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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!

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!

What Affects Property Market Value?
Roofing Blog

What Affects Property Market Value?

Whether you are considering selling or buying a house it is important to know what factors go into determining a property’s market value. Homeowners love to see their property appreciate in value, and whether selling or not, it is wise for them to take into account how they can affect this. Buyers in the meantime need to know which factors to check when considering purchasing a property, to make sure that it is valued correctly. While values are influenced by the ebb and flow of the real estate market, they are also partially determined by the factors we consider below.

Size and Usable Space

The price of most residential properties, whether a single family house or multiple occupation unit, is calculated by square foot. That is, if a 2,000 square foot home is sold for $200,000.00 then its price per square foot is $150.00. This price per square foot fluctuates according to market conditions and certain aspects of the property. Depending on the conditions referenced below, a price of $150.00 per square foot may be a great deal or a complete ripoff. 

One thing to consider is that price per square foot only applies to what is called usable space. This usable space is the area of the property that is livable and does not include features such as garages, unfinished attics, or unfinished porches/other exterior areas. While a garage may add value to a house, its square footage will not be included in the calculation of the price. In other words, the garage as a feature may raise the price per square foot, but for a 2,000 square foot property with a 450 square foot garage, the price per square foot will still be multiplied by 2,000 and not 2,450. For this reason, it may be beneficial to convert any unfinished areas of a property into usable space before selling. 

 Location

Location is hugely important in bestowing value upon a property. You may have noticed that property values in cities across the country have ballooned in recent years. One of the reasons for this is that as an area gets more urbanized it offers more opportunities for jobs and career development, which draws in potential buyers. As demand then increases, the value of the limited supply rises. On the other hand, if a major employer in an area closes or goes out of business, the property values in the area may drop since the wave of people moving out will raise supply at the same time as demand diminishes. 

Then again, within the same city or town there will likely be districts or areas with higher property values and others with lower. In one area houses may be priced in the millions while just a short distance away they may be less than half of that. There are several factors that affect this. In our area here in Florida one of the biggest such factors is distance to water. Houses with direct beach access are especially pricey as well as those situated on a canal. Other factors include distance to school and school quality, distance to commercial centers, shopping, and recreation. 

The value of a property zoned in a residential area close to great schools and a thriving business community will appreciate faster than others. While these factors are largely outside of homeowner’s control, they are important to consider when buying a property or determining sale value.

Comparable Homes

One way that property value is calculated for a house going on the market is to look at other houses for sale or sold in the area. These are called “comps” and can be helpful, but they must be considered appropriately. Applicable comps must be sold or for sale in the same time period, they must be in the same area, and must feature similarities in architectural style, number of rooms, property acreage, age, and features such as a finished porch or pool. It is usually advisable to consult a real estate agent before determining which comps are applicable. 

Home Condition and Renovations

New and newer homes typically sell for higher prices. This is because as a house ages, certain aspects–like the roof, the electrical system, plumbing, etc–may lose efficacy and need repair or replacement. The current condition of the home is the final factor that we will discuss in relation to value. Critical components of a property can deteriorate over time and must be inspected prior to buying or selling. 

The following should be inspected before a house is appraised to be put on the market: windows and doors, the roof, the HVAC system, and the wood (in case there is any rot or pest damage). If anything is found damaged or lacking, repairs should be done or even full system replacement. Upgrades, such as replacing the roof with higher quality shingles, can even increase a property’s appraised value. Interior renovations, such as painting the walls and replacing flooring can also go a long way. Finally, the property must be made presentable to the eyes of the buyer. A clean and aesthetically pleasing property will sell more quickly and at a higher price. 

While many of the aspects discussed above are outside homeowner’s control, it is important to keep in mind how they affect the price. It is also necessary to take care of the factors that are able to be controlled, such as the condition of a property and its curb appeal. If you have any questions about the condition of your roof or need roof repair or replacement in the Palm Coast, Flagler, or Volusia area, please give Florida’s Best Roofing a call and schedule a free estimate at 386-263-7906!

 

The Basics of Flat Roofs
Roofing Blog

What do you know about the Basics of Flat Roofs?

Flat roofs are most commonly found on commercial structures and in urban areas. While no roof should be truly flat, very very low sloped roofs, referred to as flat roofs, are different from the peaked roofs we most often discuss. Because of their low slope, water cannot quite drain as well on its own and special drainage systems must be installed. The materials used for a flat roof also differ from those that are used for peaked roofs. These materials are better able to handle water that does not drain as quickly as it would off of a peaked roof.

