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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!

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 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!

Roofing Blog

Summer Fun: Tales of Roofing Across Time Part II

Nowadays roofing construction and the roofing business can seem mundane and often quite a hassle for those who have to deal with roof repairs or roof replacement. While that, in fact, may have always been the case throughout history, roofing does play a key role in a few tales across time, from mythological, to historical, to mundane. This is the second post in a series where we will look at interesting ways that roofing has come up in ancient mythology and history while contextualizing these snapshots for those who may not be quite so familiar with tales from antiquity.

 

Pyrrhus of Epirus

A roofing mishap gains historical significance in the life and death of Pyrrhus of Epirus. Pyrrhus is best known perhaps for the fact that his name becomes part of the phrase “Pyrrhic victory” and thus synonymous with a sort of mild failure. A Pyrrhic victory is essentially an empty victory in which the victor loses more in manpower and resources than they gain in the victory itself. Pyrrhus’ name becomes attached to this phrase due to his entanglements with the ancient Romans in a period when they were beginning to extend their control over the south of what would eventually become modern Italy.

 

Pyrrhic War: 281-275 BCE

Pyrrhus was a king of the Hellenistic period of ancient Greece, which is so called because after the campaigns and subsequent death of Alexander the Great of Macedonia, many small Greek kingdoms sprung up and began to rule over the eastern Mediterranean. Epirus was one of these kingdoms, and it was located on the western coast of the Greek peninsula, off of the coast of the Adriatic Sea, and fairly close to ancient Italy.

While the Hellenistic Greek kingdoms were ruling over the eastern Mediterranean, a new power began to rise in the west. The western Mediterranean had for centuries been dominated by Carthage, a colony of the Phoenicians in North Africa. However, beginning at the start of the 4th century BCE a small town in central Italy began to grow. This town would eventually give its name to the Roman Empire and rule over most of Europe, North Africa, and Western Asia for centuries. At this time, however, Rome was expanding its influence to the south.

Rome jumped on the opportunity to expand their influence when Thurii, an independent city-state in southern Italy, requested Rome’s assistance in staving off raids from neighboring tribal communities. When Rome agreed and their assistance was effective, Croton, Rhegium, and Locri, three other independent city-states, followed Thurii’s example and concluded treaties with the Romans. This arrangement, however, spooked Tarentum, a neighboring state that wanted to remain independent. In 282 BCE Tarentum attacked a Roman navy ship which was sailing too close to its coast. In turn, the Romans marched to besiege the town of Tarentum. Tarentum appealed for help (with the promise of monetary recompense) to the east and found Pyrrhus.

Pyrrhus jumped on the chance to battle the Romans and make his mark in the west. His whole life he had emulated Alexander the Great, whose whirlwind conquest of Asia and subsequent death had taken place less than 50 years earlier. It was rumored that before he died Alexander was planning to take his conquests west and make Italy his next prize. Pyrrhus figured that he would take his mercenary army, hired by Tarentum, and complete that task.

Thus begin the events for which Pyrrhus would gain everlasting fame, although perhaps not in the way he imagined. Pyrrhus fought three battles with the Romans: Heraclea in 280 BCE, Ausculum in 279 BCE, and Beneventum in 275 BCE. The first two battles, Heraclea and Ausculum, were Pyrrhic victories. That is, Pyrrhus won the battles, but lost too many men and resources to capitalize on the victory. While Pyrrhus had to hire more mercenaries and import resources from Greece, the Romans simple levied more troops and re-formed their army. At Beneventum, after a break of several years, the Romans achieved what they would later claim was their victory against Pyrrhus. Although Pyrrhus and enough men survived that he could have fought on next year, he recognized the mire into which he had gotten himself and left Italy never to return. The Romans assumed control of the south.

