Friday, July 25, 2014

Are you thinking of listing your home for sale?

Are you thinking of putting your home on the market? The current real estate market in our area has been pretty competitive, with most homes are selling very quickly after receiving multiple offers. When people think about putting their house up for sale, the first things that come to mind are improving curb appeal, de-cluttering the house and maybe some light updating or painting. Most do not think about paying a little attention to the roof until after they are in a contract and have had some areas of concern pointed out in a home inspection report.

On occasion, we receive frantic phone calls from real estate agents and mortgage officers asking us to inspect a roof or make roof repair Dallas, because their client is in an option period or under contract and is potentially at risk of losing the sale.  While we always try our best to accommodate these types of last minute requests, we recommend that real estate agents have their clients obtain free roof inspections before listing the home for sale. Roof inspections are free and are a good way to determine up front if there are any issues or repairs that should be made before listing.

Outback Roofing, a roofing company Dallas, will perform a free roof inspection (within a reasonable travel distance) and will provide the seller, buyer or agent with an indepth report covering the condition of the roof and roof elements as well as any proposed repairs or recommended general maintenance. In some circumstances, if a full roof replacement is deemed necessary where no insurance claim is warranted, we may be able to work with the sellers and obtain payment from proceeds at closing from the title company to limit their out of pocket expense.

If you are a real estate agent in the Dallas/Ft. Worth metroplex and would like more information on how Outback Roofing, a roofing contractor Dallas, can help you with your listings, please contact us at 972-930-9990.

Monday, May 12, 2014

That was a monster of a hail storm!

Evidence of Sharknado?

Image source

The Headington Shark is a rooftop sculpture at 2 New High Street, HeadingtonOxfordEngland, depicting an oversized shark embedded head-first in the roof of a house. (text taken from Wikipedia). It was commissioned by the home's owner in 1986. When asked why he had it erected he explained, The shark was to express someone feeling totally impotent and ripping a hole in their roof out of a sense of impotence and anger and desperation…. It is saying something about CND, nuclear power, Chernobyl and Nagasaki."  The city officials were not too happy about it, but were not able to find any good reason or law that he was breaking, so the shark has survived. If you happen to be in Oxford, be sure to stop by and take a look!

Thursday, April 24, 2014

How to have the hottest looking roof in your neighborhood.

Are you looking for a unique and durable product for a fraction of the cost of slate and shake? The Bellaforté line of slate and shake polymer roofing tiles have the appearance and beauty of natural slate or shake shingle roofing materials, but each highly-engineered and proven polymer roof tile offers durability and maintainability that the natural shake or slate roofing tiles cannot generally deliver.
DaVinci Roofscapes is leading the roofing tile design industry and using field proven polymer technology to enhance the art and functionality of roofing materials. The patented design of the Bellaforté shake and slate composite roofing tiles uses less material and therefore the tiles weigh less than other polymer roofing tiles, thereby reducing the carbon footprint associated with production and transportation.

Bellaforte Shake
Bellaforte Slate
Like every DaVinci product, Bellaforté composite shake and slate tiles are backed with a 50-year-limited warranty. Are you ready to bring Bellaforté shake or slate roofing materials to your home?Outback Roofing is proud to be an authorized installer of DaVinci Roofscapes products. Make an appointment to visit our showroom and let us show you how we can transform your home into a masterpiece!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Ever Wonder Exactly How Hail is Made?

Roofers always say that if you really want a good dependable weatherman, don't turn on the tv, call a roofer! Most roofers I know, have become extremely proficient at reading radars, weather patterns, cloud formation and pretty much in general, can read the future when it comes to the weather!  I must admit, that I find myself becoming increasingly fascinated with the weather. In particular, I have developed a fascination with hailstones.

Hail is a creation of art by mother nature. While it can wreak havoc on cars, houses and crops and cost us billions of dollars per year, it is truly amazing. Much like snowflakes, no two hailstones are the same. They come in different shapes and sizes and densities. Some are round and smooth, while others can be flat, saucer-like with jagged edges. Some hail is extremely dense and hard, and some are soft and break apart easily. Hail is formed in cumulonimbus clouds. Raindrops are sucked into the updraft of the stormcloud and become frozen, where they continue to recirculate and grow until they become too large for the cloud to hold and then they are released.  If you look closely at a hailstone, you can usually see the rings, which indicate how many times the stone cycled before falling to the ground.

So, the next time some hail falls around your place, grab a few stones and take a look. See how many rings you can count! Send us your fascinating hail pictures and we will post them on our blog and Facebook page.

