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Roofing Blog

How Do I Make Sure My Roof Is Insured?

Your roof provides protection for your home; it is an integral part of what makes the home safe and secure for living in. But, as I am sure you know, your roof requires protection too. The roof takes the brunt of the damage done by weather to the house, from intense sun in the summers, to thunderstorms, winds, tropical storms, and hurricanes. It can also suffer hail damage and damage from falling objects, such as tree branches. If anything ever happens to your roof, you need to be sure that it can quickly be repaired or even replaced if that becomes necessary. As roof repairs are often quite expensive, and replacement even more so, it is important to have insurance protection for your roof to provide you with the funds for repair or replacement when they become necessary.

 

The good news is that the roof is protected by the overall property insurance policy on the house. So the first step to protecting your roof is to make sure that you have a property insurance policy. If you do not have one, then you should shop for one as soon as possible. If you do have a policy, then it is always good to make sure that it is up to date and that payments are being made on time on the premium to keep it active at all times. 

 

The insurance market in Florida is in some turmoil right now, so finding a good property insurance policy may be a bit more difficult than it has been before. The highly active hurricane seasons of recent years have very much stressed this market with very high claim volumes. This, along with some other issues, and the expectation of more hurricanes in the years to come have stressed some companies to the point of pulling out of the state or shutting down altogether. These events have led to fewer companies operating in the Florida insurance market with the same, in fact an increasing, number of homeowners seeking policies. This not only raises premium prices, but also raises the bar for qualifying for a policy. One of the primary qualifications is a roof with remaining life expectancy. If your roof has passed the life expectancy on its covering (shingles, tile, or metal), it will be very difficult to insure because of its susceptibility to damage. For these reasons, it is also important to keep your roof up to date and replace it when its life expectancy ends.

 

When shopping for a policy, and even if you already have a policy, it is important to check some key details to make sure that you have adequate coverage for your roof. One of the primary details to check is for an endorsement that puts limitations on roof coverage. These types of endorsements often limit roof coverage, especially for windstorm or hail damage, to actual cash value instead of replacement cost. It is important to have replacement cost coverage because this means that the claim will be covered at the price that it costs to repair or replace the damage at current market prices. If your policy lacks replacement costs coverage for the roof (or anything else), then claims on damage to the roof will be paid out at a depreciated rate. Usually, replacement cost policies pay out on a claim in two checks. First a check is sent out at the depreciated rate, and then with proof of repairs having been done, a second check is sent out for the depreciation. If a policy only covers the roof at actual cash value, then there is no second check. The rate of depreciation values with time, but it can lead to significant out of pocket costs, especially if roof replacement is required.

 

Another detail to check is whether or not the insurance policy allows you to choose your own contractor to carry out repairs. Some policies limit the insured to a particular contractor who automatically receives any payment made on the claim. These contractors are usually partnered with the insurance company in some way. This kind of policy or contract is not necessarily bad, but it can limit your choices. So, if you want to be able to make your own decision regarding who does repairs on your house, you may want to consider a different type of policy. These are the two main issues to look out for, but if you are ever unsure about a policy, make sure you consult an insurance professional before purchasing.

 

If you have any questions about roofs or need a roof inspection, we would be happy to help you out. Florida’s Best Roofing, Inc. is a fully licensed (CCC 1325974) and insured, local roofing contractor with decades of experience. If you are interested in roof replacement or repair and you are in the Palm Coast, Flagler, or Volusia area, please give us a call at 386-263-7906 for a free estimate!

Roofing Blog

Roof Inspections: When and How Often

Most people do not think about their roofs until they encounter a problem, like a leak. But, did you know that you can reduce roofing expenses and the likelihood of leaks by thinking of your roof ahead of time? Regular roof inspections are an important part of general home or property maintenance and they can catch emerging problems early, before they cause significant damage and a cascade of costs and repairs. So, when exactly should you get your roof inspected? Below we outline the best times for roof inspections.

 

After a Storm

The most obvious time to get your roof inspected is after a big storm. These happen pretty often in coastal Florida and not just in the form of tropical storms and hurricanes. Winter storms and subtropical summer storms can have wind gusts upwards of sixty miles per hour, which is enough to do significant damage to the roof. After any such storm it is important to inspect the roof for any creased or missing shingles (or cracked tile) and any impact points. A cursory once over is often enough to spot storm damage, but if you want to be extra careful, you should hire a professional. And, always remember that it can be dangerous to climb the roof of even a single story home, so take care if you do.

 

When Something Falls on It

Any time the roof is impacted by something hard (heavier than a leaf or some pine needles), the impact site should be inspected for damages. If the area becomes soft or has a visible groove, even if the surface looks alright, the roof needs to be repaired because this signifies damage to the sheathing (plywood) that makes up the roof deck. Most often these impacts result from falling branches, so make sure that there are no trees overhanging your roof and trim any trees that do.

 

If You Notice any Leaks

This one is also fairly obvious, but it bears repeating. If you notice any leaks inside, even in the attic, no matter how small, you should call a roofing contractor to inspect the roof and identify the source. At Florida’s Best Roofing we would be happy to do so and to give you a free repair estimate. Even a tiny leak indicates serious damage that will only grow larger and larger if left unattended. Additionally, in Florida leaks can often lead to mold growth, so do not wait to deal with them.

