Since 2016, Homestead Roofing has been among a number of other roofers in the Colorado Springs area to have been identified as a CertainTeed ShingleMaster. This is a status placed upon roofing contractors who have taken and passed a test to measure the level of roofing knowledge their project managers possess about the roofing installation process. Unlike other shingle manufacturer’s certifications, the Shinglemaster is awarded only to contractors who have demonstrated proficiency in both roofing installations as well as client satisfaction. CertainTeed mails out satisfaction feedback surveys to our clients, and if we do not maintain an acceptable level of client satisfaction, we would lose our status as a ShingleMaster. Currently, 11 of our clients have completed and returned their surveys to CertainTeed and we are maintaining a perfect 5-Star rating.

Homestead Roofing is now a CertainTeed Select ShingleMaster

In October, 2017, Tracy Bookman, Homestead Roofing’s owner, took, and passed CertainTeed’s Business Fiscal Responsibility test. This test is designed to determine whether or not a contracting company’s owner is following best business practices, so CertainTeed can gauge the likelihood of that contractor staying in business. Also, our roofing foreman and one of our installers took and passed CertainTeed’s Shingle Applicator’s test. By maintaining a high level of client satisfaction (based on the survey results), engaging in sustainable business practices, and by having project managers, foreman, and installers who know how to correctly install the CertainTeed line of products, Homestead Roofing was recently awarded the Select ShingleMaster certification status. Not only does this put us into a more elite group of local roofing companies – there are only 5 Select ShingleMasters based in Colorado Springs – but it enables us to provide additional warranty protection to our customers who choose to upgrade or install Class 4, impact resistant shingles and the Integrity Roofing System.

We’re proud of our close association with CertainTeed and excited to have earned their trust to move to this level of our business.

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Your Roof Work Helps Harvey Victims

House submerged in Houston from Hurricane Harvey

Hurricane Harvey relief (photo linked from Thirsty Ground International’s website at

Between August 25th and August 30th, Hurricane Harvey, bringing with it a “once-in-1,000-year-flood,” made landfall 3 times. Houston, Texas received the worst of the intensity and nearly 100,000 homes were directly affected by the flooding. According to an NBC news article on August 30th, the death toll from Harvey was at 10, but many more were missing. There had been almost 19,000 people rescued from the water and almost 300,000 people were without power. Almost 52 inches of rain fell upon south Texas and Louisiana from that single storm. People from around the world wanted to know how they could help.

Within a couple days of the hurricane, I received an Email from a friend of mine who is a pastor in Denton, Texas, who told me about a relief organization based in Corpus Christi called Thirsty Ground International. Thirsty Ground (TGI) formed in 2013 in response to Hurricane Yolanda in the Philippines, and has been helping people around the world since then. They have done hurricane relief work in the Philippines and Haiti. They have also helped Middle East refugees displaced by ISIS as well as flood relief in Baton Rouge, Louisiana last year. Now, however, they are helping their own neighbors, friends, and families in Texas. They were on the ground in Houston within days of the hurricane, delivering donated goods, providing tools and labor to help rebuild and clean up, and help with water purification for areas without clean water.

My Texas friend, Mack Tomlinson, has a great testimony about TGI. He says the work that they do is “excellent and blameless.” By “blameless” he means that the money that is given to them is used exactly for the purposes it is given. There is no money used for purposes other than the relief work. It is an all-volunteer organization. TGI is operated and overseen by church leaders and no one receives any pay or salary for the work they do. As Mack says, “Every dollar given goes directly and immediately to purchase needed materials such as food, water, diapers, clothing, non-perishable food, and tools.”

By the time you read this, 4 or 5 weeks will have passed since Harvey’s destruction, but there is still a huge need in the Houston area. Many homes still need debris removal and gutting. Mold is a pervasive problem because so many homes have been sitting for weeks without any work crews clearing out the water. Some homes were completely submerged so restoration and cleaning crews had to strip everything out all the way to the top of the house. As of September 18th, it is reported by news outlets that up to 80% of the relief work being done had been done by Christian groups as FEMA still was not actively on the ground yet. Remember, the people from TGI are not paid relief workers like those working with the Red Cross. These are people who are taking time off from work, even using unpaid leave, some even traveling from other parts of the country, in order to help those in need.

