Does your house need roofing? In Central Illinois, our home-builders and roofers at Sundown Exteriors use a wide variety of roofing materials. If you’re thinking of building a new home or replacing your current roof, consider which roofing material might best suit your budget, appearance preferences, and the area’s changeable climate.

Whether your roof consists of asphalt shingles, concrete tiles, or other roof tile types, you need our reliable roofing services when leaks or other damages occur. Call us at (309) 275-6801 for an experienced roofing contractor in Bloomington, Normal, Lincoln, Pontiac, or a surrounding city. At Sundown Exteriors, we can take care of your roof installation, repair, or replacement.

Five Common Central Illinois Roofing Materials

Driving around Central Illinois, you’ll spot all types of roof tiles and shingles. Some homeowners prefer classic asphalt shingles, while others opt for clay tiles or metal roofing. Let’s look a bit more closely at five common roofing materials found in the Central Illinois area.

1. Asphalt Shingles

asphalt shingle roof

Asphalt roof shingles provide homeowners with an affordable and customizable option. Asphalt shingles are a layered roofing material comprised of a base mat (or fiberglass) layer, asphalt adhesive, and granules. Although commonly a dark gray color, asphalt shingles can also mimic other roof tile types like slate tiles and wood shakes.

An asphalt shingle roof provides a low-maintenance roofing solution that’s very popular across Illinois and throughout the U.S. Many homeowners choose this roofing material since it’s more affordable than others. However, asphalt shingle roofs last for only about 20 years, less than half the lifespan of other, more durable roofing options.

2. Metal Roofing

metal roofing

Metal roofing materials are gaining popularity, especially in storm-prone areas like Central Illinois. Whether composed of large metal panels or small metal roof tiles, metal roofs provide an energy-efficient, fire-retardant, and strong roofing option that can last 50 years or longer. Despite their strength, metal roofing materials are lightweight, so they don’t require the additional structural support that other heavier materials need.

Homeowners choose metal roofing materials for their durability and customization possibilities. Manufacturers can design metal roof tiles to resemble many other roof tile types, including Spanish barrel tiles, wood shakes, asphalt shingles, and more.

3. Wood Shakes

wood shake roof

Homeowners who want a rustic or charming look often opt for wood shingles and shakes. Wood roofing materials provide a lot of curb appeal thanks to their natural appearance but lack the durability of other roofing materials like metal, slate, or clay.

Despite their attractive appearance, many homeowners avoid wood shingles because they require regular maintenance to keep them in good shape. Water damage like rot and mold and the hazards of destructive insects and animals threaten wood shingles.

4. Slate Tiles

slate tile roof

People have been using slate roof tiles for centuries because they offer incredible classic beauty, fire resistance, and long-lasting durability. When we say long-lasting, we mean it—slate roofs have been known to last up to 150 years with proper maintenance! Homeowners have many color options with slate roofs, thanks to the various colors found in the natural stone.

Despite its popularity, many homeowners avoid slate tiles because, being stone, they are very heavy. Before installing a new slate roof, contractors must reinforce the home with additional structural support to hold up the new roof’s weight.

5. Clay Tiles

clay roof tile

Clay roof tiles represent another classic roofing material used worldwide for centuries because it offers excellent protection and durability. Typically formed into terra cotta barrel tiles or flat tiles, clay boasts superior resistance to wind, fire, and water. Today, many manufacturers craft concrete roof tiles as a substitute for traditional clay.

Though beautiful and resilient, clay roof tiles are also hefty, requiring structural reinforcement before installation. They can also be expensive to install compared to other roofing materials.

Deciding which roofing material might be best for your home requires you to think about many factors, including what you want it to look like, how long you want it to last, and how much you want to spend.

If you’re unsure which roof type would suit your home best, ask our professional roofers at Sundown Exteriors. We’ll send our roofing contractor to inspect your home and discuss your needs to determine the best roofing material for you.

A Trusted Roofing Company in Central Illinois

At Sundown Exteriors, we can handle your roofing needs whether a storm caused damage to your roof or you need a complete roof replacement.

When you trust us with your roof installation, repair, or replacement needs in Central Illinois, you’ll work with a five-star Certainteed Select Shinglemaster and Owens Corning Preferred Contractor.

That means you won’t find better workmanship or warranty coverage anywhere else.

Contact us today to discuss the roof tile types we work with and how we can help with your roofing service needs in Bloomington, Normal, Lincoln, Pontiac, or a surrounding Illinois city. You can get in touch via our online contact form or by dialing (309) 275-6801.


Homeowners everywhere dread seeing water stains on their ceilings. Although this could indicate another problem like a burst pipe, it often shows a failing in the roof system. Time is of the essence to fix the problem to ensure that it doesn’t happen again.

How can you tell if your water spots come from a leaky roof? The fastest way to get a diagnosis is with a professional roof inspection by a roofing contractor. A roofer will be able to tell you if the source of the water stains is from a roof leak and can provide a quote for professional repairs to correct the issue and prevent future recurrences.

