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What Does Roof Insurance Typically Cover?

workers providing a roof replacement

The Basics of Roof Insurance 

A roof is a key part of a home, providing aesthetics and protection. It also takes a lot of abuse, especially here in and around the Ft. Worth Texas area. And as much as we like to think we are covered when it comes to filing claims, how to file a roof insurance claim and how roof insurance claims work can be confusing. So, when a hailstorm or high winds come through, leaving damage behind, roof insurance claims help is often needed by homeowners.

Let’s talk about what is covered in a typical homeowner’s insurance policy. Like, just what kind of roof damage is covered by insurance? Most homeowner insurance policies provide coverage for these types of perils:

  • Fire
  • Hail
  • Ice and snow damage
  • Lightening
  • Wind
  • Falling objects

Does homeowner’s insurance cover wind damage to a roof?

Yes, a homeowners insurance policy typically provides coverage for wind damage. If you experience wind damage to your roof, calling your insurance company or your agent for roof insurance claims helps in clarifying what your deductible will be and how much they cover is recommended. In most cases, the dwelling coverage of a homeowners insurance policy will provide compensation that helps toward the cost of repairs or replacement to the roof, siding, and windows. 

Your policy will have the coverage provided for wind damage stated, but there are issues that could keep them from paying these types of roof insurance claims. Help from your agent is suggested before you need to file a claim to make sure you have a clear understanding of what is covered and what may have a wind damage claim denied. You may need to increase your coverage so that you’re not caught with the unexpected full responsibility of replacing your roof.

Certain things that can cause an insurance claim to be denied are things like the roof’s age, maintenance and upkeep neglect, and unresolved previous repairs. To get the most from your homeowner’s insurance policy, follow through with any maintenance and repairs as needed, even if it isn’t worthy of filing an insurance claim. Like a loose gutter, one loose shingle, etc. 

 Will insurance cover a 15-year-old roof?

Depending on the type of roofing material and the weather, a roof will typically have a lifespan between 20 years and 100 years or longer. For example, an asphalt shingle roof will typically last up to 20 years, whereas a metal roof may last over 100 years. When it comes to whether your insurance company will pay for any claims, it is the insurance adjuster’s scrutiny and decision. 

This means as the roof ages, your roof insurance rates will increase because it becomes more likely to be worn out and easier to be damaged. This also means the coverage your insurance provides will decrease too, because of the same reason. 

These numbers of insurance cost and coverage typically start showing up at the 10-year mark and by the 20th year, it has a more dramatic change in those amounts. This is why regular roof inspections by a professional roofing contractor are recommended. They can provide you an overview of the roof’s health, make any maintenance and repairs needed that will keep your roof healthy, keep your insurance premiums low, and keep you from needing roof insurance claims help. 

Does homeowner’s insurance cover roof replacement?

It will depend on the circumstances, and that is usually what creates the need for roof insurance claims help from your agent in understanding the coverage provided in your policy. Damage is typically covered by a homeowner insurance policy for damage caused by covered perils, although every policy can vary and some may exclude certain perils. 

If your roof needs to be replaced because of severe weather or unexpected acts of nature, except for flooding, your policy likely will provide coverage. Where the “but” comes into this equation, is how well you’ve kept the roof maintained and the age of the roof. 

Can you keep insurance claim money for a roof?

Ahhh, the temptation of taking that money and going on a cruise! If, and this is the big kicker, you are given a check from the insurance company for your roof insurance claims, help yourself using the money that it was meant for: repair or replace the roof! 

If you have a mortgage on the house, the check will be made out to you and the mortgage company in most cases. They will release the check when you show proof the roof has been repaired or replaced. They may even send somebody to take pictures of the end results. 

If you don’t have a mortgage, you’ll get the check, but again, use any roof insurance claims, help yourself and get the work done. What if you don’t? Well, next time you have an insurance claim, the insurance company will factor in previous claims, and if the work wasn’t done, they will most likely deny future claims. 

Then, you’ve spent that money and need to come up with thousands of dollars to repair or replace it now, out of pocket. There is always the chance they may cancel your policy too, noting the homeowner was irresponsible and neglected the roof. So, before you book that cruise or order that new car, think about possible repercussions. 

insurance adjuster inspecting a roof

Topping It Off 

Well, you’ve paid premiums for years and now you have an aged, old, or maybe even a damaged roof. So, how to get a free roof from insurance? Well, the first thing to consider is that you’ve been paying premiums all this time, so it really won’t be free, right? But can you get your roof replaced without paying any money out-of-pocket? 

Yes, keep your roof maintenance intact. If it needs a minor repair, like replacing a shingle or two, or reattaching them, do it then. Don’t let it ‘slide’ for now because the next storm could rip that shingle and others off, and you’ll have a major roof repair or need replacement. 

Yes, the insurance adjuster will come to inspect the situation, and yes, they can tell if there has been a loose or missing shingle before the storm. And yes, it could affect what your policy will pay. If your claim is denied or they don’t pay what you feel is enough, you should call your insurance agent for roof insurance claims help, and if it is your fault, like neglect, they can explain this to you. 

Next, be wary of roof replacement insurance scams. When storms have gone through an area, it is common for all these roofing experts to come through and convince a homeowner they can get their roof repaired or replaced with money left over. Chances are that if you have a valid roof insurance claim, every penny of it will go toward the cost. If anything, you’ll be out the amount of the deductible, but the roof work will be paid in full hopefully. 

What does a roof leak look like?

woman collecting water in a bucket under a leaking roof

Dealing With a Leaking Roof

With the Texas weather, you need to be ready for anything at any time, including roof leak repair. Maybe it’s a small drip or maybe there is a sudden downpour of rain coming into the living room. Whatever the case may be, the first thing you need to do is know how to find a roof leak. You may be wondering why do you need to “find” it if the water is coming through, right?