So where is the roofing in this? Well, it has to do with the end of Pyrrhus’ life. After retreating from Italy, Pyrrhus continued fighting first in Macedon, then in Sparta, and finally in the Greek city of Argos, where he was cornered by an enemy soldier on the city street, and while fighting him, was killed by a roofing tile thrown from the rooftop of the nearby building by the mother of the soldier he was fighting!

If you are interested in ancient tales, stay tuned for 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!

Roofing Blog

Summer Fun: Tales of Roofing Across Time Part I

Nowadays roofing construction and the roofing business can seem mundane and often quite a hassle for those who have to deal with roof repairs or roof replacement. While that, in fact, may have always been the case throughout history, roofing does play a key role in a few tales across time, from mythological, to historical, to mundane. In the next few posts we will look at interesting ways that roofing has come up in ancient mythology and history while contextualizing these snapshots for those who may not be quite so familiar with tales from antiquity.

 

The Odyssey

 One of the world’s earliest works of literature is an epic poem in ancient Greek attributed to the fabled bard Homer. It is unclear whether an actual person named Homer existed who was associated with the poetry attributed to him, but two epic poems do survive from around 800-700 BCE that become foundational for world literature, particularly in Europe: the Iliad and the Odyssey. These two poems were part of what is called the Trojan cycle, which included several other narrative poems that no longer survive. They narrate events surrounding the Trojan War, a major event in Greek mythology. While the Iliad is a narrative of events surrounding the tenth year of the war, focusing on Achilles, the greatest of the Greek heroes, the Odyssey is a story of another hero’s wandering and return home after the war. Here we will address one particular, and very famous, episode in the Odyssey that involves roofs.

 

Aeaea

 In book 10 (of 24) in the Odyssey, the main character, Odysseus, tells a story about his travels when he is addressing the Phaeacians, a people who welcomed him toward the end of his 10 years of travels (during which he was trying to make it home after fighting on the Greek side in the Trojan War and being instrumental in capturing the city of Troy—he was the architect behind the plan of the Trojan horse). Participating in the ancient, revered art of storytelling, a major theme in the Odyssey, Odysseus tells about how in his travels he and his men accidentally landed on the island of Aeaea, ruled by Circe, after a series of unfortunate events that involved the likes of the Cyclops and the Laestrygonians—a mythological race of boulder wielding cannibals. In Greek mythology Circe was the daughter of the god Apollo and a witch. Odysseus sent half his men to explore the island, and Circe promptly turned them into pigs by feeding them magic food, allowing one to report back to Odysseus (a folktale motif—don’t eat food in mysterious places ruled by mysterious women). Odysseus sets out to rescue his men, and he is assisted by the god Hermes, who gives him a special flower (moly) that keeps Circe’s magical food from transforming Odysseus into a pig. When Odysseus confronts Circe, she tries to turn him into a pig anyway, but he threatens her with his sword, and she sleeps with him instead (that’s definitely how that works). Circe turns the pigs back into men, and Odysseus spends a year with her. They have a son, Telegonus, who in some versions of the myth (not the Odyssey) decades later kills his father. After a year, Odysseus decides to leave, but Circe tells him to go check out the Underworld first.

 

Elpenor

 The night before the journey, Odysseus and his men are invited to a banquet by Circe, who now serves as their hostess. During this banquet, using her witchy powers, Circe advises Odysseus that in order to find his way back home to Ithaca (his goal), he must consult the famed prophet Tiresias. Unfortunately, at this point Tiresias is dead. Thus, Circe instructs Odysseus on how to reach a gateway to the Greek underworld, Hades, and how there to summon the shades of the dead, particularly Tiresias, in order to get his advice. Odysseus plans to set out on this fact-finding mission immediately the next morning. Yet, also during this banquet, Odysseus’ youngest comrade, Elpenor, gets very drunk and decides to spend the night sleeping on the roof of Circe’s house.

