Greater North Houston Storm Damage Repair, Come Hail Or High Water!

April in North Houston has been very eventful where weather is concerned. Storm damage repair is already well underway, but with no end in sight. Volleys of hail, powerful wind gusts, torrential rain, and historic flash floods resulted in thousands of damaged homes and businesses.

In fact, on Monday, April 18, a whopping 17.6 inches of rain fell on the Greater Houston Area. It’s calculated that over 280 billion gallons of water – enough to supply Niagara Falls for 88 hours – caused creeks and bayous to flood, overflowing into neighborhoods, streets, businesses, and highways. The massive storm affected 3,000 square miles, leaving 70,000 people without power and over 1,000 homes flooded.

1st Choice Roofing & Construction teams were out braving the weather and navigating around flooded streets as early as Tuesday making sure our neighbor’s homes were secure against the rain that continued to fall in sporadic showers.

Here are a few pictures from our April storm damage repair projects:

Can roof shingles be painted?

Painting your roof may seem like an idea that could be aesthetically pleasing, or you may simply wish to paint it with a special coating that protects your roof and makes it last longer.

Believe it or not this is a common question asked on Google and something that many people consider giving their house to produce individuality or a new look. You can find quite a few websites out there willing to give you step by step instructions on how to paint shingles, but is it a good idea?

Painting shingles is a not a common practice that professional roofers endorse, so if you’re in the market for a new roof, consider other roofing options before turning to a painting.

Can roofing be done in the rain?

For some this may seem like an obvious answer, but if you choose a roofing company that doesn’t abide by common sense rules, you may find yourself wishing you’d researched your roofer a little more diligently.

The list of complications that can arise if you hire a roofing company that takes risks and tries to finish a job if there’s rain, even a light drizzle, is lengthy. The damage to your home can be extensive and costly, and leave you wondering why you didn’t do more research on the roofing company.

Avoid these potential mistakes by asking about protocol for rain delays when interviewing professional roofers.

SCAM ALERT: TDI Warns Texans Against Roofers Who Offer To Waive Insurance Deductible

CBS DFW reports that following heavy April hail damage, they’re receiving reports of roofing scams. “Storm Chasers,” as they’re called, descend upon any area that’s been hit with heavy storm damage, sometimes offering legitimate services, but often scamming or delivering shoddy workmanship. Texas Department of Insurance (TDI) investigator Kyle Pisula says that some unscrupulous roofers have been offering to waive the homeowners insurance deductible.

“That money has to come from somewhere,” warned Pisula, and noted that the “no deductible deal” could lead a roofer to commit insurance fraud by over-billing the insurance company. “In the strictest sense, yes, the homeowner at that point could be an accomplice to the insurance fraud.”

While Pisula said that TDI would most likely not prosecute an unknowing homeowner, Texans need to be aware that a fraudulent roofer could put them in a very serious legal situation. But an offer to waive an insurance deductible isn’t the only red flag Texans should look for to avoid a roofing scam artist.

“It’s important they know who is on their roof,” Pisula said.

1st Choice Roofing & Construction will be publishing a series of articles here on our blog with tips and advice about how to spot a storm chaser or roofing scam, and what to do if you encounter one.

For more on this news story, check out CBS DFW.

Houston BBB Warns Of Roofing Contractor Scams

As fall approaches, The Houston BBB is warning homeowners to watch out for these home improvement scams circulating around local neighborhoods:

Heating Maintenance: Before doing business with a heating contractor, be familiar with the model you own and its maintenance history. Make sure to check that the contractor’s licensing required by the state of Texas at the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation’s website,

Roofing Repairs: A roofing project requires a skilled and qualified contractor, so it’s important to thoroughly research roofing contractors. Be sure to get at least three estimates for the job and remember, the lowest offer may not always be the best. When getting an estimate, make sure the roofer does a thorough inspection rather than a quick estimate from the ground. Ask for proof of insurance and any necessary permits. Be wary of any roofing contractors that solicit work door to door or offer low prices because they have leftover materials from a previous job, which are both red flags. Never pay in full up front, and realize that you can cancel any sale made at your home, if you notify the company within three days.

Chimney Cleaning: If you often cozy up by your fireplace or wood stove, it’s important to have your chimney cleaned and inspected annually to ensure safety. A reputable chimney sweeper will be able to clean and detect any dangerous problems within the chimney. Request multiple estimates from different chimney sweepers to compare the cost of the job that is needed.

Read More at The Houston Chronicle

If we can offer some additional advice, we’d highly recommend that any time you hire a contractor, you ask friends and neighbors for recommendations, read online reviews on websites like Yelp and Facebook, and weigh your options by getting quotes from at least three contractors. A good roofer should offer a free estimate or roof inspection. If a company tries to charge you money for a quote, that’s a red flag. And always, if someone gives you a bad vibe, trust your instincts.