 

When You Clean Your Gutters

The time when you clean out your gutters is an excellent time to take a look at the roof as well. Just as you clear leaves and pine needles out of your gutters, these materials should also be cleared off of the roof. Allowing them to settle and rest in the roof’s valleys can lead to mold build up and rot setting into the roof sheathing, which will lead to leaks and eventually require roof replacement. If you cannot or do not want to clear your roof yourself, you can hire a contractor for a fairly low fee.

 

Twice Yearly

Even if none of the situations above apply to you (and in Florida they certainly will), you should have your roof inspected at least twice a year. At the start and then at the end of hurricane season might be a good schedule. Inspectors will look out for any potential trouble spots (like unsealed vents) that might result in a future leak, let you know if you have any storm damage from the past, and look out for any soft spots that might indicate dry rot or mold in the roof sheathing.

If you have any questions about roofs or need a roof inspection, we would be happy to help you out. Florida’s Best Roofing, Inc. is a fully licensed (CCC 1325974) and insured, local roofing contractor with decades of experience. If you are interested in roof replacement or repair and you are in the Palm Coast, Flagler, or Volusia area, please give us a call at 386-263-7906 for a free estimate!

What You Should Know About Winter Storms
Roofing Blog

What You Should Know About Winter Storms

In Florida our main weather worries occur during the hurricane season, from June first to November thirtieth. In the winter months, while the northern states often suffer blizzard conditions and there are talks of polar vortexes, we consider ourselves lucky since we do not need to plow snow, defrost our car windshields, or drive through sleet or on icy roads. All of this is true, and yet, it is important to keep in mind that here in Florida we have our own winter storms which come with hazardous conditions. These winter storms, while not quite as powerful as hurricanes, can still cause significant damage to property, and it is important to keep track of them and of any damages they might cause.

First, let us look into exactly what kind of storms we have in the South in the winter. While in the summer it is quite common for it to storm everyday, more or less, winter storms are less common. Usually, in the winter, a couple of times a month, sometimes more and sometimes less often, a cold front moves through west to east. Almost every cold front is headed by a storm, often lasting a whole day or more. These vary in severity from just a light drizzle to heavy rains accompanied by lightning and thunder. The latter kind of storm is the one you need to watch out for. These storms, like the one that moved through the South this week, are comprised of bands of heavy rains, thunderstorms, high velocity winds, hail, and even tornadoes. The wind gusts in these storms can be up to sixty or even seventy miles per hour, which is equal to the sustained wind speeds of a tropical storm. These kinds of wind speeds are the sort to cause property damage, particularly in the form of lost shingles. The hail that often accompanies these storms poses another danger: hail damage to the roof which often goes unnoticed and can cause leaks months down the line. The damage from tornadoes is, of course, quite obvious. 

Second, we will discuss what to do to protect your property in the face of such storms. The most important note here is that you should not attempt to look for property damage or even think about climbing up on the roof until after the storm has passed completely. As outlined above, these storms pose significant dangers and make for hazardous conditions. So, while they are happening, it is recommended that you stay inside and avoid even driving unless absolutely necessary. During the storm the area affected is often placed under a tornado watch and a severe thunderstorm warning. Tornadoes, lightning, hail, and wet windy conditions can be very dangerous. In order to prevent property damage, you may want to make some preparations the day before the storm arrives. These include securing any loose items outdoors, such as patio furniture, and making sure that there are no tree branches overhanging your roof which could get knocked down by the storm. Although not as often as tropical storms or hurricanes, these storms do occasionally cause power outages, so you may also want to be prepared for that.

Finally, after the storm passes completely, it is a good idea to give your property a once over to check for any damages. This includes denting or tearing of outdoor screens (caused by wind or hail), denting of gutters (caused by hail), and roof damages. To check for roof damages first make sure that there are no new leaks on the interior (no matter how small). Then, take a look around the outside of the house to see if anything (like loose shingles) which should be on the roof has blown down. You may also want to look at the roof more closely (or hire a contractor/inspector to do so). On closer inspection, it is important to check for missing or creased shingles and hail damage to the roof’s surface in the form of pock marks, or nickel sized dots, on the shingles which indicate missing granules and thus loss of integrity in the roofing system. Hail damage often only appears on one or two slopes of the roof’s surface, depending on wind directionality. If you notice one or two marks of this sort on the roof, that is not a major concern, but if there are ten or more marks in any 10 feet by 10 feet area, then repairs or replacement are necessary. If you do notice property damage after a winter storm, your first step should be to call your home insurance company and file a claim, as these kinds of storm damages are covered by property insurance policies. After the adjuster’s inspection, it is time to call a trusted, licensed, and insured local contractor. Even if the damage seems small, do not delay the claims and repair process. As explained above, winter storms occur once or twice a month. Every subsequent storm will exacerbate the damages caused by the previous until small damages grow to become more significant and more expensive to repair.

If you have any questions about roofs, we would be happy to help you out. Florida’s Best Roofing, Inc. is a fully licensed (CCC 1325974) and insured, local roofing contractor with decades of experience. If you are interested in roof replacement or repair and you are in the Palm Coast, Flagler, or Volusia area, please give us a call at 386-263-7906 for a free estimate!

Getting to Know Your Roof
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Getting to Know Your Roof

If you have recently purchased a new house or property and during that purchasing process did not request or receive a roof inspection, then there are some immediate steps you should take in getting to know your roof. Especially in light of the second tropical storm we had last week in as many months, it is important to always be aware of the state of your home’s components and any changes in them. As a follow up to our last post, we are here to provide you with a helpful guide to getting to know your roof, particularly if you are a new homeowner.

