J and J Roofing, Los Angeles, Earns Esteemed 2013 Angie’s List Super Service Award

Award reflects company’s consistently high level of customer service

Why J and J Roofing Gets Super Service Award Award

Why J and J Roofing Gets Super Service Award Award

J and J Roofing has earned the service industry’s coveted Angie’s List Super Service Award, reflecting an exemplary year of service provided to members of the consumer review service in 2013.

“Only about 5 percent of the companies J and J Roofing competes with in SoCal are able to earn our Super Service Award,” said Angie’s List Founder Angie Hicks. “It’s a mark of consistently great customer service.”

Angie’s List Super Service Award 2013 winners have met strict eligibility requirements, which include an “A” rating in overall grade, recent grade, and review period grade; the company must be in good standing with Angie’s List, have a fully complete profile, pass a background check and abide by Angie’s List operational guidelines.

Service company ratings are updated daily on Angie’s List. Companies are graded on an A through F scale in areas ranging from price to professionalism to punctuality. Members can find the 2013 Super Service Award logo next to company names in search results on AngiesList.com.

Matt is Why J and J Roofing Gets Super Service Award Award "Quality First"

Matt is Why J and J Roofing Gets Super Service Award Award Award “Quality First”

Angie’s List helps consumers have happy transactions with local service professionals in more than 720 categories of service, ranging from home improvement to healthcare. More than 2 million paid households use Angie’s List to gain access to local ratings, exclusive discounts, the Angie’s List Magazine and the Angie’s List complaint resolution service.

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Do Ultra Reflective Roofs Really Lower the Temperature in my Home?

Reflective roofs are often chosen to lower the temperature of a home or office building. Particularly in the Los Angeles basin, everyone is trying to figure out how to save money on cooling bills.

I have seen this debated just about everywhere and very often.  I am asked this question virtually weekly. In SoCal, we have a unique combination of architecture and sunny days which conspire to make some homes unbearably hot during the summer. This may not be a major issue in someplace like Seattle, but around here – it’s the topic de jour.  In some cases, the thermal transfer is so significant that even an appropriately sized AC system cannot keep up.  These usually involve homes that have no attic space (cathedral ceilings or open beam architecture), lots of windows, and so on, all of which is pretty popular around here.

There is clearly a disadvantage that many don’t immediately understand with such open architecture.  The airspace created by a normal attic acts as a buffer between the roof and the interior of a dwelling.  This thermal dynamic can be seen with something even more simple and perhaps well known, such as dual pane glass.  The airspace helps prevents heat from radiating into the dwelling and with good ventilation, can prevent it entirely.

But will an ultra reflective roof, which reflects more of the suns energy, actually translate into cooler temperature inside a home?

The short answer is yes, it usually will.  Circumstances will produce larger or smaller effects, as in the case mentioned above with an open beam ceiling.  In this case, where the ceiling of a home might actually be the wood deck upon which the roof is attached, it can produce a dramatic difference.  In cases where a black/dark shingle is used on an open beam ceiling, the heat radiating through is massive.  When a lighter shingle is introduced, the temps go down.

Where the roof is flat and there is a minimal airspace between the roof and the ceilings inside (usually about 1 to 2 feet) a reflective roof can produce beneficial results.

The reason why is fairly simple.  When a roof surface heats up, it will radiate/transmit that heat inside.  If there is an attic space, this can, and should be controlled with ventilation.

The point is that, in my experience, having an expensive, ultra reflective shingle on a normal home, with sloped roofing and a normal attic (the sort that at it’s highest points, at least 4 ft high), does not produce as much of an effect as can be achieved by simply having effective ventilation.  If you have good ventilation, even though the roofing may be transmitting a higher than ambient temperature into the attic, if proper/rapid air exchanges are happening, the ventilation will keep the airspace in the attic close to ambient temps.  Along with good insulation (critical), this is your best defense against a hot house.

If you have a flat roof or open beam architecture (where in many cases insulation isn’t practical) an ultra reflective roof can make a big difference and is probably worth the money.  There are some shingles made that are considered ultra reflective but which also don’t cost a lot more or cost the same as ordinary shingles – many manufacturers have them.

