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Roofing and Hail Damage
Roofing Blog

Roofing and Hail Damage

Hail damage is a frequently overlooked problem which initiates roof deterioration and causes interior leakage problems for homeowners that continue to increase in scope and severity over time unless properly repaired. While hail storms may at first seem like a rare occurrence in a warm-weather climate such as Florida, that is in fact not the case. Typically, several such storms impact the Flagler, Volusia, and St. Johns county areas each year, causing multiple types of exterior damage to homes, particularly to roof coverings.

Unlike wind, which can tear off roofing materials, hail impacts them in less visible ways. This makes it more difficult to detect, mainly because it requires close inspection, which homeowners rarely do, and a knowledge of the signs of hail, which few have unless they are skilled in roofing construction or inspection. Here I will discuss the signs of hail damage, their impact to overall roof integrity, and the steps that should be taken to protect the home after a hail storm. 

Hail impacts different roofing materials in different ways. Asphalt shingle roofs, the most common type of roof covering, are most susceptible to hail damage. Even small sized hail will impact asphalt shingles, causing bruising, pitting, and fracturing. Larger hail only causes more significant damage. The most insidious effect of hail on shingles is granule loss. Granules are the sand-like material, made of crushed stone and minerals, that covers all shingles. Once granules are lost, shingles lose their integrity and become susceptible to water damage, which eventually leads to leaky roofs. This process can take several months, but inevitably over time compromised shingles let in more and more water, which first damages the plywood sheathing of the roof, then leaks into the attic, and eventually appears as water stains on interior ceilings.

Tile roofs, both clay and concrete, are hardier against hail storms, but they are still often damaged by hail. Even small hail storms impact tile roofs. The damage in this case appears as crescent shaped fractures at the edges of individual tiles, as star-shaped fractures radiating from the point of impact, and occasionally entire shattered tiles. Tiles compromised in these ways can let in water during following rainstorms, damaging roof sheathing and eventually causing interior leaks. Subsequent weather events only exacerbate these issues as existing fractures grow larger and the tiles become less effective at protecting the structure. Metal roofs are strongest against hailstorms, and while large hail may dent the metal covering, the roof itself is not often compromised.

Another major problem with hail damage is that it is rarely, if ever, localized. Small repairs are not enough to restore a hail damaged roof to its previous intact condition. When a hailstorm hits, the slope(s) facing the storm are often compromised in their entirety. When this is the case, the roof must be replaced in part or across the whole structure to prevent further damage and future leaks. It is important to catch these conditions as soon as possible, because the longer a hail-damaged roof remains that way, the larger the chance of rotten and damaged sheathing and interior leaks, which cause additional expenses to the homeowner. Interior leaks are particularly problematic because left untreated they can invite mold growth, which becomes a health hazard and requires mold remediation services.

There are several ways to spot hail damage. The easiest, of course, is to hire a professional to conduct a roof inspection, however, there are some signs that can be spotted from the ground. Soft metals are often dented by hail. Thus, gutter downspouts, overhead garage doors, and metal fencing show the clearest evidence of past hail storms. Stucco and siding covering exterior walls may also present evidence of impact, particularly in thicker and softer areas such as the trim around windows, doors, and decorative aspects such as quoning on the corners of the structure. Finally, pitting and fracturing on roofing materials can sometimes be spotted from the ground. For instance, asphalt shingles with significant granule damage can seem to shine or sparkle in direct sunlight.

If you suspect that you have hail damage it is important that you consult a roofing professional to protect your home. At Florida’s Best Roofing we would be happy to come out and give you a free estimate. In the case of hail damage, it is also important that you contact your home insurance company. Home insurance policies cover hail damage to roofs, other exterior surfaces, gutters, fences, and any interior damage that may result from compromised exteriors. Make sure that all damage is documented by you, the contractor, or by an insurance adjuster before repairs are made, as doing otherwise may prevent you from getting a full payout. Also, always save all repair invoices after having work done on your property. We at Florida’s Best Roofing will work with you and your insurance company through the entire process to restore your home to its pre-storm condition and prevent further damage. Make sure to pay attention to weather patterns and how they affect your home. Catching damage earlier is always best and if you are in doubt, do not hesitate to call a professional. 

