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Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Roof Replacement?

DOES HOMEOWNERS INSURANCE COVER ROOF REPLACEMENT?
During inspection for insurance purposes, your insurance adjuster or roofing contractor will take photos of any damage.

As with most homeowners insurance claims, you may be wondering “does homeowners insurance cover roof replacement?”, but that will vary from company to company, policy to policy.

If you suspect that you have roof damage caused by severe weather such as hail or high winds, or damage caused by animals or birds, it is possible that repair or replacement could be covered by your homeowners insurance. Normal wear and tear due to age is not likely to be covered. However, if your roof is less than 10-15 years old and has missing or broken shingles, the shingle manufacturer may be to blame, and repair or replacement could be covered by insurance. This does not happen often, but every now and again a shingle manufacturer produces an inferior batch that fails prior to its warranty expiration.

In either case, the first step is to contact your insurance agent. They will ask you a few questions to determine next steps. After that, if they decide that further investigation is necessary, they will send an insurance adjuster to your home to asses the situation.

Once it is determined that a claim will be covered, the agent may provide a list of local roofers for estimates or recommend that you contact contractors in your area. In our experience, they generally require more than one quote (usually 3) to ensure a fair price.

Prior to having the work done, your insurance company will need to approve the company/estimate that the homeowner is most comfortable with, and work can begin.

Beware Storm Chasers

When areas are hit by severe weather, storm chasers aren’t far behind. In our industry, storm chasers are usually fly-by-night companies looking to capitalize on storm damage. They often canvas door-to-door after storms asking if the homeowner would like them to get on your roof to assess any damage. Often times their tactics are not only shady, they can be illegal. Storm chasers have been known to CAUSE damage to your roof while “inspecting” it, then encourage you to file a claim. This practice is illegal, and insurance companies know how to spot it. In many cases, insurance companies can find enough evidence of this man-made damage to reject your claim, leaving you with a damaged roof that you must pay to fix.

Should you choose to have your roof inspected for damage prior to contacting your insurance agent, it is wise to be present to observe the process. Illegal tactics by storm chasers include hitting shingles with a hammer to mimic hale damage, curling the edges of shingles by hand, or breaking shingles. Unless a roofer is fixing missing or loose shingles, an inspection should be observation only. You should ask for photos to be taken and a report to be written and provided to you for your records. You can provide these to your insurance provider.

As always, never hire a contractor that is not licensed, bonded and insured. Ask your contractor for their credentials prior to enlisting their services, and ask for a written contract/estimate for the work to be performed. So “does homeowners insurance cover roof replacement?”. If you’re still having concerns, don’t hesitate to contact us!

S&K Roofing, Siding and Windows has worked with most insurance providers, and are listed as a preferred contractor with many. If you’re curious if you have roof damage that is covered by insurance, contact your insurance provider. They will guide you through the process the right way.

 

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How Long Will Vinyl Siding Last?

How long will vinyl siding last
Vinyl siding replacement done by S&K Roofing, Siding and Windows in Maryland

How long will vinyl siding last is one of the most frequently asked questions that we get.

How long it will last depends of several factors. Homes located in areas of harsh weather, such as homes on the bay or ocean, will see shorter life spans than those in mild climates. Additionally, homes located in high wind areas are likely to need more siding repairs and replacements. And if your home is located on a golf course, brick just might be a better option for you!

When asked how long vinyl siding will last, most manufacturers predict a lifespan of 20-50 years. We think 50 is a stretch, but it is possible under the right conditions.