In a September 14th TGI blog post, they stated that the clean-up work is just the beginning. The people want to get back into their homes, but that could be a months-long process for many people (just as victims of the Waldo Canyon and Black Forest fires here found out!).

It is very encouraging to read some of the social media posts from TGI about the efforts in Houston and the surrounding area.

  • We’ve got TP! Someone donated over 7,000 rolls for Harvey relief!”
  • It’s a thankless job, but very glad for TGI volunteers willing to help clean up the chaos left from Harvey.”
  • Thankful for the many people giving up vacation days to help total strangers in the Harvey relief work!”
  • Mold is no fun! Our teams are not just gutting homes and stripping drywall, but also trying to help kill mold. Pray for this! It’s hard!”

It is never my habit to tell others about my giving, however, I believe it is important that all of our clients know that the work that you have entrusted us to do, whether it is repairing or replacing your roofs or gutters, is helping people affected by Hurricane Harvey. Homestead Roofing is actively partnering with TGI to help with the relief efforts in Houston. For the rest of 2017, we are donating 1% of all sales to TGI for Harvey relief, and another organization, Christian Healthcare Ministries, for aid to people in Florida affected by Hurricane Irma. We have already sent our first round of financial donations to TGI.

As important as it is that we provide material help, either in donations of money, food, clothes, or cleaning & rebuilding, the major work of restoration will be done through prayer. As TGI states on their website, “We are VERY thankful for the continued outpouring of financial aid that we can pass on to help clear (and) rebuild, as well as material donations of items people are sending in.” “We are continuing to do what we can to help. God is giving open doors into families and communities to not only serve their physical needs but to also share the Gospel with them. Pray for the labors and laborers involved, and especially (for) these families that have lost everything.”


Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord, and He will repay him for his deed.”
Proverbs 19:17

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Why you may NOT want 3 roofing estimatesWe’ve all heard this conventional wisdom: “Get 3 re-roof estimates!” Many times, it’s really good advice, but when you have an insurance claim for a roof repair or replacement, and the insurance adjuster or the insurance agent is telling you to get 3 estimates, is this really the wisest thing to do? I’m here to tell you it’s not, and recently, while teaching a Continuing Education class to a room full of insurance agents, I explained to them also why it’s not such a great idea.

I can already predict what you’re thinking. “Of course you don’t want me to get 3 estimates! You want me to just use Homestead Roofing, and not talk to any other roofers.” OK, I admit it. I do want you to use Homestead Roofing if you need to replace your roof. I mean, I am the owner of Homestead Roofing after all. But hear me out on this one.

Imagine this scenario with me: Let’s say you have a medical condition that requires you to have surgery and an extended stay in the hospital. While you’re making your arrangements for this interruption in your life, you get a call from your medical insurance provider and the company rep tells you that you need to shop around and get 3 estimates from different doctors and hospitals. Next, imagine with me what would happen if someone did get 3 estimates for his surgery and hospital stay. What if estimate #1 was $53,000, estimate #2 was $17,500, and estimate #3 was $122,000. Which one would you be most likely to accept? If you thought to yourself that there must be a huge difference in what each doctor is going to be doing to create such a large price variance, you’re on the right track! But, unless you’re a doctor or a medical professional yourself, how would you know which procedure is the right one for you? Chances are you wouldn’t.

The problem is that we’re almost all conditioned to think that cheapest is always the right choice. In truth, if everything about the service or product is equal, cheapest may be the right choice, but if there are price differences, it’s highly probable that the service or product IS NOT equal.

