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Roofing Problems
Roofing Blog

The Most Common Roofing Problems and Leak Causes

Because roofing problems can be difficult to see, they are often ignored or go unnoticed until a major issue develops. Most homeowners do not bother paying attention to their roofs until they notice a leak on the inside of the house, at which point the problem could result in great expense. To avoid issues like this it is important to keep an eye on the most common causes of roofing problems and roof leaks. For this reason we want to provide a quick informative list of problems and causes to watch out for related to your roof before any serious damage happens.

 

Maintenance: 

Make sure that proper maintenance is performed on your roof, including roof inspections. These should be done ideally once a year and more frequently after serious storms. Maintenance may involve things like minor repairs, gutter cleaning, removing pine needles or leaves or other debris from the roof, and removing any tree branches that overhang the roof. Any build-up of foreign material on the roof can wear down the exterior of the shingles (or metal or tile) that is meant to be the protective layer for the roof. This is especially true of tree branches that overhang and rub against the roof. If this process is left unattended it will inevitably result in a roof leak. Branches close to the roof are also dangerous because a storm may break them off of the tree and cause them to fall onto the roof, potentially creating a hole directly into the interior. In Florida, which is prone to hurricanes and tropical storms, it is generally a good idea to remove any trees that are too close to the house, particularly if they look dry, to avoid major storm damages.

An inspection by a qualified roofing professional can get in front of any potential damages before they progress too far. It is best to hire a trusted contractor to do the inspection, as they will know exactly what to look for. Here are some of the issues that an inspector will look out for:

 

Flashing

Flashing is a material, typically metal, that is put in particularly vulnerable parts of the roof. These include cuts in the roof for plumbing or HVAC vents and anywhere that a ninety degree corner appears on the roof, like at a chimney or elevation change. Flashing is meant to protect these vulnerable areas, but if it was improperly installed or is separating from the roof surface due to age, then it creates an easy and most effective point for water penetration.

 

Valleys

A related vulnerable area is the valleys of the roof surface. Because water tends to run down the valleys, they can get worn away faster than other areas. For this reason, valleys are usually lined with extra protection, like valley metal or rolled roofing or peel and seal underlayment. If one of these were installed improperly, or if they fail due to wear and tear (which is especially harsh in valley areas), then a leak is inevitable. In fact, dead valleys, as these are called, are one of the primary causes of roof leaks.

 

Storm Damage

Relatively minor storm damage often goes unnoticed by the homeowners; however, even minor storm damage is a gateway to bigger problems. Once there is a vulnerable area on the roof, normal wear from the elements (heat, wind, rain, etc…) is exacerbated and leads to leaks and sheathing damage. Minor storm damage includes creased or missing shingles, lifted up by wind storms, as well as hail damage, which presents as small spots on the roof. These spots damage the exterior surface of the roofing material, which allows water from following rain storms to seep under the exterior layer and cause leaks and other damages.

These are only some of the major issues to watch out for to prevent roof damages. If you have not had a roof inspection in a long time, then it may be a good idea to get one now to prevent any future problems. Just give us a call and we would be happy to help you out. Florida’s Best Roofing, Inc. is a fully licensed (CCC 1325974) and insured, local roofing contractor with decades of experience. If you are interested in roof replacement or repair and you are in the Palm Coast, Flagler, or Volusia area, please give us a call at 386-263-7906 for a free estimate!

The Basics of Roof Safety
Roofing Blog

The Basics of Roof Safety

Home improvement projects can be a lot of fun, and many people choose to take them up on their own instead of hiring a contractor. Roofing projects, however, are generally not so fun and most often require hiring a professional. And yet there are instances, involving minor damage, that you might decide to undertake repairs yourself. From roof cleaning to cracked flashing to a couple of missing shingles, small jobs like these are often performed (or at least attempted) by homeowners to save costs and to avoid having to wait for a contractor to schedule their repair. In these cases, it is of utmost importance to take all possible safety precautions. For this reason we are laying out here some basics of roof safety to keep in mind when attempting any repair (or anytime you decide to climb onto your roof at all).

