How To Know When Your Porch Needs A New Roof

The roof of a porch takes damage from wind and water throughout the year, but that damage often goes unnoticed until a leak or other similarly serious problem develops.

Naturally, you want to replace your porch’s roofing material before it starts allowing water in or otherwise loses structural integrity. But how do you tell when the roof has entered the “danger zone” and the cost of replacement is justified?

A realistic maximum life expectation for a standard porch roof with shingles is about two decades from installation. That’s the point at which even the sturdiest materials will generally degrade to the point that you’ll see leaks and serious damage develop. If you live in an area where you endure heavier rain, wind or snow than usual, however, you can knock up to five years off that expected lifespan. Poor ventilation will also decrease the life expectancy of a roof significantly.

If your roof is entering the danger zone in terms of age, or if you have reason to suspect it’s been damaged, look for the following signs:

  • Look for indentations or concave spots in the roof. These are signs that an unseen leak has been rotting away wood in the roof for some time. If you see these, you should discontinue use of the porch until the roof is replaced as it could potentially fall apart on you.
  • Dark streaks or trails on the underside of the porch roof are usually a sign not only of water damage, but that mold is growing in the area.
  • Look for problems with the shingles. The most obvious signs would be shingles that are completely gone or that are showing obvious signs of damage like missing chunks, being broken in half or turning up at the edges. Also check your downspouts for bits of shingle, however, as that’s a good “early warning” sign that there’s trouble in that area.
  • Slate tiles will last longer than standard tiles, but they do decay and fail eventually. A quick check to see what condition a slate tile is in is to simply knock on it with your knuckles. A tile in good condition should have a bit of a vibration or echo to the sound it makes; a tile that is aged past usefulness will sound more like rapping on concrete.

A porch roof failure represents not only a much greater expense than replacing it before things get out of hand, but also a serious safety issue as well. If you have any doubts about the integrity of your roof, it’s best to contact a qualified professional to verify.

Contact Bruce Tall Construction today for all of your roofing needs.

Roofing Contractor Billings MT

How to Find The Right Roofing Contractor

Choosing the right roofing contractor is harder than it sounds, and there’s a lot riding on your choice, because if work isn’t done just right, your home could suffer interior damage, and you could be faced with the need for re-work. Here are some tips to help you make the right choice on this very important decision.Roofing Contractor Billings MT

Good communications

As you go through the negotiation process with a roofing contractor, make note of how communicative they are. For instance, your phone calls should be returned promptly, there should be good follow-up from them on unresolved questions, and they should be easy to reach. When you are talking with them, they should be clear about the work and not give you evasive-sounding answers. When you don’t have good communications right from the outset, it’s not likely to improve as work progresses, and you might well end up unhappy and unsatisfied.

Willing to provide job details in writing

Be sure to have written specifications for what your roofing job entails and how long that work will take. If your contractor candidate is unwilling to provide you with these, it’s a sign that they lack confidence in their own processes, and a sign that you should steer clear.

Local Roofing Contractor

A great number of homeowners have been fleeced by roofing contractors who promised fast, reliable work, and then disappear into thin air after shoddy workmanship is complete. You can avoid this scenario by choosing a local contractor who is a member of the community, and has a solid reputation in that area.

Covered by insurance

It is essential that your contractor is covered for workmen’s compensation, and has liability insurance. No one ever expects accidents to happen on the job, but they do happen all the same, and you’ll want to know that such unanticipated eventualities are covered. 

Don’t be swayed by price

For sure, you’ll be able to find a roofing contractor who is willing to do the work for far less than most other roofers – but in practically all such cases, you’ll also be getting far less in return. A guarantee of good workmanship from a somewhat more expensive contractor can be a lot cheaper in the long run, than having to do the same work over again by a cheaper bidder.

Bruce Tall Construction is the top roofing contractor in Billings, Montana. Please contact us today for all of your roofing needs!

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How to Remove Mold From Your Roof

Mold that grows on your roof may not be as dangerous as the stuff that can grow in your home, but it is still unsightly if you allow it to get out of control. Fortunately, removing mold from your home’s roof is easier than you might think. Here are some tips that will help you get rid of the mold and algae that can grow on your roof in humid weather.

