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Roofing Blog

How to Extend the Lifetime of your Roof

The roof over your property is a significant investment and one of the most important, protecting everything beneath it. Because roofs are expensive and so integral to the upkeep of the structure, it is important to routinely maintain the roof over your business or home so that it will last as long as possible.

Here we will discuss some aspects of roof maintenance which can extend a roof’s life expectancy. Life expectancy heavily depends on roofing material. Asphalt shingles, the most popular roofing material, have varying life expectancies from about 15 to 40 years, depending on type. Tile roofs can last about 50 years, precluding outside forces and with proper maintenance. Yet, no matter what kind of roof it is, without consideration of the factors below a roof can deteriorate and sprout leaks prematurely.

 

Roof Ventilation

Have you ever wondered what all those vents are doing up on the roof? Well, they ventilate the attic, which is integral to insulating the structure and preventing premature decay of roofing materials. In an improperly ventilated attic, summer heat can cause temperatures to skyrocket to up to 160 degrees Fahrenheit. This heated air not only heats up the interior and makes it more difficult and expensive to cool the structure, but it also cooks the exterior roof covering from underneath. This can cause pitting, bubbling, and cracking. This can be particularly problematic in the South, where it is hot and sunny so much of the year.

During the cold months, conversely, poorly ventilated roofs trap moisture. This moisture can get into the insulation and dampen the roof sheathing from inside. To avoid these issues make sure that your roof has adequate ventilation and that it is properly installed. Poor vent installation is a frequent cause of roof leaks. If you suspect that your roof may have an issue in this area, contact a roofing professional or inspector.

 

Gutters

While not all structures have gutters and downspouts, they are an important part of the roofing system. A roof’s lifetime can be increased by the addition and proper maintenance of gutters and decreased by a lack of these. Gutters prevent the structure from constantly being drenched by rain, which is especially important in a state like Florida. Vulnerable sections of the edifice and roof can sustain water damage if frequently exposed to it.

If you do not have gutters, it is a good idea to install them. If you do have gutters, make sure to keep them clear of debris like leaves, branches, and pine needles. Debris clogs gutters and prevents them from functioning correctly. It also weighs down the gutter system, which can lead to damage to the soffit and fascia system. Inspect your gutters a couple of times a year to make sure they are clear and that there is no sagging. This should also be done after all severe weather events. Finally, gutter-guards can help with preventing debris deposits and save you from having to clear the gutters frequently.

 

Debris Removal

Debris is not only a problem in relation to gutters. It often accumulates on the roof itself, especially in the valleys. In the Palm Coast and Daytona Beach areas it is common to see roofs with pine needles lying in the recessed areas. Is this ok? Definitely not. Anything that shouldn’t be on the roof needs to be removed. Pine needles, branches, leaves, and animal droppings retain moisture, pool water, and add weight. Too much accumulation can even cause structural damage.

Avoid expensive repairs by preventing all that. Remove debris by using a broom to either push or sweep off the roof. Do not use anything with abrasive bristles or a power-washer, since both can damage the roofing material. 

 

Inspect Your Flashing

95 percent of leaks are caused by improperly installed or damaged flashing. Pieces installed around skylights, chimneys, and vents should be checked. It is very important that they are tight and secure. If you notice any gaps, add some sealant or hire a professional to seal it.

 

Moss, Algae, and Fungus

Moss, algae, and fungus grow on almost any surface exposed to moisture, and the humid environment of our area is perfect for them. Many roofing materials are especially made to prevent moss, algae, and fungus growth, but even these succumb in time in high-moisture environments. To remove these elements, mix equal parts bleach and water in a bucket then spray it on the mold and mildew.

 

Trees and Branches

Do you have trees growing close to your home or business? Falling branches are always a risk. Additionally, trees that block the sun can encourage moss and fungus growth by preventing the roof from drying fully. Finally, in a hurricane-prone area, trees close to the house can pose a danger. Make sure these are appropriately trimmed or removed altogether.

  What Else?

