When it comes to maintaining your roof properly, there comes a time when a roof replacement is the proper course of action. The need for a roof replacement implies roof failure which could come from a variety of factors. If a property owner doesn’t service their roof, failure could very likely result from a lack of maintenance and attention towards very fixable problems. So… what are some reasons a roof fails? It is the first question always asked by Malone professionals, and it should be the question you’re asking before it is too late!
In this article we will explore 5 of the top reasons why roofs fail. We will start with roof debris. Debris on a low slope roof impedes the flow of water which can create a back flow. Debris can consist of leaves, trash, pine straw, dirt, silt or other materials that can get around the surfaces drainage areas resulting in a back up of water during rain events. For example, the ponding of water can create algae and mold. When water backs up on a roof it causes it to deteriorate or break down prematurely. To put it simply, asphalt roofs break down in ponding situations that are exposed to ultra-violet light (UV rays). Therefore, an asphalt roof with a 30-year life span will be drastically reduced due to roof debris.
We mentioned pine straw as a type of roof debris that can affect all types of roofs. Another concern for property owners dealing with roof pine straw build up is the potential for fire. Pine straw on a roof is a fire hazard due to heat stacks. For example, a heat stack could be the exhaust pipe of a gas heater. As the heat is released and warms up the dried pine straw, the pine straw can quickly reach a combustible temperature. The resulting fire could not only render the roof a total loss but the building as well.
We mentioned earlier about water back up or ponding water which leads to the formation of silt. Silt is the foundational issue for roof vegetation which is another major cause of roof failure. Silt develops where the water is pooled or has been pooled and mixed with various types of pollen, as well as the deposit of seedlings, these factors all lead to vegetation growth on roofs. The vegetation has root system that can penetrate the roof’s structure allowing water to get in and break down the entire surface if left alone long enough.
Another reason why low-slope roofs fail is loose seams. Loose seams can be one of the simplest fixes when it comes to roof maintenance as well. Typically, a loose seam can be very hard to spot with the untrained eye. In most cases, loose seams are an issue that work themselves apart over time. A loose seam leak always starts out small, and in most cases, the owner doesn’t even know that water is getting into the roof system. However, yet again, the water causes the breakdown and rotting of the roof decking system over time.
One cause of roof failure that most people don’t think about and often forget to update is deteriorated sealants. Although a roof system may be a 30-year system, sealants typically only last 5 to 10 years due to a variety of environmental factors such as dew points (humidity) and temperature change. Sealants are typically around the flashings. As these Sealants breakdown (or rot) over time, water finds yet another create way to penetrate the roof membrane. Roof owners also have to be on the lookout for deteriorated flashings, an in particular, pitch pockets which can be a last when trying to seal in a roof penetration.
UV RAYS AND FOOT TRAFFIC
When trying to extend the life cycle of your roof and prevent failure, property owners also have to account for the damage of UV rays and foot traffic. On asphalt shingle roofs, typically steep-slope, you have granules to protect the asphalt. People make the mistake of thinking granules are there for the color of the roof, however, that has nothing to do with it. The granules are actually on a shingle for UV protection. For example, when you have excessive granule loss due to normal weathering or prolonged exposure to hail, you will have exposed asphalt which will break down over time due to UV rays. As with foot traffic, this reason makes perfect sense. The pressure of footwear dislodges the shingles granules as an individual or individuals moves around on the surface of the system.
Although manufacturer defects seldom occur in the roof system’s materials, they can happen. For example, on certain low-slope roofs, you have membrane, reinforcement, and membrane. The top layer of membrane is called the top ply. If the top ply isn’t thick enough, it exposes the reinforcement fabric known as the scrim. The scrim is a fabric that can wick moisture in between the two membranes causing them to separate or delaminate. Another type of manufacturer defect can occur on asphalt shingles. This defect results from the granules not being embedded properly in the shingle thus resulting in granular loss. Also, if very aged roofing systems, the single-ply roof membrane wasn’t reinforced. The lack of reinforcement could lead to a literal shattering of the roofs surface.
In closing, after having laid out so many reasons as to why roofs fail, the questions now becomes, how can I make sure my roof doesn’t fail and what can I do to prevent it? Both questions highlight the need to have an ongoing partnership with a reputable, licensed and insured roofing contractor. Case in point, let’s take manufacturer defects as an example, 99.9% of roofing materials are fine, but for that 0.1% a contractor like Malone can dissect the situation and conclude that the issues aren’t normal and that the manufacturer might actually be liable for some or all of the costs incurred for repair. In short, you NEED a professional looking at you roofs. This also further pushed the need to work with a company that installs the best materials like Duro-last. Duro-last is the world’s largest manufacturer of custom-fabricated single-ply roofing systems and stands behind their warranties. Their warranties are backed by a step-by-step, year-by-year maintenance plan that protects all parties. Duro-Last’s reputation for quality stems from long-term family ownership; a time-tested product; and on dependable contractors. A reputable contractor, installing the high quality materials, with a preventative maintenance plan tailored to your needs the proven solution to fight roof failure and to extend your roofs life span to the fullest.
