Find Your Perfect Roof with 3 Simple Characteristics

People take pride in the appearance of their homes. That's why residents in Oklahoma City take home maintenance so seriously. You'll see people spending hours meticulously cleaning out their window wells and gutters, and doing whatever they can to keep their siding colorful and clean – the same goes for the roof. Your roof doesn't just keep the elements out of your home; it also makes a big impact on the look of your abode. Roofs can be a fashion and taste statement, as well as a barrier that keeps your home safe.

With the right Oklahoma City roofing contractors, you can have a home that looks nice, feels great, and is thoroughly ready to handle some of the most severe weather. All roofing material isn't the same, and certain types can have different effects on your home. When you're deciding on what material to use for your new room, remember to keep these things in mind:

Weather resistance

The weather is anything but boring in Oklahoma City, and every season brings its own form of harsh weather. The spring and summer months aren't just full of sunshine and warmth, they're also packed with severe thunderstorms, hail, and the occasional tornado. If you want to protect your roof from heavy rain and hail storms, slate tiles may be the best material. Their durability and longevity make them the ideal tiles for nearly any home. If you can't stand the heat in the summers, consider getting clay tiles. Clay helps reflect the sun's heat and keep your house cool.

Longevity

You should view any kind of significant home renovation project as a long-term investment, and roofing is no different from replacing your siding or deciding to re-do a room in your house. Many different roofing material manufacturers claim that their products have the longest life expectancy on the market, but the best sales pitch can't beat what people know about roofing. Asphalt, tile, metal, wood, slate, and other materials all last for different amounts of time. If you want your roof to last for a while, you should consider slate. Slate roofing tiles can last for a very long time, when properly maintained. 

First American Roofing shutterstock 40864699

Cost

When you're buying a new roof, you have to find a good balance for your budget. You obviously don't want to spend too much money, but you do want to be able to get high quality roofing materials and contractors. Keep in mind that the money you spend on certain things now could end up saving you a lot in the future. If you're very concerned about cost, consider going with asphalt. Asphalt is relatively inexpensive and can last for a good 20 years.

When revamping your roof in Oklahoma City, remember to consult reputable contractors, like us at First American Roofing. With our expertise, we can guide you towards the right roofing materials for your needs and budget. Contact us today!

Green Roofs are the Newest Thing to Hit OKC – Here's why!

How important is the environment to you? Many people will say that environmental issues are some of the most important problems we face, but it can feel difficult for people living in cities to go green. You may recycle and you could try to only buy locally, but those are only a few small things you could be doing to help the planet. All cities are an integral part of our society, and densely populated areas need to be as green as possible. Green cities were the theme of this past Earth Day, and there is one popular green city idea that we love at First America Roofing: green roofs.

First American Roofing pic2

When we use the term green roofs, we obviously aren't talking about roofs that are painted green. Green roofs utilize the tops of homes and buildings to grow vegetation, which are planted over a waterproofing membrane. The majority have drainage and irrigation systems that keep the plants hydrated, but also prevent water from damaging the roof.

Green roofs are designed to absorb rainwater, provide insulation for heating and cooling, creating a habitat for animals, and simply making roofs look nice. Green roofing in OKC is possible, and even affordable. There are a variety of environmental benefits that come with green roofs, but all of the perks don't just go to Mother Nature. A green roof has several benefits for the people that live under it. Did you know that green roofs can . . .

Provide storm water management

How many of you notice pools of water on your roof after a big storm? Those puddles of water can be harmful to your roof if they stay there for too long, but having a green roof would eliminate that problem. Green roofing systems store water in the substrate, which is then absorbed by the plants. During the summer months, green roofs can retain 70%-90% of all the precipitation that falls on them. Green roofs help reduce the amount of storm water runoff, and delay its occurrence.   

Cool homes

Summers in densely populated cities can be brutal, even with air conditioners and fans. Cities are like sponges for heat; all of the people and the heat energy they give off can make an already hot summer day seem unbearable at home. The daily dew and evaporation cycle your plants go through are able to cool cities. The plants on your green roof are also able to absorb sunlight that would usually be converted into heat energy. 