In the July, 2017 issue of our newsletter, I explained the difference between a Replacement Cost Value (RCV) policy and an Actual Cash Value (ACV) policy. That distinction is important for this discussion, too. If you have an ACV policy, then you will only get one check – the claim amount, minus your deductible, and minus the depreciation amount. What is left is what your insurance company is giving you to get your repairs done. In this situation, it certainly IS a good idea to get 3 estimates. Just make sure that you understand what is included in, and excluded from each contractor’s estimate so you can make sure you’re comparing apples to apples.

If you have an RCV policy, however, you will get your first check, which is the claim amount, minus the deductible, and minus the depreciation. When the job is complete, and your contractor has submitted his final invoice to your insurance company, you will get a second check for the depreciation amount. If you have an RCV policy, like most insurance clients do, then your insurance company is paying for the entire cost of the roof replacement, except your deductible. That means that your deductible is your only out-of-pocket expense.

This Is The Critical Piece Of Information!

So just like in the medical example above, if you have an RCV policy on your roof, that means that your insurance company will pay for the whole project, minus your deductible. With your medical need, your out-of-pocket expense will be just your deductible – regardless of the cost of the surgery and hospital stay. Similarly, if you have an RCV policy for your roof, your out-of-pocket expense will also be just your deductible. Since your out-of-pocket costs for your roof replacement will stay the same no matter what the cost of the re-roof is, getting 3 estimates may actually add more confusion and complexity to the project, and it could end up motivating a homeowner to make a bad choice of which roofing contractor to hire. It is critical, therefore, to interview a few different roofers to determine which one you feel most comfortable with, which one stands behind their work with an exceptional warranty, and to find the one who is the most adept at working with your insurance company’s claim department, but it is not important to have each of those roofers give you an estimate. This is especially important if the 3 estimates you receive have a big difference in the prices. DO NOT hire a roofer who just says, “I’ll do this job for whatever the insurance company pays.” That’s an indication that the roofer either doesn’t understand the insurance process or doesn’t want to make sure that all items needed to be replaced are actually included in the insurance claim. Here are a couple of examples:

  • One homeowner contacted us and had an insurance claim that was paying for a repair to her roof. The claim amount was about $2000. We worked with her insurance company and, through our discussions with them, they agreed that the roof really needed to be replaced rather than repaired. Had this homeowner sought 3 estimates for a roof repair, she would have ended up with a roof that actually needed replacement.
  • One homeowner had an insurance claim for a roof replacement in the amount of about $16,000. We researched the actual replacement needs, found that the replacement cost would be about $27,000, and then worked with the insurance company to increase the claim amount. Had this homeowner hired a roofer who had the lowest estimate, or hired one who would have done the work for what the insurance claim amount was, he would have ended up with a roof of lesser quality and poorer performance.

If you have a need for a roof repair or replacement due to an insurance claim, or you know someone who does, remember that getting multiple estimates is probably pretty meaningless and could cause you to make the wrong choice on which roofing contractor you hire.


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Replacement Cost Value vs Actual Cash Value

Many, many of our clients have been greatly confused by the insurance documents they get when filing a claim for storm damage on their property, so we’re responding to the many questions we get about this with an article explaining the difference between these 2 policy types.

What Happens When You File A Claim?

When you call your insurance company’s claims department and tell them you had a hail storm, they will log a claim and schedule an adjuster to come visit your property. By the way, this is exactly why you don’t ever want to call your claims department after a storm. You should either call a roofing contractor and request an inspection, or you should call your insurance agent and ask for a recommended roofing contractor. Unless we get a monster, granddaddy-of-them-all kind of storm like we had in July last year, don’t call your claims department until after a roof inspection so you know if you really have damage or not.

When your adjuster comes out, he will assign a value to the repairs that are necessary to be done. This is your claim amount. Then he will depreciate that amount based on the age (and some other factors) of the items damaged. Most of the time, it’s the roof that gets depreciation applied, but other items can have it, too. The depreciation amount gets deducted from the claim amount. After that, they subtract out your deductible, too. This is your share of the claim, and by law, it is the responsibility of the homeowner to pay this. The roofer cannot legally offer to pay all or any part of it.

