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Roofing Blog

What to Do After a Storm

Just a few days ago, Hurricane Ian passed across Florida causing great harm, loss of life, and tremendous destruction. We hope that all of you and your families are safe. We also would like to help you in the rebuilding efforts that must follow. Thus, this is a good time to discuss what actions to take immediately following a hurricane or tropical storm to begin returning your life and your property to normal. Hurricanes like Ian cause immense property damage mainly through flooding and winds. Here are some actions to take that will begin to repair the damage.

 

Evaluation

Once you are safe and the storm has passed, first, it is important to identify and document any damage that your property may have suffered. A simple inspection of the property is all that is required, first on the interior and then the exterior. During this be careful of any debris that may have fallen during the storm, branches that may be on the tipping point of collapse, and of course downed power lines. Do not approach power lines, even if you think they do not carry a live current. For power lines and the restoration of power, call your local electrical company. Yard debris can be removed by hand in most cases, however, be careful of downed trees–these may require professional removal for the sake of safety. Before calling any tree removal company or any contractor, make sure to make notes and take photos of any damage that has occurred. Look especially at siding damage, roof damage (missing shingles or shingles on the ground), gutter damage, and damages to pool enclosures or any exterior structures like sheds. If you do find damage, take your own photos of it first. If you see debris on your roof, take photos of it before removing anything. This may pay off for you in the long run.

 

Insurance

Once you have assessed the damage you should look up your property insurance information. Even if you don’t find any damage, this is a good time to check and make sure that you have a current property insurance policy. You should also know what kind of coverage the policy provides, whom to call to make a claim, and what your deductible is. Beware that most property insurance policies have separate hurricane and non-hurricane deductibles. Any named storm, even if it did not bring hurricane force winds to your area, including all tropical storms, are covered under the hurricane deductible. Hurricane deductibles are typically higher than deductibles for all other perils. Make sure that you know the difference. Additionally, look into flood insurance. Most typical property insurance policies do not cover flood damage. A separate flood insurance policy is required for this. Check to see if you have flood insurance and consider, as a Floridian, purchasing a flood insurance policy if you do not have one already. 

If you have identified storm damage to your home, consider filing an insurance claim. If it is flood damage, you will need to file under your flood damage insurer. If it is wind damage, then it will be covered by your general property insurance policy. Remember, that your hurricane deductible will apply. To begin the process, you simply need to call the claims department of your insurer or go online. Most companies now have websites where you can file a claim. Remember, millions of people were affected by this storm, so waiting times, especially for phone calls, may be quite high at this time. Once you file a claim, an adjuster will come out to inspect and document the damage. If you need to do immediate repairs prior to the inspection, and in many cases the insurance company will expect you to, make sure to document the process from beginning to end with photos and receipts for any material purchased or labor hired. Provide copies of this documentation to your adjuster so that they can see the full scope of the damage.

 

Repairs

Once the damage is found, documented, and reported to the insurance carrier, it is time to make the repairs. Unless you are confident you can handle these yourself, it is time to call a contractor. When selecting a contractor there are some factors you will need to consider. First, always choose a reputable local contractor. Check their website, their reviews, and how long they have been in business. Make sure that they are licensed with the state of Florida and fully insured. Unfortunately, hurricane damage often attracts unscrupulous and sometimes even criminal elements who are either unqualified for the work or worse will take a deposit for work to be done and never show up again. Take care to avoid these. Finally, consider that wait times always increase in this period. Quality work takes time and quality contractors will be busy following a storm. It may also be helpful to get several opinions, as contractors most often provide free estimates.  

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

the Pantheon’s Concrete Dome
Roofing Blog

Famous Roofs: the Pantheon’s Concrete Dome

Roofing may often seem like a jargon-filled, technical, and tedious subject which people only take an interest in when it comes time to repair or replace their own roof, but that’s not alway the case. As we have tried to show with previous posts, it can be a fascinating part of history, literature, and art. A roof is an integral part of the architecture of a building and at times advances in roofing have led to significant advances in the field of architecture and to the construction of some fascinating buildings which have stood for hundreds of years and still survive to this day! In the next few posts we will cover some of these buildings, their history, and most importantly, their roofs!