Beautify your home

Everybody needs some green space in the city, but an open area with a lot of plant life can be difficult to come by in an urban environment. A green roof can help give your home and neighborhood some much needed green scenery, and can make your home look more attractive to certain eco-friendly buyers. 

Purify your neighborhood

Smog can be an unfortunate side effect of living in a city, but ample vegetation can help reduce smog and improve the overall air quality. Your green roof can help absorb some of the harmful air pollutants, and produce some much needed oxygen. This gives you the opportunity to get a breath of fresh air without having to travel to the country to do it.

If you are thinking of this option for your roof, speak to the professionals at First American Roofing. We can provide the expertise on the best materials to work in collaboration with your green roofing project. Make your green dream a reality!

Weather the Next Big Oklahoma City Storm by Following These Tips

If you're an Oklahoma City resident, you don't need to be told twice about the importance of being ready for a storm. People across the country have been dealing with severe weather a lot more frequently, and after a particularly damaging winter, spring and summer storms have been hitting people very hard. Severe thunderstorms have been dumping heavy rain and damaging winds on residents seemingly once a week, and it's possible that you've been at work and heard a tornado siren sound. The American Red Cross recently pledged several million dollars towards helping people across the state, and homeowners need to do whatever they can to keep their homes intact. 

 First American Roofing shutterstock 2200070

You can't always tell when a big storm is going to hit, and sometimes you can't help but be in its path. You may not be able to control nature, but you can start to prepare your home to withstand whatever Mother Nature decides to throw at Oklahoma City next. First American Roofing has expert OKC roofing contractors who know how to keep homes safe during storms, and if you want to protect your property, you should consider following these tips.

Forget nailing your windows shut

If you're watching a TV show or a movie about an upcoming storm, 9 times out of 10 you're going to see a character frantically running around and nailing their windows shut to protect them. The only thing that nailing your windows shut is going to do is make them more difficult to fix when damage is done. If you're concerned about protecting your windows, find some sturdy and weatherproof window shutters. These are designed to withstand serve weather, and protect your windows from extensive damage. If you have decorative shutters, you may want to consider replacing them. When those flimsy fixtures get loose during a storm, they can cause some significant damage.

Get good shingles

Some people think that they're lucky if they come out of a major storm with a few missing shingles, but those few broken shingles will only make the next storm much more difficult to handle. Missing shingles leave space for wind and rain to get inside of your home, and the gaps will only make it easier for wind to tear off even more shingles during the next major weather event. In an area where severe thunderstorms and tornadoes occur, you can't afford to have shingles that are not designed to withstand weather. WeatherGuard HP ® Shingles are made specifically to withstand winds from 110 to 130 MPH, and come in a variety of colors.

Trim your trees

When it comes to severe weather, scattered debris can be as much of a problem as the wind and the rain. If you have branches that are touching your roof, you need to trim them back. When the wind increases, they'll be scraping against your roof and possibly even cracking some nearby windows. Prune any of your big branches to make it easier for the wind to pass through them without breaking them on top of your home.

When you are worried about the next storm that the Oklahoma City weather will throw at you, the best possible thing that you can do is to prepare your home. Call or contact us at First American Roofing to see what you can do to lessen the chances of damage.

Signs that You Need a New Roof

Everyone knows that water damage is costly to repair, difficult to hide, and can take your big screen TV down in a heartbeat. Water damage is almost exclusively the result of a leaky roof (except when it's a plumbing problem in your second floor bathroom.) So how do you know when it's time to repair your roof? Here are some tips from First American Roofing that should help you out:

If you're like the average homeowner, your roof gets less of your attention than your walls and floors, yard, garage, bathroom, kitchen, and fences. It's not anyone's fault – looking up just isn't human habit. However, a little attention can go a very long way and save you buckets of money.

It's generally recommended (by the National Roofing Contractors Association, obvious experts on the subject) that you inspect your roof at least twice a year – specifically during the spring/fall season changes. The inspection should cover both the inside and outside of your home.

What do you look for when you're inspecting your roof from the interior?