Flat roofs are covered with membrane roof systems. Before this is done, however, often a taper system is applied to the roof to ensure positive drainage: that water will drain away and off the roof, instead of pooling on the roof surface. A slope of no less than ¼ inch per foot is recommended for flat roofs. The taper system uses insulation sheets to create a slope carrying water from areas further away toward drains. 

There are several types of drains used for flat roofs. If the roof does not have any sort of boundary around the edges, it can be tapered to drain into gutters (preferably) around the edges. Often, however, flat roofs may have some sort of boundary around the edges which prevent drainage. This is referred to as the perimeter wall or parapet wall. In this case drains must be installed on the roof itself. In this case the water drains through pipes running through the building interior and the roof must be tapered from the edges to the drain. Multiple such drains may be required on larger roofs. 

When a roof with a parapet wall is covered by membrane, the membrane runs across the roof surface and up the wall. The corner between the wall and roof surface is softened with a cant strip. The top of the wall is flashed in such a way that the membrane stays in place and water does not enter beneath the membrane. Parapet walls also require back-up drainage systems, in case the internal drains ever get clogged. These are cut through the parapet walls two inches above the level of the primary drain and are called scuppers. They prevent water accumulating above two inches if the primary drains fail. Otherwise, the roof may collapse from the water weight. Rarely, usually on older roofs, scuppers may be installed at the deck line and act as primary drainage, in which case the roof would be tapered toward them. 

There are two classes of membrane systems: single membrane and multiple-ply membranes. Multi-ply membrane roofs are made of rolled materials bonded with an asphalt bonding agent. These are usually called built up or hot tar roofs. The first layer that sits directly on the roof deck is the base sheet. It must stand up to pulling and tugging forces which may cause wear and tear as the roof decking expands and contracts with temperature and moisture changes. The sheet that is exposed to the elements at the top is called the cap sheet. It must resist the sun and weather. The sheets in the middle between the cap and base are the ply sheets. The number of plys (interior layers) determines the quality and cost of the roof, with more being better and more expensive. Three and five ply systems are common. 

In installation, the base sheet is usually nailed to the roof decking. Adjoining strips are placed so that they overlap at the edges on every level. Hot tar is mopped over and between the plys and cap sheet, which seals the sheets together. Alternatively, in recent years self-sticking membrane sheets have begun to replace the hot tar method in some areas. There are three types of cap sheet. The first type is called mineral, and it is very similar to the coating of asphalt shingles. The second type is called smooth: this is an asphalt flood coat, which must be painted with reflective coating to prevent sun damage. The last type of cap is the aggregate finish where gravel is spread over the flood coat to protect it from the sun. As this gravel can also act as a way of weighing down the roof and holding it in place, it is called ballast. 

Next we discuss single ply membrane roof systems. The two most common are modified bitumen and elastomeric. Both of these must be fastened with screws or nails or adhesive to the roof decking. The finish must resist breakdown from sun and weather. 

Modified bitumen is made of asphalt or coal tar pitch with added plasticizers that make the material flexible. First, a base sheet is placed and fastened. Then, the modified bitumen is laid on top by one of two primary methods: hot mop (SBS) or torch down (APP). The modified bitumen either has a mineral facing or it is unfinished, in which case it must be covered with smooth stone aggregate. A coat of reflective paint is also an option. APP can be painted directly, but SBS needs a flood coat before painting. 

Elastomeric membranes are made from plastic (PVC) or synthetic rubber (EPDM). There are usually three layers that are bonded in a single sheet during the manufacturing process. If not ballasted, they must be mechanically fastened with nails or screws or glued to the decking. If ballasted, these systems are only fastened at the edges and held down by ballast. Adhesive cannot be asphalt or coal tar pitch, as it breaks down the material. Insulation cushions PVC and is covered by a fabric or paper slip sheet to prevent damage as the plastic shifts. Both systems are glued or fastened at the seams. While EPDM uses chemical glue, PVC is heated-welded by a special machine. Smooth stone ballast may be placed on top of either PVC or EPDM systems.

If you have any questions about flat roofs or need any work done on your roof in the Palm Coast, Flagler, or Volusia area, please give Florida’s Best Roofing, Inc. a call and schedule a free estimate at 386-263-7906!

What is Below Shingles on a Roof?
Roofing Blog

Do you want to know what is Below Shingles on a Roof?

When you look at a roof what you notice first is its shape and the material, most often asphalt shingles, that covers it. Upon a closer look you may notice some vents and pipes, but besides that it is really impossible to see what the roof is really made of. Unless you see a roof being replaced or a new roof being installed, you may never know how many layers and types of materials are hidden underneath the shingles and really make up the roof beyond the visible materials.

