Archive for November, 2012

Choosing Wood Shakes

Roof materials come in just about every type of material imaginable. Everything from recycled plastic and rubber, to earth friendly clay or slate; choosing a roof material for your home can be tricky. While many people like the look of a wood shake, there are some things to know about the benefits and drawbacks before having your roof replaced with these alternative tiles.

The Shakedown

Wood shake roofs are preferred for their natural look and unique appeal. Often used to dress-up homes in rural or remotely located homes, the wood shake looks quite different from other traditional roof materials. Their texture, pattern and color variations often lend to an earth friendly aesthetic.

While wood shakes are beautiful, the price for that beauty can be high. Wood shakes made from high end lumber, such as cedar, can easily cost you three to four times the cost of a asphalt shingled roof. On the positive side, that cost can be an investment when the cedar shake roof outlasts an asphalt shingled roof by 10 or more years. However, the life of any wood shake roof is influenced by the climate in which the home is located.

Wood shakes are not the best roof material choice for high humidity climates, or those with insect infestations. High moisture areas can leave wood shakes damp, leading to problems with mildew and mold; both of which compromise the integrity of the material. Insects are another problem that can easily damage and destroy a wood shake roof, leaving the life of the roof significantly decreased.

As with any roof repair or replacement job, it is a good idea to consult a local roofer before choosing which type of roof you want to install. Their knowledge and expertise can ensure you pick the most durable and affordable option without compromising on durability.

Helena Museum Gets Fabricated Roof

In Helena Arkansas the Helena Museum of Phillips County on Pecan Street will be covered in a new roofing material that is similar to a pool tarp. The 120 year old building will be covered in a Duro Last Roofing System.

When checking the building for window and gutter replacements, the former president of the museum board noticed a significant amount of water damage over the uniform display cases. They decided to fix the roof before the other renovations to prevent any further damage.

Mississippi Roofers for Museum Project

Swindoll Construction and Roofing out of Batesville, MS will be doing the roof repair and installing the Duro Last roof. According to the Dura Last website “The custom-fabricated, single-ply Duro-Last roofing system is ideal for any flat or low-sloped application. The Duro-Last roofing system is also watertight, highly reflective, resistant to chemicals, fire and high winds, and virtually maintenance free.”

Phillips County Museum Board Vice President Father Travis Frank said “we are tickled to death that this roof will be repaired by Wednesday and we just want to thank the community for their continued support and their donations, without your contributions this would not have been possible.”

The Helena Museum of Phillips County was built in 1891 and began as a library. The museum now has artifacts from Native American Indians, the Civil War, early paintings, decorative arts and various documents. The museum is also reported to have the ghost of Maybelle Thatcher walking around the balcony searching for her long lost love.

New Roof Tax Breaks

Part of the appeal in owning a home versus renting are the tax deductions for certain aspects of homeownership. Many people get into a mortgage loan thinking their new ownership will bring thousands of dollars in tax savings and it can, just not necessarily in all the areas you may hope for.

Home Tax Deductions

The costs of roof replacement can run upwards of $10,000. Unfortunately, the cost of a new roof does not qualify for an IRS tax deduction. Many people assume maintenance costs are deductible from tax bills, and the fact is they simply aren’t. There is an exception to this rule, which is if the costs of roof repair or replacement are related to a disaster. Many of the affected Hurricane Sandy victims will likely be eligible to write-off any out of pocket expenses related to repairing and rebuilding their homes.

There is also another silver lining, the costs of replacing a roof directly adds to the value of the home. The increased home’s value then raises the tax basis of the home, which can influence the amount of deductions allowed on other aspects of the home. The higher home value could also  lower the amount of capital gain taxes charged at the time of selling the house. In this way, the costs of replacing a roof can be looked at as an investment, and one that provides lesser known benefits.


Donut Shop Refurbished Roof

In West Fargo, North Dakota some of the residents went through donut withdrawal when an institution in the community was closed down for three weeks. Sandy’s Donuts owner Mark Ostlund closed the shop for renovations.

Oslund said “People would come up and just be like well, what am I going to do? I can’t get my donut?”