My next segment will cover insulation and ventilation which in many cases can be as much or more important in reducing the heat in your home than ultra reflective shingles.


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It Rained… Free Roofing Estimate or Roof Check?

We offer a Roof Check and a Free Roofing Estimate. How do you know what you need?  The Rains Came, the Los Angeles Roofs are Leaking, is Yours?

The rains arrived in Los Angeles. The roof is leaking. Why would a homeowner or the owner of a building want to pay a $155.00 roof check instead of just getting a free estimate?

At J and J Roofing, which services all areas of Los Angeles, including Northridge, Los Feliz, Pasadena, Sherman Oaks, Burbank, Silver Lake, Encino, Studio City, Tarzana, Woodland Hills and Glendale, you can have a free estimate if your roof is leaking, in order to find out why and to help you decide on the best solution for your leaking roof.


Free Roof Inspection Los Angeles

Why an Annual Roof Checkup is a Good Idea


But, if you prefer, we can do a roof check. First, if you call around you will find that because of the rising costs in the construction industry, many companies charge more than that, just to show up and give your a repair bids.  When we get approval to do a roof check, we virtually always end up being able to perform needed maintenance, saving us overhead so we can pass the savings on to you.  Again, if there is nothing to do, we won’t charge the $155.00 and will chalk it up to a courtesy visit.  Or if there is far too much work to do under the purview of routine maintenance, you’ll get a free estimate.  Why a $155.00 roof check instead of a free estimate?

Exceptions would be 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 no sweat!

Free Estimates
Our unique approach to your estimate:  We have always believed that people don’t like to be pressured into big decisions and over the years have learned this is indeed the case. So our method is simple: We come out, estimate your job by taking measurements, digital pictures and talking to you, and then we leave.We email, fax or mail you your estimate.

We never try to sell a client “on the lawn” or hand out a generic carbon copy form with a price on it and some loose specs. You get an exact price and fully worded scope of work with all the details, in writing for your review, which you can sign when you are ready.  And now it’s up to you… Free Roofing Estimate or Roof Check?

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When is my Flat Roof no Good?

First of all there are a few types of flat roofs but the most common would be a smooth white roof that has a mineral grit surface.  This is either going to be torchdown (applied with flaming torch) or hot tar.  The other common type is a gravel roof, also applied with hot tar.

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 tip on discovering if your flat roof was installed with at least reasonable expertise is to look at the seams where the roof overlaps.  Roofing rolls are almost always 3 ft wide and you’ll see a black seam every 3 feet.  If the roofers did it properly you should see a solid black line, called “bleed out” the entire length of all seams.  In the case of roofing, neatness here is not what is desirable.  It indicates they used the proper amount of hot tar, or, heated the torch roll sufficiently.

Sometimes they will cast extra white granules, the grit, into the bleed outs to make it look cleaner and this is good but can be misleading if you don’t know to look for it – usually you can spot this if you look closely.

J and J Roofing Flat Roof

Finding leaks on a flat roof can be 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.

With a gravel roof it is not as easy to detect wear but if you have parapet walls or any equipment platforms, look to those places where the smooth white membranes where used for wear but this is not always instructive.  If you have leaks on a gravel roof, it’s best to call a pro.

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Are you Waiting to See a Roofer Now?

Why are you waiting to see a roofer? Well, living in SoCal is pretty heavenly because the weather is awesome and it hardly ever rains. For a homeowner, the roof seems an unlikely worry – because of that.  Right?

But what about when it does rain? Can’t you just get a roofer to head on out a few days after it rains? Honestly, unless you are a top client with multiple homes, a friend or family member of a roofer or just plain lucky, you will have to wait weeks to meet with a roofer.

Rain on Roof Means Waiting to See a Roofer

Rain on Roof Means Waiting to See a Roofer

Why? J and J Roofing is one of the top roofing companies in SoCal.  – with five estimators who are mostly all family and a large team of roofing professionals –  the phones rang off the hook after that last rain. They can only see so many people in a day (because they also have to send out estimates to the ones they do visit.)

