The roof of your home is a very important part of your home and the structure of your roof affects the entire integrity of your home. The roof not only provides protection against the elements but also protects your most valuable assets. Therefore, you need to be careful when choosing a roofing contractor for your home. Whether you are repairing the existing roof or going in for a new roof, you know you cannot make the wrong selection of a roofing contractor as it’s a costly expense. You need a contractor who is skilled and reliable. You also want the job done in a desirable manner and inside your budget. Here are the factors to keep in mind when choosing your roofing contractor.

Check out his reputation

You need roofing company who has experience in dealing with different types of roofs. You can ask your friends, neighbors, and relatives to help choose  the right roofing contractor. Check with the customers of these companies to know about their experiences. Research contractor reviews online, this will give great insight about this contractor. You can also check with the BBB to find  high quality contractors.

Prefer someone who is local

Florida is a large state with many roofing contractors. It is a good idea to find someone in the area you live rather than hiring services of a contractor who lives far away. You don’t want to deal with a contractor having his base out of town as he may be difficult to catch after the project is over and some problem arises later.

Always go for a licensed and insured contractor

You need a licensed and fully insured roofing contractor to carry out the job in a satisfactory manner. You have no one else to blame if the contractor is unlicensed and causes damage to the structure. This is because you have no way of claiming compensation. You will be held liable for any accident that takes place on the site if the contractor you hire is not fully insured. This is the reason why you should hire a contractor who is licensed and insured to have total peace of mind.

Do not go by the lowest cost contractor

Many homeowners compare the prices quoted by different contractors for the same job and go for one who charges the lowest price. Roofing is a complicated and a tiring exercise that needs to be taken seriously. You can save a few hundred dollars by hiring a cheap contractor, but you are left repenting your decision when the roof laid by him starts to leak after one year. Remember one thing; you only get what you pay for. If you want a contractor who is licensed and insured, you must be prepared to pay a bit higher. Roofing is not like buying a shirt or any other product where you can experiment. One mistake here and there and all your money can easily go down the drain. Saving money should be an option but not at the cost of quality of work. It is a good idea to find a contractor who is reliable and experienced. You can buy jeans that is cheap but low quality, but you simply cannot take chances with the skills and quality of work when it comes to the roofing of your home.

Most homeowners pay little attention to the condition of their roofs and become concerned only when they start to leak. Roofs not only protect us from the elements but also keeps the house safe. As a homeowner in Florida, you should weigh your options when selecting the material for roofing. Shingles roofs are most common in Florida as they are inexpensive and lend attractive looks to the house. They also provide good protection if installed properly by a licensed roof contractor. Here is what you need to know about shingles roof when you have decided to replace your roof.

Hire services of a specialist roofing contractor

Most important step when replacing your shingles roof is to hire services of a reliable and experienced expert. Do as much research as you can to make sure that you find someone who is highly skilled and has long experience of installing shingles roof in your area. Installing a new roof is a costly exercise and you must make sure that the roof contractor you choose is licensed and fully insured.

When should you go in for a replacement

There are many tell-tale signs of damage to the roof that include dark spots on the ceiling, missing or cracked shingles, rot in the ply boards, and so on. Though it is possible to repair the existing roof, it is better to go in for a replacement if your shingles roof has completed more than 12 years. If you waste time, repairs could become very costly and very time consuming. It’s better to have a reliable roofing contractor pay visit to your house for an inspection to know if replacement is due.

Are there different types of shingles roofs?

You have several options irrespective of the roofing material you finalize for your roof. Even if you decide in favor of shingles, you must choose between traditional 3 tab and architectural shingles. Architectural shingles are thicker and give a new look to your house. These shingles are also heavy and do not wear and tear easily in the face of storms and hurricanes. However, if you are budget conscious, you may have to go with 3-tab shingles. It is better to consult your contractor regarding the choice of shingles.

Options in terms of color of shingles

Shingles come in many different colors and your contractor will show you samples to choose the best color of shingles for your house. It is better to go with a light color as Sun beats down on the roof on the roof in Florida all-round the year. Light color shingles will keep temperature inside the home lower to decrease your energy consumption. You can look around in your neighborhood to see what colors have been used by your neighbors. You can also ask for pictures of previous roofs installed by the contractor to decide on the color.

