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Your Complete Guide to House Siding

Home with blue siding.

What are house siding options?

Whether you’re having a new home built or updating your current home, the exterior siding will make the appearance everything you want it to be.  You’ll choose a siding in the right color and texture, longevity, and budget, and most of all one that offers easy siding repair

Whether or not you have kids yourself, there are baseballs and footballs to be found in any neighborhood, along with hail storms and tree limbs, all of which can damage your siding. Repairs should be easy to do though, and with the right choice in siding, they are. 

What are the different types of siding for a house?

Over the years, we have seen many different types of siding materials come and go, but there are a few that have stayed, taking a sidestep for newcomers only to return to the spotlight again later. Here, we provide four that are long-lasting and likely to be here forever: 

  • Wood Siding: Most of us would agree this makes the most attractive siding in wood boards, panels, planks, or shingles. Wood is the most natural and with clapboard lap siding, it brings the historic beauty out in older homes. 

It’s available in a variety of finishes, styles, and textures, whether it is beveled, clapboard, horizontal with overlapping joints, or a wood plank or board among many other choices. When it comes to siding repairs, wood siding is easy to repair.  

  • Metal Siding: Whether you choose aluminum and steel, these are the best options when homeowners are looking for a low maintenance material, with aluminum first on the market. Installed horizontally to resemble wood lap siding, it comes with a top mounting flange and an interlocking edge on the bottom for weatherizing. It’s available in a wide range of styles from horizontal and vertical strips to shingles, looking just like wood siding. It also comes from the factory in a corrosion-resistant paint or unfinished galvanized finish for corrosion resistance.

Metal siding can be installed over wood siding, and is durable, but will fade and become chalky with age.  Some metal sidings come with a coating of plastic or vinyl, giving it more fade and weather resistance. It does dent easily, but siding repair is possible by replacing the section that dents. 

  • Vinyl Siding: A low-cost and low-maintenance siding that is an evolution of metal siding, this choice comes in strips and interlocking edges. It requires a special tool for installing. With a range of horizontal and vertical styles, colors, and textures, it is good for retrofitting over old wood siding. 

Prone to cracking in cold temperatures with any impact. Easily buckles or warps with improper installation. It is a low to a mid-cost option that requires minimal maintenance, making it a popular choice among homeowners and flippers. 

  • Fiber Cement: In residential siding, fiber cement is the latest craze and there isn’t any sign of it going away. A durable material that is low-maintenance, it’s made from recyclable materials and is energy efficient. It installs like wood siding and has the closest emulation of natural wood. 

This choice can be painted to match any architectural styling and is available in beveled planks, shakes, or shingles, or even a stucco-panel style. Insect and rot-resistant, it’s a virtually maintenance-free siding that still comes at a moderate price. 

What is the best house siding material?

Looking at the different types of siding, fiber cement siding may be the winner here. It’s a composite material made from compressed cellulose and cement fiber to form different siding products. The benefits of this siding will outweigh any issues: 

  • Resistant to moisture and rot: Ideal for coastal areas homes where flooding, hurricane, and storms are commonplace. Stands up to saltwater and high winds better than other siding options. 
  • Non-combustible: Fiber cement siding is impervious to fire, so much so that you may get a discount on your homeowner’s insurance. 
  • Pest resistant: For a home in the woods, fiber cement siding is resistant to squirrels, woodpeckers, and termites.
  • Weather resistant: Flying debris and hailstones are nothing for fiber cement siding. It doesn’t crack, shrink, or swell. 

A downside to fiber cement siding is it isn’t a DIY material. Specific tools are required for installing, which will make some siding repairs a challenge for DIY. Because it is a durable material though, siding repairs are infrequent. 

Is vinyl siding better than wood?

Your home’s exterior is important, and the more well-maintained it is, the more the value is enhanced. Curb appeal is everything which is why you need to consider both good and bad about what type of siding you choose. Aspects to consider are: 

  • Appearance

Both vinyl and wood siding comes in different styles so you can customize your home. Wood is the more versatile of the two. 

  • Energy-Efficiency

Wood siding without additional insulation is a tad more energy-efficient with an R-value up to 0.87 versus vinyl siding without insulation 0.67. However, adding foam insulation to vinyl siding will give you an R-value of 4, but insulation is not encouraged in moist climates. 

  • Installation

Vinyl siding installs easier and faster, with no need to sand, prime, or paint it. Wood siding takes longer to install though, as it must be primed and painted first.

  • The Costs

Vinyl is the less expensive at $2 a square foot versus wood siding at  $7 on average. A 1,500-square-foot home will cost up to $7,000 in vinyl siding and $11,000 in wood siding. 

  • Maintenance

No siding is going to be 100% maintenance-free, but vinyl will require less maintenance than wood siding with wood siding needing to be repainted from time to time. Knowing when to clean house siding is as important as the painting and siding repairs. 

  • Durability

With regular maintenance and upkeep, wood siding will last up to 40 years or longer, and vinyl siding approximately 40 years or longer without maintenance.

  • Pests

When it comes to pest resistance, vinyl siding wins over wood siding, although there is wood siding available today that isn’t as vulnerable as it has been in the past. With vinyl siding, pests enter in gaps between and underneath causing damage that is less noticeable.

Other aspects to consider with vinyl siding versus wood siding are soundproofing, temperatures, environmental concerns, and most of all resale value. Wood siding will give you a higher resale value than vinyl siding. 

How long does siding on a house last?

Like anything, the quality of the material and the quality of the installation will determine the lifespan of your siding.  With high-quality material and experienced installation, you could have up to 60 years before you need to replace your siding. This also requires that as the homeowner you maintain it, making siding repairs as needed. 

So, how do you know when to replace house siding? If your siding has cracked or is coming loose in several places, siding repair may not be adequate. When more than one board or strip has to be replaced, it may be time to get new siding installed. 

With wood siding, fading, and peeling are key indicators for replacing it, and replacement is standard after around 10 years. With any siding that has begun to rot or warp, siding repair isn’t sufficient – it needs to be replaced. With a little dent damage here and a hole there, siding repair is possible, but when there are several of these issues, replacement is the best solution. 

How do you calculate square footage for siding?

New siding will be ordered by “squares” so you’ll need to convert your measurements accordingly. Begin by measuring the height and width of walls that are rectangular and square. With one square of siding equals 100 square feet, you’ll multiply the height by the width and divide by 100 to get the total number of “squares” needed.