In fact, there are several layers beneath the shingles that work to create the roof shape, support it, regulate temperature, insulate your home, and block out moisture. Knowing about what really makes up a roof can help you understand how it functions, how it can be damaged or protected, and help you in dealing with roofing issues on your property in the future.

 

Layers Under Roof Covering

Let’s go over the layers that make up a roof, starting from the bottom and heading up.

 

The Frame

The frame of the home is what gives it its shape and defines its boundaries. The frame of the roof creates its shape and the support for all covering material. The frames of modern homes are typically made of a series of wood trusses manufactured to the specifications of a particular blueprint or home design. Occasionally, roofs are built completely on-site with wooden beams cut to appropriate rafter size and put together on the structure. It is important to have an idea of what the finished roof will look like when creating the frame since frames for certain roofing materials, like clay or concrete tile or slate, require additional reinforcing in the frame to hold up their weight. 

 

Insulation

Insulation in a house helps to regulate the internal temperature of a structure and prevent its fluctuations during weather changes. It also aids in reducing the use and cost of heaters and air conditioners. In a finished attic, the insulation is placed between the rafters of the roof’s frame. In an unfinished attic, the insulation can usually be found on the attic floor. 

 

The Roof Deck

The roof deck is nailed on top of the roof frame. It is made of wooden boards, usually either plywood or another engineered wood product such as oriented particle board (OSB). This creates the roof’s surface on top of the trusses. Holes are cut in the roof deck at appropriate areas where roofing vents will eventually be installed.

 

Water Shield

A waterproof barrier or membrane that is designed to prevent build up of moisture or protect areas that are particularly susceptible to water damage is laid down next. This is typically a peel-and-stick membrane that is used to line all valleys on the roof and, in climates that have ice or snow in the winter, the perimeter around the eaves. The peel-and-stick membrane attaches directly to the roof’s deck.

 

Underlayment

Next, and directly below the roof covering, is the underlayment. There are several different kinds of underlayment, which we will go over below since they serve as an integral part of the roof, particularly in preventing water from reaching the roof deck and then causing leaks. Underlayment is usually made of fiberglass paper or felt, and it covers the entire roof. Depending on the type of underlayment, it is either nailed to the deck or sticks directly to it if it is self-adhesive. 

Underlayment is either water-resistant or waterproof. There are three kinds of underlayment: asphalt-saturated felt, non-bitumen synthetic underlayment, or rubberized asphalt underlayment.

 

Asphalt-Saturated Felt

Until about 15-20 years ago, this was the most common kind of underlayment. It is water-resistant and nailed down to the roof. It is commonly called tar or felt paper and can vary in thickness. It consists of a base material (wood, cellulose, polyester, or fiberglass) which is soaked in a protective coat of asphalt (bitumen) or a similar material.

 

Synthetic Underlayment

This is presently the most common type of underlayment used by contractors, although in hurricane-prone central Florida it is quickly being replaced by the hardier rubberized asphalt (discussed below). Compared to felt paper (above) synthetic underlayment has increased durability. Fiberglass is added when the synthetic material is coated in asphalt, resulting in increased resistance to tears and punctures. Still, synthetic underlayment is water-resistant and must be nailed down to the roof deck.

 

Rubberized Asphalt

This is the most expensive type of underlayment, which is presently growing in popularity, although it leads to a higher cost of roof replacement. Its expense comes from a higher amount of rubber and asphalt polymers in production, which contribute to its strength. This underlayment comes with an adhesive on one side. When the covering is peeled away this adhesive sticks directly to the roof deck and creates a waterproof seal, as no nailing is required. It is also called peel-and-seal. 

Once the chosen underlayment is in place, the roof covering is added, beginning with the shingle starter strip and drip-edge at the eaves, the vents and flashing in their designated spaces, and shingles (or other chosen covering material) across the entire roof. 

If you have any questions about roof underlayment or need any work done on your roof in the Palm Coast, Flagler, or Volusia area, please give Florida’s Best Roofing, Inc. a call and schedule a free estimate at 386-263-7906!

Warranty Can I Get
Roofing Blog

What Kind of Warranty Can I Get for a New Roof?

When you replace your roof with a new one you make a big investment, and naturally you want that investment to be protected. Large projects like roof replacement come with warranties. It is important to find out what kind of warranties are out there so you can make the best choices for yourself, your home, and your investment. For this reason, you should always look into the warranties offered by both material manufacturers and contractors before selecting a material for your new roof and the contractor who will install it. 

