All About Florida Roofing Installation and Repair
Florida’s warm climate combined with its propensity for strong storms can take a serious toll on your roof. Your roof needs to be durable enough to stand up to severe weather, while also keeping your home as energy efficient as possible to help keep monthly heating and cooling costs low. If you’re considering investing in a new roof there are many factors to consider. What is your budget? How long do you plan to live in your home? What type of roofing system will compliment your home’s style? Finally, are you interested in making the most eco-friendly choice possible?
Trends in the Florida Roofing Industry
As the U.S. economy has improved, the construction of new homes is booming, but for those who choose to stay in their homes, upgrading your roof is well worth the investment. According to the 2015 Cost vs. Value Report, you can expect a 71.6% rate of return on your investment in a new roof.
Low-Slope Roof Repairs and Upgrades for your Florida Home
A low-slope roof is flat or nearly flat. These types of roofing systems are extremely common in Florida, but they are not without their problems. Low-slope roofs are prone to wind damage, leaks, and punctures. They should be inspected at least twice a year by a qualified roofing professional to maintain your warranty, and all recommended preventative maintenance should be completed to prevent voiding your warranty. As the U.S. economy has improved, many Floridians are starting to make an investment in improving their low-slope roofs.
Power Your Home with Solar Shingles
One way to upgrade your low-slope roof is to consider installing solar shingles. Solar shingles work like traditional solar panels, in that they use the sun as a power source to create electricity. Solar shingles are designed to look like ordinary asphalt shingles and they provide your home with the same level of protection necessary to withstand rain, wind, and hail. A single solar shingle will produce between 13 and 63 watts of energy, depending on the brand of shingle. Investing in solar shingles can significantly decrease your monthly utility bills, while also helping you to decrease your carbon footprint. Some homeowners also appreciate their sleek aesthetic as opposed to larger solar panels.
If you install a solar system on your home and your property value goes up as a result, you will not have to pay increased property taxes as a result of the increase in value from the solar system. Solar energy systems have been exempt from Florida’s sales and use tax since July 1, 1997. In addition, Florida excludes the value of a solar system from your annual property taxes.
Overhaul Your Home’s Style with New Metal Roofing
Another option for upgrading your low-slope roof is metal roofing. Metal roofing has come a long way from corrugated panels on tool sheds and industrial building. Metal roofing comes in a variety of colors to compliment your home’s style and can be applied directly over your existing roof–saving you the labor costs of having to tear off an old roof, and diverting a significant amount of roofing waste from local landfills. Metal roofing is also growing in popular as a residential roofing solution because of its energy efficiency and durability–metal roofing is resistant to cracking, shrinking, and eroding. Metal roofing systems can also withstand extreme weather conditions and provide excellent protection against fire–especially important in Florida where frequent severe storms can also put your home at risk for a lightning strike.
Increase in Single-Ply Roofing Systems
Another trend in Florida’s roofing industry is the increased installation of single-ply (also known as thermoplastic or membrane roofing) systems on residential properties. These Energy Star rated roof systems reflect ultraviolet rays and help keep the building interior cooler in the summer, reducing cooling costs. Single-ply roofing systems are applied directly over your existing roof, eliminating the labor cost associated with tearing off your existing roof as well as the environmental impact. Single-ply roofing systems have a distinct advantage over the more common flat roofing method of asphalt and gravel, as they are seamless, eliminating the source of most leakage problems for flat or low-slope roofs.
Further Exploration: What Type of Roofing System will Best Meet Your Needs in Florida?
There are an array of roofing options available to you, and even the more expensive styles like cedar shakes or slate can be created using less expensive materials while still creating the same look. Because these “faux-versions” are typically made out of plastics, rubber, or concrete, they are often more durable than the real thing and can put less weight-strain on the structure of your home.
If you’re looking for a roof that is durable, but relatively inexpensive and won’t strongly impact your home’s aesthetic appeal, you may want to investigate:
Tar and Gravel Roofing
Also referred to as Conventional Built Up Roofing or BUR, tar and gravel roofing systems are some of the most inexpensive roofing systems to install, and when properly maintained, can last up to 30 years
Shingles are relatively inexpensive, lightweight, durable, and come in a variety of styles including: wood, rubber, plastic, slate, metal, and cedar. This wide variety in shingles enables you to emulate much more expensive looks for your home at a fraction of the price.
Rubber roofing systems are budget-friendly, durable, eco-friendly, and like shingles, come in a wide array of styles to work with any home design. Rubber’s incredible insulating capacity also makes it much easier to keep the temperature in your home comfortable–decreasing your overall utility costs. Rubber roofing systems typically carry a thirty-year warranty and are popular among homeowners because they are simple to maintain. If your rubber roof starts to leak, simply apply a fresh coat of a strong sealant.
If energy efficiency is your top priority foam roofing may be a great option for you. Like metal roofing, foam roofing is often discounted as an option by homeowners because it is most commonly found on commercial properties. Many Floridians are beginning to hop on the foam bandwagon now that it has proven to be incredibly durable and energy efficient. Foam roofs are extremely water resistant and provide excellent insulation because when sprayed on a roof, it is seamless–leaving no joints for rainwater to leak into your interior or for air conditioning to escape from your home. Foam roofing is moderately priced, but the cost is offset by the savings you’ll experience on your monthly utility bills.
If you plan to be in your home for a long time and want a roof that really accentuates the beauty of your home, tile or slate roofing may be for you.
Tile Roofs in Florida
Spanish-style tile roofs are very popular in Florida. in addition to their unique regional style, tile roofs are incredibly durable as a result of the manufacturing process.
Clay tiles are created by shaping and firing clay consisting of aluminum, silica, carbonaceous material, magnesium, water, and other natural components. Because roofing tiles are made from all natural, non-endangered raw materials, they are nearly 100% recyclable. Additionally, because clay tiles are formed by extreme heat, your clay roofing tiles will be unaffected by the sun’s UV rays–giving you one of the longest life expectancies of any roofing system.
If clay tiles are beyond your budget, concrete tiles are a great alternative. Concrete tiles have a long lifespan, are relatively low maintenance, offer great fire protection (Class A rated), and are resistant to problems that the humid Florida weather can have on roofing systems like mold, rot, and pests. Concrete tiles are also significantly lighter than clay, putting less stress on the structure of your home.
When you think of slate roofing, you probably envision grand cathedrals or university and government buildings. That is because slate is very expensive, but also built to last. A slate roof can last up to 100 years, making it an eco-friendly alternative to shingle roofs that need to be replaced every 20-30 years. As long as your home’s structure can withstand the weight, slate is a great choice for roofing as it is naturally resistant to fire, and strong enough to withstand severe weather. Slate roofing is also impervious to problems that plague traditional roofs like rot, mold, and pests.
Whichever type of roofing system you choose, remember to work with a licensed contractor. Your contractor can help you to select a roofing system that complements and protects your home, while also making you aware of any opportunities for rebates or tax credits available for investing in energy efficient technology.