Can house siding be painted?

Wood siding will have to be repainted every 5 to 7 years.  Vinyl siding can be painted, albeit with some prep work first. But do remember, once you paint it, it will need repainting again. This is why many choose vinyl siding – so they don’t have to paint!  

Home with white siding behind a flower bed.

In Closing

From our piece here, you can see there are many house siding benefits to be enjoyed no matter which material you choose. There are also cons for any siding as well. Compare and determine the best one for you and the future. Ready to learn more, or is it time to schedule siding repair in Austin, TX? Give the Freetail Roofing team a call at (512) 299-6576!

How Do You Repair a Flat Roof?

flat roofing system

What is the best material for a flat roof?

Because a commercial structure typically has an expansive roof, flat roofing is a common feature. There are several reasons why, among them, it allows a place for the HVAC system, which is typically massive in size compared to a residential system. To be installed on the roof, it doesn’t take up ground real estate that would better serve for parking. So when flat roof repair is needed, it is important to know what type of material the roof is made. 

There are a lot of different options in flat roof materials, which can make it difficult deciding the best for building. It is important to review the options, analyze the pros and cons, the lifespan, flat roof repairs and maintenance needs, and the cost of installation. The following are the 4  most popular flat roof materials that have been deemed to be the best in commercial roofing.

PVC Roofing

PVC roofing is the preferred choice for many when choosing a single-ply material. It is more expensive than some of the other roofing material options, but the number of benefits overshadow that concern. 

This is a reinforced membrane that is crack resistant and impact resistant which can shorten a single-ply roofs lifespan. It is a low maintenance material, reflects the UV rays that can cause higher energy bills, and most roofing contractor offer a 20-year warranty.  

Metal Roofing

A standing seam metal roof is another popular choice for commercial roof with a roof slope of 2 inches or more. It does require experience for installation, which lowers the number of roofing contractors available for flat roof repairs or installation. When installed professionally, you can expect up to a 30 year lifespan with a metal roof, a durable material that  is crack resistant. If not installed correctly, the edges and seams are known to be the first place a metal roof leaks. 

TPO

TPO flat roofing material is a popular choice because of its low cost installation. With a lifespan up to 20 years, the white-coated surface offers great energy savings like a PVC flat roof. Little to no maintenance and with welded seams, leaks are unlikely. 

Modified Bitumen Roof

A modified bitumen flat roof is the most budget friendly option for commercial structures. With an asphalt membrane base is the biggest downside because of the susceptibility to blistering and cracking. With a maximum 15 year lifespan, it isn’t the long-term choice in roofing, but the installation cost keeps it popular. 

How many years does a flat roof last?

The arid climate and scorching sun in Texas is something to factor in when choosing a roofing material. The cost of a new roof is a key factor as well because as a business owner, you want the longest lifespan possible, which means flat roof repair needs should be few and far between but easily done when needed. Lifespan of the most popular flat roofing materials are: 

  • Modified Bitumen Roofing – a material that is asphalt shingle like offers up to 15 years lifespan. 
  • Built-Up Roofing – a popular choice for commercial flat roofing material that consists of asphalt and fabric and topped with gravel or crushed stone has a lifespan up to 30 years.
  • TPO Single Ply Roofing – an environmentally friendly option that isn’t as flexible as other roofing materials and has a maximum lifespan of 20 years.
  • PVC Single Ply Roofing – the more expensive options that has superior energy efficiency benefits and a minimum lifespan of 20 years.
  • EPDM – this synthetic rubber single ply roofing material has lifespan up to 30 years, making it a popular choice as a cost-effective option. 

Can you patch a flat roof?

Minor repairs yes, more detailed, and intense repair should be made by a commercial roofing contractor. Commercial flat roofs age and sustain damage, causing them to deteriorate. For a commercial building owner, you should know when the repairs can be done by your maintenance team and when they should be done by a professional roofing contractor. The following are indications that will identify the more common issues of a flat roof:  

  • Water Pooling
  • Ceiling Leaking 
  • Debris Accumulated
  • Blistering, Cracking Surface
  • Built-up Moisture
  • Aging Roof 

How do you repair a flat roof?

Any of these indications of flat roof repair needs should not be ignored. If your maintenance crew isn’t able to inspect and make the needed repairs, call a professional commercial roofing contractor. If your crew is capable of minor flat roof repairs, you’ll need the following materials:

  • Utility knife
  • Clean cloths 
  • Safety gear
  • Asphalt roofing cement
  • Same flat roofing material as the existing

Now, the following steps should be followed with the utmost caution and care for safety. 

  • First: Identify the problem areas first and focus on those areas. .
  • Second: Clean and clear the area of all debris and dry up pooled water. 
  • Third: Remove the any blisters by slicing with the utility knife, do not cut the roofing felt.  
  • Fourth: Remove any water under the blistered area with the cloths and allow time for I dry out before proceeding. 
  • Fifth: Fill the scraped up areas with roofing cement and the surrounding area. Create a thick coating on any cracks, holes, or uneven areas to create an even surface.  
  • Sixth: Place the new roofing material patch over the area and position it while the roofing cement is wet. Seal the patch edges with ore roofing cement.  If the roof has gravel topping, apply gravel over the patch. 
flat roofing system

How do you stop a flat roof from leaking?

For an immediate flat roof repair in rain, stretch a tarp over the area so that it goes at least 2 feet past the leaking area. Then place 2×4 boards around the leaking area to hold the tarp in place.  This is only a temporary fix until you can have a roofing contractor do a permanent repair or you can do the following yourself: 

  • Clean off any debris.
  • Dry up any water.
  • Apply a silicone roof patching material over the leaking area with a dense brush.
  • If the leak is where the flashing is installed, or should be, replace the flashing.
  • If the leak is coming from around the HVAC system, or other protrusion, replace the rubber booting.

Unless your maintenance crew has experience in flat roof repair or replacements, the best repair job is by a professional roofing contractor that has experience in the type of material on your roof. You can find a roofing contractor by Googling “Flat roof repair near me”. Read the reviews and ask them for referrals of recent jobs. 