Always insist upon warranties

Roofing is a costly and time-consuming exercise that is undertaken occasionally only. You should ask for different warranties on the roofing material and workmanship form your contractor. These warranties include those that are available from the manufacturer and those provided by contractors on the quality of work. Warranties give you peace of mind as you can always contact the contractor in case roof starts to leak soon.

If you’d like to talk more about the value of inspections, or you need help with roof, please contact us at Gold Key Roofing.

Our Roofing Services:

Residential Roof Replacement

Residential Roofing Repairs

Commercial Roofing Replacement

Commercial Roofing Repairs

Florida is a region that is prone to hurricanes. The official hurricane season here starts on 1 June and  Florida is no stranger to the destruction caused by hurricanes. You don’t need a major hurricane to challenge the integrity of the structure of your home. It is the roof that takes most of the brunt during a hurricane. Here are important ways in which you can prepare your roof to be ready for the hurricane season.

Inspect the roof

The best step in the direction of preparation is to have an inspection of the roof done by an expert. Of course, you can do manual inspection yourself but there is no substitute to the experience and skills of a qualified roof contractor. He will identify the problem areas and give you an estimate for the required repairs.

Using hurricane straps

These are tie downs that help in preventing damage to the roof in the event of a hurricane. Not all roof types require this protection, but they certainly provide protection against high speed winds created by storms. If you think your roof is not very strong, it is prudent to install these tie downs.

Trimming the trees

Trees standing near your home can prove dangerous if they fall upon your roof in the case of a hurricane. It is common for diseased tree limbs to snap because of the force created by hurricane winds. In addition to limbs, trees can also leave behind twigs, dead leaves, and pine needles that can remain on your roof shingles to make them weak. This mulch stays wet after receiving some water from rainfall. The shingles on your roof can easily rot because of this wet mulch. By trimming the trees near your house, you can make sure that your roof remains clean and dry to face the hurricanes.

Keep roof gutters clean and free flowing

Check your gutters before the hurricane season to make sure they are clean without any debris. This will ensure that rain water does not accumulate in the gutters to create pressure on your roof.
Identify problem areas yourself It is of course a good idea to get your roof inspected by a local, experienced roofing contractor. Before that, you can take a close look yourself to identify problem spots so that you can discuss them with the contractor. Go on the top of the roof using a ladder and look at the shingles. If you feel unsafe, you can do the same by looking closely with the help of binoculars. If you see missing shingles, rust spots, displaced nails, cracked shingles, and granules of shingles in the gutters, it is better to point the problems in front of the contractor.

Look inside the home also

Roof problems are visible not just on the top but also on the ceiling and the walls of your rooms. Moisture spots on the ceiling are clear signs of roof problems. Also check inside the attic. If you find signs of moisture or dampness inside the attic, the culprit could be your roof.

If you follow these steps, you can easily brace up your roof for the tough hurricane season. These steps become more important if your shingles roof is nearing its life term.

If you’d like to talk more about the value of inspections, or you need help with roof, please contact us at Gold Key Roofing.

Our Roofing Services:

Residential Roof Replacement

Residential Roofing Repairs

Commercial Roofing Replacement

Commercial Roofing Repairs

 

Belle Isle Turns 90 in 2014 and will be celebrating its 90th Anniversary in the Fall of 2014. Plans are now underway to make it a spectacular and exciting year for the entire community.

Once a Native American oasis, Belle Isle was founded in 1924 to protect Lake Conway and its chain of lakes. Town supporters resisted Orange County’s plan to use the lakes for drainage by forming their own municipality.

Belle Isle’s first citizens and Mayor C. H. Hoffner unanimously voted on the city’s name, which resembles the French phrase for “beautiful island.” Arthur Q. Lancaster later served as the first elected mayor.

In 1928, Belle Isle was annexed back into Orange County and records of the City of Belle Isle ceased to exist. However, residents rallied against another attempt by the County to use the lakes in 1954, and the local government was reinstated. Florida later recognized the City of Belle Isle’s charter in 1972. In the same year, City Hall was named “Dexter Hall” to recognize Mayor Ross Dexter, the first mayor to pass away while in office. Government ran continuously until the early 2000s when a council-manager form of government was ad¬opted to better serve Belle Isle residents. Since that time, the city has flourished. The establishment of a Belle Isle Police Department and an agreement to open Cornerstone Charter Academy mark Belle Isle’s largest achievements in recent years.