 The next morning, setting out for their journey to the Underworld, Odysseus and his men notice that Elpenor is missing. Deciding that they do not have the time to search for him, they board their ship and sail to the west (the general direction of the underworld in ancient mythology across the world). Having reached the most western lands, beyond the limits of the world (in ancient Greek mythological understanding), Odysseus proceeds to dig a giant pit to the underworld with his sword—doubtless the best instrument for this—and then he conducts the ritual (involving libations of water, milk and honey, wine, and then animal blood) to summon the shades of the dead, including Tiresias.

 Before he can speak to Tiresias, however, Odysseus is confronted by the shade of Elpenor. After a short conversation, Odysseus learns from Elpenor that unbeknownst to the rest of the men, Elpenor was not just missing, but dead. He woke up on the roof the morning after the banquet and, forgetting where he was, in his confusion, fell off the roof, breaking his neck. Elpenor begs Odysseus to return to Aeaea and bury his body, since otherwise he cannot enter the underworld and proceed with the afterlife. Odysseus agrees to do so, and in fact does just that after returning to Aeaea following his conversation with the other shades of the underworld, allowing Elpenor’s shade to pass into the underworld.

 

 If you are interested in ancient tales, stay tuned for 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!

Insurance Claims for Roof Damage
Roofing Blog

Insurance Claims for Roof Damage: 5 Tips

When your home or property gets damaged by a storm or other natural event, you want to be confident that repairs and restorations will be covered by your property insurance. After all, this is why you pay your yearly insurance premiums to avoid hassle when your property sustains damage. For those unfamiliar with the insurance claims process, however, it can pose some challenges and present frustrations. This is why we are here to help you get prepared and make your way through filing a roof damage claim and getting your roof back to its original undamaged state. Here are five tips for dealing with the insurance and claims process that will help to make it quick and easy.

 

  1. Know your policy

While most people are content simply knowing that they have an insurance policy and leave the details to their insurance agent, it is essential that you are familiar with certain parts of your policy. The first is the policy period. Insurance will only cover damage sustained during the period that the policy is active, which can be found under the heading “policy period” at the front of the policy. Make sure that you renew your policy before any deadlines so that it stays current and you have coverage at all times.

Regarding roofs, it is also important to watch out for policy endorsements that may limit roof coverage. A list of endorsements can be found in the Declarations Page section of each property insurance policy. Some insurance companies are adding an Actual Cash Value roof assessment endorsement. This may not seem like a big deal normally, but when it comes to wind or hail storm coverage for the roof, it results in a depreciated payment for roof repair or replacement. This typically amounts to an insurance payment that is only a percentage of what it will actually cost you to repair or replace the roof (somewhere around fifty percent). While ACV coverage endorsements can lower your premiums, they will bite back with significant out of pocket costs in the event of storm damage.

 

  1. File your claim in a timely manner

In Florida, you have, by law, two years from the day that damage occurred to file a claim. While this timeline gives you significant leeway, it is always best to file the claim as soon as you notice the damage and as close as possible to the date of loss (the date of the storm). This will get the process started and prevent any further damage from occurring, which may increase your costs in the long run. Additionally, insurance policies typically require the policyholder to take any possible measures to mitigate damages while the claims process is happening. This means that if there is a delay in the filing of a claim, and a leak resulting from a storm damaged roof worsens, then an insurance company may refuse to pay for any interior damages or mold issues resulting from the worsening of that leak. Avoid extensive interior damages and repairs liability by filing the claim as soon as possible.

 

  1. Maintain open lines of communication with your insurance company

Throughout the claims process you will be in extended communications with your insurance company, from filing the claim, to getting in touch with your adjuster, to scheduling an inspection, to receiving their acknowledgement of the filing, to receiving their estimate and settlement letter, and so on. This process will be much quicker and easier if you have open lines of communication with your insurer. Make sure that your property insurance company always has your updated physical address, an updated phone number, and ideally an updated email address which you check frequently. You may also want to sign up for text/SMS alerts. While your insurer will mail you physical copies of their correspondence letters if necessary, the process will proceed much faster if this can be done electronically. 