 

Your first step should be to figure out what kind of roof you have and how old it is. You probably already know what kind of roof it is, as that is easy to ascertain just from looking at it. The material will give you an idea for the roof’s life expectancy. On average, 3-tab shingles have the lowest life expectancy among materials used commonly in our area with about 15 years. Architectural shingles (also called laminated or three dimensional) have an increased life expectancy of about twenty five to forty years. Metal roofs, provided that the correct type of metal is installed (especially if your property is located east of I-95 near the ocean), have a similar expectancy to architectural shingles with a slight advantage resulting in about thirty to fifty years. Tile roof life expectancies are more or less the same as metal. 

 

Now that you know your roof’s life expectancy it is time to figure out how old it is now. Is it the original roof installed when the home was first built or has the roof recently been replaced? This information should be included in the documents you received with the home’s purchase. If it is not, however, this information can easily be found online. The local building department maintains public records of new construction and roof replacements, as both procedures require contractors to obtain permits. Identify whether your home is in city or county jurisdiction and then do a quick online search to find the age of your roof. Then, it is time to compare the roof’s age to its life expectancy. Hopefully, at this point you find out that your roof has a long time of peak efficacy remaining.

 

Whether that is true or not, the next step is to find out about the roof’s current condition and obtain knowledge of any prior problems or repairs. Ideally, the home’s previous owners or your realtor will provide you with that information. If they do not, and even if they do, it is always good practice to have your own inspection done independently. In the case that your roof is nearing its life expectancy, this is a necessary measure as well. The best person to inspect a roof is a licensed roofing contractor. They will be able to tell you the remaining life expectancy of the roof, any areas that are damaged or need repair, and any areas to watch in the future. A good roofer will also quickly identify any areas that were repaired in the past and how well those repairs are holding up. A thorough inspection from a contractor will typically cost one to several hundred dollars, depending on the size and complexity of the roof. On the other hand, roof replacement estimates are usually free and if you meet with the estimator in person, he will likely give you all the same information.

 

Another important aspect of getting to know your roof is identifying any warranties it may have. Newly constructed homes typically come with warranties on various of the building’s systems for the homeowner. Roof replacements also typically come with warranties, both manufacturers’ (for materials) and contractors’ (for labor). Repairs can also come with shorter warranties, but not always. Warranties can also be transferable or nontransferable; that is, when a house changes owners, sometimes the existing warranties come over with it and sometimes they do not. Transferable warranties also often have limits on how many times they can be transferred. In terms of roofing, manufacturers’ warranties can typically only be transferred once. Make sure you find out if there were any existing warranties on the property you bought and if any of them can be/have been transferred over with the sale. 

 

Once you have gathered the information above, you are well on your way to getting to know your roof and your home. If any problems reveal themselves in the process, make sure to address them as soon as possible, before additional weather events exacerbate them. 

 

If you have any questions about roofs, we would be happy to help you out. Florida’s Best Roofing, Inc. is a fully licensed (CCC 1325974) and insured, local roofing contractor with decades of experience. If you are interested in roof replacement or repair and you are in the Palm Coast, Flagler, or Volusia area, please give us a call at 386-263-7906 for a free estimate!

New Roof
Roofing Blog

How a New Roof Can Increase the Value of Your Home

If you are in the process of selling or even thinking about putting your house up on the real estate market, you may be looking for ways to increase its value. One of the most valuable improvements you could make to your home is to replace its old roof with a new one. In this post we will explain how a new roof adds value to your home and the best way of going about getting your old roof replaced.

A new roof can be valuable in more ways than just the obvious. If your current roof is more than 10-15 years old, it is very prone to storm damage and highly difficult to repair. Repairs on old roofs additionally have a low life expectancy. People shopping the real estate market in Florida want to be sure that the property that they are buying is a good investment that will be stable for a long time. Florida, however, is prone to hurricanes and tropical storms which decrease property value and the stability of a home. So, new homeowners are looking for properties best able to stand up to strong storms like that. A new roof will instill confidence in shoppers since new roofs are built to the most current building codes and with the most up to date materials that provide the best protection possible against high winds and rain. Moreover, a new roof will likely not need any repairs for the upcoming years and will come with one or more warranties. All these things add value to a home.

Another thing to take into consideration is the property insurance market in Florida. You may or may not have heard about this, but due to the amount of damages from storms and flooding in recent years leading to a preponderance of claims, many property insurance companies in Florida have either left the state or went under completely. This has turned what used to be a buyer’s market (to borrow a real estate term) into a seller’s market. In the past, there were so many property insurance companies operating in Florida that a homeowner could shop around for a policy and find a fairly affordable policy quickly and with ease. The recent troubles in the property insurance market, however, have led to a state where insurance companies can raise the cost of their policies or deny coverage altogether. Frequently the coverage denials or especially high costs of insuring property are associated precisely with the state and age of the roof. It has gotten nearly to the point that homeowners and property owners seeking new policies or renewals for homes with roofs 15 or more years old have nowhere to turn to but the state run insurer, which may offer only policies with limited coverage. Any new potential homeowner would want to avoid this issue by purchasing a home with a new roof. 