For obvious reasons, roofing durability is a concern for both owners of commercial property and homeowners. It makes perfect sense to want to know how long your roof will last, since the failure of the roof leads to the functions of a structure failing no matter how well it is built. So, it is natural that you would want to know which roofing materials stand up best against the Central Florida climates.

How Long Materials Last

The industry wide estimates of how long different roofing materials last are given below:

  • Asphalt Roofing shingles last 15 to 20 years
  • Concrete or clay tiles typically last at least 20 years
  • Wood shingles are good for 10 to 40 years
  • Metal Roofing shingles or panels last 15 to 40 years
  • Slate lasts for 30 to 100 years

Now, you may be wondering why there is such a huge spread in how long different classes of material last. This is because it is impossible to give an estimate that can be applied universally to even one type of roofing material. There are just too many factors that play into a roof’s durability.

Factors that Affect Your Roof’s Lifespan

You already know what our climate does to things if you live in Florida. For example, the tires you may have purchased a few years ago may be shot after 60,000 miles despite being rated to last for 75,000 miles. What you have on your roof is affected by the same heat that makes it so you can fry an egg on our blacktop roads, and the heat is just one factor. You also need to consider how well the roof is guttered, maintained, protected from UV rays, and ventilated. And, of course, the quality of the original roofing construction also comes into play.

A roofing system tends to last longer if the owner is vigilant and takes care of his home by hiring professional roofers for annual inspections. You can prevent minor faults from becoming major problems by giving them immediate attention, regardless of what material was used in building the home.

Have Your Roof Inspected

As you can see, to determine the number of years your roof will last you, there are a number of aspects that need to be considered. You may want to hire a certified roofing contractor to inspect roofs for you if you are considering buying a home that was previously owned by another person. They will be able to tell if the roof needs to be replaced completely, it just needs a few repairs, or if it is in good shape.

Having a professional Orlando roofing contractor inspect your roof is the best way to not only maintain it but to also determine how long your roof will last. The entire roofing system will be inspected by a pro, who will look at the flashing, sheathing, drainage, roof structure, and roof covering. He can give you suggestions on ways to extend your roof’s life through roof repairs and roof maintenance.

Florida’s climate is rough on roofs. That is a fact. Between the hail storms, thunderstorms, and gale force winds, roofs take a beating. There are a variety of different types of roofing problems that can results from the humid climate and storms. Summer is especially harsh with hail, flooding, extreme heat, and hurricanes. You may end up with disastrous damage, such as structural destruction, or it may just be minor, like missing or broken roof shingles. This entry will explore both types of damage.

Damage Due to Long Term Wear

When you think of roofing problems due to storms or climate, you may envision a hurricane simply blowing the roof off a home or sending a tree through the roof. Though this does happen, much more often roofing problems come from constant wear. Typically, the damage has been in progress for some time before the homeowner notices. Problems caused by the effects of humidity, rain, and constant wear from endless storms are

  • Pondering Water – Large puddles of water should not form or hang around your roof if it is designed properly and in good repair. Water might cause problems by lingering after a huge storm hits.
  • Reduced Wind Uplift Resistance, Blow offs, Billowing, and Tenting – These are all issues cause by the wind. You should call a roofing contractor immediately if you are experiencing any of these issues with your roof. They need to be fixed.
  • Moisture and Leaks – The most common type of climate caused damage to a roof is leaking. Roof damage repair has especially been needed after the last few storms in Orlando. Your roof’s damage resistance becomes a little bit weaker with each subsequent storm. Leaks will enter your home as time goes by and the quality of your roof begins to decay from the constant bombardment.

Damage Due to Extreme Weather

The most common extreme weather conditions that will cause immediate and noticeable damage to your roof are hailstorms, high winds, and lightning.

Balls of ice from hailstorms can be particularly damaging when they strike asphalt shingles creating weak spots. To document whether damage has occurred, it is important that you have your roof inspected after a severe hailstorm.

With high winds from hurricanes and tropical storms, you may not only lose shingles, but the underlay of your roofing can also be affected. Plus, dead trees may no longer be able to resist the wind, and often times, they will fall right on your roof causing severe problems.

Destruction from trees is also caused by lightning. Though it is rare for lightning to cause direct damage to your roof, it does hit trees, since they are often the tallest object around. When trees are hit by lightning, they can really do a number on your home.

If you have good homeowners insurance, you should be covered for any accidents caused by severe weather. In the long run, your roof will serve you better if you make a point of getting it inspected after major storms. This is typically covered by your insurance as well.