 

  1. Keep organized and document the process

Your adjuster will conduct an inspection of your property after you file a claim. It is always good, however, to have your own documentation as well. Make sure to photograph any property damage and note the cost of any damaged or destroyed items. Note also the dates of damage and dates of the photographs. Keep a running list of anyone with whom you speak about the claim (adjusters, inspectors, contractors, etc). On this list, note the date and time of conversation, the name, title, and contact information of the person with whom you spoke, and a summary of what was discussed. While you may not need any of this, it will make your life much easier if any problems do arise.

 

  1. Consult a professional in case of difficulties

When starting a claims process, it is always good to talk to someone who has been through it before. This may be a friend, family member, or neighbor who can give you an idea of what to expect. In the case that your claim is denied or it seems to you that the insurer’s estimate does not match the damages, you always have the option of contacting a professional. A public adjuster or even a contractor will likely have dealt with dozens or hundreds of claims. They will be familiar with local statutes that govern insurance estimates and will be happy to send their own estimate to your insurance company. Do not be afraid to look for help, and make sure that you contract with a reputable company.

If you suspect that your roof sustained damages covered by your insurance, we will be happy to do an inspection and advise you through the claims process. Just give us a call and 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 Basics of Roof Safety
Roofing Blog

The Basics of Roof Safety

Home improvement projects can be a lot of fun, and many people choose to take them up on their own instead of hiring a contractor. Roofing projects, however, are generally not so fun and most often require hiring a professional. And yet there are instances, involving minor damage, that you might decide to undertake repairs yourself. From roof cleaning to cracked flashing to a couple of missing shingles, small jobs like these are often performed (or at least attempted) by homeowners to save costs and to avoid having to wait for a contractor to schedule their repair. In these cases, it is of utmost importance to take all possible safety precautions. For this reason we are laying out here some basics of roof safety to keep in mind when attempting any repair (or anytime you decide to climb onto your roof at all).

 

Overall Safety Tips

There are some general safety tips to keep in mind. Never work on your roof when it is wet or slippery. This can be after or during rain or even early in the morning when the dew still has not evaporated. Even when the roof is not wet, it is important to wear soft-soled and ridged shoes for proper traction. Also avoid working when it is either too hot or too cold out. Temperatures like these can warp the shingles and make them dangerous to step on. It is also very easy to get dehydrated and dizzy during hot weather, which is exacerbated by the heat coming from the roof surface itself. Additionally it is important to keep your work area clean to avoid creating a tripping hazard and make sure that nothing falls off of the roof, as this can seriously injure someone or cause property damages. Keep children and pets away from the surrounding area when you are working. 

 

Ladders and Electrical

To get up on the roof you are going to need a ladder. The type of ladder and its set-up are both incredibly important. Make sure that it is a vertical ladder, not an A-frame. Also, be sure that the ladder is long enough to reach up to and beyond the edge of the roof; otherwise, it is not safe to use. Ladders should be set up at an angle so that they rise vertically four feet for every one foot they extend horizontally. Ladders should also be stationed on a level surface, making sure that both feet are at the same elevation. When climbing the ladder, make sure to wear appropriate footwear and keep at least three points of contact at all times with the ladder. 

When setting up the ladder, find a clear area of the roof well away from any electrical fixtures, especially power lines, and even satellite dishes. Not only will these obstruct your ascent onto the roof, but they also create a hazard of electrocution. Another electrical hazard is a metal ladder. Make sure that your ladder is made of fiberglass (or wood, although that is rare nowadays) so that electricity cannot jump from the powerlines to your ladder. And, always, avoid touching any hot wires with either your hands or your tools.

 

Nail Gun Safety

Nail guns are an essential tool for roof repairs, but they are also a dangerous instrument that can potentially turn into a weapon. When using a nail gun make sure to follow all safety instructions that come from the manufacturer. Particularly, never point the nail gun at any part of the body or any other person. When discharging nails, make sure that the nail gun’s barrel is pressed right against the surface and avoid “shooting” nails. Make sure that all the safety mechanisms of the gun are in place and never tamper with any of them. Finally, disconnect the air supply to the gun as soon as you are finished using it and never attempt to clean or repair or do any work on the nail gun while it is connected. 