The first on our list is a building that is about two thousand years old and still standing in the city of Rome in Italy today. This building was originally called the Pantheon and is still known mostly by that name; however, some hundred years after it was built it was turned into a church and renamed The Church of Saint Mary and the Martyrs, so it still goes by that name too. The original building was built a couple of decades before the current era, making it about two thousand and fifty years old, but that structure burnt down about a century later and was rebuilt before burning down again and being rebuilt a second time in the early 100s. It was called by the ancient Romans the Pantheon, which would translate in English to “All the Gods,” referring to the polytheistic pantheon of many gods that the Romans worshiped. Although the building had something to do with Roman deities, it was not strictly a temple. Its function is not easily defined, but that is not the main topic of this post, and for the majority of its life the building has and continues to serve as a Catholic church.

For us what is most interesting about the building is its architecture, which was incredibly innovative for its time and inspired many future buildings, such as the US capitol building in Washington D.C. The building is round (that is, in the shape of a circle) and fronted by a rectangular portico which is held up by a series of decorated columns. The portico is topped by a triangular pediment, which is typical of ancient Roman temple construction, but the interesting part is that the round main part of the building has a rotunda–an unreinforced domed roof of Roman concrete–the only one of its kind.

The inspired engineering of the unreinforced dome, which distributes and lowers its weight, has enabled the structure to withstand the test of time, appropriation of portions of its construction materials for other purposes, and countless regime changes and conflicts that have shaken the city of Rome over the last two millennia. At the bottom the dome rests on a 21 foot thick drum wall interspaced with eight barrel vaults which bear the downward thrust of the dome. In this area the dome is as thick as the drum wall and made of concrete with travertine aggregate. Travertine is a type of limestone which is fairly dense and heavy. To lighten the weight of the load, the aggregate in the concrete used to create the roof was changed higher up. Above the travertine layer the thickness of the dome tapers down and the aggregate is made up of terracotta tile fragments. Finally, at the top the aggregate consists of tufa and pumice stone pieces. These stones are very porous and light, making them ideal for reducing the weight of the dome at the top. The thickness of the dome also tapers down to 3.9 feet at the very top. 

Another element that strengthens the domed roof is that it does not meet up at an apex at the top. Instead, a portion of the roof is missing to form an oculus that is 28.4 feet in diameter. Although all these numbers seem fairly arbitrary, the measurements make much more sense in the ancient Roman measurement of a foot. In those terms, the rotunda has a diameter of 150 Roman feet and the oculus is 30 Roman feet in diameter. The oculus is left completely open to the elements, but since the interior flooring is made of various forms of sectioned marble to create a decorative pattern it stands up very well to the elements.

As an ancient marvel, the Pantheon is open daily to tourists outside of the times when Catholic mass is held in the church. Outside of the architecture, there are many other fascinating facts about the structure, such as its decorative program, its use to entomb significant figures in Italian history, and its continuous use throughout its history.

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

 

Roofing Repair: Choice of Contractor
Roofing Blog

Roofing Repair: Choice of Contractor

With all the rains we have been having lately, you may find yourself in the unfortunate position of having to repair a roof leak. Although some homeowners decide to tackle this problem themselves, it is always a good idea to get professional help when dealing with a system as complicated and integral to the structure as the roof. To help you with getting the process started and choosing a contractor, we would like to remind you of the reasons Florida’s Best Roofing should be at the top of your list.

 

Service and Experience

We are a local company with over 15 years of experience in the roofing business. Our employees are trained roofing professionals with decades combined experience in roofing. We have specialists in roof repairs, new roofs, and roof replacements. They are proficient in handling shingle, tile, metal, and flat roofs. They work rapidly without sacrificing quality and will be happy to answer any questions you may have during the process.

Our office staff is well-informed, organized, and has a reputation for excellent customer service. They will assist you through the entire process in a speedy and efficient manner. Our office, located at 1 Enterprise Dr. in Bunnell, FL, is open Monday through Friday from 8am to 4pm. If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to call (386) 263-7906 or stop by in person. We have color samples of tile, shingle, and metal materials at the office which can assist you in choosing the right material and color for your roof, and our office staff will be happy to answer questions and provide input.

 

Versatility

Unlike some other contractors, we are experienced and proficient in handling all roofing types. We routinely work with asphalt shingle, tile, metal, and flat roofing materials. We will work with you to choose the best materials for your roof and accommodate all your needs. Our experts handle roof repairs, roof replacements, and new roofs for both residential and business properties. Roof size or complexity is never an impediment and our experience allows us to proficiently repair or replace any roof.

