AT Roofing & Construction Rapid Response Team
. . . Storm Damage Insurance Claim Service and Fast Repair.
Weather related emergencies are an unfortunate fact of life and can't be avoided. Immediate action after a weather event will limit damages and minimize consequential damage caused by exposure to the element.
If your roof was damaged by a storm, call us for immediate, appropriate assistance.
Every member of our Rapid Response Team is experienced, knowledgeable, ready and equipped to get you back in your home or business fast.
We're there when you need us.
One phone call gets us started . . .
We are fully staffed to handle all the details of your recovery including:
Put your trust in a local leader!
Our name stands for quality exterior products and services. We have extensive experience working with all types of commercial exterior configurations and materials manufacturers. We will ensure seamless damage mitigation, repair and restoration.
Get back in your home or business fast!
Call (405) 793-0575 Now!
Do I Have Hail Damage? . . .
. . . What Does It Look Like?
Trust Us For your Hail Damage Inspections, Repairs and Insurance Claims Filings
If you have been in hailstorm the most obvious damage you see is to cars. You see the damage immediately after the last ice nugget has fallen.
You're horrified because the once smooth surface is now riddled with dents and pits.
Most people do not ever consider that their home was damaged as well.
Your roof is as susceptible to hail damage as the hood of your car. When hail hits your roof it creates a bruise. This bruise may have even cracked the fiberglass membrane and can allow water to seep into your home. It may not leak the day after the storm but over time it will happen.
It's difficult to determine whether a shingled roof needs to be replaced after a hail storm because the damage is not readily evident.
Our hail damage specialists are specially trained and experienced to determine the damage and make corrective action.
We check the entire roof structure and gutter system. If we see a large amount of granules reroofing would be a consideration.
Granules aren't just for appearance purposes, they're there to protect the asphalt based roof product (the shingle). It doesn't take much of a hail storm to dislodge a bunch of granules, thereby exposing the asphalt and shortening the service life of your roof.
If your roof went through a hail storm but no damage was readily visible but that doesn’t mean it isn’t there. If enough granules were knocked loose, the sun will hit the exposed asphalt further damaging the roof and underlayment. The exposed asphalt will deteriorate and more granules will come loose. In a few months and after a few rains, the damage will be readily evident.
Many times hail storms produce visible damage, but beware, only a trained roofing hail damage specialist can uncover the real damage!
What is an ice dam?
An ice dam is a ridge of ice that forms at the edge of a roof and prevents melting snow (water) from draining off the roof. The water that backs up behind the dam can leak into a home and cause damage to walls, ceilings, insulation, and other areas. Figure 1 shows a cross section of a home with an ice dam.
What causes ice dams?
There is a complex interaction among the amount of heat loss from a house, snow cover, and outside temperatures that leads to ice dam formation. For ice dams to form there must be snow on the roof, and, at the same time, higher portions of the roof's outside surface must be above 32° F while lower surfaces are below 32°F. For a portion of the roof to be below 32°F, outside temperatures must also be below 32°F. When we say temperatures above or below 32°F, we are talking about average temperature over sustained periods of time.
The snow on a roof surface that is above 32°F will melt. As water flows down the roof it reaches the portion of the roof that is below 32°F and freezes. Voila!—an ice dam.
The dam grows as it is fed by the melting snow above it, but it will limit itself to the portions of the roof that are on the average below 32°F. So the water above backs up behind the ice dam and remains a liquid. This water finds cracks and openings in the exterior roof covering and flows into the attic space. From the attic it could flow into exterior walls or through the ceiling insulation and stain the ceiling finish.
Nonuniform roof surface temperatures lead to ice dams.
What causes different roof surface temperatures?
Since most ice dams form at the edge of the roof, there is obviously a heat source warming the roof elsewhere. This heat is primarily coming from the house. In rare instances solar heat gain may cause these temperature differences.
Heat from the house travels to the roof surface in three ways: conduction, convection, and radiation. Conduction is heat energy traveling through a solid. A good example of this is the heating of a cast iron frying pan. The heat moves from the bottom of the pan to the handle by conduction.
If you put your hand above the frying pan, heat will reach it by the other two methods. The air right above the frying pan is heated and rises. The rising air carries heat/energy to your hand. This is heat transfer by convection. In addition, heat is transferred from the hot pan to your hand by electromagnetic waves and this is called radiation. Another example of radiation is to stand outside on a bright sunny day and feel the heat from the sun. This heat is transferred from the sun to you by radiation.