Roofing Insurance Claims Part I
Roofing Insurance Claims Part II
5 Reasons Why Roofs Fail
5 Things You Need to Know about Preventative Maintenance
- Who is Malone Roofing?
Malone, a name that has grown synonymous with roofing, continues to grow as the southeast regions premier roofing, maintenance and metal wall company. Malone takes pride in being an expert to large commercial clients and homeowners in our communities on a variety of topics including insurance claims.
2. How can you be the expert?
Having to file an insurance claim after a hail storm or wind event is something that most of us will likely not have to experience. So how could you possibly be an expert in dealing with something you have so little experience in? In this article, Malone wants to provide some insight by taking you through the necessary steps to make sure you better understand your insurance policy and the claims process.
When a hail storm or wind event comes through your community, the first question you ask is, “Do I have damage?” However, the first question you should ask is, “Who am I going to call to see if I have damage?” If you’re not an expert in insurance restoration and/or understanding insurance policies, the answer should be to contact a professional contractor in the field of identifying insurable loss who can properly make a determination whether a claim is applicable or not. This company will be able to communicate with the insurance company to demonstrate the loss and provide the necessary means of proof where the insurance company will accept it as a loss. For example, just because hail hit the ground doesn’t mean you have damage to your roof and should call the insurance company. By calling a professional to come inspect the property at no cost to you, you are making sure that you aren’t filing a frivolous claim for damages that may or may not be there. Malone and like-minded companies, only work for insurance dollars approved by the carrier. It would not be in a reputable contractor’s best interest to assert that there is damage present, when in fact there isn’t any. In other words, you will get a determination of whether there is or is not damage that could be considered an insurable loss. This saves you and your insurance company time.
Once an insurable loss is identified, the next step is to put a contractor in place that is knowledgeable in that field. In many cases, this is done by signing a contingency agreement. For instance, when you sign a contingency agreement with a company like Malone, they will work with your insurance carrier to determine the proper scope of work and the value. By signing the contingency, you don’t have to lift another finger and you are guaranteeing that you will be working with a professional contractor. Moving forward through the claim, there is no more back and forth with you and the insurance provider about, “You’re paying too short on the ridge cap,” or “You didn’t give me eave starter,” all these conversations now take place from professional to professional. Simply put, they represent you to your carrier, meet them on site for inspections and work through differences in initial estimates. Just because an insurance company comes back saying you have “X” dollars in damages it might not be the case. This further illustrates the point of needing a contractor that works in the same estimating software as the insurance company, can speak their lingo, all while making sure there is nothing they’ve missed. Your contractor then orders materials, starts construction, and assists in attaining the agreed funds from the carrier. This enables the contractor to free you from the time-consuming tasks of dealing with the insurance provider, thus allowing you to resume your daily activities.
3. Myths and Warnings
There are a couple of other myths and warnings in dealing with insurance and storms. One other method of contracting is to go and get three bids for your claim. There is a myth to this process. The myth is, you go get three bids and go with the lowest bid. WRONG! The reason why this is wrong, is that your policy states, in essence, you can work with your contractor as long as the value is reasonable. By going to get three bids you are insuring that you are going to work with the cheapest contractor, and by doing so, saving the insurance company money which is not beneficial to you the customer. By going with the lowest bid, it could mean they don’t have the proper insurance, they’re not properly licensed, they don’t have safety plans in place, they might be using inferior materials and so on. These are all things you don’t know as the homeowner. By working with a solid contractor, you have peace of mind knowing they have insurance, work with name brand manufacturers, and stand behind their work.
Another myth, and maybe the biggest myth, that is commonly circulated is that you save or make money by working with a cheaper contractor. Again, people start seeing dollar signs when hail hits their roof thinking they are going to pocket thousands of unused dollars after getting their roof repaired. However, there is a method used to calculate what the insurance company will pay for your roof:
replacement cash value (RCV) – depreciation = the actual cash value (ACV)
For example, let’s say you have a $10,000 claim depreciated 30 percent with a $1,000 deductible. You will get $7,000 minus the $1,000 deductible or $6,000. Therefore, you have another $3,000 you can collect once you do the work. Further explained, let’s say you go get the cheapest guy available to install your new roof for $7,500. The insurance company is not going to give you $3,000 of depreciation, they are going to give you $500 because the insurance company is only going to give you what you spend. Unfortunately, some people try to profit off these insurance losses, and in reality, all you are doing is saving the insurance company more money.