The roof of the shop was replaced due to breaking trusses. Since they were doing the roof repair anyway they decided to give the building an update. As well as replacing the overhead wiring, plumbing and ductwork, they also changed the original sloped roof edge and replaced it with a new roof that has an edging that is a combination of metal siding and terra cotta.

Newly Remodeled Donut Shop

Other renovations included removing some of the walls in the kitchen area, and getting a new walk in freezer. Old signs are being replaced with new back lit signs in December. Future improvements include building a kitchen area just for baking.

Mark’s son Jessie Ostlund, the donut production manager said “Well, it won’t look like a Hardee’s anymore; it’s going to look way nicer.”

The donut shop moved to its current location, an old fast food restaurant in 2002. Mark’s parents Sanfred (Sandy) and Donna opened the first Sandy’s Donuts in 1983.

Along with donuts, you can also get traditional breakfast foods and soups, sandwiches and salads for lunch. They offer a free donut with every lunch purchase.

Phosphate Museum Gets New Roof

Mulberry Phosphate Museum in Mulberry Florida has had a leaky roof for years. The staff has been placing buckets where the water drips down the walls from a whole in the roof.

Roofers will begin removing the old roof in the first week of December and then putting new shingles on the 73 year old wood frame building. Work will begin just after the annual community holiday celebration and is expected to take about a week.

City Manager Rick Johnson said “When I found out how much water was coming through, I was concerned about the artifact being damaged. The money was there, so it was a matter of getting the work done.”

Asbestos Suspected in Old Roof

The new roof is expected to cost around $35,000; the asbestos removal has made the job more complicated and expensive. The roofing crew will be using precautions such as protective suits while tearing out the roof due to suspected asbestos on the 30 year old roof.

The building was built in 1939 and was originally the building was the city’s train depot. In 1985 the building was turned into the city owned phosphate museum displaying century old bones that were uncovered during excavation in the mining operations.

Mulberry is known as the Phosphate Capital of the world with an impressive collection of fossilized remains. An estimated 75% of the phosphate used by farmers for fertilization comes from Florida.

Wrong Roof Removed

In Plain Township – Stark County, Ohio, an apartment complex owner was surprised last week by roofers removing the shingles from his building. Ordinarily it would be a good thing to see them men on the job, the problem was, that he didn’t order a new roof.

A crew from Anthony Roofing assumed the job was at 6661 Amsel after arriving on the job and seeing that shingles and a dumpster were already there. The job was supposed to be at 6636 Amsel Ave., across the street.

Snowball of Errors

The start of this issue apparently was when the dumpster for job waste and old shingles was delivered to the wrong address. When the driver with the shingles arrived and saw the dumpster they unloaded the shingles at that address. The roofing crew arrived before the boss and started work at the address that the dumpster and shingles were.

Dale Rieger, owner of the six-unit building received a phone call from Tony Garman, owner of Anthony Roofing explaining they had removed the shingles and roofing paper from half of his building’s roof before the error was discovered.

Garman offered to replace the entire roof with only the cost of the shingles to Rieger. When Rieger insisted he did not have the funds for the roof at this time, Garman said he would replace the shingles and roofing paper his crew removed with better shingles at no cost.

Managing Roof Costs

roof costsRoof repair and replacement can be one of the more expensive aspects of homeownership, especially if the cost of the work isn’t covered by insurance. For many people, even minor roof damage can quickly add up to large out of pocket expenses. Luckily, there are a few ways to avoid being caught off guard by costly repair work.

Reducing Risk

The most important aspect to keeping roof costs low is routine inspection and maintenance. Many people wait until a problem arises before ever taking care of their roof. This is a huge mistake. Instead of waiting for an obvious sign of a problem, conduct season inspections of your roof to ensure the materials are in good condition. Look for things like cracked, broken or missing shingles. Check to make sure the flashing has a good seal and that there aren’t any gaps in the roof materials near structures. An inspection of the attic ceiling should also be conducted to ensure there aren’t any indications of water leaks or damage.