 

Overall Safety Tips

There are some general safety tips to keep in mind. Never work on your roof when it is wet or slippery. This can be after or during rain or even early in the morning when the dew still has not evaporated. Even when the roof is not wet, it is important to wear soft-soled and ridged shoes for proper traction. Also avoid working when it is either too hot or too cold out. Temperatures like these can warp the shingles and make them dangerous to step on. It is also very easy to get dehydrated and dizzy during hot weather, which is exacerbated by the heat coming from the roof surface itself. Additionally it is important to keep your work area clean to avoid creating a tripping hazard and make sure that nothing falls off of the roof, as this can seriously injure someone or cause property damages. Keep children and pets away from the surrounding area when you are working. 

 

Ladders and Electrical

To get up on the roof you are going to need a ladder. The type of ladder and its set-up are both incredibly important. Make sure that it is a vertical ladder, not an A-frame. Also, be sure that the ladder is long enough to reach up to and beyond the edge of the roof; otherwise, it is not safe to use. Ladders should be set up at an angle so that they rise vertically four feet for every one foot they extend horizontally. Ladders should also be stationed on a level surface, making sure that both feet are at the same elevation. When climbing the ladder, make sure to wear appropriate footwear and keep at least three points of contact at all times with the ladder. 

When setting up the ladder, find a clear area of the roof well away from any electrical fixtures, especially power lines, and even satellite dishes. Not only will these obstruct your ascent onto the roof, but they also create a hazard of electrocution. Another electrical hazard is a metal ladder. Make sure that your ladder is made of fiberglass (or wood, although that is rare nowadays) so that electricity cannot jump from the powerlines to your ladder. And, always, avoid touching any hot wires with either your hands or your tools.

 

Nail Gun Safety

Nail guns are an essential tool for roof repairs, but they are also a dangerous instrument that can potentially turn into a weapon. When using a nail gun make sure to follow all safety instructions that come from the manufacturer. Particularly, never point the nail gun at any part of the body or any other person. When discharging nails, make sure that the nail gun’s barrel is pressed right against the surface and avoid “shooting” nails. Make sure that all the safety mechanisms of the gun are in place and never tamper with any of them. Finally, disconnect the air supply to the gun as soon as you are finished using it and never attempt to clean or repair or do any work on the nail gun while it is connected. 

 

If you do not feel confident taking on roofing repairs yourself, no problem. Just call us! Florida’s Best Roofing, Inc. is a fully licensed (CCC 1325974) and insured, local roofing contractor with decades of experience. If you are interested in roof replacement or repair and you are in the Palm Coast, Flagler, or Volusia area, please give us a call at 386-263-7906 for a free estimate!

5 Steps
Roofing Blog

5 Steps to Take When You Notice a Leak

Suddenly finding a leak on the ceiling of your home can be a very stressful experience. You may immediately start imagining the stress of dealing with contractors, the costs of repairs, the disruption to daily life of having repairs done on your roof or in your home, and visions of mold and other complications if the repair is not done in time. Not to worry. We are here to offer an easy step-by-step guide to dealing with a leak that can take all the stress out of the process. We have thought of everything so that you do not have to.

 

Step 1: Finding the Source

The first step after finding a leak is to identify its source. The source will determine what immediate actions you need to take next and who you will need to call for repairs. You might think that finding the source involves climbing on the roof or into the attic, but this is unnecessary and potentially dangerous. Instead, simply consider what a leak is. A leak is water getting into a place it should not be entering. There are two water sources: weather on the exterior and plumbing. If it is a plumbing issue, then it will leak regardless of weather. If it is a roofing issue, it will leak only when it is raining.

 

Step 2: Documentation

No matter what the source of the leak is, it is important to document it for insurance and liability purposes. You should take photos of the leak and the room it is in when you first discover it. You should continue to take photos throughout the process whether it gets worse or not, including once repairs begin and after the repairs are finished. While you may not need these photos, it is very important to have them in case you do. You should know that if you decide to contact your property insurance company and file a claim (in the case that the leak is caused by damage covered by insurance, like a windstorm) they will expect you to have taken steps to mitigate the leak even before they arrive. 