The goal here is preventing problems before they begin or at the least catching them early. Make sure to perform regular roof maintenance and checks after severe weather events. If you notice even a minor problem–address it before it gets worse. This will save you time, money, and protect your home in the long run. Call Florida’s Best Roofing, Inc. or fill out the contact form on our website for a free estimate!

Roofing and Hail Damage
Roofing Blog

Roofing and Hail Damage

Hail damage is a frequently overlooked problem which initiates roof deterioration and causes interior leakage problems for homeowners that continue to increase in scope and severity over time unless properly repaired. While hail storms may at first seem like a rare occurrence in a warm-weather climate such as Florida, that is in fact not the case. Typically, several such storms impact the Flagler, Volusia, and St. Johns county areas each year, causing multiple types of exterior damage to homes, particularly to roof coverings.

Unlike wind, which can tear off roofing materials, hail impacts them in less visible ways. This makes it more difficult to detect, mainly because it requires close inspection, which homeowners rarely do, and a knowledge of the signs of hail, which few have unless they are skilled in roofing construction or inspection. Here I will discuss the signs of hail damage, their impact to overall roof integrity, and the steps that should be taken to protect the home after a hail storm. 

Hail impacts different roofing materials in different ways. Asphalt shingle roofs, the most common type of roof covering, are most susceptible to hail damage. Even small sized hail will impact asphalt shingles, causing bruising, pitting, and fracturing. Larger hail only causes more significant damage. The most insidious effect of hail on shingles is granule loss. Granules are the sand-like material, made of crushed stone and minerals, that covers all shingles. Once granules are lost, shingles lose their integrity and become susceptible to water damage, which eventually leads to leaky roofs. This process can take several months, but inevitably over time compromised shingles let in more and more water, which first damages the plywood sheathing of the roof, then leaks into the attic, and eventually appears as water stains on interior ceilings.

Tile roofs, both clay and concrete, are hardier against hail storms, but they are still often damaged by hail. Even small hail storms impact tile roofs. The damage in this case appears as crescent shaped fractures at the edges of individual tiles, as star-shaped fractures radiating from the point of impact, and occasionally entire shattered tiles. Tiles compromised in these ways can let in water during following rainstorms, damaging roof sheathing and eventually causing interior leaks. Subsequent weather events only exacerbate these issues as existing fractures grow larger and the tiles become less effective at protecting the structure. Metal roofs are strongest against hailstorms, and while large hail may dent the metal covering, the roof itself is not often compromised.

Another major problem with hail damage is that it is rarely, if ever, localized. Small repairs are not enough to restore a hail damaged roof to its previous intact condition. When a hailstorm hits, the slope(s) facing the storm are often compromised in their entirety. When this is the case, the roof must be replaced in part or across the whole structure to prevent further damage and future leaks. It is important to catch these conditions as soon as possible, because the longer a hail-damaged roof remains that way, the larger the chance of rotten and damaged sheathing and interior leaks, which cause additional expenses to the homeowner. Interior leaks are particularly problematic because left untreated they can invite mold growth, which becomes a health hazard and requires mold remediation services.

There are several ways to spot hail damage. The easiest, of course, is to hire a professional to conduct a roof inspection, however, there are some signs that can be spotted from the ground. Soft metals are often dented by hail. Thus, gutter downspouts, overhead garage doors, and metal fencing show the clearest evidence of past hail storms. Stucco and siding covering exterior walls may also present evidence of impact, particularly in thicker and softer areas such as the trim around windows, doors, and decorative aspects such as quoning on the corners of the structure. Finally, pitting and fracturing on roofing materials can sometimes be spotted from the ground. For instance, asphalt shingles with significant granule damage can seem to shine or sparkle in direct sunlight.

If you suspect that you have hail damage it is important that you consult a roofing professional to protect your home. At Florida’s Best Roofing we would be happy to come out and give you a free estimate. In the case of hail damage, it is also important that you contact your home insurance company. Home insurance policies cover hail damage to roofs, other exterior surfaces, gutters, fences, and any interior damage that may result from compromised exteriors. Make sure that all damage is documented by you, the contractor, or by an insurance adjuster before repairs are made, as doing otherwise may prevent you from getting a full payout. Also, always save all repair invoices after having work done on your property. We at Florida’s Best Roofing will work with you and your insurance company through the entire process to restore your home to its pre-storm condition and prevent further damage. Make sure to pay attention to weather patterns and how they affect your home. Catching damage earlier is always best and if you are in doubt, do not hesitate to call a professional. 

