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Tile Roofing: Ancient and Modern
Roofing Blog

Tile Roofing: Ancient and Modern

Tile roofs are commonplace in Florida; they are aesthetically pleasing, durable, and an excellent choice for our hot and humid climate. But, did you know that tile roofs have been around for thousands of years? While roofing technologies are always improving and there are a few differences between ancient roofs and modern ones, the basic concept and the end result still remains the same. In this post we will be looking at the differences and similarities between modern and ancient tile roofs.

 

Modern Tile

Tile roofs are particularly evocative of Mediterranean climates, calling up images of Spain and Italy. In fact, most roofs in these countries, unlike in the US (where asphalt shingles are more popular), are still done in tile. But, just like in the US, modern tile in the Mediterranean has gone through some upgrades.

Modern tile is most commonly made out of one of two materials: either ceramic or concrete. Ceramic tile is shaped out of clay and then fired to harden it and give it durability. Concrete tile is poured into molds and then allowed to harden, achieving much the same effect. While both concrete and ceramic tile serve much the same functions and have the same longevity on a roof, concrete tile is significantly less costly because the process of making it is easier and the base materials required are much cheaper. Concrete can also be colored very easily by slipping a powdered coloring mixture into the concrete mix. Ceramic is much more difficult to alter in color and takes on the color of the clay that is used. In the US especially, modern tile roofs are mainly concrete tile.

 

Tile shapes

Modern tile generally comes in a couple of different shapes from which the homeowner can choose. Flat profiles are created from flat rectangular tiles which join together in specially crafted joints and overlap vertically. Another popular profile is the “S” shape, in which case the “S” tiles overlap when the convex part of another joins with the concave half of the tile next to it. Similar to the “S” profile, some tiles have a “W” profile which overlaps in the same way and results in a roof with softer curves. The most expensive type of tile roof is a barrel tile roof. For this type of roof semicircular tiles are laid out underside up and another course of semicircular tile is laid over the top where the first course’s tiles rest next to each other. This creates a waterproof layer. In any style of tile roof, semicircular tiles are used on the hips and ridges of the roofs as cover tiles.

 

Ancient Tile

Our example of tile roofing in antiquity comes from the ancient Romans, who perfected the tile roofing process, industrialized it, and made tile roofs ubiquitous across the Mediterranean territories that they conquered. The tile roofs of the Romans differed from modern tile slightly in both shape and composition, but overall were much like the tile roofs we see today in Florida. 

Ancient Roman building materials were generally made of stone or ceramic. Roof tiles were made of ceramic building material (CBM). Although the Romans did know how to make concrete, they generally used it in the form of hydraulic cement to line and waterproof floors, cisterns, and other such surfaces. Concrete was also used by the Romans in vaulted roofing, like barrel vaults and rotundas, as can be seen in the Pantheon in Rome. More frequently roofs were made out of ceramic tile.

Ancient Roman ceramic tile came in two shapes which were combined in an interlocking manner and joined with mortar to create a waterproof and weatherproof roof. These two shapes were pan tiles (tegula) and cover tiles (imbrex). Pan tiles were large, flat rectangles with a vertical strip (flange) along both of the longer sides of the rectangle. The tiles were placed next to each other in such a way that two flanges lay next to each other on each side. The cover tiles, shaped exactly like modern barrel (cover) tile, were then placed over the flanges in such a way that they covered both and prevented water from seeping between the two pan tiles. The tiles were also arranged in such a way that vertically the higher tile always overlapped the lower, just as they are today.

If you have any questions about tile 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!

Roofing Blog

What is a Supplement?

If you have ever filed a claim with your property insurance company for a loss to your house, such as weather damage to your roof, you will have encountered references to something called a claim supplement in the correspondence with your insurance company. For those of us living in Florida, under a fairly constant threat of storm damage to real estate and other property, it is integral to maintain a current property insurance policy and useful to know how the claims process works, including the language associated with claims, policies, and all related factors. 

While we have addressed other aspects of the claims process in previous posts, this one will deal with an explanation of claim supplements, as they are typically a portion of the claims process that is handled not by the policyholder, but by the policyholder’s contractor. 