Our contractors at Sundown Exteriors, describe how to deal with a roof leak that causes water stains on your ceiling. Contact us today for help with a leaky roof in and around Bloomington, IL.

What Should I Do If I See Water Stains on My Ceiling?

The problem with water damage is that it can lead to wood rot, drywall damage, mold growth, and health problems for the building’s residents. Water damage can cause structural damage to your home, and you may not even notice it for months.

You may notice water stains from previous damage or new leaks on your ceiling. If the edges of the stain are brown or orange, it has usually been there for a while. Call a roofing contractor immediately to schedule an inspection if you notice new water damage on your ceiling.

How Can I Tell if Water Spots on My Ceiling Are New?

Damp spots without staining could be new. Look for other signs of water intrusion, like bubbling paint on your ceiling or at the top parts of your walls, or drips on interior ceiling seams. If you can safely climb a ladder to feel the spots, see if they feel wet. Contact a professional roofer for an inspection if you suspect a new roof leak.

Can a Roofing Contractor Tell Me If I Have a Leaky Roof?

Yes! A roofing contractor can inspect your attic space and roof exterior to determine the cause of your new water spots and help you find the best way to mitigate the damage quickly. Your roof inspector may find any number of reasons for your leaky roof. Some of them may include the following.

Damaged Flashing or Caulk

damaged flashing roof leaking

Roofs naturally include weak points where different structures break up the roofline, such as skylights, roof vents, chimneys, valleys, eaves, etc. Water may seep into these weak points if the flashing gets damaged or the caulk has deteriorated. Flashing and caulk seal the edges and direct water away from these potential intrusion points.

Fixing flashing or caulk requires climbing on the roof. For your safety, you should hire a professional roofing contractor to fix these issues using special safety equipment.

Ice Dams

Ice dam roof gutters

Ice dams are ice structures that form from snow piling up at the edge of your roof, melting and refreezing into solid ice. The ice may trap water underneath, invading your home over time. Ice dams build up and melt in cycles.

Prevent the buildup of snow on your roof by scraping excess snow off the edges of your roof from a ladder until you can hire a roofing contractor to fix any damage.

Damaged Gutters

damaged gutters leaking roof

Gutters direct rain and melting snow away from your roof, preventing it from pooling and causing water intrusion. If your gutters become bent, loose, or otherwise damaged, water may collect on your roof and work its way under the seams into your home, leading to a roof leak causing water stains.

Ask the roofing contractor for referrals to the gutter service they use.


As the weather warms up after a cold winter, frost in your attic could cause condensation to form on the attic floor, which could seep through and cause water stains on your ceiling.

Ask your roofer about installing more insulation in your attic to prevent frost formation during cold weather.

Roof Damage

roof damage from hail

Storms, hail, wind, age and more can cause damage to roofing systems. Different roofing materials may be susceptible to different kinds of damage. No matter what roofing materials you have, once damage creates an opening for water intrusion, you may notice new water spots on your ceiling.

A professional roofer knows what to look for on any kind of roof to find the source of your roof leak. Your roofing contractor can write you a quote and describe the damage they see on your roof so you can get the problem fixed quickly.

Stop Your Roof Leak Today and Prevent Further Damage

If you suspect a new roof leak causing water stains on your ceiling, call our experts at Sundown Exteriors. We specialize in roof leak repair and proudly serve the area of Central Illinois, including Bloomington, Normal, Lincoln, and Pontiac.

Contact us at Sundown Exteriors, today to schedule a roof leak inspection if you notice water stains on your ceiling.


When was the last time you invested in a quality roof inspection from reliable contractors? These services are essential for protecting the structural integrity of your property.
Here, we’ll explain everything you need to know about roof inspections and why you should never skip them even if you think your roof looks fine.

Are you struggling to find comprehensive roofing services near you in Bloomington, Normal, Lincoln, or surrounding areas? Contact Sundown Exteriors at (309) 275-6801 for a free roof inspection. We’re local roofers that love helping homeowners in our community!

What Is a Professional Roofing Inspection?

Homeowners across Illinois spend millions of dollars on roof repairs and replacements every year. However, they could avoid many of these expenses by investing in routine roof inspections.

Professional assessments help you identify issues in your roofing system, including:

  • Water stains
  • Broken shingles and shakes
  • Clogged gutters
  • Standing water
  • Chimney deterioration
  • Leaks
  • Roof flashing rust
  • Mold and algae growth
  • Debris
  • And more

Identifying problems today is an excellent way to save time and money on repairs later. For any kind of roof—shingle, metal, or tile roofs—licensed contractors can let you know if your roof is in tip-top shape or whether it needs repairs.

Types of Roof Inspections

Modern technology makes it easier for contractors to inspect roofs safely. Here are two popular methods these specialists utilize:

Traditional Inspection

Traditional assessments, sometimes called visual inspections, require the contractor to manually access the roof and inspect the surface with modern tools. This method allows the contractor to locate soft spots or warped decking that may indicate structural damage.

Traditional roof inspections also allow the contractors to check under shingles for damage or mold. Most Bloomington roofing companies prefer this method when conducting thorough inspections.

