(386) 263-7906 floridasbestroofing@gmail.com
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!

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!

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!

Roof Replacement Cost
Roofing Blog

What Determines Roof Replacement Cost?

If you are in the market to replace the roof on your home, you probably have a lot of questions. One of the primary concerns, inevitably, is how much this is going to cost. Homeowners are often unaware of what exactly goes into the process of replacing a roof and what goes into calculating the cost of each project. Before getting an estimate, you may want to find out what factors are considered by contractors when offering a price. This way you will be better informed and able to evaluate the fairness of any given price. Remember, you should always contact reputable and licensed roofing contractors and compare their estimates before agreeing to any contract.

To help you understand how contractors arrive at the number you may see on an estimate, below we detail the factors involved in our calculations of roof replacement.

 

Size of the Roof

The most obvious factor to consider is the size of the roof. You may think that you can get an estimate of your roof’s size based on the square footage of the house, and you are right, but with several caveats. Firstly, the square footage listed on most documents related to the property, and the one used by realtors in making a sale, is the square footage of the living area. This often excludes areas that are under the roof, but are not considered lived-in because they are not connected to the HVAC system of the house. This may include the garage, attic spaces, and screened or unscreened porches. Likewise, for a two story or taller structure the square footage will include all the floors, but the roof often covers only one total floor (although this may differ based on the architecture of the house).

Another element to consider in roof size is the pitch of the roof. Unlike the square footage of the house itself, the square footage of the roof also depends on its slope. The steeper the roof, the greater the difference between the house size and roof size. Roof slope is typically expressed in rise over run. That is, how many inches the roof rises over a 12 inch horizontal run. A 4/12 roof is fairly low sloped, while a 10/12 is very steep. Roofing contractors typically use roofing calculator tables or take hands-on measurements to make these calculations. The final roof size measurement is then expressed in roofing squares. Each roofing square is 100 square feet. For instance, a roof of 2500 square feet would be measured as 25 squares. Once the contractor has this square measurement, they use a per-square rate as a multiplier to calculate the total price. This multiplier includes material, labor, and overhead costs and varies based on the factors below.

 

Materials

The primary factor that affects price is material type. As we have discussed before, tile is more expensive than metal, which in turn is more expensive than shingles. Even in choosing a particular type of tile or metal or shingles there may be price differences. For instance, a higher quality shingle with greater wind resistance may be more expensive than a lower quality type. You should decide which material you want to use for your roof replacement ahead of time, so that any contractor you call can give you an appropriate estimate for that material.

Underlayment, the layer between the decking and the roof covering, also affects cost. Synthetic underlayment is cheaper than peel and seal (ice/water barrier membrane), but the latter is better at waterproofing. An estimate should always specify which underlayment the contractor is offering and may give two different prices (one for synthetic and one for peel and seal) and leave the choice up to the homeowner.

There are also additional materials that go into roof replacement, like metal vents, drip edge, flashing, and nails. These are all included in material costs. Material costs constantly change based on market price, so any estimate will have an expiration date after which the contractor cannot guarantee the given price. This is typically expressed as a period (say 15 days) after the date of the estimate. 

 

Decking

During roof replacement, it is typically necessary to replace some amount of damaged wood decking (plywood or OSB depending on the construction of the house). Because it is impossible to see how much decking needs replacing until the old roof is torn off, contractors include a small amount of decking in the initial estimate and reserve the right to add any additional wood replacement to the final invoice. This should be explicitly stated in any contract you sign for roof replacement.

 

Slope and Shape

The per square multiplier for the roof price also changes based on slope and shape of the roof. A steeper roof is not only larger, but also a more hazardous working environment. For this reason, steeper roofs will have a steeper price since they require special equipment and higher labor costs.

The roof’s shape and how many sub-roofs it has will also alter price. The more “cut-up”  a roof is (the more its shape deviates from a simple single gable design), the higher the price. This is due to the difficulties and the extra material involved with accommodating unusual shapes, which can require specialized labor and a higher waste factor in cutting up material to fit the shape. 

 

Dumping Fees

A roof replacement estimate will also typically involve dumping fees. This is because the materials torn off of the old roof must be disposed of properly. This requires a trailer (rented or owned by the contractor). The trailer must also be emptied at the local municipal waste facility which typically charges for dumping a rate based on the weight of the materials dumped.

So, as you see, there are a multitude of factors that go into estimating roof replacement. 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! We will be happy to answer any questions you have about your estimated price.