So, if you are now convinced (as we suspect you are) that a roof replacement will add value to the sale price of your property, you are probably wondering how you might go about accomplishing this seemingly daunting task. The process is fairly easy. What you need to do is call a local, experienced, licensed, and insured contractor (like Florida’s Best Roofing, Inc!) for a free roof replacement estimate. Call several reputable local companies and get a series of estimates to compare prices, materials, and methods. Once you make your choice, call your chosen company and get your roof on the schedule–after filling out the necessary paperwork–as soon as possible. If you are concerned about cost, keep in mind that many companies, including Florida’s Best Roofing Inc., offer financing options. This means that you could finance your roof replacement now and then pay off your entire balance after you sell your property for a higher price than you may have previously imagined. It is important to get the process started as soon as possible. Although the roof replacement process itself is usually completed within two to three days (unless you have a tile roof), roofing companies tend to be a few weeks to a month or two out on their schedule, especially after the recent damages caused by Hurricane Ian and Tropical Storm Nicole. So do not wait, and give us a call today!

If you have any questions about roofs, we would be happy to help you out. Florida’s Best Roofing, Inc. is a fully licensed (CCC 1325974) and insured, local roofing contractor with decades of experience. If you are interested in roof replacement or repair and you are in the Palm Coast, Flagler, or Volusia area, please give us a call at 386-263-7906 for a free estimate!

Roof Tips for New Homeowners
Roofing Blog

Roof Tips for New Homeowners

If you have just purchased a new home or are in the process of buying a house, then surely you have a lot on your mind. There are finances to consider, inspections, realtor costs and visits, upgrades, renovations, moving logistics, and much more. It is important to consider, additionally, issues connected particularly with the roof. This is especially important in a hurricane and storm prone area like Florida where roof damage is frequent and can be compounded by repeated storms. Here we would like to lay out for you some of the issues to consider.

Firstly, if possible, inspect the roof before finalizing your purchase. Roofing repairs and replacements can carry significant costs. These costs can vary from a few hundred dollars to tens of thousands. It is important to understand what kind of roof your new home has and its condition before purchasing. For instance, firstly determine the roof type. Is it a shingle, metal, or tile roof? This will help you determine current and future costs. 

Shingle roofs are most common and they are also the cheapest. This means that your costs of upkeep in the future will be lower. Every roof needs maintenance, which will include occasional repairs and eventually full roof replacement. It is important to keep these costs in mind at the initial purchase. You should have a qualified and licensed contractor or inspector determine the roof replacement cost at first purchase, as prices vary widely by size, shape, and material. For instance, tile roofs are often preferred for their aesthetic and long life expectancy. Yet, many are unaware that replacing a tile roof can cost upward of fifty thousand dollars. While tile roofs are often marketed with promises of lifetime life expectancies or warranties, it is not unusual for them to get damaged in Florida’s storms. When that happens, repairs can cost several thousand dollars and if the damage is bad enough, then full replacement may be required.

Shingle roofs and metal roofs are cheaper to repair or replace. Still, metal is more expensive (sometimes double the cost of or triple the cost of shingle). It is important to keep these costs in mind at first purchase. On the other hand, the more expensive material roofs generally last longer in the first place. Tile and metal have a higher life expectancy than shingle. This does not mean that they will last forever, nor does it mean that shingle roofs will go in the first storm or the first few years. Recent developments in shingle technologies have led to increased life expectancies for shingle roofs at times rivaling those of metal or tile.

The second thing to consider is the condition of the roof at the time of purchase. We strongly recommend that you have the roof and the whole house inspected by a qualified professional before purchase. This way you can avoid getting stuck with unexpected repair or renovation costs. Regarding the roof in particular, there are several questions to be answered. How old is the roof? Has it ever been repaired or replaced? Has the roof ever leaked and how was the issue resolved if it had? What is the status of the warranties on the roof? Can they be transferred? Is there any current visible damage to the roof that needs immediate attention? Will the seller take care of these repairs or are they discounting the cost of the house based on the condition of the roof? If there is a discount, is it enough to cover the costs you will bear? Keep in mind that if a roof is old enough or damaged extensively, repairs are at best a brief stop-gap measure and full replacement is certainly going to be required soon. Also, be particularly mindful of hail damage. It can be difficult to detect and does not immediately result in leaks. However, hail damaged roofs will degrade further more and more over the months following the damage and eventually develop leaks. 

It is important to get all these questions answered prior to purchase to avoid being blindsided by roofing costs on top of the cost of buying a house and the expenses involved with moving. If you have already bought the property, you should still take steps to get to know your roof. We will address these steps and the options you may have in the next post. 

If you have any questions about roofs, we would be happy to help you out. Florida’s Best Roofing, Inc. is a fully licensed (CCC 1325974) and insured, local roofing contractor with decades of experience. If you are interested in roof replacement or repair and you are in the Palm Coast, Flagler, or Volusia area, please give us a call at 386-263-7906 for a free estimate!

Are you Looking for a Roofing Contractor?
Roofing Blog

Are you Looking for a Roofing Contractor?

With the recent damage from storms like Hurricane Ian, many homeowners in Florida are looking for a roofing contractor to repair storm damage to their roofs or to replace aging roofs with higher quality new roofs that can stand up to future storms. Times like these can lead to chaos in the roofing business with endless calls and increasingly filled schedules. In this chaos often unscrupulous contractors enter the field and take advantage of desperate customers with promises of cheap, quick repairs or replacements. These promises are most often scams that collect deposits with no intention of doing the work or do a shoddy job and then disappear. For this reason this is a good time to remind homeowners how to select a contractor. Here are some aspects to consider when choosing your next roofing contractor.

