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Roofing Blog

The Hidden Hazards of Water Damage

With all the rain storms we have been having, now is a good time to watch for leaks. It is important to examine your ceilings for leaks on a frequent basis and act at the first sign of one. Water damage can have serious effects on the safety and livability of your home.

There are certain home improvement problems that can safely be procrastinated. Nothing will go seriously wrong if you put off replacing an old carpet or repairing a creaky door. Leaks are another matter entirely. Even tiny leaks, barely a spot on the ceiling, can grow quickly and exponentially leading to major problems with very expensive solutions. Leaks can lead to structural problems which turn into safety and health risks.

Leaks can be caused by all sorts of damage to the roof. This can include wind, storms, falling debris, or hail. Improper installation of the original roof or a defect in the materials used may also be to blame. Improper maintenance or lack thereof altogether can also lead to leaks and shorten the lifespan of the roof. Remember that most roofs are only meant to last twenty to thirty years, even with regular maintenance and exclusive of external damage.

In addition to the obvious, there are some unexpected and unforeseen ways in which leaks can have an adverse impact on your home and life.

 

Higher Utility Bills

You may not know that when water enters the attic space, it can cause damage not just to the wood decking and ceilings, but also to the insulation in the attic that prevents excessive cooling of the house in the winter and excessive heating in the summer. When insulation gets saturated with water, it can take a long time to dry out. In the wet summer months it can go for months without drying under constant rains and leaks. If the leak continues for a long time without being addressed, it can deplete the efficacy of the insulation and result in higher utility bills as the AC unit or heater works harder to compensate.

 

Interior Mold and Mildew

The most serious potential consequence of neglected leaks is the growth of mold or mildew. These problems may take a while to develop, but if they do they will result in significant expenses and potential health issues. Once it begins to develop, mold can easily and quickly spread through the home’s structure and HVAC system from where it can reach other parts of the house including carpets, ceilings, furniture, and even clothing. The most common type of mold growth resulting from repeated water incursion is black mold, which is rarely toxic. Nevertheless, black mold can cause health and breathing issues, particularly for people who have underlying health problems like asthma. Getting rid of mold can be very costly and require specialists in mold remediation.

 

Fire Hazards

Because most homes’ electrical systems are wired through the walls and ceilings, including attics, leaks in these areas of the house can reach these wires and potentially pose a fire hazard. If you do notice that you have a leak be sure to check for affected wires and turn off electricity to that part of the house if necessary.

 

Attic and Ceiling Damage

The first damage from a leak will be to the wood in the attic and the ceilings. If the attic is used for storage, then the items stored there may be damaged as well. The plaster and paint on the interior of the ceiling will be stained and may form bubbles and expand. Continued leaking will spread to nearby ceiling surfaces and walls. The walls’ damage can get severe and will affect wall paint, insulation, drywall, and wall beams.

 

Structural Integrity

Rafters, ceiling joists, wall framing, fascia boards, and exterior trim are all structural elements that are susceptible to water intrusion. While the water damage to these areas can be superficial at first, continued water leaks can lead to mold, weakened wood, and rot. Once this happens these structural elements need replacing. This can get expensive, especially with the high prices of lumber materials at this time. Extended and neglected damage can result in the loss of structural integrity to the home making it unsafe for occupation and even liable to partial collapse.

Leaks should never be taken lightly. At the first sign of a leak, be sure to consult with a roofing professional to find the source of the problem and a possible solution. If 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!

Skylights
Roofing Blog

Skylights: Are They Worth It?

Skylights have become more and more popular as of late. You may have them yourself or seen them in a friend’s or neighbor’s house. They can give the interior of a home a great look with lots of natural light, but what are the real pros and cons of skylights? Below we take a look at the benefits of skylights as well as some of the challenges involved in their installation and maintenance.

 

The Benefits of Skylights

First let us consider the positive side of having one or more skylights installed in a home.

Natural Light: Skylights can bring natural light to areas that are otherwise dark. Rooms like interior bathrooms, which may not have any windows, can benefit from a skylight. A bathroom skylight also brings the advantage of leaving the room unseen from the street. In other cases, large rooms in the house which may have too few windows or whose windows may face out onto an enclosed porch can also be better lit with a skylight or two. 

Aesthetics: Skylights are aesthetically pleasing. They bring brightness and a new atmosphere to the entire room. Natural light is also proven to be beneficial to humans’ physical and mental well-being.

Fresh Air: Venting skylights are available on the market which can provide fresh air to a room, just like any window. Venting can let in a cool breeze in the summer and help lower temperatures in a room. It is important; however, to make sure that the mechanism to open and close the vents is close at hand, since otherwise vents left open when heating or air conditioning is on can lead to energy waste.

Solar: Solar skylights can also provide heating or cooling assistance depending on their location on the roof and the climate in which the building is located. Additionally, east or west facing skylights can provide heating or cooling effects in the morning and evening respectively.

 

The Challenges Associated with Skylights

Expenses: Skylights can be fairly expensive, depending on their size and style, and they will increase the price of future roof replacements. While skylight quality has been going up in recent years, so have their prices. Material price, excluding labor, ranges from about $300 to $1000 depending on elements like size, type, glass quality, safety rating, and so on. Skylight styles also frequently change, which means that the skylight you get now may not have a matching replacement ten or twenty years down the line when it needs replacing. In this case, replacement will require converting the skylight tunnel, which can be quite pricey. 