After the depreciation and deductible have been subtracted from the claim amount, what’s left is called the Actual Cash Value. This is the amount that the roof is actually worth right now, and that is the amount of the check you will receive from the insurance company. At first!

The Reason This Is Confusing…

Most insurance policies will cover Replacement Cost Value. That means that they are not going to give you what your roof is actually worth right now, they are going to pay you to replace your roof at today’s costs. It kind of freaks people out, though, when they get a check from the insurance company for – say – $4000 and they have a quote from a roofer for $9000. They think, “How in the world am I going to get my roof done? I can’t come up with the extra money!”

Even though the adjuster does his best to explain this to a homeowner, oftentimes the homeowner doesn’t understand how the process works. Many times, the homeowner is not home when the adjuster comes out so all they know about the claim is the check amount they receive in the mail.

Replacement Cost Value (RCV) means that you will get all the money that it costs to replace your roof – minus your deductible. Actual Cash Value (ACV) is the amount that your current roof is actually worth, today. Here’s where it can get really confusing. Even though you may have an RCV policy, when you look at your claim amount, it may show a dollar amount for Actual Cash Value. Yikes! Does that mean that’s all the money you’ll get? It may or it may not. That’s why it’s best to ask your agent about your policy coverage or ask a roofer to look at your claim document. Either can explain if you’ll be getting more money from the claim or not.

If you have an RCV policy, like most people do, you will get another check after the repair work is complete. At that point, the insurance company will send you the depreciation money. If you have an ACV policy, it’s basically WYSIWYG (pronounced wizzy-wig). That means What You See Is What You Get. The amount of money on your check is all the money you’ll get to replace your roof.

Think of it this way:

If you have a 2003 Honda Accord and it gets totaled with hail damage, your insurance company will not give you the money to go buy a 2017 Honda Accord. They are going to pay you what your 2003 Honda Accord is actually worth on the day it was totaled, and no more. That’s Actual Cash Value. If they paid you to buy a 2017 Honda Accord, that’s like a Replacement Cost Value policy for your home.

The Reason This Matters To You And People You Know…

If there is a hailstorm in the area, I commonly see people make a couple of major mistakes.

  1. They immediately call their claims department asking the insurance company to do an “inspection” for damage. Remember, that’s not what the adjuster’s job is. He’s there to assign a value to damage for the claim you have submitted.

  2. They don’t check to see what type of policy they have before calling in the claim.

I strongly recommend that before you call in a claim, call your insurance agent and ask what type of policy you have. I would go one step further… Before there’s even a hailstorm, call your agent and ask that question. If you find out you have an ACV policy, you may ask about switching to an RCV policy so that if you do sustain storm damage, you don’t have to come up with a huge amount of money out-of-pocket for the repairs.

If you are on ACV, there may be a reason, such as having out-dated, obsolete shingles, or other reasons, however, if you have a storm in your area, you will be greatly benefited by having an RCV policy and not an ACV policy. Talk to your insurance agent and ask these questions. Hopefully I haven’t made this clear as mud.

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Zach Brown, Project Manager for Homestead Roofing

Zach Brown, Project Manager for Homestead Roofing

That headline almost makes it sound like we have the pitter-patter of new little feet running around the Homestead Roofing office. Well, his feet aren’t that little, but we do have a relatively new employee here: Zach Brown.

Zach joined Homestead Roofing on September 27 as a project manager. Even though we’re just now getting around to introducing him online, we did to a feature on him in our hard-copy newsletter in November. His initial responsibilities were to help us manage through the aftermath of the huge hailstorm which hit the area on July 28. He did this by taking on the project tasks that need to be done after the job is sold and the contract is written with the homeowner. That means that he was interacting with the suppliers, the subcontractors, and the homeowners.

