Social Media and Review sites

Social media is certainly the trend to keep your name out front and on top of the contracting business or any business for that matter.

It’s wonderful to see Likes and comments regarding the company and the work we do.  So many people use FB, Twitter, Pintrest and others.  It is a fulltime job just trying to stay current in the Social Media world.  My real fulltime job however, is helping my husband run the business and that gives us very little time to be avid contributers to the social media networks.

Reviews of our company may also be seen on the BBB website, Google, Angie’s List.  Please find the time to read those reviews.

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How Does Homeowner’s Insurance Work?

I wish I could tell you specific details, but I can’t.

Our experience, particularly this year with a July hail storm has been spuratic.  In most cases an adjuster comes out to assess the damage, sometimes meeting the contractor on site.  The adjuster leaves to consider the value of what work should be done and submits the assessment to the homeowner with the payout amount.

Sometimes the deductable is more than the cost of work and the homeowner will decide to pass if there is no immediate concern for leaks.  We’ve seen deductables at $5,000. and that is sometimes more than the cost of a new roof.

Other times, the decision of the adjuster for the cost of the job allows people to consider not only doing their roof but to take the lifetime vacation they’ve been dreaming of.

In my opinion I think you could have 1 home with 10 different adjusters and 10 different insurance companies and you would get 10 very different opinions.

We have seen insurance companies pay homeowners 3 to 4 times the value of the job.  Other times the homeowner is lucky to get a repair on something that our professional opinion would need to be completely replaced.

This being said, our advice; take a chance if you have damage to your home from anything and contact your insurance company to get their professional opinion.  It costs nothing and may be a considerable help.

 

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What Are Cedar Shakes

In Michigan the majority of the homes built in the 1900’s had wooden cedar shingles.  The roofs were constructed of repurposed barnwood or planking of abstract sizes and large spaces between the boards.  The shake shingles are about 5″ to 8″ wide from 16″ to 24″ long.  They are individually nailed to the roof boards.

As time went by and the wooden shingles began to deteriorate, instead of removing them most homeowners shingled over the top of them 2 to 3 times over the course of 30 to 60 years.  Now building codes do not allow more than two layers of shingles and all wooden cedar shakes must be removed.

It isn’t pretty but it is necessary

The shakes have been removed now the redecking of plywood begins

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Can Siding Be Done In The Winter?

The short answer is sometimes.

  • Most siding is made of vinyl.  In extreme temperatures a possibility of cracking when cutting and nailing may occur.
  • Siding is best done when temperatures are above 32 degrees.
  • If the materials are stored in a garage and protected from the elements weather may be less of a factor.
  • Extreme temperatures make caulking difficult.
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Can A Roof Be Installed In The Winter?

The short answer is yes.

However, weather factors must be considered when roofing in the winter.

  • Strong winds
  • Temperature; we generally do not work in weather below 20 degree’s unless sunny, with no wind.  This may mean a shorter work day.
  • Percipitation; if it is snowing, raining or ice exists on the roof we do not work.
  • Shingles can be applied any time of year.  When shingles are nailed properly along the nailing line applied by the manufacturer the shingles will not blow off.
  • Blown off shingles only occur when improper nailing has been done.

 

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How to find a contractor you can trust?

The best way to find a great contractor is to ask a friend, co-worker or family member.  Having someone you know recommend a contractor is usually a safe way to go, especially if the person referring the contractor was extremely pleased with the work.

If a neighbor is having work done, keep an eye on that job and watch the timeliness and clean-up.  Introduce yourself to the neighbor and get a first hand report.  If possible, try to talk to one of the workers.

The Better Business Bureau is another safe way to find a company that is trusted.  On the BBB website you are able to read reviews or complaints.

Angie’s List is a new referral website.  Home owner reviews are straight forward and honest.

Calling your City Building Department is great resource.  They may not be able to refer a specific company, but they can tell you who pulls the most permits and who passes their inspections.

The local Chamber of Commerce is another resource.