Whether you are purchasing a completely new home with a new roof or you are replacing your existing roof with a new one, your roof will likely come with a warranty (and if it does not, you may want to look into getting a second or third opinion from a different contractor). Roof related warranties are generally split into two types, and both of these types of warranty should come with every new roof or roof replacement. The first is the manufacturer’s warranty, and the second is the contractor’s warranty. They cover two different aspects of the roof: the materials used and the way they are installed. We will look deeper into both aspects below.

 

Manufacturers’ Warranties

A manufacturer’s warranty is so named because it is guaranteed and provided by the manufacturer of the material used to cover the new or replaced roof. As we have covered in previous posts, there are many different kinds of roofing material, the most common in central Florida being asphalt shingles, followed by tile and metal roofing materials. All of these come with different warranty periods, guaranteed by their manufacturers. 

Asphalt shingles warranties vary in length by type of shingle. Just a decade or two ago the principal type of asphalt shingle in use was the 3-tab shingle, which carried a warranty of 15-25 years depending on the manufacturer. Shingle manufacturing technology, however, is constantly improving. Nowadays, 3-tab shingles, the cheapest kind of shingle, carry a warranty of 30 years. But these are no longer the most common type of shingle used. Instead, we almost always use architectural shingles, which have an improved aesthetic and quality. These shingles come with a 40 year manufacturer’s warranty for the most basic sort and a limited lifetime warranty for the average grade. This warranty essentially translates into 50 years. The highest quality architectural shingles, also the most expensive sort, can carry warranties equal to the lifetime of the roof. Manufacturer’s warranties for asphalt shingles are typically transferable once in the case of property exchanging hands.

Limited lifetime manufacturer’s warranties are also typically guaranteed by tile and metal roofing material manufacturers. A typical explanation of the limited lifetime warranty in these cases is that they are in effect as long as the home remains owned by the same owner who replaced the roof (or purchased the home with a new roof). The good news is that if the home transfers ownership (that is, if you sell your house), the warranty is transferable! However, once transferred, the warranty remains in effect for a limited period, such as 40 or 50 years. 

Due to recent technological innovations, manufacturer’s asphalt shingle warranties are now typically equal in length to tile and metal roofing material manufacturer’s warranties. All of these manufacturers’ warranties cover specifically problems that may arise in the roofing material resulting from defects in the manufacturing process. Some examples of these include rapid granule or color loss in shingles (also color change). Splitting and cracking are signs of defects in metal or tile. These are only covered if the cause is manufacturing defect, not poor installation technique or external causes (such as a tree falling down on the roof). Weather events, such as wind or hail, that can damage new and replaced roofs are sometimes nowadays covered under manufacturers’ warranties, but with limitations in factors like wind speed. For example, the architectural shingles that we use at Florida’s Best Roofing, Inc. come with a manufacturer’s warranty against winds of up to 130 miles per hour. It is important to remember, however, that weather damages like wind and hail are also typically covered by property insurance policies, and losses can be recouped by filing a claim with your home insurance company. For more details on this, see our earlier post on this topic.

Another thing to keep in mind about manufacturers’ warranties is that it is important to register your new roof with the manufacturer of the roofing material. This will put the warranty into effect. If you have questions about how to do this, consult your contractor, as they likely deal with this process on a daily basis. 

 

Labor or Workmanship Warranties

This is the other side of the warranty coin. While manufacturers’ warranties cover new roof or roof replacement materials, labor or workmanship warranties cover installation. These warranties are provided by the contractor who replaces your roof or puts the roof on a new home. Their length varies by contractor, from 3 to 5 to 10 years, with ten years being the most common. Since it is the contractor who provides the warranty, it is typically only effective if the same contractor is called in to deal with a problem that may arise.

Contractors’ warranties usually cover the labor and material cost involved in repairing a roof under warranty if the repairs are made necessary by problems arising from errors made in the installation process when the new roof was installed or replaced. In the case that you have a roof under a labor or workmanship warranty and you notice a problem or leak, you should call the contractor who guaranteed the warranty to assess the damage and make the repairs. It is also important to note that some labor warranties do not cover material costs associated with repairs, so it is important to clarify what type of warranty you will be getting before signing a contract. 

We at Florida’s Best Roofing, Inc. offer a 10 year labor warranty on all our roof replacements. If you have any questions about roofing warranties or any other roofing needs in Flagler, Volusia, or St. Johns counties please call us at 386-263-7906 for a free estimate!