 

No Pre-Payments or Deposits

We pride ourselves on a stream-lined, no fuss process. We provide free estimates and collect no pre-payments or deposits. You will absolutely never be asked to pay anything until we agree on a price and sign a contract. We make the utmost effort to accommodate each customer’s schedule. Our employees operate quickly and efficiently to achieve quality results. Payment for repairs is due only after the repairs have been completed to customer satisfaction. Payment for new roofs and roof replacements is due only after the roof has been completed and passes inspection from the corresponding city or county building office. (Due to the uniqueness of material of each roof, concrete and clay tile roof replacements and new roofs require a payment of half of the final cost upon ordering of the material).

 

Insurance Services

We work with you and your insurance company. If your roof was damaged by wind, hail, wind-driven debris, lightning, or any other perils covered under your property insurance policy, and you file an insurance claim, we will assist you with the process and work with you and your insurance company’s timeline. If you are unsure if the damage to your roof warrants an insurance claim, we will come out to do a free inspection and advise you on the appropriate steps to take. When you work with us, our experts will meet with your insurance adjuster to identify the damages to your roof. They will review your insurance company’s response to your claim and supplement it, if necessary, again free of charge. We will be with you through every step of the process until you are satisfied with the outcome. There are no extra charges or pre-payments for this process beyond the cost of your roof replacement.

 

Labor Warranty

We provide a ten year labor warranty on any new roof or roof replacement. This warranty comes in addition to shingle, tile, and metal manufacturers’ warranties. The manufacturers’ warranties cover any issues that appear in the roofing material, such as factory defects, which arise before the end of the material’s life expectancy. This is why manufacturers’ warranties vary in duration from 15 to 20 to 30 or 40 years depending on the material. 

Our 10 year labor warranty instead covers the workmanship of the roof. If your roof leaks, or you find any other problem with the roof during this ten year period, call us and we will send out one of our experienced roofing experts to assess the issue and fix it without charge provided that it falls under the warranty. If the problem turns out to be related to the material manufacturer, we will guide you through that warranty recovery process. 

Additionally, we provide a one year labor warranty on any roof repairs. If we repair your roof and a problem arises in the same area within the year, we will come out and service your roof for no charge.

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

Summer Fun
Roofing Blog

Summer Fun: Tales of Roofing Across Time Part V

As promised in the last post, here we will continue looking at various less well known roofing techniques used throughout the world and across history. In the last post we covered three of the most ancient types of roofs and how they were adapted from available technologies and suited to versatile environments: wattle and daub, thatch, and clay tile. Here, as previously mentioned, we will continue to discuss ancient roofing techniques, perhaps less well known and widely spread than the three discussed in the last post.

Because in the end there are always some fundamental engineering concepts that must be utilized for basic construction techniques, many ancient methods are similar to one another to the extent that they can be interpreted as variations of the same basic concepts. For instance, across the world, different techniques existed comparable to wattle and daub with slightly differing components that changed with what was locally available. Pug and pine, mud and stud, pierrotage, columbage, bajarreque, and jacal are all examples of this. Pug and pine were used in the early days of colonization of South Australia. Timbers of a local tree, termed pine, were spaced out at regular intervals and the gaps sealed with pug, a clay and grass mixture. Mud and stud was a construction method once popular in parts of England and consisted of ash studs spaced out and connected by cross beams at the top and bottom. The structure was then daubed with mud, straw, hair, and dung. 

Pierrotage and columbage were very similar construction techniques used in eighteenth century Louisiana and surrounding southern states. Pierrotage infilled half-timbering with diagonal braces with a mix of lime mortar clay and small stone aggregate. In the columbage technique, the mix is instead made of spanish moss or grass and clay. In the bajarreque technique, the dry and pulpy fibrous material left after crushing sugarcane or sorghum is used as the wattle and daubed with a mix of clay and straw. It was popular in geographic areas where those two plants are grown. Finally, jacal is a fairly basic construction technique, another variation on wattle and daub, used in the southwestern United States. Closely spaced sticks or poles are interwoven with small branches and covered in mud or adobe clay that is left to dry. 