In a house, heat moves through the ceiling and insulation by conduction through the slanted portion of the ceiling (Figure 1). In many homes, there is little space in regions like this for insulation, so it is important to use insulations with high R-value per inch to reduce heat loss by conduction.
The top surface of the insulation is warmer than the other surroundings in the attic. Therefore, the air just above the insulation is heated and rises, carrying heat by convection to the roof. The higher temperatures in the insulation's top surface compared to the roof sheathing transfers heat outward by radiation. These two modes of heat transfer can be reduced by adding insulation. This will make the top surface temperature of the insulation closer to surrounding attic temperatures directly affecting convection and radiation from this surface.
There is another type of convection that transfers heat to the attic space and warms the roof. In Figure 1, the winding arrow beginning inside the house and going through the penetration in the ceiling, from the light to the attic space, illustrates heat loss by air leakage. In many homes this is the major mode of heat transfer that leads to the formation of ice dams.
Exhaust systems like those in the kitchen or bathroom that terminate just above the roof may also contribute to snow melting. These exhaust systems may have to be moved or extended in areas of high snow fall.
Other sources of heat in the attic space include chimneys. Frequent use of wood stoves and fireplaces allow heat to be transferred from the chimney into the attic space. Inadequately insulated or leaky duct work in the attic space will also be a source of heat. The same can be said about kneewall spaces.
Photograph 1 shows a single story house with an ice dam. The points of heat loss can be clearly seen as those areas with no snow. The ceiling below this area needs to be examined for air leakage, missing or inadequate insulation, leaky or poorly insulated ductwork, and the termination of a kitchen or bathroom exhaust into the attic space.
Photograph 2 illustrates unusually high heat loss from the roof. There is very little snow left on the roof and at its edge is both an ice dam and a "beautiful" row of icicles.
So it is primarily heat flowing from the house that is causing the nonuniform temperatures of the roof surface leading to ice dams.
Preventing ice dams
In all Minnesota communities it is possible to find homes that do not have ice dams. Ice dams can be prevented by controlling the heat loss from the home.
Dealing with ice dams
- Immediate action:
- Remove snow from the roof. This eliminates one of the ingredients necessary for the formation of an ice dam. A "roof rake" and push broom can be used to remove snow, but may damage the roofing materials.
- In an emergency situation where water is flowing into the house structure, making channels through the ice dam allows the water behind the dam to drain off the roof. Hosing with tap water on a warm day will do this job. Work upward from the lower edge of the dam. The channel will become ineffective within days and is only a temporary solution to ice dam damage.
- Long-term action:
- First, make the ceiling air tight so no warm, moist air can flow from the house into the attic space.
- After sealing air leakage paths between the house and attic space, consider increasing the ceiling/roof insulation to cut down on heat loss by conduction.
Both of these actions will increase the snow load that your roof has to carry because it will no longer melt. Can your roof carry the additional load? If it is built to current codes, there should not be a structural problem. Roofs, like the rest of the home, should have been designed to withstand expected snow loads. In Minnesota, plans showing design details to meet expected snow loads are usually required to receive a building permit. The plans for your home may be on file at your local building inspection office. To help you understand the plans, or if you cannot find plans for your home, you may want to contact an architectural engineering firm. A professional engineer should be able to evaluate the structure of your home and answer your questions about the strength of your roof.
- Natural roof ventilation can help maintain uniform roof temperatures, but if the long-term actions described here are done effectively, then only small amounts of roof ventilation are needed to maintain uniform roof surface temperatures. If heat transfer has been reduced substantially, then snow will build up on the roof and cover natural roof ventilation systems, reducing attic ventilation rates. Natural attic ventilation systems are needed to dry the attic space and remove heat buildup during the summer.
Mechanical attic ventilation IS NOT a recommended solution to ice dams in Minnesota. It can create other attic moisture problems and may cause undesirable negative pressure in the home.
Any person on the roof during the winter or performing work on the roof from below is risking injury and risking damage to the roof and house. It is important to contact professionals to carry out this job.