As far as warranties go, we’ll use CertainTeed’s vinyl siding warranty as an example. CertainTeed covers their vinyl siding 100% up to 5 years after installation. Subsequent coverage and years are below. This gives some idea of life expectancy for their product. For full warranty information for CertainTeed, visit: https://www.certainteed.com/resources/SidingLifetime_Warranty_CTS230_2001_E.pdf 

Percentage of Coverage Years Since Installation
100% Up to 5
90% More than 5 and up to 7
80% More than 7 and up to 8
70% More than 8 and up to 9
60% More than 9 and up to 10
50% More than 10 and up to 11
40% More than 11 and up to 12
30% More than 12 and up to 13
20% More than 13 and up to 14
10% More than 14 and up to 50

Although your vinyl siding may technically last for more than 20+ years, other factors might prompt you to have yours replaced. Dings from kids playing, fading, staining from painted window sashes and vents, and outdated colors and styles are all reasons that our customers wish to make a change. In fact, if siding is the dominant exterior on your home, replacing it can completely change the look of your home…like these homes that S&K worked on!Vinyl Siding Before After MD

Vinyl Siding Before and After in MD
Vinyl siding replacement in Mt. Airy, Maryland

How long will vinyl siding last?

In conclusion, there is a technical answer, and a personal one. In our experience, the personal one generally prevails!

How can S&K Roofing, Siding and Windows help you make your home look amazing? Contact us today to speak with one of our home improvement professionals in Maryland and Virginia.

 

 

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S&K Roofing, Siding And Windows Makes Staffing Changes In Maryland To Meet Increase In Workload

— Chris Jester Joins Team as General Manager; Crystal Miller Promoted to Office Manager —

ELDERSBURG, MD — S&K Roofing, Siding and Windows experienced a record year in 2019. To properly handle the increase in business, management added 2 new positions – General Manager and Office Manager.

Chris Jester Hired as GM

Roofing industry veteran Chris Jester joined S&K as their first ever General Manager in December. Jester has worked in the home improvement industry for more than 20 years, most recently on the senior management team at a leading contractor supply house. While the GM position will be refined throughout 2020, Jester’s role will include overseeing front office operations as well as operations and installation teams.

Crystal Miller Promoted to Office Manager

Crystal Miller began her career at S&K in 2004 as a receptionist. Throughout her tenure she has worked in several departments including contract administration, accounting, and operations. As Office Manager, Miller will oversee office operations in both Maryland and Virginia. Her duties will include human resource management, contract administration management, facilities maintenance, supply and equipment management, and event coordination.

“Growth is always welcome, but it does bring us some challenges. I think two of the biggest reasons that we’ve been able to achieve what we have is our staff, and our ability to recognize when changes are needed. We are thrilled to add these two new positions. We have worked with Chris for many years at different supply houses, and knew he’d be a great fit for us. We are looking forward to working with him to define the role of the GM at S&K,” said Don Katzenberger, Owner of S&K.  “And Crystal has done an amazing job over the years here at S&K. She’s worked in several departments, and knows S&K extremely well. Her experience and rapport with the teams will no doubt serve the company well in her new role.”

Along with staffing changes, S&K Roofing, Siding and Windows is making major technology upgrades to more quickly respond to customer demands. In 2020, the teams at S&K look forward to another stellar year.

 

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Missing Shingles or Broken Shingles – What’s the Harm?

If your home has missing or broken roof shingles, you might think it’s no big deal. Outside of looking bad, what’s the harm, right? Well, there can be a lot that goes wrong when roofing shingles are missing or broken. After all, your roof’s shingles are the main line of defense for your home against the elements. When that main line is compromised, minor intrusions can cause major damage.

In this blog post, we cover what can cause your roof shingles to be compromised, what can happen if left untreated, and what to do to make sure your home stays safe from whatever Mother Nature has to bring.

Conditions that Can Cause Loose, Broken, or Missing Shingles

Damaged Roof ShinglesHigh/sustained winds – As we have seen in recent years, certain times of the year can bring with it high, sustained winds. Roof shingles are meant to sustain wind, and even some gusting. But when gusts reach high levels, and/or are sustained over a period of time, even the best shingles and installation can be in danger.

Ice damming – During winter months when weather patterns swing from mild to severe, the freezing, melting, and re-freezing can cause ice damming. Ice damming can force ice, then water, to back up under roof shingles. This process loosens and can even break the shingles.