To put it in perspective, if there’s no rain in a week J and J will get 20 or so new phone calls from people wanting to have their roofs inspected. If it SoCal gets ½ inch of rain or it’s a bit windy that might jump to 50 or 70 calls.

But when it rains more than an inch, like it did a few weeks ago, hundreds of calls come flooding in. First on Wednesday night it rained one inch and over 200 calls came in on Thursday and Friday alone. Then it downpoured on the weekend and another few hundred calls came in over the next week. (It’s impossible to keep track of the exact calls after a rain like that.)

Did your roof leak with that last rain? If not, this means that you should call and schedule a roof check now. If you did find leaks, call and get a free estimate from one of our busy estimators. And either way, realize that you will need to wait a week or two.

An annual roof check is just good planning. At J and J Roofing, for $155.00 we will inspect your roofing system and do any minor maintenance that we find is needed.

Or, if our inspector finds that you actually need more than a simple roof check-up (which has happened regularly), we will give you a free inspection and send an estimate to you. You owe us zilch and you have no obligation to get the work done from us.

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Does No Rain Mean No Roof Leaks?

Southern California’s severe drought will eventually bring a bit of chaos that few outside the roofing trade would have ever predicted. The general idea for most people is if I don’t see a leak, I don’t have a leak. Does no rain mean no roof leaks?
On the west coast we’re experiencing a severe drought, which of course means no rain. No rain means no one’s roof is going to leak but what you may not realize is that we’re headed for a real “Armageddon of Leaks” where something like 5 to 10 times the normal amount of leaks are likely to occur. When all the roof leaks happen at the same time the roofing industry is not going to be able to handle them in a timely manner.
By timely manner we mean – get ready to wait months.  Back in 2005-2006 when we had a particularly wet winter, roofers were backed up six months and people calling in for estimates were getting answering machines with messages that broadcast “Sorry, we’re not taking new clients until further notice.”
The reason why is remarkably simple.  First, let’s bear in mind that a leak exists whether there is rain or not.  The rain simply shows you where it is.  Then ask: What causes roof leaks?  Well, all sorts of things can but really. The primary ingredient to roof wear and tear is the good ole sun. And on the west coast, Los Angeles in particular, we have lots of sun, lots of older homes, and years with no appreciable rain.

Roof Leaks are Caused by the Sun

The primary ingredient to roof leaks is the good ole sun!

Most leaks are not going to rear their heads in a minor rain.  Most leaks take a good steady rain to actually show up and this can be for many reasons.  One thing, for example, that prevents a leak from actually showing up is insulation in the attic, which may soak it up.
When Los Angeles gets its first real, serious rain, there is going to be a flood of phone calls the likes of which we’ve never seen.  Thousands, upon thousands of people are going to call all at once, and the roofing industry is not going to be able to handle it.  Roofers are not the power company – an industry that can pull resources from other states even.
So it’s important to get your roof checked now.
At J and J Roofing, for $155.00 we will inspect your roofing system and do minor maintenance.  Or, if there is too much work to do within the scope of a simple roof check-up (which happens often), we’ll just do a free estimate and send it to you – you’ll owe us nothing and there’s no obligation.
Make sure that the next decent rain is not when you discover that your roof leaks!

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What is the Best Replacement for a Shake Roof?

If you have an old wood shake or wood shingle roof and you’re considering replacing it, there are a few things you need to know about the replacement for a Shake Roof.

First of all, most cities won’t allow you to replace it with another real wood roof, particularly since most of the LA areas is considered a high fire zone. So you’ll be obliged to find an alternative.  The most common alternative is your typical asphalt composition shingle. But two other choices are a lightweight concrete tile or an artificial shake (usually a thin, cementious fiber blend or a polymer plastic). Both of latter are very expensive – roughly 2 to 3 times the cost of a composition shingle.

One major cost may be the need to re-sheet your entire deck with plywood, so that it is a solid wood deck, which is required by code.  Chances are your old wood shake/shingle roof was installed over what’s called an open-spaced deck.  Typically it’s composed of 1×6 deck boards spaced about 4-5 inches apart.  This was possible because wood shakes are stiff planks of wood and would overlay these gaps without posing any sort of issue.  However, these gaps don’t work with some more modern materials. More importantly, a solid wood deck is a code requirement almost everywhere I know of and this will generally add costs of around $1.50 a square foot.