How To File A Roof & Storm Damage Insurance Claim

Filing an insurance claim can be a daunting task. You don’t want to get taken advantage of, you need your insurer to cover all your storm damage repairs, and you certainly don’t need the stress and hassle of haggling over details with an agent who wants to nickle-and-dime you (or worse, deny your claim!).

Based on our decades of experience helping customers through this process, we’ve compiled a list of recommendations for how to file a storm damage insurance claim:

Filing Your Storm Damage Claim

  1. No matter how much you personally like your agent, remember that they’re employed by your insurance company, and they’re a business that needs to make money. To ensure that you receive fair coverage for your claim, start of by getting at least one free inspection and repair estimate from a reputable contractor, like us! Be aware, any contractor referred by your insurance company may receive incentives to save the insurance company money, at your expense.
  2. Call the “800” number on your insurance policy and ask for the Claims Department.
  3. Tell the representative that you’d like to file a claim for damage to your roof and home exterior (if applicable).
  4. Remember that the “date of loss” is the day you first noticed the damage, not the date on which the damage occurred.
  5. If asked what prompted you to file a claim, inform the insurance company that many roofs in your neighborhood are being replaced, so you had yours inspected by 1st Choice Roofing & Construction, who supplied you with a whole home assessment including photos cataloging your storm damage repair needs.
  6. Your insurance carrier will then assign you a claim number and inform you that a field insurance adjuster will be contacting you within 24 to 72 hours to schedule an appointment to inspect your roof.
  7. The insurance adjuster will then contact you and schedule an appointment. They should providing their name, cell number, and the date and time they’ll be at your residence.
  8. Finally, contact your 1st Choice Roofing & Construction representative and provide them with your appointment information. We’ll plan accordingly to meet with the adjuster on your behalf. In this way, 1st Choice Roofing & Constructionis your advocate as you file your insurance claim. We will ensure that your receive a fair damage assessment, and that you’re approved to have all relevant damage to your home completely repaired.

Increase Property Value by Adding a New Roof

“The value of a new roof on your home can vary widely based on a number of factors. In general, a new roof can add between 15 and 40 percent to the value of your home. This means that a $100,000 home can become a $140,000 property simply with the addition of a new, modern roof. It also indicates that the more a home is worth, the more value it stands to gain from a new roof.” — Sapling

How a New Roof Increases Home Property Value:

  • Curb Appeal — Your new roof will be streak-free, look clean and fresh, and feature modern colors and textures. While it may sound superficial, a new roof can make a 20 year old home look like new construction from the outside.
  • Energy Efficiency — A quality roof installation will help keep your house cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. This saves money on utilities, and raises your property value by making your home more desirable from a practical perspective.
  • Extends AC / Heater Lifespan — A roof that protects your home from extreme weather changes and temperatures is also beneficial to your AC Unit and Heater, extending their lifespan by saving them from working as hard. This is an obvious plus, since heating and cooling appliances are pricey to replace.
  • Risk Reduction — A new roof greatly reduces your risk of leaks due to wear and tear. While decades of incessant Texas heat, beating winds, pounding hail, and the passing of time can leave a decades old roof weak and compromised, a new roof will eliminate leaks and vulnerabilities you might not even be aware of.
  • Storm Damage Reduction — Needless to say, a new roof will  hold up better against heavy winds, rain, and hail than an old roof. Newer, tougher shingles and materials will hold up better than older, weathered, and compromised installations.
  • Better Warranties — A brand new roof has a brand new warranty, which should be transferable to a new homeowner. Needless to say, this is a big plus for prospective home buyers.

Top 10 Water Leaks To Watch For In Your Home

Water leaks are among a home owner’s worst nightmares. Here is a list of some of the more common causes of water leaks, and tips for how you can hopefully avoid them:

Roof Wear & Tear

Slow roof leaks are sometimes the most damaging type of water leaks, because water damage usually begins in your attic where you might not notice it immediately. It can spread unobserved inside your walls causing decomposition and mold. Call us today  at 281.378.2431 for a free roof inspection to reduce your risk of leaks due to wear and tear.

Water Pipe Leaks

Whether through corrosion, too much pressure on joints, or other damage, a leaking water pipe can cause a severe leak that damages your drywall and totals your flooring. If you notice discoloration on walls, chalky flaking paint, or unexplained moisture, it’s wise to find the source as fast as possible. Call a reputable and insured plumber for repairs, such as

Water Heater Leaks

Depending on where your water heater is leaking, you may or may not need to replace it. If it’s leaking from the tank itself, that’s a big red flag. If it’s 6 to 10 years old, it may be on it’s last leg, and repairing it could only buy you a few months to a year before another leak or malfunction occures.

