The Titan XT™ is Tamko’s new architectural/dimensional-style shingle and is part of the Tamko Heritage Proline™ . The Titan XT has an array of features not found in their Heritage shingle. The most notable improvements are:
–A defined nailing zone (5x larger than in the Heritage line) that is reinforced with a 2 inch polyester fabric strip.
–A much more robust sealing strip that allow for a 15 year limited warranty on winds up to 160mph.
A full Tamko Titan XT review will be posted in the future.
Features and Specifications:
Rapid Fire Zone™ — a clearly defined 1-1/2″ expanded nailing zone
A reinforced nail line — 2″ poly strip reinforcing the nailing zone and the common bond
Manufactured with an enhanced, polymer-modified shingle sealant
Limited Lifetime warranty
10-year Full Start™ non-prorated warranty period
10-year Algae Cleaning Limited Warranty
Wind warranty: 15 year limited warranty for winds up to 160 mph when applied in accordance with Titan XT’s High Wind Application Instructions
STEEL VS. ALUMINUM ROOFS: WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE?
BY: NICK LEE PRESIDENT AT COASTAL METAL (MIAMI, FL)
As roofers, we know the phrase, “location location location” isn’t exclusive to real estate industry. When choosing between a steel and aluminum roofing system, the location of your project can determine which material will best suit your needs.
Steel Roofing 101
Environmentally-friendly, sturdy and easy on the wallet, Steel is the most common material used in metal roofing. Steel roofs are a solid choice for the vast majority of roofing projects, especially where value is important. Many steel roofing products come with hard-to-beat 40 to 50-year warranties. However, in comparison to aluminum, steel is a lot more susceptible to seawater damage making it a bit undesirable for coastal applications. Over time, moisture from the ocean oxidizes the iron component in steel, creating ferric oxide, more commonly known as rust. Steel manufacturers fight rust formation by coating panels with either zinc or Galvalume in order to form a protective barrier.
Steel roofs offer a number of benefits, including:
Durability/Gauge – The lower the number, the more durable the metal. Steel panels range from 22 (thickest) to 29 gauge.
Fast Installation – Steel roofs can be installed quickly. Certain steel panels have clipless, snap-and-lock installation systems that expedite the process.
Cost Effectiveness – When compared to other metals, steel is the least expensive. A steel roof also saves you money by keeping your heating and cooling costs low. Steel has a higher reflectivity than other roofing materials. In the hotter, summer months it deflects sunlight from being absorbed, and in the winter, acts as an insulator, reflecting and circulating heat from the underside of the roof back inside the building.
Fire Safety – Steel roofs are completely fire-resistant. A class-A, noncombustible roofing material, steel insulates against sparks and can ultimately prevent a fire from spreading into a home.
Aesthetic Versatility – Steel is customizable and can mimic the look of wood, tile, slate or shingles. Steel panels can also be painted or designed to complement the unique appearance of a home.
Environmental Factor Resistance – Steel is impermeable to algae and fungi that oftentimes shorten the lifespan of other roofing materials like asphalt or wood shingles. Steel is not hospitable to pesky critters that tend to take refuge in roofs (termites, rats, racoons, etc.)
Aluminum Roofing 101 Aluminum is among the premium choices when it comes down to metal roofing material. Similar in quality to its more expensive cousins, copper and zinc without the price tag, aluminum is still around 20% more expensive than steel. Offering superior protection from saltwater corrosion, aluminum roofing systems are ideal in coastal environments. Due to its price, aluminum is often manufactured in a much thinner panels than other materials as well. While aluminum roofing material’s strength-to-weight ratio is higher than steel, the factor of cost often results in panels that are too thin for their surroundings. In regions with high winds, hail, or strong environmental stresses, this can result in damage to the roofing material. Properly identifying the environmental strains that your aluminum roof will face will be crucial in choosing the right design.
A few things to know about aluminum:
As a bare, natural metal, aluminum does not age gracefully, so oftentimes it’s finished with a painted surface.
Aluminum used for roofing applications tends be very malleable and easy to work with onsite, making it a forgiving material for most installers.
