Most roofing companies offer “free estimates” as a marketing gimmick. Yes, these estimates are free, but they’re usually more of a sales pitch than anything else. The roofing company will come out, throw around industry terms, try their best to appeal to your emotional side, and then claim you need to replace your entire roof.
At Aastro Roofing, that’s not the way we operate. We’re community driven and have been helping South Florida homeowners for over thirty years. So, when it comes to the ever popular “free roofing estimate,” we want you to know what questions to ask, in order to get the most from your roofers.
Find the top inquiries to mention, when dealing with roofers:
This one is a no-brainer. You only want to use a licensed and insured roofing company. We’ll get to the insured part in just a second, but for now, let’s focus on making sure your roofers are licensed.
There is no shortage of opportunistic companies in Florida and other states that are prone to seriously harsh weather (hurricanes, snowstorms, tornadoes, even bomb cyclones). After a major storm, roofers will suddenly appear everywhere, offering free estimates and discounted services.
While their offers are tempting, they’re only able to offer these discounts because they’re not licensed. They’re just a bunch of people in a truck with some supplies. These are NOT the professionals you want working on your roof. In fact, they’re not even professionals.
Make sure your roofing company is licensed in your state and, if required by law, your county. Make sure they don’t have any violations against their license. This is going to save you a lot of headaches down the road.
After finding out if your roofer is licensed or not, it’s time to learn whether they’re insured. Again, many discount roofers are able to offer attractive prices because they don’t carry insurance. This will save you a little bit of money up front, but can cost thousands if they make mistakes or hurt themselves on your property.
There are two main types of insurance any roofing company should carry: general liability and workers’ compensation. General liability insurance protects your home and property from any errors, mistakes, or accidents that the roofers may make. Workers’ compensation protects you from being sued if any workers are injured while working on your roof.
After figuring out whether your roofing company is a legitimate business or not, it’s time to research the quality of their work. Ask for their references. If they do good work, they’ll have no shortage of happy homeowners to direct your way. If they don’t, well, they’re not going to have any references.
You should also search the roofers online and read any company reviews. How many stars do they have on Yelp? How highly rated are they on Home Advisor? What does the BBB say? These reviews will help you get a more complete picture of the company and its employees.
Speaking of employees, you’re going to want to ask whether the roofing company uses their own employees or subcontractors.
Now using subcontractors on its own isn’t a bad thing, but you’ll want to inspect them the same way you inspected the roofing company. Make sure that anyone who’s working on your roof is licensed, insured, and does quality work. This is going to save you both stress and money down the road. We’ve seen nightmare scenarios where a reasonably priced roof repair turns into something much, much more expensive.
First and foremost, any roofing company you use should offer a warranty on their work. The length varies company by company, but if they don’t offer a warranty then you’re going to want to end the conversation right there.
The products used in any roofing job (tiles, shingles, etc.) are another story. Most of these are covered under a manufacturer’s warranty, which can last for as long as twenty-five years. While your potential roofing company itself may not be able to cover products, they’ll be able to let you know how long the specific manufacturer’s warranty is.
Make sure to ask your roofers these questions when getting a residential roofing estimate and you’ll be in good shape. If you want to ask us these questions (and we highly suggest you do!), just give us a call at 561-409-3280 and we’ll take care of the rest.
Knowing how to maintain your roof is critical to maintaining the value of your home. Although it may not seem like a priority, neglecting proper roof maintenance can lead to you needing major repairs or even a full replacement of your roof. This is very expensive and easily preventable.
Here’s what you need to know about roofing maintenance before you get yourself into trouble:
One of the most important pieces of advice we can give you when it comes to extending the life of your roof is that you should always take care of minor leaks and damage as soon as you notice them. Many people avoid this to save money. Several small repairs can add up over time. It’s a good idea to keep in mind that, in the long run, these minor repairs are less expensive than major ones.
It’s important to clear debris off your roof regularly. These can be broken branch or simply a buildup of seasonal leaves. A broken branch, for example, can scrape your roof’s shingles and can cause damage to the ducts as well. This can develop into a backflow of water that can cause rotting under the roof. Fixing damage to your gutters, shingles, and underside of your roof can run well into the thousands of dollars.
Any possible elements that grow on your roof can cause potential damage. They have the potential to not only break down roofing materials but to cause even greater damage over time. Many professional roof contractors, such as Aastro Roofing, can help you tackle this matter. You may not be able to take care of this yourself, as it involves toxic formulas, which can be harmful if used inappropriately.
If in any part of your roof there is a chimney, pipe, or skylight, should be regularly examined for any visible damages. If you have an attic, it is a good idea to get up there and check for any mold or water that is entering your home. This will help ensure that no damage is caused by external factors.
This last tip is incredibly important. Always be on the lookout for potential threats. For example, check your roof after storms pass. This will ensure that you are being alert at all times and that checking your roof is as a routine as taking out the garbage. This is how you get a long-lasting and durable roof.
By following this protocol, you will secure the resilience of your roof. Most of these tips are simple and easy to implement. It is always better to be safe than sorry. By resolving minor damages, you are preventing major and long-term damages that will cost you.
Aastro Roofing can help you with all of your roofing maintenance needs. Call us now.
We’re officially in the thick of another South Florida winter. It’s time to break out our once-a-year sweatshirts, turn on the heat for the first time in a long time, and prepare for another brutal season of fifty-degree mornings.
This would also be an ideal time to make sure your roof is winterized.
Making sure your roof is in tiptop shape might not seem as important in South Florida as in, say, Minnesota. We’re not going to be dealing with inches and feet of snow piled up on our shingles. Make no mistake though: you want your roof to be prepared for colder temperatures.
