Southwest style tile roof home and garden with new tile roof and roof fixtures

In Las Vegas or anywhere in the Southwest, the combined effects of the desert summer heat, dust, and monsoon rains and winds can take a toll on our roads, buildings and vehicles. Over time, harsh summer weather may crack asphalt, damage paint, tear away window screens and damage other vulnerable parts of our homes. Even our cars experience the effects of direct sun and prolonged dry heat on rubber tires, trim and other components. At home, our roofs can also feel the effects of our summer weather. Roofs need a little extra attention to help them cope with the scorching heat and monsoon storms to make sure they continue to protect our homes, year after year.

The Effects of Summer Sun on Your Roof

Daytime temperatures in Las Vegas consistency average in the low 100s during the summer months, usually with clear skies that allow the white hot sunlight to beat down on everything below. Older roofs that haven’t been maintained can experience damage after years of absorbing the effects of the hot desert sun. Persistent exposure to the Las Vegas sun’s intense UV rays weakens the roof and strips it of flexibility. That can cause it to go through thermal shock, meaning the roof starts expanding and contracting depending on the weather. If this continues, the roof can split, causing extensive damage and requiring costly repairs.

Roof Materials Make a Difference

Roofing damage to asphalt shingles that needs repair showing shingles lifted by wind or heat damage

Asphalt shingle roofs can be vulnerable to sun damage. In general, shingles reflect only around 30% of the sun’s rays. The tiles absorb much of the sun’s heat, some of which enters your home, raising energy costs. The solar rays, in the form of UV radiation, react with the asphalt roofing, causing what used to be gleaming, strong shingles to become brittle and dry. That means the roof is losing its waterproofing abilities as the oils are dissolved by the sun’s rays. This can lead to water seeping under the shingles and leaking into the structure, causing damage to the home.

Many newer types of asphalt tiles are more energy efficient and resilient to heat and the effects of solar radiation, so be sure to discuss the weather resistance and energy efficiency qualities of asphalt shingle roofing you are considering with your roofer before deciding.

Tile is the go-to material in many sunny, hot climates, including Las Vegas. A correctly-installed, quality concrete or clay tile roof will last many decades if it is properly maintained. The material is naturally insulating and energy efficient, keeping your home cooler in summer. It is highly resistant to solar rays and, if not weakened or damaged, holds up well to monsoon rains and winds.

Metal roofs also do very well in hot areas as they naturally reflect most of the sun’s heat so your home interior stays cooler. They are highly durable and damage-resistant.  When there is a problem with metal roofing, such as buckling in high winds or water leaks, it is due to improper installation. Always choose a roofer who is qualified and experienced in installing metal roofing – or whatever type of roofing you have chosen – to avoid future costly repairs due to use of the wrong materials or techniques during installation.

Summer Sun and Roof Ventilation

tile roof ventilation fixture

Roof ventilation is an essential component of good roof design and construction. When it gets hot, heat needs some way to escape from the home. An improperly ventilated roof causes hot air to remain trapped in the attic and forces the air conditioner to work harder to cool the home.

In winter, poor ventilation allows moisture to build up in the roof material in the attic, where rot and mold may develop. When temperatures fall below freezing, warm inside air trapped in the attic may cause snow or ice along the edges of the roof to melt and run into the gutter and refreeze. That could eventually lead to a dangerous ice situation around the home.

Have your roofer make sure that your roof ventilation system is properly installed and working well. This will help keep your energy costs down and allow your roof to better handle weather extremes and avoid damage due to poor ventilation.

Las Vegas Monsoon Season and Your Roof

lightning over the roof of the house and dark clouds

The cumulative damage caused by the sun may leave your roof vulnerable when Las Vegas’ monsoon season arrives. The desert Southwest experiences heavy downpours and even hail during this time. Roofs are more exposed to water damage if the roof has lost its waterproofing abilities. In addition, any damaged or warped roof shingles may allow the roof to leak. And, damaged, loose shingles may not be able to stand up to a heavy round of wind or a severe hailstorm.

