Over the years working on all sorts of roofing projects in Colorado Springs, we've heard all the questions! From protection & maintenance, to avoiding roofing scams, and simple pricing questions. We wanted to pull together the questions we heard most from customers throughout the years and provide you with answers to help give you all the information you need to know about your roof.
Question 1: If My Bath Exhaust Fan Drips Water, Does That Mean I Have A Leaky Roof?
This video on our YouTube channel has over 58,000 views, so it's obviously a hot topic. We've even had people from other states call us to ask for more information about this. The answer, for the most part, is “No, you probably don't have a leaky roof.” Of course, a leaky roof could be causing this, but most of the time when we see this happening, it's because the bath exhaust fan vents directly into the attic. This causes moisture build-up and condensation. In the summer, this condensation evaporates because of the attic heat, but when it gets really cold, that's when most people notice the drips coming out of the fan cover.
What Should You Do?
If you notice water dripping from your exhaust fan in your bathroom, have someone inspect the attic. Most likely, you'll find that the fan is exhausting into the attic. You will want to have it extended so it vents out of the roof, which means that you'll have to cut a hole in the roof and put an exhaust cap on the duct pipe. You will also want to replace the duct pipe with a sheathed duct rather than the standard coiled foil ducting as is commonly used. You'll want to work with someone who can handle the installation of the new duct pipe and also a roofer who can cut into the roof, install the exhaust cap, and replace the shingles.
Question 2: Can you roof my house in the winter?
A common question people have is whether or not they need to have their roof replacement project completed before winter. With all the wet weather Colorado Springs and Fountain had in August and early September, many roofers are faced with a sliding production schedule. Combine that with the huge volume of damaged roofs in this area, and the onset of winter weather, and many homeowners now have to wait until the winter or spring months before their roofs can be replaced.
So the big question is, "Can my roof be installed in the winter?" and the answer to that is, "Yes."
The climate in El Paso county is mild enough to allow roofers to keep working almost all year. The conditions that are needed are sun and temperatures of at least 45 degrees, with more sunny, warm weather for at least a day or two after the roof is installed, so that the shingles have a chance to seal. In some instances, your insurance company will even pay for a “cold weather installation,” which includes using extra sealant applied to the shingles on the gable ends of your roof. This slows the installers down and makes the roof take longer to install, so if your roof needs to be installed in cold weather, and he asks your insurance company to pay for “cold weather installation”, it's reasonable to expect that they'll add that amount to your claim.
Why Do We Want Warmer Weather To Install Your Roof?
The real simple answer is so that the seal strips on the shingles will warm up enough to get tacky and seal the shingles together so the wind can't separate them and blow them off your roof. Warmer shingles also are more flexible and won't crack as easily as cold shingles which provides you with a better installation and end-product. Watch this video for more information.
Question 3: Why Is Your Estimate Higher Than My Insurance Claim Amount?
In many property damage insurance claims for roofing due to hail storms, the roofing contractor’s estimate may be higher than what the homeowner has in his insurance claim document.
Why is this? There are two primary reasons.
- The adjuster probably left some, or a lot of items out of the scope of work. There’s one important thing to remember about adjusters – the vast majority of them have no experience in roofing, construction, or damage restoration. They are simply “checking off the boxes” in the template they’re given from their claims offices. Oftentimes those templates don’t contain all the necessary items to re-roof your house. If an adjuster doesn’t know how to roof a house, he will not know to add in the items missing from his template.
- The software that your insurance company uses does not have correct current pricing for this specific local market. This is especially true after a major storm event such as what happened in Fountain and south Colorado Springs on June 13th, July 30th, and again on August 6th.
What Should You Do If Your Insurance Claim Amount Is Too Low?
Remember one thing: The document you receive from the insurance company is also an estimate. It is not engraved on tablets of stone and unchangeable. In most cases, if you or your contractor can explain to the insurance company why the missing line items are necessary, they will add those to the claim (this is called a supplement). There are some insurance companies, however, that refuse to change their estimates. As a homeowner, and as the policy-holder, if this is the case, you should demand that your insurance company show you the verbiage in your policy where it states that they will not pay for the full replacement of your damaged property. If they cannot, you should expect that company to fully indemnify you for your losses. It’s better to know beforehand what your coverage includes. Do your research on insurance companies and before you file a claim, be sure you understand what is and what is not covered by your policy. Read your annual policy declaration page every year and if you don’t understand the language in it, ask your insurance agent to explain it to you.