Keep in mind a company that has someone famous singing about them in commercials doesn’t mean they’re good.  A company that does a lot of radio or tv ads has to cover the cost somewhere.  Your job may be the perfect place.

Do your research so you can ask the right questions.  Write them down.  When interviewing several contractors for the same job, write their answers down to your questions so you can compare.  If something is drastically different from one contractor to another do some research and find out what is right.

Always remember this; if it seems to good to be true, it probably is.

You always have 3 days to cancel any contract, with or without deposit.

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What to Consider When Siding

There are so many products to use for siding your home.  When making your decision think about your surrounding environment.

You should use at least a mid-grade vinyl if you are not looking to upgrade.  If you use a lower end vinyl you will see warping and buckling when hot weather beats down on the siding.  The mid-grade is a thicker vinyl and if nailed properly so it slides with the expansion and contraction of weather there will be no buckling.

If you live in a very wooded area with lots of birds, particularly wood peckers, consider not using a wood product.  Wood peckers do terrible damage.  If you want a lasting product think about fiber cement products.  Certainteed Weather Board and James Hardie Board offer many styles, textures and colors.

Vinyl isn’t what it use to be.  There are so many styles to appeal to every home owner with the need to think out of the box.

Steel siding is another option.  If you have a contemporary style this is another direction to go.  Steel comes in many colors and designs.

When siding your home, this is also a great opportunity to consider rigid insulation.  The R-value is dependent on the thickness.  Your contractor will help you determine what is right for your home.

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How to Question Your Contractor

When a contractor or salesperson comes to do an estimate there are a few key things to make sure he has included.  Some companies offer a great deal to get you to call and then add cost onto the back end.  Other companies play games and take up precious time to convince you to sign on the dotted line.

The following things should be included in every roof estimate to insure manufacturer warranty and building codes.

  1. Permit
  2. Ventilation, intake and outtake
  3. Flashing
  4. Underlayment
  5. Quality lifetime/30yr shingles
  6. Ice & water shield

If all of this is included in the quote, then you have the information you need to make your decision.

All contracts have a 3 day cooling off period.  This means you have 3 days to cancel with no penalty.

It is almost impossible for a contractor to guarantee there will be no extra costs because we can’t actually see through the existing shingles.  Sometimes there may be rotted wood, carpentry work or baffling needed to ensure a sound roof that will last for life as guaranteed by most manufacturer’s.

 

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What Not to Use When Breaking Up an Ice Dam on Your Roof

Often we are called in the dead of winter to remedy a leaking roof.  The customer will say he did everything to remove the ice dam and just couldn’t brake it up.  Homeowner’s often use drastic measures to remove ice dams.  The worst thing you can do is use a hammer, hatchet, shovel or some other blunt force tool.

Shingles are made of ashphalt and fiberglass.  When they are frozen they are easy to crack or brake.  When this happens leaking will almost always occur.

There are several preventative measures you can do.

  1. Apply heat tape in your clean gutters and down spouts prior to winter.
  2. Use chlorophyll, not salt, to melt ice.
  3. The most important rule is to make sure your valley’s and gutters have been cleared of debris so the water can flow easily.
  4. Keep snow and ice from blocking the bottom of your downspout.
  5. Make sure you have proper ventilation in your attic so the heat doesn’t rise into the attic causing the snow to melt.
  6. Make sure insulation is not blocking your intake ventilation.
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Is the Frankenstorm ‘Sandy’ Doing Damage to Your Roof or Siding?

The winds are blowing steady and strong in the Metro Detroit area and may cause damage to your roof and siding.

Look up when leaving your home to see if shingles are lifted or missing tabs.  They may be on the ground somewhere nearby.  Look for loose siding, trim or gutters that have fallen or flapping in the wind.

This type of damage is most likely covered under your homeowner’s insurance policy.  We will work through the process with you of contacting your insurance representative and the adjuster.

We can do the work needed to make your home secure for the seasons ahead.

Our company, Chess Roofing and Siding, is excellent in repairing these problems.

We do free estimates.  We will share with your our expertise in what is best for your home.

 

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