4. Choosing a Contractor
Another piece of sage advice is to make sure you choose your contractor wisely. Don’t make the mistake of working with the wrong out of town contractor that could leave you on your own if issues arrive down the road. Many out of town contractors are called stormers. Stormers travel the country chasing storms, quickly getting their local licensing, set up a local number, work an area for usually 6 months to 1 year and then pack up and are off to the next storm. This makes for a near impossible follow-up situation should installation or material issues arise. Again, by going with a local contractor you know who they are and where they are when you need them.
5. General Insurance Information
In closing here are a couple of other general insurance tips to make sure your covered. Schedule a meeting with a professional to make sure you understand your declarations page as well as your forms and endorsements. The footprint of a policy are the forms and endorsements. They are the extra things you either add to your policy and pay extra for in premium or take away and save money in premium. Here is a great example. A home gets burglarized and $50,000 of jewelry was stolen. A common insurance policy provision is that you have $5,000 per occurrence on jewelry. There are many people who don’t know that although $50,000 of jewelry was stolen, the insurance company will be cutting a check for $5,000. The victim needed the jewelry appraised, documented and needed an added endorsement on jewelry for the full $50,000. Make sure you review your policy, make sure you don’t have a higher deductible for wind and hail and don’t have cosmetic exclusions (meaning dents and dings aren’t covered although it lowered the value of your property). These are just a few other tips to keep you in the know.
About Duro-Last Roofing Systems:
The custom-fabricated, single-ply PVC Duro-Last commercial roofing system is ideal for any flat or low-sloped application. Extremely durable and easily installed by authorized Duro-Last contractors without disrupting building operations, the Duro-Last Roofing System is also watertight, highly reflective, resistant to chemicals, fire and high winds, as well as low maintenance.
Since 1978, billions of square feet of Duro-Last membrane have been installed throughout North America – and through our best-in-class warranties, Quality Assurance department, prefabricated commercial roofing systems approach and commitment to provide problem-solving products, we work hard to stand by every square foot.
Duro-Last is the only roof manufacturing company to offer prefabrication of the entire roofing system in our factory-controlled environment. Through our custom-fabricated commercial roofing systems – which can include both membrane and accessories – up to 85% of the seams are completed before it arrives on the job site. A custom-fabricated Duro-Last Roofing Commercial Roofing System is long-lasting, reliable and eliminates most of the on-site fabrication that can lead to roof leaks.
Controlling our Destiny
Duro-Last is a leader in vertical integration. Since the beginning, our founder, John R. Burt, strived to produce as many parts of a Duro-Last assembly in-house while also embracing the Edge-to-Edge & Deck-to-Sky™ approach. All of this allows Duro-Last to control quality from top to bottom.
To help you understand how we know so much about our industry, it helps to understand a bit of our story. The Malone name has a deep heritage in the roofing and construction business spanning over four generations. The Malone story began with Horace Malone and Coda Ray Pace Sr. opening Hub Sheet Metal in the late 1940’s fabricating sheet metal ducts and roofing flashings. Fast forward to 1983, Cornell Malone decided to go out on his own and formed E. Cornell Malone Corporation. Today, Malone has grown to become one of the largest full-service roofing companies with over 275 employees in nine locations throughout the Southeast region. Malone is a leader in residential and commercial roofing, roofing service and maintenance as well as metal wall panels.
MALONE ROOFING CONTACT INFO:
Pensacola, FL Office:
2550 N. Palafox Street
Pensacola, FL 32501
Mobile, AL Office:
7949 Bullitt Drive
Mobile, AL 36619
Hattiesburg, MS Office:
1 Commerce Drive, Suite 200
Hattiesburg, MS 39402
Jackson, MS Office
439 Dory Street
Jackson, MS 39201
Phone: (601) 352-5940
Fax: (601) 352-5944
Alexandria, LA Office
4106 Lee Street,
Alexandria, LA 71302
Knoxville, TN Office
6214 Enterprise Drive,
Knoxville, TN 37919
New Orleans, LA Office
1301 Edwards Ave. Suite B.,
New Orleans, LA 70123
Phone: (504) 930-4405
Fax: (504) 930-4405
Baton Rouge, LA Office
9352 South Choctaw
Baton Rouge, LA 70815
Phone: (225) 218-4475
Fax: (225) 388-5415
Birmingham, AL Office
2621 Queenstown Road,
Birmingham, AL 35210
Phone: (205) 994-8449
Fax: (205) 994-8449
Social Media Information:
Facebook: Malone Roofing Services
Linkedin: Malone Roofing
YouTube: Malone Roofing Services
THE MALONE WHY SLOGAN:
“TO IMPROVE OUR COMMUNITY, ONE JOB AT A TIME”