As summer draws to a close, plenty of homeowners are looking forward to not dealing with severe summer thunderstorms as frequently. However, Houston isn’t completely out of the woods yet. Even if heavy rains later in the year don’t quite measure up to a summer downpour, you may still find yourself dealing with severe weather a little longer.
Preparing Your Home
Aside from the basics of gathering emergency supplies for yourself and your family, make sure to get your home ready for the abuse a severe thunderstorm is sure to dish out. Even if you’re confident your home can take it, it never hurts to be prepared. Use this checklist to inspect your house and protect vulnerable spots:
- Check your roof, outside and inside
- Clear your gutters
- Protect valuable outdoor items
- Check your windows and doors
1) Check Your Roof, Outside and Inside
If you don’t have time to get a free expert inspection, take a few minutes to examine your roof yourself. Any signs of a leak on the inside or outside of your roof should be covered immediately with a tarp and repaired as soon as the rain stops. Don’t let your home or belongings be damaged even by the possibility of a leak.
2) Clear Your Gutters
Gutters notoriously fill with leaves, twigs, and other debris over time, making it difficult for them to effectively drain your roof. For a long-term solution, considering installing gutter guards to prevent clogging. If you don’t have gutter guards yet, quickly check to ensure the gutters are clear and clean them out before the storm hits.
Pro Tip: If rainwater can’t drain properly off your roof, it weighs down in puddles and can cause leaks or collapsing. That’s why it’s so important to keep your gutters clean.
3) Protect Valuable Outdoor Items
Most homeowners have a few belongings they keep outside, such as grills, bicycles, or outdoor furniture. However, even water-resistant items will sustain some damage in a severe downpour. Bring everything inside before the storm hits to keep your outdoor valuables safe.
4) Check Your Windows and Doors
Finally, remember that your roof isn’t the only part of your house that can leak. Make sure the seals around your windows and doors are still secure and doing their job. If you find a leak, cover it temporarily with a waterproof protector until you can repair it later.
Protecting Your Conroe Home
In areas prone to severe weather and heavy rain, houses are built to endure the storms. However, every house has its flaws, especially as time passes and the original construction loses some of its strength. The best thing you can do as you prepare for heavy rain is to take a few extra steps to protect your home from severe damage through periodic inspections and maintenance.
Connect with us to learn more about preparing your home for the last bit of severe summer weather.
Are you thinking of upgrading or replacing your roof? What materials are you planning to use? Not all roofing materials are created equal, after all. Most homeowners generally try to find the most cost-effective, longest-lasting roof material they can.
Different types of roofing material are appropriate for different home locations, as well as previous damages done to the roof. While certain types of roofing materials last longer than others, it’s also important to remember that some types may not be appropriate for a particular setting. The best thing to do is to look at the different types of available materials and see which is the best fit for your home.
High-quality asphalt shingles are still the most popular choice for the majority of homeowners. The slightly higher cost of these roofing materials are more than worth it–well-made shingles will last 20 years or more. Roofing shingles are also among the easiest roof materials to replace or patch following roof damages. These popular materials stand the test of time!
Pro Tip: Some homeowners opt for wood shingles and shakes. Similar to asphalt shingles, wood shingles have an expected lifespan of about 20 years but can last much longer in mild weather.
Roofing tiles made of concrete, clay, or slate have a staggering life expectancy of 100 years! Even so, tiles are more of a challenge to install or maintain than shingles. For instance, the building materials are significantly heavier and more expensive, making a project with them more difficult. Additionally, poorly made shingles can crack or split during severe weather such as a hailstorm. While tiles are certainly an elegant and durable choice, it pays to double-check their quality and make sure your local weather won’t cause you problems later on.
Metal roofing generally lasts 40-60 years and is arguably the strongest of any conventional building material. However, certain types of damage (like a dent or rusty spot) require most of the roof to be replaced since the metal is likely all a solid piece. Additionally, between materials and installation costs, you’ll end up paying more overall for a metal roof. Talk to your roofing contractor to see if it’s in your best interest to opt for metal.
A Houston Roof that Will Last for Decades
A well-constructed roof of long-lasting roofing material will survive for decades in most cases. Depending on your home’s location, your current roof’s condition, and your own preferences, you can easily opt for an excellent roof to protect your home for years to come.
Connect with us to learn more about the best roofing material for your home.
Hurricane season lasts until Saturday, November 30. During this time of year, the chances of a hurricane or tropical storm increase substantially, making storm preparations a necessity. If you’re looking to replace or renovate your roof before severe weather hits, consider upgrading to a more durable roofing material more likely to survive any upcoming storms.