Question 4: Why Didn’t My Shingles Last 30 Years Like The Roofer Said?
There's a common misconception that I hear from homeowners all the time about how long they perceive that their shingles should have lasted. Usually the question goes something like this; "Why didn't my shingles last 30 years? That's what my roofer told me." Or, "I know I don't need a new roof because I have a 30 year shingle and it's only (fill-in-the-blank) years old."
There are two basic misconceptions regarding the 30-year, 40-year, or 50-year designations that the shingle manufacturers apply to their products. The first is that these numbers represent how long the shingle will last, when in fact what these numbers really mean is that is how long of a warranty against product defect that the manufacturer is providing. It carries no implication of how long the shingle will last.
The 2nd misconception is usually a misunderstanding on the part of the homeowner. During the sales presentation, the roofing salesman may have mentioned that the shingles have a 30, 40, or 50 year warranty without explaining what that means. The homeowner hears that and translates that in his mind to the thought that the shingles will last 30, 40, or 50 years. It also could be that the salesman didn’t understand what the warranty covers and mistakenly told the homeowner that his shingles will last that long. If he said that, he was wrong.
Hopefully that clears up any misconceptions you or others may have about the 30, 40, or 50 year numbers on your roofing shingles. If you have questions, however, please call our office.
Question 5: A Bomb Cyclone Just Hit My House! Should I File An Insurance Claim?
The day of the storm, we were asked this question by a homeowner who has lost a few shingles and the simple rule of thumb should be: If you observe major damage to your property, then don't delay, call your insurance company. If you observe only minor damage, or if you suspect you may have damage, don't call your insurance company. Instead, call a credible contractor to inspect your property and tell you whether or not you have an insurable loss.
What is "major damage?"
If you had a tree fall on your house, that's "major damage." If you had branches fall from a tree and put holes in your roof, that's "major damage." If 15-20% or more of your shingles blew off, that's "major damage," especially if the underlayment blew off with the shingles and the wood decking is now exposed. If you had branches fall on your roof, but didn't penetrate the roof, that's not major damage, nor is it major damage if you had a handful of shingles blow off.
If you don't have major damage and you file a claim, then your adjuster may deny the claim, at which point you then have a "zero-pay claim" on your record. If there is some minor damage, he may accept the claim, but if the cost of the repairs is less than your deductible, you have a claim but with no financial benefit to you. Therefore, I strongly recommend that you call a contractor to inspect your property. If you have an insurable loss, your contractor will let you know and will recommend that you file a claim with your insurance company.
If you have any questions about the condition of your roof after the bomb cyclone of March 13, 2019, please contact Homestead Roofing.
Question 6: What Is A Supplement (And Why Should You Care)?
If someone in the home restoration or insurance industries talk with you about a supplement, they're not recommending vitamins. They're referring to the act of requesting an addition to your insurance claim.
Very often the insurance claim you receive for damage to your home will be too low. This is normally because of missing items from the necessary scope of work. Items may be missing because of a number of reasons.
One reason is because insurance adjusters are rarely experienced in construction or restoration. That means that they are rarely aware of all the items and details that are necessary to do your restoration project correctly. Another reason may be because they're unaware of local building codes, so they may not include items required by the current codes. Still another reason is because businesses try to save money. If an insurance company and a homeowner will accept an insurance estimate that was intentionally written too low, they save money. A lot of money.
Lastly, one other reason may be because your policy excludes payments for something called "Ordinance and Law." That means that if you don't have Ordinance and Law coverage in your policy, your insurance company doesn't have to pay for your new roof to meet current building codes. For example, if your house was last roofed, or built before a particular code went into effect, and now your contractor has to install certain materials or do things a certain way to meet code, if you don't have Ordinance and Law coverage on your policy, you will have to pay for that out of pocket. Most policies do have Ordinance and Law coverage, though, and that’s why a supplement is necessary.