Now, however, Zach is a fully-vetted and experienced project manager. He got thrown into the fire after that huge hailstorm and now knows how to manage and coordinate storm repair projects which include roofs, gutters, HVAC systems, windows, screens, painting, stucco, and other items. Out of all of our project managers, Zach now has more experience with all the non-roof related damage repairs. You may have already met Zach, or you may get to meet him in the future.

I appreciate Zach’s zeal for jumping right in and working on projects. He has shown that he is not timid about his assignments and isn’t afraid to make decisions and get things done. This has freed me up to be able to keep our schedule running smoothly. Zach has been an asset already.

Zach has an interesting background. Right out of high school, he spent two years “roughing it” on the road across America but also overseas. He even spent time in Uganda! He really loves the outdoors and especially playing in the dirt. When I met him, he owned a business called Brown’s Greens and his forte was installing vegetable gardens for homeowners. He would build raised beds and prep the soil and, if the homeowner wanted him to, he would even plant the garden plants. This is his first love. Oops! I should qualify that statement especially since Zach engaged to Brittany, with a wedding imminently approaching on May 6th! He and Brittany are also part of a band called Smith House which plays folk music up and down the Colorado Front Range. Zach’s instrument of choice for his band is the bouzouki. How many of you know what a bouzouki is? It’s like a long-necked mandolin.

All of us here at Homestead Roofing welcome and appreciate Zach as a new team member!

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Catching up with Steve Muzzipapa is challenging enough, but keeping up with him is even tougher. He’s a guy that gets more done in one day than most people get done in a week! He has seemingly unending supplies of energy and a ton of passion about what he does. A Colorado Springs resident for the past 46 years, in 1988 Steve began transforming an empty lot, a junkyard and an alfalfa field on 19th Street into a botanical garden and nursery. In 2004 he began another transformation when he made The Secret Garden one of the area’s top wedding venues. Just recently, in the aftermath of the heavy and destructive snow in early April, I met Steve at the Garden for a blog interview for our website, and learned some really interesting things about him and his business.

The property contains the botanical garden which is full of winding paths, greenery, beautiful 13 year old geranium plants, a Parisian Garden, vine covered arbors, fountains, water features, ponds, a wedding chapel with a bell tower, and a 117 year old guest house, all of which are available for rental and use for wedding events. One of the more novel attractions at the Garden is the Wine Garden. I say it’s novel because it’s actually a vineyard! The entire patio is covered with a grape vine canopy that produces real grapes in season and has string lights for nighttime events, all with Italian music playing for background ambiance.

As soon as you meet Steve the thing that is most striking (besides his boundless energy), is his love of what he does: providing an extraordinarily beautiful venue for families to celebrate the most important event of their lives. As he told me, his vision is to just keep making the Garden “better and better.”

Another noticeable thing about Steve is his impeccable professionalism. This guy knows the wedding industry and knows how to take care of a bride and groom and their families at his full-service venue. As a landscape designer, he has put so much sweat equity into creating The Secret Garden, and it immediately shows when you see it all. Even on this spring day in April, when so many trees were damaged from the snow load, the Garden still stood out in the city as a little oasis. My favorite spot was the Parisian Garden, and here Steve even had the creative foresight to build a layered platform with an iron-columned gazebo on it so that when the bride & groom stand there for the wedding, it represents a layered cake with a bride & groom at the top.

The main property is intentionally designed with lots of paths that wind through the trees and shrubs and under the arbors so that it will hold his clients’ interest and encourage them to explore. This also allows for creativity in the wedding ceremony because the attendants and the bride and groom have numerous options for their entrances and for the wedding party recessional. One of the most popular spots for the bridal entrance and for the wedding photos is the grape-covered colonnade just inside the entrance to the property.

The Secret Garden in full bloom in wedding season

All of the natural, organic environment is refreshingly unique about the Garden as a wedding venue, which are typically static rooms that never change. Every day at the Garden brings a new look, so effectively no two weddings ever look the same. Each of the outdoor wedding areas – the main Garden, the wine garden, and the Parisian Garden, are all hedged with natural plants so you don’t have onlookers watching your wedding. You have a secluded, private ceremony in your very own Secret Garden.