Perhaps the most ancient style of construction, mudbrick has been used across the world, starting in the middle east, for over ten thousand years. In mudbrick construction bricks are made of loam, mud, sand, and water and dried in the sun or (for about the last six thousand years) fired in a kiln. Rice husks or straw are mixed in as binding material before firing or baking. Mudbricks were used for the entirety of a dwelling or other edifice, just as most of the wattle and daub style methods mentioned above. Mudbrick in areas of Spanish influence is called adobe and is often associated with areas once colonized by Spain in the Western hemisphere. Mudbrick or adobe is used to build exterior and interior walls as well as flat roofs. In many regions where this style of construction was utilized in the past (and sometimes in the present as well) flat roofs were very convenient for use as sleeping areas during the hot months of the year when interior air conditioning was not yet invented or not easily available as the interior would have been too hot.

Quincha is another variation on the above discussed methods. It is a traditional construction method in areas of South America and the name is a word borrowed from the language of the Inca. In quincha, wood, cane, or giant reed is used to construct a stable, earthquake proof framework structure which is then covered with mud and plaster. Quincha is very versatile in the shapes that it can be used to create, from modest dwellings to spiraled cathedrals. As you can see, ancient roofing techniques are fundamentally similar but vary very widely based on local material availability and environmental hazards and requirements.

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

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!

Roofing Blog

Summer Fun: Tales of Roofing Across Time Part II

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

 

Pyrrhus of Epirus

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

 

Pyrrhic War: 281-275 BCE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Roofing Blog

Summer Fun: Tales of Roofing Across Time Part I

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

 

The Odyssey

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

 

Aeaea

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

 

Elpenor

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

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

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

 

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

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

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!

Shingles: Architectural and 3-Tab
Roofing Blog

Shingles: Architectural and 3-Tab

If you spend as much time looking at roofs while driving around town as we do, (and honestly we imagine that you don’t, but bear with us) you will have noticed that the most common roofing material in our area is asphalt shingles. Now, you might not have known that this is what they were called (unless you’ve been reading our blog!), but undoubtedly you will have seen them, probably every day on your own roof. Shingles, however, do not always look the same, and in this post we are not talking about color. What we are referring to is that some shingle roofs look almost flat, with shingles in a grid-like pattern while others look more three dimensional with a rather checkerboard-like pattern. So, you might wonder, what is the difference between the two? And why are there so many of each intermingled throughout the Flagler Palm Coast area? Well, this post sets out to answer these exact questions.

 

3-Tab Shingles

First, we will go over the asphalt shingles that are laid out in a grid-like pattern and tend to give a roof a relatively flat look. These are called 3-tab shingles in our field, and that is how we will refer to them. 3-tab shingles were the preferred choice of homebuilders and contractors about 15-25 years ago. If you know the history of the Palm Coast area, you know that (roughly) half of the residential properties in the area were built in that time period, prior to the recession. While architectural (also called dimensional or laminated) shingles (the other kind) were available in the late 90s and early 2000s, they were cost prohibitive at the time and rarely used. For this reason, most homes built about 20 years ago have 3-tab shingle roofs. 3-tab shingles are still used occasionally nowadays, but only either at the insistence of the homeowner or if a builder can significantly save on the cost of construction material by using them. 

So, why is that the case? Well, it is because solely from a material cost point of view, 3-tab shingles are the cheaper option. This is due not only to the manufacturing process by which they are created, but mostly also to the fact that a single 3-tab shingle contains less material than an architectural shingle. The question naturally arises then, if 3-tab shingles are cheaper, does that mean that they are worse? And the answer is yes. 3-tab shingles almost always have a lower life expectancy and lower wind tolerance than architectural shingles. These numbers can be significant too. In life expectancy they are usually a decade or more lower than architectural and about 70mph lower in wind resistance. So why are they still around? Like I said above, most 3-tab shingle roofs were installed decades ago, when they were the best and most frequently used option. Nowadays, most new roofs and almost all roof replacements utilize architectural shingles.