Improper installation – When your roof was installed, hopefully it was installed by a licensed roofing contractor. That is not always the case. Roofs installed by unlicensed, or poorly trained contractors can be subject to a variety of flaws. Improperly installed plywood, underlayment, and shingles can result in shingles that become loose and easily dislodged in wind and rain.

Roof Age – Even the best shingles and the best shingle installation has its limits. Most shingles come with 20-30 year warranties. When that time is up, you will likely see the tell tale signs – missing and broken shingles. If your roof is near or past its warranty, roof replacement is probably in order.

Why Fix Damaged or Missing Shingles

Prevent Damage to Plywood – When roof shingles become compromised, water can seep underneath them. If the barrier between the shingles and the plywood (the underlayment) is also compromised (and it likely is when shingles become loose or broken) water can also seep underneath of it, reaching the plywood. Once water becomes trapped between the plywood and underlayment/shingles, it can quickly begin to rot the plywood. Rotten plywood can lead to leaks and even dangerous mold.

Prevent Leaks – Once water finds its way under your shingles, it will find a path that will eventually lead to leaks. Sometimes a homeowner won’t even be aware that they have shingles that are compromised until a leak occurs. If your home is situated in such a way that you cannot see the roof in its entirety, how would you know? Unfortunately, you’ll know when you see a leak! Leaks that are visible inside a home in ceilings and walls can be costly. If your roof shingles are aging or if you see missing or broken shingles, do not hesitate in fixing the issue.

Aesthetics – If you are like most, you take great pride in home ownership. You work hard to keep your home looking its best. When it comes to curb appeal, your roof is one of the first and most noticeable parts of your home. When roof shingles are broken or missing, it can give the appearance of a home that is unkempt. Fixing your roof will help keep your home looking its best.

Repairs vs. Replacements

Shingle/Roof Age – When deciding whether to repair or replace your roof due to missing or broken shingles, age is likely the first consideration. If your roof is well within the shingle warranty, a repair is probably going to suffice. If your roof is approaching or has exceeded the shingle warranty, your roofing contractor may recommend replacement. Roof replacement may also be recommended if a large portion of your roof has been compromised.

Aesthetics – Even when your roof is within its warranty, there are times when the shingle that was originally used is no longer available. Even if it is available, over time your existing shingles may have faded. In either case, it can be difficult to get a match that will not look ‘patched.’ When that is the case, you might choose a roof replacement over a repair.

Insurance Coverage – In our area, each year we see isolated extreme weather events. In 2018, Mt. Airy, Maryland experienced a small tornado that ripped the roof off of a portion shopping center. The year prior, Ellicott City, Maryland was devastated by severe flooding. When your roof has been damaged by severe weather, your homeowners insurance may cover the damage.

Cost – When the damage to your roof is not covered by insurance, it is up to you to foot the bill. Many roofers offer financing, however not everyone’s situation allows for the expenditure of a new roof, particularly when it is unexpected. If you are in a situation where you cannot afford a new roof, a repair may buy you enough time to save, or at least to find a financing option that works with your budget.

Consulting with a Roofing Contractor

As with any home improvement contractor, it is imperative that you make sure they are licensed, bonded, and insured. Using an unlicensed roofing contractor, or doing a roof repair or replacement yourself does not provide you with a warranty. The lack of a warranty offers you no recourse if your roof becomes compromised. Reputable roofing contractors will offer not only the warranty on the roof shingle, but a limited workmanship warranty as well. When having your roof repair or roof replacement estimated, be sure to ask your contractor about warranties.

In addition to providing warranties, a reputable contractor will not advise roof replacement unless it is necessary. If your roof is well within the shingle warranty, unless there is significant damage, a large portion missing, or leaking, a reputable roofing contractor will likely offer a roof repair vs. a complete roof replacement.

If your home has missing or broken roof shingles, and you would like an assessment, contact us at 1-866-836-ROOF to schedule a no-obligation, free roofing estimate.