Dust and Wind Storms

A monsoon season dust storm at sunset near Las Vegas over some tract homes in the desert

The dust storms capable of inspiring beautiful desert photography can cause some much less attractive damage to your roof. These swirling storms bring with them heavy winds carrying dust and grime, coating everything and potentially destabilizing or ripping away parts of your roof structure already left vulnerable by the sun and rain.

Dust storms are a part of life in much of the Southwest. A well-maintained and well-insulated roof that does not leak will help avoid damage and keep flying dust from entering your attic and home.

The Importance Of Roof Inspections

Regular roof inspections give homeowners a chance to fix small problems before they become costly. A good inspector will go over the entire roof and recommend any roof repairs that are needed to make sure your roof is ready for the summer season. If you’re in the market for a new roof, your roofer can help you make the right roof material selection that holds up best in your local climate. Using the right roof materials will also help keep your home interior more comfortable and energy costs down by properly managing the transfer of heat and cold.

Common Roof Inspection Techniques

New gray slate roof in Las Vegas view from atop roof installed by Prestige Roofing

A good roofer will look over your entire roof and inspect for things such as:

  • Identify patches of brittle, broken or cupped (buckling) shingles
  • Locate holes in and underneath your roof
  • Check for spaces in flashing located along your walls and chimney
  • Spot nearby trees and branches putting your roof at risk
  • Inspect ventilation
  • Look for pooling, stains or other signs of leaks
  • Check inside your attic for signs of problems

Make sure you give your roof a once-over after a period of intense heat or after a lot of rain. Call in a professional if you think there’s a bigger issue going on. Prestige Roofing has over 25 years of experience with all kinds of roofing, keeping Southern Nevada homes cozy, dry and comfortable year round. Give us a call for more information.

A home showing roof damage from a fallen tree after a hurricane

Packed with extraordinary weather events, 2017 was a rough year, especially for homeowners in Florida, Texas and Puerto Rico, where three major hurricanes caused extensive damage to homes and properties. While a lot of the damage was done by flood waters, many homeowners are facing roof repairs as well.. Increasingly severe hurricanes, tornadoes, rain and hail storms like we’ve seen in the last few years can amount to a lot of roof damage, putting a strain on homeowners and service providers, from insurance carriers to roofing contractors, and leaving panicked homeowners wondering what to do.

Homeowners facing mainly roof repairs can take some comfort knowing things could have been worse. Many people lost their entire home in devastating flooding that accompanied the storms. But moderate to severe roof damage alone can keep you out of your home and be very costly, even more so if handled incorrectly. If you’re a property owner dealing with roof damage in the aftermath of a hurricane, severe tropical storm or similar event, it’s important to know what to do and how to prioritize to protect your property from further harm.

Handle Immediate Roof Concerns

Damaged home with tarp-covered roof after tornadoes hit

Returning to your home after a hurricane can be worrisome until you can get a good look and see the extent of the damage. Even if your roof looks good, if you can get up close, take a full walk around the house. Real damage will be obvious, but if there is even debris on the roof, you should plan to have a roofer do a full inspection in case there is hidden or minor damage that can lead to big problems later if not dealt with right away. Whatever the damage, be prepared to take control of the situation quickly to begin the process of recovery and repair. If your roof has suffered severe damage, but the home itself is relatively intact, you’ll want to find a professional roofer to stabilize the situation and schedule repairs.

Call your regular roofer first to see if they can prioritize you. They can do a quick inspection and help you come up with a plan. If you find you can’t get a roofer out right away, use a local tree service, construction or handyman service for handling the most urgent issues, like tree removal or adding a tarp. Be sure to check them out before hiring them. Removing these biggest hazards might tide you over while you wait for a roof repair appointment.

Meanwhile, take photos of your roof for insurance purposes, then tarp the damaged areas until repairs can begin. Firmly secure tarps up and over the ridges of your roof to prevent more water from entering your home. You can pay a roofing company to tarp your house and usually recoup the expense from your insurance company. Sometimes you can apply for tarp installation assistance from the Army Corps of Engineers and FEMA under its Operation Blue Roof program, which is free of charge to qualifying homeowners.