Other hail facts you may find interesting:

  • Approximately $1 billion U.S Dollar losses because of hailstorms in forms of crops and property each year in U.S.
  • The costliest hailstorm in the United States was in Fort Worth in May 1995. Total damages were $2 billion, with an estimated $1.1 billion of that attributed to hail damage.
  • The largest hailstone recorded fell in Coffeyville, Kan., on Sept. 3, 1970. It measured about 17.5 inches in circumference (over 5.6 inches in diameter) and weighed more than 26 ounces (almost 2 pounds).
  • Cut in half, a hailstone has concentric rings like an onion, which reveal the number of times it traveled to the top of the storm before falling to Earth.
  • The largest form of frozen precipitation happens during the warmest time of the year.
  • Hailstorms rarely last longer than 15 minutes.
  • Hails rarely occurs in tropics except in high elevation area.
1999 Encyclopedia Britannica

- Jennifer Crutcher

Jennifer is a licensed insurance adjuster in the state of Texas, a Haag Engineering Certified Residential Roof Inspector and is passionate about consumer protection and education. She works at Outback Roofing, a family owned and locally operated company, where she is responsible for daily office operations. Jennifer resides with her family and two German shepherds in the Dallas area. A little known fact is that she secretly aspires to be an ice dancer!

Friday, December 6, 2013

5 Ways You Can Start Saving On Your Electric Bill Today!

5 Energy Saving Tips for Your Home!

If you were to ask most people you talked to if they would like to save money on their electric bill, they would say yes. Electricity is one of those life necessities that you can't really live without and given the opportunity to lower that cost, most people would take advantage.

For most, it doesn't take a major overhaul on their home to start saving money on their electric bill. Just by making some quick and simple changes, you can start to save energy and see a difference on your monthly bill. Here are 5 easy ways you can start saving immediately:

1. Change your lightbulbs to LED or energy saving bulbs. (Some electricity providers even offer rebate programs to help off-set the cost of the bulbs, all you have to do is call or check their website.)

2. Lower the thermostat on your water heater(s) to 120° F

3. Plug home electronics, such as TVs and DVD players, into power strips; turn the power strips off when he equipment is not in use. TVs and DVDs in standby mode still use several watts of power.

4. Just by using the auto sleep function on your computer, you could save up to $30 a year on your electricity bills!

5. Make sure all of your doors and windows are actually closed shut and consider air sealing your home by weather-stripping your windows and sealing air leaks with caulk.

There are a few more ways that you can save on your monthly electric bill. You can install a programmable thermostat to manage your heating and cooling systems more efficiently. Just turning your thermostat back from its normal setting by 7-10 degrees for eight hours a day can save you as much as 10 percent a year on heating and cooling costs.

Another great way to save on energy, is to have an energy audit performed of your home and ensure you have the recommended amounts of attic insulation. The Department of Energy has R Value recommendations for various zones of the county (see map below). In the north Texas area, it is recommended that homes have an R value of R30 to R60. It is estimated that roughly two thirds of homes in the U.S. are not properly insulated. Do you have any areas or rooms in your home that are not comfortable or you have a hard time keeping cool in the summer or warm in the winter? If so, you should consider having a Home Energy Audit conducted on your home to determine the cause of the discomfort and recommended solution. Outback Roofing is a certified Top of the Roof Preferred Contractor with Owens Corning and is authorized to install Owens Corning Atticat Insulation products. Call us today at 972-930-9990 to schedule your complimentary audit and inspection!

In addition to saving on your monthly electric bill, you may also be eligible to take advantage of a Federal Tax Credit that can save you up to 10% of the cost of materials for qualifying insulation projects throughout 2013 (before 1/1/2014), up to a maximum of $500. See or talk to your tax specialist to determine eligibility.

Recommended insulation levels for retrofitting existing wood-framed buildings.

                                       ZoneAdd Insulation to AtticFloor
Uninsulated AtticExisting 3–4 Inches of Insulation
R30 to R49
R25 to R30
R30 to R60
R25 to R38
R13 to R19
R30 to R60
R25 to R38
R19 to R25
R38 to R60
R25 to R30
                              5 to 8
R49 to R60
R38 to R49
R25 to R30
For more information on the tax credit or additional ways to save
energy, go to For information on how to claim the tax credit, go to Circumstances vary widely, so homeowners should consult with their tax advisor for further guidance.
- Jennifer Crutcher

Jennifer is a licensed insurance adjuster in the state of Texas, a Haag Engineering Certified Residential Roof Inspector and is passionate about consumer protection and education. She works at Outback Roofing, a family owned and locally operated company, where she is responsible for daily office operations. Jennifer resides with her family and two German shepherds in the Dallas area. A little known fact is that she secretly aspires to be an ice dancer!

