5 things to consider when deciding on a new roof

When it’s time for a new roof, it’s also time to know a few tricks of the trade that will make your experience far easier. From enhancing the protective qualities of your roof, to lowering overall costs, you can prepare yourself with these five useful tips.

1) Alternative shingles are becoming the new trend.
While, of course, several homes still use wooden shingles, a growing amount are switching to alternatives that include concrete slate-type shingles and polymer plastic shingles, to name a few—not only for their homes, but for their insurance companies who highly approve. Ask a contractor about the non-flammable rating as well as options that are class 4 impact-resistant, which may qualify you for insurance discounts up to 30% or more. In the event of hail, a class 4 may even, in certain instances, cause insurers to waive your deductible.

2) Qualifications.
When selecting a roofing contractor, nothing outshines the competition like industry awards and local customer testimonials. Seek them both. In terms of quality, if the roofer has achieved GAF Master Elite Status, that already places them among the top 3% in North America. It’s simple: when you research a company, research its honors and distinctions as well.

3) Emergency response.
Another important factor to look for: experience. It’s always good to have a veteran roofing contractor holstered and ready in the event of emergency storm damage. Decades of regional experience show that they can work gracefully in the aftermath of a storm while being especially prepared for everything the local climate can deliver. Another sound indicator of good service? An in-house Insurance Claims Division that works directly with insurance to save you money—while saving you needless paperwork.

4) Double check your home’s insurance policy.
If you live where hail occurs more often—the Midwest being a prime example—a shorter lifespan on a roof is a common occurrence. While most insurance companies offer good comprehensive service, be proactive and educate yourself by looking for any changes in your renewal policy that may include:

  • Refusal to cover roofs over a certain age (like 10 years)
  • Adding a separate hail deductible that’s subtracted from what you’re paid on a hail claim
  • Excluding cosmetic damage like dents in metal roofs, siding, or copper trim
  • Not covering roofs made from obsolete shingles (thus making it different to buy replacement shingles)
  • Doing partial roof repairs instead of replacing your whole roof (possibly leaving you with a patch that’s different color than your original roof)

5) Warranty.
Of course, good roofing companies offer a long-lasting roof warranty, which is a prime indicator that they stand behind their level of quality.

Serving the Metro and beyond since 1987, Total Construction is prepared to handle all your needs—even if you just have questions.

402.572.7457 | mytotalconstruction.com

Storm damage? Avoid a waiting list.

If hail or high winds have affected your property, don’t fret—expert repair services are available to you at a minimal wait. Total Construction is operating at fuller strength than ever to address this season’s first wave of major storms. From handling homeowner’s claims across Omaha, to claims across the Midwest including the aftermath in Red Oak, Iowa, our company carries the proven capacity and experience necessary to get you back to normal fast—wherever you live, whenever a storm hits.

Want efficiency? Seek experience first.

To ensure that we can serve you quickly—and complete the job thoroughly—our fleet operates in conjunction with our in-house insurance claims center and veteran estimators. It’s a one-two punch of experience that can expertly address both your property needs and all paperwork that arises. We’re also affiliated with a network of top third party roofers in the nation, giving us greater experience handling emergency situations and providing faster—yet finer—repairs to each home we serve. We can eliminate the obstacles that often cause delays or discrepancies in the repair process. It’s a part of our skillset.

Want more proof? Seek awards.

Total Construction has been serving Omaha and surrounding areas for 27 years. In that time, we’ve been awarded the Better Business Bureau Integrity Award and been honored as a GAF Master Elite roofing contractor—a feat that only 3% of North America’s roofing contractors have ever achieved. Add that to a list of satisfied customer testimonials that continues to grow.

When a storm hits, it’s our duty to inform you that better options are available. Because we’ve seen the grief a damaged home can cause—but moreover, seen the joy when a home is well repaired, on time.

402.572.7457 | mytotalconstruction.com

6 useful tips to prevent pipes from freezing

Where there's frozen water, frozen or burst pipes can follow.

It’s no mystery in the winter: the main culprit of bursting pipes is frozen water. Namely, how frozen water blocks the normal flow of liquid through the pipes, causing backup and pressure to build. Contrary to popular belief, it’s not expanding ice that actually makes a pipe finally burst: it’s the remaining liquid water finding nowhere else to go but out. Using this knowledge, there’s a few simple tips you can follow now to prevent any watery disasters in the future.

1. Ensure your pipes are insulated. Sure, homes in the north are often equipped with well-insulated pipes. But regardless of latitude, homes throughout the Midwest, especially farther south, should ensure their pipes are properly insulated—especially in vulnerable areas such as attics, crawlspaces and outside walls. If this year’s frigid cold has taught us anything, it’s this: where the cold is less commonplace, so is preparation. So don’t be a victim: avoid costly emergencies by adopting a mindset of better safe than sorry. For advice on insulation, you can always contact a construction contractor.

2. Seal those seams. To keep cold wind away from your pipes, seal cracks and holes in your walls with caulking. Simply walk along the walls of your house and feel for drafts. And for fainter drafts, light an incense stick. When the smoke is offset, there’s a draft.