Check out our Winterizing Your Roof Checklist below and don’t forget to contact us today for a professional roofing inspection!
The first step in your winter roof checklist is to give your roof a detailed once over. Look for missing, broken, or damaged roofing material. Pay special attention to where your tiles or shingles meet and any eroded sealing. You’ll also want to check any vents, skylights, and flashing. We’ll get to that in just a second.
Make sure to register any damage that may have occurred and contact your roofer to professionally repair it, as soon as possible.
Make sure there aren’t any tree branches piled up. If there are, remove them. Trim any tree branches that are hanging over your roof. Remove any clumped together leaves, too. This will help rain make its way to your gutters and save you from potential water damage down the road.
Cleaning your gutters and downspouts is another simple step to winterize your roof. Clear them of leaves, branches, and any other stoppage. Trust us, you don’t want water to back up on your roof and cause leaks.
Keep an eye out for any structural damage. This can impact how effectively your roof drains water. Make sure your downspouts are firmly attached to your house’s siding and draining to an appropriate area.
Step three on our checklist is to check your attic and vents. While this isn’t as important in Florida as in our northern neighbors, it is still worth spending an hour or two on such tasks.
Make sure the insulation of your attic is installed properly and not blocking any internal vents. This will help keep out leaks and, as a nice added bonus, help keep your energy bill down. Pay close attention to any insulation around the eaves and soffits of your attic.
Next, make sure your vents are in good shape. This applies to internal vents in your attic and their external counterparts on top of your roof. Make sure the sealing is not damaged or degraded and that the booting is properly installed and free of cracks.
Winterizing a commercial roof is slightly more complicated than winterizing a residential roof. This is not only due to their size, but due to the array of HVAC and other equipment on them. So, how can you make sure your office building, small business building, and the likes are ready for winter?
Do everything we mentioned above! Check for missing or damaged roofing material, and verify the gutters and drainage systems. Check the sub-roof, and make sure all the equipment on top of the roof is properly installed and sealed. Note anything that does not look right.
You may then contact commercial roofing maintenance professionals. They’ll be able to come at your convenience, repair all potential damages, and give you piece of mind for the winter.
When dealing with repairs, it is important to trust who you contact.
We have over three decades of South Florida roofing experience here at Aastro Roofing. Contact us today for a free estimate and to make sure your roof is ready for winter!
The holidays are just around the corner. Cookies, eggnog, and outdoor decorative lights are all part of year-end festivities. This coming holiday, dazzle your neighborhood with an incredible display of lights and colors. Here are a few tips for hanging holiday outdoor lights.
Before you head to the store to purchase outdoor lights, do a visual inspection of your yard and make a plan. Where do you intend to hang outdoor lights? Estimate how many light strings and bulbs you will need. Look for strands with bulbs that are spaced 6 to 8 inches apart – longer distances create shadows and a warmer glow across a wider area. For trees and bushes, a good estimate would be 100 lights for every 1.5 feet of greenery.
Do you want your house to be the star attraction of your street? Go all out with two sets of string lights with bulbs that are spaced closer together. Lights that are packed tightly shine brighter than those that are placed apart.
We recommend using LED lights because they are more energy efficient than incandescent bulbs. They are also less prone to overheating.
Not all white lights are equal. There are three kinds of white LEDs.
Warm white strands are ideal for gutters and eaves while polar white lights complement your landscape. Pure white bulbs are too bright and formal for décor so try to avoid them.
While an all-white theme is still the most popular, colors are now trendy, particularly the reds, blues and greens.
Multicolored strands look beautiful along the gutter, with clustered string icicle lights hanging from the eaves. Colored C9 bulbs are best for outlining the roof edge while smaller C7s highlight the perimeter of windows. Wrap mini lights around your mailbox or garden accents. Lay a blanket of net lights over shrubs and bushes.
Pick a focal point – perhaps a column or entryway at the center – and work your way out to the sides. Without a focal point, your outdoor lights will look like they are all over the place.
Measure all straight lines to estimate how many light strings you’ll need and how far the strand will run from an electrical power source. Check the construction of your gutters and shingles to determine the best lights to hang along the roofline.
Outdoor holiday lights are perfect for decorating the following areas:
Once you have decided on the number of lights, color type, and decor layout, it is time to hang those outdoor holiday lights.
Whether you are using outdoor lights from last year or straight from the store, you should inspect all wiring. Check for frayed or damaged cables, exposed copper, and broken sockets. If the wires are brittle, throw them away. Only use extension cords that are designed for outdoor use and carry the UL safety logo.
Faulty wiring will not only ruin your lighting design but could burn down your house.
Do not connect more than five or six light strands together to avoid overloading the circuit. Do not stretch the strands to reach an electrical outlet. Lawn lights should be placed away from ground water.
Most outlets are able to support 15 amps. Try to maintain a load that is half of that even if you are using LED lights.
Moisture seeping into the connectors can blow a fuse. Seal your connections with electrical tape to keep them dry.
When installing lights on the roof, make sure your ladder is on a flat and solid surface. If the roof is too high or too steep, hire a professional instead.
There is no need to wake up in the middle of the night to turn off your holiday lights. You can now connect your entire lighting system to a timer so it turns on and off automatically. Some timers are built with sensors to detect light – they automatically turn on when it goes dark outside.
Finally, test your work and see if everything lights up according to plan.
If you have any questions about how to beautify the outside of your home, call us today. The professionals at Aastro Roofing are happy to answer your questions.