SoCal Drought Affects Roofing Your Home

Roofs in the Southern California area are worn out. The drought affects roofing — I see it every day and some roofs are so bad, it’s unbelievable. Our sun is the great destroyer of roofing materials, leaching the petroleum oils out of the membranes causing them to dry up and crack and cause leaks.

Why is this happening now?  What is different? Isn’t this normal? Well it’s nothing new but the drought affects roofing is fairly epidemic now and that is because over the last 10 years we have had a far greater quantity of days filled with sunlight than we have had at any other time in decades (several of the warmest/driest summers ever recorded). One of the side effects of being in a great drought is getting so much sun (with few clouds and of course little rain).

drought affects roofing

Simply put, those things which do not respond well to the sun get a lot more of it. And, outside of the 2010/2011 winter season where we experienced slightly above normal rainfall, most roofs in the LA area have not been seriously tested with rain since 2005/2006.  And even in the 2010-11 winter, none of those rainfall events were very serious. They did not involve raging storms with high winds and great volumes of rain in short periods of time in most areas.

I’m looking at roofs every day that are so worn out and full of holes that in any other part of the country, the home would be destroyed – these homes have been in need of a new roof for many years. I believe there are a LOT of roofs in LA that are primed for bad leaks. The reason drought affects roofing matters is that when we do have even a normal amount of rain (16 inches), never mind 25+ inches (which I believe, statistically, we are due for), the roofing industry in Southern California only has so many roofers and will be instantly overwhelmed.

Your average roofing company can only process about 50 appointments a week for estimates and can only handle 4-5 major jobs along with maybe a dozen small repairs. In other words, all the roofers in Los Angeles can only handle a few thousand people a week. In an area of some 13 million people, it’s a recipe for disaster. If we suppose that 5% of the area had roof issues, at the rate of 3000 jobs/week, it would take 217 weeks for SoCal roofers to get it done.  I recall wait times in 2005 of 6 months.  We’re due.

Get your roof in order now because this winter, it may be too late.  For a Free Estimate – contact us at 323 913 4190 or on our website.

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Checking for Roof Damage Because Winter is on the Way

It’s not a good idea to put your roofing interests off to the last minute. Checking for roof damage annually is so important. And when is the last minute? …as soon as it might start to rain. So summer is “officially” over – we are slipping into fall and (hopefully) that means that the rains are gonna’ come!

If you put off your roofing needs, you will have to stand in line with all the other Southern California homeowners and building managers who assume that they can just phone a roofing company a few weeks before the rains begin and get immediate service. Honestly, that is NOT the case, especially in SoCal. “Everyone” waits until the weatherman forecasts rain to call the roofer.

But first, how about a little self-check to see how your roof is doing? Regular inspections will allow for early detection of roofing problems. Then, if you perceive the something you can call for a professional roofer to verify what you have seen.

Begin with an interior inspection of your home. You first check all ceilings and walls for signs of leaking. Look for spotting or check for mold or a musty smell. The most common problem leakage areas are important to check such as around chimneys, vents and other holes in the roof. Make sure to grab a flashlight and make a trip to the attic.
Check for outside light showing through the roof and any signs of leaking.

When you take a look at the exterior of the roof, pay attention to such things as torn, cracked, bald or missing shingles. Look for areas of the roof that may be curling, blistering, buckling or rotting. Algae growth may appear as green or dark stains and most often occurs in humid climates.

 

Checking for Roof Damage

Checking for Roof Damage

Inspect around the chimneys, pipes, vents or other penetrated area for loose material or deterioration. Roofers use flashing material that is placed to prevent water penetration. Closely check the flashing for any signs of wear and tear. If you notice quite a bit of shingle granules in your gutters – your shingles are likely wearing thin.

Checking for roof damage includes checking for weakened decking or decking that sags between the rafters. If both the rafters and the decking are damaged it is time to consider a new roof. We rarely suggest a re-roof over the existing roof in this situation as it tends to lead to major future problems. When there is extensive damage to rafters or decking you should plan to remove the old decking and put on a new roof.

An annual roof check is not just good planning, it’s a necessity. J and J Roofing will inspect your roofing system and do any minor maintenance that we find is needed for the cost of $155.  But if the inspector finds that you actually need more than a simple roof check-up then your $155 roof check becomes a free inspection and you will get an estimate for the work needed. No obligation!

For a Free Estimate – contact us at 323 913 4190 or on our website.

