Whoops, You Forgot to Fix Your Roof?

Here in LA we recently had what expects to be the first rain of a very rainy winter season. Did your roof leak? Did you remember that you forgot to fix your roof over the past few years?

If so, you are like so many others here in SoCal! Over the past five years, there’s been so little rain with the drought that many people just ignored their roofs. Others had no idea that the hot sun beating down on their roof – day after day – caused damage and decay to the roof materials.

Honestly, by now, most roofers are already booked a few months out. We are. If you call today, it will take over a month to be seen. So that’s a good reason to make that call today.

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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Sloped Roofs: What are the Types of Roofs To Choose From?

Many residential roofs are shingle (made from asphalt) because it is generally the least expensive and a great looking choice, you can also choose slate, tile or metal, and in some places wood is still allowed.

Types of Roofs

Types of Roofs

Other than making sure to choose a licensed and insured reputable roofer, the most important thing when buying a new roof, is to understand as much as you can about roofing materials.

Asphalt shingles are also most recommended by roofers for durability, ease of installation as well as the wide selection of styles and colors. They are very effective for many temperatures and provide excellent waterproofing. While this type of roof is usually has a 30 year warranty, you can expect them to last longer than that.

Types of Roofs Asphalt Shingles

Types of Roofs Asphalt Shingles

Clay and concrete tiles are quite enduring and available in an assortment of colors. They offer a contemporary yet old-school look. They are very durable, most clay and concrete tiles have a 50-year warranty. However, you will find that they are much pricier than asphalt shingles.

Types of Roofs Slate Tile

Types of Roofs Slate Tile

Where serious winter conditions are a factor, metal roofing can be a great solution. These are usually constructed of steel, aluminum or copper which has replaced the tin roofs of the past. Metal roofs can expect a very long life of 50+ years.

Wood roofing material is best known as “wood shake” or “wood shingles”. They are chosen for their natural look and aesthetic addition to a home. When not properly cared for, mold and rot can propagate. And, of course, as we have found in SoCal, fire can be a serious threat. Wood shakes and shingles are expected to last 30 to 40 years.

J and J Roofing – servicing the Los Angeles area including Sherman Oaks, Pasadena, Studio City, La Crescenta, Burbank, Encino, Woodland Hills and Porter Ranch. Free estimates for roof repair and new roofs.

(** Free estimate does not apply for properties listed or in escrow.)

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Flat Roof Repair Basics

In order to understand flat roof repair, you must know what style of flat roof you have. Most common is found to be the smooth white roof with a mineral grit surface. This roofing has either been applied with flaming torch (torchdown) or applied with hot tar. The other most used flat roof type is found to be a gravel roof, which is also applied with hot tar.

You can tell that your roof is getting old when you notice the granules wearing away. The black membrane will begin to show through. If it’s just a spot or two where you have foot traffic or in front a drain, that is normal wear. But if you notice that the granules are missing all over in different places, it’s likely time for flat roof repair or new roof.

Have it checked, you might be able to squeeze another few years out of it with repair.

Looking for a leak on a flat roof, even for a seasoned pro, can be difficult. Sometimes they are apparent: a seam that has come loose, a random puncture and so on. The most common area for roofs to leak are the drain area and repairing these usually demands expertise for flat roof repair.

If you have leaks on a gravel roof, it’s best to call a pro to inspect for needed flat roof repair. We have found that with a gravel roof it is not as straightforward to identify wear. If you have any equipment platforms or parapet walls look for deterioration in places where the smooth white membranes where used.

J and J Roofing offers free inspections (except for homes listed or in escrow) for all roofing needs including flat roof repair and services the entire Los Angeles area including Sherman Oaks, Pasadena, Studio City, Burbank, Encino, Woodland Hills and Glendale.

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New Roof or a Roof Repair? How Do I Know?

The rains came. There’s more on the way. And you heard the dreaded drip, drip… Now you need to know if you need a new roof or a roof repair? You know you can’t just climb up on the roof and check for yourself. You first need to find a reputable roofer. Either ask friends and relatives, check Angie’s List and YELP or do a Google search, check for reviews. Ideally you do all of that AND find a local roofing supply company and ask them for a referral.

A reputable roofer has a lot of experience – seeing various leaks, over, and over, and over again.  But even then, they see something new every day.  First, they are looking the obvious signs of water entry.  This might be water stains on the ceiling or sediment under shingles in places it should not be – this indicates water entry or rusty nails heads underneath, etc.

Sometimes it is obvious what is causing the leak. Sometimes they will look and cannot immediately figure out what is the source of the problem.  It can take destructive testing (tearing open the roof) in order to find out where the leak is.

On a shingle roof, there are signs to tell a good roof from a bad one, some are that the shingle lines are not straight but wavy and sometimes you can actually see exposed nail heads.