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home-insurance
Roofing Blog

Will my home insurance cover repairs to my roof?

As a homeowner you have a home insurance policy to help protect your home from damages and help bring it back to its original condition after such damages occur. Home insurance policies provide coverage for certain events, called perils, and often exclude others: these are all specified in your home insurance policy. 

When it comes to roofs, home insurance policies typically cover damages caused by weather. Most frequently, this involves wind or hail damage, although other perils like lightning strikes, tornadoes, and fire are also covered. Indirect damage is also covered, for instance, in the case that wind downs a tree which falls on the roof of a house. On the other hand, some kinds of roof damage are specifically not covered by home insurance. This includes improper installation of roof components, material failure due to manufacturing defects, and normal wear and tear. Wear and tear occurs as a roof ages and affects different materials in different ways. For example, shingles become brittle and metal corrodes. This is why roofs have a limited life expectancy which is typically 15-25 years for a shingle roof and 40-50 years for a tile roof.

Another important part of insurance coverage in places like Florida, and along the eastern seaboard in general, is named storms. Damage caused by named tropical storms and hurricanes is covered in a particular way. Every insurance policy includes a deductible–an amount that the insurance company expects the policy holder to pay out of pocket. This is most frequently $500 or $1000, but can be higher. Damage caused by named storms, however, usually carries its own deductible, separate from all other perils, like a typical windstorm or hail storm. It is referred to as the “hurricane deductible” and is usually 2% of the Dwelling A limit on a policy. The hurricane deductible is always clearly stated in a policy alongside the other perils deductible.

In the case that your roof is damaged by one of the events outlined above and listed in your policy, your insurance will help you pay for your roof repair or even a roof replacement if the damage is extensive or if the roof cannot be effectively repaired, in compliance with state building codes, without replacing the whole roof. To get this process started you will need to call your home insurance company and file a claim as soon as the damage occurs. In Florida, state law says that a policyholder has three years from the date of loss, the insurance term for the date on which damage occurs, to file a claim. It is best, however, to file your claim as soon as you notice damage to your roof in order to prevent further damage in the form of leaks.

Interior leaks are the most obvious evidence of roof damage, but it is best to catch roof damage before these occur. This saves cost down the road and prevents situations that cause homeowners stress and anxiety. It is also important to keep in mind that if interior leaks do occur, you must tell your insurance company about these when calling in the claim, as this damage is also covered under home insurance policies. After the claim is called in, the insurance company will send out an adjuster to assess the damage to both the roof and the interior, if there is any. It is important to set an appointment with the adjuster at a time when someone can meet them, so that the adjuster is able to enter the home and effectively document the evidence of the damage. This is crucial since the insurance company will not pay to repair damage unless they have documentation. 

It is frequently difficult or impossible to see roof damage if it has not progressed up to an interior leak. Things like missing or creased shingles and loose or cracked tiles go unnoticed by most homeowners since people do not often spend much time on top of their roofs. Furthermore, even if a homeowner notes evidence of roof damage, he or she will have a hard time pinpointing the exact date on which this damage occurred, unless it follows directly after a hurricane or tropical storm. And yet, this date is crucial when reporting a claim, since claims with incorrect dates of loss are typically denied. 

So how do you determine if your roof has damage covered under your insurance policy and the date on which this damage occurred? The easiest and most reliable way is to call a professional. A roofing contractor will be able to identify damage on your roof and pinpoint its cause. At Florida’s Best Roofing, we will inspect your roof for free and advise you whether or not the damage to your home will be covered by your insurance policy. We will also help you figure out the date on which it occurred based on its age and tracked weather patterns in your area. We will also meet with your insurance adjuster to make sure that all evidence of damage is noted. Florida’s Best Roofing services all your roofing needs in Palm Coast and offers free estimates.

Call us today at 386-263-7906.

Roofing Blog

Tips For Choosing The Right Roofer

For most of us, choosing a roofing contractor can be an intimidating experience, especially when we have no prior experience with the work ourselves. How do you know you’re getting quality workmanship? Do you even know exactly what it is you want them to do? 

Like any other specialised service, it pays to come prepared when you decide to hire someone. Which is exactly why we’ve brought you today’s six tips for choosing the right roofer, so you get exactly what you’re paying for and nothing less.