Roof Styles & Shapes
Roofing Blog

Roof Styles & Shapes

Have you ever wondered about why your roof is shaped the way it is? Why is it different from a neighbor’s roof? Whether those differences matter and where they come from? Well here you’ll find the answers. Below we look at some of the most popular roof shapes and their unique aspects.

Gable Roofs

Gable roofs are the most common type of roofing style installed today. They have a simple and classic look, giving the roof a triangular shape when viewed from the front or the back. This type of roof rises up from the eave to the ridge on one side and then goes down from the ridge to the eave on the other. 

Gable roofs can look very different from one house to another because they vary in slope. Low sloped gable roofs give a structure a flatter look while high sloped roofs are steeper and taller. As with most roofing styles, gable roofs also vary because most modern structures do not have just one roof, but instead a main roof with multiple sub-roofs. The ways that the main roof and sub-roofs are combined allows for much versatility.  

Hip Roofs

Hip roofs are the second most common style of roof for modern residential structures in America today. They have both advantages and disadvantages in comparison to gable roofs. In fact, it is also quite common to see combinations with a main hip roof and gable sub-roofs, or the other way around.

Hip roofs’ main advantage is in their strength. Unlike a gable roof, which only has two sides, a hip roof goes down from the ridge to the eave on all four sides. The intersection of all four sides at the top allows for greater stability and balance.

The downside is that hip roofs can be more expensive to replace, because they have a greater surface area. This is, of course, in a comparison of two houses of the same size.

Like gable roofs, hip roofs can look very different from one house to the next because they can also vary in slope, from relatively flat to steep. In any case, a house with a hip roof and only hip sub-roofs has a square look, since it lacks the triangle created by the gable.

Gambrel Roofs

Gambrel roofs have a very distinct aesthetic, similar to Mansard roofs, discussed below. They were very popular in past centuries and can be found particularly in the Northeast. They are also sometimes called Dutch roofs. 

A gambrel is similar to a gable in that both roofing styles only slope on two sides of the house, leaving the other two sides with siding or stucco going up to the roof pitch. The difference in gable and gambrel is that the latter has two panels, with different slopes, on each side. The two panels that join up at the ridge usually have a lower slope, and then two further panels are attached to these with a steeper slope. This gives the house an overall curved look, without actually having a rounded roof.

Just like gable and hip roofs, gambrel roofs are most often covered with asphalt shingles, although metal roof covering is also an option.

Mansard Roofs

In a way, a mansard roof is to a gambrel as a hip roof is to a gable. Basically, a mansard is a gambrel roof, but with four sides. Each of the four sides has two panels, with the top four panels, which intersect at the top ridge, having a fairly low slope, and the attached lower four panels having a very steep slope. 

Mansard roofs can have an overall boxy look, but this is mitigated by certain factors. For one, they often have dormers, windows with small gable shaped roof coverings, that jut out from the steep sections of the roof. The dormers lend this French style shape a certain amount of elegance, making it very popular in complex, historic homes. Due to the steep slope of the secondary panels, mansard roofs also allow for a great deal of attic space, or even the top story to be housed within the slopes of the roof!

The disadvantage of a mansard roof is its expense. This results from the complexity of the roof shape, the high slope, the high surface area, and often the delicate nature of working on historic structures. Furthermore, the roofing materials for mansard roofs can be more expensive. Traditionally, mansard roofs were covered with slate, the most expensive and longest lasting type of roofing material. In the modern day, cheaper asphalt shingles are more commonly used, but this can pose a problem of its own. Shingles are great for the steep panels of a roof, but the four low-sloped mansard panels are better suited for flat roofing materials. This results in a choice between a properly covered un-matched roof, or a matched fully shingle roof, which is not as effective in the low-sloped areas.

Flat Roofs

Flat roofs are most common in commercial roofing, but can also be seen on some residential structures, particularly in urban areas.

Flat roofs should never be completely flat, but their slope is so close to negligible that it is essentially not noticeable by the naked eye. Due to this, to prevent water retention, flat roofs require well functioning drainage systems, as well as special roofing materials that stand up to frequent and consistent water exposure better than standard asphalt shingles or tile.

Flat roofing materials must stand up to water exposure, beating from rain, and being walked on. They must be completely watertight, as leaks in flat roofs are very difficult to find and even more difficult to repair effectively.

These are the most commonly used flat roof materials: PVC membrane, TPO membrane, EPDM rubber membrane, rolled roofing, and gravel and tar.

In the Flagler, Deland, and Daytona Beach area hip and gable are the most common roofs in residential construction and flat roofs in commercial. Whatever your roofing style, if you have any roofing concerns call Florida’s Best Roofing 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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