Most roofing materials can survive severe weather if properly installed. However, some are more durable than others, particularly if the storm has especially high winds. Before you choose a permanent roofing option, consult with a professional roofing company to see which choice can best withstand the storms you’re likely to face.
As one of the most durable roofing materials on the market, metal rooftops can withstand winds over 100 miles per hour. It’s also hard for ice to form on a metal roof, preventing severe damage from a cold snap. However, remember that metal expands and contracts with dramatic changes in temperature. This does make a metal roof slightly more vulnerable to leaks than other materials.
The majority of homeowners choose conventional shingles as a roofing material because of their cost-effectiveness, high quality, and variety of styles. Well-made asphalt shingles can easily withstand severe weather and high winds, as well as repelling rain off your roof. The biggest vulnerability of a shingle roof comes if the shingles aren’t properly nailed down and blow off the roof, letting rainwater into your house. Fortunately, making sure your shingles get plenty of nails and regular maintenance should prevent this from happening.
Pro Tip: Schedule a free roof inspection and let an expert determine if your shingles need reinforcements to protect you from severe weather.
Made of concrete, slate, or clay, roof tiles provide an elegant look to your home. These tiles are also very hard and can easily last for decades once installed. Their weight makes it nearly impossible for winds below 120 miles per hour to knock them loose. However, homeowners should be aware that roofing tiles cost more than shingles or metal, and tend to be brittle if handled improperly. The materials must be transported and installed with expert precision.
A Wind-Resistant Houston Roof
At the end of the day, remember that while some choices may be more durable than others, a particularly severe hurricane can damage your roof and make emergency repairs a necessity. Your best bet is to meet with your roofing contractor beforehand and discuss your options for a new roof. If they can suggest the best roofing material for high winds for your roof, take their advice and save yourself some trouble later on.
Connect with us to learn more about preparing your home for severe weather this hurricane season.
A well-structured roof can last for years and take plenty of abuse from the weather. However, part of maintaining your roof’s lifespan is handling small incidents as they happen. If you’re beginning to notice that your roof leaks in heavy rain or even in a drizzle, it’s time for repairs.
A leaky roof is more than an inconvenience. The potential for severe water damage to the rest of your roof and to the house itself is too great to put off repairs too long. In the meantime, however, there are a few things you can do to keep the water from causing too many problems while you wait for emergency roof repairs.
Contain and Drain the Leak
If you can see a dripping spot on your ceiling, place a bucket underneath to catch the water. Once the initial dripping is contained, see if there’s a dark spot or bulge where the water is dripping from. More than likely, rainwater is pooling back there and will eventually burst out. With a little care, you can prevent this from happening. Stand on a ladder as close to the leak as you can and gently insert a screwdriver into the bulge or dark spot to drain the excess water. While you may see increased water flowing into the bucket briefly, this will prevent too much water from accumulating and causing further damage.
Temporarily Cover the Leak
Do this ONLY if you are confident you know where the leak is on your roof and if it is safe to climb on your roof. Locate the source of the leak and cover it as best you can with a waterproof tarp. If you can find the same leak inside your house, cover the interior with a tarp as well. While this is just a temporary fix, it will prevent the damage from worsening in the meantime. Even professional roofing companies can’t repair your roof in bad weather.
Pro Tip: NEVER climb on your roof during a rainstorm. Roofing material becomes slick when wet and you can easily fall.
Watch for Other Damage
Ignoring a roof leak will not make it better. Monitor your roof and the surrounding areas for any additional signs of damage. It’s probably time for a more intensive roof repair if you notice any of these warning signs:
- Dark spots or sagging on the inside ceiling
- Missing, broken, or warped shingles
- Clogged roof gutters or drains
- Missing roofing material around vents, chimneys, etc.
Emergency Houston Roof Leak Repair
Once the leak is contained temporarily, call your local roofing contractor and schedule an emergency repair as soon as you can. Once the weather is clear enough for them to work, you should get the hole patched immediately. Don’t let your roof continue leaking and letting rainwater into your house.
Connect with us to learn more about temporarily containing leaks and inspecting your roof for damages.
Anyone familiar with severe Houston weather knows it’s very possible to take a lot of wind damage very quickly in a storm. At best, you might lose shingles and get a few leaks. At worst, half your roof could get blown off. The potential effects are simply unpredictable. And, unfortunately, wind damage roof insurance claims are not often addressed in insurance discussions.
Are You Covered?
Before any severe weather arrives, make sure you know the details of these 4 critical points about your roof insurance. Knowing the full extent of your insurance coverage and preparing for the worst could save you an immense amount of money and frustration later on.
- Most insurance policies cover wind damage
- What is an anti-concurrent causation clause?