Camera-Assisted Drone Inspection

drone roof inspection

Drone inspections allow roofers to check the quality of your roof without accessing it on foot. High-quality camera technology can spot:

  • Discoloration
  • Dents
  • Cracks
  • Water damage

Drone inspections are ideal for large properties and require a smaller workforce to complete. A single roofing professional can collect data, identify roof penetrations, and deliver a report within minutes.

At Sundown Exteriors, we have everything we need to complete a thorough inspection. Contact us to schedule your free roof inspection in Bloomington, Normal, Lincoln or surrounding cities!

When Should You Get a Roof Inspection?

Knowing when to get a roof inspection can be challenging. Eliminate the guesswork by following these guidelines:

Once a Year

Most professionals recommend roof inspections at least once a year. Temperature changes and changes in humidity cause your roof to expand and contract, sometimes causing damage. In addition, heavy rain, wind and hailstorms cause roof damage that adds up over time.

Even a roof that looks normal and structurally sound could have hidden damage you can’t see from the ground. With an annual roof inspection, you can identify issues before they have a chance to spiral out of control.

When Buying or Selling Your Property

Hire a roofing company to inspect your home before you list it. You may be able to raise your asking price if you show proof of a recent roof inspection.

Remember that a general home inspection may not provide an in-depth look at the roof. If you are a new home buyer, partner with a trusted roofing contractor to avoid surprises.

After a Storm or Damage

get a roof inspection after storm

Thunderstorms, hailstorms, blizzards, and tornadoes cause millions of dollars in roof damage across the U.S. every year. It’s crucial to get an inspection as soon as possible after a heavy storm. Severe weather can destroy your roof and compromise your home’s structural integrity.

A comprehensive inspection will give you the information you need to plan necessary roof repairs.

Why Hire a Professional Roof Inspector?

If you attempt a DIY roof inspection, you could miss hidden damage during an inspection and have to spend more money on repairs later.

Professional roof inspectors have all the tools and experience to complete your assessment safely and on time.  Let our professionals do all the heavy lifting. Contact Sundown Exteriors today.

Partner with a Roof Inspection Company You Can Trust

Getting a reliable roof inspection for your home shouldn’t be a hassle. At Sundown Exteriors, we provide free roofing inspections. You can expect outstanding customer service and friendly communication during every interaction with our team.

As a licensed and insured roofing company, we don’t believe in cutting corners or slipping hidden fees to our customers. We pride ourselves on the painstaking attention to detail we provide during our free roofing inspections.

After your inspection, we can install roofing materials that optimize your home’s comfort and energy efficiency. We also offer roof replacement and repair services.

Schedule a free roof inspection in Bloomington, Normal, Lincoln, Pontiac, or a surrounding Illinois city today. Call Sundown Exteriors at (309) 275-6801.

Schedule a Free Roof Inspection


A picturesque formation of sparkling icicles beneath your roof’s eaves is actually a significant hazard to your property and to anyone who may pass underneath the ice dam.

When you need to remove roof ice dams, do so safely and, if necessary, hire a professional roofer for ice dam removal services.

Please call us at Sundown Exteriors at (309) 275-6801 for long-lasting, reliable solutions to prevent ice dam formation in Bloomington, Normal, Lincoln, Pontiac, and surrounding areas of Central Illinois.

Why Do Ice Dams Appear?

Why Do Ice Dams Appear

To prevent and treat ice dams, it’s important to understand the mechanism of their formation. The following stages lead to ice buildup around your roof’s edges:

  1. Melting. Most ice dams start with a warm attic. The heat in the attic warms the roof and causes snow to melt.
  2. Re-freezing. Melting snow and ice slide down until they reach the edge of the roof, which doesn’t receive as much heat from the attic. There, the snowmelt re-freezes into ice.
  3. Accumulation. As the former two steps repeat, ice accumulates at the eaves and forms roof ice dams.

Of course, ice dams will melt eventually when the weather warms—but until then, they may wreak havoc.

Massive ice dams may weigh down your gutters and make them collapse.

Meltwater may back up behind the dam, seep through the shingles, and cause a leak or moisture problem.

Finally, heavy icicles may eventually fall and cause serious injury to anyone who passes below the underside of the roof.

How To Remove Roof Ice Dams Safely

What if you go out after a snowy or freezing night and notice an ice dam along your roof’s eaves? You had better address this problem as soon as possible because otherwise the dam—and its potential for causing damage—will continue to grow as long as the cold weather holds.

The following methods may help you remove ice dams safely:

  • A roof rake. Use a designated long-handled roof rake to pull snow off your roof and prevent snow and ice buildup. Be careful not to damage your shingles.
  • Calcium chloride. Calcium chloride can melt ice and cut through an already formed dam. To create a path for meltwater, fill a pantyhose leg with calcium chloride and lay it across the dam so that the pantyhose tip reaches the gutter.
  • Hot water. Gently run hot water across the dam to melt and drain it. Only do that if you can access your roof’s eaves safely.