The best time for a permanent flat roof repair in summer, but not when the temperatures are in the 100s. A roofing contractor will advise you if the weather isn’t the right temperature (too cold isn’t good either). Follow their advice, they’ve been doing this for a long time. Call (512) 299-6576 today for flat roofing repair in Austin, TX.

What Is A Rooftop Deck?

rooftop deck

What does rooftop deck mean?

One thing that many businesses, especially restaurants learned from the pandemic of 2020 and into 2021 is that offering plenty of well-spaced seating is a must. The same can be said of office buildings where waiting rooms can only hold so many with the social distancing guidelines we’ve all been mandated to observe. So, what many have discovered when the dining room or the lobby has maxed out, the only other option is a rooftop deck

However, businesses and restaurants aren’t the only ones that a rooftop deck has proved to be invaluable!  With all of us quarantined to our homes, we all needed that outside area, and even with a backyard or front yard, we wanted something more. Rooftop decks have found their way to residential settings all across Austin, Texas and other cities and states. 

A rooftop deck is a designing and creating a place on the rooftop that serves the same purpose as the deck outside your backdoor.  Some would consider a rooftop deck a crown on a business or home! 

Maybe your rooftop deck plans are for a place the family can relax and enjoy the sunset, or you own a restaurant and want to offer your clients a different view. Either way, a rooftop deck is going to be an upgrade, but there is a difference between a commercial rooftop deck or a residential rooftop deck. 

There are various requirements and stipulations that govern each of these projects when creating a rooftop deck. As a business, you’re responsible for the safety of others on your property because those others are what keeps your business in operation. So the requirements, standards, and stipulations will be more intense than a residential rooftop deck. 

Do you need planning permission for decking on a flat roof?

 If you are planning to create a rooftop deck in the city, yes, most likely you will need to get a building permit or planning permission.  Experienced rooftop deck builders are familiar with city codes and will include this in their quote for ‘pulling permits’ as known in the construction industry. 

You’ll also need an engineering inspection that assures the structure can withstand the weight of a rooftop deck.  A copy of that engineering inspection will need to accompany the building permit request, all of which will usually have fees to be paid by you. 

How much does it cost to build a rooftop deck?

For a commercial property or a residential property, there are so many rooftop deck ideas to go with, and the price tags go with them too!  A basic rooftop deck on a residential properly can cost as much as $25,000. Add an outdoor kitchen with an integrated grill and a wet bar, the price goes up. Not only is there the framing with flooring, but the foundation, the safety railing, and whatever support the engineering reports recommended, and the city requires. 

For a commercial property, safety is going to be key for a rooftop deck. So the framing and foundation are going to have to be sturdy, then railing around edges is an absolute must. While railing is required (and smart) for residential property, it is an insurance matter for a business and the city the business is located.  You could estimate $100,000 or more for a restaurant to set up a basic outdoor rooftop deck dining pleasure. 

For either situation, rooftop deck coating is important.  There are roofing contractors that specialize in rooftop decks and will know the best product and method on how to waterproof rooftop deck. Waterproofing is important when you have a flat roof and adding a rooftop deck makes it even more important.

patio furniture on rooftop deck

What are the rooftop deck pros and cons?

For commercial building owners, there are some construction factors to be considered when planning a rooftop deck.  

  • Inspection and Maintenance: A rooftop deck is going to provide a roof and a place of entertainment. The waterproofing is only one aspect of concern and needs.  There is fireproof and safety with the assumption you’re going to have several people at one time on the rooftop deck. While you can carry out the inside interior to the rooftop deck, it will need to be regularly inspected and maintained by a professional roofing contractor. 
  • Not A Ground-Level Patio: Designing your rooftop deck is different than designing an ground-level outdoor patio. The designer must work with engineering to ensure there is ample support from the structure before the rooftop deck construction begins. A team that includes the designer, structural engineer and a roofing specialist should be created for your projected plans. 
  • Elements and the Rooftop: In many ways, your rooftop deck will be like a regular patios, constantly exposed to the climate and elements. Choosing materials that are going to hold up to the ice, rain, snow, UV rays, and wind is a must to keep your rooftop deck looking good. 
  • Drainage Difficulties: Commercial roofs look flat, but they have some slope to them for drainage purpose.  Your rooftop deck won’t have that slope, so special drainage needs to be set in place to make sure the roof doesn’t have water pooling and standing on or under the decking. 
  • The Expense: Yes, as we stated earlier, a rooftop deck will be costly, but keep your eye on the prize for future value this will add to your structure. Even after the pandemic calms down and life returns to the normal we knew, you can still utilize your rooftop deck for additional seating. 
  • Special Equipment: Commercial roofs typically have the HVACs, electrical, and plumbing matters installed on them, but with a rooftop deck, these things may have to be relocated.  However, it also will provide you a way to install a lighted water feature too. 

The pandemic of 2020/2021 has given us all a memory we may wish to keep or we may wish to forget. It also provided businesses and homeowners to think of different ways to entertain. A rooftop deck is one of those ways and with proper planning, it can be something you’ll enjoy for years to come. Call (512) 299-6576 today for your rooftop deck in Austin, TX.

How do I maintain my gutters?

gutters along a tile roof

How often should gutters be cleaned?

Those gutters on your home aren’t just for décor purpose. So, when they are broken or malfunctioning, professional gutter system repair is just as important to your home as your plumbing system. As a homeowner, you want to have a routine gutter cleaning and maintenance about the same time you have your HVAC system professional inspected and serviced. On your list of service companies, add a gutter maintenance company too! 

It is surprising how quick a gutter system can get clogged. With only a few leaves, even less pine needles, will form a blockage. If you don’t realize there is a blockage, the water backs up and often pushes up under the shingles, then you have a roof leak. Or, if there is a lot of debris, adding water to this will lead to needing professional gutter system repair or replacement. 

To keep your gutter system clean and flowing, avoiding any misdirection of water and damage, routine basic gutter maintenance and cleaning is essential. How often can be determined by the type of trees you have around your home and in the neighborhood.  So, just how often do you need your gutters cleaned and maintained to avoid gutter system repair, or worse? 

Twice a year will remove any debris like leaves, limbs, and twigs. A good timetable for gutter cleaning is to coincide with any of these homeowner tasks:

  • Smoke detector battery change
  • Outdoor light bulb change
  • Vehicle tire rotation
  • Daylight Savings Time clock resetting 

However, you should have your gutters cleaned after a significant weather event. The high winds can blow in more debris and leaves than normal, and if the storm had hail, you could need gutter system repair. A home with a lot of trees should have a gutter cleaning three to four times a year, especially if those trees are pine trees. 

