (Please note, anyone that looks at your roof should be a licensed and insured roofing contractor. A general contractor is not a roofer.)

This is a great time to get a roofing quote so that you can make plans to protect your home and have a new roof installed if necessary.

If you live in an area where most of the houses were built around the same time and you see that many of your neighbors are having new roofs installed, it’s worth having your roof checked out too. Roofs do have a lifespan and this lifespan can be affected by adverse weather in addition to the wear and tear of time.

What Goes Into a Roofing Quote?

A roofing quote is an estimate that a skilled roofing contractor provides to help you understand the potential cost of a new roof. Such an estimate will provide the cost of supplies, labor, and permits.

Supplies

Your supply costs will vary depending on how much of your roof must be replaced, the size of your roof, and if your roof requires any special components (for example, because of particular angles). If you need an entirely new roof, your roofing quote should include lumber, underlayment, shingles, nails, and vents and eaves.

If your home doesn’t need new sheathing, primary supply costs will be plywood, underlayment, and shingles.

Lumber and plywood are not static costs and do change with time. Shingle costs will vary depending on which Owens Corning asphalt shingles you choose. Owens Corning features shingles in different styles and colors, and they do their best to offer homeowners high-quality products at different price points to ensure that there is something for everyone.

Labor

When considering labor costs, we take into account how many crewmembers will be working on your roof and how long it will take them to remove your old roof, install the new rood, and do any cleanup. Some contractors have cleanup as a separate cost, so be sure to inquire whether it’s included. Because we specialize in asphalt shingles and the Owens Corning Total Protection Roofing System, we are able to more accurately assess our labor costs than companies that don’t specialize.

Permits

Depending on the size of your roof, a permit may be required for a roof replacement. If the size of your home requires such a permit, this should be reflected on your roofing quote.

Will My Roofing Quote Change?

At Westchase Roofing, our quotes are for work contracted within 30 days from the quote date. Because of changing supply costs, we must limit how long our quotes are good for and offer homeowners a new quote once that period has passed. The new quote will reflect any changes in material pricing.

Costs of supplies may change because of shortages or increased demand. This is often the case with lumber, which can undergo fluctuations in price throughout the year.

At Westchase Roofing, your quote is guaranteed for 30 days. Keep in mind, however, that a quote is an estimate. If further work needs to be completed, we’ll let you know and keep you apprised of the costs. We want to be transparent with you so that you feel comfortable in your choice and that you are ultimately pleased with your new roof.

Ready to Get a Roofing Quote?

If you believe you need a new roof or want to plan ahead for a new roof, a roofing quote is a great start. You’ll be able to learn a little bit about a contractor, the materials they work with, and what they charge.

Remember, not all quotes are created equally. We try to be as informative as possible, however, not every contractor is so open. When seeking multiple quotes, you may find some contractors will offer extremely low quotes, some will fall in the middle, and others may fall on the higher end. To help you differentiate between quotes, be sure to read our blog posts on vetting contractors and on why online ratings matter. You can also rely on some good old common sense—if one quote is well below the rest, then it is probably too good to be true.

Our goal is to provide Tampa-area homeowners with a realistic quote they can use for planning purposes. It will likely not be the lowest quote, and there’s a reason for that. At Westchase, we’re invested in providing high-quality work, which means maintaining our own crew and ensuring they are well trained. We don’t subcontract our work so we can always be certain that every roof is done to our exacting standards. We also only work on one roof at a time—you’ll always have our full attention, from start to finish.

To request your free quote, contact us today and experience the Westchase Roofing difference.