Go Local

Do a little investigation into commercial roofing options in your area and pick a company that meets your specific requirements. Project specifications. Budget. These are all real considerations and they dictate the way your project will play out. 

Choose a company in your area, and you’ll have quick access to them whenever you need their services.

Double Check Their Credentials

Before committing to a contractor, make sure to do a full background check on their licensing and insurance. You’d be surprised how many companies claim to be professional roofers when they just aren’t. This kind of background check is an important part of the process, ensuring you are protected from damages and, ultimately, getting the most out of your project.

Referrals

One of the benefits of going local is being able to easily access the previous customers of your roofers. Ask family members and friends what they’ve heard. Get on Facebook or ask for references that know the people you know. People love to make recommendations to people they don’t have to see at work or family reunions, so if you go further out in your social circles, you’re more likely to hear the truth.

You’ll also want to read reviews. We live in a digital age, and online reviews can give you the exact information you need to make a proper commitment from their reliability to the quality of their service. Turn someone else’s experience to your benefit, and consider visiting the company’s social media accounts for customer feedback.

Don’t Only Focus On The Expense

A commercial roofing company that fits your budget, is obviously important. But it can be easy to get too wrapped up in the cost of the whole project, but you have to consider more than just that. Compare prices with reviews and the services on offer, and try to see the whole picture. There are plenty of roofers out there who charge world-class prices for less-than-stellar service.

Consider Their Experience

Before hiring a roofer, it’s important to know how long they’ve been in the business for. The company must have enough of a background and understanding of the business, so they can handle any situation that may come up during the installation.

Guarantee

As with any other service that impacts the places we live and work, roofing must be guaranteed if it’s going to be trustworthy. A warranty is important in cases where the roofing is done to a poor standard or fails over too little time. 

Choosing The Right Roofer

Getting the best service you can from any contractor comes down to knowing what you want, knowing what they can offer, and knowing what other people think about them. With today’s tips, you’ll have exactly what you need to pick the best roofer for the job, every time.

And, speaking of the best roofers: for professional roofing services from a leading name in the Volusia area, get in touch with us on (386) 263-7906, today!

Choosing The Right Roof For Your Home
Roofing Blog

Choosing The Right Roof For Your Home

Choosing a new roof for your home? It’s more complicated than just picking something out of a catalog. You’re going to want to factor in various considerations in order to make an informed decision. Climate and weather conditions native to your area (and those yearly natural disasters so common in places like Florida). How long you’d like your roof to last vs how much you’re willing to spend. How much roofing material is going to cost, and how that particular material is going to look on your roof. 

With so much on your plate, it can be easy to feel completely overwhelmed. Not to worry, though: here are some choice material tips to help you along your way to roofing greatness.

Metal

If you’re looking for durable roofing, metal is probably the best option going for sheer longevity. It is especially strong, refusing to degrade when in full exposure to the elements, from sunlight to heavy rain. Panels are typically completely coated with zinc or aluminum, or galvalume in the case of galvanized steel. This makes them extremely strong, as well. 

Metal also has, by far, the highest wind rating of all common roofing materials. It reflects heat more effectively than its competitors, leaving your home warm in the winter and cool in summer. 

It’s also better in a lightning storm than you might expect. When a lightning bolt makes contact with a steel roof shingle,  the current is easily spread over the surface of the roof without ever entering the house itself. 

Metal is also non-flammable, leaving much less risk of extensive damage during a fire.

Asphalt 

This is easily one of the more common and most popular options for roofing materials. Asphalt shingles are built for rugged performance, from felt saturated in asphalt, and coated from top to bottom with a weathering layer. 

The top is coated with a layer of mineral granules, which help to shield the roof from elements. These shingles are extremely versatile, suiting almost any style of home or roof. They can also be ordered in a variety of styles, from slate grey to simulated wood. 

Perhaps one of the main reasons they’re so popular is their low price point. Asphalt shingles are extremely inexpensive, requiring less work and investment to install and repair, over time. The trade in, however, is that they do have a relatively short service life. They’re also not as environmentally friendly, degrading into fine granules over time.

Tiles

Tile roofing is much more durable than building with shingles. Obviously, this depends heavily on the quality and type of material you choose, but concrete and clay tiles are are extremely durable, as well as being fire-resistant. They’re also available in a huge array of colors and styles, making them extremely versatile. 

