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Roof Tiles Ideas: How to Make a Bird Happy

Roof TilesHere’s a roof tiles design idea for all of you fellow bird watchers and nature lovers.

A Dutch designer named Klaas Kuiken has developed a great idea, bird houses built right into the roof.  With roofing systems designed today to keep birds, bats and other animals out from underneath the tiles,  Klaas gives the birds a home by building the birdhouse on the roof tiles that blend right in with the roof.

Unforntunately, the bird houses aren’t in production right now, but maybe if demand for them increases, they will become a reality.   Of course in Sarasota, FL, we need to worry about hurricane force winds.  Hopefully Klaas will develop and bird house that can sustain the high winds and receive Florida Building Code approval.

You may also want to consider this only if you have a white tile roof, if you know what I mean.

 

Click the link below to see a picture of the cute birdhouses.

Klass Kuiken Roof Idea

For more information, please email info@kirkeyroofing .com or call 941-474-2113

Roof Donation: The Joy of Giving – From Green Beans to Roofs

Roof DonationI love this time of year!  Thanksgiving is such a relaxing and peaceful holiday for me.  I don’t generally like to cook, but for some reason, spending all day in the kitchen on Thanksgiving is strangely fulfilling.  Maybe it’s because I don’t plan anything else all day, unlike a typical work day.

This year was especially enjoyable because my son and I needed to switch to a gluten free and dairy free diet last December.  I know!  What’s enjoyable about that?  Well, I surfed the web all morning for the best gluten free/dairy free Green Bean Casserole, my son’s favorite.  After several attempts at duplicating the French’s Fried Onions, I didn’t quite get them right, but have a great place to start next time.

Why is frying 3 batches of onions before I finally ran out of onions and had to settle on the third batch enjoyable?  The joy of Giving, that’s it.  Giving doesn’t always have to be a grand gesture or involve a large amount of money.  The simple things sometimes mean the most.

In the spirit of giving, I’m excited to announce that Kirkey Roofing is donating a roof to a needy family in our local area.  This economy has been challenging, but we’re so thankful for our clients who continue to refer us to their neighbors and friends.  We’ve averaged about 5 jobs from referrals per month which has definitely kept us going through this tough time.

Sarasota, FL was hit hard by the housing crisis and many families are struggling financially.  We feel that we need to give back and help a family.  A roof isn’t a luxury.  A roof is more than a roof, it is the backbone of your home.  A faulty roof can cause all kinds of problems in your home, see some of my other blog articles for more information.  Many families are struggling to pay their bills and a roof repair or re-roof is beyond reach.

I’ll be providing more information about our roof donation soon.  We’ve been teaming up with some local suppliers and manufacturer’s so that we can give a premium Kirkey Roof to the family in need.

In the mean time, if you want to try the Green Bean Casserole with a delicious cream of mushroom base, go to http://betterbatter.org/green-bean-casserole-dairy-free

For more information on the roof donation, please email me at psquier@kirkeyroofing.com or call 941-474-2113.

Home Buyer Beware ….. of Seller!

Home Buyer BewareHome buyer beware! I wish I was in the market for a home right now.  There are some great deals to be found.  But buyers need to be wary, do their homework, and know what they are buying.  Below I’m going to lay out a few common problems and how you can protect yourself.

🙁  Problem: This home is a great price and the seller remodeled and put on a new roof for me:  The only problem is…the seller is looking out for their best financial interests and not yours.  We have a lot of sellers call for pricing and they always want the cheapest roof they can get.  One seller signed a contract with us last week, and called to cancel about 15 minutes later.  Another ‘roofer’ gave her an estimate in that time which was significantly cheaper.  When we asked her if she checked out the other company, she said that she didn’t care if the roof was lousy, she was selling the house.  We don’t know a qualified roofer that can drive to her home, do a roof estimate and sign a contract in 15 minutes, but there were 3 men knocking on doors in the neighborhood, looking for work.  Do you think that you’ll have a few headaches if you buy that home??

😀 Solution: With the state of the housing market and the economy, many times you will be better off buying a home in which you can then afford to do your own renovations and upgrades.  It’s nice to buy a move in condition home, but what do you know about who did the work on your home?  Were permits even pulled?  Was the work completed by a reputable company?  Follow this link to look up permits in Sarasota County.  (go to the bottom of the page and enter the house number and street)

https://building.scgov.net/OSG/jag_kernel_xml.jsp?context=1000005551&command=xLink0007

Contact me at psquier@kirkeyroofing.comif you need information for another county.