Question 7: Should I Pull The Permit For My Roofer?
If a homeowner hires a contractor to re-roof his house in El Paso or Teller counties, there must be a building permit pulled. If the contractor is asking the homeowner to pull the permit, that should raise some red flags, yet this happens every year after a hailstorm.
What Are The Concerns?
If the contractor you have hired is asking you to pull the permit, that will likely mean that he doesn’t have a license to do roofing in your county. He may have a contractor’s license, but that license may not allow him to do re-roofs. It could also be that he used to have a roofing license, but it has either expired or it was revoked. Or, it could mean that he doesn’t have, nor has he ever had, a license for roofing in your county.
We have been to a number of homes where the owner has pulled the permit for the roofer or no permit was pulled at all. In some cases, especially when out of state roofers come here and start selling jobs, unlicensed roofers will get locally-licensed roofers to pull permits for them, a practice which is illegal and will result in the revocation of the license of the licensed roofer. It’s always advisable for a homeowner to know that the contractor he has hired is licensed in his county to do the work he has been hired to do.
Question 8: Should I Give A Roofer Money Up-front?
We’ve talked a lot about Colorado SB38, also known as The Residential Roofing Bill Of Rights, and our local media has publicized it many times too. Many people understand that this law made it illegal for a roofing contractor to pay, waive, rebate, or discount a homeowner’s insurance deductible for roof repairs or replacements. Most people don’t know, however, that SB38 also governs how and when a roofer may collect a deposit payment for a roof job.
What Could Go Wrong If I Give A Roofer Money Up-front?
The most common way that homeowners along the Front Range get scammed by roofers is by giving them a “deposit” payment up-front.
If you give a contractor a deposit payment up-front and he disappears or refuses to do the work, you’ve lost all that money. Hundreds of thousands of dollars have been scammed out of homeowners in Colorado using this method.
Colorado SB38 states that, “The roofing contractor shall hold in trust any payment from the property owner until the roofing contractor has delivered roofing materials at the residential property site or has performed a majority of the roofing work on the residential property.”
For your protection, the best course of action is to not give a roofer a deposit payment until he has delivered material to your property. If he complains about this, or says his company requires him to collect money up-front, you can either:
- Remind him of Colorado SB38
- Require that the company hold your check in trust
- Find a different roofer who will not collect money up-front
Please call our office if you have any questions about this issue.
Question 9: What Is Ice & Water Shield?
As I write this, Colorado Springs and the surrounding area is in the midst of a deep freeze with icy-cold temperatures and lots of snow. Seems like a good time to talk about a product called ice & water shield.
Ice & water shield (IWS) is an effective leak barrier for your roof and is typically installed wherever there is a potential for water entering the house through the roof. Spots like roof penetrations, side-walls, head-walls, valleys, and the eaves are all areas that produce the most leaks.
Ice & Water Shield To The Rescue!
Our preferred IWS product is WinterGuard, by CertainTeed. The official description from the CertainTeed website is, “WinterGuard is a composite material of asphalt polymers, formed into a rolled sheet.” It is an underlayment that is installed on the roof deck, under your shingles. Because it’s an asphalt polymer product, it’s elastic and kind of “rubbery.” This elasticity and rubbery-feel is what makes this such an effective leak barrier. WinterGuard, like other IWS products, seals around and grip nails or staples that penetrate it. If water does happen to get under your shingles or the flashings, it won’t follow a nail through the wood decking into your soffit boxes or worse, into your house.
Because of the likelihood of ice dams forming in cold climates, IWS is required to be installed on roofs in El Paso county which are on houses over 7000’ in elevation. It’s also a requirement on all houses in Elbert and Teller counties.
CertainTeed’s WinterGuard is the key component in Homestead Roofing’s proprietary LeakSTOPPER system, which gives a homeowner a lifetime leak warranty. If you have any questions about ice dams, ice & water shield, or the Homestead Roofing LeakSTOPPER system, please call our office at 719-433-6991.