 

Go Local

When looking for a contractor it always pays to go local. When searching for a contractor, whether in the newspaper or online, do some research. Check to see if the contractor has a local office, whether that office is actually present in the physical location (take a drive), and how long it has been there. Out of town contractors are not always scammers, but even if they are legitimate, it is hard to hold them to account. They may offer a warranty, and then never return your calls. They might set up a short lived local office but then disappear in a few months. When you go local, you know exactly where to find your contractor if you run into any problems. If they have been around for years, then it is a good bet that they will continue to be there for the foreseeable future. If you have a question about the work they do or need to contact them about a warranty repair, then they will be there for you.

 

Quality

It may be obvious, but it still warrants saying that quality work takes time. Anyone who has roofing damage will be desperate to have that fixed as soon as possible. It can get frustrating when waitlists after a storm start stretching from weeks to months. In these circumstances people get desperate and settle for anyone who promises to get the job done on the spot or within the next week or some such timeline. However, there is a reason that contractors end up with long waitlists–it is because many people trust them. A contractor who does low quality work will not have any return customers and will have a clear schedule. They will also prioritize quality work over fast work. A complex repair can take a day or more, and so the schedule begins to drag out. Beware any contractor who is not busy after a storm or promises to complete complex work in record time. Yes, it can get frustrating to wait, but quality work is worth waiting for.

 

Background

It is important to check on the background of your contractor. Are they licensed in the state of Florida and fully insured? It is illegal to perform roofing work without these qualifications. How long have they been around? The stability of a business is an important qualification. Check their website, google reviews, and other social media. What have their customers said about them in the past? Better yet, check with a friend, coworker, or neighbor who has recently had work done on their roof. Which contractor did they use? What was their experience like? 

Quality, established contractors will always offer you a free estimate. For this reason it is in your best interest to call several contractors (after researching them) and get several estimates. This will allow you to compare prices, timelines, and the overall customer experience before making your choice. Beware of anyone who significantly underbids all other offers. Estimates take into account material and labor costs–it is impossible to defer either or both to any significant extent without cutting corners. 

If you have any questions about roofs, we would be happy to help you out. Florida’s Best Roofing, Inc. is a fully licensed (CCC 1325974) and insured, local roofing contractor with decades of experience. If you are interested in roof replacement or repair and you are in the Palm Coast, Flagler, or Volusia area, please give us a call at 386-263-7906 for a free estimate!

roofing
Roofing Blog

What to Do After a Storm

Just a few days ago, Hurricane Ian passed across Florida causing great harm, loss of life, and tremendous destruction. We hope that all of you and your families are safe. We also would like to help you in the rebuilding efforts that must follow. Thus, this is a good time to discuss what actions to take immediately following a hurricane or tropical storm to begin returning your life and your property to normal. Hurricanes like Ian cause immense property damage mainly through flooding and winds. Here are some actions to take that will begin to repair the damage.

 

Evaluation

Once you are safe and the storm has passed, first, it is important to identify and document any damage that your property may have suffered. A simple inspection of the property is all that is required, first on the interior and then the exterior. During this be careful of any debris that may have fallen during the storm, branches that may be on the tipping point of collapse, and of course downed power lines. Do not approach power lines, even if you think they do not carry a live current. For power lines and the restoration of power, call your local electrical company. Yard debris can be removed by hand in most cases, however, be careful of downed trees–these may require professional removal for the sake of safety. Before calling any tree removal company or any contractor, make sure to make notes and take photos of any damage that has occurred. Look especially at siding damage, roof damage (missing shingles or shingles on the ground), gutter damage, and damages to pool enclosures or any exterior structures like sheds. If you do find damage, take your own photos of it first. If you see debris on your roof, take photos of it before removing anything. This may pay off for you in the long run.

 

Insurance

Once you have assessed the damage you should look up your property insurance information. Even if you don’t find any damage, this is a good time to check and make sure that you have a current property insurance policy. You should also know what kind of coverage the policy provides, whom to call to make a claim, and what your deductible is. Beware that most property insurance policies have separate hurricane and non-hurricane deductibles. Any named storm, even if it did not bring hurricane force winds to your area, including all tropical storms, are covered under the hurricane deductible. Hurricane deductibles are typically higher than deductibles for all other perils. Make sure that you know the difference. Additionally, look into flood insurance. Most typical property insurance policies do not cover flood damage. A separate flood insurance policy is required for this. Check to see if you have flood insurance and consider, as a Floridian, purchasing a flood insurance policy if you do not have one already. 

If you have identified storm damage to your home, consider filing an insurance claim. If it is flood damage, you will need to file under your flood damage insurer. If it is wind damage, then it will be covered by your general property insurance policy. Remember, that your hurricane deductible will apply. To begin the process, you simply need to call the claims department of your insurer or go online. Most companies now have websites where you can file a claim. Remember, millions of people were affected by this storm, so waiting times, especially for phone calls, may be quite high at this time. Once you file a claim, an adjuster will come out to inspect and document the damage. If you need to do immediate repairs prior to the inspection, and in many cases the insurance company will expect you to, make sure to document the process from beginning to end with photos and receipts for any material purchased or labor hired. Provide copies of this documentation to your adjuster so that they can see the full scope of the damage.