 

Step 3: Hiring a Contractor

The next step is to hire a contractor. As we have mentioned in previous posts, it is best to contact a local, experienced, licensed and insured contractor. A simple internet search will pull up a number of local contractors whom you can sort by their ratings and reviews of previous customers. A roofing contractor will come out to identify the source of the leak and provide an estimate, usually the day after you call them (if the first available appointment is more than a day or two out you may, having an active leak, consider a different contractor). Once the representative arrives and inspects the problem, he will provide you with an estimate. It is important that you ask this person to identify the specific cause of the leak if they do not immediately do so. The reason for this is that some causes will be covered by property insurance while others will not. The contractor’s representative will be able to tell you, typically, if the source of your leak is covered by insurance. If they cannot, you can call your insurance agent and name the source of the leak. If it is covered by insurance, you should file a claim with your insurance company at this point. Even if the repair estimate is under your deductible, you should still file the claim since the deductible only applies once during a policy period. If it applies now and you have another issue within the policy period, you will be fully covered for repairs then.

 

Step 4: Repairs

Once you have hired a contractor and agreed on a price, it is time to schedule the repairs. In the case of an active leak, you will usually be scheduled within a week. If the leak is particularly bad, your roofer will typically tarp it or take some other mitigating measures the same day that you agree to their estimate. If you did file an insurance claim, make sure that the repair is scheduled after an adjuster has had a chance to come out and take a look at the damage. If this is not possible, it is imperative that your contractor takes photos before, during, and after the repair so that you can provide your insurance company with the documentation. They will not pay for damages if they do not see evidence of them themselves. 

 

Step 5: Clean-up and Payment

Once the source of your leak is repaired, you will want to hire a drywaller/painter/handyman who can fix the damages caused by the leak on the interior and have your ceiling looking like new again. A good roofing contractor will be able to refer you to a quality company who does interior work for a reasonable price. Once payment is made you’re all set!

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

Warranties & Insurance
Roofing Blog

Warranties & Insurance

There are many factors to consider when looking into roof repair or replacement, but two of the most important are often overlooked. These are warranties and liability insurance. Before choosing a contractor make sure to check on their warranty policies and confirm that they are properly insured. Why, you might ask? Well here is a brief explanation of why these two factors should be among your top priorities when choosing a roofing company. At Florida’s Best Roofing, we want only what’s best for our clients. For this reason we are fully insured and we offer a 10 year labor warranty on all roof replacements and a 1 year warranty on all roof repairs.. Here are a couple of reasons why warranties are an important factor to consider when choosing a contractor.

 

Warranties protect the homeowner

Replacing or repairing a roof is an investment, oftentimes costly, in your home. Warranties protect that investment. They guarantee that the materials and workmanship are of a high quality. Manufacturers most often provide material warranties while contractors provide labor or workmanship warranties. In the case that the materials or labor are not up to par or have some sort of quality issue, the warranty guarantees that the manufacturer or contractor will make things right free of charge, provided that a proper warranty claim is filed within the allotted time period. 

 

Home Value

A new and freshly replaced roof will greatly improve your home’s value, whether you plan to sell or not. However, if the roof came without a warranty, this sends a red flag to potential buyers or investors, as it is an indication of potentially shoddy work. A roof with proper warranties will both protect and increase your home’s value. Warranties are also frequently transferable to new buyers. Manufacturers’ warranties can typically be transferred once, from one homeowner to another, but Florida’s Best Roofing’s labor warranty stays active for 10 years, no matter who owns the property.

 

Liability Insurance

You may be wondering why exactly you need to make sure that your contractor is adequately insured. Well, when you need your roof replaced, you want to make sure that you work with the best and most experienced contractor who will give you a finished product of the finest quality. Experienced contractors know how important insurance is in the business, because they want to make sure that everyone is protected, from their customers to their employees.

 

Accident Protection

Roofing is one of the most dangerous jobs out there, and it is consistently rated so by the Department of Labor. The old adage “if something can go wrong, it will” may not apply in every case, but as in any dangerous business, accidents are liable to happen. However, as the homeowner, you should not be liable for any accidents. Liability insurance exists to protect contractors and homeowners and cover any accidents or property damage that may occur on the jobsite. 

 

Protecting the Homeowner

Following this logic, you can see how contractors’ insurance is designed to protect their customers. If you take a chance on an uninsured contractor (or end up using one unknowingly) you can be held liable for any accidents or damage that occurs while work is taking place on your property. Because of the involvement of heavy machinery, heights, and dangerous tools like nail guns, this can include anything from hospitalizations to damaged automobiles or air conditioner units, all of which are quite expensive. 