 

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Avoiding the Pitfalls of Home Improvement Sales

In any industry, you will find companies who thrive and those who struggle. Aside from companies who thrive for a short period of time riding a trend, most businesses that enjoy continued growth and success have two things going for them: quality work and/or products; and a high level of customer service. Nordstrom has long been lauded as a company whose customer service is second to none, and their merchandise of high quality. Not known for big sales or discounts, Nordstrom customers pay a bit more because they know that they are getting quality products from people who will stand behind them, and will make their experience shopping with them pleasant.

The home improvement industry is no different. Contractors who offer high quality products and services coupled with outstanding customer service are well on their way to success. Other factors are certainly at play – marketing and advertising, bookkeeping, scheduling, and fostering a healthy company culture are crucial as well. But first and foremost, from the viewpoint of the customer, great products installed well, and interactions with staff make or break the home improvement experience. As a customer shopping for a reputable contractor, we offer some insight into what you might expect from different companies.

Home Improvements on the Cheap

While it may be tempting to spend less money and hire a friend (or a friend of a friend) who does work on side, buyer beware…bigtime. Many home improvements, and home improvement companies, are regulated by counties and municipalities for a reason. When done improperly by unlicensed contractors, home improvements can severely damage your home, and even be dangerous. Wiring installed by an unlicensed electrical contractor could malfunction and cause a fire. A roof installed by an unlicensed roofer can cause leaks that can go undetected, resulting in mold, drywall damage and even ceiling collapse. Improperly installed plumbing can cause leaks and even flooding. And if these improvements are not installed by licensed professionals, your homeowners insurance may decline coverage.

Before you hire any contractor, it is advised that you check to be sure that they are licensed and insured. Licensed contractors are held to state mandated standards, which often require certifications.

Beware High Pressure Sales Tactics

All too often in the home improvement industry, companies adopt a high pressure approach to sales. These tactics may include:

  • Requiring all homeowners to be present during the sales ‘pitch’
  • Asking for 1 or more hours of your time during the sales process
  • Discounts for signing on the spot
  • No guarantee of pricing today being the same as tomorrow

Companies often adopt these tactics as a way to increase their closing percentage. In other words, their belief is that by approaching sales in this way, they will gain more customers. Some even go as far as to penalize their sales people if they do not close the sale the same day.

Sale Pitch vs. Product and Installation Information

Home Improvement Sales
S&K salesman Tom Ciambruschini provides information on windows to customers in our showroom.

If you’re like most, you don’t  necessarily want to be ‘sold’ on a product. Instead, most homeowners are instead seeking some degree of education on whatever project they are looking to have completed. If they are in the market for new windows, they might want to compare how energy efficient different window products are, and how the style will look in their home. They may be interested in product warranties as well, and whether or not those warranties will transfer to the next owner of their home – a factor that can help in the home selling process.

Depending on the customer, this education process can be achieved in a variety of ways, and at varying levels. Some customers want to educate themselves. They might seek a lot of information from different sources, or they might simply put their trust in a friend, neighbor, or a company they have used before. Or, they might opt to have the contractor(s) that they are considering educate them. This is a personal choice. Before you have a contractor come to your home, it is wise to ask what their sales process entails.

Know the Facts on Pricing

When it comes to product pricing, a factor that high pressure companies will use to try and lock you in on the spot, contractors are typically made aware of pending price increases by suppliers. For example, if a pricing for a particular line of shingles like those from CertainTeed, will be going up, manufacturers and suppliers will notify contractors of the increase ahead of time.

As far as installation pricing goes, contractors who hire sub-contractor crews will also be made aware of any pending hourly, or per-job increases. And of course, contractors who employ their own installation crews have full control over when and how much their install pricing will increase.

Therefore, using the ‘we can’t guarantee these prices tomorrow’ tactic is not necessarily valid.