 

Repairs

Once the damage is found, documented, and reported to the insurance carrier, it is time to make the repairs. Unless you are confident you can handle these yourself, it is time to call a contractor. When selecting a contractor there are some factors you will need to consider. First, always choose a reputable local contractor. Check their website, their reviews, and how long they have been in business. Make sure that they are licensed with the state of Florida and fully insured. Unfortunately, hurricane damage often attracts unscrupulous and sometimes even criminal elements who are either unqualified for the work or worse will take a deposit for work to be done and never show up again. Take care to avoid these. Finally, consider that wait times always increase in this period. Quality work takes time and quality contractors will be busy following a storm. It may also be helpful to get several opinions, as contractors most often provide free estimates.  

If you have any questions about roofs, we would be happy to help you out. Florida’s Best Roofing, Inc. is a fully licensed (CCC 1325974) and insured, local roofing contractor with decades of experience. If you are interested in roof replacement or repair and you are in the Palm Coast, Flagler, or Volusia area, please give us a call at 386-263-7906 for a free estimate!

the Pantheon’s Concrete Dome
Roofing Blog

Famous Roofs: the Pantheon’s Concrete Dome

Roofing may often seem like a jargon-filled, technical, and tedious subject which people only take an interest in when it comes time to repair or replace their own roof, but that’s not alway the case. As we have tried to show with previous posts, it can be a fascinating part of history, literature, and art. A roof is an integral part of the architecture of a building and at times advances in roofing have led to significant advances in the field of architecture and to the construction of some fascinating buildings which have stood for hundreds of years and still survive to this day! In the next few posts we will cover some of these buildings, their history, and most importantly, their roofs!

The first on our list is a building that is about two thousand years old and still standing in the city of Rome in Italy today. This building was originally called the Pantheon and is still known mostly by that name; however, some hundred years after it was built it was turned into a church and renamed The Church of Saint Mary and the Martyrs, so it still goes by that name too. The original building was built a couple of decades before the current era, making it about two thousand and fifty years old, but that structure burnt down about a century later and was rebuilt before burning down again and being rebuilt a second time in the early 100s. It was called by the ancient Romans the Pantheon, which would translate in English to “All the Gods,” referring to the polytheistic pantheon of many gods that the Romans worshiped. Although the building had something to do with Roman deities, it was not strictly a temple. Its function is not easily defined, but that is not the main topic of this post, and for the majority of its life the building has and continues to serve as a Catholic church.

For us what is most interesting about the building is its architecture, which was incredibly innovative for its time and inspired many future buildings, such as the US capitol building in Washington D.C. The building is round (that is, in the shape of a circle) and fronted by a rectangular portico which is held up by a series of decorated columns. The portico is topped by a triangular pediment, which is typical of ancient Roman temple construction, but the interesting part is that the round main part of the building has a rotunda–an unreinforced domed roof of Roman concrete–the only one of its kind.

The inspired engineering of the unreinforced dome, which distributes and lowers its weight, has enabled the structure to withstand the test of time, appropriation of portions of its construction materials for other purposes, and countless regime changes and conflicts that have shaken the city of Rome over the last two millennia. At the bottom the dome rests on a 21 foot thick drum wall interspaced with eight barrel vaults which bear the downward thrust of the dome. In this area the dome is as thick as the drum wall and made of concrete with travertine aggregate. Travertine is a type of limestone which is fairly dense and heavy. To lighten the weight of the load, the aggregate in the concrete used to create the roof was changed higher up. Above the travertine layer the thickness of the dome tapers down and the aggregate is made up of terracotta tile fragments. Finally, at the top the aggregate consists of tufa and pumice stone pieces. These stones are very porous and light, making them ideal for reducing the weight of the dome at the top. The thickness of the dome also tapers down to 3.9 feet at the very top. 

Another element that strengthens the domed roof is that it does not meet up at an apex at the top. Instead, a portion of the roof is missing to form an oculus that is 28.4 feet in diameter. Although all these numbers seem fairly arbitrary, the measurements make much more sense in the ancient Roman measurement of a foot. In those terms, the rotunda has a diameter of 150 Roman feet and the oculus is 30 Roman feet in diameter. The oculus is left completely open to the elements, but since the interior flooring is made of various forms of sectioned marble to create a decorative pattern it stands up very well to the elements.

As an ancient marvel, the Pantheon is open daily to tourists outside of the times when Catholic mass is held in the church. Outside of the architecture, there are many other fascinating facts about the structure, such as its decorative program, its use to entomb significant figures in Italian history, and its continuous use throughout its history.

If you have any questions about roofs, we would be happy to help you out. Florida’s Best Roofing, Inc. is a fully licensed (CCC 1325974) and insured, local roofing contractor with decades of experience. If you are interested in roof replacement or repair and you are in the Palm Coast, Flagler, or Volusia area, please give us a call at 386-263-7906 for a free estimate!

 

Roofing Repair: Choice of Contractor
Roofing Blog

Roofing Repair: Choice of Contractor

With all the rains we have been having lately, you may find yourself in the unfortunate position of having to repair a roof leak. Although some homeowners decide to tackle this problem themselves, it is always a good idea to get professional help when dealing with a system as complicated and integral to the structure as the roof. To help you with getting the process started and choosing a contractor, we would like to remind you of the reasons Florida’s Best Roofing should be at the top of your list.

 

Service and Experience

We are a local company with over 15 years of experience in the roofing business. Our employees are trained roofing professionals with decades combined experience in roofing. We have specialists in roof repairs, new roofs, and roof replacements. They are proficient in handling shingle, tile, metal, and flat roofs. They work rapidly without sacrificing quality and will be happy to answer any questions you may have during the process.