Roof Leaks: Skylights are a notorious cause of roof leaks. If they are old, improperly sealed, or improperly installed they will cause leaking and interior damages. It is extremely important to make sure before installing that you buy high quality tempered or laminated glass skylights with e-coating to control UV rays and heat. Stay away from cheap skylights which will discover and crack over time. Also, hire a qualified and experienced contractor for installation who will give you a reasonable warranty. Skylights must be installed with a raised trim, proper flashing, and proper sealant to prevent leaks in the future. 

Interior Damages: As mentioned before, skylights have a great potential for causing leaks, which can sometimes get quite severe. These, if not immediately fixed, especially in a rainy environment like central Florida, can cause significant interior damages to ceilings, floors, and furniture. Direct sunlight can also cause damages to certain furniture types and floor types, so it is important that the glass be tinted correctly and that light sensitive items are not placed in direct line to the rays coming through the skylight.

Structural Concerns: Installing skylights on an existing roof, as opposed to concurrently with a new roof installation, can be damaging to the structural integrity of the structure if not done correctly. Roofs constructed of trusses, which is mainly the way houses are built in the Flagler Palm Coast area, must be carefully analyzed and inspected by a structural expert before a plan for installing a skylight is put in place. Compromising the structural integrity of a roof is not only dangerous but also will result in extensive expenses.

Overall, the decision to install skylights must be considered carefully. While the benefits are significant, care must be taken in dealing with the challenges to avoid potential pitfalls. If you have any questions about skylights or want a free estimate for your roof repair or  replacement in the Palm Coast, Flagler, or Volusia area, please give Florida’s Best Roofing a call at 386-263-7906!

Tile Roofs
Roofing Blog

The Pros and Cons of Tile Roofs

Choosing a tile roof is often based on aesthetics. They are stylistically inviting and alluring in their call to the use of tile roofing throughout history and in mediterranean climates. Tile roofs are not only appealing in their looks but also in their durability and ability to handle a variety of weather hazards that have the potential to impact a roof in the course of its life. Below we discuss all these aspects of tile roofs and more to show you the advantages and disadvantages of tile roofs and provide more information about them.

 

Tile Roofs: General Info

Overall, tile roofs are known for two main things: they are highly durable and very expensive. Tile roofs frequently cost double or even triple the price of shingle or even metal roofing. At the same time, they are known to last much longer. Some tile roofs can have a life expectancy of 50-70 years, which far surpasses the life of a shingle roof, which can be as low as 10-15 years (although with new shingle manufacturing technology this life expectancy has gone up in recent times to 25-40 years). Therefore, tile roofing can be viewed as an investment which pays off in the long run.

Tile roofs are also known for being very heavy, especially if traditional clay tiles are used. To deal with the weight, the structure that is built to hold a tile roof is generally designed with extra structural support by the architect or engineer. Newer tile manufacturing technology, using concrete, has made tile lighter and cheaper, but even a concrete tile roof cannot go directly onto a structure that was engineered for shingle or metal roofing.

Traditionally tile roofs have come in the Mediterranean style, consisting of barrel or overlapping s-tile shapes reminiscent of Spain or Italy. Nowadays, however, tile comes in a variety of shapes for homeowners to choose from. They can mimic wood shingles, shake, or even slate. Flat concrete tiles are used to achieve these looks and are highly popular at this time.

 

Tile Roofs: Pros

The biggest advantage of tile roofs is the longevity of their lifespan and their ability to weather extreme events including windstorms, hail, hurricanes, and earthquakes. A well crafted tile roof can stand up to decades of wear and tear without developing leaks or other issues. 

These roofs are also great insulators, which keep homes warm in the winter and cool in the summer. This also keeps the attic temperature down in the summer which helps to prolong the life of the roof’s wood decking and prevent dry rot in the plywood. 

Tile roofs come with many unique accents, life cloaked attic vents, bird-stop, hip and ridge tiles, and other options. They also come in a variety of coloring from traditional burnt umber, reds, or browns to moss or seafoam green, various greys, and bright or muted blues. With all these touches roofs have the ability to complement any home’s style or aesthetic no matter the exterior color, trim, decorations, and landscaping.

 

Tile Roofs: Cons

The main disadvantage of a tile roof is its initial cost. As mentioned above, a tile roof usually runs several times that of shingle or metal. Typical prices run between thirty thousand and seventy thousand depending on the size of the house. Although roofs do not typically need replacement for about fifty years, once it does need replacing the replacement cost is just as high if not higher as the initial cost. 

Another con is that tile roofs are in a way very brittle. The tile can easily break from objects hitting it or even a person walking on the roof, if that person is not properly trained in how to walk on a tile roof. Tile roof repairs, therefore, are rather costly and require a tile roof expert, who will not leave the roof in a worse shape than it was before.

Finally, tile roofs require special structural support, which requires input from an engineer or architect. This can also result in additional costs and must be handled with great care.

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

Roofing Updates
Roofing Blog

Popular Roofing Upgrades

Replacing the roof of your house might not be an exciting or glamorous improvement to your home, but it is one of the most important. A high quality updated roof made of technologically advanced and upgraded materials can extend the life of your home and raise the value of your property. It can also save you in insurance costs if you inform your insurance company about your roof upgrades or get a wind mitigation inspection. Although the roof serves a necessary function, it can also add to the aesthetics of a home, provided that it is carefully chosen and installed well. There are ever increasing advances in the technology of materials and installation. Taking the time to find a good contractor who can provide you with a selection of roofing materials that will complement your property can go a long way. It is also important to consider attic ventilation and internal climate control in roof replacement. Below are some upgrades to consider when replacing your roof in the current climate.

