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Roofing Blog

Summer Fun: Tales of Roofing Across Time Part I

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

 

The Odyssey

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

 

Aeaea

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

 

Elpenor

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

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

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

 

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

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

Insurance Claims for Roof Damage
Roofing Blog

Insurance Claims for Roof Damage: 5 Tips

When your home or property gets damaged by a storm or other natural event, you want to be confident that repairs and restorations will be covered by your property insurance. After all, this is why you pay your yearly insurance premiums to avoid hassle when your property sustains damage. For those unfamiliar with the insurance claims process, however, it can pose some challenges and present frustrations. This is why we are here to help you get prepared and make your way through filing a roof damage claim and getting your roof back to its original undamaged state. Here are five tips for dealing with the insurance and claims process that will help to make it quick and easy.

 

  1. Know your policy

While most people are content simply knowing that they have an insurance policy and leave the details to their insurance agent, it is essential that you are familiar with certain parts of your policy. The first is the policy period. Insurance will only cover damage sustained during the period that the policy is active, which can be found under the heading “policy period” at the front of the policy. Make sure that you renew your policy before any deadlines so that it stays current and you have coverage at all times.

Regarding roofs, it is also important to watch out for policy endorsements that may limit roof coverage. A list of endorsements can be found in the Declarations Page section of each property insurance policy. Some insurance companies are adding an Actual Cash Value roof assessment endorsement. This may not seem like a big deal normally, but when it comes to wind or hail storm coverage for the roof, it results in a depreciated payment for roof repair or replacement. This typically amounts to an insurance payment that is only a percentage of what it will actually cost you to repair or replace the roof (somewhere around fifty percent). While ACV coverage endorsements can lower your premiums, they will bite back with significant out of pocket costs in the event of storm damage.

 

  1. File your claim in a timely manner

In Florida, you have, by law, two years from the day that damage occurred to file a claim. While this timeline gives you significant leeway, it is always best to file the claim as soon as you notice the damage and as close as possible to the date of loss (the date of the storm). This will get the process started and prevent any further damage from occurring, which may increase your costs in the long run. Additionally, insurance policies typically require the policyholder to take any possible measures to mitigate damages while the claims process is happening. This means that if there is a delay in the filing of a claim, and a leak resulting from a storm damaged roof worsens, then an insurance company may refuse to pay for any interior damages or mold issues resulting from the worsening of that leak. Avoid extensive interior damages and repairs liability by filing the claim as soon as possible.

 

  1. Maintain open lines of communication with your insurance company

Throughout the claims process you will be in extended communications with your insurance company, from filing the claim, to getting in touch with your adjuster, to scheduling an inspection, to receiving their acknowledgement of the filing, to receiving their estimate and settlement letter, and so on. This process will be much quicker and easier if you have open lines of communication with your insurer. Make sure that your property insurance company always has your updated physical address, an updated phone number, and ideally an updated email address which you check frequently. You may also want to sign up for text/SMS alerts. While your insurer will mail you physical copies of their correspondence letters if necessary, the process will proceed much faster if this can be done electronically. 

 

  1. Keep organized and document the process

Your adjuster will conduct an inspection of your property after you file a claim. It is always good, however, to have your own documentation as well. Make sure to photograph any property damage and note the cost of any damaged or destroyed items. Note also the dates of damage and dates of the photographs. Keep a running list of anyone with whom you speak about the claim (adjusters, inspectors, contractors, etc). On this list, note the date and time of conversation, the name, title, and contact information of the person with whom you spoke, and a summary of what was discussed. While you may not need any of this, it will make your life much easier if any problems do arise.

 

  1. Consult a professional in case of difficulties

When starting a claims process, it is always good to talk to someone who has been through it before. This may be a friend, family member, or neighbor who can give you an idea of what to expect. In the case that your claim is denied or it seems to you that the insurer’s estimate does not match the damages, you always have the option of contacting a professional. A public adjuster or even a contractor will likely have dealt with dozens or hundreds of claims. They will be familiar with local statutes that govern insurance estimates and will be happy to send their own estimate to your insurance company. Do not be afraid to look for help, and make sure that you contract with a reputable company.

If you suspect that your roof sustained damages covered by your insurance, we will be happy to do an inspection and advise you through the claims process. 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!

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! 

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!