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TPO Roofing as a Solution for a Flat Roof

If you have a predominantly flat roof, you need to know about TPO roofing. TPO is a chemical acronym for ThermoPlastic-Olefin. Basically, it’s a somewhat stiff, white plastic that is rubber-like. It’s been around longer than you think (roughly 20 years) and in the genre of roofing is known as “single-ply”. The first single-ply product was EPDM, and then PVC which came about several decades ago. For most applications, TPO became the go to product and most all single-ply installations are now constructed using TPO.

TPO is great because it comes in many colors. Especially white which is the most ultra-reflective surface you can really put on a roof. It’s easy to clean, durable, lasts 20-plus years when done right using a good product. Most homeowners can locate and possibly repair problems themselves temporarily. Because it is such an environmentally sound product, reflects the sun, often doesn’t require removal of the existing roofing. It is ultra-lightweight and costs about the same as most conventional flat roofing material installations. I predict that by 2025, this will be the predominant flat roof product.

TPO Roofing

TPO Roofing as a Solution for a Flat Roof

Hot tar and torchdown are inherently messier, more dangerous (requiring special insurance, etc.) and more environmentally unfriendly. And because they are asphalt based (oil based) they are tied to the cost of oil. Asphalt is at the bottom of the chain of products that result when refining petroleum. As the process has increased in efficiency, there is less and less asphalt to be had.

While no conventional flat roofing product, including TPO, is covered by warranty under ponding water, most roofers agree that TPO is the best choice where ponding water is unavoidable or is deemed to not be practical or cost-effective to correct.

Most major institutions, corporations, and commercial entities, when specifying new roofs, will specify TPO. They are interested, usually, in long-term solutions so it’s notable that the pro’s consider TPO the way to go, and as a 3rd generation, Certified Master Installer, and of course licensed roofer, I tend to agree.

This article is contributed by Matt Glass, Vice President of J and J Roofing, servicing homes and businesses for all roofing needs in the greater Los Angeles area including Sherman Oaks, Pasadena, Studio City, Burbank, Encino, Woodland Hills and Glendale. J and J Roofing offers commercial  TPO roofing providing expert installation with a veteran crew and top-of-the-line equipment.

For a Free Estimate – contact us at 323 913 4190 or on our website.

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Is a New Roof a Good Investment?

There are different scenarios that answer the question in different ways. These include a leaky, worn roof. Also, upgrading to a new roof for aesthetic purposes will have another answer. A homeowner should know the different choices in roofing materials in order to make an informed decision.

Of course, if your roof is leaking and obviously worn out, you must get a new roof, because the investment in the purchase of a new roof will certainly keep your home from decreasing in value. Failure to replace a worn roof can result in interior damages to your attic or home. It can cause structural damage and other problems.

Fixing a leaky roof may save you the cost of repairing any damage that may be caused by a leaky roof. I have seen walls, ceilings and floors that needed to be repaired because of water damage. If you let it go long enough you could even get mold and that is a very expensive repair.

Replacing your ordinary roof with a premium roof can be a good investment prior to a sale, particularly if you are in a neighborhood surrounded by homes with higher end roofs. But if you live in a moderate neighborhood, it’s not likely that a new superior roof will get your investment back on the sale price.

If you are not selling your home and you wonder if putting a beautiful new roof on the house will increase your home’s value, that is not certain. You are more likely to get on ROI on a new kitchen or updating other interior parts of the home.

If you must get your roof replaced make sure that you have hired a roofer with years of experience, who has the insurance and licensing in place needed by your city and your state to legally roof your home. Cutting corners to save money on a roofing job is one of worst decisions you can make.

Take a drive around your neighborhood. Look over the different types of roofs. Go to a nicer area and look them over. And then go to a lower income area and look at those roofs. That will give you a good idea of the minimum quality of roof you want to choose.

New Roof

 

Then call J and J Roofing. We will come out and give you a free estimate. You can compare the cost of roofing with different types of roofing materials. Then you will be able to make an informed decision.

J and J Roofing services many areas in Los Angeles including Northridge, Pasadena, Sherman Oaks, Burbank, Studio City, Tarzana, Woodland Hills, Encino, Los Feliz and Silverlake for all roofing needs.

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How Can I Tell If My Flat Roof Is No Good?

The first step is to identify what sort of flat roof you have.  The most common flat roof is smooth and white with a mineral grit surface, known as either torchdown (applied with flaming torch) or hot tar.  This flat roof  is also known as a gravel roof, also applied with hot tar but increasing in popularity are rubber or plastic roofs, known as single-ply, commonly called TPO (in the past, called EPDM).

If you have a mineral grit roof, and the grit hasn’t come off, then it’s in reasonably good shape and probably not in dire need if replacement anytime soon. The most common sign your flat roof is wearing out is pretty simple, you will start to see the granules coming off quite a bit.  You’ll see the black membrane start to show through all over.  If it’s just in one spot or another, it could be because of foot traffic or maybe in front of drain where the roof wears out faster but when you start to see it all over, it’s time for a new flat roof.  You might be able to squeeze another few years out of it.

One thing to look for are buckles.  This indicates poor installation, often on top of a previous roof which was not removed.  Also, look at the seams where the roofing overlaps. If the roofers did it properly you should see solid black lines, called “bleed out” the entire length of all seams.  In the case of roofing, neatness here is not necessarily desirable.  It indicates they used the proper amount of hot tar, or, heated the torch roll sufficiently.

 

This Flat Roof Is in Good Shape

This Flat Roof Is in Good Shape

Finding leaks on a flat roof is frustrating, even for a seasoned pro but many times they are obvious: a random puncture, a seam that has come loose, and so on.  The most common area for roofs to leak are the drains and fixing these usually demands expertise but, in a pinch, slap some tar around it after carefully cleaning it out.  Even more important, if it is a scupper drain, check where it penetrates the outside (stucco wall) and make very sure that is sealed with silicone or caulk of some kind.  This can leak in disastrous fashion.

Gravel roof issues are not as easy to detect and in that case, it’s best to call a pro.

With single ply (smooth white rubber), a flat roof is often quite easy to find a problem, and it’s even easier to seal it up since any decent, exterior grade white silicone or caulk will do the trick.  Just carefully clean the spot and seal it up, using generous amounts.

For a Free Estimate – contact us at 323 913 4190 or on our website.

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Questions to Ask To Decide to Hire a Roofer

Now a few roofers have come and gone, inspected your roof and now you must decide to hire a roofer. What do you do before you decide on a roofer, what questions should you ask?

Who will remove my old roof? This should be understood in advance and the same safeguards should be in place with that company as above. It is possible that the bid will be based on not removing earlier shingles, in that case, make sure you understand why this decision is being made.

When the job begins, who will be my on-site contact? Usually the person providing the bid is not going to be there when the work is done. You should find out who is the foreman for the job. Additionally, find out who in the company will handle the financial arrangements.

Will I be sent a written estimate? If the estimator provides you the estimate there on your front lawn, right after his inspection and attempts to close you, right then and there, we suggest you look for a different choice. The only way he can estimate on site is with a “canned” estimate which will be either too high or missing essential details.

What will you charge me for the replacement of plywood if you find rotten or soft roof decking? They should give you a dollar amount per sheet of plywood. If you don’t know this in advance, you might get overcharged once that they have already started the job.

Hire a Roofer

How to Hire a Roofer

Where would you suggest we put the container for waste material? All the refuse from the job including shingle, old wood, packaging, etc. will need to be properly disposed of. Make sure to have this setup in advance or you might not realize that you will lose your driveway or favorite parking spot while they are there. Generally, the roofing contractor will include the cost of this in the bid.

If the weight of the waste container cracks the driveway, how will this be repaired? It is possible that the trash will be so heavy that the container cracks the asphalt. Make sure this is included as a possibility and a solution is resolved in advance.

What happens if it rains or it’s very windy during the work? How will my property be protected? Do you ever postpone the work?

It is important for your home’s interior to be protected by tarps or plastic covers on the roof, in case of rain. If it rains a few days in a row, someone should come out to ensure the covering is still in place. In the case of wind, similar precautions should be taken. Make sure to find out the company’s policy during a rain.

What if I am not ready to get the work done? The answer you should get is “not a problem”. Any local, long standing roofing company is happy to get your work done in the coming months and will not hard-sell you to purchase right away.

How will you protect the landscaping and rest of my property during the project? This is a discussion you should have by walking around the property and pointing out any area of concern. They will be using a variety of equipment and several workers will be coming and going. Think this over and point out areas of concern.

These are great questions to ask when you must decide to hire a roofer.  For a Free Estimate – contact us at 323 913 4190 or on our website.

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Questions to Ask Your Roofer Before Making an Appointment

How do you choose your roofer? Most likely you have already called a roofer. You know the rains are coming and let’s be honest, in SoCal we don’t really consider roofing a high priority – until El Nino is forecast. So before you choose your roofer, what questions should you ask?

How long have you been in business? It’s always best to choose a company that has been around a while. This is something you can use to compare one company to another when making a final decision on which company to use.

Are you a licensed roofing company? You need to know this because in California, anyone hired to do more than $500 in contracting work, must have a valid California State Contractor’s License. And make sure it is up to date.

Do you carry general liability insurance? This covers your property in case something happens during the work like a window is broken or the house catches on fire while welding something on the roof. Make sure they have a certificate for your home specifically.

Does your company have workman’s comp insurance? If you hire a company that does not cover their employees with work comp then if a person is injured on your property you may find yourself with a lawsuit.

You can always call their insurance company to verify any insurance if you are concerned about the validity of their coverage.

What is your local phone number and address? With the threat of El Nino, there are likely to be out-of-town roofers here looking for work. It’s best to choose a local company so if something happens in the future they are easy to contact and willing to return.

What warranty comes with my roof? This is an easy question for them to answer. It will help you to understand why different roofing materials cost different prices.

Maybe J and J Should Be Your Roofer?

Maybe J and J Should Be Your Roofer?

J and J Roofing will answer all these questions in the way you need. Maybe we should be your roofer… Call 323.913.4190 to schedule your roof check-up or you can email our Office Manager at staff@jandjroofing.com. But, be smart and do not delay.

Just some of the 100s of area in LA that are serviced by J and J Roofing: Griffith Park, Hollywood, Hollywood Hills, Laurel Canyon, Mount Olympus, Nichols Canyon, Beachwood Canyon, Mandeville Canyon, Brentwood, Beverlywood, Balboa Park, Canoga Park, Chatsworth, Encino, Granada Hills, Lake View Terrace, Lake Balboa, La Tuna Canyon, Mission Hills, North Hills, North Hollywood, NoHo Arts District, Northridge, Porter Ranch, Reseda, Reseda Ranch, Shadow Hills, Sherman Oaks, Studio City, Sylmar, Kagel Canyon, Tarzana, Toluca Lake, Toluca Woods, West Toluca, Tujunga, Valley Village, Van Nuys, Woodland Hills, Benedict Canyon, Bel-Air, Beverly Glen, Sherman Oaks, Studio City, Burbank, Encino, Pasadena, Woodland Hills, Porter Ranch, Canoga Park, Chatsworth, Reseda, Reseda Ranch, Kagel Canyon, Benedict Canyon, Beverly Glen

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El Nino Rains Diagnostic Discussion

El Nino rains Diagnostic Discussion issued by CLIMATE PREDICTION CENTER/NCEP/NWS and the International Research Institute for Climate and Society 12 November 2015.

“ENSO Alert System Status: El Niño Advisory   The forecaster consensus remains nearly unchanged, with the expectation that this El Niño could rank among the top three strongest episodes…”

This means it’s time to make sure that your roofing is in order. There will be no chance to slip by this rainy season.

El Nino Rains

El Nino Rains

J and J Roofing customers have some great things to say about the company and the service they get. When the customers were asked, “How would you describe your experience?” these are a few of the answers…

“Have used your services several times and have been happy each time.”

“Great. Very knowledgeable!”

“The work was quick and professional. Hasn’t leaked since installation.”

“Prompt and courteous.”

“Excellent!  Rick and other staff made sure we had clear communications at each step in the process.  J&J removed three old roofs, and installed new one.  We were offered the option of installing solar heat fans in the attic.  We chose to do so, and it lowered our heating/air conditioning bills substantially.  Job was done on time and within budget.  Crew completely cleaned up debris.  Overall, a surprisingly pain-free experience.  I have and will continue to recommend J&J to others needing a new roof.”

“Excellent.  John Glass a professional, very responsive, very helpful.    We really rely on his input.”

El Nino rains are on the way. Make your roofing calls now!

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Our Clients Comment About our Roofing Work

We sent a survey to our clients and they had some pretty nice things to say about J and J’s Roofing work…  We asked: How would you describe your experience?

“The cost was very reasonable. The quality of work was fantastic.  The job was done on time as promised. They left the job site very clean after each work day. Would hire them again!”

“They did a great job, were on time, and the price was very fair.”

“Have used your services several times and have been happy each time.”

“Excellent!  Rick Harder and other staff made sure we had clear communications at each step in the process.  J&J removed three old roofs, and installed new one.  We were offered the option of installing solar heat fans in the attic.  We chose to do so, and it lowered our heating/air conditioning bills substantially.  Job was done on time and within budget.  Crew completely cleaned up debris.  Overall, a surprisingly pain-free experience.  I have and will continue to recommend J&J to others needing a new roof.”

“Excellent.  John Glass a professional, very responsive, very helpful.  We  really rely on his input.”

“Very good experience.  Solid work, performed on time, and as promised.”

