WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT ROOFING IN WINTER:
Long Island, NY winters come with harsh conditions. Our team has been busy fixing roof leaks and home ice dams as well as installing new roofs. We work quickly to resolve weather-related issues for homeowners. And, for some homeowners that means installing a new roof.
IS IT OKAY TO DO ROOFING IN THE WINTER?
Yes. When done properly and by experienced roofing contractors, roofing in the winter can be done successfully. We don’t consider cold temperatures to be ideal for roof installation, but sometimes it is necessary.
SOME CONTRACTORS WILL NOT DO WINTER ROOF REPLACEMENTS.
Winter roofing can be dangerous. Slippery or damaged surfaces come with inherent risks. Ice dams cause additional complications. Projects in the winter can take longer, and some teams don’t have the manpower to dedicate to these installations.
Unfortunately, accidents do happen when working in dangerous conditions. Unless you’re experienced with working on slippery roofs, it’s best to hire a professional for all winter repairs and replacements. It’s important to ensure that you hire an experienced roofing contractor. Don’t always go with the lowest bidder and understand what your insurance will cover.
It can be helpful to ask your roofing contractor about the team’s experience in cold months. Many contractors even carry smartphones with pictures of recent projects; ask to see examples of the team’s work.
For many roofing professionals, winter roofing is just part of the job. Our team has years of winter roofing experience; this ensures they know the proper procedures, and will walk the homeowner through each step of the process.
SHINGLES INSTALLATION IS BEST ABOVE 40 DEGREES FAHRENHEIT.
To properly install shingles and protect your home against future ice dams, it’s best to complete roof installation in temperatures above 40 degrees. Cracking and damage is more probable when temperatures fall. That being said, we can do alternative installation methods to resolve immediate issues. Roofing experts must handle shingles carefully and do their work efficiently, doing so decreases the risk of problems. Ignoring best practices will cause the roof to fail prematurely or allow future problems, like ice dams.
WINTER ROOFING PROJECTS CAN TAKE LONGER.
The sealing process for all roofs doesn’t happen in below-freezing temperatures. If it’s not an emergency, roofers will usually wait until there are few days of favorable temperatures to perform the job.
IF IN DOUBT, CHECK THE MANUFACTURER’S LABEL.
Some products require specific weather, but generally speaking, 40 degrees Fahrenheit and above can work okay for roofing. As home contractors, we prefer temps around 70 degrees for effective sealing. But, we can work around those challenges, when necessary.
Home contractors should have the experience to recommend when winter roofing is unsafe or less than ideal. If you’re concerned, inquire about the specific materials being used on your project. Most roofing supply companies have websites where information can be verified. Ask the contractor for brand and style information, then do some quick research.
LONG ISLAND, NY HOMEOWNERS SHOULD DO A ROOF INSPECTION IN LATE SUMMER OR FALL.
Proactive roof maintenance is always best. It saves homeowners time, hassle and money. We always recommend clients regularly check their roofing to ensure its condition can support the harsh winter conditions. Removing leaves and debris from gutters is important to ensure a problem-free winter. Chimneys should also be inspected.
Spring through fall are ideal for roofing replacements. Fall is often busier for home contractors due to winter preparation. If you’re budgeting for a roof replacement this year, consider a spring timeline. Because crews are typically less busy, wait times in spring months are often less.
ROOFS CAN BE WARMER THAN THE AIR TEMPERATURE.
Home heating and attic airflow can increase the temperature of roofs. The sun can also have an impact on the roof’s temperature. If a stretch of sunny days is predicted, this may create more favorable installation conditions even if it’s very cold outside. Proper storage of roofing materials can also decrease risks associated with winter installations.
DON’T WAIT TO REPAIR WINTER ROOF PROBLEMS.
Some homeowners fear that winter conditions will result in a terrible roofing project. Then, they delay the repairs and let the roofing problem get worse. Leaky roofs and ice dams can cause serious issues to homes if not resolved quickly. A roof is your home’s protective shield. Take care of it the best you can.
"Does insurance cover roof replacement” is one of the most common questions our team is asked. Needing a roof replacement can be a stressful process, but knowing that insurance will cover the cost can add some serious comfort to the project.
Each homeowner’s insurance policy is different. However, working with insurance companies for more than 20 years has taught us a few things about how the whole process typically works.
7 QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER ABOUT INSURANCE COVERING ROOF REPLACEMENTS
1. DOES THE AGE OF MY ROOF IMPACT IF INSURANCE WILL COVER IT?
The age of your roof is not typically a deciding factor on if your roof damage will be covered. However, it is increasingly an aspect used to determine how much an insurance policy will reimburse you and what repairs will be covered. And, it can impact if the insurance company will cover a full roof replacement or only repairs.
For some policies, roofs older than 10 years will received the depreciated value of the roofing as a reimbursement rather than the full cost of a new roof. Additionally, some insurance companies are requiring roof inspects upon policy renewal if a roof is older than 20 years. And, insurance experts anticipate this trend continuing––with additional stipulations being added to policies upon renewal, depending on the roof’s age.
2. HOW DO I KNOW IF INSURANCE WILL COVER MY ROOF REPLACEMENT?
Often the quickest way to answer this question is to call your agent directly (some even have text or apps available nowadays). Calling an insurance repair contractor, such as Bloomfield Construction, can help you and your agent better understand the necessary repairs, cost to fix them and process the project will follow. This contractor will be involved in the inspection process to help your agent start the claim process.