Taking Care of a Leak

Most of the time, the roof leak repair isn’t needed where you see the water coming through. It usually comes from a different area and runs downhill, where you see the leak in the living room. To find a roof leak, take the following steps: 

  • In the attic: With a flashlight, climb in the attic and examine the decking, (the underside of the roof), and check for dark areas on the decking. If it is raining, this won’t be hard to find, but if it hasn’t rained recently, you may find mold before the dark and moist spots. 
  • Follow the damage: If there is insulation on the underside, you’ll find the leak easier because you’ll notice wet insulation. Remove all the wet insulation you find, and this will leak you up and over to where the actual roof leak repair is needed. 
  • Inspect the underside: If you’re not finding obvious roof leak repairs needed, check other areas like around the chimney and vents, the roof gables, and ridge for indication of leaking. 
  • The leak roof repair: Immediate roof leak repairs need to be addressed promptly. By postponing them, they’ll get worse and cause more damage. When it comes to how to fix a roof leak, sometimes, replacing a shingle or two is all that is needed and a homeowner with basic DIY skills can do this type of repair. Anything more, you should call a professional roofing contractor. 

Why does my roof leak when it rains?

 Keep an eye out for these possible causes of roof leaks: 

  • The Plumbing. Yes, plumbing can create the need for roof leak repairs. Plumbing can include the exhaust vent pipes and the flashing around the vent. 
  • The Chimney. If your home has a chimney, it can be the reason you need roof leak repairs!  Without a chimney cap, the rain comes straight in the chimney when it is coming in at the right angle. Rain will come in around where flashing is loose or missing too. Where the shingles are loose or missing, the shingles may need replacing too. 
  • The Skylights. Skylights are another component that can cause your need for roof leak repairs if they are damaged or were improperly installed. The flashing around skylights is important too, a professional roof inspection is recommended to determine if the problem is from a roof leak or condensation.
  • Degrading shingles. Eventually, all roofing shingles will become aged and begin to dry out, unable to do the job intended. A roof leak repair may be as simple as replacing a few shingles, or you may need a full roof replacement. 
  • Condensation. An attic that isn’t ventilated properly will absorb moisture from the hot air collected. This creates condensation that collects on any pipes in the attic and that condensation drips down through the ceiling. 

Will a roof leak with missing shingles?

Yes, if the shingles are improperly installed, have aged, and dried out, or shingles are bent, broken, cracked, loose, or missing, a roof leak repair or replacement is needed. 

Will a roof leak cause mold?

Absolutely! There are two kinds of mold that a roof leak can cause: 

  • Systemic Mold Growth: This occurs when a roof leak causes an adequate amount of moisture that builds up in the attic and the mold grows throughout the whole area.  This happens when the moisture builds up indirectly, only a small area is affected but the dampness causes condensation.
  • Limited Mold Growth: This occurs when there is sufficient ventilation in the attic to expel the additional moisture that is caused by a roof leak.  In these cases, only the surrounding area of the leak will need mold remediation. 

Can a roof leak cause a fire?

Yes, especially in older homes.  If a roof leak repair isn’t done quickly, it can be a hazard where there is wiring near the leak. Water and electricity are not a good pair, and this can cause a spark then a fire can quickly follow. 

close-up of a water-damaged ceiling

In Closing – The Common Question

Will insurance fix a leaking roof? Yes, if the cause of the leak is within the policy as an acceptable cause. A roof leak repair or replacement is needed because of fire, high winds, hailstones, or a tree falling on the roof. 

If the roof is beyond 10 years, the amount the insurance pays will be based on the depreciation of value. If the insurance adjust declares the roof has been neglected, your roof insurance claim could be declined. 

Should I repair or replace my roof?

close-up of damaged shingles

Keeping Your Roof in Shape

If you live in Texas, then your home has been subjected to a hailstorm or two, or maybe three or four. In any case, it may be time to have a professional roof inspection and see if a new roof installation is in your future. 

When is roof replacement necessary?

Maybe your roof isn’t leaking right now, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have it inspected. With a professional inspection, if a roof installation isn’t needed right now, they can let you know if you have a possible problem coming your way. Here are three ways to know when a new roof installation is needed:  

  1. A roof over 20 years old is getting close to its end-of-life for a basic three-tab asphalt shingle roof. You definitely don’t need to go past 25 years and any experienced roofing contractor will tell you that if your roof has reached 80% to 85% of that 25 year warranty without being replaced or needing repairs, you’re lucky you haven’t needed a new roof installation already in this part of the country. 
  1. When an asphalt roof is starting to have loose or missing shingles, bald spot where the asphalt has come off, or the algae, lichen, and moss won’t come off, it is time to look at a new roof installation. This may be age and it could be from improper attic ventilation. When an attic isn’t properly ventilated, the heat and moisture get trapped and that shortens the lifespan of an asphalt shingle roof. 
  1. Roofing storm damage happens everywhere, but Texas and other states in tornado alley experience more than others. Anything from hailstones to high winds, strong UV rays from the sun, and just normal aging can cause a need for a new roof installation. 

What does roof replacement include?

A roof is more than the shingles or other roofing material you see from the street. There are several components involved in roof installation: 

  • Decking: Roof decking is the solid wood board that the shingles and other roofing components are installed on. 
  • Flashing: Roof flashing is the metal strips installed in places where the shingles are up against another surface, like the chimney, skylight, walls, and in the valleys, where the roof slopes meet. 
  • Underlayment: The underlayment is a felt material installed over the decking for additional protection.
  • Drip edge: The drip edge is a metal flashing installed along the roof edges that control the water flowing away from the fascia and other components.
  • Ice and water shield: These are located in the valleys and keep water flowing down the roof when it rains. 
  • Asphalt shingles: Next, the layer you see from the street is the asphalt shingles. 
  • Ridge capping: The ridge capping is installed at the roof’s peak and is a thicker material than the shingles on the roof. They come in a pre-bent form and are installed along the area where the slopes meet. 
  • Roof vents: The roof vents provide proper attic ventilation, extending the lifespan of your roof and keeping your utilities down. 
  • Pipe boots: On top of your roof are vent pipes for the plumbing. Around these are rubber boots to keep water from running down the sides and into your home. 

How does roof replacement work with insurance?

An insurance adjuster will come to your home and inspect the roof. If you have any leaks, they will need to inspect inside the home and the attic too. Many insurance adjusters today have software to help them determine the estimate they will offer in paying for a roof installation. 

This will take the measurements of the roof in square footage, any damage to the chimney, skylight or vent pipes are included as well. Following current market trends, they will input this information into their computer system and the software will provide the total estimate. 