The guest house is available for out-of-town wedding guests and has 2 bedrooms and an updated, modern bathroom. If you have friends or family coming into town, and they need a place to stay, the guest house isn’t exclusively for wedding guests. Anyone can reserve this well-maintained cottage originally built in 1900 and equipped with some vintage appliances like the antique heater (just for show) and the refrigerator from the 1940s.

Nearly every person who works in the wedding industry has a story about some crazy couple, family, or event. Steve’s most unusual wedding request was when the bride & groom told him that they wanted to have a pig be the ring-bearer. As Steve said, “When they’re scared, pigs make a horrendous screaming noise!” He had no clue who was screaming so alarmingly and ran over to find a panicked pig. He’s also been asked to officiate a wedding on a couple of occassions, but he readily admits that is not one of his career ambitions or talents so he has never accepted one of those invitations.

Steve’s Wedding Planning Tip

Steve has seen numerous flubs in wedding plans, but one major tip he has is that couples should choose the venue before choosing the date. So often a couple chooses a date, and if they happen to choose a popular date, such as July, 17th, 2017 (7/17/17), the more popular wedding venues may have been booked months in advance and the couple may not have a nice place to host the wedding ceremony.

Homestead Roofing worked for Steve in 2014, re-roofing his home, so I’ve had 3 years to get to know him. If you know of someone who has an upcoming wedding, and they haven’t yet chosen a venue I can definitely recommend you check out The Secret Garden and spend time discussing your plans with Steve Muzzipapa. To get more information about The Secret Garden, go to the website, or call him at 719-964-0541.

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Remember recently we began a series entitled, 7 Questions To Ask Your Roofer? Well, really, it should more accurately be entitled, “7 Questions To Ask The Roofer You’re Considering Hiring,” or even better, “7 Questions To Ask The Roofer Who Is Knocking On Your Door.”

In 2016, there were several huge hailstorms in El Paso County. Homeowners all over the area had windows smashed and siding demolished, not to mention the damage that occurred to their roofs. Literally, within 1 hour of the storm, the door-to-door guys were out canvassing those areas. Current estimates are that only about 1/3 of the damaged roofs in El Paso County have been replaced, so be prepared for the door-to-door guys to start hitting your neighborhood again in April. 

When your friends and family and neighbors are getting bombarded by the door-knockers, tell them to remember this little saying, “Not every roofer who knocks on your door will rip you off, but every roofer that will rip you off will knock on your door.”

Here’s Question #3 You Should Ask The Roofer You’re Thinking About Hiring

Question #3: What Is Your El Paso County Roofing Contractor License Number?

Every county that requires a roofer to be licensed should issue a license with a number on it. The reason you should ask that is to make sure that the roofer who wants to be hired by you is, in fact, allowed to pull permits in your county. Last fall, one of the local news stations caught up with a local “roofing contractor” and confronted him about his license. They had gotten a tip that he was working without a license, so they set him up. As he was climbing off a roof, they came out of the house and began to ask him questions. When they asked him about his license, he said he had one in his truck, but when he presented it to them, the camera zoomed in and the expiration date could be clearly seen. It had been expired for almost 2 years.

If a roofing contractor tells you that you need to pull the permit for your re-roof, or that no permit is needed, or you see that a different contractor’s name is on your permit, these are all “red-flags” that your contractor doesn’t have a license in your county and he shouldn’t be running a roofing contractor business here. Most of all, it indicates that you should never hire one of these scammers to do your roof. Buyer beware! You can see the video from the news station on our blog at

So ask for the contractor’s license number and check with Pikes Peak Regional Building Department at 719-327-2880 to see when it expires.

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Remember recently we began a series entitled, 7 Questions To Ask Your Roofer? Well, really, it should more accurately be entitled, “7 Questions To Ask The Roofer You’re Considering Hiring,” or even better, “7 Questions To Ask The Roofer Who Is Knocking On Your Door.”