Experienced and trustworthy roofing contractors are aware of all of these factors. For this reason, they would not dream of performing a job such as roof replacement without adequate insurance coverage. Insurance is a sign of a contractor’s integrity, professionalism, and a guarantee of their work’s quality, alongside their warranties. Do not get caught up in the headache of extra costs and liability claims. Make sure to choose a contractor with up to date insurance and a reasonable warranty policy with a local office, who can be reached easily in the case of potential problems or issues while work is taking place and in the future.

Florida’s Best Roofing, Inc. is a fully licensed (CCC 1325974) and insured, local roofing contractor with over a decade of experience. If you are interested in roof replacement or repair and you are in the Palm Coast, Flagler, or Volusia area, please give us a call at 386-263-7906 for a free estimate!

Florida's Best Roofing
Roofing Blog

Holiday Lights and Your Roof

Now that we are well into the beginning of the month of December and the Thanksgiving holiday is in the rearview, for many it is the time for holiday decorating, including the hanging up of Christmas lights and related accoutrements on the exterior of the house. Whether we celebrate one, all, or even none of the upcoming holidays, most of us like to have the exterior of our homes reflect the festivities in the interior. Children love looking at the lights on a walk or drive through the neighborhood and adults, even though some may not admit it, delight at the glittering decorations. So why is a roofing company interested in holiday lights? Well, that is because most frequently many of these exterior decorations end up being attached to the roof. If the fastening of garlands, twinklers, light icicles, or any of a dozen different decorative elements is done improperly, especially year after year, they can cause unintended damage to the roof covering, and even result in leaks later on. So, we have decided to take this time to briefly educate you on the dos and don’ts of hanging up your holiday decorations.

Firstly, safety should be the topmost consideration. You may think that a one story roof is not all that high, but even with a low-sloped one story roof caution must be taken. Make sure that you are not putting your home’s holiday aesthetic over your own health by using a well-functioning and properly set ladder. Follow all the instructions from the ladder’s manufacturer in its set-up and use, which are typically printed on the ladder itself. Also, if you do not have much experience in climbing up to your roof, make sure that you do not carry or hold too many things at once, as this can easily make you lose your balance. When decorating the exterior of the home, it is always best to have a partner or helper who will hold on to materials and pass them up to you. When working with electric lights also make sure that they are not plugged into an outlet while they are being placed or hung on and around the home. It is best to check them first, then unplug and hang, and then plug everything in at the end once it is in the appropriate place. Always carefully read and follow all the safety directions on any of the decorations, electrical and otherwise, that you purchase. 

Second, it is important to consider the method of attachment. The electric lights that are typically hung around the eaves of the house, whichever shape they may take, are frequently the main culprit here. These are sometimes sold with variously shaped hooks that are meant to aid in attachment. If they are not sold with hooks, separate kits of plastic hooks are easily found in the holiday decoration department of any hardware store or supermarket. While these can sometimes seem clumsy and awkward to use, they are in fact your best bet. Because they typically come in a shape with a variety of differently formed attachment points, it is always possible to attach them to the woven lights cord. Then, it is necessary to find an attachment point on the roof. This is easiest with gutters, since the hooks can clamp straight onto the gutter. If your house does not have gutters, another attachment point, like the drip edge or soffit, will have to suffice. When attaching the hooks it is very important to take great care and do so softly and patiently, as while gutters, for example, can take the weight of an electrical light garland, they cannot take even a fraction of the weight of a human being. Although it may seem at first that the easiest way to attach decorations to the roof is by stapling or nailing them directly to the shingles, this is wrong. Shingles perform best while maintaining integrity of the surface and the granules. If this is disturbed in any way, like by a nail or staple, which may seem minor and harmless at first, then integrity fails and the shingle becomes less and less effective as weather events exacerbate the damage already introduced. This is exactly how hail damage (as described in an earlier post) leads to eventual leaks, although the hail typically never breaks through the roof covering. 

All in all, when it comes to putting up your exterior holiday decorations, follow common sense, take all necessary safety precautions, and be sure to avoid damaging the integrity of your roof covering. Find another way to attach light garlands along the eaves, using the appropriate attachment hoods and avoid attaching garlands along the hips and ridges of the roof, as there is no way to attach decorations there without it leading to additional roof damages. Decorate safely and happy holidays!