Aluminum is one of the lightest metals used for roofing. It’s strength-to-weight ratio is among the highest of the “common” metals (that’s why most of the airliners in the sky use aluminum for their air frame), and therefore, a thinner piece of aluminum can often do the job of a thicker piece of any other type of metal.
Price-wise, aluminum falls somewhere in between most of the finished steels and copper and zinc.
The Steel vs. Aluminum Takeaway Whether you are a builder in charge of constructing a new home or a homeowner interested in upgrading to a metal roofing system, deciding whether to go with steel roof panels or aluminum roof panels is a valid concern.
Steel and aluminum are dependable, metal roofing materials but there are distinct differences and advantages of both types that one should consider. For example, aluminum and steel are two of the most energy efficient roofing materials on the market; they’re naturally reflective, and usually equipped with coatings that meet LEED and Energy Star compliancy.
In term of cost and weight, steel is a heavier material, more dent resistant and less expensive than aluminum. In addition, steel panels are inherently sturdier and totally fire resistant, even without an underlayment. It is an attractive roofing solution for inland projects and new builds. Aluminum is the better choice for homes or buildings located along a coastline or for jobs that involve retrofitting a metal roof over existing shingles. Aluminum is a much lighter metal so weight would not be an issue if a homeowner or business owner wanted to upgrade their existing roofing system. Aluminum is typically more expensive but it is much more rust resistant. Salt water is corrosive to steel roofs, so anyone living close to the ocean should consider aluminum over steel for this reason alone.
“When choosing between steel and aluminum, think about why you’re opting for a metal roof in the first place,” says Albert Del Sol, project manager at Isaac’s Roofing in Miami, FL. “Structurally speaking, a steel roofing system is sturdier but will never outperform aluminum on the Florida coast where saltwater is known to cause roof corrosion. It’s all about your location, choose your metal accordingly.”
Ultimately, the locale and needs of your project are going to dictate which you use. If the project is near the ocean and not in hurricane territory, the choice will probably be aluminum. If you’re out West and brushfires are a concern, you’re better off with steel. If your concern is the added weight of a metal roof being retrofitted over an old shingle roof on an existing building, then you may want to think aluminum or a light gauge steel.
Metal roofing has considerable advantages in comparison to other roofing systems such as asphalt, tile, or cement. Boasting several environmental advantages, a speedy and easy installation process and a lifespan of 40+ years, metal panels have quickly become the most practic al option for both commercial and residential use. Metal panels come in a robust assortment of colors and finishes, and having the option to choose is a major selling point. When deciding on the color for your metal roof, something you should always consider is fading and chalking – different paint colors can have different benefits and identifying your needs is imperative before selecting a color. Rule of thumb when it comes to fading/chalking is that lighter colors tend to fade slower than darker, deeper hues. This can be tied to several unique factors, including pigment concentration, whether the pigment is organic or inorganic, and whether the finishes are matte or glossy. There are several factors that can contribute to the discoloration of your metal roof which we will explore:
What is Metal Roof Fading?
The fact is anything exposed to harsh elements long term such as UV rays, water/humidity, chemicals, pollution etc., will eventually fade in color. When talking about metal panels “fade” occurs when pigments in the metal’s paint coating break down, resulting in a washed out or lightening of the once-vibrant, original color.Organic pigment-based colors on the bolder side tend to fade the quickest. While earthier tones or inorganic, metallic colors such as silver and copper, will fade the least over time.
What is Metal Roof Chalking?
By definition, metal roof “chalking” is the formation of a whitish residue on painted or coated metal panels. Metal roof chalking occurs through a similar process as metal roof fading—as the paint on the exposed metal wears down, it will turn white and appear chalky. Luckily, chalking isn’t always indicative of roof damage but rather an aesthetic issue. However, since the paint is what’s actually protecting the metal, unaddressed chalking can ultimately shorten a metal roof’s lifespan over time.
What Colors are Best to Avoid Metal Roof Fading and Chalking?
Simply put, lighter colors fade slower than dark colors. However, the most important thing to consider when selecting a color is the quality of the paint being used. At Coastal Metal, we only use Sherwin Williams paint.