Depending on your policy, you will be responsible for the deductible. Some have a flat rate, some have a percentage, and then there is depreciation to factor into the estimate.  You’ll be paid the amount of the estimate, which you will pay to the roofing contractor. You’ll write them two checks, one for the deductible and one for the balance of the roof. 

If the roofer needs additional materials not included in the estimate, like decking they will submit another claim to your insurance company. They will send you the check, which you will sign over to them. Once the roof installation job is complete, the roofer will send a copy of the final invoice and you will receive a check for the depreciation amount. 

How much will roof replacement cost?

Based on the size of your roof and the roofing material you choose. For example, with asphalt shingles, a 1200 square foot home can cost between $5,000 and upward of $15,000 or more for a new roof installation. 

What is the cheapest roof to install?

Asphalt shingle roof installation is the least expensive roofing, which is why it is so common and popular. They are lightweight and come in sheets, both facts that make it the easiest roof to install, saving on labor. 

What is the best replacement roof?

Again, because they are lightweight, yet durable, and are easy to install, asphalt shingle roof installation is the most recommended and considered the best. There are three levels of asphalt shingle with architectural design being the better and most recommended of the three. 

workers replacing a roof

In Closing – Save Some Money with DIY Roof Installation

Some homeowners may want to try to save some money and do their own roof installation. Will you save that much though? Just what is the labor cost to install a shingle roof?  The average labor costs today are around $2.00 per square foot for a basic asphalt or architectural asphalt roof installation. Approximately 1/3 of what you’ll pay for a new roof installation goes toward laborers that know how to install a roof. 

The next big question is when to install a roof. You obviously wouldn’t want to do the job in the rain or snow.  Roofing contractors prefer to work in the spring on non-rain days or early fall before the winter weather arrives. A roof installation is possible in the summer, but their hours in Texas may be shorter, taking a day or two longer because of the heat.

How much does it cost to put a new roof on a house?

roofer installing asphalt shingles

Is it time for a new roof?

The past few years have made headlines in many different ways. From tense elections to a pandemic, quarantine, shutdowns, and vaccinations. However, one thing remains universal, and that’s the unusual weather we tend to experience in this part of the country. Those horrible storms start to subside, for a while anyway, only for you to walk around outside and realize your roof is in bad shape – even worse than it was before. Now, on top of everything the world has been through, you may need a new roof installation.

What is roofing installation?

The roof installation basics include a roofing contractor removing all existing roofing materials and the underlayment. They inspect the decking and if any is damaged or rotted, that is removed, the rafters are inspected, which are removed if damaged. After that, new decking and rafters are installed as needed.

Next, all-new underlayment is placed with the roofing materials on top of that. This will include any drip edges, vent ridges, ice dams, and flashing, as quoted to the homeowner. A roof installation will also include help for any vents or protrusions in the roof with them either painted to match the new roofing or replaced if necessary. 

Do I need a new roof?

If there is water pouring into your home, it is obvious you need a new roof installation, and the sooner the better. But there are other indicators that can show a new roof installation should be considered: 

Visible Leaks

As we just mentioned, a visible leak like water pouring in through the ceiling is a huge indication you should get a new roof installation. A roof leak can be caused by many things like storm damage or simply a roof being old and worn out, among various other factors. 

You should note if the materials on your roof get to a point where they are no longer providing the protection your home should have against the elements. Even a small roof leak should be repaired as soon as it is noticed. Using a professional roofing contractor is always recommended, but some small leaks are easy enough for a homeowner to take care of on their own.

Water Damage

A roof leak isn’t always detected by visible drips coming into your home. Sometimes the leak is so small that it takes some time for any visible water damage to appear, like stains on the ceiling or walls. Once you notice these things, call a professional roofing contractor to inspect the situation. They will advise you on whether repair is possible or if a new roof installation is the better solution. 

Curling, Missing, or Mossy Shingles

Roof damage can often be determined while standing on the ground. Some common indications you may notice from the ground that show you need a new roof installation are:  

  • Cracked shingles
  • Curled shingles 
  • Loose or missing shingles 
  • Discolored shingles around vents
  • Missing shingle granules 
  • Algae or moss growth
  • Damaged shingles around chimneys or skylights

For those with shingle roofing, it’s also smart to look for the accumulation of granules in your gutters cleaning them. This is usually an indication that you should get a few quotes on roof installation. 

Sagging Roof

The shape of your roof can often be an indication that a new roof installation is needed. Curving, dipping, or sagging on the roofline could indicate there are problems with the under decking and/or rafters. 

Storm Damage

Here in Texas, it is pretty safe to say that storm damage is the number one reason roof installation jobs are done. From hailstorms and heavy rains to high winds, debris, and falling tree limbs, along with the hot UV rays of the sun, Texas rooftops take a beating. While some of the furthest northern areas of Texas are accustomed to snow, the rest of the state is only accustomed to occasional ice storms. That snowstorm in the early part of 2021 was unusual and did a number on the many homes, requiring roof installations all across The Lone Star State. 

Can you finance a new roof?

Roofing contractors do not typically offer payment plans for new roofing. This isn’t something they can come repo like a car or shut off like your power. However, some have partnered with banks for their clients to go through an approval process. If you’re eligible, the bank will pay the contractor and you will make payments to the bank. Other ways to pay for a new roof installation are: 

  1. Insurance Claim: If the roof installation is needed due to storm damage, your homeowner’s insurance will offer coverage. The amount of coverage will vary based on the age of the roof and your policy, but it is always worth filing a claim and seeing what the adjuster offers. 
  2. FHA Title I: For a roof that needs major repairs or a replacement roof installation, the FHA offers Title I home improvement loans. For a single-family home, there are loans up to $25,000 with a 20-year note. However, anything over $7,500 requires you to sign a lean against your home. 
  3. Home Equity Loan: Having equity in your home can work toward your favor in getting a roof installation paid for. Call the lender that has your mortgage, and they can tell you if there is enough collateral for you to qualify for a loan. However, this also puts your home on the line if you fail to make the payments.
  4. Personal Loan: If you have good credit history and/or some cash to make a down payment, you may be able to get a personal loan, and if you have a credit card with enough credit available, that is another option. 

How long does it take to install a new roof?