 

Roofing Blog

Should you Buy a House with an Old Roof?

Should you Buy a House with an Old Roof?

When you are buying a house there are a ton of variables to consider. It is time consuming and potentially stressful to find a house that exactly fits all of your specifications. Once you find that at a suitable price, there is still a need to have it inspected to make sure that there are no hidden problems. So what should you do if the house you are considering fits your ideal in every way, is located in a great neighborhood, falls into your price range, but has an old roof? Well, take a look at the information provided below to help you make your decision.

 

How Old?

The first question to consider is how old exactly is the roof? For this you need to find out the age of the house and whether the roof has ever been replaced. This information is typically available from the local property appraiser’s public records online and from the city or county building department, whose records may be online or require a phone call. You can also ask the information from the realtor and the sellers, who should ordinarily provide it to you.

It is important to keep in mind that unless you are buying or building a new house, the roof will be somewhat aged. Even if the roof has just been replaced, the sheathing (the wood decking) is typically not completely replaced (unless the whole roof was in very bad shape). 

Some roofs can last up to or even over 30 years, depending on the material used and the weather conditions in the area. So, once you know the age, it is important to ascertain the roof’s condition.

 

What’s the Condition?

Make sure to check the condition of the roof both on the exterior and in the attic. You can do this yourself or hire an inspector. It is important that the inspector knows roofing materials, how they age, and how they should be installed. For this reason, you should consider getting a roof inspection from a professional roofing contractor. Most reputable contractors will do this for a modest fee.

On the exterior of the roof you need to check for missing or damaged surface materials, like shingles or tiles. Loss of granules (the rough exterior of shingles) can also be a cause for concern. Look for granules (they look like sand) in the gutters and around the exterior of the house. Also check for soft spots on the roof, as this is indicative of dry rot in the wood sheathing, which usually results from poor attic insulation. Stains and mold or algae growth can also indicate problems already in place or problems to come. 

 

Warning Signs

Roof replacement is an expensive process. Even roof repairs can easily run $1,000-$5,000 dollars. So, it is important to know when a home is just not worth the investment. Below are some warning signs that big expenses will arise in the near future. 

Are there missing shingles or tile on the exterior? Are many shingles loose and easily liftable? If this is the case, the roof is no longer doing its job of protecting the interior from water. This indicates potential water damage on the interior, which means that you will not only bear the cost of fixing or replacing the roof, but also interior damages as well.

Do you see any signs of rotten wood or mold? Check the interior ceilings and walls, the wood sheathing and trusses in the attics, and check for soft spots on the roof. Rotten wood, in any part of the house structure, signals major damage and major repair costs, likely requiring full roof replacement and potentially hiring a framer and/or an engineer to make sure that the structure is sound.

In the attic and in the interior of the house check for stains, even small ones. These can be found on the interior of the decking, the ceilings, and even the walls. Feel the area around any stains you may see to check for softness, as this indicates potential rot in the wood. Rotten wood is indicative of ongoing damage and costly issues in the future.

 

Conclusion

So, should you buy a house with an old roof? That depends on the condition of the roof. If it is aged but in good condition and all other parameters of the house suit, then it is a fine investment. If, however, you notice some of the problems mentioned above, you might want to reconsider the purchase. The seller may be willing to negotiate the price or do roof repairs before the sale. While this depends on the market, it does not hurt to ask. When buying, just make sure that you are aware of present and potential future costs and how much you can afford to spend. And, finally, make sure that you have the home and roof inspected by a qualified individual.

If you have any questions about your roof, need a roof inspection, or want a free estimate for your roof in the Palm Coast, Flagler, or Volusia area, please give Florida’s Best Roofing a call at 386-263-7906!

Warranty Can I Get
Roofing Blog

What Kind of Warranty Can I Get for a New Roof?

When you replace your roof with a new one you make a big investment, and naturally you want that investment to be protected. Large projects like roof replacement come with warranties. It is important to find out what kind of warranties are out there so you can make the best choices for yourself, your home, and your investment. For this reason, you should always look into the warranties offered by both material manufacturers and contractors before selecting a material for your new roof and the contractor who will install it. 

Whether you are purchasing a completely new home with a new roof or you are replacing your existing roof with a new one, your roof will likely come with a warranty (and if it does not, you may want to look into getting a second or third opinion from a different contractor). Roof related warranties are generally split into two types, and both of these types of warranty should come with every new roof or roof replacement. The first is the manufacturer’s warranty, and the second is the contractor’s warranty. They cover two different aspects of the roof: the materials used and the way they are installed. We will look deeper into both aspects below.