Please remember: Any roofing job, including ice dam removal, is potentially dangerous. To avoid unnecessary risks, consider hiring professional ice dam removal services. Roofing professionals use high-grade snow melting equipment that will remove even the largest dams safely.

How To Prevent Ice Dam Formation

If you struggle with ice dams on your roof every winter, invest in prevention. Keeping ice dams from forming can save you a lot of trouble, money, and risk. One of the following solutions will typically diminish or entirely prevent roof ice dams:

  • Upgrade attic insulation. Better attic insulation will result in less heat escaping to the roof, less meltwater, and fewer ice dams. Furthermore, it will help keep your home warm in the winter.
  • Ventilate attic and roof eaves. You need enough soffit vents to keep cold air circulating under the roof and avoid the heat-melt-refreeze cycle. A roofing professional can inspect your attic and suggest ventilation system upgrades.
  • Install heat cables. Heat cables in strategic locations may melt ice dams as they form. Heat cables are especially useful on north-facing roof planes, which get little sunshine during the winter.
  • Inspect flashing. Gaps around chimneys, skylights, and other roof openings often become heat (and moisture) leak sources. Sealing these gaps will help prevent warm air from escaping and creating a lot of meltwater.

Trusted Roofing Experts in Central Illinois

Are you tired of dealing with ice dams during every freezing spell? Contact our professional roofing team at Sundown Exteriors. Our local roofing experts will suggest effective, long-term, cost-efficient solutions to prevent roof ice dams on your property.

Call us at (309) 275-6801 or contact us online for a no-cost project quote in Bloomington, Pontiac, Normal, Lincoln, and nearby locations in Central Illinois.


If your home has a steep-pitched roof, especially a metal roof, your property may be in danger of snow avalanches during our Central Illinois winters. A sudden snowslide may cause structural damage to your fascia or gutters—or worse, hurt anyone who passes under the roof edge.

Roof snow guards can solve the problem of snowslides and avalanches. At Sundown Exteriors, we install snow guards on roofs in Bloomington, Normal, Lincoln, Pontiac, and surrounding areas of Central Illinois. Call us at (309) 275-6801 today to get your roof ready for winter.

Who Needs Roof Snow Guards in Illinois?

Snow on roofs causes two main problems: snow accumulation, which may result in significant structural damage and leaks, and snow-slides, which may lead to property damage and endanger people and pets.

A snow retention system like a roof snow guard addresses the second issue by holding the snow in place and allowing it to melt and slide off gradually, rather than in a massive avalanche.

Your Central Illinois home may benefit from roof snow guards if:

  • You have a metal roof. Heavy snow on corrugated or standing seam metal roofs will almost certainly lead to an avalanche if there is nothing to prevent the snowslide. Our contractors will install snow guards on a metal roof to prevent major damage to your gutter system and any objects below the roof’s edge. A metal roof snow guard system also protects people or animals that pass where snow and ice may fall.
  • You have a very high-pitched shingle roof. While shingle roofs are less susceptible to snow avalanches, you may still experience a snow cascade if you live in an area that is prone to heavy snowfall and have a very steep-pitched shingle roof (usually above 6/12, or 26.57 degrees).
  • You’ve had problems with snow avalanches in the past. If you have already experienced snow cascades off your roof in previous winters, don’t wait—install roof snow guards as soon as possible.

Potential Problems With Roof Snow Guards

Potential Problems With Roof Snow Guards Ice Dam

With all the advantages of snow guards, they may cause problems on asphalt shingle roofs that tend to develop snow dams. Roof snow guards may contribute to snow dam buildup, which can cause major roof damage. If your roof is prone to snow or ice dams, get this issue resolved before installing snow guards.

Types of Snow Guard Systems

Most snow guard systems belong to either the snow bird or snow rail type.

  • Snow birds are individual metal devices that resemble a mushroom or seashell in shape. Typically between 2 and 3 inches tall, and spaced 6-12 inches apart, they face the roof’s peak with their wide side and catch portions of the snow as it slides down.
  • Snow rails act somewhat like snow fences by catching heavy snow drifts. Roof snow guards of this type run continuously across the roof’s surface.

Should You Install Snow Birds or Snow Rails?

Both snow birds and snow rails can help mitigate snow-slides, prevent gutter damage, and keep your property safe. Whether snow birds or snow rails are the optimal choice for you depends on several factors, including:

  • Roof size. On larger-sized roofs, especially commercial metal roofs, installing a continuous rail-type system usually makes more sense.
  • Performance. With strong clamps, snow rails may withstand heavier snow loads and retain more snow compared to snow birds. However, the staggered pattern of snow bird systems may be more effective in breaking up snow. Furthermore, if trees shadow your roof, falling branches and leaves may catch behind snow rails and require extra maintenance, while snow birds won’t usually accumulate debris.
  • Appearance. This is a purely subjective consideration—you may prefer the look of dispersed snow birds or of clean-lined, even snow rails.
  • Cost. For smaller residential roofs, snow birds are typically the most cost-effective choice, whereas snow rails may be easier and more affordable to install on larger roofs.

