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April Showers bring May flowers and……Termites!!!

termite1-300x240As I’m on vacation, in Lake Tahoe, CA, writing this blog and watching a blizzard outside, it seems odd to think about spring in Florida and what it means to you. I guess termites came to mind when I was admiring the wood shake roof on the hotel. I thought about how tempting all those wood shakes must be to termites.

I recalled a conversation I had with Robert Lauser, from Say No To Bugs, Inc., located in Venice, FL. Robert told me that spring and fall are heavy termite swarming seasons in Florida. One thing that might attract termites to your home instead of the neighbor’s is a roof leak. Termites love to eat wood, but they also need water. Moist wood, caused by a roof leak, is a big WELCOME sign to termites.

A lot of times homeowners don’t even realize they have a roof leak because they don’t see evidence of the leak inside their living area. Often when we repair a roof leak, we find evidence of termites or carpenter ants.

Over $5 billion in damage occurs each year due to termites. Literally billions of these creatures infest hundreds of thousands of homes.[1. Source: How do termites affect your home?, Essortment, Sheryl Nantus]

We’ve had an unusually rainy winter in Florida. Heavier spring rains are on the way and then the daily torrential down pours of the summer. Now is the time to have your roof and attic inspected by a professional roofer. Catching your roof leaks and repairing them before spring and termite swarming season can save the day and your wallet.

This spring admire your flowers, and do whatever you can to keep termites from admiring your home!

Florida Hurricane and Rainy Season Around the Corner and now a Gulf Oil Spill…..

FL_Hurricane-300x224Living in Sarasota, Florida is like paradise. Even though our summers are hot and humid, we usually enjoy a beautiful winter of mild temperatures, blue skies, and lush landscaping of blooming flowers and trees.

This past winter was unusually cold and rainy. Due to a stretch of freezing temperatures for about 1 week, we lost a coconut palm and have a Christmas Palm on the brink. We keep talking to him to hang in there.

The roofing industry was also unusually active. Re-roofs tend to be pretty steady throughout the year, however, we had many weeks of high roof repair call volume which is very unusual for the winter months.

Forecasters are predicting a hot and stormy summer in Florida. (I know, I know….forecasts tend to be unreliable, but they did get the prediction of a rainy winter right). A typical rainy season yields 33 to 44 inches of rain and runs from May 20th through October 17th., with the most active hurricane month being September.[1]

I hate to admit that I didn’t pay much attention to the Gulf Oil platform explosion and spill initially. I naively thought that the leak would be stopped quickly. Even though Sarasota, FL isn’t being affected right now, I worry about the upcoming hurricane season and wonder how it will affect this situation. I’m really worried about the Gulf of Mexico and all the surrounding states.

Let’s all say a prayer for the families who lost loved ones, for the many families that are yet to be affected by this disaster, and for the beautiful Gulf of Mexico and the wild life that calls it home. Let’s also say a prayer that the forecasters are wrong and that this hurricane season will be mild.

Watch the linked video for a hurricane wind tunnel test comparing Polyset Foam to Screws for tile roof installations. Kirkey Roofing only uses Polyset foam for tile roof installations.

[1] It’s going to be a hot, stormy summer in South Florida, May 06, 2010, By Ken Kaye, Sun Sentinel

Mold – The Silent Destroyer

kirkeyroofing-roofingcontractor-roofmold-300x300A comment a new client made to Robyn Didelot, our Roofing Specialist, prompted me to write this week’s blog.

After completing a complete tile re-roof, our homeowner told Robyn that she was thrilled with the way her new roof looked, but was surprised that her home actually smelled fresher.

She went on to tell Robyn that when they would return from a trip that their home would smell musty. They attributed this to being closed up for a period of time.

Upon removing the existing roof, there was a large amount of rotten wood that needed to be replaced before the new roofing system was installed. Once the rotten wood was removed and replaced, the home lost the musty smell. Rotten wood, caused by water damage, is actually moldy wood.

In 2005, toxic mold and sick building syndrome were brought to the attention of the American public. Over 6000 articles and news stories focused on the subject that year.
Mold needs moisture to grow, and the moisture caused by roof leaks can result in infectious mold breakouts, which become hard to combat.

