Friday, December 2, 2011

Winter..the best time to evaluate your roof.

Roofing: Just saying the word usually brings dollar signs up in your head! But lets start from the beginning. First of all you need a good roof inspection. As a home owner it is wise to get at least one roof inspection per year in a Florida climate. However, in colder climates, many roofers recommend two roof inspections each year. An inspection in the fall helps ensure that minor problems don't become major problems under the pressure of rain, ice and snow, while a spring inspection helps evaluate any damage done during the winter that may prove costly following heavy spring rains. As a realtor or a seller, it is usually a good idea prior to the sale of the house.

Who should inspect your roof?
Choose a licensed professional with a state roofing certification. Roof certifications are separate from home inspection certifications. Home inspectors for the most part, do not perform thorough roof inspections. Instead, roofing inspectors climb up to the roof and issue reports on:
  • Possible movement
  • Condition of roofing materials
  • Ridges, caps and drip edges
  • Soundness of drains, downspouts, and gutters
  • Flashing around roof pipes, chimneys, vents, valleys and mounting of HVAC units

How long is a roof inspection?
It varies depending on the size, materials and complexity of the roof. A general roof inspection will take from 45 minutes to several hours depending on number of roof penetrations, condition of roof and complexity of roof. After the roof inspection a report should be generated by the roofing inspector.
A roofing inspector will climb up to the roof and locate the various dormers, chimneys, gutters, and any flashing points to see if they require remedial work. He will examine the condition of the roofing surface material. He will also inspect inside the house looking carefully at the eaves, interior chimney surfaces, fasteners, roof braces, and support material.

What is the cost of a roof inspection?
The cost of a roof inspection from a certified roofer will range from $150 ~ $500 depending on the size and type of roof. This is well worth the cost as a good inspection should give you enough information to make some choices about your roof.

What are my choices?
Depending on the inspection report, unless the roof is in very poor condition, there are more cost saving choices you can make other than total roof replacement. The most cost effective is just repairing the areas that are not conforming. This could be replacing flashing or roofing material in certain locations. Of course replacing the roof is another choice when all other options are not available. Even with a new roof option depending if it is residential or commercial, there are many types and cost ranges. You should explore all your roofing material options as they can vary greatly in cost depending on type and warranty.

With commercial roofs there is a a new accepted (although its been around awhile) alternative to new roof replacement. It is called a 'Cool Roof' and is a 'green' roof coating system that provides a cost effective alternative to total roof replacement on commercial roofs. The roof coatings are usually an elastomeric acrylic coating that is seamless and lightweight and goes over the existing roofing with a minimum 10 year renewable warranty. It is usually about 1/2 the cost of a new commercial roof. One of the best I have found is the 'Conklin' roof coating system. Click on the following video for a look at a commercial application:

This cool roof also qualifies for federal tax incentives as well as most utility companies offer rebates when installing these roofs. So there are several benefits besides cost savings when choosing a 'Cool Roof' system.

So, there are many decisions to make when dealing with your roof or a clients roof. The best time to make roof choices for Florida is in the winter months! You have less rain to deal with and prices are most competative. Make sure you explore all your roofing options!   

1 comment:

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