Roofing Professionals in Central Illinois

Is your roof ready to face any extreme weather, including heavy snow? Prepare for winter by scheduling a timely roof inspection by Sundown Exteriors and installing roof snow guards. Our roof experts serve Bloomington, Lincoln, Normal, Pontiac, and the surrounding areas.

Call us at (309) 275-6801 or contact us online for a no-obligation quote.


As the festive season draws near, you may look forward to seeing your house all bedecked in Christmas lights. Just make sure you decorate safely to protect yourself and your property. The tips below explain how to hang Christmas lights on your roof safely and efficiently.

Keep an eye out for any roof issues you might spot while putting on your Christmas lights. Call us at Sundown Exteriors at (309) 275-6801 to get any roofing problems resolved before the holidays. We provide first-class roofing services in Bloomington, Normal, Lincoln, Pontiac, and nearby areas.

Supplies You’ll Need to Properly Hang Christmas Lights on Your Home

Before you start Christmas decorating, make sure you have all the necessary supplies. To put up Christmas lights around your home’s exterior, you’ll need:

  • A sturdy ladder
  • A hanging pole
  • Christmas light clips (including gutter and shingle clips) and hooks
  • A light tester
  • A reliable outdoor extension cord
  • Your favorite Christmas lights

Tips for How to Hang Christmas Lights on Your Roof

Tips for How to Hang Christmas Lights on Your Roof

Follow these tips for safe, satisfying, and cost-effective seasonal decorating:

Test the lights. Inspect light strings for missing or broken bulbs and faulty wires. Discard any strings with hazardous exposed wires. Test your lights to make sure they’re working—you don’t want to discover problems after all the trouble of putting them up!

Position your lights. Make sure your extension cord reaches the point where you plan to hang your first string.

Steady your ladder. Extension ladders may be dangerous if you place them on an uneven surface. Position your ladder carefully and ask someone to hold it if necessary. Use a hanging pole for hard-to-reach corners.

Use plastic clips. Clips are the best and safest way to attach Christmas lights to your roof without using nails or a staple gun. Place your clips evenly and close enough to make sure the light strings hang in straight lines.

Set an outdoor timer to turn your Christmas lights on or off at your preferred times. This will help make sure you don’t forget to turn off the lights so you can save energy during the holiday season. It’s best to use energy-efficient LED lights for maximum savings.

Protect Your Roof While Decorating for Christmas

man nailing christmas lights to roof
Don’t Be This Guy!

Few things are more aggravating than damaging your roof as you’re putting up your Christmas lights. To protect your roof, make sure to:

  1. Avoid stapling, nailing, screwing, or anything else that may damage your shingles as you attach lights. Even tiny holes can let moisture in and compromise your roof’s integrity.
  2. Try to stay off your roof. Every time you walk over your roof, you risk breaking or damaging shingles. It’s best if you can attach all your decorations while you stand on a ladder or use a hanging pole. If you must walk on your roof, do so carefully and wear non-abrasive shoes.
  3. Keep an eye out for roof issues. While you’re hanging lights, take the opportunity to notice and address hidden roof problems. Do you see damaged shingles, accumulated debris, or cracked flashing as you peek over the roof’s edge? Order a roof inspection and schedule repairs before winter starts.

Removing Christmas Lights

At some point, the holiday season will be over and you’ll need to remove your Christmas lights. Safe removal and efficient storage will keep your festive lights in excellent condition for the next year.

Remove Christmas lights the same way you hung them: cautiously and methodically. If you need to step onto a ladder, make sure it’s well-balanced. Have someone else steady it if necessary. Be careful as you detach lights from clips, one at a time, and avoid pulling on strings.

Roll up strings, pack up your lights in padded and marked boxes, and store them in a dry, safe place until the festive season rolls around again next year!

Outstanding Roofing Services in Central Illinois

It’s easy enough to learn how to hang Christmas lights on your roof. For all your other roofing needs in Central Illinois, contact our team at Sundown Exteriors. Our licensed and insured contractors can handle all types of roof installation, repair, and replacement projects in Bloomington, Lincoln, Pontiac, Normal, and the surrounding cities.

Call us at (309) 275-6801 or fill out our online form for a project estimate.


You probably know that winter isn’t the optimal season to replace a roof in Central Illinois, but what if you can’t wait until spring and warmer weather? Can you replace a roof in the winter?

The short answer is usually yes—if you work with a reliable, experienced roofing crew. Call us at Sundown Exteriors at (309) 275-6801 for a year-round roof replacement quote. Our licensed, insured contractors provide superior roof replacement services in Bloomington, Normal, Lincoln, Pontiac, and the surrounding cities.

Why Winter Is a Slow Season for Most Roofing Contractors in the Midwest

roofer removing snow from roof

There’s a reason why most roofing contractors prefer to avoid major projects during the winter months. Extremely cold temperatures and adverse weather conditions may interfere with the roof installation process in several ways.