The most common and cheapest replacement is the tried and true comp shingle.  If you must have a more genuine look, then the next up in cost would be a lightweight concrete tile but generally, unless you have engineering saying you can have a heavier roof, it must be a truly lightweight tile (6 pounds a square foot or less) and most tiles are not.  Your typical installation costs will vary by region and how complicated and/or steep your roof is and the specific product chosen but a rough chart here can give you some idea.  The tear off will run about $0.40 a square foot, plywood about $1.50 a square foot, composition shingles $3 a square foot, cement tiles about $ a square foot and artificial shakes about $6 a square foot.

A Beautiful Composition Shingle Replaces a Shake Roof

A Beautiful Composition Shingle Replaces a Shake Roof

Composition Shingle to Replace Shake Roof

Composition Shingle to Replace Shake Roo

There are some very nice, higher-end composition shingles that replaces a Shake Roof and cost somewhere in between which are meant to emulate shake and are a very nice alternative to the real deal. But whatever you choose, make sure your roofer gives you some addresses to go out and look at installed product so you can see what it looks like in real life, and not just on a brochure or sample board.

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Inspecting Inside the House for Signs of a Leaky Roof

Now is the time to inspect inside your home for signs of a leaky roof. Although, this is also important to do after the next big rain, you should inspect the interior of the house to verify that you have not forgotten or overlooked any evident problems.  You are looking for signs of water damage or leaking, dark spots or trails.

Begin by thoroughly walking around the inside your home with the lights on and a flashlight and check your ceilings and walls for discoloration.  Don’t forget to check inside closets. You want to pay particular attention to inside the water heater closet, over tubs, sinks, your stove, furnace, etc.  These may have vent pipes that go out through the roof. The ventilation piping will have flashings sealed with mastic or tar which can be one of the most common sources for a roof leak.

Checking for Leaky Roof Signs

Then check around the chimney – your chimney has a metal flashing, also a metal cricket or saddle or cricket that often leaks.  Usually seals will need to be sealed every few years over the life of a roof.  Of course, skylights are a frequent leak source and sometimes it’s the skylight itself or it could be the skylight flashing that connects the skylight box, or curb, to the roof.  Skylights have a rubber gasket between the lens and the skylight frame and they often will last only 10 years.

If you have an open beam or cathedral ceiling area with exposed wood (meaning, you don’t have an attic or crawlspace over this room) often there is very little sign except faint drip lines unless you happen to catch the water dripping during the rain.  If you hold the light at the right angle you can usually see these.

Did you find any of these signs of a leaky roof? If so, call J and J Roofing now – before the rains start. You can get a free roof repair estimate.

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You Should Know it’s Coming, The Rain Will Arrive – Do You Have Roof Leaks?

Do you have roof leaks? This past year, 2013, was the driest year in Los Angeles (downtown) since 1877. No doubt it was awfully dry at your house too. Only 3.6 in inches of rain fell at the National Weather Service station which is at USC. This was about half an inch less than was recorded in 1953 and 1947.

If we are talking to you about roofing, why are we bringing up the lack of rain? Because, the way that homeowners in Southern California tend to handle their roof leaks, is jumping right onto this problem when it rains.

But, if it just rained, you can’t get a roofer to come right out – because every other homeowner who has leaks is also calling! Chances are that you know if you might have some leaks. And there are ways to check before the rains come.

First, you need to inspect your roof both inside and out. Begin by walking around to inspect the eaves of your roof (the part of a roof that meets or overhangs the walls of a building.) Look for any peeling paint or dry rot. If you’re not sure that it is dry rot, use a screwdriver to poke at it. You will know it’s dry rot if it goes in easily. Then most likely a roof leak.

Roof Leaks can be Found by Inspecting Eaves

Next, you need to check out your roof.  You need to inspect the roofing material, such as tile, slate, wood shakes, shingles, or even flat roofing such as torchdown or hot tar. Check to see if it has come loose, is blistering, curling or starting to flare up.  This is particularly important if you’ve had a good windstorm. You can even use binoculars if you are not up for climbing up on the roof.