 Using an experienced contractor with an experienced crew that knows how to perform roof installation jobs, an average one-story home roof installation can be completed in under eight hours. Exceptions would be if there are any roof installation problems like a lot of decking repairs to be done or more.

worker installing a new roof

In Closing – How often do you need a new roof?

A roof installation for asphalt shingled roofs is usually needed every 15 to 20 years. The higher quality of the shingle, like the 3-tab shingle, will give you up to 25 to 30 years if the roof is maintained and Mother Nature is kind. If you’re looking for more information on whether a new roof installation is right for you, reach out to us today at (940) 441-4544.

Why is my ceiling leaking?

Water-damaged and stained white ceiling.

Dealing With Roof Leaks

It was a very cold, snow-filled, wet winter followed by torrential spring rains and now, a blistering, hot summer. Occasionally though, here in Texas, we’ll get some summer showers and storms that will cool things down for a minute, only to heat things back up an hour later. Those rains also remind us of the winter and spring damage with a leaking roof. 

Are roof leaks common? 

Well, they aren’t “uncommon”, but they aren’t necessarily an everyday thing for every homeowner. However, there is probably a leaking roof every day somewhere in The Lone Star State, or a roof waiting to start leaking. To safeguard your home, learn the common causes of leaking roofs and maybe you can catch a minor issue in time before it becomes a major problem: 

  • Age – A roof’s age is one of the biggest problems homeowners may face. Nobody wants to deal with having a new roof installed because it is so expensive. However, waiting until something happens and filing it on your homeowner’s insurance may backfire. So, bearing that in mind, is a leaking roof covered by insurance or not? Well, yes and no. You need to review your homeowner’s insurance policy and see what coverage you have and what exclusions they’ve stipulated. One thing we can tell you for sure, as a roof ages, it deteriorates. So, if your roof is over 10 years old, you’re not going to get full coverage for a roof replacement and what they’ll pay for roof leak repair will be limited. 
  • Clogged Gutters – The job of rain gutters is to channel the rainwater from the roof to the downspout, where it is lead away from your home. When a gutter run get clogged with accumulated debris like leaves, pine needles, twigs, even critter nests, the water can’t flow to the downspout. Then it backs up under the shingles, rots the decking and underlayment, and before long you have a leaking roof. 
  • Missing Shingles – If roofing shingles aren’t properly installed, strong winds can dislodge them, leaving your roof vulnerable to leaking. Once a month or so, walk around your home and if you spot any loose or missing shingles, call a professional roofer to reattach or reinstall new shingles where they’re missing. 
  • Valley Improperly Sealed – Where your roof planes meet is the roof valley and flashing is installed there to assure the water runs off the roof. Otherwise, without flashing, or if the flashing isn’t installed correctly, comes loose, it leaves the vulnerability for a leaking roof. 

Is a roof leak an emergency?

Yes! As soon as you notice a leaking roof of any size and proportion, consider it an emergency. Because even the smallest leaking roof will grow bigger and become a bigger leaking roof. Water is the enemy when it comes to your home’s structure. 

Can a roof leak cause mold?

Absolutely! Anywhere there is water left standing, mold can and will grow. Then it spreads and will eventually work its way into your air vents. Once it is there, every time the cooling or heating turns on, it is blowing mold spores throughout your home. 

What does a roof leak look like?

If you have water pouring in through the ceiling, that’s an obvious leaking roof, right? But what if it isn’t pouring in – how will you know you have a leaking roof? Here are four signs to be aware of: 

1. Water Stain

A water stain kind of looks like a large water puddle on the ceiling. Usually brown in color, or if the leaking roof is in a corner, it may be smaller and harder to notice. Use a flashlight and look through the entire house in the corners for dark spots, mold, or moisture. 

2. A Drip

If you see water dripping, moisture, or moisture stains on the walls every so often, but not all the time, you could still have a leaking roof, or an ice dam in the winter. Ice dams are caused by the ice and snow freezing and thawing then refreezing. 

3. Exterior Walls Have Spots 

Once a month or so, walk around your home outside and look under the roof line for water spots. This is where the roof and the walls aren’t meeting and there is water getting inside the walls. 

4. Growth On The Walls

If you see mold or moss on an exterior wall, especially a wall that doesn’t get a lot of sun, there could be a clogged gutter run or downspout that needs attention. When they leak, mold and moss will start growing on the exterior walls. 

How do I find a leak in my roof?

The easiest way is to go in the attic with a flashlight and look for moisture on the insulation, water stains on the under decking, the light showing through the under decking, or mold growing on the insulation and rafters.

Woman holding a bucket under a roof leak.

Closing Words – How do I stop my roof from leaking?

You can make a temporary roof leak repair by making a patch out of a roofing shingle or plywood, using roofing glue or tar. Go to the attic, and where the leaking roof is, you’ll attach the shingle or glue with the roofing glue on one side against the decking. Then nail around it, and spread the roofing glue or tar around the edges of your roofing patch. This is a temporary fix, any leaking roof should be inspected and properly repaired as soon as possible. If you need further help with a leaking roof in Justin & Fort Worth, TX, reach out to J Riley Roofing by calling at (940) 441-4544.

How do I maintain my gutters?

close up of gutter system

What happens if you don t clean your gutters?          

If your house has gutters installed already or you’ve recently had a gutter system installed, you realize the importance of them.  They catch rain coming off your roof and redirect it into the downspouts. From there, it send out and away from your home’s foundation and flower bed. But when that water is redirecting to the downspouts, you realized how important gutter system repair is too. 

As a homeowner, you should have a routine of performing basic gutter maintenance two to three times a year, more if you have a lot of trees around your home. This isn’t a job that anyone likes doing because it isn’t fun, but it is messy and time consuming.  So, there is the option of hiring a gutter maintenance company and have them come on regular schedule. 

Gutters may seem like an ordinary part of your home, but they have health concerns like anything else around or inside your home. You wouldn’t think about skipping a filter change every month because it is a health factor your HVAC system. The same is to be said about  gutter cleaning and maintenance too. 

When gutter system repairs, maintenance, and cleaning are ignored, it puts your gutter system in jeopardy, setting the system up for falling apart and causing damage. Here is a short list of what can happen when you have skipped gutter cleaning, maintenance, and gutter system repairs: 

  1. Insect Infestation 

A gutter system that doesn’t get cleaned regularly becomes damp and dense, the kind of neighborhood that insects like to live in.  You’ll start seeing a lot of ants, mosquitoes, roaches, and termites infesting your home. We know what kind of destruction and disease these insects can cause! 