If you've got an attic, start there. Indoors, there are some warning signs to watch out for, so ask yourself the following questions:

  1. Is the roof deck sagging anywhere? This should be pretty hard to miss, especially in an unfinished attic.
  2. Are there any signs of water damage? Aside from the obvious standing water, you should look for water staining, discoloration, or crumbling drywall.
  3. Can I see any light? If the sunlight gets through, so does the rain. Obviously, this doesn't apply to windows.

Okay, now how do you check the outside?

For starters, if you're afraid of heights, not sure on your feet, or just don't want to, there are places that do this kind of thing for you. Climate has an enormous impact on your exterior, so speak to a professional who knows their roofing. Oklahoma City has a humid subtropical climate, which means that there are many months out of the year – especially muggy summers – where moisture is heavy in the air. Here's what to look for:

 First American Roofing shutterstock 47631298

You don't want it to come to this!

 

  1. Are shingles bald or missing, or (in the case of non-shingle roofing) are there signs of peeling or damage to the surface of the roof?
  2. Are there signs of wear or debris around chimneys and vents?
  3. Look in your gutter – do you see granules, or shingle sand? That can be a sign that your shingles are wearing down.
  4. Make sure all ventilation goes to the outside of the home, not to an attic or crawl space.
  5. Make sure your gutters are cleared, clean, and securely attached. Check all drainage.
  6. Are their signs of mold or moisture? Please remember that the wet spot may not be related to the shingle with a problem – water rolls down. Mold and fungi don't take long to become a problem.

It's important to ensure that your home is shielded from weather in order to protect your investment and save money. If you are in any doubt about the state of your home, contact us at First American Roofing. We have the expertise to pinpoint the problem and find a solution that works for you!

Roofing Your Attached or Detached Garage

Every homeowner in the middle of building or renovating will at some point have to make decisions regarding the garage. There are variations and options aplenty: how many cars will it hold? Full garage or carport? Will it serve other purposes? Mostly, though, the big question seems to be: will it be attached to the house? What is equally important is choosing the right roofing material.

There's no right answer here. The trick is to learn which style of garage will best suit your needs. Attached garages and detached garages, even carports and pole barns, they each have their own levels of suitability, and each home will have different needs. Here are just a few things that have to be considered:

  • The size and shape of your lot – The latter can be very important, especially if the location of your garage will affect the area of your yard where recreation takes place.
  • What the garage will be used for – Protection from the elements, storage of tools and boxes, as a workspace … all of these choices suggest different things.
  • The architectural features of your house – Many older houses would look quite unnatural with an attached garage that wasn't built to the same specs, or of the same materials.
  • Roofing needs – will the design allow for a steep slope? Will the garage be flat? Some garages even include a loft area for additional storage. A detached garage needn't necessarily be a close match to the house, but an attached garage would look strange if the roof wasn't similar to the main property.

There are pros and cons to an attached garage, so take a look at each style and decide which is best for you. Then be certain to carefully select roofing materials and style – because your roof is the best defense against the elements. Remember – the climate is going to matter, too – Oklahoma City roofing contractors will have a lot to say about the top you slap on your garage, attached or otherwise.

So take a look at the pros and cons, especially as they relate to the roof you choose:

Pros:

Protection from the elements

Regardless of whether you choose a water-shedding or water-sealing style of roof, an attached garage is as moisture proof as your house, by necessity. Not for your car (because both garage styles have you covered there) but for you. And given the OKC climate – where a year will definitely include hail, snow, ice, rain, and hot, humid sunshine – that could be a really big selling point. If you want to be able to wander into your garage barefoot while it's pouring, this could be the garage for you.

Attachable to home security

If you're storing an expensive car, or really anything of value, it helps that an attached garage is part of your home, and therefore part of your home security system. Detached garages often need a secondary setup, which can be an added expense.

Cons:

Not easily expandable

If your child turns sixteen and gets a car, you might want the option of adding a second or even third bay to a garage to keep their wheels out of the blizzard. With an attached garage, that's significantly more difficult, as you can only expand in one direction.

Financial drain

An attached garage is an energy drain, as it will be – at least a little – heated and cooled along with your house. Good insulation work can minimize this. It's crucial in an attached garage to insulate not only the walls, but also the roof deck, and ceiling, to minimize the energy drain, as heat rises.

