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    Personal Insurance Blog

    Over Your Head: Shingles for Your Home

    Posted by Gordon Atlantic Staff

    Wed, Sep 12, 2012 @ 04:23 PM

    Cover your home for shingle repair with homeowners from andrew gordon inc insurance norwell maI recently hired a roofing contractor to replace my house shingles. Although we do have a page for insurance resources, I thought the experience and some tips were worth sharing from a homeowner’s point of view.

    First, hire a reliable roofer. The roofer with the biggest advertisement or fanciest business card isn’t always the best. I watched a roofer install new roof shingles on my neighbor’s house. The roofer and his employees appeared to do a professional job. After it was completed, I asked my neighbor: where did he find this roofer, was he happy with the quality of the work, how much time was spent on the job and of course, what was the price? My neighbor highly recommended him to me, and I couldn’t be happier; I have since referred him to three other neighbors.

    There are some factors you should consider when choosing a shingle product. Unless you have wood, rubber, clay, terracotta or metal roofing, chances are you fall into the majority of us who have asphalt shingles. Obtain good size samples. Small sample chips (business card size) will not reveal what the roof color(s) will actually look like. My wife & I chose a sample from a small sample chip. The shingles are multi colored & shaded, blue/green & brown…I love them, my wife hates them. Consider the life span of the shingles you choose. The average brands come in 25 year limited warranty, 30 year limited warranty & 35 year limited warranty years. There are shingle products that are also available with a limited lifetime warranty. Discuss this with your contractor. Decide if you want Architectural shingles. This type of shingle has a 3-dimensional look to it and has great curb appeal. These are usually more expensive than three-tab shingles which have a flatter look. Three-tab shingles are the most economical. Consider the extras. Always have your roof replaced with drip edges and also ice & water shield membranes. Ice shields are a membrane that are installed under the shingles, from the gutter line up to about four feet, the purpose is to prevent ice dams.

    Always have your shingles stripped before the new ones are installed. If a second layer of shingles is installed over a first layer, then any hidden damage won’t be exposed. After my contractor stripped the shingles, he showed me there were some random boards that were rotted and needed to be replaced.

    Roofing is an expensive proposition. Hopefully, you’ll have a positive experience with your roofing contractor and roofing products as much as I did. And of course, request a certificate of insurance for General Liability and Workers Compensation from your roofer!

    Any other questions on maintaining your home? We've got some other blogs for you here. As always, if you have any questions about insurance, contact us. Learn more about home insurance here

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    Tags: house, home, repair, insurance, shingles, roof, roofing, homeowners, maintenance

    Winter Preparation for the Exterior of Your Home

    Posted by Val Feeney

    Tue, Sep 20, 2011 @ 06:19 PM

    Protect both the interior and exterior of your home this winter with homeowners from Gordon InsurancePreparing the inside of your home for the impending cold weather is an important annual task in the northeast.  An often overlooked chore, however, is ensuring that the exterior of your home is prepared as well.

    DRAINS

    Cleaning your gutters after the leaves have all fallen off the trees can prevent damage to your roof, the fascia, and even your basement and crawlspace. If rain water and snow cannot travel down the spouts, it's going up and over...potentially damaging your garden beds located under those gutters, too. Before the first snow at a minimum, all gutters should be checked for debris and any downspout clogs. Ideally you'll have those gutters cleaned out when they're dry. If you have anywhere near the number of leaves we do, you'll be doing this cleaning more than once.

    TREES

    Take the time to visually inspect your trees for weak limbs.  Snow and ice that builds up can cause limbs to crack and fall, damaging anything underneath, including your roof, shed or fence. There is great satisfaction in cutting down these limbs and hauling them away. HOWEVER, any trees that are near ANY power lines are best left to experts. Terrible accidents can happen if a homeowner's pruning tools come into contact with an energized wire.  

    WATER CONNECTIONS

    All water connections on the outside of the house should be drained and closed tightly. If not done correctly, the water pipe leading into the house may freeze and crack, rendering it useless and expensive to fix next spring. Hoses and sprinklers should also be drained, coiled, and put away.

    LAWN

    Winterizing your lawn is an important step so you do not have to spend additional money next spring putting it back together.  All leaves, acorns, and twigs should be raked; if left in place, this debris will smother the grass and not allow air to get to the soil. Grass can be cut until the first frost. Applying proper fertilizer to the lawn before this event, preferably after a fresh cut, is important as it will keep the grass healthy and strong. Any shrubs that are overgrown should be cut back, allowing them to withstand heavy snow. 

    FURNITURE

    All of your outdoor patio furniture and decor should be cleaned and put away to prevent damage from the elements that can split wood, peel paint, and rust or rot joints. High winds alone can send lawn chairs into your neighbor's yard or the middle of the street. Pools should be properly drained and covered. 

     

    Preventative measures will be well worth your weekend time when you endure another winter without an insurance claim. When your home and your yard are intact next spring your weekends can be spent on the golf course!  Should we be faced with a significant weather event, FEMA is a great information resource. Of course the Gordon Atlantic Insurance professionals always welcome your calls. Our toll free number is 1-800-649-3252. Prefer to type versus talk? Use the form to the left of this blog.

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    Tags: home, winter, risk, safety, lawn care, homeowners claim, preparation, reducing risk, exterior, roof, lawn, gutter cleaning, winter storm

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