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home-insurance
Roofing Blog

Will my home insurance cover repairs to my roof?

As a homeowner you have a home insurance policy to help protect your home from damages and help bring it back to its original condition after such damages occur. Home insurance policies provide coverage for certain events, called perils, and often exclude others: these are all specified in your home insurance policy. 

When it comes to roofs, home insurance policies typically cover damages caused by weather. Most frequently, this involves wind or hail damage, although other perils like lightning strikes, tornadoes, and fire are also covered. Indirect damage is also covered, for instance, in the case that wind downs a tree which falls on the roof of a house. On the other hand, some kinds of roof damage are specifically not covered by home insurance. This includes improper installation of roof components, material failure due to manufacturing defects, and normal wear and tear. Wear and tear occurs as a roof ages and affects different materials in different ways. For example, shingles become brittle and metal corrodes. This is why roofs have a limited life expectancy which is typically 15-25 years for a shingle roof and 40-50 years for a tile roof.

Another important part of insurance coverage in places like Florida, and along the eastern seaboard in general, is named storms. Damage caused by named tropical storms and hurricanes is covered in a particular way. Every insurance policy includes a deductible–an amount that the insurance company expects the policy holder to pay out of pocket. This is most frequently $500 or $1000, but can be higher. Damage caused by named storms, however, usually carries its own deductible, separate from all other perils, like a typical windstorm or hail storm. It is referred to as the “hurricane deductible” and is usually 2% of the Dwelling A limit on a policy. The hurricane deductible is always clearly stated in a policy alongside the other perils deductible.

In the case that your roof is damaged by one of the events outlined above and listed in your policy, your insurance will help you pay for your roof repair or even a roof replacement if the damage is extensive or if the roof cannot be effectively repaired, in compliance with state building codes, without replacing the whole roof. To get this process started you will need to call your home insurance company and file a claim as soon as the damage occurs. In Florida, state law says that a policyholder has three years from the date of loss, the insurance term for the date on which damage occurs, to file a claim. It is best, however, to file your claim as soon as you notice damage to your roof in order to prevent further damage in the form of leaks.

Interior leaks are the most obvious evidence of roof damage, but it is best to catch roof damage before these occur. This saves cost down the road and prevents situations that cause homeowners stress and anxiety. It is also important to keep in mind that if interior leaks do occur, you must tell your insurance company about these when calling in the claim, as this damage is also covered under home insurance policies. After the claim is called in, the insurance company will send out an adjuster to assess the damage to both the roof and the interior, if there is any. It is important to set an appointment with the adjuster at a time when someone can meet them, so that the adjuster is able to enter the home and effectively document the evidence of the damage. This is crucial since the insurance company will not pay to repair damage unless they have documentation. 

It is frequently difficult or impossible to see roof damage if it has not progressed up to an interior leak. Things like missing or creased shingles and loose or cracked tiles go unnoticed by most homeowners since people do not often spend much time on top of their roofs. Furthermore, even if a homeowner notes evidence of roof damage, he or she will have a hard time pinpointing the exact date on which this damage occurred, unless it follows directly after a hurricane or tropical storm. And yet, this date is crucial when reporting a claim, since claims with incorrect dates of loss are typically denied. 

So how do you determine if your roof has damage covered under your insurance policy and the date on which this damage occurred? The easiest and most reliable way is to call a professional. A roofing contractor will be able to identify damage on your roof and pinpoint its cause. At Florida’s Best Roofing, we will inspect your roof for free and advise you whether or not the damage to your home will be covered by your insurance policy. We will also help you figure out the date on which it occurred based on its age and tracked weather patterns in your area. We will also meet with your insurance adjuster to make sure that all evidence of damage is noted. Florida’s Best Roofing services all your roofing needs in Palm Coast and offers free estimates.

Call us today at 386-263-7906.

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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