Band practice

That's really shorthand for noise. If something noisy is happening, don't you want it farther from the house than your attached garage?

What Kind of Roof Do I Want?

The scenario: You're having a house built. You've got the works – French drains, finished basement, landscaped grounds. Everything's planned to a T. Then First American Roofing comes to you and says, "Hey! What kind of material do you want to use for the roof?"

And you're stumped. Are there so many different kinds? What do you do?

Well, don't panic, for starters. Yes, there are many options – and just as many opinions, as well as a number of factors that will influence the decision. Everything from cost to climate can be a sticking point, but we'll help guide you through it.

This scenario also applies if you're just having a roof replaced. Suddenly, your options are wide open. Do you stick with what you had before or try something new? Aesthetics are a huge concern, but you have to consider installation time, cost, the weight of materials, environmental impact, and a great deal more.

So don't get overwhelmed. Here's where you start:

Know the lingo

Roofers don't really talk in square feet. They talk in a more confusing unit called "squares." Squares are actually one hundred square feet. Materials are purchased in fractions of this unit. For instance, if you are in an average 2-storey house with about 2,000 square feet of living space and a dual-pitch roof (the kind with gables that kids draw), you're looking at about fifteen or so squares.

Know your budget

That's going to be a primary deciding factor. The materials don't account for the cost; you have to account for labor (including removal of old materials) as well as the shape of the roof. Features like skylights, chimneys, turrets, crenellations, or other fancy features are going to drive the price up.

Choose your material. This is a big one – so big we'll be using subheadings. There are plenty of options, and most have merit. Here's what is usually on the table:

  • Asphalt The number one most commonly used roofing material, mostly because it's very inexpensive, comparatively. These are basically fiberglass and asphalt admixtures, with a life expectancy of 15-25 years or more, depending on the thickness and whether they're laminated. Laminated shingles cost more, but still less than other options.

First American Roofing shutterstock 74756995 

  • Tile– Used commonly in Spanish or Mission style homes, tile tends to be extremely long-lasting, but also expensive and very heavy – which can add structural costs for the necessary means to support it.
  • Wood– The old standby – now outlawed by some fire codes – for centuries was wood. Wood shingles are sawn or split, are very attractive, and have a similar life expectancy as asphalt – at about double the price tag. Oklahoma roofing customers are unlikely to select wood, as the climate – which can include hail, heavy snow, high winds, and ice – will ensure that regular maintenance is required.
  • Metal Expensive, but usually considered worth every penny, metal-roofing materials can last far longer than your modest human lifespan. Also, unlike fiberglass and some asphalt, metal doesn't leak or leech chemicals. Available in almost any color, it's the preferred material of people for whom price isn't the deciding factor.

With First American Roofing at your side through the process, you can get the roof you want and need at a price you can handle. Call or contact us today for an estimate or with any questions you have. We're happy to help!

Stronger Licensing Laws for Oklahoma Roofers

Contractor fraud is something that has plagued disaster recovery zones for years. Individuals, posing as high-end professionals who are there to help, take advantage of unsuspecting people who are just trying to fix their storm-damaged houses. It happened along the Jersey shore for months after Hurricane Sandy, and the scam has seemingly made a home in the often tornado-plagued state of Oklahoma.

 shutterstock 135278885

Scammers move in almost immediately following the disaster, while homeowners are still struggling with the loss of their valuables, and reaching for any extended hand to help. Typically, these Oklahoma roofers will target the elderly or single moms who do not have the knowledge or time to properly vet one's credentials. Suddenly, a down payment is demanded and after receiving it, these individuals move right along to the next victim, never returning to complete (or sometimes even start) their work.

The Oklahoma Roofing Contractor Registration Act has been in place since 2010, and states that all companies that specialize in roofing must register with the Construction Industries Board and pay a $75 registration fee. When a complaint is filed with the board, it is forwarded to the local district attorney, who decides if prosecution is necessary. State Representative Jon Echols, a Republican from Oklahoma City, claims, however, that the board lacks investigative or enforcement power. According to Echols, "There is almost no regulation on this industry, and the legitimate contractors feel taken advantage of because they're playing by the rules while they're competing with other people who are not playing by the rules."