Toward what is typically the end of the claims process, anyone who files a claim will receive a document called a settlement letter, which is typically accompanied by an estimate of damages incurred and covered. While this document outlines the amounts granted by the insurance company to the policyholder as well as the method of disbursement, it is not necessarily the final word from the insurer about coverage. This is where the supplement comes in. The settlement letter will have language in it which amounts to the fact that if the policyholder or their contractor disagrees with the insurance company’s estimate, then they are free to file a supplement to the claim with a line-item estimate requesting additional funds. If the request is reasonable and properly filed, it will be taken under consideration by an adjuster and the claim will be re-evaluated. Upon evaluation of the supplement request, the insurer may grant additional funds up to the total amount requested in the supplement, although they may grant less money or none at all if they partially or wholly disagree with the supplement request and the reasons laid out in it.

It remains to explain the reasons behind filing a supplement and the process of doing it. We will tackle the reasoning first. You may think that the idea of a supplement creates a loop-hole of sorts for contractors to receive any additional funds they want from insurance companies. This is far from the truth. There are really only two reasons that a supplement can be filed and successfully go through the approval process resulting in the granting of additional funds. The first is if the insurer’s field adjuster missed some damage that was inflicted by the same peril (storm, for instance) in his or her estimate. While this is fairly rare, it is possible and easily rectifiable. For example, the field examiner might fail to note that a roof leak caused damage to the flooring or fail to see storm damage on the gutters in addition to the roof. In that case the supplement would simply consist of a line-item estimate of the costs of fixing the additional damages as well as photo documentation of the damages’ existence. 

The other reason behind filing an appropriate supplement request has to do with the process of repairs itself. Oftentimes, there exist building code regulations which govern the way that parts of a house (or any other building) are repaired or replaced. While most homeowners are not familiar with the minutiae of building codes, this is not a problem, since it is a contractor’s responsibility to be well-versed in local, federal, and state building codes. For this reason, it is often the contractor who files the supplement when it is based on code requirements. We will illustrate this in two examples. 

For one, did you know that in Florida if a roof repair is large enough it requires, by state code, the replacement of the whole roof? This is generally called the 25% rule. If a claim is filed for wind damage to the roof, and the insurance examiner finds that all the damage is confined to one slope, the insurance company may grant the funds for the replacement of a single slope on the roof. However, it is illegal for a roofing contractor to replace just one slope. Thus, to do the job properly, a contractor will file a supplement for full roof replacement.

Another example has to do with frequent code changes. For instance, starting in January of 2021, Florida requires two layers of synthetic or felt underlayment on each new roof or roof replacement, with the alternative being one layer of peel and seal (a self-adhesive ice/water shielding membrane). If the adjuster is unaware of the new code updates, he or she may grant only enough funds for one layer of felt or synthetic underlayment, in which case the contractor will supplement for the second layer in order to make sure there are enough funds to perform the work up to code. 

Having covered the reasons for filing a supplement, it remains to address the process of doing so. A supplement typically consists of three parts: the estimate for additional funds, the justification behind asking for them, and documentation in support of the justification. Frequently, the estimate must be a line-item estimate detailing each step of the repair process and its cost. The cost must conform to the price lists used by insurance companies, which is why most contractors use the same software as insurance companies to put together their line-item estimates. The justification outlines the reasoning explained above, as appropriate, and the documentation typically consists of photos of additional damages or citations of building codes. Once all required documents are submitted to an insurer’s claims department, a response to the supplement is typically sent to the policyholder within 14 business days.

If you have any questions about roofing supplements, 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!

Florida's Best Roofing
Roofing Blog

An Explanation of Common Terms Used in Roofing

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Permits
Roofing Blog

The Deal with Permits

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

 

Why Permits are Necessary

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

 

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

 

The Permit Process

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

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

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

Florida's Best Roofing
Roofing Blog

Choosing Your Roof’s Color: Dark or Light?

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

 

Aesthetic Considerations

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

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

 

Environment and Function

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

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

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

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

Roof Replacement Cost
Roofing Blog

What Determines Roof Replacement Cost?

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

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

 

Size of the Roof

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

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

 

Materials

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

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

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

 

Decking

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

 

Slope and Shape

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

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

 

Dumping Fees

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

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

 

Roof Replacement
Roofing Blog

Roof Replacement and Roof Repair–Done Remotely!

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

 

Step 1: Getting an Estimate

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

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

 

Step 2: Contract Agreement

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

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

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

 

Step 3: Relax!

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

 

Step 4: Payment

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

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

Florida's Best Roofing
Roofing Blog

Roofing Fun Facts

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

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

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

Florida's Best Roofing
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!

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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