Tiles are difficult to install, and should only be handled by experts. This is a heavy material to use, so it most commonly features in new buildings with very specific weight restrictions. 

No matter your target budget is, ideal style, or the climate you live in, the perfect roof system exists for you. Your roof isn’t just some decorative element to try and get past as quickly and expensively as possible. It’s as important to your house’s functionality as the foundation and support columns. Choosing the right material will provide you with better insulation, protection from heat, and less frequent materials. Going the wrong way…well, that can be costly. 

Looking for the right materials, installed by some of the leading roofing professionals in Central Florida? Get in touch with Florida’s Best Roofing Inc., today, at (386 )263-7906!

Leaking Roof
Roofing Blog

What To Do When Your Roof Suddenly Leaks Or Is Damaged

When it comes to your home, there’s really only so much you can do against the elements. Build an average home, and pit it against a category 4 hurricane, and there’s a good chance you’ll lose a boundary wall, a few windows, or even a whole section of your home. It’s part of the risk when building a home and a big reason why homeowners’ insurance is so important.

And no part of your home is more susceptible to this kind of damage than your roof. Heavy rain and winds, lightning, hail and acts of God can all damage your roof, causing leaks and internal damage. 

So, what’s a homeowner in the middle of a hurricane to do? In the event of such damage, quick action is your first order of business. 

Stop A Small Problem From Becoming A Serious Disaster

Before we start, it’s important to note one important thing: in the event of an emergency, never try to fix the problem yourself. Even more importantly, never try to do this during a storm. You could seriously injure yourself, but also cause irreversible damage to your roof. 

Call in a qualified roof contractor who is going to have the equipment and expertise to handle your repair job safely and efficiently. Make sure you have an exact understanding of what the problem is before you call, or as close to it as you can get. Be prepared to explain, simply, what the damage is over the phone or in an email, so that they have what they need to give you an accurate cost estimate. 

With this information onhand, you now have what you need to decide whether the roof needs repairs, and whether those costs are worth it or if they can wait for the storm to pass by.

What’s Involved

For an emergency procedure, measures will typically include some of the following:

  • repairing tarpaulins on or underneath damaged roofing 
  • building up damaged chimneys 
  • protecting a damaged utility line

Once conditions have lightened up and everything is dry, once more, your contractor can do a complete assessment of the damage, just in case there was something you missed. They’ll want to isolate a damaged section of the roof and repair it without having to replace the rest of the roof itself. 

What To Do When Your Roof Suddenly Leaks Or Is Damaged

As a homeowner, you know anything can happen, but that doesn’t make it any easier to predict. That’s why it’s so important to know exactly what to do in the event of a sudden leak or unexpected damage, to minimize damage and any potential risks to yourself. 

Always remember: trying to handle an emergency repair on your ceiling on your own could be dangerous, not just to yourself but also to your roof. Isolate the damage, contain any of the moisture that makes its way inside, and get on the phone with someone who knows what they’re doing.

Looking for professional help with emergency roof repair work? Visit Florida’s Best Roofing Inc, or get in touch with us on (386)263-7906, today!

Qualifying Roofing Contractor
Roofing Blog

How to Qualify Your Roofing Contractor?

An important factor in the success of any construction project is in choosing the right contractor. Qualified, professional contractors have the background and experience in the industry to know what they need to turn out in order to guarantee the outcome of a homeowner’s project. 

If you take the time to understand your contractor before giving them the contract, you save a lot of potential issues and wasted time in solving unexpected problems. Professional contractors work with a sense of pride, so expect them to discuss your options, their previous work, and and any and all references.

Before making an appointment, decide whether you’re truly qualified. And the best way to figure yourself out in those situations? Well, you can start by answering some of the following questions:

Does Your Contractor Have A Permanent Office?

The selection process can be grueling when it comes to roofing contractors. This means that you need to get the basics taken care of, early on. Start with the following question: do they have the resources to rent and maintain a permanent office? If your contractor isn’t permanently established somewhere, how can they guarantee they’ll complete your roof under deadlines or unexpected developments?

Do They Have Legitimate Insurance?