After you see who completed the roof or other work, perform a background check on that company.  See my earlier article with 4 Easy Steps at this link:

4 easy steps to do your own background check

Or go to www.FreeContractorCheck.com

 

🙁 Problem: It’s a great deal and the home inspector said it looks good:  We have been receiving a lot of calls from both prospective buyers and sellers.  The savvy buyer knows that a home inspection is no substitute for a roof inspection by a Roofing Contractor.  We’ve received many calls from sorry buyers, who were told that the roof was ok, only to realize at the first rain that they had a colander over their head instead of a sound roof.  Neglected roofs often reveal structural damage to the home when the roof is removed for replacement.

😀 Solution: Hire a Roofing Contractor to perform a detailed roof and attic inspection.  Roofing Contractors know what problems are common in your type of roof depending on the materials and the age.  Many problems go unnoticed by buyers and even home inspectors.  The roof is the backbone of your home, make sure it’s protecting the home before you buy.

 

🙁 Problem: The foreclosed home that’s been sitting vacant:  Sarasota, FL is paradise, but humans aren’t the only ones that love the tropical climate.  Mold, termites, carpenter ants and other pests love it as well.

😀 Solution: Make sure that you get a mold inspection and a pest inspection before you buy a property.  Don’t just rely on the inspectors that your realtor recommends, make sure you are hiring a specialist.  It’s worth a little extra money.

 

For more information, questions, or ideas for future articles, please contact me atpsquier@kirkeyroofing.com

Do You Have House Guests In Your Attic? (Rats)

RatsRecently, we’ve been receiving a lot of calls from homeowners concerned about the pitter patter of little feet in their attics.  It’s not Christmas, so those little feet can’t be from Santa or his reindeer.

Sarasota, FL is a wonderful place to live.  The warm climate attracts vacationers, retirees, and snow birds and allows rats to thrive.  Yes, that’s right…..Rats.

Rats can gain access to your home from the roof.  Rats prefer inside, high places and you’re your attic fits the bill.  Your insulation provides nice nesting materials for them as well.

A typical rat is 13 to 18 inches long, including the tail, but only needs an opening the size of a quarter to gain access to your home.  They are good climbers and can easily get to your roof via trees, walls, utility lines and other structures.

There are some steps you can take to prevent rat infestation in your home:

  1. Keep your trees, bushes and vines trimmed
  2. Pick up citrus from your trees when ripe and don’t leave fruit on the ground
  3. Don’t leave pet food outside
  4. Make sure your roof vents have screens and are in good repair
  5. Fix any plumbing leaks or roof leaks, the water attracts rats and insects
  6. Have your roof inspected for loose soffits, rotten wood, or roof leaks

Rats can easily gain access to your attic if there is rotten wood from roof leaks.  Rats can chew almost anything and the soft wood from leaks makes it that much easier for them.

We have seen cases where homeowners struggled trying to rid their attics of rats, only to have the problem continue for many months.

If you are having trouble with rats, it’s a good idea to call a professional roofer for an inspection.   We’ve solved many mysteries involving rat access.

Please call 941-474-2113 or email info@KirkeyRoofing.com if you need a roof inspection or a referral for a good pest control company in the Sarasota, FL area.

For more information, questions, or ideas for future articles, please contact me at psquier@kirkeyroofing.com

Improper Roof Cleaning can Damage Your Roof and Void your Warranties

Improper Roof CleaningImproper roof cleaning can cause roof damage and void your warranties. Your roof only costs about 10% of your home’s value, but over the life of your home, will account for as much as 90% of repair and maintenance costs.

To make matters worse, improper care and maintenance can cut the life of your roof in 1/2.   That is  why it is so important for you to care for your roof to extend the life to save you money in the long run.

Annual roof inspections and regular maintenance help you find problems early, lowering repair costs, extending your roof’s life and resulting in lower costs overall.

Cleaning your roof is also important for extending your roof’s life and keeping it looking its best.  High pressure power washing and chlorine can damage your roof tiles & shingles, damage landscaping, and void manufacturer’s warranties.