 

Shingles

Choosing the right, energy-efficient shingle is key. Shingles are the most common choice of roofing material in our area. Asphalt shingles are a great, long-lasting and cost-efficient roof covering. Although they have been in use for many decades, in recent years, especially in the last ten or so, there have been many technological advancements in shingle manufacture. There is a huge variety of shingle color and styles now available, with differing advantages and warranties. It is important to do your research before selecting your shingle. If you are replacing your roof now, it is probably at least 15 years old, if not more. In the past, 15-20 years ago, the most commonly used shingle was the 3-tab shingle with a 20-25 year warranty and 60 mph wind resistance. Now, the most commonly used shingle is architectural, with a limited lifetime warranty and 130 mph wind resistance. That is quite an upgrade! There has also been an increase in color and styles available, including designer colors to choose from, which can add to the appearance of the property. Reflective shingles are available which can diminish the impact of the sun in particularly sunny areas, like Florida. Their granulated surface reflects the sun’s rays and can even lower interior cooling costs.

 

Gutters

Gutters are a great way to increase the life expectancy of your roof. They are low maintenance and can be complemented with gutter guards, which will decrease the need for cleaning out gutters on a regular basis. They are an essential roofing component that improves the function of the roof and prevents water damage. Gutters channel water away from the roof, particularly in areas prone to water build-up or standing water, which can quickly damage the roof and cause leaks. Older versions of gutters had a tendency to get clogged with tree debris, leaves, and pine needles. They required frequent and regular maintenance to keep their functionality. Newer forms of gutters are almost seamless, making them much less likely to leak or trap debris. With gutter guards, maintenance becomes practically unnecessary. Gutters now come in a variety of shapes, styles, and colors making it easy to choose gutters that will complement the style of your roof and your house.

Roof and Attic Ventilation

Improving the ventilation of your attic space can go a long way in extending the life of your roof and saving you money on heating and cooling costs. In the summer, especially in Florida, attics get as hot as a furnace, particularly when improperly ventilated. The buildup of the heat radiates to the rooms directly below the attic, which increases cooling costs. Super-heated attic spaces also have the potential to damage or prematurely degrade roof covering. Keeping the attic, and your house, cooler is extremely important. To make sure that this is the case consider installing ridge vents, if the shape of your roof makes this possible. Ridge vents are the best at ventilating attic spaces. Ridge vents are also great aesthetically, as they are barely visible from the ground. They also come in a shingle-over style which blends in perfectly with the rest of the roof. Ridge vents expel hot attic air as cooler air is drawn in through the soffit, so it is good to make sure that your soffit is also functioning properly. 

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

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!

start of hurricane season.
Roofing Blog

Start of Hurricane Season: Roof Preparedness

We have just entered the month of June, which, as most Floridians know, is the start of hurricane season. For the next several months we will all be closely watching the weather and the endless news coverage of every named storm in the Atlantic. Last year was record setting in this regard with 30 named storms, 13 of which became hurricanes. These storms battered the southeastern United States and caused billions of dollars of damage. As the 2021 season gets started, most Floridians are considering their levels of storm preparedness, from stockpiling canned goods to finally investing in a generator. We are here to focus on a specific facet of storm preparedness: the roof.

Before we get too far along into hurricane season, it is important that you evaluate your roof’s preparedness, as roofs are one of the parts of the home that are most prone to damage from hurricane or tropical storm force winds. The roof is at the forefront of any home’s weather defense system. To evaluate your roof’s preparedness we advise that you take two steps, both discussed below.

 

Step 1: Determine Current Condition

Your first step should be determining the current condition of your roof. First, determine how old it is. Most shingle roofs reach their life expectancy at about 15-20 years. Tile and metal roofs may last up to 30-40 years without need for repair. Every roof, however, is different. In addition to finding out how old your roof is, you should give it at least a cursory ground level inspection. Are there any missing or broken shingles or tiles? Check from the interior as well. Inspect all your ceilings to check for any leaks, including dark spots that may indicate a leak is starting. If you see a leak on the inside, broken or missing roofing pieces on the outside, or any other indication of damage, it is imperative that you call a roofing specialist. 

Roof problems do not fix themselves, and they inevitably get worse over time. If a roof is already compromised, any upcoming storms could cause major damage to the exterior and potentially the interior of the house. Plus, most roofing contractors offer free estimates, so there is no downside to talking to a professional and getting their evaluation. Roof inspections can cost money, so make sure that you ask for an estimate, not an official inspection. If you do not see any problems but are not confident in your evaluation, or if your roof looks ok but it is approaching its life expectancy, it is best to consult a professional. Again, you have nothing to lose and it is better to be safe than sorry.

If you do call a roofer, and they recommend roof repair or replacement, give this serious consideration. You may want to first take the step of contacting several companies and getting a second, third, or fourth opinion. If all the contractors you call give you the same evaluation, this is a good time to take the step of replacing or repairing your roof to make sure that you are protected in the case of a storm. Because roofing is expensive, cost may be prohibitive in this case. There is good news, however. Most contractors, like Florida’s Best Roofing, offer financing options at little or no interest. Additionally, your roof damage may be covered by insurance, which brings us to step 2.