 

Architectural Shingles

The other type of shingle is called architectural. You may also see it referred to as (three) dimensional or laminated. These shingles are thicker and are made up of more material, since each shingle is actually several shingles laminated together. When installed they give a roof a three dimensional look and form a somewhat checkerboard like pattern. Architectural shingles have better wind speed ratings (135mph) and higher life expectancy (30-50 years, usually called by manufacturers “limited lifetime”). They are the most common type of shingle in modern roof installations, for obvious reasons. Architectural shingles did exist 20 years ago, but they were cost-prohibitive at the time and only the more expensive homes were built with these types of roofs. 

It is not that architectural shingles are now cheaper or even as cheap as 3-tab shingles, but their price has gone down enough and builders have become familiar enough with them that the material costs and the labor costs involved in installation even out. What we mean by this is that while 3-tab shingles are cheaper in material cost, they rack up higher labor costs since they take more skill and more time to install (essentially because they all must line up exactly on the roof, so roofers must take a lot of time measuring this out). Architectural shingles, while more expensive, are much easier and faster to install. So, what is spent on material is saved on labor. For this reason, in the end, a new architectural shingle roof will cost just as much as a new 3-tab roof, and because architectural shingles are so much better overall, there is practically no reason to ever choose the 3-tab at this point, either for the contractor or the customer.

If you have any questions about roofing shingles, 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!

Storm Damage: Repair or Replacement
Roofing Blog

Storm Damage: Repair or Replacement

When you notice storm damage to your roof, you are presented with a choice between hiring a contractor to perform a small repair on the roof or replacing the roof altogether. Storm damage can be incredibly stressful and is certainly something that happens very frequently in Florida. For this reason, almost every homeowner in Florida will eventually be confronted with this choice. Here we set out to provide you with relevant information surrounding this decision so that you can make the best choice for your home and for your roof.

Storm damage often appears as something fairly small. The most frequent form that it takes are missing or creased shingles on a roof. Other forms may include spots on shingles lacking granules (indicating hail damage), chipped or broken tile, or bent or dented metals. While it is true that strong storms, particularly tropical storms and hurricanes, may cause major damage to roofs through large pieces of flying debris (which could put a hole in the roof), most storm damage presents as something minor. 

So, if you see two or three missing or creased shingles on your roof, does this suggest repair or replacement? While the first instinct when confronted with such damage may be to get an estimate for a small repair (or even do it yourself with tools from the local hardware store), this may not always be the correct choice. 

Repairs due to storm damage do have some advantages. One is that they can frequently be done much quicker than roof replacement. Not only will a repair take only a couple of hours versus a couple of days for replacement, but it can also be scheduled much quicker. While most contractors schedule roof replacements two or three months out, roof repairs are typically scheduled within one or two weeks. The second advantage of repairs is probably the more impactful one: repairs are much, much cheaper than roof replacement. This does not, however, need necessarily be the factor that makes the decision for you.

How is that the case? Well, this all depends on the age of your roof. If your roof is about at the end of its life-expectancy (typically 15-20 years old for a shingle roof), then there are additional factors to consider besides time and cost. Firstly, it is nearly impossible to repair a roof of that age in such a way that it becomes as good as it was before the damage occurred. When shingles near their life expectancy they become brittle–that is very easily breakable or crackable. So, when a roof repairman goes to lift the shingles around the missing or damaged one in order to repair it, the surrounding shingles begin to tear as well. For this reason, most contractors do not give any warranties for repair work–it will simply never be as good or as durable as the original roof. Moreover, it is impossible to match older shingles (or tiles) in color because the materials’ color fades and warps with weather and wear. Consequently, a repaired roof will never be as aesthetically pleasing as the original, instead taking on a patch-work like appearance. 

The second factor to consider in favor of replacement is that storm damage is almost always covered by your home insurance policy. So, if you do notice storm damage, your first step should be to file an insurance claim, before any repairs take place since the damage needs to be documented. Now, an insurance company may elect to pay for a small repair, which often comes out under the policy’s deductible, but in the case that your roof is nearing its life expectancy and your roofing materials are not matchable in color, they are required to pay for full roof replacement even if the initial damage is minor. The reason for this is that Florida statute 626.9744 requires that insurance companies replace any damaged material with materials of matching color and quality. If such materials cannot be found, as in the case of a 15 year old roof, they are required by law to pay for full replacement of all adjoining materials. Thus, with the help of your insurance company, your roof replacement cost after a storm may amount to the same out of pocket cost as a small repair–the amount of your deductible.

If you have any questions about roof repair or replacement, 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!

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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