Whenever a house is tightened up, ventilation systems, exhausting devices, and combustion devices must have enough air to operate safely and effectively
Weatherization contractors, who may be listed under Energy Management and Conservation Consultants or Insulation Contractors in the Yellow Pages, are professionals who can deal with the heat transfer problem that creates ice dams. A blower door test should be used by the contractor you hire to evaluate the airtightness of your ceiling. In addition, they may have an infrared camera that can be used to find places in the ceiling where there is excessive heat loss.
Interior damage should not be repaired until ceilings and walls are dry. In addition, interior repair should be done together with correcting the heat loss problem that created the ice dam(s) or the damage will occur again.
Preventing ice dams in new homes
The proper new construction practices to prevent ice dams begin with following or exceeding the state code requirements for ceiling/roof insulation levels.
The second absolutely necessary practice is to construct a continuous, 100% effective air barrier through the ceiling. There should not be any air leakage from the house into the attic space!
Recessed lights, skylights, complicated roof designs, and heating ducts in the attic will all increase the risk of ice dam formation.
Mold, mildew, and air quality
Moisture entering the home from ice dams can lead to the growth of mold and mildew. These biologicals can cause respiratory problems. It is important that the growth of mold and mildew be prevented. This can be done by immediately drying out portions of the house that are wet or damp. See immediate action steps listed earlier to get rid of the water source. Action needs to be taken to clean the home environment and maintain its air quality.
When you think of wind damaging your home, you usually think it takes a tornado, hurricane, severe thunderstorm or extreme winter storm to cause any major wind damage to your roof. But, wind doesn’t have to be strong to cause roof damage. Gusts of wind at 75 to 85 miles per hour can easily raise poorly-sealed shingles off your home, exposing your roof to possible rain & water damage.
Your roof is the last and first defense between you and the elements, you want to be aware of the damage wind can do to your home early on. During high-wind weather events, wind speeds fluctuate and sometimes even change directions. Consequently, roofing materials are lifted up, allowing debris to lodge between shingles and the underpinning of your roof. Over time, this process will cause your roof to deteriorate, and inevitably, you’ll lose roofing material and notice it lying in your yard.
Roofing materials are subject to damage from strong winds and flying debris. Generally, roofs are not designed to withstand winds of hurricane and tornado intensity. However, roofs may also be damaged by winds of moderate intensity, with gust that may reach 50 to 75 miles per hour. The primary cause of wind damage is from the partial vacuum created by wind blowing over the edge of the roof. Nature tries to neutralize the low-pressure area by bringing in air from a higher pressure area, usually from inside the building. This air pushes up on the bottom side of the roof assembly and, over time, loosens fasteners and breaks the adhesion making the roof susceptible to damage from the next moderate or strong wind. To counteract the effects of wind-uplift forces, the roofing and insulation should be adequately fastened to the roof deck, and a securely-fastened perimeter detail should be provided.
ROOF DEBRIS - Black & Brown Debris Stains on Asphalt Shingle Roofs
Debris staining on roofs produces fairly uniform black or brown staining in areas where due to low-slope or presence of overhanging trees, leaves, or organic debris collects on the roof slope.
Decaying debris may encourage fungal or algal growth
Lichens or even thick moss may also grow on such roof areas. Debris, lichens, or moss on a roof will shorten its life by holding water on the roof surface, preventing drying, and (in cold climates) adding wear and tear on the roof surface by freeze-thaw cycling.
In contrast, debris from an upper roof gutter that spills onto lower roof slopes may result in tan, white, or other stains depending on the metal of the gutter and the length of time that leaves and debris rest in it. (Photo at left).
The decision to permit the upper roof gutter to spill down the lower slope also risks creating an early wear-area and thus leaks on the lower slope roof.
Remedies for black or brown or gray debris staining on asphalt shingles: As cited above, cleaning off debris (gentle sweeping or washing, watch out for damaging the roof during cleaning), or cutting unnecessary overhanging tree branches may help.
Roofing Rafters Inspection
AT Roofing & Construction inspects roofing rafters for structural damage!
What is a Roof Rafter?
Rafters support the roof sheathing and transmit the roof loads to bearing walls or beams below. The term "rafter" is associated with sloped roofs. When these members are found on a flat roof, they are called "roof joists", although they do exactly the same job.
Rafters can usually be seen overhead, when standing in the attic. Some rafters support finished ceilings, for example, where there is a cathedral ceiling. In this case, roof insulation is often fit between the rafters.