In addition to the cost involved in combating mold, many physical illnesses and symptoms have been associated with mold, such as:

Runny nose
Skin rash
Headaches
Dizziness, fatigue and nausea
Asthma
Pneumonia
Burning eyes, skin, nose, throat and lungs
Pulmonary hemorrhage in infants
Acute or chronic liver damage
Acute or chronic nervous system damage
Lung and liver cancer

Homeowner’s in the market need to do a thorough check of any roofing contractor they choose to install a new roof. Often rotten wood is covered up by shady contractors trying to save money. The likelihood of them getting caught is slim because it will be covered by the new roof. This results in costly repairs for both one’s home and health…

Tile – The Most Versatile Roofing Material

Tile is the most versatile roofing material available and my personal favorite. Tile roofs have been around for hundreds of years. Tile roofs in Europe have lasted generations and tile roofs in the Caribbean have survived hurricanes.
If you want to change the look of your home, tile can provide you many options that give almost instant and dramatic results.
Here are just a few of the options available to you:

  • For a Mediterranean look, choose a beautiful rounded barrel tile
  • For an old world look, choose a boosted Barcelona or cap & pan
  • For a wood shake look, choose a flat shake tile
  • For a slate look, choose a smooth flat tile

 

A professional roofing company can show you the many options available to you and design a roofing system for your home that increases it’s value and gives your home a facelift.
For more information go to  http://www.KirkeyRoofing.com or visit our design center located in Englewood, FL.

Call us at 941-474-2113 or click here to schedule an appointment with our Roofing Specialist to discuss your tile roofing options.

Tile Roof Repair Video

Another Great Video from the Kirkey Roofing Team. Be sure to contact us for all your roofing needs. We service Englewood ,Nokomis ,Osprey ,Sarasota ,Venice, Longboat Key, Sestia Key, Boca Grande, and Bradenton.

How Can a Little Water be Hazardous to Your Health?

sick-child21I was watching an episode of the television show Mystery Diagnosis recently.  In this episode a woman suddenly became severely fatigued and ill.  She then developed pneumonia type symptoms.  I was very interested when the cause of her illness was revealed.

Her lungs contained high amounts of toxic mold, including Stachybotrys.  This woman was hospitalized and nearly died from mold!  An investigation in her home revealed that a common wall with her neighbor was covered in this mold due to a water leak.  The spores released into the air from this mold outbreak caused permanent damage to the woman’s lungs.

The family on Mystery Diagnosis had no idea that they had a serious health risk in their home.  Mold spores exist on many building materials, add a little water and it’s the perfect recipe for thriving mold.

Not all molds are this toxic, but an annual inspection of your roof and your home could not only save you money by catching problems early, but it just may preserve your health as well.

Just as this family was unaware of water damage and mold, many of our roofing clients in the Sarasota area are unaware that they have roof problems until the damage to their home is severe.  Many times when a client calls us about a roof leak that just developed, we find many more leaks that they never knew existed.

I have seen too many cases where a client cuts the life of their roof in half because they never had an annual roof inspection and didn’t know the true condition of their home.

Conversation With a Shoddy Contractor

shady-contractor2Let’s face it.  Shoddy roofing contractors never tell you the truth.  If they did, the conversation would go something like this….

“Hello, Mrs. Smith, I’m Bob Liar from Shoddy Roofing Inc.  We don’t have General Liability insurance, so if we damage your property during the roofing process or forget to protect you from a sudden rain, the costs of the damage will be on you.”

“We also don’t carry Worker’s Compensation on all of our employees.  Sure I can show you a Worker’s Comp certificate for my company, but it only covers the office staff.  All of my roofer’s are sub-contractors and have worker’s comp exemptions.  That means that if one of them gets injured on your property, they’ll probably end up suing you for their medical expenses and lost wages.  Let’s hope they don’t get a back injury which is pretty much a guaranteed lifetime disability.”

“We don’t get a permit unless you are on a major thoroughfare.  They’re just too expensive and those pesky inspectors will fail us for the shortcuts we take to avoid the costly expense of installing our roofs to the building code.”