 

Step 2: Check Your Insurance Policy

This is also a good time to verify the details of your home insurance policy. Do you have one and is it current? Does it cover your roof and dwelling at replacement cost? What is the deductible? Check this carefully, because most insurance policies have a separate deductible for all named storms (tropical storms and hurricanes) called the hurricane deductible. The hurricane deductible may be $500 or $1000, but most often it is 2-5% of Dwelling A coverage, which in turn is 80% of the property’s estimated worth. This means that often the hurricane deductible is upwards of $4000 and sometimes even upwards of $10000. It is important to know this number as it will be the out of pocket cost you will bear in the case that a hurricane or other named storm damages your property.

You also need to look into your responsibilities in filing a claim. Usually, this involves noting the date of the damage and taking care to prevent further damages by taking mitigating steps, like tarping a leaky roof. Furthermore, it is important to know the number to call in the case that you need to file a claim. This is not your insurance agent’s number with whom you typically communicate about your policy. Instead, it is the number of the insurance company’s claims department which can generally be found at the top of the policy and on the company’s website online. Finally, make sure to find out if you have any wind or weather damage on your roof prior to the occasion of any named storm hitting the area. If you do, then you may need to file a windstorm claim for that damage before a hurricane hits. This way you will be prepared with a stronger roof for hurricane season and you may not have to pay the hurricane deductible, since in the case of un-named storms the regular, other perils deductible applies, which is typically much lower. 

Please take a moment to check your roof preparedness as we enter hurricane season. If you have any questions about your roof, your insurance coverage for the roof, 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!

Roofing Blog

Material Shortages and Price Hikes: What’s Going On?

You may have noticed the rising cost of materials along with a reduction in the variety and availability of materials in the construction industry lately. If you have entered into any construction or renovation project in the last year, this probably affected you. This has been most widely noticed in the lumber industry, with the price of a single sheet of plywood more than doubling in the last six months! At the same time, there have been reductions in the variety of colors available for products like paint and asphalt shingles. Additionally, many projects are delayed by weeks or even months while contractors wait for material deliveries in accordance with customer desires and demands. So, you may be thinking, what’s going on?

Here we will attempt to provide some insights into that question and the overall situation. Unfortunately, there is no easy simple answer, and lumber prices are not sky-rocketing due to a sudden tree shortage. Instead, the answer lies in the ties between the construction industry and the real estate market, international trade, recent severe weather events, regulations from local to state to federal levels and how all of these factors have been affected and complicated by the past year and a half of the COVID-19 worldwide pandemic. 

Obviously, it would be impossible for us to cover all of these topics and their connections in detail in a blog post. What we will endeavor to do, instead, is paint the picture in broad strokes with a few illustrative examples. Hopefully this will give you a better idea of why you may be facing delays, constricted choices in materials, and higher material costs if you enter into any construction or renovation project in the current climate. 

One of the biggest issues that has been directly caused by the pandemic is lowered imports. While most finished construction materials used here are made in the USA, some of the raw materials that are used in their manufacturing process are imported from other countries. Due to the pandemic, many countries have instituted quarantine periods for foreign imports, which–while necessary for health and safety reasons–delay the arrival of goods. This is coupled with a reduction in the labor force, foreign and domestic. When social distancing guidelines went into effect, all sorts of companies including suppliers and manufacturers reduced their production rates. To comply with social distancing the number of workers on a production floor at any given time had to be reduced. These changes were compounded from raw material extractors to transporters and distributors to manufacturers to suppliers and on to contractors. This resulted in delays as well as a reduction in overall supply of construction material.

This reduction in supply was initially offset with a reduction in demand. Due to quarantine/shelter in place regulations alongside increased job-loss and unemployment at the start of the pandemic in the spring and early summer of 2020, fewer construction projects were taking place, so demand for materials was lowered. This began to change in late summer of last year. 

The first change was precipitated by the number of hurricanes and tropical storms that hit the southeast and gulf coast region of the USA during the 2020 hurricane season. This season was one of the most prolific in storm formation on record. Out of 31 (sub) tropical cyclones that were detected, all but one became a named storm. These storms caused extensive property damage in the areas that were affected by them. Thus the demand for construction materials in those areas rose sharply. And remember, this happened during a time period when supply was already unusually lowered by the pandemic and the regulations that were imposed, by both governments and private businesses, to combat the spread of the virus.

To keep up with increased demand during a time of lowered supply, manufacturers took two steps. They diverted some resources from areas not affected by the storms to areas that were. Second, some manufacturers cut down on variety for the sake of increased production. For instance, some roofing shingle and metal manufacturers took certain colors out of production (temporarily) in order to optimize the production process. This led to even further demand for color varieties from manufacturers that still made, for example, blue shingles, which meant ever increasing delays for the consumer or limited choices. As demand began to outstrip supply, prices began to rise.

By the end of the fall of 2020 we were in a situation where demand for construction materials was becoming higher than supply, material varieties were lowered, prices increased, and delays were becoming more and more common. Over the winter of 2020-2021 many regions, most notably Texas, were hit by unusually severe winter storms. Because these regions did not usually have severely cold weather like this, many manufacturing plants were located there which were not built to withstand such weather. These plants were damaged by the storms and temporarily shut down afterward until they could be repaired and brought up to code. For instance, the two plants that manufactured the foam used to adhere tile to roofs in some tile roofing practices were both shut down. This led to a further fall in supply across the board. But demand kept rising.