Can I clean my gutters myself?

If you don’t mind heights and have a ladder, yes, many homeowners do their own gutter cleaning. Keep in mind that a professional contractor will have all the equipment needed for gutter system repair and cleaning. You may need to purchase some items to do your own gutter cleaning. Use the following steps for gutter cleaning: 

  • You’ll need a good extendable ladder, rubber gloves, eye protection, and wear long pants and sleeves.
  • Spread a plastic sheet or tarp where you’re working. 
  • Position the ladder on a flat and sturdy surface.  
  • Using a small plastic shovel or scoop, clean out all the gunk in the gutter runs. This is why you need the sheet or tarp in place, so you can toss the gunk down. 
  • Using a water hose at full blast, flush the gutter runs out toward the downspouts  then flush the downspouts. At this time, you’ll know if you need gutter system repairs or replacement. 
  • After you flushed the gutter system, make any gutter system repairs you’ve found, replacing any hanger or gutter sections as needed. 

Now that you have done this once, you’ll find it easy to do the next time. Or you may decide you have other things to do on your Saturdays and hire a professional contractor next time. 

What is the fastest way to clean gutters?

A fast and straightforward method for gutter cleaning is to climb a ladder, taking a leaf blower with you. Then walk along the roof edge, blowing into the gutter run.  If you’re not fond of heights, you can purchase an extension to your leaf blower and do this from the ground, however, you may not get all the blockages cleared in this matter. 

You can also use a power washer, be careful not to knock the gutter runs off the hooks or you’ll be paying for gutter system repair and gutter cleaning.  Sometimes, a water hose at full blast isn’t strong enough to get the wet leaves and debris out of the gutter runs. Either of these methods will require placing a plastic sheet or tarp in the area where you’re cleaning. 

If the tarp and clean up afterward isn’t appealing, you can clean your gutters with a shop vac and an extension.  This would clean the gutters and keeps the debris in one place where you just empty into a trash bag. 

How do you maintain gutters and downspouts?

Keeping your gutter system clean will keep it functioning and keep you from needing gutter system repairs. A few simple steps is all it takes:

  • Step One – Gutter Inspections: Before  gutter cleaning, inspect to see what gutter system repair may be needed.  Gutter sections with corrosion, holes, split joints, bent or missing hangers. Make these repairs first and then proceed with the cutter cleaning. While you’re cleaning, you may notice more gutter system repairs needed. You can do those after you’re done. 
  • Step Two – Gutter Cleaning: Follow the instructions we provided above. Getting the stuck debris out first then use water, a leaf blower, or a shop vac to clear the debris out. 
  • Step Three – Unclog the Downspout: If the downspouts are clogged, clear gutter runs aren’t going to do much good. Start by removing the elbow and run hard pressure water through the top of the downspout. You can use a plumber snake to get stubborn clogs the water hose doesn’t push out. 

It can’t be repeated and stressed enough the importance of gutter maintenance and repairs. From the roof being damaged to the siding of your home, the foundation, and more, clean gutter that are functioning properly are important to your home. 

white gutter system and soffit

What happens if you don t clean your gutters?

  • Foundation Damage: When water can’t flow through the gutter, is spills over and ponds around the foundation, softening the soil and causing the foundation to crack. 
  • Wood Rot: Overflowing gutters usually means water is trapped behind the gutters too and there it rots the fascia and soffit boards.
  • Roof Leak: Gutters that are cleaned will cause water to back up under the shingles, onto the decking, and then a roof leak appears. 
  • Insects:  Insects love nothing better than moist dark places to create an infestation they call home.
  • Leaky Basement: If the foundation can be ruined, a basement can have leaks! 
  • Damaged Landscape: As the water ponds around the foundation, it is flooding and killing your flowers, plants, and washing away any mulch.

Let’s get started on your gutters needs in Austin, TX. Call (512) 299-6576 for Freetail Roofing today!

Is a Roof Leak an Emergency?

water leak coming through ceiling

When water seeps in

Next to the air conditioner or the water heater needing repair, a roof leak repair would rank as one thing a homeowner doesn’t want. Yet, these are things that happen, all a part of homeownership. Today, we’re going to discuss roof leaks, what causes roof leaks, and what to when you have a roof leak. 

So, starting off with a basic question, what causes roof leaks? There are few factors that cause a roof leak, leading to a roof leak repairs:

  1. Shingles compromised
    Poor workmanship during installation is too often found to be the problem with faulty materials being a problem. More than likely though, a leaking roof is caused by mother nature from hailstorms or high winds. Once a shingle is loosened or blown off, the roof’s integrity is compromised, leading to roof leak repair being needed. 
  2. Roof valleys compromised
    Every roof has valleys where two different slopes meet. A metal flashing is installed there to keep water running of the roof. If that flashing comes loose or is punctured, it allows the shingles under it to become loosened, compromising the roof, and again, a roof leak repair is needed.  
  3. Poor Installation or poor quality materials
    When you have a roof installed, you want the best workmanship possible. Using a contractor that doesn’t have experience or offer recent, local references can result in poor installation. Or a contractor that doesn’t use the best roofing materials possible can result in need roof leak repair.  
  4. Punctured roof or obstruction
    When branches or limbs fall out of trees, or the roof is hit with hail or other objects, it will often cause roof damage. After a significant weather event, it recommended to walk around your home and check or any broken branches and limbs. If you notice any, have a professional roofing contractor inspect your roof and see if there any need for roof leak repair or replacement. This inspection should include check the gutters and valleys too.
  5. Improper Ventilation
    If your attic has improper ventilation, or the rooms in your home aren’t properly ventilated for the HVAC, it can allow moisture to build up and over time, create a leaking ceiling. This may not require roof leak repair, but it warrants having a roofing contractor inspect your attic and roof to make sure. 
  6. Old roof
    The roof on your home will not last forever. The life expectancy of a roof is between 20 and 30 years, depending on the quality of shingles. If your roof is 15 years or older, a professional inspection is recommended. You may need to get a new roof before repeated roof leak repairs start. 

Can roof leaks be fixed?