Echols wants to implement legislation that would allow the board to investigate claims and require roofing contractors to take a licensing test, not unlike those that general contractors have to take in Oklahoma now. According to Echols, "until the state establishes a proper investigative agency for roofing, consumers will not know who to call to file a complaint about fraudulent practices."

Echols has yet to discuss his proposed legislation with anyone who is opposed to the idea of testing for licenses or allowing the board to investigate claims. He added, "When you consider the size of the roofing industry in the state of Oklahoma and in all of the construction areas, it is the No. 1 cost from my constituents to their homeowners insurance. To me it doesn't make any sense."

With people like Echols fighting for stronger regulations, it's only a matter of time before homeowners see the effects of this fraud protection. In the meantime, anyone considering a major roof repair (in any circumstances) should do their research and always check the credentials of contractors before paying any money or signing anything. There are plenty of legitimate Oklahoma roofers who will more than meet expectations – and they'll do it without trying to take advantage of anyone! 

Home Improvements that Lower Insurance Costs in OKC

Following a natural disaster, the main thing on a community's mind is simple – it's rebuilding. While sorting through the rubble and planning out your next move, can a homeowner actually take steps during the rebuilding process that will lower their insurance costs? John Wiscaver, Vice President of Public Affairs for Oklahoma Farm Bureau Insurance and Co-Chairman of the State Insurance Department's Catastrophe Response Task Force, recently explained how certain home improvements can reduce homeowners' insurance rates.

Typically, storm shelters are built in precaution of a tornado, however, as Mr. Wiscaver explains, these structures are intended for personal safety, not necessarily home or property protection. According to Wiscaver, "while storm shelters can be a valuable addition to be considered to increase personal safety, especially considering we live in an area of the country that frequently experiences severe weather, installing one will not lower your home owner's insurance costs." "Typically, insurers look at building materials that are more resistant to damage or protect the actual property from damage and therefore lower a home insurance claim if a disaster does strike. Hail- and wind-resistant products are an example of these building materials," Wiscaver added.

First American Roofing shutterstock 86592676

When figuring out where to use the bulk of your renovation money, Wiscaver advises Oklahoma residents to absolutely focus on improvements to your roof. He explains that, "the roof is very important to a home, as it typically takes the brunt of severe weather, especially hail and wind damage. If a roof is damaged, additional damage can occur from water, debris, etc., allowing interior damage to occur to the home and potentially damage personal property in the home." The true value of this type of damage is often underappreciated as it is extremely hard to place a price tag on personal items, especially pictures of loved ones or memorable collectables gathered over the years.

Wiscaver adds that "when hail and wind impact-resistant roofing materials are used, most insurers offer rate discounts to homeowners for their investment. There are several different grades of roofing. They range from Class One through Class Four, and are rated by Underwriters Laboratories standards. These materials will provide additional protection against hail and other impacts, and will better defend against wind and fire, as well. It's always good to check with your insurance agent on these and any other discounts that may be available."

Hopefully, you never have to experience the type of loss that would require significant home renovation and improvement. If you're looking to upgrade your roofing, check with your insurance agent and then call First American Roofing. We’ll be happy to discuss our OKC roofing services and find the best roofing for your money.

Take Shelter Oklahoma vs. the State Attorney General

Following a series of deadly tornados in Oklahoma City that killed 47 people in May of 2013, students, educators, and parents have been patiently waiting for a ruling on an initiative petition, which sought a statewide vote to provide storm shelters in Oklahoma public schools. The petition drive, dubbed Take Shelter Oklahoma, was created only four months after a tornado horrifically ripped apart two local schools in Moore, sadly claiming the lives of seven children at Plaza Towers Elementary. The string of deadly tornados has forced everyone to reconsider overall safety and roofing in OKC.

Take Shelter Oklahoma calls for a statewide vote on a program in which shelters would be paid for via a $500 million bond issue funded by Oklahoma's pre-existing franchise taxes. State Rep. Joe Dorman, a firm supporter of the initiative, said the move is "necessary because numerous school districts have limited bonding capacity and already must make difficult choices with the resources they have." Rep. Dorman added, "Protecting children is the responsibility of every Oklahoman, and parents deserve the peace of mind that their kids at school can have sufficient shelter during life-threatening weather. In this region of the nation, that is far from a hypothetical situation."