Trying to decide on a new contractor? You’re going to want specific information about their coverage in the event of an accident or some sort of roadblock. They’ll need to verify your coverage, with names and phone numbers for their provider. 

Are They Licensed, Registered, and Part of a Trade Association?

Never trust a contractor just because they can show you their license. You might not expect it, but licensing requirements are actually pretty minimal.Not only that, but the actual laws concerning them aren’t usually very strict. 

Ask if they are a trade association member. Then ask for contact details, and make sure to actually reach out and contact the association to confirm their membership.

How Long Have They Been A Part Of The Industry For?

Age within the business speaks volumes, so make sure to get a clear idea of how long they’ve been roofing for. Many businesses will artfully sidestep this question, but don’t let them distract you. 

If your contractor has been in the business for fewer than five years, it may indicate some instability. This is why 90% of businesses fail within their first five years of operation. Check their references carefully for long-term validity, and make sure to ask about their older projects if and when you contact them.

How Have They Historically Handled Complaint Resolution?

If a contractor tells you they have never had a complaint during their time in business, do yourself a favor and reject them outright. Every business deals with complaints. It’s not about getting out without any complaints, but about how you handle those complaints.

Ask your potential contractor about the complaints they’ve had, how they handled them, and how they would handle a hypothetical complaint, as well. 

Looking for more great insights into the roofing industry? Check out some of our other expert blog content, or get in touch with us today, and find out how Florida’s Best Roofing, Inc. can transform your next roofing project.

Why Is My Roof Leaking?
Roofing Blog

Why Is My Roof Leaking? 5 Things to Find and Fix

There’s nothing quite as nerve-racking as the first time you notice that tell-tale water spot blossoming on your ceiling. Luckily, with a brief investigation into how that stain ended up there, you can prevent many more from following!

Irregular Maintenance or Neglect

Your roof needs occasional maintenance to live a long healthy life. The mingling of high temperatures, excessive moisture and seasonal gusts wears heavily on homes here in the Sunshine State. A roof in Florida should be inspected after heavy storms or at least every 2 years. Be sure to address any signs of damage, however small, before they become a massive expense. Keep an eye out for:

  • Curling or buckling shingles
  • Peeling paint on ceiling or walls
  • Wear and tear on the gutters

Improper Installation

A misplaced shingle or the wrong sort of fastener may seem minor, but it can end up requiring extensive repairs. Florida has the strictest building codes in the nation, and some counties take it a step further. Take the time to browse your local roofers; ask questions, check references and make sure your contractor is licensed! The Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation has a free online search to ensure your contractor is legitimate.  

  • Knowledge and experience
  • Good references
  • Reputable business practices

Punctures & Separation

Wind-tossed trees crashing through the ceiling are usually what we think of when it comes to holes. Unfortunately, even a small puncture or gap compromises the integrity of your roof, and can wreak havoc. Buildup of sticks or leaves allows water to pool, and seep through your roof’s protective layers. If moisture makes its way past the underlayment you can end up with a moldy deck and rotten rafters. 

What to look for:

  • Buildup or pooling in valleys
  • Unusual temperature difference in certain areas of the home
  • Water stains on ceiling

Poor Ventilation

Improper venting causes destruction from the inside out. In theory, air should be sucked in from under the eaves and drift upward to exit through the top vents. Unfortunately air pressure is a difficult business, and it’s easy to disrupt the process. Some roofs (like those in extremely warm and wet areas) are more vulnerable and are likely to require professional intervention.

  • Rusting of nails and brackets
  • Mold or rot in the attic
  • A/C units working abnormally hard

The Age

Even the most well-maintained roof will degrade over time. Florida’s main culprit is the climate, but everything from the slope to the shingle color affects a roof’s lifespan. If your roof covering is on the mature side you may wish to consider replacing it. This will avoid allowing uninvited guests inside, and incurring significantly greater expenses later on.

  • Discoloration or streaking
  • Blistered shingles
  • Repeated leaking

Rarely do we lend thought to the adversity our roofs contend with daily. Sizzling in the sun, resisting subtropical tempests, defender against drizzle and deluge alike. With all our roofs do for us, it’s important to evaluate their needs and establish a maintenance routine.  Information is the best (and cheapest!) protection against leaks. Florida’s Best Roofing offers inspections with free no-nonsense estimates. 

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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