Our office staff is well-informed, organized, and has a reputation for excellent customer service. They will assist you through the entire process in a speedy and efficient manner. Our office, located at 1 Enterprise Dr. in Bunnell, FL, is open Monday through Friday from 8am to 4pm. If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to call (386) 263-7906 or stop by in person. We have color samples of tile, shingle, and metal materials at the office which can assist you in choosing the right material and color for your roof, and our office staff will be happy to answer questions and provide input.

 

Versatility

Unlike some other contractors, we are experienced and proficient in handling all roofing types. We routinely work with asphalt shingle, tile, metal, and flat roofing materials. We will work with you to choose the best materials for your roof and accommodate all your needs. Our experts handle roof repairs, roof replacements, and new roofs for both residential and business properties. Roof size or complexity is never an impediment and our experience allows us to proficiently repair or replace any roof.

 

No Pre-Payments or Deposits

We pride ourselves on a stream-lined, no fuss process. We provide free estimates and collect no pre-payments or deposits. You will absolutely never be asked to pay anything until we agree on a price and sign a contract. We make the utmost effort to accommodate each customer’s schedule. Our employees operate quickly and efficiently to achieve quality results. Payment for repairs is due only after the repairs have been completed to customer satisfaction. Payment for new roofs and roof replacements is due only after the roof has been completed and passes inspection from the corresponding city or county building office. (Due to the uniqueness of material of each roof, concrete and clay tile roof replacements and new roofs require a payment of half of the final cost upon ordering of the material).

 

Insurance Services

We work with you and your insurance company. If your roof was damaged by wind, hail, wind-driven debris, lightning, or any other perils covered under your property insurance policy, and you file an insurance claim, we will assist you with the process and work with you and your insurance company’s timeline. If you are unsure if the damage to your roof warrants an insurance claim, we will come out to do a free inspection and advise you on the appropriate steps to take. When you work with us, our experts will meet with your insurance adjuster to identify the damages to your roof. They will review your insurance company’s response to your claim and supplement it, if necessary, again free of charge. We will be with you through every step of the process until you are satisfied with the outcome. There are no extra charges or pre-payments for this process beyond the cost of your roof replacement.

 

Labor Warranty

We provide a ten year labor warranty on any new roof or roof replacement. This warranty comes in addition to shingle, tile, and metal manufacturers’ warranties. The manufacturers’ warranties cover any issues that appear in the roofing material, such as factory defects, which arise before the end of the material’s life expectancy. This is why manufacturers’ warranties vary in duration from 15 to 20 to 30 or 40 years depending on the material. 

Our 10 year labor warranty instead covers the workmanship of the roof. If your roof leaks, or you find any other problem with the roof during this ten year period, call us and we will send out one of our experienced roofing experts to assess the issue and fix it without charge provided that it falls under the warranty. If the problem turns out to be related to the material manufacturer, we will guide you through that warranty recovery process. 

Additionally, we provide a one year labor warranty on any roof repairs. If we repair your roof and a problem arises in the same area within the year, we will come out and service your roof for no charge.

If you have any questions about roofs, we would be happy to help you out. Florida’s Best Roofing, Inc. is a fully licensed (CCC 1325974) and insured, local roofing contractor with decades of experience. If you are interested in roof replacement or repair and you are in the Palm Coast, Flagler, or Volusia area, please give us a call at 386-263-7906 for a free estimate!

Summer Fun
Roofing Blog

Summer Fun: Tales of Roofing Across Time Part V

As promised in the last post, here we will continue looking at various less well known roofing techniques used throughout the world and across history. In the last post we covered three of the most ancient types of roofs and how they were adapted from available technologies and suited to versatile environments: wattle and daub, thatch, and clay tile. Here, as previously mentioned, we will continue to discuss ancient roofing techniques, perhaps less well known and widely spread than the three discussed in the last post.

Because in the end there are always some fundamental engineering concepts that must be utilized for basic construction techniques, many ancient methods are similar to one another to the extent that they can be interpreted as variations of the same basic concepts. For instance, across the world, different techniques existed comparable to wattle and daub with slightly differing components that changed with what was locally available. Pug and pine, mud and stud, pierrotage, columbage, bajarreque, and jacal are all examples of this. Pug and pine were used in the early days of colonization of South Australia. Timbers of a local tree, termed pine, were spaced out at regular intervals and the gaps sealed with pug, a clay and grass mixture. Mud and stud was a construction method once popular in parts of England and consisted of ash studs spaced out and connected by cross beams at the top and bottom. The structure was then daubed with mud, straw, hair, and dung. 

Pierrotage and columbage were very similar construction techniques used in eighteenth century Louisiana and surrounding southern states. Pierrotage infilled half-timbering with diagonal braces with a mix of lime mortar clay and small stone aggregate. In the columbage technique, the mix is instead made of spanish moss or grass and clay. In the bajarreque technique, the dry and pulpy fibrous material left after crushing sugarcane or sorghum is used as the wattle and daubed with a mix of clay and straw. It was popular in geographic areas where those two plants are grown. Finally, jacal is a fairly basic construction technique, another variation on wattle and daub, used in the southwestern United States. Closely spaced sticks or poles are interwoven with small branches and covered in mud or adobe clay that is left to dry. 