As the initiative made its way through the proper channels of local government, Take Shelter Oklahoma seems to have received a surprising bit of pushback earlier this year from the State Attorney General's office. The group claimed that the State Attorney General changed the language on the initially proposed ballot to "purposely make it more confusing for voters and unnecessarily one sided on what the cost of the shelters would actually be."

First American Roofing shutterstock 50492266 

Take Shelter Oklahoma recently filed a lawsuit against the State Attorney General for its misrepresentation of their cause and, since both sides could not agree on how the ballot should be written, the issue went to the Supreme Court. Following deliberation, the Supreme Court ruled on April 1st, 2014, that the ballot language written by the Attorney General's Office was legal. This was a huge blow for a group that was hoping to avoid economic over-analysis in its efforts to better protect the state's youth. Laws had already been put into place for stauncher regulations regarding general contacting and roofing in OKC during rebuilding periods, and locals were hoping the addition of necessary school shelters would further the cause.

The Attorney General's office issued the following comment:

I appreciate the efforts of those working to help protect Oklahoma students from severe and dangerous weather. As the court noted, the role of the Attorney General's Office in the ballot title process is as 'a neutral legal adviser for the people.' As such, my office is required to review all ballot measures to ensure they comply with the law, and any changes should not be considered a statement on the merits of the proposals. The court's ruling today affirms that my office's ballot title is 'legally correct, impartial and accurately reflects the effects of the proposed initiative' and shows that any assertions to the contrary are completely false. Throughout the process, my office has acted as a neutral legal adviser and the court's ruling upholds the correctness, accuracy and impartiality of the ballot title my office proposed.

Time will tell how much in the way of new school safety measures is paid for by the Oklahoma state government. Until then, homeowners should ensure that their own families are protected by investing in the best storm safe roofing available. 

What to Look For in Storm Safe Roofing

Whether you live in Tornado Alley, in hurricane country or anywhere with high winds and severe storms, storm safe roofing is an important investment to make in your house. Properly installed storm safe roofing can not only help your home survive severe weather, it can also save you money. In some areas of the country, like Oklahoma City, severe weather is so common that a local news station actually offered a home tornado shelter as a giveaway! Your family may not have to go that far, but here’s what to look for to get the most out of your storm safe roofing:

High Impact Resistance.  Impact resistance is perhaps the most important quality that storm safe roofing provides. In a storm, the worst damage is often not from the weather itself but from debris thrown by the wind. Hail is also a common roof-destroyer whose damage can be reduced or eliminated by proper roofing.

A Warranty. If you’re investing in a severe weather roof, you want one you can count on. Ask our experts about roofing backed by a warranty and check to see if there are any special requirements for installation that are needed to activate the warranty.

Insurance Savings. In theory, if your new roof helps avoid future wind or hail damage you may end up avoiding hefty repair bills or insufficient insurance settlements down the line. But your roof may be able to start saving you money immediately. Many insurers offer discounts on your home insurance premium if you install storm safe roofing on your house. Before buying your roofing, ask your insurance agent what qualifies for a discount.

Heavier Tiles. Aside from debris damage, wind itself can lift up the tiles of a roof and ultimately tear the roof apart. While all storm safe roofing is wind resistant to some degree, heavier tiles or roofing materials will naturally hold down better against high winds and resist being lifted up. Consider asking us to use heavier materials to maximize your protection.

Proper Sealing & Installation. A weather safe roof is only as strong as its installation. Our experts understand that storm safe roofing should have some kind of sealing method under each layer of shingles or tiles to help avoid uplift by wind. Likewise, we know to use roofing nails—not staples—and make sure they are being placed appropriately to maximize roofing strength.

Follow these tips and you’ll have no problems finding strong, reliable, cost-saving storm safe roofing. Do you have any other tips regarding protecting your home?

 

Could Local Nonprofit End Debate Over School Tornado Shelters?