Saturday, November 30, 2013

10 Tips to Winterizing Your Home

Making Sure Your Home is Ready for Winter's Arrival

Here are 10 tips to prepare your home for winter:

1. Gutters

Clean your gutters and remove any leaves and debris that may have collected; spray down the gutters and downspouts to make sure they are all clear and that water is draining properly. Doing this will ensure that rain and melting ice will have a place to go and avoid creating an "ice dam" in freezing temperatures. An ice dam can form when water from melting snow re-freezes at the edge of your roofline. The ice dam may grow large enough to prevent water from draining off the roof. The water can then back up underneath the roof shingles and make its way inside your home, causing damage. Wet leaves and debris can also get heavy in the gutters and increase the chances of damage. 

gutters full of leaves and debris
Image credit: © 2013 Jennifer Crutcher
2. Roof

Check your roof for any missing, damaged or lifted shingles. Replace or reseal. Check all flashings and penetrations (around pipe jacks, vents, etc.). These are most often the source of leaks or potential leaks. Reseal around all penetrations. 

3. Insulation

Have your attic inspected to make sure you have the proper amount of insulation. Regardless of where you live in the U.S., you need at least 12 inches of insulation in your attic. If you can see the ceiling joists in the attic then you most likely do not have enough insulation because ceiling joists are at most 10 or 11 inches.  Hot air is aggressive and is constantly seeking out cooler air. Therefore in the winter, the warm air in your home will be seeking the colder air outside and in the summer the warmer air outside will be trying to find a way to get to the colder air inside. Proper insulation can help you keep your home at the appropriate temperature year round and also help you save on your electric bill.

Owens Corning Atticat Insulation Installation
Owens Corning Atticat Expanding Blow-In Insulation

4. Furnace and Heating System

Have your heating system checked and tuned up by a qualified professional each year. Check your filters and change them. If you have a gas furnace, you should have it checked every year for carbon monoxide leaks and consider installing a Carbon Monoxide detector in your home. Install a programmable thermostat. The Department of Energy says you can save as much as 1% on your energy bill for ever degree you lower your home's temperature during the winter. By installing a programmable thermostat, you can control the temperature while you are not at home during the day or during extended periods while on vacation. Some electricity providers have programs where they will even provide you with a free thermostat.

5. Reverse Your Ceiling Fans

Many of us forget this one small thing, but reversing the direction of your ceiling fans will help to push the warm air from the ceiling down towards the floor.  When looking up at the moving fan, it should be moving in a clockwise motion (counter clockwise for summer).

6. Fireplace & Chimney

While it may not be necessary to have your chimney swept every year, it should be inspected for foreign objects, wildlife, creosote or soot buildup and to make sure your damper is working properly. If you see any missing mortar between bricks or in the joints, it should be fixed immediately as a fire can spread through these openings into the stud wall. Consider installing a chimney cap or screen to keep foreign objects and wildlife out of your chimney.

7. Flush Your Waterheater

Sediment can collect over time in the bottom of your water heater and affect its efficiency.  Flush the water through the drain valve to clear out any particles and help keep your heater working its best.

8. Eliminate Drafts

Check and seal any gaps around your windows, doors, ducts, electrical outlets by using weather stripping, foam sealant or caulking. Use draft dodgers at the bottoms of your doors. There are some you can buy that are two sided and slip underneath the door. According to EarthWorks Group, the average American home has leaks that add up to a nine square foot hole in the wall!

9. Pipes and Plumbing

If you have ever had your pipes freeze or burst, you know, it is not a fun thing to deal with! Know where your water main is should you need to shut off your water in an emergency. Drain and disconnect all unused water hoses. Insulate all exposed plumbing pipes and spigots. If you have an automatic water sprinkler, consider installing a freeze sensor. (Some cities have an ordinance requiring this device. Check with your local municipality if you are unsure.)

10. Smoke Alarms and Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Now is a good time to check to make sure all of your alarms and detectors are in good working order and replace all the batteries. 

Please note these tips are for homes that are occupied. Homes that are vacant should undergo a more advanced winterizing that includes draining the plumbing, etc.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!

From all of us at Outback Roofing, we wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving!

May your stuffing be tasty
May your turkey be plump,
May your potatoes and gravy
Have nary a lump.
May your yams be delicious
And your pies take the prize,
And may your Thanksgiving dinner
Stay off your thighs!