For instance, when it’s too cold:

  • Asphalt shingles may break or crack when rolled out
  • Roofing cement may not set properly
  • Self-adhesive shingles may not work
  • Installation may proceed more slowly and result in higher labor costs—more work hours to complete the same job

Also, in Central Illinois, a sudden snowstorm or freezing spell may interfere with the roofers’ work even if the crew started the project in auspicious-looking weather. That’s why many roofers restrict their winter work to short, indispensable projects like emergency repairs.

How to Replace a Roof in the Winter

How to Replace a Roof in the Winter

What if a violent storm dismantles your roof, or you spot a leak and an inspection reveals a systemic roof problem? Must you resign to living with a faulty roof for months? Not necessarily. Many winter days offer perfectly adequate conditions for roof replacement, provided that:

  • The weather is compatible with a roofing job. If it’s snowing, hailing, or raining, or if it’s the coldest day Central Illinois has known for the past two decades, your roof replacement will have to wait. It’s vital to keep up with the weather forecast when approaching a winter roof replacement project.
  • Asphalt shingles are at the right temperature. Most shingle manufacturers recommend installing shingles at a minimum temperature of 40 degrees. When it’s too cold, shingles may become brittle. Your roofing crew may need to warm up the shingles before starting work. Spreading shingles in the sun also allows them to absorb heat and become pliable enough to work with.
  • The roofers hand-seal each shingle. Roof shingles typically come with an auto-sealing adhesive strip, which won’t work properly if it’s too cold. Roofers may need to hand seal every shingle to create a proper bond. Hand-sealing is especially important in areas like eaves and rakes.
  • You choose a professional local contractor. When you undertake a roofing project during a challenging season, make sure to work with an experienced, reputable contractor who has handled many winter roof installations in your area, knows how weather conditions may impact installation, and gives you a realistic time estimate.

The Advantages of Winter Roof Replacement

With all the potential problems of winter roof replacement, you may also reap several benefits when you decide to install a new roof during the cold season. By opting to replace a roof in the winter, you may:

  • Get a better offer. When contractors are less busy, project quotes tend to drop. Tackling your roof replacement during the slow season might save you a lot of money.
  • Resolve roof issues in time. Living through winter with a faulty roof may cause structural damage to your home. Your old roof may become a safety hazard which you need to remove as soon as possible.
  • Ensure a professional job. Replacing a roof in the winter requires more care but may also result in a better-quality installation. For example, hand-sealing and checking each shingle may create a more reliable seal.

Expert Roof Replacement in Central Illinois

Did your roof suffer irreparable damage in an extreme weather event? Have you discovered a major roof issue that won’t wait until spring? Never fear—with Sundown Exteriors, you can replace a roof in the winter and throughout the year.

Call us at (309) 275-6801 or contact us online for a no-cost roof replacement estimate in Bloomington, Lincoln, Normal, Pontiac, and other locations in Central Illinois.


A major thunderstorm, a tornado, a flash flood, or a hailstorm may all damage the roof of your Illinois home. How do you address roof storm damage—and will your homeowners insurance cover repair costs? Keep reading as we explain more.

For reliable storm damage roof repair in Bloomington, Normal, Lincoln, Pontiac, and other Central Illinois locations, call our team at Sundown Exteriors at (309) 275-6801. Our reliable, experienced contractors will mitigate any storm damage to your roof system and help preserve your home’s structural integrity.

Assessing Roof Damage After a Storm

Assessing Roof Damage After a Storm

Roof storm damage may be difficult to spot unless you’ve dealt with an extreme weather event that caused massive devastation. You’ll probably need to climb a ladder for a full view of your roof, and even then, you might miss signs of damage that can lead to serious roof issues if left unaddressed.

As you inspect your roof after a storm, look for:

  • Broken, missing, cracked, or damaged shingles
  • Bullet-like holes in shingles after severe hail
  • Water spots in the attic and on ceilings
  • Dented or missing flashing
  • Large amounts of shingle granules in gutters

A professional roof inspection after a major storm will help you get a realistic assessment of your roof’s condition. In extreme cases, your roof may become a hazard, so you and your family would need to evacuate the house.

Otherwise, your roofing contractor may suggest emergency roof tarping to protect your property from water damage and enable you to stay in your home during storm damage roof repair.

Filing a Roof Storm Damage Insurance Claim

Filing a Roof Storm Damage Insurance Claim

Most homeowners insurance policies cover roof damage that occurs because of storms, hail, rain, wind, and other adverse weather events. However, to file a claim, you will need to prove that the storm (and not other factors, like normal wear and tear) caused the damage.

As soon as you notice that a storm has harmed your roof, you should:

  1. Take multiple photos of any damage, like broken shingles, hail dents, fallen tree limbs, etc.
  2. Notify your insurance company of the damage and provide any necessary details.
  3. Proceed according to your insurer’s instructions, whether this means waiting for an insurance adjuster to inspect your roof directly or scheduling a roof inspection with a licensed local contractor.

While you’re waiting for your insurer to approve your claim, proceed with any urgent work that is necessary to ensure your safety or your property’s integrity—e.g., fallen tree removal or emergency waterproofing. You can add these costs to your claim later.