Florida’s Best Roofing, Inc. is a fully licensed (CCC 1325974) and insured, local roofing contractor with over a decade 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 Price
Roofing Blog

Choosing a Roof Replacement Estimate: Is the Lowest One Always the Best Choice?

Roof replacement is an integral home improvement project. It is not a matter of making your home look better (although it accomplishes this also) but a matter of making sure that your home continues to be a safe and comfortable living space. Roof replacement is a project that most homeowners will undertake at least once, and perhaps even two or three times, depending on how long they own the home and what kind of roof is installed. Most roofs have a life expectancy of about 15 to 30 years, depending on weather conditions, which is especially precarious in Florida considering the frequency of tropical storms in our area. 

While necessary, roof replacement can also be a confusing and expensive procedure. Even if you are well informed about the steps of roof replacement, roofing procedures, and roof types, you may be faced with a difficult decision when choosing a roofing contractor. Ideally, as a homeowner you will contact several contractors in your area and get a detailed estimate from each. At this point, it is up to you to choose which contract to sign. 

Because roof replacement is an expensive process, costing thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars (depending on the type of roof and the size of the home), a homeowner’s first instinct may be to select the cheapest estimate and sign with that contractor. This is perfectly understandable, but you should know that the cheapest estimate may come with hidden costs. Here are five reasons why choosing the lowest estimate may cost you more in the long run.

 

  1. Expertise

Some contractors claim to be experts in just about everything. They might claim that they can do not only roof replacement, but also replace your windows, siding, remodel your bathroom, and throw in landscaping services. This may turn out well and good, but oftentimes it can be a red flag.

When replacing the roof on your home, you do not need a handyman, you need an experienced roofing professional. This is not someone who is just good with a hammer, but educated in the requirements of roof replacement and building codes. 

 

  1. Warranty

The cheapest prices are often offered by companies or contractors with no office or physical location in your area. They may come up with a nice looking finished product, but you will not know if the roofing system underneath the top layer is of top quality. Be aware especially of anyone who tells you they can save you money by simply putting another layer of roofing on top of your old roof. A roof is an integrated system of layers from the sheathing to the cover, with roof-specific flashing and ventilation systems. 

If your roofer does not check the lower layers of your roof, you may end up with a fresh roof layer covering rotting plywood sheathing, which will require repair or replacement within mere months. Then, if your roof develops a leak within a month or a year of replacement you will begin trying to hunt down that out of town (or worse yet, unlicensed) contractor for their warranty. This will prove to be a difficult, if not impossible, task.

 

  1. No Worries

When you hire a reputable, licensed, local contractor with a physical address and dedicated employees you will save yourself a ton of worries. These contractors have a local reputation to maintain and can be easily tracked down at their local address. For this reason they will make sure you have the best experience possible. You will not have to worry about them not showing up or doing shoddy work and disappearing. Once you sign the contract, your roof will be scheduled and all work will be done within days of the scheduled date. It will also be done in accordance with all local and state building codes. If you ever have any questions or concerns you will easily be able to get in touch with this type of contractor.

 

  1. A Gamble

Choosing the lowest price is always a gamble. After all, prices are not taken out of thin air. So, if you see one estimate that is lower than all the others, you should ask yourself how this is possible. All roofers have to purchase materials, pay their employees, and cover overhead costs. Very low prices often mean that there may be cost cutting going on either on materials or labor. In either case, you do not want low-grade materials installed on your roof or for the workers doing the installation to be either unqualified or underpaid. Both of these will lead to a low quality product that will leave you paying in the long run.

 

  1. Liability

If the company with the low-ball offer does not have a license, liability insurance, or worker’s compensation insurance, you may be stuck with the costs usually covered by these policies or a lawsuit. Roofing can be a dangerous process. It can cause damage to the surrounding area (like air conditioning units, landscaping, etc), and workplace accidents are possible even when all precautions are taken (which may not be by a shoddy contractor). A responsible, licensed, and insured contractor will have safeguards in place to handle these issues. They will fix any damage to the surrounding area and will have liability insurance coverage and worker’s compensation to cover any accidents. Saving money by choosing an unscrupulous contractor at the start could leave you liable for these types of costs later on down the line.

 

Florida’s Best Roofing, Inc. is a fully licensed (CCC 1325974) and insured, local roofing contractor with over a decade of experience. If you are interested in roof replacement and you are in the Palm Coast, Flagler, or Volusia area, please give us a call at 386-263-7906 for a free estimate!