Yes, most times, a roof leak repair is possible by a professional roofing contractor. As soon as you notice that you have a roof leak, take the steps to stop the leak from damaging your home’s interior anymore. We’re going to  answer the question “How do you fix a leaking roof yourself?” in minute. 

Next, call a professional roofing contractor. They will inspect the roof and your attic, get an assessment of the problem and the discuss the options of roof leak repair or replacement with you. Keep reading for information on what to do when you have leaking roof.

Who do you call for a leaky roof?

When you have a leaking roof, what should you do first? You’ll want to take the steps we outline next to minimize damage, but your first phone call should be to a roofing contractor.  Make this call first and while waiting on the contractor arrive, follow the steps we’ve outlined. Once you have done your part to minimize the damage and the roofing contractor has either completed a roof leak repair or provided you an estimate of what is needed, call your insurance company. 

What to do if your roof is leaking?

Here we offer a step-by-step process to follow for successfully handing your leaking roof: 

  • Step One: Minimize the interior damage: Where the leak is coming into your home, place towels under the area and a bucket or some type of container. Next, if there is a bulging area, poke it with a sharp object and let the water fill the bucket or container. This will relieve any pressure that the built up water is creating. Next, using old towels, and clean up what you can, cover your furniture and other items that can’t be removed from the immediate area with plastic. Pull up carpeting and rugs, place fans around the room, this will prevent mold from starting. 
  • Step Two: The Roofing Contractor: Next, call a local, professional roofing contractor. Hopefully, you have minimal damage to your roof and a roof leak repair is possible then. Otherwise, if a new roof is needed, they will provide you an estimate that you’ll need to share with your homeowner’s insurance company. If a new roof is necessary, the roofing contractor should be able to do a temporary fix to keep the leak from getting worse. 
  • Step Three: Inspect your roof and interior: As you wait for the contractor, go around your home and take pictures of the damage that you can share with your insurance company.  When the contractor arrives, ask them to take pictures while on top of the roof as well.  Inspect the attic too and take pictures if possible.  
  • Step Four: Call the insurance company: If the damage is minimal and the contractor can do a roof leak repair on the spot, there isn’t any need to file a claim on your homeowner’s insurance.  Save these claims for more serious issues that will exceed your deductible. 

Can a roof leak be repaired from the inside?

So you have a leaking roof, and the roofing contractor can’t to you for a few days. If there has been a significant weather event in your area, this isn’t unusual. Here, we are providing you steps for a temporary fix until the roofing contractor can provide you a permanent solution. 

Divert The Water

  1. Create a track for the incoming water to drain by pushing a nail into the hole where the water is coming.
  2. Place a bucket or container, a large size, under the area and tie a string onto the nail and stretch it to the bucket. The water coming in will follow that string to the bucket. 
  3. Once the rain has stopped and the area of the leak has dried, follow the next set of steps. 

Seal The Leak

  1. First, you need to find leak and you can do this by getting in the attic with a flashlight. Shining it around the attic, look for damp, moist areas, and mold. 
  2. Using chalk, draw a circle around the problem area to help identify it when time to make the permanent repair.
  3. Once the area is dry, place a piece of plywood over the hole and apply a roof patch tar product to the area, spreading it around the leak, cover the entire region.
  4. Once that has dried, caulk the edges, using a finger to spread it out.  
damaged tile roof

Can I claim for roof repairs on insurance?, or Does insurance cover a leaking roof?

These are the most common questions a homeowner will ask, and for good reason. You pay monthly premiums, you’d like to get your money’s worth, right? Most insurance policies for homeowners will cover roof replacement when the damage happened from a natural act like hail, wind, etc.  Or if an accident not of your fault, roof replacement maybe covered.  

Every policy is different, and it is to your best interest to review your policy before you need to file a claim.  of nature or sudden accidental event. A roof leak repair or replacement due to age of the roof or negligence will not be covered by any homeowner’s insurance policy.  

Even if the negligence is from the previous owners, the preliminary inspection every insurance company performs before issuing a policy, the adjuster will advise you of repair or replacement needed. If you choose not to do this, any roof leak repair or replacement will be at your expense. Call (512) 299-6576 today for your roof leak repair in Austin, TX.

How Do You Do a Roof Inspection?

shingle roofing system

What is a roof inspection?

A roof inspection is typically a professional in the insurance industry or roofing industry checking the structural condition. There are several reasons roof inspections are performed. 

Building inspectors perform roof inspections on new builds and remodeled buildings. Insurance adjusters do roof inspections before issuing a policy or to validate claims. Roofing contractors do roof inspections for business owners and homeowners that request them. In that situation, they are doing roof inspections and repairs estimates for damage from fire, hail, storms, or wind. These are the roof inspections our article will be based on today. 

What do roof inspectors look for?      

The roofing industry experts recommended annual roof inspections, but most homeowners don’t call for roof inspections until they have a concern (roof leaking) or problems (storm damage). Another purpose of roof inspections is to prepare a house for market. Roof inspectors are trained on How to do a roof inspection for various purposes  because there are different factors to be checked and considered based on the reason for the inspection. The basics of all roof inspections include the following: 

  • Interior: The first area of roof inspection is the interior for any sign of water damage, especially in the attic. Indication that tell them there is possible water damage is moisture and mold or water stains. They will check for day light shining through the roof and the check for  signs of an aging roof.
  • Exterior: The exterior or the roof is the next area for roof inspections. They are looking closely at the shingles and their condition, like bald areas where granules are missing, loose and missing shingles, missing nails, bent or missing flashings, cracked caulk. 
  • Estimate: For a roof contractor doing an inspection, once they have completed the inspection, they will provide the homeowner a report on their findings along with an estimate for repairs or replacement.

What is involved in a roof inspection?

Professional roof inspections vary based on the type of roofing material used. Asphalt shingled roofing inspections include what we discussed above. This is a basic and common process of residential roofing inspections. 

Metal roof inspections are different as they are focused on finding possible leaks and the reason for the leak. The areas that get attention during metal roof inspections include:

  • The seams – Because metal roofs contract and expand with the temperature, the screws often work loose, allowing the seams to separate. This require immediate attention before the underlying roof structure is damaged from condensation and moisture.  
  • The flashing – The flashing is important part of any roof, metal especially for the same reason for seams that have loosen and separated. Additionally,  loose or missing flashing will allow water to get under it and then corrode the metal panel. 
  • The rust – Rust is metal roofing’s enemy because it will eat it, creating holes and water gets through the holes and into the house. Once rust gets into a metal panel, the entire roof requires replacement, making metal roof inspections an absolute must. 