“Choosing the correct paint and primer can definitely help prolong the life of your metal roofing system” says Mark Macdonald, sales and marketing manager at Sherwin Williams. “Backed by a 10- & 40-year warranty, Sherwin-Williams is a leading provider of metal roof paints, finishes, and coil coatings that will preserve the aesthetic of any metal roofing system—guaranteed. If your heart’s set on a darker, or more uniquely colored roof, my advice it just make sure that you’re using high-quality paint.”
How to Prevent Metal Roof Chalking and Fading
Chalking and fading is a natural reaction to the elements, but there are a set of steps that you can take to lessen their effects.
Ensuring you select an appropriate color and paint system for your project environment
Lighter, inorganic paint colors will chalk and fade slower, and it will be less apparent when they do.
High-quality metal paints, like Sherwin Williams will make a difference when it comes to protecting your roof from fading/chalking.
Make a concerted effort to avoid overexposure to sunlight, moisture, and other harmful chemicals and pollutants. For example, studies have shown that roofs facing north are exposed to less direct sunlight than roofs facing south.
When purchasing a dark color roof, consider tacking on a roof warranty that covers chalking and fading.
Supplements are an integral part of the insurance restoration process. So, why do we have such a hard time explaining them to our homeowners? It’s simple. We get scared. So, we either don’t tell them, or we brush over it so fast that they don’t really understand the process.
But, if you wait until the end to talk about supplements with your homeowners, they won’t understand and will be less likely to hand over the full depreciation check when they receive it. Alternatively, if you talk about it early and you inform them throughout the process, you will have an educated, informed customer, who trusts you, as the contractor, because you’ve kept them in the loop.
WHEN SHOULD YOU TALK ABOUT SUPPLEMENTS?
Talk about supplements early and often so that they are prepared, and they understand why they are receiving more money on the final check and why that money needs to be paid to you.
During the contingency/contract signing
When a supplement has been submitted
If/when it’s been approved
When the depreciation is released
HOW SHOULD YOU START THE CONVERSATION?
You should have something about supplements on the form you ask them to sign – whether it’s on a contingency, contract, or agreement – it should be on there with a place for them to initial. When you’re talking to your homeowners and you’re getting to the point on the agreement where you need to talk about supplements, here are your talking points:
GIVE THE WHY: Insurance Adjusters are busy, especially after a big storm and may miss things.
“[INSERT NAME], listen, I’m pretty busy in this industry. In one day, I may get on four,
five or even six roofs. Some of these adjusters get on 10 to 15 roofs a day. And then
they go back to their hotel or back to their office and stay up until 2 a.m. writing
estimates. So, as human beings, it’s inevitable that they’re going to miss things.”
EXPLAIN WHAT A SUPPLEMENT IS: additional funds allowed by the insurance company for items that were not included in the adjuster’s original estimate.
“So, the insurance company has created this mechanism called a supplement, so that
when things are missed, or when there is a discrepancy on their estimate verse what it
actually takes to fully repair the home, there is a way to go back to them and request
those extra funds and extra items; and that is what a supplement is.”
EXPLAIN WHO ASKS FOR IT AND WHO APPROVES IT
“So, [INSERT NAME], right here on our agreement, it says, ‘plus any supplements
approved by the insurance carrier.’ Notice, it’s approved by the insurance carrier,
[INSERT NAME]. Not by me. They decide whether or not this should be paid for. And
they do that by me, as your contractor, providing them evidence as to why something
should be paid for.”
RECAP THE WHY
“So, that’s what a supplement is and that’s why it exists. It was created by the insurance companies because sometimes things are missed. Does that make sense to you? Great! Initial right here, and I’ll keep you informed about this throughout the whole process.”
So, now the homeowner understands why you will be supplementing. But you’re not done. Remember, you need to talk about it upfront, but you also need to talk about it often. You need to inform your client throughout the whole process.
At Elite, when we work with a contractor, we’re constantly updating them on each step of the process. “Hey, we just reached out to the adjuster with the new scope, here’s what the amount was. Hey, we just got word back…they didn’t take all of it, but they took these 10 items and it amounted to $4,500. Here’s what the items are…”
When you have that information, whether using Elite or a firm like Elite, or you’re doing it yourself, give that info to the customer.