Inexperienced cleaners damage tiles from walking on them and create a hazard and a liability risk from walking on your roof when it is wet.   A wet tile roof is like walking on a wet sliding board and dangerous.  Make sure that the company you choose to clean your roof has the proper Worker’s Compensation insurance to do roof work.  Worker’s Compensation insurance for any roofing work is expensive.  Many Handy Men or Power Washer’s may have a certificate of insurance, but they are not covered for accidents that happen on the roof.  Do your homework and protect yourself.  An accident on your property could become your financial responsibility.

Some cleaners even use damaging equipment.  A broken or cracked tile is a potential roof leak and needs to be repaired quickly to prevent further damage to your roof’s protective water barrier, the underlayment.

At Kirkey Roofing we make the following recommendations to effectively and safely clean your roof:

  • Use an environmentally friendly roof cleaning chemical recommended by major material manufacturers.  These products will not damage your roof tiles or shingles, the underlayment, or your landscaping.
  • Only use a low pressure garden hose.  High power pressure washers can pit the surface or your tile, requiring you to clean your roof more frequently, or blast the protective granules off your shingles.
  • Use an environmentally safe product that will kill the Algae & Moss.  Pressure washing can just blow algae and moss under your tiles and facilitate rapid regrowth and require more frequent cleanings.

A good cleaning method will require fewer cleanings, costing you less money and limit the potential damage to your roof by improper roof cleaning methods and inexperienced cleaners.

Please contact me if you have any questions regarding this topic or have a question or suggestion for a future topic.

psquier@KirkeyRoofing.com

941-474-2113

Spring Cleaning – Spotting Problems Early Can Save Money

Spring CleaningI’ve seen a lot of articles lately about spring cleaning and getting ready for hurricane season.  Here in the Sarasota, FL area, our needs are a little different from homes in the north, so I’ve taken good tips from several different sources and combined them here.  Not all of them pertain to your roof, but at Kirkey Roofing, we like to help our clients by working closely with other professionals who help our clients keep their homes safe and care free.

  1. Air Conditioner – Clean debris around a/c unit and check the air handler for signs of mold or mildew.  If you see signs of mold, be sure to call a licensed a/c professional right away to prevent the mold from getting into the duct work inside of your home.
  2. Foundation – Check your foundation for cracks.  If you spot cracks, make sure that the ground is sloping away from the foundation to prevent water from getting underneath.  Check for signs of termites.  If you see wings or signs of waste, call a pest control professional promptly.
  3. Roof – Look for damaged or missing shingles or tiles, staining in soffits, staining on the ceilings, leaks in attic, animal damage, damaged flashing, and damaged plumbing stacks or vents.   Call a roofing professional immediately if you see any signs of damage.
  4. Gutters – Make sure gutters are clear of debris and that joints or downspouts are not damaged.  Clean gutters so summer rains do not cause the gutters to overflow and cause damage in your home.
  5. Garage Doors – Check that your garage door safety features are working correctly.  Place a box underneath the door and close it.  If your door crushes the box and does not reverse direction, call a professional for adjustment.  If your garage door does not stay open while in manual mode, call a professional.
  6. Wood Damage– Check docks and exterior wood for rot and damage.   Damaged and rotting wood are not structurally sound and attract termites and other insects.  Call a professional for repair.
  7. Smoke Detectors – Test your smoke detectors and replace the batteries. This is technically not spring cleaning, but it should be a part of your checklist.

If you have other topics you would like discussed, please post your comments here or email me directly at psquier@kirkeyroofing.com.   If  I don’t have the answer, I’ll contact a professional in the Sarasota area that can get me the right answer.

To contact us, call(941) 474-2113 or Click Here to schedule an appointment 

 For more information about common roof problemsClick Here

Maintenance Tip of the Month – Sliding or Missing Tiles – What Causes Them and Why You Need to Fix Them Right Away

Sliding or missing tiles can be unsightly, but there is a more important reason to get them fixed promptly.  Sliding or missing tiles expose your roof’s underlayment to the harsh UV rays of the sun which cause damage.  What is the underlayment you ask?  The underlayment is the waterproof layer of material underneath the tiles.  The underlayment is what actually keeps your roof waterproof.  The roofing material you see (tiles, shingles, or metal) protects the underlayment and gives your home aesthetic appeal.