First American Roofing OKC shutterstock 91843364

You may remember tornado drills in school as a kid. At most schools, the drill was simple: either go to a certain part of the building considered to be strongest (often the gym, which generally has no windows) or get under your desk and put your head down. Schools generally count on taking students away from large windows and assuming a head-protected position to survive tornadoes, but that approach led to tragedy last year—and sparked off a major debate over tornado shelters for schools.

On May 20, 2013 a tornado ripped across central Oklahoma just south of Oklahoma City. One of the many buildings the tornado hit was Plaza Towers Elementary. Like most states, Oklahoma generally doesn’t provide tornado shelters for schools and Plaza Towers was no exception. Seven children died in the tornado and many more were injured.

To many critics of the school system, those children could have been better protected. While tornadoes were once unstoppable killers, and still are for people caught by surprise with nowhere to hide, effective tornado shelters now exist. Increasingly, communities and large corporations—even private residents—are investing in tornado shelters in areas where tornadoes are common. These shelters can reliably withstand wind, debris and even a direct hit from a tornado, saving those inside.

That has led many parents and citizens to demand tornado shelters for schools. Had Plaza Towers had a real tornado shelter, they say, all of the children would have survived safely. The school districts of Oklahoma don’t necessarily disagree, but they offer a pragmatic answer: where will the funding come from?

That led one group of citizens to take action. Tornado shelters are no longer prohibitively expensive, and many believe that tornado shelters for schools should be a given. That led to the forming of a nonprofit dedicated to protecting students called - Shelter Oklahoma’s Schools.

SOS has created a fund and says its mission is to “work with local schools and municipalities to build or fortify storm shelters across the state.” The organization is pursuing grants as well as donations from the public to fund tornado shelters for schools, because the schools themselves cannot afford it.

Is it a perfect solution? In an ideal world, perhaps school districts would be given the money needed to provide tornado shelte­­­rs for schools themselves. But until that happens, Shelter Oklahoma’s Schools seems to be doing important work that could save lives.

Top Four Most Popular Roofing Materials Used in Oklahoma City

Installing a new roof to your home can add great value, aesthetic appeal, and increase the comfort level of your family and your guests. And when it comes to our Oklahoma roofing service, there are a variety of popular materials, designs, and techniques implemented into a variety of projects. Below is an overview of the most common types of roofing material used in our region.

Whether you’re building a new home or simply adding a new addition, you’re no longer restrained to only selecting which type of shingles you favor. Recent roofing technology has expanded your selection for the roof of your home, with products ranging from wood, metal, rubber, green materials, and even solar panels.

Metal:

In Oklahoma,metal roofing has become increasingly common in the roofing arena, especially for businesses and commercial roofing applications. Metal has many benefits that include its resistance to fire, corrosion, and even the worst of Oklahoma storms. When installed properly, metal roofs are durable and will last a lifetime with proper maintenance. They are also popular because they reflect heat and reduce outdoor noise, keeping it quiet and comfortable inside.aimimg 1 2

Metal roofing is also designed to have the same appearance as wooden shingles. So if you prefer this look it won’t be an issue. Another thing that many people love is that you can often hear the raindrops against the roof during an Oklahoma spring shower.

Rubber:

Don’t worry; we’re not talking about installing used car tires on your rooftop! Rubber roofing material comes in the form of shingles and comes in a variety of colors and textures. It’s also excellent at preventing the type of severe storm damage that an Oklahoma storm can provide, minimizing the chances of needing to replace it afterwards. Other benefits include the following:

  • It is resistant to cracking.
  • Mold cannot grow in it.
  • It works well in either cold or warm environments.
  • It has a long lifespan.
  • It’s easy to install.

Solar Cell Roofing:

If the efficiency of your home is a priority, as it is to thousands of individuals, then you may want to consider installing solar panels or cells. Several types of solar cells are now produced so thin that they function much like traditional shingles except that they produce energy that you can use to run your home.

Solar panels and cells are known for their ability to lower the costs associated with running a home. In fact, thousands of individuals are living off the grid or even selling their excess electricity to the electric companies. Imagine receiving a check from the power company instead of paying them your monthly power bill!

