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So You've Been Hit by Hail...Now What?

Posted on June 6, 2014 at 6:01 PM Comments comments (80)
If you have had hail at your home recently you may be wondering if you have hail damage and what to do next. I’d like to take this opportunity to recommend to you some things to do and some things to avoid.
Let’s start with the precautions. First, hail damage cannot be assessed from the ground. Second, the presence of hail damage on a neighbor’s roof does not guarantee that your roof will also have damage. So what does that mean? That means that you should not trust anyone that knocks on your door claiming that you have hail damage if they have not done an inspection of your roof. Too often someone making such a claim is running a scam, or they will get you involved in making a claim on your insurance when one is not warranted. Also, very importantly, if you are approached by a salesman to sign a contract to replace your roof please make sure that the contract includes an addendum giving you a grace period to cancel the contract. This is legally required in North Carolina as a means to prevent people being pressured into a contract by a pushy salesman. If you do not live in North Carolina I encourage you to check the laws in your area to see if your state has a similar requirement.
Now, onto what you should do. If you suspect you may have hail damage you should contact a local roofing company that provides free roof inspections. Make sure to ask them if they are able to assess hail damage and make a recommendation on whether to file a claim.  You see, filing a claim when there is no, or too little damage, can negatively impact your insurance. However, if you have sufficient damage to warrant a claim it is considered an “act of nature” and will not negatively impact your insurance. You can see why it is important to have someone qualified inspect your roof before you contact your insurance company. I recommend contacting a local company because you are less likely to run into a company running a scam. Also, it is wise to check out any company on the Better Business Bureau website before contacting, or hiring them.

Rafael’s Quality Construction has a good track record with only recommending a customer file a claim when there is significant damage. We will never recommend that you contact your insurance company when you have little to no damage. Please feel free to contact us and we will be happy to inspect your roof for you. We are available during office hours by phone, 704-256-4937, or email, [email protected] and also online at www.rqchomerepairs.com

Snow Days and Roof Leaks

Posted on February 20, 2014 at 5:18 PM Comments comments (64)
While all the children in the area were having fun playing in the snow after the recent snow storms you may have noticed some issues showing up in your home. While many people are aware that a burst pipe is common in freezing temperatures you may not be aware that roof leaks are also common.
As the snow on your roof melts and refreezes it can create an ice dam. An ice dam traps water as it melts causing the water to flow under the shingles on the roof. The longer it takes the ice dam to melt the more damage this can cause to the interior. Of course we recommend handling the interior repairs as quickly as possible to avoid any mold growth. We also recommend that you have your roof professionally inspected. Water can flow in from an ice dam when there is no shingle damage but there is also a greater chance that you do have roof damage if the water was able to get in. Of course this may only mean that a few shingles need to be replaced resolve the leak.
Other things that can cause damage to the roof that would result in a leak would be a fallen limb or an icicle that may have dropped from one level of the house to another or off a nearby tree limb. This may become evident because of an ice dam, or if the damage is sufficient you may have noticed a leak when the rain came through after the snow cleared. 
All that being said if you have a limb down or notice anything on your roof that may have damaged it we recommend that you take some pictures before you clear the offending objects. This may help with any future insurance claims. 
I've read other posts recommending that homeowners inspect a roof themselves. While that is fine if you are comfortable climbing up on the roof yourself, there's really not much point since most roofing companies, ourselves included will come out and perform an inspection for free. 

If you have noticed any leaks after the recent snow we would be happy to help. Feel free to give us a call: 704-256-4937.

So You Have a Leak...Now What?