Looking for a Great Roofing Contractor in Orlando, FL?

You already know you must pay attention to the details when you are buying a new car or a new house. Well, the same holds true when you are deciding on which roofing contractor in Orlando, Florida to hire. You will likely end up having a hard time in the middle of the process or possibly end up with undesirable results if you do not perform your due diligence in picking the right roofing company.

There are a number of factors you must consider when deciding on a roofing contractor. Two of these are the quality of their work and their dependability. Also, the roofer you choose should be from the Orlando area because they will be more familiar with the climate and how it can affect various roofing materials. Plus, their reputation will depend upon your satisfaction as a customer.

Get Referrals

You can narrow down your options rather quickly if you ask friends, family, or coworkers for referrals for the best roofing contractors in Orlando, FL. When you are collecting recommendations and referrals from people you trust, take the time to ask some questions, like:

  • How would you rate the quality of their work?
  • How long did the roofing project take?
  • How much did they cost?

This will give you a better idea of what to expect from local roofing companies.

Check out the Internet

You can find loads of information about the different roofing contractors available to you by doing some research on the Web. You will likely find the most promising companies at the top of the first page of search results when you do a local search for “Orlando roofing.”

In order to find out a bit more about the roofing companies, check out the “Services” section of the sites that come up at the top of your search results. These sites will often either give you their typical pricing, or they will give you a free quote. You should also look for testimonials and customer feedback on the site, typically found along the right column.

Ask to See Their Work

Any good roofing contractor in the area will gladly refer you to houses where they have done roofing work. Take the time to check these homes out and pay special attention to the craftsmanship. If you want to get a good idea of how the company’s work will hold up, see if they can point you to homes for which it has been over a decade since they replaced the roof. This will tell you if their work will stand the test of time.

Pay Attention to the Little Things

Finally, you should pay close attention to how you are handled by a contractor. Are they cheerful and willing to answer any questions you may have? Or, does it feel like you are interrupting them every time you interact? Also, are they quick to return your phone calls? Or, is getting information out of them like pulling teeth? Customer service is a good indication of their level of professionalism.

To the average homeowner, roofing is just as simple as many other home improvement projects. After all, all you have to do is take off the old one and put on the new one, right? While that may be the case with paint, roofing is far more complex than most people realize. Hence the need for licensed, professional roofers. To give you a little insight into the intricacies of roofing, let’s take a closer look at the process itself.

 

Step One: Create the Support Deck

The first thing to do when building a roof is to create a sturdy and solid support that. Without the right support deck, the roofing structure can fall apart during and after construction, making the work surface too difficult to work with. Once the support deck is constructed, it is important to inspect it to make sure there are no signs of deterioration, writing, or loose nails anywhere. If these are discovered, the necessary repairs must be made before work can continue.

 

Step Two: Apply the Felt Underlayment

Felt underlayment is then applied to the work surface to create a flat, even surface Ruth. If the roof already exists making sure that the felt underlayment is intact is part of the repair process. Without the solid underlayment, the shingles will not be able to adhere to the roof surface.

 

Step Three: Metal Work

Extensive metalwork may be required to install drip edge is in gutters around the perimeter of the roof to ensure the end result is a starting even roof. Metalwork will also reduce the risk of leaks, dents, and cracks as a result of environmental effects and pressure on the roof.

 

Step Four: Apply the Shingles

After the underlayment has been applied to the Foundation and the metal work is complete, the shingles are applied. This is done with a combination of roofing nails and cement to attach the shingles to the roof and to each other. These methods will employ a number of techniques to ensure the shingles are laid out exactly as needed, and the exact number of shingles necessary are used to protect your roof over the long term.

 

Step Five: Clean Up and Inspect

The final step of the roofing process involves cleaning up everything and inspecting it. It will need to be inspected both up close on the roof, and down at ground level with binoculars to make sure there are no cracked, loose, or missing shingles.

 

Only a team of qualified professionals will understand how the process applies to your roof. There are special considerations for pitch (the angle of your roof), the type of weather your home experiences most often (areas with a lot of sun exposure are treated differently than areas with lots of snow), etc. While the do-it-yourselfer may be able to make small patches in the roof as a temporary fix, leaks that are damaging the support structure could lead to costly repairs in the long run.