Missing Tiles

Damaged by the sun, this underlayment failed and caused a roof leak

In the picture above, you can see this tile slid due to a crack where a screw fastener was installed.  You can see where the tile cracked right at the hole.  Tiles frequently crack at this area.  Either the screws are over tightened and crack the tile, or the stress from installation causes a hairline crack that will split the tile overtime.  Stress from walking on the tiles can also crack them at the point of attachment.  The company that installed this roof only used one fastener, so the tile slid down the roof when the tile cracked.

The underlayment was exposed to the sun.  You can see the damage to the underlayment caused by the sun.  The damaged underlayment caused a roof leak in the home.

Underlayments can begin to deteriorate in as little as 60 days due to sun exposure.  If this tile would have been caught early and inspected for water penetration, an expensive repair and damage inside the home could have been avoided.

Sometimes it is hard to see sliding tiles from the ground.  We recommend at least an annual inspection by a roofing professional.  Limit walking on your roof or having others walk on your roof.  Professional roofers know how to walk on your roof to prevent damage and can spot potential problems early.

At Kirkey Roofing, we recommend a tile system that is attached with a foam adhesive, not screws.  Sarasota, FL is a tropical climate with heavy rains and tropical storm potential.  A few benefits of a foam system are:

  1. The foam adhesive provides high wind resistance, up to a category 5 storm
  2. The roof surface is sealed, no penetrations from nails or screws
  3. the foam adhesive provides additional support to the tile, making walking on the surface safer for you and the tile

If you would like more information regarding this issue or other maintenance issues, please contact me at RoofingTips@kirkeyroofing.com or call 941-474-2113.

For additional information and benefits of the foam adhesive tile system, please visit our design center at 535 Paul Morris Dr., Englewood, FL or contact us at (941) 474-2113.

 

Do You Have a 2nd Roof Like Governor Rick Scott?

2nd RoofI’ve seen a few news articles blasting Governor Rick Scott of Florida for admitting that he has a 2nd roof in storage just in case a hurricane destroys the roof of his home.  I’m sure his comments were meant to bring attention to hurricane season which started on June 1st and the need for Florida residents to be prepared.

Most of us can’t really relate to being able to afford a 2nd roof, just in case.  Luckily we don’t have to.

In 2005, Hurricane Katrina accounted for over $125 billion in damages.  A study of roof damage after Katrina, found the vast majority of modern roofing systems with extensive fastening systems survived with little or no damage.1  This is great news for you and me.  We don’t have to have a roof and a spare, just in case.  We can protect our homes with one modern roof.

Building codes in Florida have greatly improved since Hurricane Andrew in 1992.  Modern materials and roofing systems are thoroughly tested.   When you interview roofing contractors, make sure that they will be using roofing systems and products approved by Miami Dade County.  Not all roofing products on the market have Miami Dade approval.  Remember, your roof is only as good as the weakest link.  Make sure all products are tested and approved.

Insurance companies in Florida have figured out that modern roofing systems protect a home and many offer discounts for roofs that are installed to the current building codes.  Many insurers are also requiring homeowners to update their roofs or dropping coverage.

Sarasota has been fortunate in recent years.  We have escaped the wrath of Mother Nature.  Modern tile roof, shingle roof, flat roof and metal roof systems are all better designed to withstand the extreme winds of a hurricane.  Updating your roof and receiving insurance discounts sure beats buying and storing a 2nd roof……just in case.

1. Katrina causes $25 billion in damage to Gulf Coast, RIS, 9/27/05

For more information about hurricane rated roof systems, email roofingTips@KirkeyRoofing.com  or call (941) 474-2113.

Save $$ Now with Energy Efficiency

Energy EfficiencyIf you or someone you know is in the market for a new roof, there are many benefits to having your home re-roofed now including lower insurance costs.