If you talk about supplements early and often, your homeowners will be prepared and will understand why they are receiving more money and why that money needs to be paid to you.
There are a variety of reasons WHY an adjuster denies a roofing or siding insurance claim; they dispute the storm date, they didn’t perform a thorough inspection, there wasn’t enough damage to warrant a replacement, or maybe they felt that the roof could be repaired instead of replaced. The WHY doesn’t really make a difference. What matters is what the contractor can do about it.
Some roofing contractors and sales reps view a denied claim as the end of the road for that job, potentially missing out on thousands or even millions of dollars per year. Savvy contractors who understand what damage looks like and perform thorough inspections view a denied claim as just another minor setback and actively work to appeal a denied claim and convert it into a profitable job.
Supplementing a denied roof or siding claim is the best way for you to bring an insurance storm claim back to life, but as Kenny Rogers used to say, “You’ve got to know when to hold ’em, Know when to fold ’em, Know when to walk away, And know when to run.”
Denied claims are more work for the contractor AND the homeowner. The denied claim supplementing process involves submitting a detailed Xactimate estimate with corresponding photo documentation and educating the homeowner on how to challenge the adjuster’s initial findings. If you don’t want to lose credibility with carriers, you should only supplement denied claims when you feel confident the house has enough damage to warrant an approval. By choosing the right denied claims to challenge, you will increase the likelihood of getting approvals, but even if you eventually lose the fight, you will likely have gained a long-term customer and even get referrals.
What Are Your Options?
When you want to convert a roofing insurance claim from a denial to a full replacement, there are six main options at your disposal: Re-inspections, Estimates, Engineer Reports, Public Adjusters, Arbitration, and engaging State Insurance Regulators.
REINSPECTION: A reinspection is when a homeowner requests that a different adjuster perform a second, full inspection of the property. You should come to the reinspection prepared to walk the adjuster through all the documented damage. Clearly marking damage and performing test squares can give you credibility with the adjuster but be careful and know your local adjusters; this can sometimes backfire if they want to be the ones to mark any damage found. When re-inspections are done correctly, you can expect conversion rates as high as 50%.
REQUEST AN ESTIMATE: Requesting an estimate from a 3rd party supplementing company is a great option for contractors who do not have experience challenging denied claims or lack experience writing Xactimate estimates. Having a well written Xactimate is the first step in the denied claim supplement process. During this stage, a 3rd party supplementing company will also be able to quickly look at the existing documentation and provide their professional opinion on the damage photos and the case to move forward. An honest 3rd party can save contractors time just by helping them avoid denied claims that have a low probability of approval.
ENGINEER REPORT: Engineer reports are another tool to challenge a denied claim. If the adjuster and contractor cannot agree on whether the damage is storm related or if there is enough damage to warrant replacement, then in most cases the homeowner may hire an engineer, at his or her expense, to inspect the property. In most cases if the engineer determines that the damage warrants replacement then the insurance company will reimburse the cost of the engineer. However, if it is determined that there is not enough damage to warrant replacement, then the homeowner will likely be out the expense of hiring the engineer.
PUBLIC ADJUSTER: Another option is to get a public adjuster involved. The public adjuster works on behalf of the homeowner to provide another expert inspection and has the ability to negotiate with the insurance carrier. It is a good idea to have a few vetted, trustworthy public adjusters ready to recommend. Public adjusters can be very expensive and typically should be a last resort as in most cases if there is valid damage on a property then any one of the other items mentioned in this post should ensure a similar outcome at a fraction of the cost.
ARBITRATION: Arbitration is the formal means to dispute a denied claim. The process involves both parties sending an arbitrator to inspect the property in question. Typically, the carrier is represented by a senior adjuster or some other highly credentialed inspector, while the contractor represents the homeowner. Remember arbitration takes time (hours and hours in most cases), time that could be spent going to find another deal instead of fighting a tough battle that distracts you from helping more clients. It is warranted in some cases however we at Elite feel that arbitration and public adjusters for that matter, have become vastly overused in our industry when a contractor’s focus should be on getting the next deal and repairing as many homes as possible. Like Kenny said…know when to fold ‘em.