Even with routine inspection and maintenance, a roof doesn’t last forever. There will come a time when it need to be replaced. The average roof replacement can cost anywhere between $5,000 and $25,000, depending on the size of the home and materials used. That being said, there is really only one way to ensure you are prepared, and that is by saving money. If you purchase a home with 10 years left on the life of the roof, you can safely plan to replace that roof within at least five years. Never assume you have the full life of the roof remaining before replacement becomes imminent. Save money ahead of time so that you aren’t put into a financial hardship over the costs to replace the roof.

New Roof for Milwaukee Oldest Home

In the Estabrook Park area of Milwaukee the oldest documented home is getting a new roof. The needed repairs are thanks to a neighbor, Mary Kamps who stopped by to look at the Kilbourntown House and noticed the shingles falling off. Kamps together with her friend Diane Buck started a campaign to raise the funds to fix the roof.

The women made brochures and dropped them off at libraries, historical societies and any place they thought there would be an interest in saving the historical house roof by winter.

Disagreement over Who Is Responsible

Milwaukee County Historical Society said the care and maintenance of the house is the responsibility of Milwaukee County Parks. And the director of county parks believes it is the historical society who is responsible for the care of the house.

Over $7,000 has been raised so far, the historical society is managing the Kilbourntown Roofers Campaign. The final cost of the roof repair could be up to $16,000 for the new cedar roof.

The roof contractors of Flowquest Design/build started the roof repair on Thursday on the Greek Revival house and are expected to take 2-3 weeks to complete.

The house was built by pioneer and carpenter Benjamin Church in 1844 and was originally in the middle of Kilbourntown. In 1938 the house was separated into parts and moved by truck to Estabrook Park.

If you would like more information on the house or would like to make a donation, please contact the Milwaukee County Historical Society at (414) 273-8288.

New Roof for Historic South Dakota Church

The Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Aberdeen South Dakota is getting the roof repaired and renovated. The 79 year old building is the largest church in South Dakota. While the building is structurally sound there were areas where the roof was leaking into the church and damaging the plaster.

A crew from Minneapolis Contractor, Garlock-French Roofing Corporation is removing the original slate shingles and stress testing them to make sure they do not have any damage and then reused when possible. An estimated 75 percent of the shingles will be recycled.

Restoring the Roof

Any water damaged boards and the felt and underlayment have been replaced. The copper domes on the towers are being repaired and the copper ridge cap is being replaced. A local sculptor will be making some spires to match the original ones that were broken.

Senior Pastor Rev. Shane Stevens said “the slate is being recycled and I like that a lot. It is a green project in that we are recycling everything we can.”

The Sacred Heart Catholic church will be raising the remaining $135,000 needed to complete the project. The church’s insurance company will be paying $200,000 to cover water, hail and ice damage.

The Gothic Tudor church was built in 1933 in hopes it would someday become a cathedral for a new diocese. When the population shifted to Sioux Falls the church became a local treasure.

FEMA Help For New Roofs

FEMAAfter the recent hurricane, many families in the northeast are facing a tough road ahead to rebuild and move on. For homeowners in need of roof repair the challenges are even greater, as roof scams tend to increase around times like these.

A Cautious Road To Repair

Some of the indications of an non-reputable roofing company could be:

  • Unsolicited salesman
  • Representing FEMA without proof of affiliation
  • Offering to file claims with FEMA or your insurance on your behalf
  • Asking for upfront payment under the stipulation for later reimbursement

In order to protect your family from illegitimate roofing services, there are a few things you can do when seeking the help from FEMA.

First, contact your insurance company to file a claim.

Next, contact FEMA directly to register for their assistance. They can be reached at 1-800-621-FEMA (3362), TTY 1-800-462-7585, or going online at

While not all roofers that knock on your door offering to help with your roof damage are illegitimate, there are certain things you can do to ensure you are getting the best help possible.

  • Ask friends and neighbors for referrals to a roofing company.
  • Obtain multiple bids for repair costs and be sure to obtain proof of their licensure and insurance as a professional organization.
  • Wait until you have approval from your insurance company or FEMA before having any work done to your home.