How do you perform a roof inspection?

Here are six steps to follow to perform your own roof inspections.  Because you are not trained on this process, professional roof inspections are valuable even when you don’t find anything. 

  • The Gutters: The gutter system on a home can tell a lot during roof inspections. If they are filled with granules or if they are bent, broke, loose, or missing, they can often indicate problems with the fascia, soffit, or shingles. 
  • The Flashing: If there isn’t flashing in the valley, around the chimney or where roofing angles meet during roofing inspections, it needs to be installed immediately. These are weak areas that water can filtrate under the shingles and into the attic. 
  • Skylights: If your roof is being replaced or refurbished, have the skylights replaced too. Good quality skylights haves a lifespan of 20 years. If the flashing and sealant is missing around them, during normal roof inspections and no new roof is being installed, the flashings should be replaced. 
  • The Stacks: The stacks on top of your roof serve an important purpose of letting exhaust out of the drains so water flows freely. Otherwise, the sewage gas would fill your home.  If the stacks are bent, cracked, or loose, they need to be replaced. 
  • The Chimney: Roof inspections should include checking the chimney and surrounding area. It needs to be accurately assessed for damage like missing mortar, chimney cap, flashing, etc. 
  • The Attic: Close attention during roof inspections should be paid in the attic. Here is where moisture can build up and cause major problems. It needs to be vented yet sealed well. It should have dry insulation and no water stains on the underside of the roof. 

How do you know if you have roof damage?

Warning signs that you may have roof damage that should not be ignored are: 

Water Damage: Roof inspections will check for water stains on the ceilings and walls, typically these are the most noticeable that a homeowner can be aware without roof inspections. 

Shingles: Missing shingles or balding shingles are indication that professional roof inspections are needed for further examination. 

Fascia and Soffit: Deterioration like cracking, decay, missing or rotted wood around these areas are typically from water damage, often from gutter drainage.

Gutter System: As we’ve mentioned earlier, the gutter system will tell professionals during roof inspections there is a problem and as a homeowner, you can use this for a gauge too. 

Poor Ventilation: When looking for possible roof damage, curled shingle edges often indicate the attic has improper venting and cause ice dams in the winter. Aged roofing is also indicated by curled shingles. 

Shingles on garage

How do you check for roof leaks?

Going in the attic is the best way for roof inspections looking for leaks.  Take a flashlight and look for black marks, mildew, mold, moisture, and water stains.  Turning the flashlight off while in attic to see if any daylight is coming through the roof will give you an idea of possible leak locations. 

When should I get roof inspected? As mentioned in the beginning, the roofing industry recommend annual roof inspection as part of homeownership.  You definitely should have a roof inspection done if you find any of the things we’ve mentioned here and if  several of your neighbors are getting a new roof, there is a good chance you need one too. Need a roof inspection in Austin, TX? Call (512) 299-6576 today.

What Are Green Roof Systems?

plants on the rooftop

Learn More About Green Roofs

When it comes to interesting roof designs perhaps the most innovative can be seen with a green roof system. Essentially a green roof will be able to provide a range of vegetation of your choosing while adopting a number of benefits. There are many different types of green roofs with different details that will surround them. It’s best to confer with a certified roofer to see what may be done with your property. Until then, here is some general background information regarding green roofs that may prove useful to you.

Where are green roofs most popular?

Countries that commonly feature a green roof are European ones who have been implementing this type of technology for a long time since the 1960s. Although popular there, major US cities have been increasingly showing initiatives with implementing green roofs as seen with Chicago, Washington D.C., and Portland. This could be due to the fact that on top of the unique draw in design aesthetic a green roof offers many economical as well as environmental benefits.

How long do green roofs last?

A green roof will be able to last from 30-50 years. This type of roof lives longer than standard roofing options due to the fact that it will protect the roof membrane which extends the life of the roof.

What is green roof construction?

A green roof is also known as eco-roofs or vegetative roofs can be placed on a flat or slightly sloped roof. It consists of a layer of vegetation that’s planted over a waterproofing system. It acts as an extension of an existing roof which will then involve a drainage/roof repellent system, filter cloth, a lightweight growing medium, and plants. Green roofing falls into three main categories of semi-intensive, intensive, and extensive.

What is the difference between intensive and extensive green roofs?

The difference between an intensive green roof and an extensive one is that an extensive one will be able to grow a wide range of plants from shrubs to small trees while an extensive green roof can only accommodate a small selection of drought-tolerant plants. These plants will have to have a shallow root system as well.

Do green roofs need maintenance?

An intensive green roof will require maintenance depending on the landscape design and planting scheme. An extensive green roof will only need minimal maintenance to make sure that there aren’t any unwanted species growing.

What are the layers of a green roof?

The layers of a green roof involve vegetation, a growing medium, filter membrane, drainage layer, root repellent/waterproofing layer, a roofing membrane that supports the plants above, thermal insulation, a vapor control layer, and lastly structural roof support. 

How Green Roof Works

A green roof will be able to mitigate water runoff and sewer overflows as it has vegetation and soil that act as sponges that will absorb and filter the water that would normally go down gutters and into sewer systems. Essentially a green roof will be able to remove air particulates, make more oxygen, and give shade to the roof which will cool it down.

How do green roofs save money?

A green roof will be able to save on money due to its ability to reduce the heat fluctuations known with roofs. They will be able to use less energy with heating and cooling which then leads to fewer costs on monthly HVAC bills. During the winter a green roof can also minimize heat loss through the added insulation on the roof. Essentially a green roof will be able to conserve more energy which means that there will be less greenhouse gas emissions as a result.

View of green roof on modern buildings and other residential buildings in Sydney, Australia during sunrise

What are the benefits of having a green roof?

  • Economic Benefits
  • Improves Stormwater Management
  • Reduces Urban Heat Island Effect and Improves Air Quality 
  • Insulates the Building
  • Improves Efficiency of Mechanical Equipment
  • Reduces Greenhouse Gas Emissions
  • Extends Roof Life
  • Provides Urban Amenities

What is the future of green roofs?