 

If you do not feel confident taking on roofing repairs yourself, no problem. Just call us! 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!

5 Steps
Roofing Blog

5 Steps to Take When You Notice a Leak

Suddenly finding a leak on the ceiling of your home can be a very stressful experience. You may immediately start imagining the stress of dealing with contractors, the costs of repairs, the disruption to daily life of having repairs done on your roof or in your home, and visions of mold and other complications if the repair is not done in time. Not to worry. We are here to offer an easy step-by-step guide to dealing with a leak that can take all the stress out of the process. We have thought of everything so that you do not have to.

 

Step 1: Finding the Source

The first step after finding a leak is to identify its source. The source will determine what immediate actions you need to take next and who you will need to call for repairs. You might think that finding the source involves climbing on the roof or into the attic, but this is unnecessary and potentially dangerous. Instead, simply consider what a leak is. A leak is water getting into a place it should not be entering. There are two water sources: weather on the exterior and plumbing. If it is a plumbing issue, then it will leak regardless of weather. If it is a roofing issue, it will leak only when it is raining.

 

Step 2: Documentation

No matter what the source of the leak is, it is important to document it for insurance and liability purposes. You should take photos of the leak and the room it is in when you first discover it. You should continue to take photos throughout the process whether it gets worse or not, including once repairs begin and after the repairs are finished. While you may not need these photos, it is very important to have them in case you do. You should know that if you decide to contact your property insurance company and file a claim (in the case that the leak is caused by damage covered by insurance, like a windstorm) they will expect you to have taken steps to mitigate the leak even before they arrive. 

 

Step 3: Hiring a Contractor

The next step is to hire a contractor. As we have mentioned in previous posts, it is best to contact a local, experienced, licensed and insured contractor. A simple internet search will pull up a number of local contractors whom you can sort by their ratings and reviews of previous customers. A roofing contractor will come out to identify the source of the leak and provide an estimate, usually the day after you call them (if the first available appointment is more than a day or two out you may, having an active leak, consider a different contractor). Once the representative arrives and inspects the problem, he will provide you with an estimate. It is important that you ask this person to identify the specific cause of the leak if they do not immediately do so. The reason for this is that some causes will be covered by property insurance while others will not. The contractor’s representative will be able to tell you, typically, if the source of your leak is covered by insurance. If they cannot, you can call your insurance agent and name the source of the leak. If it is covered by insurance, you should file a claim with your insurance company at this point. Even if the repair estimate is under your deductible, you should still file the claim since the deductible only applies once during a policy period. If it applies now and you have another issue within the policy period, you will be fully covered for repairs then.

 

Step 4: Repairs

Once you have hired a contractor and agreed on a price, it is time to schedule the repairs. In the case of an active leak, you will usually be scheduled within a week. If the leak is particularly bad, your roofer will typically tarp it or take some other mitigating measures the same day that you agree to their estimate. If you did file an insurance claim, make sure that the repair is scheduled after an adjuster has had a chance to come out and take a look at the damage. If this is not possible, it is imperative that your contractor takes photos before, during, and after the repair so that you can provide your insurance company with the documentation. They will not pay for damages if they do not see evidence of them themselves. 

 

Step 5: Clean-up and Payment

Once the source of your leak is repaired, you will want to hire a drywaller/painter/handyman who can fix the damages caused by the leak on the interior and have your ceiling looking like new again. A good roofing contractor will be able to refer you to a quality company who does interior work for a reasonable price. Once payment is made you’re all set!

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 Price
Roofing Blog

Choosing a Roof Replacement Estimate: Is the Lowest One Always the Best Choice?