Builder And Client Inspecting Roof Damage Together

Moving quickly after a storm may help you to book a local roofer. However, if it turns out there’s a long waiting list with local roofing contractors, which happens quickly after storms, don’t be tempted to hire out-of-town “storm chasers” who might perform shoddy work or take your money and never complete the repairs. If your roof isn’t leaking or has only minimal damage, schedule your roofer farther out or wait a few weeks to book one. This allows demand, and prices, to go down and scammers to leave the area.

Tips on Filing Post-Hurricane Insurance Claims

It’s your responsibility to immediately file an insurance claim for roof damage. Dealing with your insurance company can be a real headache. Not only are their staff overwhelmed with work, the companies are already taking huge losses following a hurricane and probably trying to pay out as little as possible on claims. Especially if recovery from the storm is going to be a large project with multiple policies affected in your area, you may need help to get the attention and solution you need. In this situation, you can hire a public insurance adjuster to help you negotiate your claim. Remember, adjusters from your insurance company represent the company’s interests, not yours. A public adjuster is there to represent you and help level the playing field. They know what kind of documentation is required, understand what your insurance policy covers, and argues for a fair settlement that’s typically higher than what you’d receive on your own.

If you don’t have enough insurance, the right kind of insurance, or you have no insurance at all on your property, FEMA may be the best place to look for help.

Choosing a Hurricane Repair Roofing Contractor

When you’re ready to start repairs, it’s important to make sure you will have a sound roof that’s properly installed by trained and experienced professional roofers. This is especially important if you live in a storm-prone area, as a poorly installed roof is more easily damaged by high winds that sweep under incorrectly installed or loose tiles, or by leaks that form in improperly sloped or poorly drained areas where water then pools and damages the roof, sometimes through many layers, resulting in water stains, mold, termites and other problems.

picture of the roof of a house

Shopping local for a professional roofer is essential, especially during the chaos of a post-storm recovery since many would-be roofers start to show up from out of town. A good place to start is a roofer you know and trust, or ask friends, neighbors or local businesses you trust. As you do your own search, review the roofer’s website. Check for history, licensing information and things like their gallery of work, testimonials, online reviews or news articles. Even if you’re in a hurry, always get a written quote and have the roofer explain the work to you in detail. Before signing any contract, read it carefully and ask important questions like: Are you licensed, bonded and insured? Can you give me references? How long have you been in business? What is your business’ physical address?

Never hire someone who knocks on your door offering to fix your roof. This is probably a scam artist or inexperienced roofer, since legitimate roofing contractors are going to be way too busy to solicit new business in this manner. You can also call FEMA at 800-621-3362 for a list of legitimate, pre-screened roofing contractors in your area.

Avoiding Scam Artists after the Storm

man knocking on a door scam artist

It’s unfortunate, but major disasters bring out con artists preying on vulnerable victims. Hurricanes are no different. Scammers flood areas with widespread damage peddling construction and insurance scams. Unqualified people or outright scam artists may pose as construction contractors, public insurance adjusters, insurance agents, emergency management or disaster relief personnel and more.

Protect yourself by always asking for credentials/photo identification, even if they’re wearing a shirt with a company or government logo. Roofing contractors and public insurance adjusters should be able to supply their license number, which is verifiable through state offices. Never give anyone cash upfront for any type of construction or insurance services or buy insurance after a disaster from someone claiming it covers pre-existing damages. If you suspect fraudulent activity report it to the National Center for Disaster Fraud at 866-720-5721.

About Prestige Roofing in Las Vegas

While there aren’t hurricanes in Las Vegas, the area is sometimes pounded by high desert winds, monsoon rains and even lightning strikes that can cause roof damage. Prestige Roofing can help keep your roof in good shape to better handle bad weather, and we can repair your roof in case of damage from wind and storms. We also build quality new roofs with material like tile, copper, CeDUR, shingle, flat or other roofing materials for your roof replacement or new roof project. Contact us for a free in-home or office estimate for any of your home or business roofing needs.