Green roofs will be able to reduce energy and remove pollutants and dust in the air. As they are a great way to add to the environment and promote better practices while saving energy and reducing greenhouse gas emissions they may be implemented more and more with other methods of roofing.

Speak to Your Local Roofers Today About Green Roof Construction

A green roof installation will be a great way to provide an attractive look to your roof while producing a number of benefits from energy cost savings to protecting the environment. There are many types of plants and vegetation that you may want to place on your roof. Speaking to a qualified roofing company will be a great way to see what options are available for your project preferences and goals. Only with a professional rofoer will a roof inspection and all necessary measures be taken to comply with proper roof specifications and details. Get started with a green roof today and enjoy a colorful and unique roof for years to come.

If you’re interested in a green roof in Austin, TX call (512) 299-6576 with Freetail Roofing!

Is roof flashing necessary?

flashing along a chimney

Flashing for your roof

To understand if roof flashing is necessary, let’s describe what is roof flashing. Roof flashing is a thin strip of metal that is installed around protrusions of the roof like chimneys, dormers, skylights, vents, and where roof changes meet. The purpose of roof flashing installation is to redirect water from these critical areas. 

Roof flashing material is typically a thin galvanized metal. Depending on the roofing material, the architectural style of the house, and the customer’s budget, roof flashing also come in aluminum, copper, lead, stainless steel, and zinc alloy for a home that an architectural metal with a coating is more appropriate. 

Among those metals are architectural metal roof flashings are metals with a coating such as anodized aluminum, galvanized steel, lead-coated copper, terne-coated copper, galvalume, and metals akin to stone-coated metal. 

What are the different types of roof flashing?

Now that you know the types of metal that roof flashing comes in, let’s talk about the different types of flashing and their purpose: 

  • Apron or Continuous: Apron or continuous flashing is a long piece of metal that takes water to the shingles below it, which is why it is often referred to as apron flashing. It isn’t a flexible piece of metal, so as a roof contracts and expands, this piece of metal sometimes needs replacing.  
  • Base: A roof with features like a chimney, requires two pieces of flashing. This strip of flashing ensures that rain meets the flashing surface and directs it down. Installation around the chimney can be challenging, and when the roof contracts and expands, it can cause it to come loose.  
  • Counter: This flashing is installed above or opposite to base flashing, to complete the base flashing. 
  • Step: This is a rectangular piece with a 90 degrees angle in the center and is used at the wall. There are multiple pieces in the layers of shingles to ensure water is directed down and away from the wall. 
  • Skylight: Some brands of skylights come with the flashing to fit the product. If the skylight is already installed, a professional roofing contractor can install it separately. 
  • Valley: A valley is where two roof angles meet, and the metal roof flashing ensures the water is redirected. 
  • Drip Edges: The drip edge roof flashing is a thin metal that redirects the water off the roof so that it doesn’t damage the house. 
  • Kickout: This roof flashing creates a bridge between where gutter and step flashing meet. 

Does flashing go over or under shingles?

Water is a roof’s enemy, regardless of the structure’s age. Yet this is the one component of a house that is neglected. Roof flashing is installed on top of shingles. Some area, it is layered with the shingles, using step flashing. 

Do roofers replace flashing?

Yes, roof flashing is part of the roofing and is installed by the roofer. If you’re needing replacement roof flashing, a general contractor with roofing experience can replace bent, damage, and missing roof flashing. 

What does flashing on a roof look like?

A professional roofing contractor that has the experience, they will install the roofing in a way where it blends in with the roofing material. It will be installed so that most of it will not be visible from the street, and what is visible is slight.

protective flashing around metal roof

How do you fix roof flashing?

Some roof leaks are where the metal roof flashing is (or isn’t) along the edges, in the valleys, and along junctions around chimneys, dormers, vent pipes, etc. Because a roof contracts and expands with the weather and roof flashing doesn’t, corroded spots or small holes can form that need to be repaired. First, with sandpaper or a wire brush, roughen around the hole then clean it off. Cut a patch larger than the area you’re repairing. Next, apply roofing cement to cover the patch. Corroded or damaged flashing will need to be replaced, which requires removing some of the shingles, some of the mortar, and the damaged flashing. A professional roofing contractor best does this. 

We can’t stress roof flashing importance enough. Roof flashing is a critical part of the roof. Roof flashing secures roof joints, areas around the chimney, dormers, and valleys. Roof flashing sends water to the gutters, and the gutters send the water away from the foundation. Without adequate roof flashing, water will find those vulnerable areas like the chimney and dormers, and along the edges without drip edge flashings. Water will find its way down inside the attics and the walls.  Roof flashing is as essential as the asphalt shingle or any roofing material you choose to install on your home. When you get quotes for a new roof, the roof flashing should be one line item and, if not, question this. You do not want them using existing roof flashing with your new roof. Let’s get started on your roof flashing in Austin, TX. Call (512) 299-6576 today.

What is a Cool Roof System?

The roof of the house is made of galvanized metal profile against the sky

Find Out About Cool Roofs

When it comes to your roofing system, proper protection and conditions should be maintained. With all of the many innovations available with roofing, a cool roof is one many choose to have due to their energy efficiency and protection from the damaging effects of the sun. Make sure to get in touch with a professional roofing company to see what type of cool roof system can be implemented for the betterment of your property. Until then, here is some general background information regarding cool roofs that may give you an idea of how they work. 

What is a cool roof?

A cool roof is a system of roofing that provides higher solar reflectance which means it can reflect the sun’s visible, ultraviolet (UV,) and infrared wavelengths. A cool roof is designed to have higher thermal emittance which means it can radiate absorbed or non-reflected solar energy. Durability and longevity of the roof will also be enhanced. Finally, it can also reduce both the urban heat island effect as well as building cooling loads. 

What is a cool roof made of?

A cool roof can be made from a number of roofing materials, highly reflective paint or sheet coverings. Materials can range from metal, slate and more while cool roof coatings can match with sloped and flat roofs. 

What is the most energy efficient roofing material?

The roofing materials with the highest energy efficiency and cool roof abilities are considered to be green roofs, metal roofing, slate or clay (with roof coatings,) sprayed polyurethane foam (SPF), and thermoplastic olefin/polyolefin (TPO).

How do I keep my roof cool?