In 2016, there were several huge hailstorms in El Paso County. Homeowners all over the area had windows smashed and siding demolished, not to mention the damage that occurred to their roofs. Literally, within 1 hour of the storm, the door-to-door guys were out canvassing those areas. Current estimates are that only about 1/3 of the damaged roofs in El Paso County have been replaced, so be prepared for the door-to-door guys to start hitting your neighborhood again in April. 

When your friends and family and neighbors are getting bombarded by the door-knockers, tell them to remember this little saying, “Not every roofer who knocks on your door will rip you off, but every roofer that will rip you off will knock on your door.”

Here’s Question #2 You Should Ask The Roofer You’re Thinking About Hiring

Question #2: Do I have to sign anything?

This relates to what I call the Dirty Little Secrets of the Roofing Industry. Many of the door-knockers will ask you if you would like to have a “free” roof inspection. If you suspect you have damage, you might tell him to do the inspection. After all, it’s “free” right? Then what he does is whips out a form and asks you to sign it. Many homeowners think, at this point, that they are signing a consent form, or a liability waiver. They never suspect that they are actually signing a contract with the roofer. This contract says that IF he finds damage on your roof, or IF you file a claim, or IF the claim is accepted, you HAVE to use his roofing company to complete the work. Remember, this is all even before he has inspected the roof. One lady I know who had this happen to her tried later to back out of the contract because she realized what kind of a scan she had gotten into. Then the roofer began to threaten her with lawsuits and fines.

If you have to sign anything even before the roofer gets on the roof, tell him, “No thank you,” then grab your phone and text all your neighbors to be on the watch for this guy and others like him.

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Why Homestead Roofing Is Relentless About Hiring A Mechanical Contractor

First, what is HVAC? That’s the system in your house or business for your Heating, Ventilation, & Air Conditioning. Most people don’t think about their HVAC system when it comes to a roof repair or replacement due to a hail storm, however, HVAC systems are included in almost every hail claim we work on.

This vent cap was significantly damaged by the hail on 7/28/16.

How Is Hail Damaging My HVAC System?

Nearly every home has a furnace and/or water heater that vents through the roof. At the top of that pipe is a rain cap that prevents rain and snow from going down that 5” wide pipe (or 4”, 6” or 8”, depending on the system). That cap gets pretty beat up during some hail storms and that’s why the adjuster puts that in your claim for a hail damaged roof. Since this cap is damaged by hail, that is covered by your insurance policy (in most cases), so he is adding it to the claim to be replaced.

Why Hire A Mechanical Contractor?

In 2011 or 2012, a roofing laborer was asked by the roofing contractor to replace the vent cap as part of the roofing work. The laborer put the cap on incorrectly by pushing the cap all the way down onto the top of the pipe. There is supposed to be a gap between the top of the pipe and the underside of the cap so that your gas exhaust can vent out of your house. If it can’t vent, the pilot light can extinguish. When that happens there is a potential for carbon monoxide to accumulate in your home. This error by the roofing laborer had a tragic result for the family that lived in the house.

Due to this very high-profile accident, our local governing body, Pike Peak Regional Building, stated that roofers were not allowed to do this work. If it was to be done as part of the roof replacement, a mechanical contractor was to do the work. Very recently, that restriction has been lifted and roofers are now again allowed to replace these caps in El Paso County, however, Homestead Roofing has made an intentional decision to not have our laborers do this replacement and to continue hiring a mechanical contractor for this work.

Recently, I met our mechanical contractor at a job site to help him with the ladder work to get on the roof. Jim Kolar works for Furnace World in sales and project management, and has been exceptionally helpful by doing these cap replacements for us for the last 3 years. As we sat on the roof that warm, February day, Jim told me a story that re-solidified my decision to always have him do these cap replacements for us. Their technicians had gone to a house to do a furnace replacement. After getting the brand new furnace installed, they had troubles keeping it running. They investigated all the possible problems and then finally went on the roof to check the vent. They found a wrong cap installed on the furnace vent pipe. The roofing laborer had a 5” cap to put on a 4” pipe. Instead of getting a new, different cap, he just put that cap on the pipe, let it fall as far down as it would go, and then screwed it on. With no ventilation, the pilot light kept going out and preventing the new furnace from working correctly. This was a tragedy that was prevented by the timing – if the owners hadn’t bought a new furnace around the time the roof had been done, they may not have discovered this problem in time and had a house full of carbon monoxide.