Air Conditioner Leaks

The most common cause of an AC leak is a clogged condensate drain line. If anything from balls of hair, to mold, to debris clog that pipe, condensation from your AC can back up into your home. A corroded or damaged drain pan, broken condensate pump, or frozen evaporator coil are also possible culprits. If you notice condensation on a pipe, or the pipe appears to be leaking and feels very cold, contact a plumber or AC repair company.

Leaking Appliances

Corrosion, mineral scale, and general wear and tear in appliances is another common cause of leaks. When your washing machine, dishwasher, or refrigerator springs a leak, it can ruin cabinetry, flooring, furniture, and other appliances. It’s important to turn the water off to your house any time you leave town.

Sink Leaks

Plumbing under sinks can become corroded and mineral buildup inside joints can cause damage. Clogged sinks are another common cause of water leaks. Be sure to check under your sinks every so often for dripping, or any signs of water damage. Catching a leak in its beginning stages can help you avoid damage to cabinetry, mold, and flooding.

Leaking or Running Toilets

A running toilet is definitely something you want to catch! While toilets don’t usually flood your home, a toilet that’s frequently running can cost you a lot on your water bill. If you notice a toilet whistles, runs, gurgles, or for whatever reason suspect you might have a leak, consider replacing the mechanisms inside your toilet basin. There is lots of information online about how to cheaply DIY this project, including this article from This Old House.

Storm Damage

Wind, fallen branches, and hail are among the most common culprits behind storm damage. Because storm damage is rarely exclusive to your roof, it’s wise to hire a general contractor, such as 1st Choice Roofing & Construction, who can also handle damaged siding, gutters, windows, and repair structural damage. Call us for a free storm damage analysis at 281.378.2431.

Animal Damage

It’s no fun finding out a squirrel chewed a hole in your siding and now rain is coming through. To prevent animals from gnawing and entering your home, regularly trim tree branches that could provide shelter and easy access. Also visually inspect the perimeter of your home for unsealed cracks and loose vents that might provide an entry point for critters.

Leaking Windows & Doors

Texas heat is notorious for compromising caulk. Whether your sealant is dry and cracked or melts right off the glass, it will leave your windows vulnerable to leaks. Inspect the caulk around windows and doors to make sure its flush and sealed. Discolored, peeling, warped, or cracked caulk can easily be peeled off and replaced. Replace weather stripping around doors if you see cracks of sunlight or can feel outdoor air seeping through.

Project: Covered Patio & Outdoor Fireplace, Gleannloch Farms

This beautiful home in Gleannloch Farms needed a new roof. What more perfect time to also install a luxurious covered patio and outdoor fireplace? The finished project features stunning wood ceilings, natural stone around the fireplace, textured flooring, and recessed lighting.

How To Keep Squirrels Out Of Your Attic & Avoid Roof Damage

Happy Squirrel Appreciation Day! Yes, January 21 is the official day on which we honor our furry (and sometimes pesky) little friends. However, if squirrels are damaging your roof, eating away at your siding, destroying attic insulation, or setting up shop in your home, you may have a hard time appreciating these busy little rodents.

Here are a few tips for keeping squirrels out of your attic:

  • Inspect your home for holes (even small openings) around your roof, siding, gutters, and architectural features on an annual or semi-annual basis. An adult squirrel can squirm through a 1.5″ opening, and smaller critters like mice and bats are even more adept at squeezing through tight spots. Don’t forget to also inspect around your chimney, drier vents, sofit vents, etc.. If you’d like a thorough and professional inspection, call us for a FREE roof analysis at 281-378-2431.
  • Repair any damage. If you do find small holes and spaces that could provide pest entry points, you’ll want to get them professionally repaired. While installing a new vent cover might be a DIY task for a confidently handy homeowner, you’ll want to hire a specialist to repair damaged roofing, siding, or gutters. Improperly done repairs of any features can result in roof leaks, mold, and more extensive damage. Whether your damage has been caused by animals, weather, rot, or regular wear and tear, we can help you get your home secure and beautiful again.
  • Remove easy access. By keeping trees trimmed and branches away from your roof you’ll accomplish two objectives. Firstly, you’ll be removing easy access to your roof for rodents and insects. Secondly, you’ll be trimming back branches that could whip against your house during a storm, resulting in gutter and roof damage … or worse. Needless to say, a strong enough whack from a branch during a storm could be the thing that loosens siding or roofing just enough for a squirrel to find their way inside.

Of course, before you conduct any repairs on your home, you’ll want to make certain that animals haven’t already taken up residence in your home. The last thing you want is to invest in repairs, only to have a squirrel expire in your attic, or relocate downstairs! We can help you inspect your property for signs of infestation, and if squirrels or other animals are found, you’ll need to hire an animal control expert to remove the intruders from your property.