You may be able to make efforts of having a cool roof by painting your roof white or incorporating a roof garden. Adding white paint can have higher reflectance while a roof garden (otherwise known as a green roof) will shade the roof from direct sunlight while the soil absorbs the heat. You may install solar panels, which will capture the sun’s energy and instead convert it into electricity. 

What is cool roof paint?

Cool roof coatings are typically white or have special reflective pigments that will be able to reflect the light like UV rays They are thick in consistency and some may offer restorative features, chemical and water protection. Roof coatings are made to work with a number of different roofing materials so depending on the type of roof that you have there will be a roof coating that will match it.

Does cool roof paint work?

Cool roof coatings or paint will be able to elongate a roof’s life by 10 years and can be reapplied until the roof reaches the end of it’s natural life expectancy.

What color roof is the coolest?

Standard cool roof designs are historically lighter in color yet certain roofing products allow for darker hues to have qualified levels of solar reflectivity. In general, with any roofing material, light colors are better at reflecting heat while darker surfaces absorb heat more. According to the Berkeley Lab, a dark gray roof can reflect solar heat at about 20% while white colors can reflect it about 55%.

What is a good solar reflectance index?

A solar reflective index (SRI) will measure a roof’s ability to reject solar heat. A good measurement as seen with a standard white roof will have a reflectance of 0.80 and an emittance of 0.90 which will give it a score of 100. A black standard roof in comparison will only have a reflectance of 0.05 with an emittance of 0.90 which gives it a final score of 0.

standing seam metal roof

What are the benefits of a cool roof?

  • Lower local air temperatures (otherwise referred to as the urban heat island effect.)
  • Lower peak electricity demand, which can assist in preventing power outages.
  • Reduce power plant emissions, including sulfur dioxide, mercury, carbon dioxide, and nitrous oxides by reducing cooling energy use in buildings.

Is a cool roof worth it?

A cool roof may be able to have tax credits depending on the brand of roofing material. You’ll be able to save on cooling costs by as much as 20%. There is a strong value in having a cool roof overall as it will protect  your roof from premature wear caused by sun damage which saves on repairs and replacements.

Contact Your Local Roofing Company 

A cool roof is a great way to incorporate protection into your roofing system. You’ll ensure a longer roof life, lower building temperatures, and save on HVAC costs. See what type of cool roof implementation will work best with your property with the help of a qualified roofer. Based on your roofing specifications, materials, and goals they will be able to best recommend the right cool roof solution for you. 

If you’re interested in a cool roof in Austin, TX call (512) 299-6576 with Freetail Roofing!

What do you do if you have hail damage on your roof?

hail damage

Should I Claim Hail Damage on my Roof?

Homeowners of Georgetown, TX are well aware of hail damage and the recent example is no different. Freetail Roofing is here to help, having experience in hail damage and offering the service roof hail damage repair to take care of your roof after such an occasion. Some may then ask what the right course of action is after a hail storm. We suggest taking the route of:

  • Examine your roof for damages like dings, cracks, or other markings
  • Get an inspection from your local roofer
  • File an insurance claim
  • Have us repair your roof

While you may not immediately see hail damage on your roof, a roof inspection is still capable of finding even the most minor of damages that can lead to larger problems like leaks. Freetail Roofing offers these to each community we service, including the Sun City Texas Community. So when you call us out, we’ll detail everything we find and help you with the insurance claim so you can have an easier way of getting your roof repaired. With that said, hail in Georgetown, TX and the surrounding areas does not have to be an issue when you contact us for repairs. To schedule an appointment, call (512) 299-6576 today to speak with one of our representatives about hail damage on your roof and they will arrange an appointment for your home.

How do you know if your roof has hail damage?

When it comes to hail damage, homeowners can make the mistake of putting off the damages. Freetail Roofing recommends heavily against that due to a few reasons that tend to work against the property owner over time. Those that live in Georgetown, TX understand the need for the quick action and the necessity of starting the process immediately upon finding damages after a hail storm. 

The immediate reason for that is a lot of the time, especially if you do not take a good look at your roof after a hail storm, you will not be aware of hail damage until it is too late. This is because almost all roofs are designed to resist hail storms and other severe weather. So while the immediate hail is negated, there is still a risk of a leak through a cracked shingle, dented metal, or other damage. A leak can come from something as minor as unsealing a shingle or a small crack that simply creates a small opening. In either case, the damage may not be noticeable from the ground level, but over time will create an opening for water damage. 

In the case of filing an insurance claim, insurance companies are more likely to accept a claim that is filed promptly. Generally within one year of the determination that the damages were caused outside of the homeowner’s control. This is because most insurance policies do not accept claims including damages that accrue over time and happened due to negligence.

Can new roofs get hail damage?

Unfortunately, when it comes to hail damage a new roof can be affected just like an old roof. Especially when hail is as large or larger than one inch in diameter, homeowners will likely see damages regardless of whether their roof is old or new. While damages are possible at a smaller size like quarter size, it is not as noticeable. Freetail Roofing suggests not taking any chances either way, especially after a hail storm. Because while there may not seem to be any damages on the ground level, a roof inspection can go a long way in preventing expensive repairs. 

When hail damage does occur, Freetail Roofing is the roofing company that can be there for your home in Georgetown, TX and the surrounding areas. As a roofing company, we understand the importance of hail damage roof repair and apply it professionally for each property we serve like the Sun City Retirement Community.

hail damage

Should I replace roof after hail damage?

Roof replacements tend to be reserved for outstanding damages and at the end of a roof’s working lifespan. You will notice when you need a roof replacement upon events that transpire like:

  • Constant and expensive repairs
  • Your neighbors are getting roof replacements
  • Leaks occur periodically in your roof
  • Shingles are losing granules and bending upwards

Particularly after a hailstorm, Freetail Roofing recommends getting a roof inspection and hail damage roof repair. If we notice the need for a roof replacement, we will inform you and advise on the what is the best course of action to take. Whether it’s an asphalt shingle roof or a metal roof, the most common repair in places like Georgetown, TX tends to be storm or hail damage roof repair. While a metal roof is the toughest for homeowners, it is still subject to damages from hail. 

As always, after a hailstorm, we recommend using our hail damage roof repair service when you notice damages on your roof. Freetail Roofing is ready to help homeowners in Georgetown, TX and the surrounding areas keep their roofs repaired with our fantastic services. Call (512) 299-6576 today to schedule your appointment and have our roofers come out to your home for repairs.