 

Manufacturers’ Warranties

A manufacturer’s warranty is so named because it is guaranteed and provided by the manufacturer of the material used to cover the new or replaced roof. As we have covered in previous posts, there are many different kinds of roofing material, the most common in central Florida being asphalt shingles, followed by tile and metal roofing materials. All of these come with different warranty periods, guaranteed by their manufacturers. 

Asphalt shingles warranties vary in length by type of shingle. Just a decade or two ago the principal type of asphalt shingle in use was the 3-tab shingle, which carried a warranty of 15-25 years depending on the manufacturer. Shingle manufacturing technology, however, is constantly improving. Nowadays, 3-tab shingles, the cheapest kind of shingle, carry a warranty of 30 years. But these are no longer the most common type of shingle used. Instead, we almost always use architectural shingles, which have an improved aesthetic and quality. These shingles come with a 40 year manufacturer’s warranty for the most basic sort and a limited lifetime warranty for the average grade. This warranty essentially translates into 50 years. The highest quality architectural shingles, also the most expensive sort, can carry warranties equal to the lifetime of the roof. Manufacturer’s warranties for asphalt shingles are typically transferable once in the case of property exchanging hands.

Limited lifetime manufacturer’s warranties are also typically guaranteed by tile and metal roofing material manufacturers. A typical explanation of the limited lifetime warranty in these cases is that they are in effect as long as the home remains owned by the same owner who replaced the roof (or purchased the home with a new roof). The good news is that if the home transfers ownership (that is, if you sell your house), the warranty is transferable! However, once transferred, the warranty remains in effect for a limited period, such as 40 or 50 years. 

Due to recent technological innovations, manufacturer’s asphalt shingle warranties are now typically equal in length to tile and metal roofing material manufacturer’s warranties. All of these manufacturers’ warranties cover specifically problems that may arise in the roofing material resulting from defects in the manufacturing process. Some examples of these include rapid granule or color loss in shingles (also color change). Splitting and cracking are signs of defects in metal or tile. These are only covered if the cause is manufacturing defect, not poor installation technique or external causes (such as a tree falling down on the roof). Weather events, such as wind or hail, that can damage new and replaced roofs are sometimes nowadays covered under manufacturers’ warranties, but with limitations in factors like wind speed. For example, the architectural shingles that we use at Florida’s Best Roofing, Inc. come with a manufacturer’s warranty against winds of up to 130 miles per hour. It is important to remember, however, that weather damages like wind and hail are also typically covered by property insurance policies, and losses can be recouped by filing a claim with your home insurance company. For more details on this, see our earlier post on this topic.

Another thing to keep in mind about manufacturers’ warranties is that it is important to register your new roof with the manufacturer of the roofing material. This will put the warranty into effect. If you have questions about how to do this, consult your contractor, as they likely deal with this process on a daily basis. 

 

Labor or Workmanship Warranties

This is the other side of the warranty coin. While manufacturers’ warranties cover new roof or roof replacement materials, labor or workmanship warranties cover installation. These warranties are provided by the contractor who replaces your roof or puts the roof on a new home. Their length varies by contractor, from 3 to 5 to 10 years, with ten years being the most common. Since it is the contractor who provides the warranty, it is typically only effective if the same contractor is called in to deal with a problem that may arise.

Contractors’ warranties usually cover the labor and material cost involved in repairing a roof under warranty if the repairs are made necessary by problems arising from errors made in the installation process when the new roof was installed or replaced. In the case that you have a roof under a labor or workmanship warranty and you notice a problem or leak, you should call the contractor who guaranteed the warranty to assess the damage and make the repairs. It is also important to note that some labor warranties do not cover material costs associated with repairs, so it is important to clarify what type of warranty you will be getting before signing a contract. 

We at Florida’s Best Roofing, Inc. offer a 10 year labor warranty on all our roof replacements. If you have any questions about roofing warranties or any other roofing needs in Flagler, Volusia, or St. Johns counties please call us at 386-263-7906 for a free estimate!

we will provide you with information on rare and unusual roof shapes
Roofing Blog

Rare and Unusual Roof Shapes

In our last post we discussed some of the most common roof shapes and styles in the United States (and really across the world). This time we will provide you with information on rare and unusual roof shapes. These shapes are all unique and most often chosen for aesthetic reasons, heightening the impact of a structure’s style. Due to their unique qualities, these types of roofs are often more expensive to repair and replace since they require contractors with very specialized knowledge and skills. Below we discuss nine of these roof shapes.

Bonnet: Bonnet roofs can be like either gambrel or mansard roofs (see our previous post for these), only in reverse. There are two panes on each side, with different slopes. Instead of the upper panes having a lower slope and the lower a steep slope, as is the case with gambrel and mansard roofs, bonnet roofs have steep upper panes and low sloped bottom panes. Bonnet roofs can have two sides (like a spruced-up gable roof) or four sides (like a hip roof). Bonnet style roofs are popular in particular geographic areas such as Cape Cod and other places in the Northeast, but fairly rare elsewhere.

Saltbox: Homes with saltbox roof styles gained popularity in colonial America, but examples can still be seen today across the country and elsewhere. Saltbox roofs have two sides, like a gable shape, but what makes them unique is that these sides are not equal or symmetrical. The two sides meet at the top ridge, but drop down unequal distances. In fact, one side is significantly shorter than the other, but equal in width. Most frequently, the slope also differs between the two sides. One side usually has a much steeper slope than the other side. Either the short or the long side may be steep.

Butterfly: A butterfly roof is a striking shape arising out of contemporary architecture. It is essentially the reverse of a gable roof, the result of which resembles the shape of the insect that lends its name to this roofing style. While two sides rise up to a ridge in a gable roof, the two sides of a butterfly roof actually slope down into a central valley. As you can imagine, this can easily lead to water retention issues and snow pile ups in colder environments, if special care is not taken to ensure positive drainage and snow is not regularly cleared.

Sawtooth: Sawtooth roofs are similar to butterfly roofs in that they have central valleys created by two sides sloping down. However, sawtooth roofs differ in that their valleys are created due to the repetition of components sloping up and then down, which results in a facade resembling the teeth of a saw. The repeating components can be straight or curved and can vary in slope–the only requirement is that they repeat exactly several times. This is a style most often seen in commercial roofing, and as with butterfly roofs, special care must be taken to ensure proper drainage.

Curved: Curved roofs provide a contemporary stylistic alternative to the straight lines seen in all traditional roofing styles. They give a structure a modern, sleek look, but require specialized skills and materials to install. Creating and designing such shapes requires experienced architects, structural engineers, and specialized contractors, which make them expensive to build and maintain, but the aesthetic possibilities are endless!

Pyramid: Almost five thousand years ago the ancient Egyptians figured out that the pyramid shape gives stability to structures of almost any size. The fruits of their labors are still standing today! The balance of weight and tension makes pyramid shapes and pyramid shaped roofs very strong. In this, pyramid roofs are closely related to hip roofs; in fact, they are a subset of hip roofs in which all four sides have equal dimensions and slope.

Jerkinhead: These are also called half-hip roofs. The origin of this terminology becomes clear with a quick glance (or in this case description) of the jerkinhead roof’s shape. The half-hip or jerkinhead roof has four sides. Two are just like those of a gable roof that meet at the top ridge. At both ends of the ridge you will then find a very short hip. This roof shape has the advantage of strength and stability provided by the hip elements and an old-world aesthetic.

Skillion: Skillion roofs are made of one sloped pane. The slope can be steep or low and the shape closely resembles a lean-to. This does not mean, however, that a skillion roof looks cheap or simple. Homes and other structures with skillion roofs often have two or more skillion roofs at varying elevations which give a very contemporary, modern, look and provide opportunities for more windows which allow for a brightly lit interior.

Dome: Dome roofs look exactly like you might imagine: essentially the roof is in the shape of half of a sphere. The force distribution in these roofs, if properly constructed, makes them incredibly strong and long-lasting. This is borne out by the fact that some dome-roofed structures, like the Pantheon in Rome, are still standing after thousands of years under the original roof! For a closer example, you might want to imagine the Capitol building in Washington D.C. Dome roofs are rarely seen in residential structures and require very specialized architects and structural engineers for their construction.

We hope this post has opened your eyes to the variety of shapes and styles that are out there in roofing. As always, for all your roofing needs in Flagler, Palm Coast, Bunnell, Daytona Beach, and Deland call Florida’s Best Roofing at 386-263-7906 for a free estimate!

Roof Styles & Shapes
Roofing Blog

Roof Styles & Shapes

Have you ever wondered about why your roof is shaped the way it is? Why is it different from a neighbor’s roof? Whether those differences matter and where they come from? Well here you’ll find the answers. Below we look at some of the most popular roof shapes and their unique aspects.

Gable Roofs

Gable roofs are the most common type of roofing style installed today. They have a simple and classic look, giving the roof a triangular shape when viewed from the front or the back. This type of roof rises up from the eave to the ridge on one side and then goes down from the ridge to the eave on the other. 

Gable roofs can look very different from one house to another because they vary in slope. Low sloped gable roofs give a structure a flatter look while high sloped roofs are steeper and taller. As with most roofing styles, gable roofs also vary because most modern structures do not have just one roof, but instead a main roof with multiple sub-roofs. The ways that the main roof and sub-roofs are combined allows for much versatility.  

Hip Roofs

Hip roofs are the second most common style of roof for modern residential structures in America today. They have both advantages and disadvantages in comparison to gable roofs. In fact, it is also quite common to see combinations with a main hip roof and gable sub-roofs, or the other way around.

Hip roofs’ main advantage is in their strength. Unlike a gable roof, which only has two sides, a hip roof goes down from the ridge to the eave on all four sides. The intersection of all four sides at the top allows for greater stability and balance.

The downside is that hip roofs can be more expensive to replace, because they have a greater surface area. This is, of course, in a comparison of two houses of the same size.

Like gable roofs, hip roofs can look very different from one house to the next because they can also vary in slope, from relatively flat to steep. In any case, a house with a hip roof and only hip sub-roofs has a square look, since it lacks the triangle created by the gable.

Gambrel Roofs

Gambrel roofs have a very distinct aesthetic, similar to Mansard roofs, discussed below. They were very popular in past centuries and can be found particularly in the Northeast. They are also sometimes called Dutch roofs. 

A gambrel is similar to a gable in that both roofing styles only slope on two sides of the house, leaving the other two sides with siding or stucco going up to the roof pitch. The difference in gable and gambrel is that the latter has two panels, with different slopes, on each side. The two panels that join up at the ridge usually have a lower slope, and then two further panels are attached to these with a steeper slope. This gives the house an overall curved look, without actually having a rounded roof.

Just like gable and hip roofs, gambrel roofs are most often covered with asphalt shingles, although metal roof covering is also an option.

Mansard Roofs

In a way, a mansard roof is to a gambrel as a hip roof is to a gable. Basically, a mansard is a gambrel roof, but with four sides. Each of the four sides has two panels, with the top four panels, which intersect at the top ridge, having a fairly low slope, and the attached lower four panels having a very steep slope. 

Mansard roofs can have an overall boxy look, but this is mitigated by certain factors. For one, they often have dormers, windows with small gable shaped roof coverings, that jut out from the steep sections of the roof. The dormers lend this French style shape a certain amount of elegance, making it very popular in complex, historic homes. Due to the steep slope of the secondary panels, mansard roofs also allow for a great deal of attic space, or even the top story to be housed within the slopes of the roof!

The disadvantage of a mansard roof is its expense. This results from the complexity of the roof shape, the high slope, the high surface area, and often the delicate nature of working on historic structures. Furthermore, the roofing materials for mansard roofs can be more expensive. Traditionally, mansard roofs were covered with slate, the most expensive and longest lasting type of roofing material. In the modern day, cheaper asphalt shingles are more commonly used, but this can pose a problem of its own. Shingles are great for the steep panels of a roof, but the four low-sloped mansard panels are better suited for flat roofing materials. This results in a choice between a properly covered un-matched roof, or a matched fully shingle roof, which is not as effective in the low-sloped areas.

Flat Roofs

Flat roofs are most common in commercial roofing, but can also be seen on some residential structures, particularly in urban areas.

Flat roofs should never be completely flat, but their slope is so close to negligible that it is essentially not noticeable by the naked eye. Due to this, to prevent water retention, flat roofs require well functioning drainage systems, as well as special roofing materials that stand up to frequent and consistent water exposure better than standard asphalt shingles or tile.

Flat roofing materials must stand up to water exposure, beating from rain, and being walked on. They must be completely watertight, as leaks in flat roofs are very difficult to find and even more difficult to repair effectively.

These are the most commonly used flat roof materials: PVC membrane, TPO membrane, EPDM rubber membrane, rolled roofing, and gravel and tar.

In the Flagler, Deland, and Daytona Beach area hip and gable are the most common roofs in residential construction and flat roofs in commercial. Whatever your roofing style, if you have any roofing concerns call Florida’s Best Roofing 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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