“Don’t worry about if we pay our bills or not.  We don’t worry about it.  We just jump from supplier to supplier.  When one cuts us off, there is always another looking for our business.  Right now we are buying all of our materials from Tampa instead of Sarasota, so your job may take a little longer to complete.  We don’t worry about paying our bills, because we know that the material suppliers and sub-contractors will just come after you for the payments anyway.  Right now four of our previous customers are in foreclosure because they just don’t have the money to pay the suppliers after they gave us all their money.”

“Sure we went out of business a few years ago, but Florida is so nice, they let us start up again under a slightly different name.  We really never stopped working.  We just had our customers make the checks out to our owner.  The Better Business Bureau still gives us an A rating because they don’t know about that little problem.”

“We’re so cheap, a lot  less than the reputable roofers in town.  We can do this because we use poor materials, take shortcuts, and we really don’t care if your roof lasts without problems.  We only have a P.O. Box and cell phone, so if you have a problem down the road, we’ll probably be at a different P.O. Box anyway.  We can also be so cheap because we pay our guys with cash.  That way we avoid payroll taxes and income taxes.  I guess if I’m willing to put one over on Uncle Sam, I have no reason not to put one over on you too.”

Now a word from Kirkey Roofing……Luckily, as a homeowner, you have a choice and information readily available to you.  Stay tuned for my next blog with tips on how you can really check out who you’re trusting with your home, your finances, and your peace of mind.

Springing Forward

clock1Daylight Savings time is a good time to remind yourself to do three things:

  1. Change the time on your clocks.  (If you’re like me, you always have to think “ok is it springing forward and falling back or falling forward and springing back”?  “I guess springing back doesn’t make sense, so it must be springing forward”.)
  2. Change the batteries in your smoke detectors, and
  3. Schedule a roof inspection.

In Florida, we get pounded by torrential downpours of rain in the summer, the rainy season.  But many of you don’t realize that the lighter, less frequent rains in the winter and spring can do a lot of damage to your home.

If you think about it, even a tiny pinhole in your roof will allow water to intrude.  But for water to be noticeable inside your living area, it must soak through your plywood deck, saturate the insulation in your attic and finally soak through your ceiling or wall.  A leak may be damaging your home, well out of your sight.

A professional roofer will be sure to inspect your attic to look for signs of leaks or damage.  Many times, where there is water, there is mold, mildew, or insect infestation.  Mold needs water to grow and termites and carpenter ants are attracted to moist, rotting wood, caused by roof leaks.

Roof repairs can be expensive if neglected and can ultimately shorten the life of your roof.  The key to minimizing maintenance costs and extending the life of your roof is regular inspections to catch problems early.

Even though we all lost an hour of sleep during daylight savings time, we can’t be caught asleep when it comes to protecting our families and our homes.  Don’t forget your smoke detectors or your roof!

Kirkey Roofing Has the Best Customers

kirkey-roofing-best-customers-300x238Kirkey Roofing has the world’s best clients.  Living and working in Sarasota, Florida provides a unique opportunity to meet people from all over the country from many different backgrounds.  We meet interesting people with intriguing stories everyday.  The United States is called the melting pot, but I think Florida is the melting pot within the melting pot.

Last fall, Kirkey Roofing kicked off our Flat Roscoe contest.  Roscoe is our roof dog mascot.  We mailed a flyer with Roscoe’s picture to our clients and asked them to send us a picture of themselves with Roscoe in front of their home or at their favorite spot.  Each month we draw a winner from the entries submitted to enjoy a dinner for two at Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse.

There is always a lot of excitement in our office when we receive an entry.  We receive the entries by email, by mail, and in person.  Over the past year, our customers have submitted really clever entries and they never fail to brighten our day.

We look forward to the beginning of every month, when we draw a new winner from the fish bowl in our design center and we can’t wait to deliver the gift card to the lucky winner.  We’re going to keep this contest going until everyone of our awesome customers wins a gift card and gets to enjoy a delicious meal at Ruth’s Chris.

Thank you to all of our customers for brightening our days and bringing huge smiles to our faces.  Thank you for trusting us with the safety and security of your homes and allowing the opportunity to get to know you.

We   Kirkey Roofing loves their customers Our Customers!

To see more entries and the winners, visit our Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/pages/edit/?id=165921649636&sk=basic#!/pages/Englewood-FL/Kirkey-Roofing-Inc/165921649636

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