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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
Roofing Blog

The Hidden Hazards of Water Damage

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

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

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

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

 

Higher Utility Bills

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

 

Interior Mold and Mildew

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

 

Fire Hazards

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

 

Attic and Ceiling Damage

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

 

Structural Integrity

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

Leaks should never be taken lightly. At the first sign of a leak, be sure to consult with a roofing professional to find the source of the problem and a possible solution. If you are in the Palm Coast, Flagler, or Volusia area, please give Florida’s Best Roofing a call at 386-263-7906 for a free estimate!

Skylights
Roofing Blog

Skylights: Are They Worth It?

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

 

The Benefits of Skylights

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

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

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

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

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

 

The Challenges Associated with Skylights

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

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

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

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

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

Tile Roofs
Roofing Blog

The Pros and Cons of Tile Roofs

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

 

Tile Roofs: General Info

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

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

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

 

Tile Roofs: Pros

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

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

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

 

Tile Roofs: Cons

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

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

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

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

Roofing Updates
Roofing Blog

Popular Roofing Upgrades

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

 

Shingles

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

 

Gutters

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

Roof and Attic Ventilation

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

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

Roofing Blog

Should you Buy a House with an Old Roof?

Should you Buy a House with an Old Roof?

When you are buying a house there are a ton of variables to consider. It is time consuming and potentially stressful to find a house that exactly fits all of your specifications. Once you find that at a suitable price, there is still a need to have it inspected to make sure that there are no hidden problems. So what should you do if the house you are considering fits your ideal in every way, is located in a great neighborhood, falls into your price range, but has an old roof? Well, take a look at the information provided below to help you make your decision.

 

How Old?

The first question to consider is how old exactly is the roof? For this you need to find out the age of the house and whether the roof has ever been replaced. This information is typically available from the local property appraiser’s public records online and from the city or county building department, whose records may be online or require a phone call. You can also ask the information from the realtor and the sellers, who should ordinarily provide it to you.

It is important to keep in mind that unless you are buying or building a new house, the roof will be somewhat aged. Even if the roof has just been replaced, the sheathing (the wood decking) is typically not completely replaced (unless the whole roof was in very bad shape). 

Some roofs can last up to or even over 30 years, depending on the material used and the weather conditions in the area. So, once you know the age, it is important to ascertain the roof’s condition.

 

What’s the Condition?

Make sure to check the condition of the roof both on the exterior and in the attic. You can do this yourself or hire an inspector. It is important that the inspector knows roofing materials, how they age, and how they should be installed. For this reason, you should consider getting a roof inspection from a professional roofing contractor. Most reputable contractors will do this for a modest fee.

On the exterior of the roof you need to check for missing or damaged surface materials, like shingles or tiles. Loss of granules (the rough exterior of shingles) can also be a cause for concern. Look for granules (they look like sand) in the gutters and around the exterior of the house. Also check for soft spots on the roof, as this is indicative of dry rot in the wood sheathing, which usually results from poor attic insulation. Stains and mold or algae growth can also indicate problems already in place or problems to come. 

 

Warning Signs

Roof replacement is an expensive process. Even roof repairs can easily run $1,000-$5,000 dollars. So, it is important to know when a home is just not worth the investment. Below are some warning signs that big expenses will arise in the near future. 

Are there missing shingles or tile on the exterior? Are many shingles loose and easily liftable? If this is the case, the roof is no longer doing its job of protecting the interior from water. This indicates potential water damage on the interior, which means that you will not only bear the cost of fixing or replacing the roof, but also interior damages as well.

Do you see any signs of rotten wood or mold? Check the interior ceilings and walls, the wood sheathing and trusses in the attics, and check for soft spots on the roof. Rotten wood, in any part of the house structure, signals major damage and major repair costs, likely requiring full roof replacement and potentially hiring a framer and/or an engineer to make sure that the structure is sound.

In the attic and in the interior of the house check for stains, even small ones. These can be found on the interior of the decking, the ceilings, and even the walls. Feel the area around any stains you may see to check for softness, as this indicates potential rot in the wood. Rotten wood is indicative of ongoing damage and costly issues in the future.

 

Conclusion

So, should you buy a house with an old roof? That depends on the condition of the roof. If it is aged but in good condition and all other parameters of the house suit, then it is a fine investment. If, however, you notice some of the problems mentioned above, you might want to reconsider the purchase. The seller may be willing to negotiate the price or do roof repairs before the sale. While this depends on the market, it does not hurt to ask. When buying, just make sure that you are aware of present and potential future costs and how much you can afford to spend. And, finally, make sure that you have the home and roof inspected by a qualified individual.

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

start of hurricane season.
Roofing Blog

Start of Hurricane Season: Roof Preparedness

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

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

 

Step 1: Determine Current Condition

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

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

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

 

Step 2: Check Your Insurance Policy

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

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

Please take a moment to check your roof preparedness as we enter hurricane season. If you have any questions about your roof, your insurance coverage for the roof, or want a free estimate for your roof in the Palm Coast, Flagler, or Volusia area, please give Florida’s Best Roofing a call at 386-263-7906!

Roofing Blog

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

While we all hope that supply will ramp up to catch up to demand soon, it is unclear how long this will take. In the meantime if you have any questions about roofing material pricing or availability or want a free estimate for your roof in the Palm Coast, Flagler, or Volusia area, please give Florida’s Best Roofing a call at 386-263-7906!

Roofing Blog

Asphalt Shingle Packaging, Transport, and Delivery: Part II

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Once the shingles are delivered, it’s time to get to work. If you need work on your roof or have any questions about shingle delivery or want a free estimate for your roof in the Palm Coast, Flagler, or Volusia area, please give Florida’s Best Roofing a call at 386-263-7906!

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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