Perhaps the most ancient style of construction, mudbrick has been used across the world, starting in the middle east, for over ten thousand years. In mudbrick construction bricks are made of loam, mud, sand, and water and dried in the sun or (for about the last six thousand years) fired in a kiln. Rice husks or straw are mixed in as binding material before firing or baking. Mudbricks were used for the entirety of a dwelling or other edifice, just as most of the wattle and daub style methods mentioned above. Mudbrick in areas of Spanish influence is called adobe and is often associated with areas once colonized by Spain in the Western hemisphere. Mudbrick or adobe is used to build exterior and interior walls as well as flat roofs. In many regions where this style of construction was utilized in the past (and sometimes in the present as well) flat roofs were very convenient for use as sleeping areas during the hot months of the year when interior air conditioning was not yet invented or not easily available as the interior would have been too hot.

Quincha is another variation on the above discussed methods. It is a traditional construction method in areas of South America and the name is a word borrowed from the language of the Inca. In quincha, wood, cane, or giant reed is used to construct a stable, earthquake proof framework structure which is then covered with mud and plaster. Quincha is very versatile in the shapes that it can be used to create, from modest dwellings to spiraled cathedrals. As you can see, ancient roofing techniques are fundamentally similar but vary very widely based on local material availability and environmental hazards and requirements.

If you have any questions about roofs, we would be happy to help you out. Florida’s Best Roofing, Inc. is a fully licensed (CCC 1325974) and insured, local roofing contractor with decades of experience. If you are interested in roof replacement or repair and you are in the Palm Coast, Flagler, or Volusia area, please give us a call at 386-263-7906 for a free estimate!

Roofing Blog

Summer Fun: Tales of Roofing Across Time Part IV

To round out our summer series on roofing tales from antiquity, in this post we will discuss how roofing developed across time from the examples we looked at in the last three posts to the modern roofs that are common today and which you might see on your own house and the houses of your neighbors. 

Roofing styles throughout history varied widely based mainly on three factors: the available technologies, available supplies, and environmental requirements. Nowadays, as we have discussed in many previous posts, roofing technologies have become quite advanced, allowing a fairly inexpensive and light asphalt shingle roof to do a job equal to that of a tile or even slate roof. Additionally, in our modern global economy, barring occasional disruptions, it is possible for roofing manufacturers, and in turn roofing companies, to purchase materials from all across the world at relatively reasonable prices, that is, prices that do not make the materials cost-prohibitive. Environmental considerations continue to carry heavy weight, and thus result, for example, in varying building codes across the US, but their impact in our time is often mitigated by technological advancement.

In the past, for much of human history, people across the world were missing those technological and engineering advances as well as the global supply chain which would allow them to overlook or overcome local environmental factors as well as local supply availabilities in favor of something better–that is something longer lasting which allows a greater degree of protection (in roofing terms) against flooding, animal intrusions, and storm damage. 

One of the most ancient roofing techniques (also used for walls), evidence of which can be found across the world for thousands of years, is wattle and daub. In this building technique a woven lattice of wooden strips, which is called a wattle, is daubed with a sticky moist mixture of clay, soil, and other locally available materials (such as sand, straw, and even animal dung). The daub is then allowed to dry. This creates an easy to make waterproofed construction which holds together well and can be easily repaired with the addition of more daub (a common method of upkeep for these sorts of structures). Wattle and daub gained its popularity from its versatility. Almost any place in the world has some kind of wood that can be used for wattle and a soil and clay mix with various aggregates that can be used to daub the wattle. While this technology is over six thousand years old, it is still used today in many parts of the world. 

A related ancient roofing method is thatching. A thatch roof is similar to wattle and daub in that it is created from strips of vegetation, usually whatever is locally available, but in this case the vegetation is not daubed. Instead, strips of vegetation (such as straw, rush, heather, or palm fronds) are laid very closely together in many layers to create a water-tight surface which also traps air and provides great insulation. Again, this method is prized for its versatility and used particularly in tropical and temperate climates. Although it is usually associated with relatively cheap construction in developing countries, it can also be found on historic buildings in places such as Ireland or on (very expensive) modern homes with owners who desire a rustic look. While the materials for thatch roofing are widely available, the technique of how to lay them together is no longer widely taught and requires the rare expert who has been trained in the art.

Ceramic or tile roofing is another technique from antiquity which survives in many places and in many different ways to the modern day. Ceramic roofing is more localized in antiquity to areas where the earth produces certain kinds of clay that are suitable for making tiles. These clay tiles also have to be fired (or baked) at certain temperatures for certain amounts of time to get them to the prime state of hardness and durability without overbaking. This is a learned technology that developed thousands of years ago in China and the Middle East from where it spread around the world. Tile roofing, as we have discussed before, is prized for its durability. In the Mediterranean, for instance, it is common to find examples of tile roofs that were built hundreds of years ago and survive and function in the modern day with minimal upkeep. In modern construction, tile roofing is relatively expensive but prized for its long life expectancy and pleasing aesthetics. Modern construction has tempered the expense of tile as now tile roofs are frequently made of concrete tile, not ceramic. Concrete tile is less prone to shattering, which makes it easier to work with, and also it is easier and cheaper to manufacture. 

There are plenty of other ancient roofing techniques which have not been covered in this post. If you want to know more, look out for our next post!

If you have any questions about roofs, we would be happy to help you out. Florida’s Best Roofing, Inc. is a fully licensed (CCC 1325974) and insured, local roofing contractor with decades of experience. If you are interested in roof replacement or repair and you are in the Palm Coast, Flagler, or Volusia area, please give us a call at 386-263-7906 for a free estimate!

Florida’s Best Roofing, Inc is a Palm Coast-based roofing contractor, providing professional roofing services in Flagler and Volusia County Areas.

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