  1. Wood Rot 

If your home has a wood foundation, gutter cleaning, gutter maintenance, and gutter system repairs should become a priority for your home maintenance. When gutters become clogged, the water pools inside them because it can’t flow to the downspout. Then it overflows the gutter run and pools around the foundation, seep into your house, and the foundation and structure become jeopardized, causing you more repairs. 

  1. Roof Leaking 

A leaking roof is a nuisance that can get nasty bad fast. It is also a sign that your gutters are clogged and may need gutter system repairs. The same is with ice building up putting extra weight burden on the roof, creating more woes than gutter cleaning and gutter maintenance.   

  1. Basement Leaking 

Leaving the gutter system clogged and not performing gutter system repairs and maintenance can lead to flooding basement. The water that is backing up in the gutter system will spill over the gutter runs and pool up around the foundation, seep into the basement. Basements are often where electrical breaker boxes and circuit boxes are located. With a flooded basement cause by clogged gutters, it becomes a health and safety issue.  

  1. Foundation Damage   

We’ve already mentioned how a clogged gutter system will spill over the rain, pool up around the foundation. This is a problem more frequent in the winter, which is why a gutter system repair and cleaning should be done in the early fall. The water inside a clogged gutter will build up, absorb into the structure, then when the temperature gets to freezing, the foundation cracks. This leaves it susceptible mold damage and growth and increase the insect infestation .

How often should gutters be cleaned?

The experts and professionals in this industry recommend twice a year professional gutter system repairs and cleaning. Early spring and early fall are the best times.  If you have heavy amount of trees around your home, you may consider 3 times a year unless you’re doing it yourself every 6 to 8 weeks. 

cleaning gutter systems

Can I clean my gutters myself, what is the fastest way to clean gutters?

Yes you can, but we advise before you start with the methods we’re going to share that you take time and follow these safety steps: 

  • For a high rooftop, get an extension ladder.
  • Wear goggles and thick suede gloves.
  • Do not walk on the roof unless absolute necessary. 
  • Reaching down from the roof to the gutters is setting yourself up for a fall. 

Before you begin your gutter system repair and cleaning, clear the roof of any debris, leaves, and limbs. You don’t want the gutters to fill up again as soon as your done! Now, you are ready to try one of the following methods for gutter cleaning:

Use The Leaf Blower: Not only does the leaf blower save you from hours of raking leaves, but it can also save you time cleaning the gutters. From the ladder, blow the leaves from the gutter as far as you can safely reach. Climb down the ladder, move it down the roof line and repeat the process. 

There are extension kits available today at your local home improvement store that curves and extends the reach so that you can do this gutter cleaning job from the ground. 

Use The Power Washer: After a good hard rain, your gutters may have wet leaves stuck insides that the leaf blower can’t loosen and blow out. A power washer is a better method with the force of the high-pressured water jetting out. A u-shape, telescoping wand will make the job possible from the ground. 

Use The Shop Vac: The two methods above will make a mess on the ground, and that isn’t any more fun to clean up than doing the gutter system repair and cleaning. So, using a shop vac will clean the gutters and then you empty the canister. Again, there are extension kits available so you can do this safer from the ground. 

Following the tips we’ve provided here will help you keep your gutter maintenance and repair on schedule.  But what if you don’t know how do you maintain gutters and downspouts? Here are a few steps to help you with this process: 

Step 1: Repair any small crack or holes with a gutter patch kit available at home improvement stores. Use the same kit to repair the downspouts if needed.

Step 2: Replace any gutter sections that are damaged beyond repair. 

Step 3: Check and make any needed adjustments to the pitch of the gutter runs.

Step 4: Install gutter guards or screens.

Need gutter cleaning for your home in Justin & Fort Worth, TX? J Riley Roofing is your choice for expert gutter system cleaning! Call (940) 441-4544 today!

Can I install gutters myself?

gutters along roofing system

Is it OK to not have gutters?

When your house has gutters, you don’t always appreciate them. Then you move to a house without gutters, and wow! What a difference it makes getting in and out of the house. What you don’t realize is gutters can help your home’s foundation, which is why a gutter installation is so important. 

Homeowners that don’t have gutters often wonder if they’re really necessary. Is that just an upsell by roofing contractors, or do they actually serve a useful purpose? For the most part, gutter installation isn’t required by law, some city ordinance or POA may require them. 

Before you make the decision whether you should have them, read on about how gutters work and whether you need them or not. A  gutter installation has a basic job of providing a channel that redirects water as it runs off the roof. 

By doing that, it minimizes ground erosion around your home’s foundation. This also minimizes possible foundation problems for you over time, which can get expensive. However, they are limited how much water they can hold and flow, and in a heavy rain, they may overflow some, no matter how good of gutter installation job you have done.

Are gutters difficult to install?

When you watch a contractor doing a gutter installation job, they make it look easy don’t they? Or watching those television show or YouTube videos.  Well folks, it may not be “rocket science”, but it does take skills that are obtained after doing several gutter installation jobs. There are facets that make a big difference whether or not they’re going to work right, if they fall off, or will they cause more problems. 

A gutter installation needs to have the right size of gutter runs for the house, and yes, they come in different sizes. Then there are hangers that must be installed first at the right spacing for the gutter runs to have the right pitch. Then the screws that hold all this into the fascia need to be installed correctly, firmly, and be sealed, or you may find the gutters can’t handle heavy rain. 

If you’re thinking about doing your own gutter installation, and you have a multiple level home or the roof has different pitches, you’ll need to do a lot of advance planning before you even purchase the materials. Now is the time that all that calculating your machine shop or woodshop teacher were teaching you will come in hand. In addition to knowing the square footage of your roof, the area rainfall data, and the drop and pitch of your roof, you’ll need to know these things as well: 

  • The right size of gutters, which can be different for specific sections 
  • The right number of downspouts 
  • Where to position the downspouts on the different sections to divert the water as intended 
  • Identifying what areas and where to install the rivets and screws

How should gutters be installed?