DEPARTMENT OF INSURANCE COMPLAINT: In cases where storm damage is obvious, well-documented, and there exists a clear storm date, etc., and the carrier refuses to engage the claim in good faith, a contractor could recommend that the homeowner file a complaint with the Department of Insurance in that state. This action is not intended to change the outcome of a specific claim, but more so to level the overall playing field moving forward. This could help state regulators identify and weed out bad actors on the insurance side.
No matter the step, denied claims require more buy-in from the homeowner. Sometimes the homeowner will not want to move forward with the claim but when they do, they often become more emotionally invested and determined to get the denied claim overturned. That’s why it’s so important for the contractor to educate their clients on the process, set expectations and communicate every step of the way. Remember it all starts with being well-trained on how to identify damage, performing an accurate thorough inspection, and only working on properties with valid damage. If you start there, your likelihood of having a denied claim overturned goes up significantly.
When it comes to storm related insurance claims, partial approvals are going to happen. Some contractors just accept the adjuster’s initial findings and leave thousands or even millions of dollars on the table. Experienced contractors view a partial approval as part of the process and actively work to convert those initially small claims into large, profitable jobs.
What are partial approvals and what can contractors do about them?
A partial approval is when an insurance carrier only approves replacement for part of the roof and/or siding. If the contractor feels strongly that the job requires a full replacement or additional trades, he or she can submit a partial approval supplement along with supporting documentation to attempt to get approval for a full replacement.
Let’s say you’ve inspected a 30 square roof and found enough storm damage to warrant a claim. An adjuster may agree that a section of the roof was damaged by hail but will only approve replacement of 5 of the 30 squares. In order to get the other 25 squares approved, you need to determine if the supplement is Product Related or Damage Related. (In our experience, it’s about a 50-50 split.) Both scenarios require additional documentation.
What type of Documentation do you need?
If the argument is Damage Related, additional damage photos and photos of test squares need to be taken and submitted along with a thorough list of accessories and components not included in the original scope of loss. (This is why you should use your inspection checklist on your inspection!) Some states even have building code requirements that limit the number of repairs that can be made on a roof, like the Florida Building Code 25% Rule. If there is a code requirement in your area, submit that, too.
If the argument is Product Related, then you need to include documentation that the shingles or siding are discontinued, unavailable, etc. ITEL reports with the receipt, letters from the supplier, or “do not mix” documentation from the manufacturer should be included with the supplement.
How many partial approvals should you supplement?
Experienced contractors will know from the inspection if the house has sustained enough damage to warrant a claim. That, combined with proper documentation will allow you to easily know which partial approvals to focus on fighting and which ones to shift to retail jobs if the homeowner still wants a full replacement.
Should you use a 3rd party supplementing company to process partial approval jobs?
For contractors that are inexperienced with challenging roofing and siding partial approvals or repairs, a 3rd party supplementing company can be a good option. A roofing supplement company will be able to quickly determine if enough documentation exists to move forward.
If you’re new to the roofing business or just getting into storm restoration, you’ve likely heard the word “supplement” (or Supplement) thrown around but probably don’t have a good grasp on what it means. Let’s walk through what a supplement is and how supplementing will benefit your roofing company.
What is a supplement?
A roofing supplement or contractor supplement is when a contractor asks for additional materials, labor, or trades to be added to the insurance claim. An adjuster may not include enough shingles, ice and water shield, siding, etc. on the scope of loss to get the job done correctly. In some cases, these missing items are required by local building code. When this happens, a contractor writes a new Xactimate Estimate to include those missing items and submits it to the insurance company for approval. Contractors must also include supporting documentation such as photos, measurements, local code requirements, and invoices to explain why these funds are needed.
Why should you supplement?
Well, the simple answer is so you get paid what you deserve.
While we don’t believe the insurance company is the enemy, they sometimes make mistakes. It’s up to the contractor to find and correct those mistakes, not just for their business but also for the homeowner. Homeowners hire roofing contractors to be the expert on filing, settling, and managing insurance claims. Supplementing is a great opportunity for roofing contractors to demonstrate their expertise. When done correctly, it can improve customer service and even generate more referral leads.