Posted on January 18, 2014 at 3:09 PM Comments comments (38)
When you look up at your ceiling after any sort of rain, ice, or snow and see that tell tale water stain the first thought is that your roof is leaking. Surprisingly though that may not always be the case. Water leaks can come from many different sources that can be hard to determine without the proper training and experience.
If you have had your roof replaced in the last few years and still have a warranty through the company that installed the roof they should be your first call. They should easily be able to determine the source of the leak and if it is related to the installation fix the problem right away. If your roof is older find a roofing company that will do a free inspection but will also perform a service call to fix the problem right then, if possible. Our company, for instance, will do this kind of service call. 
Now let's explore some possible causes of a leak, and this is by no means a complete list because, let's face it in life strange things happen.
Let's start with my favorite: Condensation from your air conditioning unit.This may seem unlikely but if your air conditioning unit is in the attic or a second floor it is a very real possibility. We have seen this most often in town homes but that doesn't mean it could not happen in other homes as well.
The second unusual cause is clogged gutters. If your gutters are not cleaned regularly and become filled with debris it can cause water to flow back into the house causing a leak. Using gutter guards can help to prevent this problem. If you are interested in having gutter guards installed we can help you with that. 
If you take a look at your roof you'll see different things like vents, pipes, possibly a chimney or skylight. These are very common sources of leaks. Often the sealant used around the flashing when these are installed can deteriorate or dry up. Since there is a big hole in your roof where these items are installed they are an easy entry point for water when there is an issue with sealant. This is hard to spot from the ground but a trained roofer can detect this easily and repair it the same day.
The rubber boot around the exhaust pipes can also dry out and crack over time causing another possible entry point for water. A service call can also quickly fix this problem as well.
Of course with time damage can happen to the shingles on your roof as well. If there have been wind or hail storms, or someone walking on the roof the shingles can be damaged which will eventually let water in. This type of damage may not mean that your roof needs to be replaced. Depending on the extent of the damage a roofer may be able to make the repair by replacing the damaged shingles. 

If you spot any evidence of a leak please contact a professional roofer right away. Most of us will come out and perform a free inspection so there will be no cost until a repair is made.  Our number is 704-256-4937, we can help you with any of these roofing issues, and more, and we would he happy to help!

Decorating Safety Tips

Posted on December 15, 2013 at 3:11 PM Comments comments (45)
It can be hard to find someone who doesn't appreciate the beautiful decorations that go up this time of the year. However, when decorating it is important to keep some safety tips in mind.
Both real and artificial tress have a possibility of igniting in the event of a fire, however, they are not the most likely item in a home to do so. According to the California Christmas Tree Association the top three most likely items are: newspapers, boxes or bags, and curtains. So it is important to keep all of these items away from potential sources of ignition such as electrical outlets, space heaters, candles, and other open flames. 

Some other helpful tips are:
*Choose a tree that is a fresh as possible and cut across the base right before putting it in the tree stand. Try bending the needles. If they are fresh they will not break. 
*Place your tree away from all heat sources.
*Water your tree daily. A Christmas tree watering funnel can make this job much easier on the back and knees. 
*Do not overload your electrical outlets. A single extension cord should have no more than three standard sets of lights. 
*Place your Christmas tree away from your emergency exits.
*Unplug lights when you are out of the room or sleeping.
*Check your light strands for frayed or bare wire, then discard or repair before using.
*Remove any stockings or decorations hanging from the mantle before lighting a fire.
*Place breakable ornaments out of the reach of small children.
*When decorating outside check your ladder for damage before using. Also, ladders should be on level ground. Make sure the weight limit of your ladder is sufficient to hold you and your decorations.
*Make sure your inflatable yard decorations are secured according to the manufacturers specifications. Also, if it is a very windy day it would be better to shut them off completely.

For more tips on safe decorating visit the source articles below and happy decorating!

Sources:
http://www.cachristmas.com/content/holiday-safety-and-christmas-trees-some-facts
http://www.cpsc.gov//PageFiles/121347/611.pdf
http://www.hgtv.com/decorating-basics/16-tips-to-avoid-a-holiday-decorating-disaster-this-season/pictures/index.html

Preparing Your Home for Winter

Posted on November 19, 2013 at 2:19 AM Comments comments (41)
Preparing your home for winter can save you time and money by avoiding costly repairs and increased energy usage. While there is an unlimited amount of information on the web with lists of the top five or the top fifty things you should do here are our favorite tips.
1. Check the weatherstripping around all your doors and windows. This is an important step to keeping Old Man Winter out of your house and your heating bill in check.
2. Purchase insulated covers for your exterior faucets. Some people like to turn these off completely but using the covers will help prevent freezing and cracking and keep your faucet handy.
3. Have your home furnace inspected. Having your furnace inspected can help keep it running efficiently saving you money and the hassle of an emergency repair if your furnace suddenly quits on you.
4. Clean your gutters from debris.
5. Take a quick look around the exterior of your house for any damage. If you find anything that causes you concern give us a call. As always we provide free inspections and estimates. We can also help you with that gutter cleaning.

We hope this list is helpful. For a more extensive list here's one that I really Liked: Winter Preparation Checklist

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