As vaccine distribution in spring of 2021 began to take hold and social distancing measures were relaxed, manufacturers began to return to their normal supply production, but incrementally. In the meantime, the same changes along with several rounds of stimulus checks, decreasing unemployment, and low interest rates led to a sharp rise in demand. The real estate market boomed (it had already been quite robust for much of the pandemic). Homeowners were getting back to renovation projects they had put off for much of last year. Although supply was slowly returning to normal levels, rising demand continued to stay ahead, widening the gap. Prices of materials rose sharply–they are still rising. Contractors have begun to raise prices to offset material costs. At the same time, delays and variety limitations continue. 

While we all hope that supply will ramp up to catch up to demand soon, it is unclear how long this will take. In the meantime if you have any questions about roofing material pricing or availability 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!

Roofing Blog

Asphalt Shingle Packaging, Transport, and Delivery: Part II

In our previous post we covered the in and outs of asphalt shingle packaging and the shingle transport process. We explained why it is too taxing in time, space, and manpower for most roofing companies to store and transport all the shingles and other supplies to each job site themselves. Asphalt shingles, in the amounts it takes to cover an average roof, are too bulky and heavy for it to be efficient for every contractor to store them in their own facilities and load them onto every roof they install or replace. Operating more efficiently and deferring storage and delivery costs lowers service prices and saves money for customers and consumers in the long run. 

As mentioned in the last post, there is a system of supply companies in place with the infrastructure and equipment to handle the logistics of shingle storage, transport, and delivery. Roofing supply companies are generally either national or regional companies that deal with dozens or even hundreds of roofing contractors and can efficiently handle the volume of that work. Each supply company’s regional office buys materials in bulk from manufacturers to temporarily store at their location. Roofing contractors submit orders to a local supplier’s office for delivery. 

Most deliveries are destined for a specific job site, which are submitted by the contractor to the supplier. Occasional deliveries are also scheduled for contractors’ offices. These are lower in frequency and contain items that need to be on hand daily for repairs and emergencies, like different types of vents, nails, flashing, small amounts of shingles in various colors, and other such supplies. 

Deliveries to job sites are scheduled for a specific day by the contractor, but they are organized by the supplier. Ideally the date is convenient for the property owner, fits well into the contractor’s schedule, and matches the supplier’s schedule and material availability. Ideal situations are, unfortunately, fairly rare, so there is always some compromise and give-and-take. For this reason, although it is desirable for shingles to be delivered to the roof the morning of the day on which they will be installed, occasionally the delivery date may be a day or longer from the installation date. The installation date can be delayed due to weather, the contractor’s schedule, or homeowner’s preference since shingle installation is a loud and disruptive process. Material availability, which has been particularly adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, can also delay delivery dates, especially if a property owner is intent on a specific color or shingle variety. 

Once the delivery date is set, the supplier analyzes all the deliveries they have to make that day, the locations of the deliveries, and the landscapes of these locations. Landscapes can factor into how deliveries are to be made and which trucks can be used due to distance between houses and other structures, types of driveway, locations of trees and shrubs, and other elements of this sort. Materials are organized by geographical area and truck. Several trucks go out each day to make a number of deliveries, depending on order size. Often, each truck will be loaded once for a morning delivery and another time for an afternoon delivery. 

There are two types of delivery: roof-top and ground. Each one is exactly what it sounds like. In ground delivery, the shingles are simply removed from the truck and left on the ground near the property, usually on pallets, either on the driveway or the lawn near the house. In cases like these, the roofers are the ones who later haul the shingles up to the roof, often using ladders and an assembly-line system. As discussed previously, this is not ideal since it is time consuming and labor intensive. The reason for ground drop can be one of many, but all really boil down to the delivery truck being unable to get close enough to the house for roof-top delivery. The trucks are very large, so if there are other buildings very close by or trees or other elements in the way, the supply company may decide it is not safe to do anything but ground drop. This is also done if the driveway is blocked by something immovable (like a broken-down car or a storage container) or if the driveway is covered in paving stones, which can look great but most often cannot handle the weight of a shingle delivery truck. Ground drops are usually ok (not preferable) for one story buildings, but cause a lot of problems with taller structures and can result in price increases to compensate for time and labor.

Roof-top delivery is the better and more frequently utilized option for contractors and suppliers. There are two types of trucks capable of roof-top delivery: trucks equipped with conveyor belts and trucks with boom-cranes. Trucks with conveyors must be loaded, usually one bundle at a time, from the ground and unloaded on the roof. The conveyor carries one bundle at a time up to the roof, where they are stacked by employees and arranged in a way convenient for the installers later. Boom trucks use a crane and forklift system to carry shingles up to the roof one pallet at a time. The pallets are then unloaded on the roof and shingles are arranged for the installers. Which of these two types of truck is used is determined by the landscape around the house and the shape of the roof. 

Once the shingles are delivered, it’s time to get to work. If you need work on your roof or have any questions about shingle delivery 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!

Asphalt Shingle
Uncategorized

Asphalt Shingle Packaging, Transport, and Delivery: Part I

Unless you work in the industry or have had your roof replaced at least once before, you may never have thought about the logistics behind the transportation and delivery of roofing materials. If you live in the Flagler-Palm Coast area, however, you are bound to have seen at least a few times large flat-bed shingle delivery trucks on the road or houses under construction or renovation sitting with piles of shingles, and occasionally other roofing materials, on their roof waiting for the roofers to come and finish the job. 