Roof replacement is an integral home improvement project. It is not a matter of making your home look better (although it accomplishes this also) but a matter of making sure that your home continues to be a safe and comfortable living space. Roof replacement is a project that most homeowners will undertake at least once, and perhaps even two or three times, depending on how long they own the home and what kind of roof is installed. Most roofs have a life expectancy of about 15 to 30 years, depending on weather conditions, which is especially precarious in Florida considering the frequency of tropical storms in our area. 

While necessary, roof replacement can also be a confusing and expensive procedure. Even if you are well informed about the steps of roof replacement, roofing procedures, and roof types, you may be faced with a difficult decision when choosing a roofing contractor. Ideally, as a homeowner you will contact several contractors in your area and get a detailed estimate from each. At this point, it is up to you to choose which contract to sign. 

Because roof replacement is an expensive process, costing thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars (depending on the type of roof and the size of the home), a homeowner’s first instinct may be to select the cheapest estimate and sign with that contractor. This is perfectly understandable, but you should know that the cheapest estimate may come with hidden costs. Here are five reasons why choosing the lowest estimate may cost you more in the long run.

 

  1. Expertise

Some contractors claim to be experts in just about everything. They might claim that they can do not only roof replacement, but also replace your windows, siding, remodel your bathroom, and throw in landscaping services. This may turn out well and good, but oftentimes it can be a red flag.

When replacing the roof on your home, you do not need a handyman, you need an experienced roofing professional. This is not someone who is just good with a hammer, but educated in the requirements of roof replacement and building codes. 

 

  1. Warranty

The cheapest prices are often offered by companies or contractors with no office or physical location in your area. They may come up with a nice looking finished product, but you will not know if the roofing system underneath the top layer is of top quality. Be aware especially of anyone who tells you they can save you money by simply putting another layer of roofing on top of your old roof. A roof is an integrated system of layers from the sheathing to the cover, with roof-specific flashing and ventilation systems. 

If your roofer does not check the lower layers of your roof, you may end up with a fresh roof layer covering rotting plywood sheathing, which will require repair or replacement within mere months. Then, if your roof develops a leak within a month or a year of replacement you will begin trying to hunt down that out of town (or worse yet, unlicensed) contractor for their warranty. This will prove to be a difficult, if not impossible, task.

 

  1. No Worries

When you hire a reputable, licensed, local contractor with a physical address and dedicated employees you will save yourself a ton of worries. These contractors have a local reputation to maintain and can be easily tracked down at their local address. For this reason they will make sure you have the best experience possible. You will not have to worry about them not showing up or doing shoddy work and disappearing. Once you sign the contract, your roof will be scheduled and all work will be done within days of the scheduled date. It will also be done in accordance with all local and state building codes. If you ever have any questions or concerns you will easily be able to get in touch with this type of contractor.

 

  1. A Gamble

Choosing the lowest price is always a gamble. After all, prices are not taken out of thin air. So, if you see one estimate that is lower than all the others, you should ask yourself how this is possible. All roofers have to purchase materials, pay their employees, and cover overhead costs. Very low prices often mean that there may be cost cutting going on either on materials or labor. In either case, you do not want low-grade materials installed on your roof or for the workers doing the installation to be either unqualified or underpaid. Both of these will lead to a low quality product that will leave you paying in the long run.

 

  1. Liability

If the company with the low-ball offer does not have a license, liability insurance, or worker’s compensation insurance, you may be stuck with the costs usually covered by these policies or a lawsuit. Roofing can be a dangerous process. It can cause damage to the surrounding area (like air conditioning units, landscaping, etc), and workplace accidents are possible even when all precautions are taken (which may not be by a shoddy contractor). A responsible, licensed, and insured contractor will have safeguards in place to handle these issues. They will fix any damage to the surrounding area and will have liability insurance coverage and worker’s compensation to cover any accidents. Saving money by choosing an unscrupulous contractor at the start could leave you liable for these types of costs later on down the line.