- Insurance will choose the cheaper option
- Avoid storm chasers
1) Most Insurance Policies Cover Wind Damage
Even if there are only a few sentences about wind damage in the fine print of your insurance information, you’re almost guaranteed at least partial coverage. The real question is how much cover do you have in practice, and when will the insurance company pay? Start by reading all the fine print in your policy and discuss this question directly with an agent when you can.
Pro Tip: In some areas, wind damage insurance coverage is mandatory. In other areas, this coverage is optional and may not be provided by major insurance companies. Make sure you know what’s in your policy.
2) What is an Anti-Concurrent Causation Clause?
Simply defined, an anti-concurrent causation restriction states that if your home is affected by two disasters (such as roof damage and flooding) and only one disaster is covered, the insurance company may refuse to cover either expense. Obviously, this could be a nasty surprise to anyone already dealing with a devastated house. Don’t wait until the last minute to find out if your policy has this! If you aren’t sure, contact your insurance agent and ask them to clarify any language that seems confusing.
3) Insurance Will Choose the Cheaper Option
This will come as no surprise to anyone who has ever filed an insurance claim before. If your roof is badly damaged by wind, the insurance company will decide if repairing or replacing is the cheaper option, and will finance their choice. This policy usually makes sense. However, if the insurance company opts to repair an older roof with brand-new parts, the additions may not be compatible in terms of cosmetics or practicality. Talk with your insurance provider about potential compromises to this policy.
4) Avoid Storm Chasers
After a hurricane or severe weather event, plenty of out-of-town repair services see their chance to make quick money and swoop in on the desperate homeowners, offering “discounted” services. If a roofing company suddenly shows up and offers you repairs, don’t fall for their dishonest pitches. Stick with a local, reliable roofing company with a proven track record in your area. Not only will the final product be better in quality, but you’ll also avoid the scammy tactics of storm chaser companies.
Wind Damage and Roof Insurance Claims in Houston
The first step to restoring a wind-damaged home is fixing the roof. After all, an unprotected roof will continue to allow rain and wind inside the house, making damages worse. Make sure your insurance will help you get your roof back in shape so you can focus on more severe repairs.
Join the conversation to learn more about roof insurance claims and handling wind damage.
A few short weeks ago in early May, severe rainstorms in Houston brought with them golf ball-sized hail, reaching the size of baseballs in some regions. If you were among the thousands of affected families, it may be time to have a professional inspect your roof and home for damage.
Drastic hail damage, such as smashed windows, is easy to spot and arrange repairs for. However, don’t assume you just got lucky if your home escaped severe damage. Even without knocking a hole in your roof or dislodging shingles, hail can leave subtler problems behind. A professional roof repair company can help you assess the total damage and decide whether a full replacement or a few repairs are necessary.
What is Your Woodlands Roof Made Of?
Your roofing materials will help you determine the extent of the damage and potential repair costs. For instance, a metal roof will dent when exposed to heavy, rapid-fire hail. A minor dent might cause a little trouble with water flowing off your roof, while a major dent could be an indication of more severe damage underneath in your home itself. Meanwhile, clay or wooden shingles will split or shatter in a hailstorm, allowing damage to spread quickly.
Asphalt shingles, the most common roofing material, may lose granules during a hailstorm. In a severe case, the damage will be obvious. Other times, the missing granules will be so subtle that only a professional eye can spot them. Either way, missing granules indicate a high level of force from the hail and could be a symptom of more severe damage under the tiles. At the very least, the newly formed weak spot can turn into a leak.
What Will Your Insurance Cover?
Your roofing company can help you negotiate with your insurance provider and determine your next course of action. If the damage is severe enough that a full replacement is necessary, your insurance company will pay for a new roof. However, repairs get tricky. Some insurance providers consider certain minor repairs as cosmetic and not as critical as emergency storm repair. Your best strategy is to have your roof professionally inspected and then negotiate with your insurance company with an estimate in hand.
Pro Tip: From time to time, have your roof inspected even if you aren’t sure any damage has occurred. A professional opinion can help you prevent a minor problem from becoming worse in severe weather.
Is More Damage Likely?
Is local weather projected to get even worse and potentially damage your roof further? More importantly, how long can you really wait to fix the immediate problem? A few missing granules off a shingle ultimately require a new shingle, but your roof won’t start leaking immediately. On the other hand, missing shingles or leaks require immediate attention. Talk with your roofing contractor for a long-term plan and timeline for your roof repair.
Repair or Replace the Roof
Ultimately, your decision to replace the whole roof or pay for a few repairs will depend on your roof builder’s suggestions, the extent of the damage, your insurance’s contribution, and the likelihood of things getting worse. Different circumstances call for different solutions. Find the solution that works best for your situation.
Connect with us to schedule your free roofing inspection today and have a professional assess the damage to your roof.