If you do enter the process of replacing your roof, as your roof replacement date approaches, you will likely get a call from your contractor with two dates: the shingle delivery date and the work-start date. This may be the same day, but it may also be two different days, likely in the same week. You may wonder why this is the case. Don’t the roofers just carry the shingles up to the roof when it is time to lay them? The answer is no, in most cases they do not. In this post and the next we will explain the logistics behind the asphalt shingle delivery process, from packaging to transport to the piles you see on top of a house that is about to get a new roof.

 

Packaging

The reasons behind the fact that asphalt shingles are delivered to a house and installed on the roof by different groups of people, and sometimes on different dates, begin with shingle packaging and weight. Shingles are sold in units called bundles. Now, a single bundle of shingles weighs about 50-80 pounds. The reason for the range is that there are different types of shingles, as we have discussed previously. Thicker and more durable shingles will up the weight of a bundle. 

Fifty to eighty pounds is pretty heavy, but not so heavy that it cannot in most cases be carried up to a roof by one worker. The question is, how many bundles are needed to cover one roof? This, obviously, depends on roof size. Unlike shingles, measured in bundles, roofs are typically measured in roofing squares. One roofing square (1 SQ) is equal to 100 square feet of roof surface. A 2,000 square foot house (including garage), which is pretty average for the Palm Coast area, typically has a 30 SQ roof. This number may vary based on how cut a roof is–how many sub-roofs and special features it has–but we will stick with a 30 SQ roof in this example. 

So, how many bundles does it take to cover the roof of a 2,000 square foot home? Well, it typically takes 3 bundles of shingles to cover 1 SQ of roof. This number may go up to four with very thick and durable shingle variants. But, say we stick with the average 3 bundles per square. This means that 90 bundles of shingles are needed to cover a 2,000 square foot house. The weight of the entire shingle delivery will be from 4,500 to 7,200 pounds. Keep in mind this is only shingles, not including the other roofing materials like underlayment, flashing, vents, nails, tools etc… While it is reasonable that a worker can carry a bundle of shingles up to a roof, 90 bundles becomes much more taxing in terms of time and manpower. This is especially the case if the house is greater than one story. 

 

Transport

A full shingle order for any one roof is not only heavy, but also takes up quite a bit of space. Since even a small, local roofing contractor will typically replace several roofs in a week, it is unreasonable to expect that they will be able to store and transport all the necessary orders themselves. For this reason, shingles (and other roofing supplies) are usually purchased from regional or national supply companies who store the materials in large warehouses and get them directly from the manufacturers in bulk. 

These supply companies own specialized fleets of freight, flatbed, and shingle delivery trucks which are used to transport several orders at once. Roofing contractors place shingle orders in advance with the supplier. The orders are typically broken up by job/contract. These can range from a 90 bundle order for that typical 2,000 square foot residential home to very large orders for big commercial or residential complex projects that can be hundreds of bundles at once. 

The contractor provides their chosen supply company with a delivery address for each order. The supplier’s fleet transports these orders and delivers them not to the contractor, but to each job site directly. The large flatbed trucks that are used to transport shingles, in most cases, can hold several orders at once. For this reason, several orders (from several contractors) are loaded onto each truck and grouped by geographic area for delivery. Each truck, then, makes several deliveries per day to assigned job sites. 

The delivery process, with helpful relevant information for homeowners, will be covered in our next post. In the meantime, if you have any questions about shingle delivery 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!

Florida Best Roofing
Roofing Blog

Roof Estimate vs Roof Inspection

If you have ever found damage to your roof, bought or sold a house, dealt with a roofing contractor, or even bought or changed a property insurance policy you probably heard the terms roof estimate and roof inspection. Some people think that these terms are interchangeable, but they actually refer to two different processes. While both services are offered by reputable roofing contractors, they each involve different procedures and separate results. There are also separate situations that call for either a roof estimate or roof inspection. The information below will explain these differences to you and help you make the decision between a roof estimate and a roof inspection when it comes time to deal with your roof.

 

Roof Estimate

If you have ever seen an advertisement for a roofing contractor, whether on a billboard, the side of a truck, a tv commercial, a newspaper, a postcard, or anywhere else, you have probably seen the words “free estimate.” Almost all reputable roofing contractors provide free estimates as part of their marketing strategy. These are essentially a bid that the contractor offers for performing work on the roof ranging from a small targeted repair to full roof replacement. Just because estimates are part of a marketing strategy does not mean that they are frivolous or worthless. They are absolutely necessary before any work on the roof can begin. In fact, when you want roof repair or replacement it is recommended that you get an estimate, again usually free, from several reputable contractors in order to make the best decision for your home and your budget. 

A roof estimate is targeted. The process gets started with a call from the homeowner to a roofing contractor and a request for either a repair or a replacement estimate. Usually there is a reason behind this call, such as a leak or visible damage on the roof. Once the call is made, the contractor most likely will schedule an appointment with the homeowner for a company representative to come out and take a look at the roof and the damage. Occasionally, roof replacement estimates may be given without anyone actually going up on the roof, using satellite imagery, but most often contractors like to take a look at what they will be dealing with. During the appointment, the roofing contractor’s representative will evaluate the roof and the damage and make an educated guess, based on material/labor costs and previous experience as to what it will cost to fix the problem or replace the roof. This is why it is called an “estimate.” The amount estimated is liable to change based on what is actually encountered by the roofers once they begin work. There may be hidden damages that are not visible until the uppermost material is removed. For this reason, the estimate provided by a reputable roofing contractor will most often have language in it that names instances in which the final price may change. 