In reality, we’ll tell you a gutter installation needs to be done by a professional, but that’s not why you’re still reading this, so, we’ll offer a few tips: 

  • Fascia and Soffit: Inspect these before you start your gutter installation. Replace any that are chipped, cracked, or rotted. If any are missing, replace them and if they need painting, do that before the gutter installation. 
  • The Angle: The gutter position of a 40 foot gutter run should be high in the middle and sloped toward the downspout in each direction from the middle.
  • Measuring: Yes, grandpa knew what he was talking about when he said always measure once and cut twice. You could measure three times just to be safe.  Your gutter installation project needs to be done as close to right and perfect as possible, so you don’t have to purchase more gutter runs. 

The manufacturer of the gutter system will have instructions with the materials or you can check their website. In addition, there are hundreds of YouTube videos that will have this information too. 

gutter end cap

How far should gutter extend from house?

It isn’t the gutters that you need to be concerned with the distance because they are going to fasten to the fascia. It is the downspouts you need to be concerned with the distance.  You should have your downspouts are installed every twenty feet unless you’re in a rain area, then every 12 to 15 feet. Definitely do not need more than 35 feet distance between your downspouts though. 

What about a house that doesn’t have any fascia or roof overhangs? Can you install gutters with no overhang or is it a lost cause? No, you can still have a gutter installation done even if your house doesn’t have any fascia. An experienced contractor  will know the process, but if you’re going your own gutter installation, use roof straps fitted  into the hanger on the  gutter runs and securely attach that strap directly to the roof. Thin of these roof straps as a sling. 

How long does it take to install gutters? Well, as you can imagine, it is the size of the house that will determine the time it takes to complete a gutter installation.  An average size residence, a gutter installation can take a professional up to 4 hours, usually less.  For a home of 3,000 square foot or bigger, you can expect up to 8 hours. If you’re going to do your own gutter installation, plan to have help for a full weekend and one day at least. Call (940) 441-4544 today for your gutter installation in Justin & Fort Worth, TX.

What is Hail Damage to a Roof?

hail damage on a roof

What size hail will damage a roof?

Texas is in the infamous “tornado alley” and with that kind of weather comes hard winds and huge hail stones. So filing hail damage roof insurance claims should be second nature for homeowners. Yet, as many homes that are destroyed by that weather, there are many that have not ever had to deal with that process, or first-time homeowners may not have any idea how to handle a hail damage roof claim. 

The first question would be, is hail damage to roof covered by insurance? The answer is a yes and a no, it all depends, and what any roofing contractor or insurance agent will advise is to review your policy. The next would be to document the damage, pictures, and videos. 

 You need to confirm your homeowner’s insurance covers natural causes and perils. This would include fire, wind, or hail damage roof. Some homeowner’s insurance policies have exclusion for hail and wind, meaning, repair or replacement won’t be covered. 

Over 4,600 hailstorms were registered by the NOAA in the United States. Not all hailstorms hit tornado alley. In 2019 Colorado was in the midst of a storm cluster and plummeted by a hailstorm. The largest hailstone on record hit Bethune Colorado with a hailstone almost 5 inches in diameter. Is it any wonder that property damage runs in the billions with hail damage roof and other types of damage every year?  

The studies and surveys of hail damage roof and are endless with the sizes of hail stones. The impact of these ice stones on different roof types noted in field observations found that a one inch hail stone can damage an asphalt roof to the point of roof replacement in most cases. Size comparisons for the mind:  

  • Pea  = 1/4-inch diameter hailstone
  • Marble = 1/2-inch diameter hailstone
  • Dime or penny = 3/4-inch diameter hailstone 
  • Nickel = 7/8-inch hailstone
  • Quarter = 1 inch hailstone
  • Golf Ball = 1½  inches hailstone
  • Tennis Ball = 2½ inches hailstone
  • Baseball = 2¾ inches hailstone
  • Teacup = 3 inches hailstone
  • Softball = 4 inches hailstone

What hail damage on a roof looks like?

If after a hailstorm you have broken, cracked windows, damage to siding, gutters dented, etc., then you probably have hail damage roof too. As you can guess, by the size comparison we provided, it doesn’t take a large piece of hail to create hail damage roofs. 

Common hail damage roofs with asphalt, clay, or concrete shingles, hail can crack these, even shatter the clay or concrete shingles. So, yes, that is damage you can’t miss, but what the untrained eye can’t see with hail damage are the following: 

  • Black Dots
  • Granule Loss
  • Bruised Shingles
  • Impacts Dent and Marks
  • Shingle Splits and Tears 

What do you do if your roof has hail damage?

The process will take time, patience is a virtue when dealing with insurance claims. Your first step after a hailstorm, do your own visual inspection as you walk around your home. Take pictures or a video, make notes of what you can see in hail damage roof, siding, windows, etc., then follow these steps:

  1. Then call a roofing contractor for a  hail damage roof inspection. Most will offer a free inspection for hail roof damage, but if they do charge, that cost is deducted from any work they do once you file your insurance claim. 
  2. Make sure you get a bonded, insured, and licensed roofing contractor. This will be substantial help if you have to file a hail damage roof claim with your insurance company. Schedule the appointment when you’re at home so they can show you what they find and discuss what is needed. They should furnish you a written estimate that will include the following information: Materials needed, Labor charges, Work to be specified, Time to complete job, Payment options, Building permits, Warranty and conditions.
  3. Do not sign any contract at this time. Signing an inspection report for contingency you’ll use this roofing company will negate your ability to get other bids and it could release any insurance payment directly to the roofer. 
  4. Next, call your insurance company and file a claim if the inspection found substantial hail damage roof repair or replacement is needed. If the roofing contractor’s inspection indicates the scope of loss isn’t as much as your deductible, but repairs are needed, you’ll be better off paying for that out of pocket. 
  5. With your hail damage roof claim filed, the insurance company’s claims adjuster will contact you and schedule an appointment to do their own inspection. Offer to send them the pictures and videos you have as well as a copy of your notes and the roofing contractor’s estimate. 
  6. Schedule your roofing contractor to meet with the insurance adjuster at your home. Remember, the roofing contractor is on your side and wants the job. The insurance company adjuster is on the insurance company’s side and is going to try to save them money. 
  7. The insurance claims adjuster will create a report with their inspection and findings, and either prepare an estimate for repairs or replacement, or recommend your claim be denied.  

