Understanding Roofing in the Gulf States

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While roofing systems are designed to withstand typical weather patterns, the weather-specific conditions in different regions across the country affect the type of roofing products recommended, installation strategies, and maintenance needs. That’s why it’s always important to work with roofing experts such as Fortenberry Construction of Ocean Springs, MS, that demonstrate a clear knowledge of our region’s conditions and how they impact various roofing products.

Routine Inspections are Always Recommended

While the Gulf Coast doesn’t experience the types of damage regularly experienced in colder climates, local weather still creates wear and damage issues that affect a roof’s performance. When local residents search online for a “roofing contractor near me,” they are encouraged to look for roofing experts who know the importance of routine inspections.

Modern roofing systems normally incorporate more components than in the past. Systems are designed to mitigate the potential for damage from wind, hail, and other weather conditions. In the Gulf Coast area, heat and high humidity are factors that affect area roofs. Our team of experts at Fortenberry Construction is trained to spot issues commonly seen in the region and help properly owners to develop a maintenance or repair plan to deal with evolving issues.

Understanding Basic Maintenance is the Next Step

As a rule, it’s a good idea to ask our team members for advice to determine when routine inspections are needed. While many homeowners schedule an inspection once per year, there are times when other options provide better results.

When you search online for a “roofer near me,” ask the contractor how they determine when a property owner should schedule roof inspections. On average, an annual inspection will be an acceptable option, but if a roof is new and no severe weather events have occurred, an inspection can be put off for a little longer.

Metal, tile, and slate roofs also require different inspection schedules than shingle roofs. However, that doesn’t mean those types of roofs can be ignored for years at a time. Ancillary components like flashing and rubber collars need to be inspected frequently because those items tend to create issues. When talking to roofing contractor Fortenberry Construction in Ocean Springs, ask questions about how frequently specific roofing products need to be inspected.

Dealing With Needed Roof Repairs

When an inspection uncovers problems with any type of roofing system, repairs should always be dealt with promptly to avoid exacerbating the issues. For example, a minor crack in a collar around a vent might not be causing a great deal of damage at the moment, but that small crack can quickly grow under the right conditions and create a large leak that soaks decking materials or insulation.

One or two missing shingles may not appear to be a serious problem, but those missing shingles make it easier for the next wind event to easily tear off surrounding shingles. That means the repair costs go up and the likelihood of interior water damage grows. If a roofing contractor suggests repairs, the best option is to take care of the issue as soon as possible.

Plan for the Future

Every type of roofing product will eventually need to be replaced. Proper maintenance will extend the life of a roof, but the need to replace a roof at some point can’t be avoided. When the lifespan of a roof is nearing its end, setting up a special account to deal with the cost is considered a good idea.

When you search online for a “roofing company near me,” consider asking the experts like those at Fortenberry Construction what the range of costs is for specific types of roofing products. While it’s tempting to save for only the least-expensive option, planning to upgrade to a higher-quality roof system might be a good idea. Our team will gladly help clients explore their options and plan for a replacement.

Routine roof inspections and maintenance schedules are the best way for property owners to keep abreast of a roof’s condition. Out team of experts will always inform owners about the overall condition of a roof and when additional repair or replacement options may be necessary.

Dealing With Unforeseen Events

Every storm season, Gulf Coast property owners brace for hurricane and other weather-related damages. In most cases, area homeowners experience minor roof damage, but there are times when catastrophic damage can occur. What steps should property owners take when severe damages happen?

The first step is to prevent additional damage. That means going online before a storm and searching for a “roofing company near me.” While it’s always a good idea to develop a relationship with an expert roofer prior to a severe storm moving through the region, that’s not always possible. Contacting a roofing professional for tarping and other short-term solutions should always be at the top of a homeowner’s to-do list after a significant weather event.

It’s also vitally important to contact your insurance carrier as quickly as possible. That will get the claim process rolling and make it possible to proceed with permanent repairs. We typically work with insurance companies to simplify the amount of paperwork you have to do, but after a significant storm, processing can be slow. That’s why it’s important to get the roof tarped quickly to keep any additional damage to a minimum.

Roof Replacement After Storm Damage

Most insurance companies have some type of prorating system in place, which simply means they’ll evaluate a roof and offer a settlement based on the roof’s pre-storm condition. In many cases, that leaves property owners on the hook for a significant portion of the total costs. We work with property owners to find the best solutions for their roof replacement needs.

All roofing contractors will be busy after significant storms, so patience may be necessary. It’s always better to wait for a known area expert to properly repair a home’s roof than use an itinerant roofer who isn’t familiar with the area’s needs. Even acquiring roofing materials may be difficult for a short while as suppliers get the needed roofing products shipped to the region.

No delay is good, but there are times when waiting will result in a better long-term solution for your home’s roofing needs. While living with a tarped roof isn’t ideal, it’s frequently the best short-term option after a severe storm. We’re always happy to work with property owners to prevent water damage while they wait for the materials and crew necessary to replace the roof.

Taking Advantage of Newer Roofing Products

Like just about everything else, roofing products are evolving. That means the materials and installation steps considered normal 20 years ago are no longer the norm. Just about every material used in modern roofing systems differs, to some degree, from older products.

We work closely with manufacturers like GAF to ensure our customers have the best roofing system in place. While other products are available, most homes in the region use some type of shingle material. While the three-tab shingles commonly used for many years are still a viable option, we routinely suggest property owners explore using other, more weather-resistant types of shingles.

How elements of a roofing system work

The shingles you actually see are only one part of a modern roofing system. When Fortenberry Construction replaces a roof, our customers expect an end result that will protect their homes for years to come. That’s why we take the time to explain how all the elements of a roofing system work.

First, the decking material must be solid. That means any decking material that’s been damaged will need to be replaced. Next, leak barriers are installed where needed to minimize the potential for wind-driven water to enter a home’s interior. After the leak barrier is installed, our installation team will install roof deck protection. In the past, that was some type of tar paper, but newer options are rapidly replacing tar paper.

At that point, the home is ready for shingling. Starter strips are used to reduce the risk of leaks and blow-off during storms. The shingles selected are then installed, and the process is completed when ridge and hip caps are installed.

Don’t Forget About Venting!

One issue Gulf Coast residents tend to ignore is proper venting. We work with our clients to ensure the home has sufficient roof and attic venting to keep cooling costs low and prevent unnecessary moisture damage. If you’re repairing or replacing your home’s roof, ask our team about venting options to improve your roof system’s performance.

Contact the Fortenberry Construction Team Now

Rather than waiting until significant damage has occurred, contact our roofing experts now for advice. We’ll gladly review the condition of your home’s current roof and discuss maintenance or repair options designed to extend the roof’s life.

If your home currently needs a new roof, we’ll discuss re-shingling or replacing the roof. We’ll also work with you to explore the newest roofing options available and how those options will benefit your home both now and well into the future. For more information or to schedule an inspection, contact Fortenberry Construction today.