New Roof or a Roof Repair

New Roof or a Roof Repair?

On a flat roof, it may look “too clean” – where the rolls overlap there should be black lines, unless they covered them with extra white granules.

You should be able to get a free roofing estimate. Call a professional roofer and have them check your roof so you know if you need a new roof or a roof repair. If you call J and J, there should be no charge, and no obligation.

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

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Roofing and “El Niño” Conditions

Roofing and “El Niño” conditions go hand-in-hand. When it pours, all roof leaks are exposed and roofers can be so busy it takes weeks or months to get an appointment. Which can make for a very messy scene inside your home.

NOAA, in partnership with NASA, monitors “El Niño” conditions.  The chief element in dictating an El Niño is the size and position of the annual warm water mass off the Pacific coast.  It is now of almost unprecedented size, rivaling even the 97/98 El Niño. Indications for a large El Niño event are +90% – they probably don’t really go higher than that on their predictions.  This is the most certain I’ve seen them in a very long time.

We all know that every year the local news guys shout out “El Niño – El Niño!” – to the extent that they can legitimately be accused of crying wolf, but there is one guy we always listen to because he calls it like it is and doesn’t seem to have an agenda, and that’s Dr. Bill Patzert of JPL and he is on board with a major El Nino event this year.  If Bill Patzert says it’s going to rain like hell, it’s probably going to rain like hell, after all, he is the one predicted the 97/98 El Niño when everyone else, including all the local meteorologists laughed at him.  In fact last year he predicted another year of intense drought while everyone else was predicting El Niño (you get the idea).

We may just be heading into the heaviest rain in decades.  Naturally we roofers are happy because roofing and “El Niño” conditions bring work but we’re actually concerned it’s going to bring too much work, much like it did in 2005 when most companies (including us) were booked out 6six months. You may think we enjoy having too much work but really, we don’t.  It’s no fun telling someone you can’t help them for six months.

Schedule a Roof Check Now. If you don’t already have a newer roof, call us at 877 7MY ROOF (877-769-7663) to schedule for our roof check-up service so you can.   We do Roof Checks for $155.00 which is an industry leading price and this includes on-the-spot minor repairs, sealing, drain cleaning (flat roofs), etc.  Most roofs qualify for this.  Exceptions are large commercial buildings or extremely steep roofs and the like. If your roof does not qualify for the $155.00 service, we’ll just give you a free estimate on what needs to be done, so don’t sweat it!

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How Much Does a Roof Leak Repair Cost?

Anyone facing a roof leak wants to know what a roof leak repair cost will be and roof leaks can be pretty hard to figure ahead of time. There are some guidelines you follow.

If you have composition shingles, or a typical flat roof, a single leak should usually cost $350 – $600.  These are usually temporary repairs that will last anywhere from 3-5 years. Permanent repairs almost always cost more – the $650 – 1100 range. For example if you have a leak around a drain on your flat roof, usually this will cost about $800 to totally re-roof in that drain.

If you have more than one leak in different areas, add about $200 per leak.

Generally, if your roof is older, roof leak repair costs are likely to be more. Older roof material, which is usually more brittle and difficult to deal with can present problems necessitating a larger repair (such as redoing an entire area, perhaps even the entire slope).

Tile roof leak repair cost is almost always more, and usually requires an entire area to be completely redone simply because a temporary repair is often so expensive, it’s not worth the risk of it failing again. You may find that you are better off going for a re-roof of the area if it’s practical.  If the tile roof is only a few years old then a cheap repair is often possible. Again, if it’s an older roof, you’re usually going to pay more.

If you have experienced a significant rain event (hard rain, particularly if wind was involved) and you only have one leak, this is a good sign.  Usually a hard rain lasting at least 2 hours will make most problems leak. Very often light rain will not make issues present themselves as actual leaks, for various reasons.

These, of course, are approximate roof leak repair costs and keep in mind that you want to use a reputable roofer that has been around a long time for all your roofing needs. If someone repairs your roof and it leaks the next time it rains, you want to make sure you can find them to come back and sort out the problem.

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How Long Do Roofs Last?

A common question for the home  or building owner is “how long do roofs last?”. The two most common roofs are sloped roofs with composition shingles which generally last 30 years or flat roofs with some kind of white roll roofing which last around 20 years. There are several other different kinds of roofs which can have variable life expectancies depending upon how well they are constructed (leaving aside poor workmanship).

For example a concrete tile roof or a slate roof or a clay tile roof, if it is installed with excellent, high quality, thick rubber underlayments can easily last 50 years and in some cases well past that. But generally speaking a quality tile roof will last 40-50 years.  In the past, they would last 25 – 35 years.