 

Roof Inspection

Now that you know what an estimate entails, let’s talk about what a roof inspection involves. A roof inspection, unlike a targeted estimate, is a full analysis of the whole roof system, including the rafters, the decking, and the roof covering. The inspector goes up on the roof to check all the pieces including the main covering (shingles, tile, metal) as well as other components like the vents, gutters, drip edge, and flashing. The inspector will also go up in the attic to check the wood that supports the roof and the roof deck that supports the covering. They also check for leaks on the interior ceilings. All materials are evaluated for efficacy, damages, and longevity. A roof inspection will detail any issues that your roof may have, potential issues that may arise, and how long the roof is expected to last. Unlike an estimate, a roof inspection typically does not provide a price for work to be done; instead, it details what work should be done for which you may want to get an estimate (or several estimates) in the future. 

Inspections are most often performed before a house is sold, either by the buyer or the seller. They are also performed by insurance companies before granting a policy or when making policy changes. Finally, roof inspections are a good maintenance tool. Getting routine roof inspections, every two to three years, will keep you apprised of any potential problems and may save on repair or replacement costs in the future. Roof inspections can be performed by a roofing contractor or a professional property inspector or even an insurance adjuster. Because inspections do not involve actual work being performed on the roof and do not guarantee that work will be performed, they can be done by someone with knowledge of construction and roofing but without a roofing license. Unless the inspection is paid for by an insurance company, it will most likely cost you, usually somewhere around $100.00. The reason for this is that an inspection is more exhaustive than an estimate and it does not make an offer of future work to be performed. 

To recap, an estimate is usually a free service provided by roofing contractors which targets a specific problem area or the whole roof replacement and provides the customer with the estimated cost that it will take to fix the problem or replace the roof entirely. An inspection is an exhaustive look at the roof which identifies all existing and potential future problems, as well as the longevity of the roof. It is performed by a professional, costs money, and can influence a house’s sale price as well as insurance coverage and premiums. 

If you have any questions about roof estimates and inspections or want an inspection or 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!

Roof Repair
Roofing Blog

The Step-by-Step Process of Roof Repair

It may surprise you that roof repair is more than just laying down shingle to cover damaged areas. It is a process reflecting the investment you make in your property, and one which any homeowner will eventually have to deal with. For these reasons it is important that you make yourself familiar with what goes into roof repairs and the decisions that must be made. Whether you plan on making the repairs yourself or hiring a professional roofing contractor, it will benefit you to know what this process entails. Below we detail what goes into roof repairs from start to finish:

 

Equipment and Materials

Any reputable professional roofer is sure to have all required materials and equipment to do a proper roof repair. If you have an immediate need to make repairs and cannot wait on a contractor, it may interest you to know what exactly these materials and equipment include. Even if you plan to hire professional help, it is always good to stay informed and have a grasp of what it takes to complete a proper roof repair. 

First, a good ladder is needed to get up on the roof. A shingle lift helps with delivery of materials, but is not something a DIY repairman may have on hand. Next, it is extremely important to have safety equipment or a fall protection kit, which typically includes rope, a safety harness, and roofing anchor. Roofing can be dangerous work and anyone going up on a roof needs to be prepared in order to avoid accidents.

Tools are required for removal of damaged material and installation of new material. These can include roofing nails, a hammer or nail gun, sealant, a utility knife, chalk, and a crowbar or putty knife. Finally, the new material to be installed is not only shingles, but also may include plywood, underlayment, flashing, vents, and drip edge.

Not all of these items are required for all roofing repairs; at the same time, more complicated repairs may require special equipment or materials. It is always recommended to hire a professional contractor to make this determination. If this is not possible in your situation, you should at least consult a roofer, roofing inspector, or other roofing professional to assess your situation and make sure that nothing is overlooked.

 

The Extent of Repairs

The first step in undertaking a repair is to determine the extent of repairs needed. Even more basically, the question to ask is whether the roof can be repaired or does it need full replacement? Below is some advice on how you may be able to make this determination yourself; however, it is always best to get the opinion of a professional. Most reputable roofing companies offer free estimates, and it is a good idea to take advantage of this and consult with one or several contractors.

Here are some signs that a repair will suffice, provided that the rest of the roofing system is in decent working condition:

Missing shingles: A few missing shingles can typically be replaced fairly easily. This must be done ASAP since missing shingles make the underlayment and decking vulnerable to the elements. If the roof is older, over 15 years old, then even a few missing shingles may warrant roof replacement due to the brittleness (breakability) of the adjoining shingles.

Cracked or Torn Shingles: Unless this condition is widespread across the whole roof, these can often be replaced individually. Occasionally, the existing cracked or torn shingles can be mended with sealant.

Broken Shingles: Shingles with pieces broken off no longer function as they should and allow the elements to penetrate to the underlayment and decking. Shingles that are missing pieces must be replaced.

Conversely, these are signs that a repair will not be sufficient and the whole roof should be replaced:

Signs of Aging: A roof with extensive signs of aging should ideally be inspected for damage and in many cases replaced. These signs include sagging, mold growth, discolored roofing, sitting water, and loose (flapping) shingles.

Curling: When shingles curl and you see the slope start to take on a wavy shape, this means that the shingles are past their life expectancy and are no longer fulfilling their function.

Granule Loss: Granules, the rough sandy bits covering asphalt shingles, provide UV and water protection. If shingles have lost their granules with age or due to weather they must all be replaced.