If you are starting to hear a dripping sound, or suddenly notice a brown spot on your ceiling, that is a good indication that you have a roof leak. If finances are tight, it can be easy to say you’ll deal with it later, but the longer you put it off, the more serious the damage, and therefore, the resulting repair bill will be. If it goes too long, then you could be looking at an entire roof replacement, on top of fixing whatever interior damage the leak caused. Here’s a guide to help you determine what to look for, and what signs indicate it’s too late.

 

Signs to Watch For

 

Look for the following signs in your home to help you identify leaks or their potential to develop:

 

  • Brown spots on the ceiling
  • Water stains on the underside of the roofing deck or around the chimney
  • Black stains on the roofing deck—this may be an indication of mold or mildew
  • Bits and pieces of shingle in the yard
  • Rust stains on the furnace flue
  • Peeling paint or rotted wood around skylights
  • Roof granules in the downspouts

 

If you notice these in your home, make sure you employ proper safety techniques, first. Inspect the attic, and go outside to inspect the roof at ground level for signs of damage.

 

Is it Too Late?

 

If your roof is flat, it is most likely to leak because the lack of pitch, but a flat roof should last anywhere between eight and 12 years. The more layers you have, the longer it will last. While a multi-layer roof will add the overall installation cost, you may be able to get an additional seven to eight years on the life of your roof.

 

If your roof is pitched, it can move water off faster, thereby preserving the shingles. However, all pitched roofs have their vulnerable spots. The use of water and ice shields along the gutter lines and in the valleys can help extend the life of your roof. Fixing a leak at the first sign of a problem can help keep your roof “living” longer.

 

If you have a house that is under either western or southern exposure, those areas of your roof will wear faster than the rest. This is because your home gets the most sun exposure in those areas, and the intense heat will degrade the roof there faster than it will in other areas that don’t get as much heat from the sun. Once you start to notice shingles buckling, there is not much you can do about it–you will have maybe one to to years of life left, and the other shingles won’t be too far behind it.

 

Remember, patching your roof will only work in certain situations. It will only temporarily solve the problem when the leaks are very small, or there is wind damage to your roof. However, if the roofing material itself is deteriorating, then you can only expect the problem to get worse with time, and the longer you wait, the more it will cost you. The cost of roofing, both in terms of material and labor, won’t be going down anytime soon, so a patch will only prolong the inevitable replacement.

When it comes to roof repair or replacement, choosing the right company from the get-go can save a lot of money and stress in the long run. It may be tempting to go with a roofer based on price alone, but this could end up costing you.

 

A legitimate reason company should be willing and able to provide:

  • Local references from previous customers
  • A business license
  • Proof of insurance
  • Written manufacturer warranties

 

When choosing a roofer for your project you need to be sure you are dealing with only licensed and insured contractors. Verify the track record of anyone you are considering hiring. Ask for a list of recent customers and call them. If they are not willing to provide references, move onto another company.

 

Start by getting recommendations from friends, relatives, neighbors, and coworkers or insurance agents or claims adjusters. Be sure to check with your local Better Business Bureau and Home Builders Association to see if any complaints have been lodged against any contractor you are considering.

 

Do not be in any hurry to sign a contract with any roofer. Quality roofing companies will not push you to make a decision, and will understand and respect the fact that you are shopping around.

 

Before allowing any company to provide you with an estimate, make sure there is no charge for this service. Be sure to get a written estimate that includes any promises the contractor has made to you verbally. Take the time to go over the contract and ask for explanations of everything, before you sign it. If possible, have someone who is knowledgeable, or an attorney review the contract to be sure everything is legally solid before you sign it yourself. Make sure you have a copy of the final, signed, contract before you allow any work to begin on your home. Keep copies of the documents and any receipts.

 

What to Avoid

 

Avoid working with contractors that ask for you to pay for the entire cost of the job upfront. This is a sign of trouble, as the contractor would have all of your money, and could easily refuse to work the job. However, it is important to remember that companies will typically ask for a deposit equal to ⅓ of the total cost of the job before starting on the project.

 

When you pay for the work, do not pay cash. Use a credit or debit card, so you have a paper trail and adequate proof of payment, should there be an issue. When it comes time to pay the final amount due on your account, do so only when you are fully satisfied with the work, again paying with a credit card or debit card rather than cash. This protects both you and the contractor.

 

Good contractors will not encourage you to spend a lot of money on temporary repairs, and will want you to spend the money on a permanent repair, rather than limping you along. If you suspect your contractor is suggesting too much on temporary repairs, it may be time to get a second opinion.