3. Some doors are best left open. Did you know? Kitchen and bathroom cabinets can keep warm inside air from reaching pipes under sinks or in adjacent outside walls. It’s a good idea to keep cabinet doors open during cold spells to let warm air circulate around the pipes and prevent freezing.

4. Unfasten your hose. If a hose is hooked up to your backyard or the side of your house, remove it and shut off the valve that leads to your outdoor hose. By shutting off your valve and ensuring all water has dripped out, it removes the risk of a freeze.

5. Don’t hesitate to use your taps. As long as water is running and pressure doesn’t build up, there’s a far lower risk of freeze and pipes bursting. Also, it’s okay to let faucets lightly drip where you believe there could be risk of cold pipes. The slight relief in pressure prevents potential buildup within your pipes.

6. Leaving for a trip? Don’t over-lower the heat. While understandably it saves money to lower your thermostat when you’re away from home, it’s important to not be overzealous and allow your home to cool excessively in your absence. A home kept reasonably warm will ensure pipes share the same cozy condition.

Aside from the obvious pipe burst, a telltale symptom of winter creeping into your infrastructure is lowered water pressure—or worse, no water activity whatsoever when you twist your faucet on. While this requires immediate professional assistance, you can also call a professional ahead of time for additional precautionary tips on how to prevent this worst case scenario.

For the best repair and restoration in the instance of water damage and other incidents, contact a certified construction contractor serving homes and businesses since 1987.

402.572.7457 | mytotalconstruction.com

How to inspect your roof for storm or hail damage.

When it comes to the roof, a heavy storm can leave homeowners scratching their heads as to whether or not they’ve incurred damage. The following are a few easy methods to determine if parts of your roof have gone rogue or remained pristine. And you don’t necessarily have to climb a ladder to do it; sometimes a pair of binoculars and a pair of sharp eyes work best.

Look for missing or creased shingles.

Although these signs are not always obvious and usually require a professional inspection, whenever a gap or unsightly groove in your shingles is in plain view, it’s a telltale sign that it might be time for a new roof.

Look for granules that have been washed or forced off your roof.

These granules normally protect the asphalt layer under your shingles from UV damage, and losing them not only indicates damage, but also speeds the aging of your roof. You’ll spot them in your driveway or your gutters if there’s been damage.

Check if other parts of your home, yard, or car have hail or storm damage.

If they do, your roof most likely needs replacement. The roof has a vast amount of surface area and often receives the heftiest brunt of a storm. Think of any adjacent storm damage on your property as “symptoms” that can diagnose the wellness of your roof.

Look at your own neighborhood.

If your neighbors are having their roof replaced, or roofing contractors are suddenly visiting your neighborhood, there’s a good chance you’ve sustained damage.

While these are a few simple DIY tips that could save you time and possibly alleviate some concerns, you can always call the experts at Total Construction Services for a free assessment and the most capable, experienced craftsmen giving your roof the utmost scrutiny. Serving Omaha, Papillion, La Vista and surrounding areas since 1987.

402.572.7457 | mytotalconstruction.com

Looking for a good construction contractor after storm damage? Contact your insurance agent.

Few things are closer to the heart than home sweet home. So when you’re dealing with damage to your house—whether wind, rain, hail, fire damage, water damage or disaster—you want the repairs done right, on time, and without hassle. Fret not. You can put your insurance company to use, along with a few other rules of thumb, to help you find a proven contractor who will work on your home as if it were their own, and for an honest price.

It’s a numbers game.

We all know that insurance companies, by nature, are careful and sticklers for accuracy. But that’s a good thing. In 2013, they’re measuring ways to satisfy customers even better. They’re scoring customer satisfaction right down to the decimal. That means insurance providers are shortening their lists and becoming stricter on who remains in their network of preferred contractors. Only the best ones make the cut, and as the market only grows more competitive, today’s insurance companies won’t gamble with a contractor who’s anything less than legendary at their specialty.

The driving force behind this trend is called policyholder retention, a.k.a., your happiness as a customer. Your utmost satisfaction is the goal of good insurance, as well as the good contractors they keep in their proverbial rolodex. So if you receive, or request, a list of preferred contractors from your insurance company, you can be assured that they mean good business. Because in 2013, it’s not about who they know; it’s about who produces impeccable results for customers, again and again.

Other signs that lead to stellar contractors.

While insurance is a good start to finding an A-list of construction contractors, here are some other ways to help narrow it down when you need a tried-and-true specialist in restoration, roofing, or repair:

A good reputation.
Has the company earned local awards to prove itself as a standout against the competition?

A solid warranty.This not only signifies a company’s faith in the high quality of its own work, but commitment to the satisfaction of each customer.

Testimonials. While it’s important to find a roofer who’s certified, it’s also important to locate solid customer testimonials that lend credibility to a company’s level of care, friendliness, and timeliness getting the job done. Angie’s List is also a reliable source.

Local dependability. If you’re looking for service in Omaha, Bellevue, Papillion or surrounding areas, Total Construction has been a trusted contractor in the metro since 1987. Winner of the 2010 Better Business Bureau Integrity award, we serve each customer’s exact needs and while working seamlessly with insurance companies through our insurance claims department. We believe it’s important to seek the best contractor, and we believe we can compete with the best.