Florida's Best Roofing
Roofing Blog

An Explanation of Common Terms Used in Roofing

Like any other profession, the roofing business uses jargon: certain terms that may not be immediately familiar to those not involved in the profession or that might have different meanings from their normal usage. For this reason, discussing roof repair or roof replacement may put the customer at a disadvantage or at the very least a state of confusion. To help prevent this, we want to share with you the meanings behind some common terms that you will hear if you call or hire a roofing contractor. With this information, you’ll be able to discuss roofing like a pro!

Algae Discoloration: This is a type of roof discoloration caused by algae, usually taking the form of dark streaks. It is often mistaken for fungi growth.

Asphalt Shingles: Fiberglass shingles with a bituminous waterproofing material applied during manufacture.

Architectural Shingles: Also called Laminated or Three dimensional shingles. These are shingles that have more than one layer for extra thickness and protection.

Base Flashing: That portion of the flashing attached to or resting on the deck to direct the flow of water onto the roof covering.

Base sheet: A product intended to be the base or middle ply in a residential self-adhering roll roofing system used to cover flat or very low sloped roofs.

Blisters: Bubbles that may appear on the surface of asphalt roofing after installation.

Built-Up Roof: This is a roof covering method that consists of multiple layers of ply sheets embedded in hot asphalt. It is used for flat or low sloped roofs.

Bundle: This refers to the way shingles are packaged. There are typically 3, 4 or 5 bundles per square.

Cap Sheet: A mineral surfaced material that is used by itself or as the top layer of a multi-layer rolled roof covering system.

Chalk Line: A line made on the roof by snapping a taut string or cord dusted with chalk. This is a method for aligning shingles in roof installation.

Counter Flashing: That portion of the flashing perpendicular to the base flashing attached to a vertical surface preventing water from migrating behind the base flashing.

Course: This refers to a row of shingles or roll roofing running the length of the roof.

Coverage: The number of layers of material between the exposed surface of the roofing and the deck.

Cricket: A peaked saddle construction at the back of a vertical feature on the roof (like a chimney) that prevents accumulation of snow and ice and to deflect water around the feature.

Deck: This is the surface of the roof that is attached over the frame. It can be made of plywood or OSB.

Drip Edge: A corrosion-resistant, non-staining material (typically metal) that is installed along the eaves and rakes to allow water run-off to drip clear of underlying construction.

Eave: This is the horizontal, lower edge of a sloped roof.

Felt: Fibrous material saturated with asphalt and used as an underlayment.

Flashing: Pieces of metal used to prevent the leaking of water into a structure around any vulnerable place in a roof such as vents, chimneys, adjoining walls, dormers and valleys. 

Granules: Crushed stones applied to the top of asphalt roofing shingles to form a protective layer.

Overhang: That portion of the roof structure that extends beyond the exterior walls of a building.

Peel and Seal: A self-adhering waterproofing underlayment designed to protect against water infiltration due to ice dams or wind driven rain. 

Soffit: This is the finishing on the underside of the eaves, typically metal or vinyl.

Square: This is the unit for measuring the roof surface, equalling to 10ft. x 10 ft.

Starter Strip: Asphalt roofing applied at the eave that provides protection by an additional layer of material under the cutouts and joints of the first course of shingles.

Synthetic Underlayment: An underlayment product that is typically manufactured using polypropylene and is used as an alternative to felt underlayment.

Valley: The internal angle formed by the intersection of two sloping roof planes.

Vent: Any outlet for air that protrudes through the roof deck such as a pipe or stack. 

If you have any questions regarding roofing terms, don’t hesitate to contact us. As your contractor, we will always work as hard as we can to make sure you are pleased with your new roof. If you are interested in roof replacement and you are in the Palm Coast, Flagler, or Volusia area, please give Florida’s Best Roofing a call at 386-263-7906 for a free estimate!

Permits
Roofing Blog

The Deal with Permits

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

 

Why Permits are Necessary

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

 

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

 

The Permit Process

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

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

As your contractor, we will always work as hard as we can to make sure you are pleased with your new roof and ensure a smooth permitting process. If you are interested in roof replacement and you are in the Palm Coast, Flagler, or Volusia area, please give Florida’s Best Roofing a call at 386-263-7906 for a free estimate! 