Wood:

Although it has been in use for hundreds of years, wood still offers several benefits that include an attractive appearance and a lifespan that usually lasts from 15 to 25 years. The only issue with wooden roofing material is that you have to perform routine maintenance in order for it to last. This includes applying a sealant to prevent the growth of mold.

As you can see, when it comes to roofing in Oklahoma City, there is an assortment of materials to choose from. Do some research and will install the one you like best!

Oklahoma Contractors Continue to Struggle With Banks and Mortgage Companies After May 2013 Tornadoes

It's been nearly a year since a round of EF5 tornadoes passed through the Oklahoma City area in May 2013, destroying almost everything in sight and leaving 25 dead. Now, months and months later, contractors continue to work hard to repair and replace roofs damaged by the storms. These contractors are also struggling with mortgage companies to get paid on time, as it's often weeks or even months after the work is complete that contractors are getting paid for their hard work.

oklahoma-roofing-contractorsBecause insurance companies make claim checks payable to both the homeowner and the bank that holds the mortgage on the home, banks are dragging their feet when it comes to turning over payment once the work is complete and roofing contractors in Moore OK, Newcastle OK, and surrounding areas are understandably upset. Homeowners looking to have their homes repaired are also running into problems with their mortgage companies.

What's Taking So Long?

According to a recent article by NewsOK.com, "Banks that hold mortgages have an interest in seeing damaged homes repaired, so they also have an interest in how insurance payments are spent. After the May tornadoes, some lenders were willing to release the money more quickly so homeowners could get their homes repaired faster, but others refused."

What's Next For Contractors?

Unfortunately there is no law that gives mortgage companies a turnover time to hand over insurance money. While smaller banks might endorse insurance checks immediately, other lenders typically have lengthier processes. Because payments are delayed for weeks and even months, contractors are finding it difficult to move on from one job to the next – they spend a large amount of resources dealing with the mortgage companies.

While Bank of America said in a statement that they have completed 98% of Oklahoma tornado claims they received, other companies, like Nationwide, have declined to comment.

Oklahoma City Roofing after May 20, 2013

Happy Tuesday June 18, 2013 to everyone!!

So who could have known my first ever roofing contractor blog post was going to cover the latter half of May 2013? Something that I as a Moore Oklahoma resident will remember for the rest of my life with incredible clarity on so many points!

So much unreal damage, havoc, and sadness...I've just literally never seen anything of this scale in my entire life...personally OR professionally as a Moore roofing contractor!

I was roughly 500 feet from Plaza Towers elementary school when the tornado hit, but was unaware that the elementary school had taken the direct hit that it did. That said, there was plenty of destruction right where our crew was, so we instinctively just jumped in and started helping to dig neighbors out from underneath the rubble of their houses.

But it was more than just people we were digging out...we helped save a fair amount of pets and animals too!

And I have to say how proud and impressed I was w/ the organization and sheer response time of the Home Depot - pretty much having basic triage set up within about 15 minutes after the tornado ripped through Moore!

As a Moore roofing contractor, the levels of destruction and the stories I hear every day from home owners whose houses I've been called out to is nothing short of heart wrenching in every way possible! But I have to say..."Oklahoma strong" and our Oklahoma spirit is really something to be witnessed up close and personal as so many of our customers are so focused on moving forward and getting things restored and back to order "sooner" (Boomer!) than later!

Hats off and a thousand prayers and respect to all of us for that, because it is what truly makes this neck of the woods so unique and special compared to anywhere else on this planet...let alone the in America!

I could keep going on (and I probably will as I post future blogs!)...but I really want to start getting some sound advice out to the roofing oklahoma community.

Believe me...not many people understand or have seen as much insurance paperwork on roofing in Oklahoma than I have!

So when I say insurance paperwork can be overwhelming - I'll bet you know exactly what I mean right!

So why not make that one of your qualifications for Moore or any Oklahoma roofing contractors in general you want to visit your house/property to give you a competitive bid on the repair work needed for your roof. A good roofing/general contractor is one that will help you understand the full scope of all of your repairs roofing and otherwise - and then will help coordinate everything.

I'll keep posting to give pointers when I can, and as always for any new, repair, or replacement roofing services you may need...don't think twice to give me a call!

Dave McNeal - Owner - First American Roofing