Insurance Estimate
Roofing Blog

Should I Share My Insurance Estimate With My Contractor?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

At Florida’s Best Roofing we are very knowledgeable about the insurance claims process and how to get a fair and honest estimate from your insurer. We will help guide you through the process. If you have any questions about the condition of your roof or your insurance estimate in the Palm Coast, Flagler, or Volusia area, please give Florida’s Best Roofing a call at 386-263-7906!

Roof Color
Roofing Blog

Picking a Roof Color

Choosing the color of your roof is an important decision because a new roof is a big investment and a long term one. Roof colors come in a huge variety, especially when it comes to asphalt shingles, the most common type of roof covering. It is necessary to choose a color that you will be happy with for years to come, since a new roof will serve you for decades into the future. There are many ways to approach this choice which we will discuss here. Whether you are looking to sell your property or live in a home for generations to come, making the right color choice now will take you a long way.

Matching

Roof color makes an impact on the aesthetic properties of any house. Matching a roof color with your home’s stucco, siding, and trim is more than just finding a color that will compliment your siding or stucco. The roof’s color should also go well with the rest of the home’s exterior, like trim, light fixtures, and even landscaping. It is also possible that a variety of colors will correspond to the home in these aspects. Then, it is up to the homeowner to make the aesthetically pleasing choice, after consulting the offerings available from shingle or tile manufacturers. Finding the right roofing material color in today’s world of design can be a challenge, as there is such a diverse selection of colors, but with some consideration you can select a color that will please you for years to come.

There is no reason to get overwhelmed with color choices. Although it is an important decision it falls below that of roofing material and its grade. First, you should choose what type of roof covering (shingle, metal, tile, etc.) you need. Next, find a trusted contractor who will replace your roof. At this point a good contractor will help you with the color choice by providing options and samples. There is a great number of roofing material manufacturers across the country, but each contractor will have their preferred few, typically chosen for the quality of their product. The contractor will have samples from their chosen manufacturers that you can then examine to make a decision. Our staff at Florida’s Best Roofing will be glad to offer you advice, and we have plenty of samples to consider in our office in Bunnell, FL.

Here are some design ideas that can help you decide, which apply across the board and provide a starting point:

Effects of Tone – Tints and shades have particular impacts on the perception of architectural design. For instance, light color used on both exterior walls and the roof can make a small building appear larger. This practice also accentuates stark architectural features which you may need to soften or highlight. On the other hand, the use of darker colors on the exterior walls and roof have a dramatic effect. They make a structure and all its aspects stand out, and they harmonize well with neutral tones. Often a combination of the two, such as a light, neutral stucco tone and a dark roof can provide a pleasing result overall.

Medium Blends – Mid-tone or neutral colored roofs match well with almost any exterior. Colors such as gray, tan, brown, and beige go well with most exterior siding or stucco colors and home styles. Since these are so popular, many variations exist upon them that can compliment smaller details on a home, like the trim and exterior light fixtures or doors. The neutrality of these colors is also appreciated by customers looking to renovate their home in expectation of putting it on the market. People are guaranteed to invest more money in a home with a freshly replaced roof, and a neutral color can be pleasant to the greatest number of prospective buyers.

Exact Matching – It is not necessary and often not possible to match a roof exactly with a home’s interior. Siding, paint, and roofing material manufacturers do not coordinate their colors exactly. Moreover, a structure whose exterior, from ground to roof, is only one color is monochromatic and can be displeasing to the eyes. Rather, it is the use of complimentary colors that is best. Staying in the same color family is also best. A dark grey roof looks great on a house with light grey stucco/siding and white trim. Likewise, a home with a yellow exterior is attractive under a medium to darker brown roof. Melding cool tones with warm is usually not advised. This can be quite jarring and idiosyncratic.

Current Trends – In the present day, siding can be found in a range of colors as well as patterns of brick, stone and wood. Darker colors, such as black and dark grey are rather popular. While in the past these put the home in danger of retaining heat and prematurely ageing the roof, new developments in roofing materials removed this as a concern. Also, white and metal roof colors with designs that embrace energy efficiency and coolness can look great while saving on utility costs, particularly in Florida.

Choosing the color for your roof does not have to be arduous or stressful. Keeping an eye on complimentary colors and the design ideas above should help guide you through the process. Give us a call, and we at Florida’s Best Roofing will be happy to provide further assistance.

home-insurance
Roofing Blog

Will my home insurance cover repairs to my roof?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Call us today at 386-263-7906.

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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