 

Steps to Roof Repair

After determining the required extent of repairs and getting together necessary equipment and materials, the repair process can commence. Here are the steps to that process:

Inspection: This is a three step process. The initial inspection determines the extent of necessary repairs and materials required for those repairs. A secondary inspection occurs when the damaged material is removed in order to determine if the decking is still intact or if this too needs to be replaced/repaired. The final inspection occurs after all repairs are done in order to make sure that all repairs were performed properly and the roof functions as it should.

Protection: This comes in the concrete and the abstract. One method of protection is a tarp that safeguards your roof before repairs begin and while they are taking place. Another is a dumpster trailer which will allow for disposal and prevent litter in the yard (this is typically provided by the contractor, if you choose to hire one). Finally, if you do hire a contractor make sure that they have a valid license and insurance and a clear contract for you to sign ensuring your legal protections.

Tear-Off: Old or damaged shingles and underlayment must be torn off to make room for new material and to allow you and the contractor to inspect the roof decking for damages. This can affect a small area for a small repair or the whole roof for roof replacement.

Prep: The roof must be prepared for new shingles. The decking is inspected and replaced where needed. The decking is also renailed up to current building codes. Then, underlayment is installed across the affected area along with any necessary new vents, flashing, valley metal, drip edge, etc.

Shingle Installation: Once the roof is prepped and thoroughly checked for any issues, it is ready for the new material. New shingles are laid down according to their type and manufacturers’ requirements. In the case of a repair, they are integrated into the existing roofing system.

Clean Up and Final: At the end the site is cleaned up of all debris and the property is checked for any loose material, such as nails. The dumpster trailer is also removed. In the case of a very large repair or roof replacement an inspector from the county or city building department is then sent out to make sure everything was installed and will function optimally.

It is important to be informed on the roof repair process no matter the scale of your repairs, from a couple missing shingles to full roof replacement. If you have any questions about a roof repair or the condition of your roof in the Palm Coast, Flagler, or Volusia area, please give Florida’s Best Roofing a call at 386-263-7906!

Insurance Estimate
Roofing Blog

Should I Share My Insurance Estimate With My Contractor?

If your roof was damaged during a storm, a frequent occurrence around these parts, then you may have turned to your home insurance company for help. After the claim is filed and the adjuster makes his inspection, you receive an estimate from your insurance company that details the repairs that need to be done and how much the insurance carrier will pay for them. At this point you are probably looking into hiring a contractor, and wondering whether you should share that insurance estimate with the roofing contractors that you are looking into. Some people fear that revealing their insurance estimate to contractors may allow a non-reputable contractor to take advantage of them or to raise their prices. So what should be done in this situation? Here are some things you should know:

Believe it or not, most roofers are on your side. Reputable, licensed roofing companies want to do what is best for their customers. Established local companies are looking to make their customers happy to stay in business and get referrals. A good roofer will be able to look at an insurance estimate and determine whether it is a fair representation of what it will take to fix all the damage on the roof. Because good contractors give warranties, they will not do a partial repair just to have to come back again later. 

Roofers can find damage that an adjuster may have missed when surveying the property. The first response you get from the insurance company and the scope of loss that accompanies it is not necessarily the final statement on the claim. Claims can be supplemented by contractors with a second or even third estimate if it is found that further work is required to fully repair the damage and return your property to its pre-storm condition.

There is really no reason that a contractor would use your insurance estimate against you. Reputable contractors will work with you and your insurance company to make sure you are treated fairly. If, however, a contractor asks for an immediate deposit after seeing your estimate, there may be some concerns. In this case it is advisable to get a second or third opinion. You always have the option to choose your contractor and change contractors before you sign a contract. 

Problems on a claim can arise because while the homeowner feels that the insurance company should cover all required repairs and renovations, the goal of the insurance company is to pay out as little as possible. For this reason, every homeowner should hire a reputable contractor who can accurately assess damages and prove to the insurance company that these damages must be covered in the claim. A good roofing contractor will be able to guide you through the claim process, supplement the original insurance response as necessary, and apply all relevant state statutes and building codes so that you are offered a fair assessment of what it will take to repair or replace your roof and get it up to code.

During the claims process, a field adjuster inspects your roof and a desk adjuster decides the payout. They often follow a standard template provided by their company, but not all roofs are the same. Some roofs have features that others lack. Building codes vary by state, county, and city. Codes are also updated every few years. Contractors keep up to date on codes in their local areas because they need their work to pass inspections by city or county officials. Since adjusters are not roof installers, it is important to have a roof contractor review your estimate to make sure that the adjusters did not miss any roof features or roof damages. They will also be able to see if the estimate created by the insurance company takes into account all applicable building codes. 

It is also important that your contractor reviews not just your insurance estimate but also your policy and all relevant documents. Some policies impose time limitations on roofing repairs, some do not include code upgrades, and all policies require mitigation of any further damage. Some policies include Actual Cash Value (ACV) provisions which issue only partial coverage for roof replacement or repairs. A good roofer will be able to foresee any issues that may arise out of the type of coverage you have and advise you properly on what to expect.

At Florida’s Best Roofing we are very knowledgeable about the insurance claims process and how to get a fair and honest estimate from your insurer. We will help guide you through the process. If you have any questions about the condition of your roof or your insurance estimate in the Palm Coast, Flagler, or Volusia area, please give Florida’s Best Roofing a call 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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