How many of your jobs should you supplement?
You should review all your jobs to see if there is a need to file a supplement (there usually is). Supplementing roofing jobs is all about consistency and process. Having a standardized process for more thorough inspections makes it easier to determine if an insurance job requires a supplement and makes it easier to file one.
The best way to do this is to give your sales reps very clear rules on how ALL roof inspections are performed. Top contractors use inspection checklists and photo checklists to make sure they correctly document all of the damage and materials required to install the job. The person putting together your supplements will then compare the adjuster’s scope of loss to the inspection checklist and photos taken by the rep to see if there are any discrepancies.
While this type of process may add an additional 15-30 minutes to what your sales reps are currently doing, it will benefit your roofing business in several ways. In terms of supplementing, contractors will earn more money and get paid faster. When it comes to operations, the same process used for supplementing can also result in more accurate material orders and prevent “fire drills” like driving to a supplier to pick up materials when a crew is waiting on the roof.
How much can supplementing really make you?
At the end of the day, supplementing is like anything else – you get what you put into it. Roofing Contractors will typically earn $2,000-$6,000 per job when they supplement. That means a possible 10-25% increase in yearly revenue.
This increase in revenue means you get paid what it actually costs to do the job correctly. You spend time and money to make sure you have the right amount of material, follow local building codes, use installation best practices to comply with manufacturer warranties, etc.
Even the insurance carriers agree you should be paid for those things. But the catch is, you must ask for it. Bottom line, if you’re not taking the time to supplement, you’re losing money on every single job.
It takes time to learn the intricacies of supplementing. You need to know Xactimate and Symbility, code items in your area, how to document and so on and so forth. AND you have to learn how to ask for supplements using the carrier’s language. Now, some contractors have the time, dedication, and staff to do it on their own. More power to them.
But if you’re a small roofing company or a contractor just getting into insurance restoration, you may not have the time to do it yourself. After all, storm roofing is all about sales. Anything that takes you away from sales hinders your revenue and business growth.
You need somebody on your side who has a solid background in supplementing and gives you all the tools you need to get the supplements approved. If that is the case for your business, using a supplementing company like Elite Claim Solutions is a good option for you.
With Elite, there is no need for you to have in-depth Xactimate supplementing knowledge. We do all the heavy lifting and build honest supplement packages for you.
LIABILITY | WORKERS COMP | COMMERCIAL AUTO | BONDS
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Liability insurance is just as important for a small business run as a sole-proprietor as it is for large company with many employees. The purpose of liability insurance is to help protect you and your business from job-related problems that could possibly put you out of business. It is critical for any contractor to have, and is actuallyrequired by many states in the United States in order for you to be a legal contractor. Be sure to research the contractor laws in your state to see what your requirements are. A liability insurance policy can protect you in a number of ways:
Personal injury: This involves slander, libel, and other types of damage to a person’s or business’s reputation.
Bodily injury: This deals with protection in case of any job-related injury to a non-employee.
Medical payments: This can help cover medical expenses incurred because of someone injured at your workplace.
Advertising injury: If your customer claims a loss due to any products or services you have advertised.
Independent contractors liability: Independent contractors you have hired should have their own liability insurance, but this adds another level of protection.
The Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety (IBHS) recently completed a thorough multi-year scientific study to determine the performance of impact-resistant shingles.
Shingles labeled as “impact resistant” were purchased and put through a series of in-lab tests that simulated the effects of hail impacts.
Through research and testing, IBHS was able to manufacture hailstones that replicated the properties of hail produced naturally. Hailstones that would bounce, shatter, or turn to slush were used for the tests in order to simulate different densities and strengths found in natural hailstones.
Three types of damage were documented: Dents/Ridges, Granule Loss, and Tears. The results showed a wide range of effectiveness from shingles labeled as impact resistant.
The manufacturers/brands used in testing were:
Atlas StormMaster Shake
CertainTeed Landmark IR
GAF Timberline ArmorShield II
IKO Cambridge IR
Owens Corning TruDefinition WeatherGuard HP
Here is a summary of the IBHS hail impact testing results: