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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!

New Roof
Roofing Blog

How a New Roof Can Increase the Value of Your Home

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

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

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

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

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

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 IV

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Summer Fun: Tales of Roofing Across Time Part III
Roofing Blog

Summer Fun: Tales of Roofing Across Time Part III

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 third 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.

 

Bread and Circuses

You may have come across the phrase “bread and circuses” in the past but do you know where it originates? The phrase comes from an ancient Roman author called Juvenal who wrote satire in the form of poetry. Juvenal lived in Rome at the heyday of the Roman Empire at the end of the first century of the current era. He quite often, as much as he could with the government of the time, wrote political satire, criticizing the grandiose lifestyle and expenditures of the Emperor or the declining social and political freedoms in Rome as the Empire grew into itself. “Bread and circuses” refers to the grain dole (bread), which was the free distribution of grain by the emperor to those who qualified (kind of like food stamps). It also refers to entertainment “publically” funded by the emperor (circuses). The reason these are called circuses is that most of them took place at the race track, which the Romans called a circle, or circus in Latin. As part of his societal criticism Juvenal claimed that the Emperor (particularly Domitian) could get away with anything he wanted and retain the support of the people provided that he gave them “bread and circuses.”

 

Ancient Rome

The city at that time was a bustling metropolis with about a million inhabitants and one of, if not the largest, cities in the entire world. With the technological and engineering capabilities of that time putting some limits on infrastructure, Rome was a city of grand houses and villas for the wealthy and at the same time a city of small hovel-like crowded and not always safe apartments for the rest of society, which included the overwhelming majority of Romans. In addition to satirizing Rome’s political climate, Juvenal also commented on everyday life for the average individual in Rome, which gives us a window into what the city looked like, smelt like, and felt like. 

As told by Juvenal, Rome was uncomfortable to live in, to say the least. The majority of Romans lived in apartment blocks made up of buildings several stories tall with multiple apartments on each floor and shared plumbing and kitchen facilities, kind of like a college dormitory. They were also built mainly of wood and fairly close together. This led to hazards such as frequent fire outbreaks, occasional collapse, and very narrow thoroughfares. The living facilities would likely have been cramped, dark, and fairly uncomfortable. Juvenal in describing these sort of accomodations refers to roofs explicitly twice, both in dangerous contexts. First, he says that those with apartments immediately below the roof–on more or less the attic floor–are the safest from fires as those tend to start on the bottom floor where the cooking facilities are. However, this also means they are the last to find out about fire, which poses a danger of its own. Elsewhere, Juvenal says that one of the dangers of walking about the city–in its narrow thoroughfares–is the stuff people dump out of their windows onto the street and, more importantly, the dangers of roofing tiles falling off of the roofs of these multi-story apartment buildings and straight onto the head!

Thankfully, outside of extreme weather circumstances, we are pretty safe in our modern homes both from flying roofing tiles (unlike Pyrrhus from the last post) and from window debris. Reading a text as old as Juvenal’s is fascinating both for the window it gives us into the past and for a renewed appreciation of the present, where tile stays put on roofs.

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!

Tile Roofing: Ancient and Modern
Roofing Blog

Tile Roofing: Ancient and Modern

Tile roofs are commonplace in Florida; they are aesthetically pleasing, durable, and an excellent choice for our hot and humid climate. But, did you know that tile roofs have been around for thousands of years? While roofing technologies are always improving and there are a few differences between ancient roofs and modern ones, the basic concept and the end result still remains the same. In this post we will be looking at the differences and similarities between modern and ancient tile roofs.

 

Modern Tile

Tile roofs are particularly evocative of Mediterranean climates, calling up images of Spain and Italy. In fact, most roofs in these countries, unlike in the US (where asphalt shingles are more popular), are still done in tile. But, just like in the US, modern tile in the Mediterranean has gone through some upgrades.

Modern tile is most commonly made out of one of two materials: either ceramic or concrete. Ceramic tile is shaped out of clay and then fired to harden it and give it durability. Concrete tile is poured into molds and then allowed to harden, achieving much the same effect. While both concrete and ceramic tile serve much the same functions and have the same longevity on a roof, concrete tile is significantly less costly because the process of making it is easier and the base materials required are much cheaper. Concrete can also be colored very easily by slipping a powdered coloring mixture into the concrete mix. Ceramic is much more difficult to alter in color and takes on the color of the clay that is used. In the US especially, modern tile roofs are mainly concrete tile.

 

Tile shapes

Modern tile generally comes in a couple of different shapes from which the homeowner can choose. Flat profiles are created from flat rectangular tiles which join together in specially crafted joints and overlap vertically. Another popular profile is the “S” shape, in which case the “S” tiles overlap when the convex part of another joins with the concave half of the tile next to it. Similar to the “S” profile, some tiles have a “W” profile which overlaps in the same way and results in a roof with softer curves. The most expensive type of tile roof is a barrel tile roof. For this type of roof semicircular tiles are laid out underside up and another course of semicircular tile is laid over the top where the first course’s tiles rest next to each other. This creates a waterproof layer. In any style of tile roof, semicircular tiles are used on the hips and ridges of the roofs as cover tiles.

 

Ancient Tile

Our example of tile roofing in antiquity comes from the ancient Romans, who perfected the tile roofing process, industrialized it, and made tile roofs ubiquitous across the Mediterranean territories that they conquered. The tile roofs of the Romans differed from modern tile slightly in both shape and composition, but overall were much like the tile roofs we see today in Florida. 

Ancient Roman building materials were generally made of stone or ceramic. Roof tiles were made of ceramic building material (CBM). Although the Romans did know how to make concrete, they generally used it in the form of hydraulic cement to line and waterproof floors, cisterns, and other such surfaces. Concrete was also used by the Romans in vaulted roofing, like barrel vaults and rotundas, as can be seen in the Pantheon in Rome. More frequently roofs were made out of ceramic tile.

Ancient Roman ceramic tile came in two shapes which were combined in an interlocking manner and joined with mortar to create a waterproof and weatherproof roof. These two shapes were pan tiles (tegula) and cover tiles (imbrex). Pan tiles were large, flat rectangles with a vertical strip (flange) along both of the longer sides of the rectangle. The tiles were placed next to each other in such a way that two flanges lay next to each other on each side. The cover tiles, shaped exactly like modern barrel (cover) tile, were then placed over the flanges in such a way that they covered both and prevented water from seeping between the two pan tiles. The tiles were also arranged in such a way that vertically the higher tile always overlapped the lower, just as they are today.

If you have any questions about tile 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

What is a Supplement?

If you have ever filed a claim with your property insurance company for a loss to your house, such as weather damage to your roof, you will have encountered references to something called a claim supplement in the correspondence with your insurance company. For those of us living in Florida, under a fairly constant threat of storm damage to real estate and other property, it is integral to maintain a current property insurance policy and useful to know how the claims process works, including the language associated with claims, policies, and all related factors. 

While we have addressed other aspects of the claims process in previous posts, this one will deal with an explanation of claim supplements, as they are typically a portion of the claims process that is handled not by the policyholder, but by the policyholder’s contractor. 

Toward what is typically the end of the claims process, anyone who files a claim will receive a document called a settlement letter, which is typically accompanied by an estimate of damages incurred and covered. While this document outlines the amounts granted by the insurance company to the policyholder as well as the method of disbursement, it is not necessarily the final word from the insurer about coverage. This is where the supplement comes in. The settlement letter will have language in it which amounts to the fact that if the policyholder or their contractor disagrees with the insurance company’s estimate, then they are free to file a supplement to the claim with a line-item estimate requesting additional funds. If the request is reasonable and properly filed, it will be taken under consideration by an adjuster and the claim will be re-evaluated. Upon evaluation of the supplement request, the insurer may grant additional funds up to the total amount requested in the supplement, although they may grant less money or none at all if they partially or wholly disagree with the supplement request and the reasons laid out in it.

It remains to explain the reasons behind filing a supplement and the process of doing it. We will tackle the reasoning first. You may think that the idea of a supplement creates a loop-hole of sorts for contractors to receive any additional funds they want from insurance companies. This is far from the truth. There are really only two reasons that a supplement can be filed and successfully go through the approval process resulting in the granting of additional funds. The first is if the insurer’s field adjuster missed some damage that was inflicted by the same peril (storm, for instance) in his or her estimate. While this is fairly rare, it is possible and easily rectifiable. For example, the field examiner might fail to note that a roof leak caused damage to the flooring or fail to see storm damage on the gutters in addition to the roof. In that case the supplement would simply consist of a line-item estimate of the costs of fixing the additional damages as well as photo documentation of the damages’ existence. 

The other reason behind filing an appropriate supplement request has to do with the process of repairs itself. Oftentimes, there exist building code regulations which govern the way that parts of a house (or any other building) are repaired or replaced. While most homeowners are not familiar with the minutiae of building codes, this is not a problem, since it is a contractor’s responsibility to be well-versed in local, federal, and state building codes. For this reason, it is often the contractor who files the supplement when it is based on code requirements. We will illustrate this in two examples. 

For one, did you know that in Florida if a roof repair is large enough it requires, by state code, the replacement of the whole roof? This is generally called the 25% rule. If a claim is filed for wind damage to the roof, and the insurance examiner finds that all the damage is confined to one slope, the insurance company may grant the funds for the replacement of a single slope on the roof. However, it is illegal for a roofing contractor to replace just one slope. Thus, to do the job properly, a contractor will file a supplement for full roof replacement.

Another example has to do with frequent code changes. For instance, starting in January of 2021, Florida requires two layers of synthetic or felt underlayment on each new roof or roof replacement, with the alternative being one layer of peel and seal (a self-adhesive ice/water shielding membrane). If the adjuster is unaware of the new code updates, he or she may grant only enough funds for one layer of felt or synthetic underlayment, in which case the contractor will supplement for the second layer in order to make sure there are enough funds to perform the work up to code. 

Having covered the reasons for filing a supplement, it remains to address the process of doing so. A supplement typically consists of three parts: the estimate for additional funds, the justification behind asking for them, and documentation in support of the justification. Frequently, the estimate must be a line-item estimate detailing each step of the repair process and its cost. The cost must conform to the price lists used by insurance companies, which is why most contractors use the same software as insurance companies to put together their line-item estimates. The justification outlines the reasoning explained above, as appropriate, and the documentation typically consists of photos of additional damages or citations of building codes. Once all required documents are submitted to an insurer’s claims department, a response to the supplement is typically sent to the policyholder within 14 business days.

If you have any questions about roofing supplements, 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!

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!

Permits
Roofing Blog

The Deal with Permits

If you are looking into making any large alteration on your home or property or undertaking a large renovation project you may have run into the question of building permits. Building permits are required not only for the construction of new commercial and residential structures, but also for major changes made to existing structures. The precise rules governing building permits vary by location. Which alterations require a permit and how the permitting process works, including inspections and paperwork requirements, as well as permit prices, varies by location. Local building departments, whether city, county, or municipal, make their own rules in accordance with federal, state, and local statutes and building codes. New construction, roof replacement, building additions, sheds, fences, and paving (like driveways for instance), usually requires a building permit. So, you may wonder, why are building permits necessary? And what are the procedures for getting one? We are here to answer these questions.

 

Why Permits are Necessary

The building permit system is designed to protect the property owner and regulate contractors. This protection is twofold. First, it ensures that construction, alteration, and renovation is performed according to all applicable building codes. This guarantees that the final construction product is as safe as possible for human use and habitation. It seeks to prevent shoddy or inept building practices that may result in a structure that is prone to collapse, fire, and other hazards. One example of these hazards is prohibition against the use of toxic substances that have been banned in home construction, even those that may have been considered suitable in the past, like lead or asbestos. Building codes also attempt to make sure a structure is as durable as possible for the environment that it is in. This pertains to various natural hazards like earthquakes or flooding and weather events like winter icing and snow accumulation, rainfall, and wind. In Florida building codes are designed to mitigate damage from hurricanes and tropical storms. 

 

The second way that building permits protect property owners is through the regulation of contractors. Contractors, whether building, roofing, electrical or any other, must register with local building departments in order to be listed on or granted a permit. During the registration process the building department reviews each contractor’s license and insurance compliance. Going forward, the building department ensures that licenses and insurance policies remain up to date and in good order. This means that only licensed, insured, qualified contractors in good standing are granted building permits, which weeds out deceptive contractors who operate illegally, are liable to do shoddy work, and may cheat their customers. For this reason, you should always make sure that any contractor you hire is registered with the local building department and is issued the appropriate building permit. If your contractor does not apply for a building permit, you should check their license status and may want to find a new contractor.

 

The Permit Process

The permit process, determined by each local building department, varies by town, city, or county, but a general outline can be summarized here. For every new construction or major renovation at every property a separate permit is required. Before a contractor can start work, they must apply for and be issued a permit. For new constructions, plans must be submitted to the building department and approved by them. For renovations, like a roof replacement, paperwork must be submitted and approved, such as a Notice of Commencement, which lists the type of alteration, the owner of the property, and the contractor. This form needs to be signed and notarized by the property owner and recorded and certified at the local courthouse before its submission can be approved. For this reason, a contractor will ask you to come to their office to sign and notarize this form or sign it, notarize it, and mail them the original copy to be taken to the courthouse. Sometimes additional paperwork is required for the homeowner to sign, like a Lien Law Affidavit, which pertains to the acknowledgement of the local construction lien law. 

Once the permit is issued, a copy of it alongside other relevant paperwork, as required by the building department, must be present on the property throughout the construction process. It is reviewed by building inspectors, who are sent out by the department to ensure that construction proceeds in accordance with all building codes. Several inspections occur throughout the process, depending on the exact nature of the construction project. The project and permit cannot be closed out until it passes final inspection, which shows that all work has been completed according to building codes and approved by the building department. 

As your contractor, we will always work as hard as we can to make sure you are pleased with your new roof and ensure a smooth permitting process. 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
Roofing Blog

Choosing Your Roof’s Color: Dark or Light?

Many of our customers ask for our advice when they have to make a choice regarding the color of their new roof. This decision can be especially difficult in the current market where material shortages are limiting color availability. Some manufacturers are cutting down their color availability while others are having trouble keeping up with demand. You might choose a color just to find out that it is no longer available or that there is a waiting list and the shingle supplier does not have a definite timeline of when your materials will be available again. For this reason, especially now, it is important to be informed about color choices. Many customers believe that for a house in Florida they should stick to light shingles in order to avoid excess heat. This tends to limit their color choices. So, to aid in your decision, in this post we will discuss the differences between light and dark shingles and dispel any myths about color choices.

 

Aesthetic Considerations

Contrast: When deciding between darker or lighter exterior features for your home, it is important to consider the design idea of contrast. A dark roof looks particularly good on a house with light siding and a dark trim, while a light roof looks great with darker siding and a lighter trim. For instance, a light grey house would look best with dark grey or black trimming and a dark grey or black roof.

Monochromatic: When the exterior colors of a house are all close to matching, the aesthetic is the opposite of contrast, called monochromatic. An example would be a light grey house, with grey trimming, and a light grey roof. This was a once popular trend that has now gone out of style. Contrast provides a more pleasant aesthetic. 

 

Environment and Function

The surroundings of your home may also influence your color choice. Landscaping and neighboring buildings may affect design choices, as well as the community in which the house is located. Many communities in the Palm Coast area have Homeowners Associations that govern the aesthetic choices of the community. If you are part of such a community, you will need to get the HOA’s board approval for your color choice, and they may veto certain colors for design choices. 

Outside of such governing boards, the color choice is really up to you within the current color availability. This may become a give and take decision based on time considerations. If you are willing to wait to get your roof replaced until the color that you have settled on becomes available, then your color choices are entirely up to you. Keep in mind, however, that the waiting time may be indeterminate and might end up being upwards of several months. 

On the other hand, if you want your roof replaced as soon as possible, then it would necessitate that you are flexible in your color choices. You may think that a dark color is just not practical for a roof in Florida, but with modern shingle manufacturing technology and advances in insulation that is just no longer true. If your attic is properly insulated (which it should be to extend the life of your roof and save on energy costs, as we have previously demonstrated), then a darker shingle color will not lower the life expectancy of your new roof or raise the temperature of the interior to any significant extent when compared with a lighter roof. Moreover, specifically designed “cool” shingles with solar reflective granule technology are now available in some areas. 

In the end, your shingle color should be your choice. Just remember, in the modern state of the manufacturing world you may need to be flexible either with your timing or your choices. 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! We will be happy to answer any questions you have about your estimated price.

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.

 

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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