“Positive, informative.”

“Overall great. I used you guys again a few months later, when I bought a new house that needed a new roof.”

“It was excellent – I received terrific advice, great service and the results were top notch. The price was fair and I felt as if the team was organized and focused.”

“Very professional and knowledgeable. Very satisfied with service.”

“Excellent-have used them many times.  Honest and efficient.”

“I’m very glad I called that day, you were absolutely professional and friendly, I felt like talking to a friend.”

“Fantastic!  Jush and company were honest and easy to work with.”

“Excellent. You did so much more for my thousand dollars than any of the other three bids proposed. In addition, none of the others was willing to tackle tying in new shingles to the existing ones, and one company actually told me it couldn’t be done. You guys proved them wrong. The most extreme disparity was a guy who bid the same price to squirt sealant into a lot of possible holes and gaps, and nothing more. He justified the price by telling me that his long experience would guide him exactly where to do the squirting! I actually took him inside and showed him your bid on the computer. Impressed, he turned to me and said, “You should use those guys.” And I did.”

“Fair, honest, informed, reasonable.”

“Great-seamless.”

“Very positive. I was contacted right away and even though the work couldn’t be done right away I was able to meet with someone to see what was needed. They didn’t forget about me but came out to do the work when they said they would. They did a good job.”

“J&J was the best.  The estimate was comprehensive and our options were explained in detail.”

“Perfect.  Found the leak and repaired it.”

“I’m sure we were happy since we have not used anyone else for years.”

“J&J was professional and did a good job replacing my roof.”

“J and J was great. From the first visit to examine my problem with leak, the repair work and follow up the company carried out business professionally with timely service during repair. The work by J and J was properly done. When they showed me the basic roofing errors done by the other company I was disappointed how poorly the other company did the previous work. I have used J and J for other roofing needs and recommended them to friends.”

This should give you an idea of how you should feel about the roofing work done on  your property.

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What are the Signs That You Need a New Roof?

It hasn’t rained much in the last few years. How do you know that you need a new roof before it rains again?

Make sure to look for peeling paint or bubbling plaster on ceilings or walls. Also, look for new stains on your ceiling after it does rain, this is a sure sign that something is leaking.

Make sure to keep an eye out for shingle debris in your gutters or on your lawn. Climb up to the roof and look over your roofing material. Check for shingles are curling or buckling or blistering.

Your roof is always exposed to the harsh elements of Southern California – the heat of the sun and the winds even when it does not rain. The daily ultraviolet rays with SoCal extreme heat of the sun does eventually age roofing materials, so make sure to check the south and west facing slopes, especially.

The occasional strong winds can cause your shingles to lift. Once lifted this can cause dry rot and threaten the structural integrity of your roof.  When we have really strong winds like the Santa Ana’s or strong winter currents of air, these also can cause your shingles to lift, then forcing the rainwater and even debris underneath the shingles. Once that some of your shingles have come off, this may make it more likely for remaining shingles to loosen and rip or blow off.

Need a New Roof or a Roof Repair

Need a New Roof or a Roof Repair?

What about leaves? Make sure you clean the gutters twice a year, or more if you have large trees. Leaves in gutters and on your roof can cause rot from the moisture they hold. The leaves can also block drainage causing standing water. Remember that tree branches touching your roof can cause damage to your shingles.

So whether you need a new roof or just a roof inspection or repair, J and J Roofing is known to be one of the top Los Angeles roofing companies. Visit our website to schedule an appointment or just give us a call.

J and J Roofing services hundreds of communities in the LA area:  Chatsworth, Van Nuys, Woodland Hills, Griffith Park, Hollywood, Hollywood Hills, Laurel Canyon, Mount Olympus, Nichols Canyon, Beachwood Canyon, Mandeville Canyon, Brentwood, Beverlywood, Balboa Park, Canoga Park, Benedict Canyon, Bel-Air, Beverly Glen, Sherman Oaks, Studio City, Burbank, Encino, Pasadena, Woodland Hills, Porter Ranch, Canoga Park, Chatsworth, Reseda, Reseda Ranch, Kagel Canyon, Benedict Canyon,Encino, Granada Hills, Lake View Terrace, Lake Balboa, La Tuna Canyon, Mission Hills, North Hills, North Hollywood, NoHo Arts District, Northridge, Porter Ranch, Reseda, Reseda Ranch, Shadow Hills, Sherman Oaks, Studio City, Sylmar, Kagel Canyon, Tarzana, Toluca Lake, Toluca Woods, West Toluca, Tujunga, Valley Village, Beverly Glen

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