Our Approach to Home Improvements

S&K Roofing, Siding and Windows has served customers in Maryland and Northern Virginia since 1980. As a family-owned and operated business that has grown from a 2-person company to a $25M leader in exterior home improvements, our approach to sales and service is simple. Our sales people will work with you in the way that is right for you. If you are seeking an education in products and installation, we are more than happy to provide that to you. If you have already done your research, we will respect that as well. We do not require that all homeowners are present during our visit. In fact, if you do not have the time to spend at home meeting with us, we can visit your home to take measurements and call you to discuss your project by phone after that.

From a service standpoint, we pride ourselves in striving to make your experience worry free, guaranteed. From the initial contact to asses your needs, to the estimate, scheduling, installation and follow-up, our staff works hard to satisfy your home improvement needs.

We offer fair pricing, and will lock your estimate price for 10 days.  We will never tell you today that your price might be different tomorrow!

If you are in need of exterior home improvements, we encourage you to shop around to find the contractor that best fits your needs. Compare pricing, reputation and testimonials, and don’t forget to ask about licensing and insurance. We’d welcome the opportunity to be on your list of considered contractors. To schedule a free, no-obligation estimate, call us or click here to complete our online estimate request.

Best of luck with your next home improvement project!

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S&K Roofing, Siding and Windows Earns Esteemed 2017 Angie’s List Super Service Award

Award reflects company’s consistently high level of customer service

Angie's List Super Service Award 2017ELDERSBURG, MD – JANUARY 24, 2018 – S&K Roofing, Siding and Windows is proud to announce that it has earned the home service industry’s coveted Angie’s List Super Service Award (SSA). This award honors service professionals who have maintained exceptional service ratings and reviews on Angie’s List in 2017.

“The service providers that receive our Angie’s List Super Service Award demonstrate the level of excellence that members have come to expect,” said Angie’s List Founder Angie Hicks. “These pros are top-notch and absolutely deserve recognition for the trustworthy and exemplary customer service they exhibited in the past year and overall.”

Angie’s List Super Service Award 2017 winners have met strict eligibility requirements, which include maintaining an “A” rating in overall grade, recent grade and review period grade. The SSA winners must be in good standing with Angie’s List, pass a background check, record a current trade license attestation and abide by Angie’s List operational guidelines.

“Earning the Angie’s List Super Service Award in 2017 marks the 10th consecutive year that S&K Roofing, Siding and Windows has been given this honor,” said owner Don Katzenberger. “We take pride in the work that we have done in Maryland and Northern Virginia since 1980, and we will continue to work hard to install award-winning home improvements.”

Service company ratings are updated continually on Angie’s List as new, verified consumer reviews are submitted. Companies are graded on an A through F scale in multiple fields ranging from price to professionalism to punctuality.

For over two decades Angie’s List has been a trusted name for connecting consumers to top-rated service professionals. Angie’s List provides unique tools and support designed to improve the local service experience for both consumers and service professionals.

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About S&K Roofing, Siding & Windows Inc.

S&K Roofing, Siding and Windows (www.skroofing.com) is a leading provider of roofing and exterior home improvements throughout Maryland and Northern Virginia. Family-owned and operated since 1980, S&K provides high-quality exterior home workmanship and customer service that is among the best in the industry. Maintenance-free home exterior services include roofing, siding, windows, attic insulation, doors, gutters, sunrooms and decks. With showrooms located in Eldersburg, Maryland, and Sterling, Virginia, S&K services thousands of residential and commercial customers each year.  Contact by phone at: 410-795-4400, by e-mail at: webinfo@skroofing.com, or learn more at www.SKRoofing.com MHIC #21080, VA License #2705 105665

About Angie’s List
For over two decades, Angie’s List has provided trusted reviews and information to help millions of consumers make smart hiring decisions. Angie’s List offers more than 10 million verified reviews in over 700 service categories, providing its members a credible resource for researching and comparing local service providers. Angie’s List is based in Indianapolis, Indiana and is an operating business of ANGI Homeservices (NASDAQ:ANGI).

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