With a tile roof, always insist on a thick rubber membrane – particularly with old school Spanish tile which relies more heavily on the underlayment being a part of the waterproof system, whereas, for example, a one piece interlocking concrete tile system can (and this is proven) perform for decades without any underlayment at all (originally, they were installed this way).

With composition shingle roofs, there are thicker and longer lasting shingles which will last 40 to 50 years or so but my feeling on those is that while they may not leak after 30 years, since they share essentially the same granule surface as their 30 year shingles do, I don’t really see why the surface is going to look any better, so they won’t leak look, but they may look like garbage.

How Long Do Roofs Last?

How Long Do Roofs Last?

 

With flat roofs it’s generally more difficult to get them to last longer than 20 years without adding more membranes and significant cost. With a hot tar roof your typical system would involve 3 membranes and that would last about 20 years and if you added in another membrane with hot tar you can add another four to five years to it and so on – up to a point. There are certain aspects to how long a flat roof lasts such as drains and drip edge metal that have a tendency to fail after 25 years no matter how many membranes are involved. Probably the two most common flat roof membranes nowadays however are torchdown systems and single ply rubber systems.

With a touchdown system the only way you can make it last longer than 20 years generally speaking is by adding a second layer which will almost double your cost although there are pretty good white coatings that will add life to your roof, when done correctly these are not cheap at all but can be done by the homeowner. With a single ply rubber roof you would simply go with a thicker membrane and they are quite a bit more expensive.

How long do roofs last? Each type is different. But, remember, with shoddy workmanship and cheap labor or untrained, inexperienced roofers, any roof with last less than it should. Always choose a high quality roofer.

This article was contributed by Matt Glass, one of the family owners of J and J Roofing – servicing the Los Angeles area including Sherman Oaks, Studio City, Burbank, Encino, Pasadena, Woodland Hills and Porter Ranch.

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Good Roofer with Positive Reviews

Are you searching around for a roofer with good recommendations and positive reviews?

The J and J GOOGLE Rating is 4.6 with 32 reviews. And the YELP Rating is 4.5 from 70 reviews.

Here are some reviews…

These people are the real deal! John Glass is a roofing expert! He has been able to fix what no other roofer tried to do countless times! I have no hesitation recommending J&J Roofing to everybody and anybody. They are fair, honest and courteous. Rock on roofers! R.S.

“I appreciated you taking the time to do the work, as it was a small job. The man you sent out was wonderful. Polite and kind, as were you too John. Thank you for helping me.” M.R. – Los Angeles

“We are still proud owners of two La Canada/Flintridge homes, homes that do not leak, thanks to you. But as a true and valued friend, I want you to have our new address and encourage you to come and visit some time.” C&J B – Wisconsin

“Thanks – the house sold in [the] first 24 hours it was on the Internet!”

“All the guys were very much so [courteous], [the Office Manager] was patient and helpful with my end. I was treated with courtesy and respect during my first and subsequent meetings with John. His suggestions for repair of front house and postponing the guest house roof replacement built confidence and trust, earning my business with you.” T.T. – La Crescenta

“Very efficient. I sure knew what they were doing (and my garage floor hasn’t been that clean in ages).” B.K. – Westchester

“I appreciate the timeliness and courtesy of everyone involved. The foreman was very good about showing me what the crew was going to do, and explaining the procedures.” A.C. – Pacific Palisades

“Keep up the good work – you’re my roofer of choice now!!” A.W. – (So Cal Contractor)

“[I] appreciate the personal introduction to [the] foreman in charge, explaining what we will be doing and how long. Very efficient and done well in a timely manner.” M.G., Agoura Hills

Call J and J Roofing in Los Angeles for a free estimate from a good roofer.

A Good Roofer with Good Ratings and Good Reviews

A Good Roofer with Good Ratings and Good Reviews

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Getting the Right Price for a Roofing Job

When you shop around to find the best deal you can get on a new car it makes a lot of sense. We know that a brand new car is going to be the same no matter what dealer you buy it from. Shopping around to find the cheapest roofing contractor to do your roofing job is a totally different story. In this case you are more likely to get what you pay for.

But of course the solution is not to run around and find the most expensive contractors – an equally poor solution. In dozens upon dozens of cases, I have seen roofers bid (in total) what the actual costs were for a job (materials and labor, meaning they would make little to no money), and I’ve seen roofers bid 10 times the fair price for a job. Unfortunately, this is now a routine occurrence and getting a fair price from a good contractor is tantamount to walking a minefield.