Florida's Best Roofing
Roofing Blog

Choosing Your Roof’s Color: Dark or Light?

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

 

Aesthetic Considerations

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

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

 

Environment and Function

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

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

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

In the end, your shingle color should be your choice. Just remember, in the modern state of the manufacturing world you may need to be flexible either with your timing or your choices. As your contractor, we will always work as hard as we can to make sure you are pleased with your new roof. If you are interested in roof replacement and you are in the Palm Coast, Flagler, or Volusia area, please give Florida’s Best Roofing a call at 386-263-7906 for a free estimate! We will be happy to answer any questions you have about your estimated price.

Roof Replacement Cost
Roofing Blog

What Determines Roof Replacement Cost?

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

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

 

Size of the Roof

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

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

 

Materials

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

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

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

 

Decking

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

 

Slope and Shape

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

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

 

Dumping Fees

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

So, as you see, there are a multitude of factors that go into estimating roof replacement. If you are interested in roof replacement and you are in the Palm Coast, Flagler, or Volusia area, please give Florida’s Best Roofing a call at 386-263-7906 for a free estimate! We will be happy to answer any questions you have about your estimated price.

 

Roof Replacement
Roofing Blog

Roof Replacement and Roof Repair–Done Remotely!

Did you know that you can get your roof replaced or repaired without ever having to go into an office or meet in person with a contractor? In these times there may be several reasons that you are hesitant to begin roof replacement or roof repairs on your home. You may be traveling or currently residing outside the area of your home. Or you might own an investment or rental property and be unwilling to travel to deal with its renovations. Or you might be self-isolating due to health concerns and COVID-19. As we have discussed before at length, however, the roof is an integral part of the home and any roofing issues (especially if there is a leak) should be top priority and addressed as soon as possible. For this reason we want to make our customers aware that roof repair and replacement can be accomplished entirely through remote means: by computer, phone, and/or mail.

 

Step 1: Getting an Estimate

If you notice that you need a roof repair or want to have your roof replaced, your first step should be to get an estimate. Ideally, you may want to contact several contractors to compare estimates. To get a free estimate from Florida’s Best Roofing, Inc. you can just call us at 386-263-7906 or send an email to floridasbestroofing@gmail.com or go to our website: floridasbestroofing.us. 

While we may need to physically look at your roof in order to give you an estimate, you do not need to be present for the inspection. If there are interior damages or leaks that concern you, simply take photos of the relevant areas and send those to us by email. Your estimate/proposal will also be sent to you by email. If at any point you have any questions about your estimate, our company, or roofing in general do not hesitate to give us a call or send us an email and we will be happy to help you out. A lot of information can also be found on our website. 

 

Step 2: Contract Agreement

Once you have the estimate(s) for your roof and have chosen a contractor, it is time to sign an agreement so that you can be put on their schedule. When working with Florida’s Best Roofing, Inc. we are happy to accept your signed proposal by email and will email you back a copy co-signed by us. If necessary, we can work through the postal system as well. 

If you are replacing the roof, you will also need to sign, notarize, and submit permitting papers as any licensed contractor will need to pull a permit from the city or county where the home is located to replace a roof. Beware any company that attempts to replace a roof without a permit! Based on your location, we will pre-fill and email you the appropriate permitting paperwork for your roof replacement. Oftentimes the original copies of these documents are required for the permit so you will simply need to print, notarize, and mail these documents to us at our physical address: 1 Enterprise Dr. Unit 6 Bunnell, FL 32110. 

When replacing your roof you will also have to make a choice as to the color of your new roof. Colors can be viewed online at the shingle manufacturers’ websites. Our preferred shingle manufacturers are Owens Corning (owenscorning.com) and Atlas (atlasroofing.com). On these websites you can view sample shingle colors, request free shingle samples to be sent to you, look at other roofing materials, and find out more about roofing in general! Another great way to choose a color is to drive around and look at recently replaced roofs. We would be happy to provide you with addresses in the Flagler and Volusia county areas where we recently completed roof replacement in order to help you with color choice.

 

Step 3: Relax!