Otherwise, wait for claim approval before you tackle any non-emergency roof repair. Remember that a reputable contractor won’t rush you into a contract before an insurer approves your claim.

In some cases, homeowners insurance companies may try to wriggle out of claims by denying a connection between the storm and some or all of the roof damage. If you disagree with your insurance company’s verdict, working with an independent insurance adjuster may help you negotiate a better offer.

Should You Repair or Replace a Storm-Damaged Roof?

The decision to repair or replace a damaged roof usually hinges on two main factors: the extent of the damage and the roof’s age. Minor damages like a few missing shingles or torn flashing are usually easy enough to fix. However, you may consider replacing your roof if:

·       Your roof is nearing the end of its lifespan
·       The storm caused significant damage (for example, a tree fell on your roof, winds tore off a large number of shingles, etc.)
·       You’re dealing with constant ineffective roof repairs
·       A reputable contractor estimates that replacement makes more sense than repair in your case

Please keep in mind that your homeowners insurance policy may not cover all roof replacement costs. Contact your insurer to find out whether you’re eligible for roof replacement coverage after a storm.

Storm Damage Repair Contractors in Central Illinois

When storms hit, our team at Sundown Exteriors is here to assess damage, provide quick, cost-efficient emergency repairs, and make sure your roof system is ready for the next adverse weather event. We serve homeowners in Bloomington, Pontiac, Normal, Lincoln, and nearby areas in Central Illinois.

Call us at (309) 275-6801 or fill out our online contact form for a no-cost storm damage roof repair quote.


Whether due to storm damage or age, you may need to replace your roof. If you’re in the process of a roof replacement project, or you are considering having your roof replaced, you may wonder, “How long will it take to replace my roof?”

The answer is a little more complicated than you might think. A professional roofer can typically finish a roof installation in a full day of work for a smaller home, and two days for a larger home or commercial roof. However, conditions aren’t always ideal, and you must take other factors into account in estimating the total time for the job.

Our roof replacement experts at Sundown Exteriors, describe some of the reasons why a re-roof could take longer. For more information, or to schedule a roof inspection in or around Bloomington, IL, contact us at Sundown Exteriors.

How Long a Roof Replacement Takes Depends on a Few Factors

The type of roof you have and the roof material you’re installing are among some of the factors that influence the time it will take to replace your roof.

Roof Material

Is your roof shingled? Are you replacing shingle with shingle, or are you changing to a different roof type like metal or tile? Installation time can vary greatly between each type of roofing material.

  • Asphalt shingles require a one-day installation on a smaller home.
  • Slate tiles usually require a six-day installation on average (more for a larger home).
  • Metal roofing requires two to five days for installation, depending on size and complexity.

When your professional roofer writes their estimate, ask how long the installation schedule will be for your roof replacement.

Roof Size

roof size

The size of the roof can also impact the pace of your roof replacement. Many roofers use crews of different sizes to meet the demand for roofing jobs. A smaller home roof replacement can use a smaller team to complete the work in a day.

However, a larger home or office will require a larger crew so your roofer can complete the job in fewer days. Completing a roof replacement is a calculation in manhours available to do the work. A larger crew can apply more man hours to the roof replacement project to complete the work faster than a smaller crew.

It isn’t always a question of “How long does it take to replace a roof?” but rather, “How many manhours will it take to replace my roof?”

Roof Slope

roof slope

The slope (steepness) of your roof will also affect the total time necessary to complete the roof replacement. An extremely steep roof may require additional tools and safety equipment for workers to do the work without falling off the roof or having a tool bag slide off the sloped edge and cause damage to your home below.

Additionally, a shallow pitch roof will need underlayments to protect the roof from water intrusion. A low slope could slow water runoff enough to allow it to pool on the roof, increasing the risk of a leak over time. Protective underlayments can prevent leaks but will also increase the amount of work and time for the roof replacement.

Property Accessibility

During a roof replacement, your roofer will need access to your yard to drop off pallets of materials and tools, as well as a large dumpster to remove the old roof materials. If your home includes a wraparound porch, landscaped hedges, or solid fencing, it could limit accessibility for work crews to transport materials easily up ladders and onto the roof for installation.

Weather on Your Scheduled Service Date

Numerous weather conditions can affect scheduling for your roof replacement. Some materials may not function correctly in extremely cold weather, and shorter winter days mean less daylight to complete a job.

Additionally, wet or icy conditions are unsafe for work crews on a roof. Asphalt shingles and sealant may not stick in temperatures below 40 degrees Fahrenheit.

The best time of year to install a new roof is in the summer, when daylight savings time gives work crews more hours to complete a roof replacement project. It’s usually warm and sunny, allowing the best conditions possible for the team to do their work.

Extent of the Roof Damage

roof damage

If the roof deck is still in good condition, a professional roofer may only need to peel back the old shingles and replace them with the new roof material. However, if there is damage under the old roof, your roofing contractor may need to replace plywood sheets or other roof deck materials before they can apply the new shingles or tiles.