  1. You can start saving immediately on Homeowner’s Insurance.  Many insurer’s offer discounts for:
  • Secondary Water Barrier
  • Roof Deck Nailing to current code
  • Roof covering to 2001 Building codes
  • I personally saved over $900 per year by submitting a wind mitigation form to receive insurance discounts on my policy.
  1. New wind maps are going into effect Jan 1, 2012.  The Sarasota region will be increasing from 130 mph to 150 mph.  I’m sure building codes will follow.  In 2005, Hurricane Katrina accounted for over $125 billion in damages.  A study of roof damage after Katrina, found the vast majority of modern roofing systems with extensive fastening systems survived with little or no damage.
  2. Price pressures are making upward price adjustments necessary – Roofing materials increase or decrease with the volatile oil market. New regulations fromWashington, including, but not limited to the Health Bill and OSHA, will increase business cost.  Prices can only go lower with major economic turmoil, and let’s not hope for that.
  3. Buy now / Pay later – Low monthly installments and 12 months deferred interest are available
  4. New Roof systems are more energy efficient and many tax incentives and rebates are still available this year.  You can start saving on your energy bills immediately.

There are several types of roofing systems, and various Energy Efficiency benefits of each system.  I’ll go over the benefits of some of the roof systems Kirkey Roofing installs.

First, a really quick and easy lesson on Energy Efficiency:

  1. R-Value is basically the insulating value of a material
  2. Solar Reflectivity is the ability of a material to reflect or absorb heat.  Would you rather wear a black shirt that absorbs heat in the middle of summer or a white shirt that reflects heat?

Shingle Roofs:

  • Energy Efficient shingle colors are available and qualify for Federal Tax credits of up to $500
  • Darker color shingles that meet the Energy Star requirements for the tax credit are available as special order, price will add about 25% to cost of roof

Tile Roofs:

  • Cement tile roofs are among the most energy efficient roofs available
  • If you lived up North, you know that the best way to stay warm in the winter is to wear layers.  Layers work so well because of the small air pockets between the layers, kind of like double pane glass windows.  Cement tile is so energy efficient because you create a layer of air from 1-1/2 to 5 inches high which creates a layer of insulation between the harshFloridasun and your roof deck.
  • We use a foam adhesive for our tile roof installations.  Homeowners can build up to an additional R-5 by using the foam adhesive.
  • We had a homeowner install a terra cotta colored tile roof with foam adhesive  and he was thrilled because he saved an average of $50 per month after his new roof was installed.   That’s about $600 per year, or $6,000 over the first 10 years.  It’s a nice benefit when your roof pays for itself!
  • Oakridge National Laboratory did a study by building 4 identical homes with different roof systems.  The study found that a typical 2100 sf house with a tile roof and foam adhesive saved an average of $830 / year over the shingle roof.  Homeowners need to consider all of the costs when going from a tile roof to a shingle roof to save a few thousand dollars up front.
  • FPL Rebate of $325 is available for white tile

Metal Roofs:

  •  Metal Roof’s can qualify for up to $500 in Federal Tax Credits
  • You would be surprised that many darker colors qualify for the Energy Star Federal Tax Credits
  • For additional energy savings, we’re installing a Metal system that uses a foil insulation layer between the underlayment and the metal material.
  • This foil system saves energy by building an air pocket between the metal and the roof deck and reflecting the heat upward – an additional R-15 has be attained with this system

Attic Insulation:

  •  The Department of Energy recommends that homes in our region have attic insulation of  R-30 to R-60.
  • Most homes have only a few inches of insulation or at most an R-19.
  • Our clients have been seeing an energy savings of about 20% on cooling costs by adding insulation to the recommended levels.
  • A home that requires $250 to heat and cool will save about $600 per year, or $6,000 in the first 10 years after installation of attic insulation.
  • Additional benefits, currently Federal Tax Credits of up to $500
  • Get Smart Energy program funds are still available for City ofVenice. You can receive up to 25% of total cost of attic insulation.
  • Re-roofing is the best time to add insulation, we go down into the attic from the top, Mission Impossible style, and can reach every nook and cranny to get the most coverage and the most energy efficiency.

An additional benefit of installing an energy efficient roofing system is that your air conditioning unit will run less and should extend the life of you’re air conditioning unit.

As you can see, there are many advantages to upgrading your roofing system now.  Not only will you be better protecting your home, but you will save money as well.

When selecting a new roof, be sure to look at your roof and your attic as a whole system to maximize your energy efficiency and therefore costs.

 

If you have other topics you would like discussed, please post your comments here or email directly at RoofingTips@kirkeyroofing.com .

To contact us, call(941) 474-2113 or Click Here to schedule an appointment