What should you not say to an insurance adjuster?

First, you want to review your policy thoroughly before the insurance adjuster arrives so that you know your rights and what is covered. Never argue with what they may point out, but don’t miss the opportunity to point out what you and your roofing contractor found in damage either. 

If there was any previous damage to siding, like the kid’s football hit the house last week, don’t point it out. Let the insurance adjuster make that assessment. Same with any broken or cracked windows. Let your roofing contractor do the talking when it comes to the hail damage roof and other areas of your property.

How long do you have to claim hail damage on roof?

Again, we can’t repeat this enough, review your homeowner’s insurance policy on a regular basis. Each policy can vary on this particular topic and every insurance company has their own guidelines. Typically, most standard homeowner’s insurance policies require any hail damage roof claim, or damage of other parts of your property, be file within 12 months of the damage. 

chalk circles on roof

Should I replace roof after hail damage?

After a hailstorm, if the roof is leaking, that is a no-brainer. At the very least, roof repair is needed, and likely with a leak, replacement is probably required. However, because hail damage roofs isn’t always obvious to the untrained eye, you’ll need a reliable roofing contractor to advise you.  

Do not go with a storm-chasing contractor. Choose a local, reliable roofing contractor with a reputation and can provide documents they are bonded and insured. They will advise you if repairs are sufficient, if you should replace the roof, or if there isn’t any hail damage. Yes, it is possible to go through a hailstorm and not have any hail damage roof issues. 

So you don’t have to worry with hail damage roof claims again, what type of roof is best for hail? This may seem funny if you aren’t aware there is such a roofing product, but a rubber roof is the best solution to minimizing hail damage rooftops. 

A rubber roof has a tremendous impact resistance because it absorbs the impact and disperses it back into nature, much like a UV resistant roof reflects the sun’s rays back out. Once the hailstones hit a rubber roof, it will return to its original shape. 

However, if the hailstones are large enough and hit hard enough, the rubber roof will sustain the impact, but the decking under it may not. It is recommended to still have a professional roofing inspection done after a hailstorm to inspect the decking and all components related to roofing. Call (940) 441-4544 today for your hail roof damage in Justin & Fort Worth, TX.

What Is the Difference Between Architectural Shingles and Asphalt Shingles?

A Roofer Installs Asphalt Shingles.

What is the difference between architectural shingles and asphalt shingles?

When you’re getting a new roof put on, more often than not these days—especially with new construction—roofers will install architectural shingles. These are the most common type of asphalt shingle roof installed today. They are different from traditional 3-Tab asphalt shingle roofing. Architectural shingles are typically more durable and feature a double layer of materials as opposed to a single layer of 3-Tab shingles. They also come in diverse textures, shapes, sizes and colors. If you’re looking to replace your roof, whether architectural or 3-Tab, and want asphalt shingle roofing in Justin & Fort Worth, TX, look to the professionals at J Riley Roofing. We provide a full range of roofing solutions. Give us a call at (940) 441-4544.

How often should asphalt shingles be replaced?

Different types of shingles have different lifespans. An asphalt shingle roof’s lifespan will depend on what type of shingle you install. Architectural or composition shingles have a lifespan of about 18 to 20 years, although they can last 30 years or longer under the right conditions with regular maintenance. Standard 3-Tab asphalt shingles last about 12 to 15 years. On average, after about 15 to 20 years, no matter how well maintained, you should replace your roof.

What are the longest lasting roof shingles?

When you’re replacing your roof, you want a roofing material that’s going to last a long time and withstand the elements. While metal and tile roofing is often the most durable type of roofing materials with lifespans of 40 years or more—slate tile can last centuries—they are also often impractical or too expensive to install. That’s why roofers tend to use some type of asphalt shingle roof, usually architectural or 3-Tab shingle. These shingles are inexpensive and easy to install, as well as durable. Depending on the type of shingle installed, you’ll get about 12 to 30 years out of them. Premium shingles that are impact-resistant cost a little more but can last as long as 50 years. Wood shingles or shakes are also long-lasting—about 40 years—but are costly and difficult to install, and pose a significant risk of fire. In some areas, you also might not be allowed to install wood shingles because of the fire hazard.

How long do asphalt shingle roofs last?

You’re going to get a lot of life out of an asphalt shingle roof. How much will depend on what type of roof you select as well as variables like maintenance, location, weather, attic ventilation, and a reputable and experienced contractor like J Riley Roofing installing them.

Types of asphalt shingles

  • 3-Tab: Your standard flat shingle. You can expect to get anywhere from 12 to 20 years from them.
  • Architectural: These shingles are commonly placed on most modern homes. The average lifespan is 20 to 30 years.

Premium or impact-resistant: A little more expensive than other shingles because of their Class 4 impact-resistance rating, they are valued in areas that get large amounts of hail or high winds. These shingles will last 30 years or more.

What are asphalt roof shingles made of?

Oddly enough, when you install an asphalt shingle roof, the shingles are not wholly composed of asphalt. Most shingles are composed of a base material of either felt paper or fiberglass that is coated with a layer of waterproof asphalt. The asphalt is then covered with a layer of ceramic granules. Architectural shingles have two layers of asphalt.

Can asphalt roof shingles be painted?

If you aren’t satisfied with the color of your asphalt shingle roof, you might be considering painting the shingles. You can do this; however, most roofing professionals, including us, recommend against it. This largely because it’s going to take a lot of upkeep to maintain the roof after it’s painted. That’s because as the roof wears and weathers, the granules that cover the asphalt will wear away leaving blotchy patches over your roof that you’re going to have to repaint continually. You’re also going to have to use paint that can endure your roof’s high heat levels. If you do paint the roof, use high-quality 100% acrylic latex paint that features a flat finish. Some paint manufacturers produce specialized paints that also protect against mildew and algae growth, which is recommended. Before you paint shingles, you also want to check the manufacturer’s warranty, as some warranties are invalidated when the shingle is modified.

Is a metal roof better than asphalt shingles?