 

Florida’s Best Roofing, Inc. is a fully licensed (CCC 1325974) and insured, local roofing contractor with over a decade of experience. If you are interested in roof replacement 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
Roofing Blog

An Explanation of Common Terms Used in Roofing

Like any other profession, the roofing business uses jargon: certain terms that may not be immediately familiar to those not involved in the profession or that might have different meanings from their normal usage. For this reason, discussing roof repair or roof replacement may put the customer at a disadvantage or at the very least a state of confusion. To help prevent this, we want to share with you the meanings behind some common terms that you will hear if you call or hire a roofing contractor. With this information, you’ll be able to discuss roofing like a pro!

Algae Discoloration: This is a type of roof discoloration caused by algae, usually taking the form of dark streaks. It is often mistaken for fungi growth.

Asphalt Shingles: Fiberglass shingles with a bituminous waterproofing material applied during manufacture.

Architectural Shingles: Also called Laminated or Three dimensional shingles. These are shingles that have more than one layer for extra thickness and protection.

Base Flashing: That portion of the flashing attached to or resting on the deck to direct the flow of water onto the roof covering.

Base sheet: A product intended to be the base or middle ply in a residential self-adhering roll roofing system used to cover flat or very low sloped roofs.

Blisters: Bubbles that may appear on the surface of asphalt roofing after installation.

Built-Up Roof: This is a roof covering method that consists of multiple layers of ply sheets embedded in hot asphalt. It is used for flat or low sloped roofs.

Bundle: This refers to the way shingles are packaged. There are typically 3, 4 or 5 bundles per square.

Cap Sheet: A mineral surfaced material that is used by itself or as the top layer of a multi-layer rolled roof covering system.

Chalk Line: A line made on the roof by snapping a taut string or cord dusted with chalk. This is a method for aligning shingles in roof installation.

Counter Flashing: That portion of the flashing perpendicular to the base flashing attached to a vertical surface preventing water from migrating behind the base flashing.

Course: This refers to a row of shingles or roll roofing running the length of the roof.

Coverage: The number of layers of material between the exposed surface of the roofing and the deck.

Cricket: A peaked saddle construction at the back of a vertical feature on the roof (like a chimney) that prevents accumulation of snow and ice and to deflect water around the feature.

Deck: This is the surface of the roof that is attached over the frame. It can be made of plywood or OSB.

Drip Edge: A corrosion-resistant, non-staining material (typically metal) that is installed along the eaves and rakes to allow water run-off to drip clear of underlying construction.

Eave: This is the horizontal, lower edge of a sloped roof.

Felt: Fibrous material saturated with asphalt and used as an underlayment.

Flashing: Pieces of metal used to prevent the leaking of water into a structure around any vulnerable place in a roof such as vents, chimneys, adjoining walls, dormers and valleys. 

Granules: Crushed stones applied to the top of asphalt roofing shingles to form a protective layer.

Overhang: That portion of the roof structure that extends beyond the exterior walls of a building.

Peel and Seal: A self-adhering waterproofing underlayment designed to protect against water infiltration due to ice dams or wind driven rain. 

Soffit: This is the finishing on the underside of the eaves, typically metal or vinyl.

Square: This is the unit for measuring the roof surface, equalling to 10ft. x 10 ft.

Starter Strip: Asphalt roofing applied at the eave that provides protection by an additional layer of material under the cutouts and joints of the first course of shingles.

Synthetic Underlayment: An underlayment product that is typically manufactured using polypropylene and is used as an alternative to felt underlayment.

Valley: The internal angle formed by the intersection of two sloping roof planes.

Vent: Any outlet for air that protrudes through the roof deck such as a pipe or stack. 

If you have any questions regarding roofing terms, don’t hesitate to contact us. As your contractor, we will always work as hard as we can to make sure you are pleased with your new roof. If you are interested in roof replacement and you are in the Palm Coast, Flagler, or Volusia area, please give Florida’s Best Roofing 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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