3. WHAT IS TYPICALLY COVERED UNDER MY POLICY?
Roof damage caused by most natural disasters is usually included in your homeowner’s policy. Covered natural disasters include fallen trees, hurricanes, tornados, lightning, hail and random fallen debris. Some policies do have a higher deductible for certain types of storm or damage, so consult your agent for more information on this.
Also, vandalism and home fire damage to roofing are typically covered.
4. WHAT ROOF DAMAGE IS NOT COVERED IN HOMEOWNER’S INSURANCE?
Typically, long-term roof leaks are not covered in a generic homeowner’s insurance policy. This is why it’s very important to regularly inspect your roof for damaged, cracked or missing shingles, particularly after a storm occurs. This includes examining the exterior as well as looking in the attic for potential problems. Repairs should be taken care of immediately to increase the likelihood that your policy will cover them.
Most policies do not include flood damage; however, interior water damage may be covered if the damage resulted from a roof leak that was caused by a protected situation. For example, if a tree fell on your home, causing interior flooding, your insurance should cover all related damaged.
Additionally, regular roofing wear and age are not covered. And, in some cases, this regular wear can decrease the reimbursement amount an insurance will pay following covered damage.
5. WILL MY INSURANCE RATES GO UP IF I FILE A CLAIM FOR ROOF REPLACEMENT?
No. Homeowner’s insurance does not operate in the same way car insurance does, and your rate should not rise if you make a single claim, however you should check with your agent to be sure.
6. WILL MY INSURANCE ONLY COVER ROOF REPAIRS OR CAN I GET A FULL REPLACEMENT
This is dependent on the extent and cause of the damage as well as the age of the roof. Insurance companies want to incur the smallest expense possible. If a simple repair will suffice, that is what will be covered. Also, if the roof’s warranty has expired, this could influence the coverage.
7. WHEN SHOULD I FILE A CLAIM FOR MY ROOF REPAIRS OR REPLACEMENT?
As soon as you suspect or identify a problem with your roof! Leaking or otherwise damaged roofing can cause a wide range of problems, some of which may not be covered under insurance if you wait too long.
Even if you don’t immediately see a problem as a result of damages on your roof, it’s always a good idea to get an inspection. We have tools that can examine the full extent of the damage, and see things you may have missed.
As homeowners, we all know that at some point, we have to invest in a new roof. But, the big question is: When exactly is the perfect time to take on serious roofing repairs? Replacing the roof too soon or too late could seriously cost you. You want to fully maximize your roof’s shelf life, but you don’t want to cause more damage to your home by keeping a withered roof on the house. So, what do you do? We’ve seen many homeowners face this dilemma.
WE'VE PUT TOGETHER A LIST OF FIVE WARNING SIGNS THAT MEAN IT’S TIME FOR SOME MUCH-NEEDED ROOF REPAIRS:
#1 CURLING AND BUCKLING:
Areas of your roof that have begun to curl and buckle probably exceeded their life expectancy. Often times, the parts of a roof that experience the most curling and buckling are the portions that are frequently exposed to the elements: sunlight, water, snow or sleet. Like the skin on the human body that reflects internal physiological defects, shingles often shed light on underlying, deep-rooted roofing issues.
#2 LEAKS IN THE ATTIC:
Your roof is essentially the first line of defense for your home. If water is making it passed this line of defense, it’s time for a new roof. Check your attic every once in a while to ensure that water hasn’t settled into the insulation or dry wall. Be careful, if this issue is not taken care of promptly, a simple attic leak can develop into a black mold problem. Added moisture encourages the growth of all types of bacteria, fungi and mold.
#3 GRANULE LOSS:
In roofing, granules reflect lifespan: The more granules a roof has, the newer it is – and vice versa. Granules protect the shingles from being broken down by the sun. Make sure to check your gutters to see if there is a larger-than-usual amount of granules in them. If this is the case, it means that your roofing is becoming particularly worn at a quicker-than-usual rate.
#4 MISSING SHINGLES:
High winds can easily blow off a shingle from your roof. And, missing shingles result in overexposure to the elements for your roof. Roofing repairs don’t always entail replacing the entire roof. But, keep in mind, if a shingle falls off without assistance from particularly harsh weather conditions, then it probably means that your roof is too old. Shingles lose their grip as a roof ages.
#5 DARK SPOTS ON THE SHINGLES:
Just like an overabundance of granules in the gutters, dark spots on a roof also indicate granule loss. When the granules are missing, portions of the shingle will appear darker than areas that are still coated with granules. A new roof will not have this discolored appearance. The older and more-worn a roof, the more spots you’ll notice. This is particularly important because – as aforementioned – granules protect the shingles from the effects of sun exposure. Think of granules as sunscreen for your roof.
Poor attic ventilation in the uppermost part of your home can cause a lot of issues, but most commonly the one’s below. The three parameters for attic condensation in cold climates are - interior house humidity, ceiling airtightness and pressures, and attic ventilation.
During the winter, moist air can collect in an attic that is not properly ventilated. During the summer, hot and humid air can also build up in the attic, putting stress on your roof. High attic humidity usually shows up as dampness or frost on the underside of the roof sheathing. Moisture can also lead to mildew or warping, and mold can start grow, leading to major structural issues. If heat rises into the attic during the winter, it can cause snow to melt and refreeze as ice (ICE DAMMING), which can lead to leaks and further damage!
Here are the four most common reasons to explain the practice of venting attics:
Natural airflow occurs by drawing in the air from outside, pushing it up and out through the vent at the top of the house. This is called passive ventilation.