When you find a potential problem, call J and J Roofing before the rains come for a free roof repair estimate. And read our next blog to see where to look inside your home for the signs of a roof leak.

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Why Hire a Professional Roofer for your Roof Repair?

Are you a DIY guy (or gal)? The past decade has created a whole new age of “Do It Yourself” guys and gals. Just open up Google, ask the DYI genie how to fix your broken ABC and viola! you have step-by-step instructions to fix your broken ABC!  So why not hire a professional roofer?

In many cases you can save hundreds if not thousands of dollars. From fixing a leaking pipe to replacing your broken lock and the many, many error messages on your computer… But, pulling out the ladder and climbing one or two stories to inspect and repair a roof is a DIY that actually must be left to the professionals.

Why? Climbing up and standing on a sloping roof, one or two stories above the ground could be considered one of the more dangerous activities a DIY can get himself into. If that does not dissuade you, consider what might happen if the repair goes wrong – rain will likely pour into your home, possible assault from pesky rats, mice, squirrels, and all their friends.

1. You probably don’t know how to carry out roof repairs properly:

Matt Glass Professional Roofer

Matt Glass, Professional Roofer

That isn’t a value judgment. Most people don’t know very much about roofing materials or emergency roof repairs. You may be able to spot a damaged shingle, or a missing one, but there may be a roof problem that you can’t see, something underneath that a professional would know to look for. If you tackle the fixing of a leaky shingle roof, for example, you may simply be covering up a bigger problem that will only be obvious later on. If that’s so, the sad fact is it will cost you a lot more in the long run.

There’s an old saying; “every roof is tight while it’s dry.” It could be that you will put off repairing your roof during a dry summer, for example. Then one day it rains and you discover you have a leaky roof. This is not the best time to repair a leaky roof as you will probably do everything wrong. A roof leak should be examined carefully, and repaired properly.

2. You may end up using the wrong roofing materials:
You probably decide to do your own roofing maintenance or roof repairs in the expectation that it will cost a lot less and save your money. With this in mind, you will probably choose roofing materials that are not up to the job, or ones that will deteriorate quickly. This usually ends up being a false saving as it often actually costs you more eventually.

Another common problem with inexperienced DIY roofers is using the wrong roofing sealant, or using it in the wrong place. Around your chimney stacks, for example, you need mortar to calk and seal. Sealants can’t stand up to high temperatures and as a result they fail if you use them as a sealant around a chimney stack.

3. You will most likely miss spotting some of the important damaged roof areas:
This is simply down to inexperience. A professional roofer can spot thing you will miss, simply because he has been doing the job for decades, most likely. he can spot flashing problems a mile away, and damaged roof shingles with his eyes closed (well, nearly). He’s forgotten more than you will ever know about drainage and gutters, the problems with low sloped roofs, and steep sloped roofs, and all the different types of roofing there are too. He knows how your house works, and that’s why he’s a professional and you are not.

4. You may seriously injure yourself:
Every year the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports hundred of accidents that result in death that involve high ladders and heights. On top of that there are also thousands of injuries sustained, some very serious indeed. Roofing companies employ professionals who have been trained in the use of high ladders, and who are familiar with working high up. A man who spends all week working at the office, then decides to climb 50 feet up to the top of his roof on Saturday to do a bit of roofing maintenance, is really asking for trouble. Working on a roof can be dangerous.

You most likely do not have the right equipment for the job. There are times when a ladder is right for the job, but at other times you may need scaffolding. Do you have the right size and type of ladder? Do you know what it is? Do you have the right protective work clothes, and the right kind of boots for your safety? Most DIY enthusiasts don’t. Often they get away with it, but sadly, sometimes they don’t.

5. Professional roof repair contractors will do a better job than you will:
Unless you have a lot of experience in roof repairs, this will be the case. You buy peace of mind when you get the services of an experienced, professional roofing company. You will know they have done the job properly, and that’s what makes roofing companies worth every penny they get.

And that, my readers, is why you should hire a professional roofer for your roof repair.

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