Scrub Your Roof
Your first step is to scrub away at the mold and algae that you can see on your roof’s surface. This can be done with a soft bristle brush or broom. Long-handled brushes that are designed to reach your roof from the ground can be purchased at most hardware stores, but you may need to actually climb up to your roof to get the worst of the mold. If this is the case, make sure to wear good boots with plenty of tread to avoid slipping and falling.

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Spray Your Roof
Once you’ve scrubbed away most of the visible mold, your next step will be to spray your roof down with a substance to kill the remaining mold. This can be done with a chemical solution designed to kill mold, or with a 50/50 solution of water and bleach. This is best accomplished with a sprayer that will cover a large area.

Before you spray your roof with any mold-killing solution, you will want to water any plants around your house to make them less likely to absorb the solution that will run off your roof and into the ground.

Scrub Again
The solution you used on your roof should be starting to work, but it never hurts to go over everything again with a brush to get anything you missed before. After you’ve gotten all of the surface mold, spray your roof one last time and let the solution dry.

If you have any further questions about removing mold from your roof or any roofing questions, call Bruce Tall Construction today.

Billings Roofing Contractor Services

How to Know Whether to Repair, Patch, or Replace Your Roof

Your home’s roof takes a lot of punishment from the elements, and it’s important to know when your roof needs to be repaired or even replaced altogether. Here are a few signs that can tell you when it’s time to call a roofer.

Signs that Your Roof Needs to be Repaired or Patched

The best way to decide if your roof needs repairs is to look at the shingles. If your shingles are curling around the edges or buckling, you probably need to have your roof repaired. Look at the shingles that receive the most direct sunlight, as they are the ones most likely to show signs of wear and tear. You can also look for granules from your shingles in your rain gutters. Asphalt shingles shed granules as they age, so seeing a lot of loose granules is a good sign that you at the very least need new shingles. Broken or missing shingles are a definite sign that you need to repair or patch your roof.

Signs that You Need a New Roof

You might be able to simply have your roof repaired or patched if you only see problems with the shingles, but eventually you may have to replace your roof altogether. This may be the case if your roof is over 25 years old since it is almost certainly at the end of its lifespan. Other signs to watch for include flashings that are separating from the rest of the roof, missing shingles in the roof’s valleys or daylight that is showing through the roof’s boards. Your roof might also have a spongy feeling if you walk on it. Of course, you will almost certainly need a new roof if you notice any serious leaks when it rains or when snow accumulates on your roof in the winter. You might be able to get away with patching a minor leak on a relatively new roof, but as a rule any roof that starts to leak should be replaced sooner rather than later.

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Home Remodels Billings MT

Today’s modern homeowner moves approximately every seven years on average.  Some of these homeowners are obviously forced to relocate for work, but what about the homeowner that bounces around similar neighborhoods of the same town, trying to find that home that actually feels like home?

Home Remodels Billings MT

What if homeowners could stay in one space, and make the space fit every one of their needs.  I’d be willing to bet there would be less people moving within a seven-year average.  It’s possible with the right contractor.  Even if there are space issues within the home: your having more children, you need a home office, or you would like to add that man cave hangout space: it’s could be possible with your current home.

There are multiple ways to get the home you want, but the two primary ways are renovation or remodel and addition.  Renovations can be as simple as a cosmetic upgrade in a kitchen, or adding tile to the bathroom’s floor and shower stall: your bathroom can be a wonderfully relaxing, spa-like place with the right materials and the right contractor.

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Design renovations are obvious, but what about the less obvious: space-issues?  What do you do if you love your home—schools nearby are perfect for your family; there are wonderful amenities in your neighborhood like walking trails and parks; or, maybe you just live in a quiet, safe place.  The obvious choice is an addition. 

Depending on the size of your lot, and the space to extend a home either vertically or outwardly, an addition can be as large as adding an entire level to the home, or even adding just a room.  One common addition is a sunroom or sun-porch. 

These rooms usually let in great amounts of light, and add space for a room that could be used for anything from a home office to relaxation space.  A simple addition or remodel like this can open up an entire room of the home for anything: baby, man cave, etc.