Many people are turning to metal roofing for their homes instead of sticking with asphalt shingles. Metal roofs do have their advantages, including longevity and low maintenance. Insurance companies often provide discounts because metal roofs are fire and damage resistant. But, one distinct disadvantage metal has over asphalt shingles is cost. Initial installation costs for metal roofs are about twice to three times more than asphalt. This initial installation expense can be prohibitive for some. Asphalt shingle roofs are also typically easier and less expensive to repair. Much of the choice will depend on what the homeowner needs, wants, and can afford.

What are the worst roof shingles?

For the most part, modern roofing shingles are pretty high-quality. Of course, even the highest-rated manufacturers can occasionally produce flawed materials.

What you want in a shingle is durability, and these shingles are typically going to be heavier and stronger, and high-performing—they weather the elements well and are resistant to common problems like algae growth. Most of all, you want shingles that are covered by good warranties, typically a 30-year warranty. Poor-quality shingles rarely come with good warranties and won’t perform well.

Ask your roofing contractor about the warranties on the shingles they use. If it’s a good warranty, it’s probably going to be a good shingle. J Riley Roofing prefers GAF products because of their product warranties and consistent and proven high-quality performance.

A Roofer Installs 3-Tab Asphalt Shingle Roof.

How to replace asphalt shingle roof

Roof replacement typically isn’t a do-it-yourself job. If you are looking to replace your asphalt shingle roof in Justin & Fort Worth, TX, you can always count on the trusted professionals at J Riley Roofing. We provide a full range of roofing solutions to meet all your roofing needs. Schedule a time to get an estimate from us by calling (940) 441-4544.

When to Get a Roof Inspection

A Roofer Inspects a Roof.

When to get a roof inspection

Homeowners often take their roofs for granted until a leak breaks through the ceiling or a hailstorm slams into it. Only then do they call a roofing company to get a roof inspection and repair. While leaks and storms are good times to follow up with a roof inspection, an inspection should actually be part of your regular home maintenance plan, and most roofing professionals advise you should have your roof inspected annually. This can help you take care of any minor repairs if needed before the damage gets worse or alert you that it’s time to replace the roof.

Fall or spring are often good times to schedule this maintenance inspection. That’s because the colder the weather the harder it becomes for roofers to make repairs or even replace roofs. Cold weather, for instance, keep shingles from sealing down correctly, which can compromise the installation. It can also be very dangerous to make repairs on an icy roof.

You can also rely on a professional roof inspection for a roof insurance claim, and any home inspection for a home sale should include a check of the roof. If you need a reliable roof inspection from an experienced residential roofer in Justin & Fort Worth, TX, you can always count on J Riley Roofing. Call us today at (940) 441-4544 to schedule your inspection.

What happens during a roof inspection?

Whether you’ve scheduled a roof inspection to check for damage or as part of regular maintenance, roofers will follow a similar process that includes:

  • Interior inspection: The inside of your home, in particular your attic, is often checked first for signs of leaks, mold, or any other water damage. The roofer might also check for adequate insulation, which prevents heat loss.
  • Exterior inspection: The inspector then climbs on the roof to get a closer look at problems like damaged or missing shingles and damaged flashing or cracked caulking, or any other issue that might invite water intrusion or cause serious problems later on.
  • Estimate: After the inspection is complete, the roofer provides homeowners with a report that indicates where damage is present and an estimate of costs, including materials and labor, to repair or replace the roof. If the inspection is part of a real estate transaction, both buyers and sellers receive a copy of the report.

How long does it take to inspect a roof?

The average roof inspection will take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour or longer. Inspection times could vary depending on the size of the roof and how steep it is, as well as how much damage and what types of damage are present.

How do you pass a roof inspection?

In general, a roof inspection for maintenance isn’t a pass/fail process and technically neither is a roof inspection when buying a house. But when you are buying or selling a house, the must be in as good of shape or better than the home. Problems are likely to appear on home inspection reports either way, and these problems often enter into the negotiation. If you’re the seller, you shouldn’t panic when problems are presented. Instead, you need to find out exactly how severe the problem is. It could range from simple issues like cracked or missing shingles to something much more complex like a rotting deck.

Make sure to get a second opinion from a professional roofer in this case. Once this inspection is performed you can opt to get the repairs done yourself or work the repairs into a lower price on the home. If you ignore the repairs, you still have to reveal the issues to any potential buyers.

As a buyer, you shouldn’t be disheartened with issues appearing on a home inspection report. Evaluate the report and see if the repairs are something you are OK handling yourself once you’ve purchased the home and work it into the negotiations over the selling price unless the seller is willing to make the repairs. With any possible major roofing problems, have a professional roofer take a look. This will give you a better idea of the roof’s condition and may give you a better idea of the home’s overall condition.

Do home inspectors get on roof?

When buying or selling a home, it’s important to include a roof inspection with the home inspection. Some home inspectors will include this as part of their service. Usually, this will involve checking for damaged or missing shingles and making certain your gutters and flashing are in good order. If you have a chimney and fireplace, they will check to see if both are safe. If the home inspector is unable to check the roof or if you want a second opinion about their findings, you should consider hiring a professional roofer to inspect the roof.

Do I have to fix everything on a home inspection?

If you’re selling your home, you have no legal obligation to make any repairs that come up on the home inspection. Depending on the scale of the repairs requested, you might fix them yourself or you might enter the repairs as part of the negotiation on the home’s price. Of course, there are some repairs you might want to make, especially safety issues like bad wiring that’s creating a fire hazard or mold and mildew clean-up because it is a health hazard. These types of issues could prevent you from ever selling the home. You’ll also have to report any issues to prospective buyers.

Roof inspection for insurance

If your roof’s been damaged in a storm or other event, before you file a claim on insurance, you should have a professional roofer inspect the roof. You can avoid several pitfalls when you do this including ensuring all repair issues are caught by repair experts. Adjusters don’t always catch everything and an inspection report will help verify and document your claim. A roofer also might determine the damage isn’t severe enough to warrant you filing a claim because it won’t exceed your deductible. Filing claims too often can cause you to lose coverage.

A Roofer Inspects Tiles

Who can do a roof inspection?

Whether it’s for maintenance or repairs, when you need an expert roof inspection in Justin & Fort Worth, TX, rely on the trusted local professionals at J Riley Roofing. We offer a complete range of residential roofing solutions. Book a service today by calling (940) 441-4544.