Once all the paperwork is signed, we will put your roof on our schedule and complete the work professionally and in accordance with all local and state building codes. We are committed to quality. We will keep you informed by phone or email of material deliveries and work progress. If you have any questions anytime throughout the process we would be happy to answer them by phone or email. You do not need to be present during the work process; in fact, many homeowners choose not to be because the work itself can be quite noisy.

 

Step 4: Payment

Once your roof is complete and passes all inspections as required by the city or county where the home is located, we will give you a call and send you an invoice by email or mail, as you prefer. We would be happy to answer any questions at this point. Payment can be made remotely, ordinarily by mailing a check, and once paid you will receive confirmation of payment and warranty information by email or mail, again, as preferred.

So, as you see, there is no reason to wait to get your necessary roof repairs or replacement. If you have been waiting to take care of your roof because you do not want to meet a contractor in person and you are in the Palm Coast, Flagler, or Volusia area, please give Florida’s Best Roofing a call at 386-263-7906 for a free estimate!

Florida's Best Roofing
Roofing Blog

Roofing Fun Facts

This week we have decided to go in another direction and post a light-hearted and hopefully entertaining article with some fun and miscellaneous facts about roofs, the roofing business, and the roofing industry. Although roofing is a serious business which ensures the safety and structural integrity of your home, it can be interesting too. Hopefully this post will peak your interest in our chosen profession.

  1. Roofing has a long history! As you might imagine, from the earliest times of human civilization, people have needed roofs over their heads. Roofs are a key component of shelter, one of the most basic necessities for human survival. While thatch and other natural elements like leaves were used as the first roofing materials, stone and clay were utilized much earlier than you might imagine. There is archaeological evidence of clay tile and stone being used as roofing material thousands of years before the current era. That is over four thousand years ago!
  2. Did you know that the Roman Empire had a cross Mediterranean manufacturing industry dedicated to building materials? They manufactured clay roofing tiles very similar in shape and quality to the ones used today! You can still see examples of intact Roman roofing tiles in museums. These tiles were standardized in shape and size across the empire to be employed in uniform building techniques. Individual factories also occasionally stamped their tiles to identify their place of production, the factory owner, or the foreman in charge of production. These stamps could include lettered inscriptions or symbols. Sometimes finger swipes and other marks made about two thousand years ago when the clay was still wet can still be identified by archaeologists today!
  3. Some of the earliest human dwellings were dome shaped huts with roofs made of reeds and thatch. The shape of the stately concrete or stone dome that is most familiar to us in the form of the Capitol building in Washington D. C., however, has its beginnings in the Sumerian civilization of Mesopotamia in the third millennium before the current era. The largest unsupported concrete dome, which still stands perfectly preserved to this day, is the Pantheon in Rome. It was built as a temple by the Romans in the second century of the current era and now functions as a catholic church. It is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Rome and has seen continuous use for about two thousand years.
  4. In the United States, the most popular roofing material is asphalt shingles, which were invented only about one hundred years ago. Asphalt shingles cover about seventy five percent of homes in America. They are a versatile, relatively inexpensive, and aesthetically pleasant roofing material which contributes to their popularity.
  5. The technologies involved in the manufacture and installation of roofing material are constantly improving. For instance, while asphalt shingles manufactured twenty to fifteen years ago stood up to maximum wind speeds of sixty-five miles per hour, shingles commonly used nowadays can stand up to winds of one hundred and thirty miles per hour. That is double the wind resistance and includes hurricane force winds! Likewise, while in the past consumers were encouraged to stay away from darker colored roofs in hot areas like Florida to avoid heat absorption, in the present the advanced materials we use function equally well in heat protection, whether light or dark. Black asphalt shingles are quickly growing in popularity.
  6. Metal roofing technologies are also quickly improving and providing a popular alternative to tile and shingle. Metal roofs are less expensive than tile and have higher lifetimes than asphalt shingles. They are also lighter, in fact, they are even lighter than wood shingles or shakes. Also, contrary to popular expectation, metal roofs do not attract lightning more than other roofing materials. They can actually protect your home from lightning since metal is not combustible.
  7. Water tends to glide down a sloped surface before dripping. For this reason, the origin of a leak can be found ten or more feet away on the roof surface from where you may see it on the inside. If you identify a leak, it is crucial to have the roof inspected by a licensed and experienced professional to find the appropriate repair solution.

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. Whether you have a tile, metal, or asphalt shingle roof, 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!

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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