As storms continue to be a topic of conversation for Texans, roofers have seen an increase in the number of questions from buyers, sellers and homeowners about roof replacement.
Zach Hash with Texoma Roofing & Construction said weather isn’t the only source of roofing inquiries. He explained an increase in home sales also creates an increase in roof replacement.
“Folks are buying a lot of homes since the market is doing well,” Hash said. “Now a days, the insurance companies are getting so stiff it’s almost impossible to buy a house without having a new roof on it. And so a lot of people are selling houses and finding out they have old damage.”
Hash said when damage is discovered by an inspector or appraiser, it is important homeowners understand they can contact a contractor who will go out to meet the insurance adjuster.
“A contractor can help the adjuster find the damage and make sure there’s no damage to screens, gutters or siding,” Hash said. “And they can also maximize the claim on the one deductible. Having a contractor present is really great.”
Home inspector Butch Gayoso with Best Inspections said roof damage is often not visible from ground level.
“I have seen an insurance agent walk around the backyard while I was on the roof,” Gayoso said. “When I came down, my client explained it was their insurance guy and that he said everything looks good. When I was up on the roof, I had found hail damage. Don’t judge based on what you see from the ground.”
Hash said roofers will almost always do a free inspection in order to tell homeowners whether there is damage present or not. If damage is found, they can contact the homeowner’s insurance company.
“We will let them know that roofs are getting done in the area,” Hash said. “And we will tell them the contractor said you have damage and it’s time to file a claim.”
Gayoso explained an inspector’s job is to recommend further evaluation if damage is suspected.
“Our job as an inspector, even if I clearly see hail damage, is to recommend they call a roofer or insurance adjuster,” Gayoso said. “It’s the same protocol as going to see your family doctor. If he finds a problem, he will recommend a specialist.”
There are currently several roof types available. Most insurance companies provide a discount for customers with a metal roof.
“We get a lot of customers in the country who want a standing seam metal roof,” Hash said. “It’s a modern farm house look a lot of people are going for. The only problem that I have seen is that a lot of times insurance won’t total out a metal roof unless it’s severely damage. If it just has dings everywhere, they say it’s just cosmetic.”
Another type of roof that is gaining popularity is a 30 year architectural shingle roof, Hash said.
“People are getting away from a three tab roof because they are prone to leaks and not as good of a product,” Hash said. “If we didn’t have hail storms, the 30 year roof would last 30 years but with the heat and storms if you get 15 years out of a 30 year, you’re doing pretty good.”
Gayoso agreed saying that sun does more damage than rain when it comes to roofs.
“What beats the shingles up is the exposure to the sun,” Gayoso said. “It’s all in the amount of money you want to pay. Every now and again, a hail resistant shingle can withstand the offset from cost. Usually your insurance company will give you a break for having that type of shingle because their exposure and their risk is less. The savings from insurance may offset the higher cost of the roof.”
Another issue that can impact the life of a roof is improper ventilation in the attic, Gayoso said. The heat becomes trapped in the attic and the increased temperature shortens the life of the shingles.