I have seen consumers reason “If a contractor made a mistake and badly underbid my job, this is good for me” but it very rarely is. If he messed up and gave you a price he can’t possibly live up to, things invariably go badly. I’ve been called in to bid countless jobs where contractors had simply walked off the job because it was cheaper for him to just walk away. And in most cases he walked away having been paid for more work than was done, so, the consumer lost out but invariably, the jobs were a mess and much of it had to be redone. And it’s more than just finding the 3 highest rated contractors and choosing the cheapest of the lot. Although that is certainly a good place to start.

Get the RIght Price for a Roofing Job

Get the RIght Price for a Roofing Job

First of all, your goal as a consumer should be to know – what is a fair price. You will at least be most likely to find that out if you get prices from 3-4 of the highest rated and most popular roofers in your area. Just make sure they’re all bidding the same thing.

There are a few other things that you should be aware of as a consumer and look for. One of the first things is, whether or not the person you’re dealing with is a trained roofer (and has therefore properly bid the details of your job since I can assure you, it’s the details that usually leak, not the middle of the roof). You might be surprised to know that a lot of the people running around giving roofing estimates have little or no background in roofing.

Since you are not an expert roofer yourself there are admittedly not very many ways you can quiz your roofer to ascertain his level of knowledge however in the normal course of conversations about various different materials and what not, if you pay close attention you can sometimes glean how much experience a roofer has. He should be able to easily answer your questions and there should be no inconsistencies in the data.

Also, if your roofing estimator hands you a simple piece of paper with a limited scope of work (especially handwritten), this is not a good sign. And unfortunately this is how many roofing estimators operate but in the year 2015 this is simply no longer acceptable. You may not want to see (or have to read) a 12 page contract but you do need one because roofing jobs can be expensive and can get out of hand and you want to know that your contract covers everything that can (and often does) happen.

In short, you want everything laid out and agreed upon and that’s not going to happen with a handwritten, one page contract. Doing business “old school” is quaint, but unwise. Gone are the days of handshake deals and promises to do good work. If your roofing contractor gives you a very simple contract then he’s leaving a lot of room for loopholes and that is not good for you as a consumer, just ask any lawyer.

It goes without saying you should first do the basics: check their license for complaints with the CSLB, see that they have a bond (info located on CSLB), ensure they have workers comp (for ALL the roofers that will be on your job), have liability insurance and are highly rated, have a professional website and have a legitimate place of business (and not a house, an actual place of business).

Once you’ve done all your homework it’s down to deciding who you liked best and this is a good time to go with your gut. If you’ve “done the math” and taken all the basics out of the decision, it should be an easy decision. Lastly, I recommend signing the papers at the place of business as the final seal on the deal. A real roofing company should have a real place of business and it’s indicative of someone who plans to be around for a while and if you have problems with your roof, you know where to find them!

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How to Choose a Good Roofer

I’ve talked a little in the past about how to choose a roofer – a good roofer and here it is again in a nutshell because let’s face it, this is the most important decision in getting a new roof.

If he is among the top rated roofers (at least 4 stars) on Yelp and Google, this is a good start though you should really choose someone who has at least 20 reviews, many of which are older. Of course Angie’s List is also an excellent source but not everyone is a member.

Once you’ve narrowed it down to 3 or 4 choices, you can call a local roofing supplier and see what they think of your choices. You may not get a lot of info, but you usually get some feedback that is at least interesting and sometimes very helpful. You may be surprised how candid they will be, after all, they service the roofers and if you are feeding them the names already, you can at least be assured you’ve not been fed a bad roofer from them since you already checked them out. Do not hire “X” roofer just because your neighbor did and had a good job.  How does he know? Your neighbor isn’t a roofer and maybe the roofer he hired is horrible but just happened to do a good job for once. But if the roofer your neighbor recommends is also one of the top rated, then that is a good sign, but only that and should not be a decision point.

Then of course check license numbers at the CSLB for complaints. NOTE: The BBB is not, in my experience, any kind of reliable indicator of a good business any longer and should be ignored. Surprisingly, local community boards and even hardware stores are often good sources to check. If one roofer keeps popping up, then this is a good sign.

Taking a look at the bids is also important. A roofing bid scratched out, with minimal details on a single sheet of paper is not a good sign. You want detail, with strong, definite and legally binding language that will protect you as a consumer. Some people are turned off by long contracts with lots of language but this language spells out in detail your rights and unless you take the contractor to court, which you may not win, he’s not obliged to do anything he didn’t say he was going to do. Don’t skimp on this. It’s not fun, but it’s important.

Since you probably know little to nothing about roofing, you have almost no chance of ensuring that even a good roofer will in fact do a good job.  But – you can ensure that he has a good rep and a good rep in this industry is critical so he will likely do anything to keep it. He’s going to do what he’s got to do in order to make sure you’re happy (before, during or after the job) and write great reviews about him.  The goal of any good company is not a cliché, it is a “happy customer.”

good roofer

Make Sure you Get a Good Roofer

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