When You Need a New Roof Hire Sundown Exteriors

So now you know what to expect when you ask, “How long does it take to replace a roof?” If you need a professional roofer in Bloomington, Normal, Lincoln, Pontiac, or a nearby city in Central Illinois, our team at Sundown Exteriors, is the one to call. We offer full roof replacement services for residential and commercial customers.

Contact us at Sundown Exteriors, today. For residential inquiries, call (309) 275-6801. For commercial roofing, call 217-737-9117. For any service, fill out our online contact form. We look forward to giving you a free quote!


Do you have damp walls or ceiling, water stains, drips, or peeling paint? Even a minor roof leak can transform into a nightmare for homeowners.

Unaddressed leaks lead to many problems, including mold growth, ruined insulation, walls, and ceilings, and even structural damage to the home’s roof or framing. If you’re dealing with water damage and suspect a leaky roof, try the tips below to find the problem.

If it’s a simple repair, follow the directions in this article. If not, contact a trusted roofing contractor, such as our team at Sundown Exteriors if you live in Central Illinois! We specialize in roof repairs, so you can trust us to fix a roof leak no matter the size or location. Call us today at (309) 275-6801 for roofing repairs in Bloomington, Normal, Lincoln, Pontiac, and surrounding Illinois cities.

Four Tips for Finding a Roof Leak

Locating the origin of a roof leak can prove challenging. Here are five tips to help you find roof leaks in your home:

1. Look, Feel, and Smell

water damage roof leak

The first indication of a roof leak is often water damage within the home, but other indications may also exist. Don’t ignore these signs of a compromised roof:

  • Missing, shifted, or deformed roofing shingles
  • Damp ceilings or walls, especially around vents and fixtures
  • Water stains on ceilings, interior walls, or exterior walls
  • Peeling or bulging paint, ceilings, or walls
  • Musty smell in an area of the home

Water damage may point in the direction of a roof leak, but following the water to the leak’s origin is not always as straightforward as it seems.

2. Inspect the Roof

If you suspect a roof leak, inspect your roof for noticeable signs, such as holes, missing shingles, or dark spots. Pay extra attention to your roof’s high points and carefully inspect around protruding structures like chimneys, dormers, and roof vents. If you cannot get onto your roof safely, hire a roofing professional to conduct the inspection.

3. Inspect the Attic

inspect attic for roof leaks

If you cannot safely access your roof or can’t find any apparent roof damage, inspect your attic next. Head up during the day and look for small holes where the sunlight is shining through. Using a bright flashlight, search for other signs that indicate roof leaks, including water stains, dark spots, damp insulation, mold, and black marks.

During a roof installation, nails sometimes miss the frame, so they jut down into the attic. If it’s cold outside, look around for any nails sticking out that are frosted white. We’ll explain more about these frosted nails in a bit.

4. Grab the Garden Hose

If you have someone to help you, try detecting a roof leak with your garden hose. With one person on the roof with the hose and the other inside the home where you suspect the leak, soak a small section of the roof for a few minutes, then watch for water intrusion inside. Soak each side of protruding structures one at a time to zero in on the leak’s origin.

If you find the right section but can’t locate the exact spot of the leak, remove the roofing shingles around that area. Look for wet underlayment and wet or rotten wood to pinpoint the leak. Once you find it, mark the location, then measure the damaged area.

Three Tips for Repairing a Roof Leak

Once you’ve located the roof leak, it’s time for repairs. See below for tips on conducting simple roof repairs or keeping your home protected until a professional can take a look.

1. Clip Shiners

Remember those frosty nails protruding down into the attic from your roof? We call these “shiners,” and they cause minor leaks as the collected frost melts and drips in warmer temperatures. You can quickly resolve these types of leaks by clipping off the protruding nail.

2. Tarp the Roof

blue roof tarp bloomington il

If you need to cover a damaged roof temporarily, follow these steps to tarp your roof (call Sundown Exteriors if you’re not comfortable being on a roof):

  • Obtain a tarp large enough to cover the damaged section with at least three extra feet on all sides and enough two-by-fours to line the tarp.
  • Clear off any tree limbs and other debris from the compromised section.
  • If the hole is large, screw plywood over it to prevent pooling.
  • Lay the tarp over the damaged area with at least four feet of tarp on the other side of the peak.
  • Attach two-by-fours to each bottom side of the tarp.
  • Wrap each side around the wood several times, and then attach the two-by-fours to the roof.
  • Use the remaining two-by-fours to seal the sides.
  • Screw one more two-by-four on top of each of the ones on the bottom sides to reinforce the tarp.

To stay safe, complete this temporary fix with a helper. For your safety, avoid going onto your roof in wet or windy weather.

3. Hire a Professional Roofing Contractor

Roof leaks often require professional repairs to avoid future damage. If you need help with a roof leak in Bloomington, Normal, Lincoln, Pontiac, or a surrounding city in Central Illinois, call our roofing professionals at Sundown Exteriors for help.

At Sundown Exteriors, our experienced roofing contractors specialize in roof repairs. Contact us online or call us at (309) 275-6801 in Normal, IL, to schedule your free estimate.