If your home is an important place, a place you would like to keep, meet with your contractor to discuss anything from a remodel or renovation to an addition.  You might be surprised at the potential of your current home, and you can build it up to be even more homey then something new.   

Contact Bruce Tall Construction, Billings Best Contractor for all of your construction needs.

beware of storm chaser roofing contractors

Storm Chasers Vs. Bruce Tall Construction

Living in Montana, we are the perfect breeding ground for the post-storm blight known as “storm chasers.”

What’s a “Storm Chaser?” Following bouts of severe weather, these unscrupulous contractors descend upon unsuspecting Montanans like a plague of locusts.

Unlicensed and uninsured, these out-of-town contractors don’t care about the quality of their work. Storm Chasers just want to make a quick buck. Once your check clears, they don’t care anymore. They are gone and if you have any problems with your roof, well you are on your own and will have to pay someone else to fix it.

Storm Chasers simply want to get in and get out. Take everyone’s money and move on. And those are the nice ones!

Believe it or not there are even worse storm chasers, they will scare homeowner’s worse, scaring homeowners into paying large sums of money up front and then they leave town without doing any of the work. You are stuck because you don’t have enough information on who they really are or where they are really from.

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How Do You Spot Storm Chasers

  1. Check their license plates.

A company with out-of-state license plates is bad news. They don’t have register their vehicles with the State of Montana because they’re not moving here. They are here temporarily.

  1. Ask for a business address.

Most storm chasers will set up a P.O. Box instead of an actual office. Do they have a brick and mortar location? Ask for that address.

  1. Check with the Better Business Bureau.

If they aren’t listed with the Better Business Bureau chances are that they haven’t been in business long enough or they are a fly by night operation.

  1. Do they have a website and online reviews?

Do an internet search and see what is being said about them.

So how can you protect yourself from Storm Chasers?

It’s really easy really. Whenever hiring a contractor, always ask for three key documents:

* Contractor’s License
* Proof of Liability Insurance
* Proof of Workers’ Compensation Insurance

A contractor’s license is common knowledge. Without a license, you have no idea if this person or company is even qualified to replace your roof. This should be a prerequisite for the other required documents.

Make sure that provide proof of liability insurance! No matter who your roofing contractor is, you should always ask for proof of liability insurance. Roofing insurance is expensive because little mistakes can lead to costly repairs. Repairs that can be covered by Liability Insurance and not by you!

And finally check to see if they have Workers’ Compensation Insurance. If a worker falls off your roof and he’s not covered by worker’s compensation, guess who’s held responsible? You are! So protect yourself!

Even if you say that you didn’t they weren’t insured, you are still liable. The responsibility falls on the homeowner.

Why you should use Local Contractors

Local contractors like Bruce Tall Construction, Billings Best Roofer, rely on their reputation and referrals for business. A quality job and a happy customer are the lifeblood of Bruce Tall Construction, Billings Best Roofing Company! Dishonest local contractors do not stay in business.

Bruce Tall Construction has served the greater Billings area for over 15 years. We’ve worked hard to build our reputation as an honest, reliable roofing contractor. There are no unknowns with us. When you hire Bruce Tall Construction, you’re hiring a roofing contractor with an extensive history of quality work and customer satisfaction.

If your home or business suffered damage in the latest hail storm, please contact Bruce Tall Construction, today! Billings Best Roofer!

How Soon Must Storm Damage be Repaired?

How Soon Must Storm Damage be Repaired?

We have already had a HUGE hail storm to start off this hail and storm season and the question we get asked most is how soon must storm damage be repaired?

How Soon Must Storm Damage be Repaired?

The answer of course is going to depend on the amount of damage that your roof and house has received. Your insurance policy may also factor in on the decision. Read your policy, are you given a time frame on when storm damage needs to repaired by? Most Insurance Companies allow 24 months, some policies only allow you 12 months, but checking your insurance policy should be one of the first things to do.

How Soon Must Storm Damage be Repaired?

If you are having problems grasping all of the details in your insurance policy and you just want Bruce Tall Construction to deal with your Insurance Company for you, we are happy to do that.

We also provide roofs for office developments and churches, wherever a roof is needed, our team can get the job done. If your home or business suffered damage in the latest hail storm, please contact Bruce Tall Construction, Billings Best Roofer today!