But Why Replace It At All?

That’s a good question. Many of these caps aren’t dented enough to cause a problem, but every now and then we see some that are

This cap was squashed like a hamburger

completely demolished. We had one come in recently that had been smashed by hail so bad that ventilation was almost at 0% and was causing carbon monoxide to back up into the residence. This cap looked like a hamburger. The top half of it just squashed straight down onto the bottom half. Although it doesn’t seem like this is a critical component of your insurance claim, it can, if not replaced or not replaced correctly, become a danger to the occupants of the home.

We would like to see PPRBD renew the restriction on roofers being allowed to do this work. To replace one of these caps literally takes about 60 seconds, but I prefer having the peace of mind knowing that it has been done correctly when we ask Jim to do this for us and not trusting our laborers to try to do it. Sometimes, though, there’s a lot more involved in the replacements. Sometimes the pipe itself is corroded and needs repair or replacement, and we certainly don’t want an untrained person doing that. Most insurance companies recognize this need, too, and either include an HVAC labor minimum cost in their claims, or they allow us to supplement that cost and they pay it after the job is complete.

So if we’re doing your roof or we’ve already done it, and you have questions about the HVAC line items in your claim and want more information, just let us know by calling the office at 719-433-6991 or shoot me an Email at

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Residents of the El Paso County region are crying, “ENOUGH!” On Monday, January 9, 2017, hurricane force winds began pummeling Colorado Springs and the whole surrounding area and lasted for 3 days! Winds at Cheyenne Mountain Resort Center were recorded at 110mph. Zach and I had inspections to do that day and tried not to get blown off roofs, and as we drove around in the traffic as we saw 2 trucks which had been blown over on I-25 and followed several others which were rocking back and forth and weaving along the roads, looking like they were about to tip over. It was the most exciting drive through town I’ve ever had.

Downtown we saw several trees uprooted and laying down. We saw one laying on top of a car in the driveway of the house.

News sites and social media were blowing up with photos and videos of trees falling over, trucks over-turned, and roofs blowing off houses, but the news sites and social media weren’t the only things that began blowing up. Our phones did too! We immediately began getting dozens of phone calls from panicked, or nervous homeowners telling us that they were missing shingles or that they just wanted us to check their roofs for any potential damage.

All of this is directly on the heels of the massive hail storm that hit the region on July 28, 2016. We still have over 4 dozen roofs damaged from the hail storm that are in our queue for replacement and now we are responding as best as we can to the devastation caused by the “Colorado Hurricane” of 2017.

A Tree Downtown Smashes A Car In The Driveway

A Tree Downtown Smashes A Car In The Driveway

Even though you will be reading this a few weeks after this storm has come and gone, we would like to let you know what to do if something like this happens again.

Homestead Roofing has a 7 year workmanship warranty. If you have shingles that are damaged in a wind storm, in most cases our warranty will cover that, though there may be special circumstances that have to be considered on a case-by-case situation. If your shingles have been damaged by blowing debris, tree limbs, or trees, this is not covered under the labor warranty. If you ever think that you may have damage from wind or hail, please call our office at 719-433-6991 and ask for an inspection. Our goal is to treat you as we would want to be treated if it were our own homes affected by such a devastating storm. In the event of a major weather catastrophe, we will respond as fast as we can. In the case of an event that affects huge parts of the metro area and hundreds or thousands of people, we do try to prioritize the calls based on urgency.

As always, everyone here at Homestead Roofing is honored to serve you and thank you for trusting us with your home and roofing needs.

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