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Spring Checklist – Spotting Problems Early Can Save Money

spring-checklist1-300x220I’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.

If you have other topics you would like discussed, please post your comments here or email me directly at   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 tile 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.

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

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 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?

Storm and Quality RoofingI’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  or call (941) 474-2113.

Save $$ Now on Energy and Insurance Costs

dollar-house2-300x280If you or someone you know is in the market for a new roof, there are many benefits to having your home re-roofed now.

  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 savings.


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

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

OSHA’s New Fall Protection Rules

safety-harnessThe roofing industry is in an uproar right now.  Even the NRCA (National Roofing Contractors Association) filed lawsuits against OSHA to fight the adoption of the new rules.  Well, they are relatively new.  These laws were actually written in 1994 or 17 years ago.  Not that roofers are procrastinators.


All the lawsuits went through the appeals courts and the rules were finally set to be implemented on June 16, 2011.  Roofers were warned that they better be ready because OSHA was going to be out in full force and fine roofing companies $7,000 per person per violation.  With six to eight roofers on a job site at any time, you don’t have to be a math whiz to realize that those fines are going to hurt.


My fellow roofers didn’t really believe that the laws were actually going to be enforced.  Seventeen years of delays taught us all to be skeptical.  Kirkey Roofing took the position that we needed to get off the sidelines, do the right thing for our employees and implement an enhanced safety program that met the 1994 guidelines.  Not surprisingly, safety equipment was hard to find in June.  Alas, the weekend before “zero hour” an extension until September 16, 2011 was granted by OSHA.


I have to admit that initially I was pretty upset that I shelled out thousands of dollars on equipment when the rules weren’t going to be enforced.  You see, in the construction industry, we are constantly undercut by contractors who ignore the laws, rules and regulations.  I don’t know how some contractors sleep at night, knowing they are one visit away from a Worker’s Compensation inspector or an IRS auditor before they have to shut their doors for good.


Then it hit me.  I remember when I was first in the roofing business and I couldn’t sleep at night.  What kept me awake were thoughts of one of my employees falling off a roof and getting severely hurt, disabled or worse.  As employers, we are responsible for the safety and well being of our employees.  As a human being, I don’t know how I could live with myself if something terrible happened to one of my employees.  But, after a few months, complacency began to set in and I slept much better.


A meeting with a safety consultant ruined my peaceful nights sleep when he told me that in southernFloridaalone, 50 construction workers are killed each year due to falls.  That number seems unreal, but read the news inSarasotafor a few months and you’ll be surprised by the number of deaths just inSarasotaandManateeCounties.


I count my blessings that we have never had a serious injury.  Roofing is dangerous work.  Roofing employees deserve to be protected from serious injury.


I may be alone right now in the roofing industry, but I hope that OSHA implements the rules as planned in September.  I also hope they enforce the rules.   It’s going to hurt for a while.  The economy has been tough on the roofing industry.  Profit margins are at an all time low and the equipment is expensive.  Productivity will be hurt which will raise the cost of putting on a new roof.  But in the end it is the right thing to do for roofing workers and will protect the financial stability of roofing companies.


I always try to look at the bright side and keep thinking that maybe we’ll get rewarded with lower Worker’s Compensation rates.   Hint, hint.


For further information:  email  or call (941)  474-2113.

4 Easy Steps To Do Your Own Background Check

WOMAN-MAGNIFY-300x199It’s never been more important for homeowners to do their due diligence in checking out who they hire than in today’s economy. Many contractors are hanging on by a thread and homeowner’s can face great financial loss if they make a mistake.   Recently,  a roofer in West Palm Beach, FL was arrested for bouncing 200-300 checks per month.  Many of these checks were to suppliers.  As a result of the business practices of this roofer, over 30 homeowner’s now face foreclosure of their homes because they could not afford to pay the suppliers and subcontractors who went after the homeowner’s for payment after the roofer defaulted.  This number doesn’t include homeowner’s who had the means to pay the suppliers and had to pay for their roof twice.

With just a few easy steps, you can protect yourself and not be another victim of a desperate contractor.  Below are easy steps with web links that will enable you to protect yourself and make a smart choice.

It’s always a good idea to check out a company with The Better Business Bureau.  The BBB is a good place to start, but unfortunately, you won’t always get the whole picture from these reports.  The Better Business Bureau rates companies based on complaints received.  There are contractors on the BBB site that have ‘A’ ratings, even though the owners of the company or the company itself has had lawsuits, foreclosures, criminal charges or has gone out of business in recent years.

Other resources for you to check are the Clerk of Courts site for your county and the county the contractor resides.  Search the Clerk of Courts site in the company name as well as the owner’s and officer’s to look for pending and past legal action, including lawsuits, bankruptcy, and foreclosures.  Trouble on the clerk of courts could be signs of trouble to come for you.

Follow the easy links below to protect yourself and get the information you need to make an informed decision.


Step 1:  Check with the Better Business Bureau

You will be able to see a record of any complaints received by the BBB in the past 36 months.  You should also note the names of the officers and/or owners to check them out in the links in step 2.


Step 2:  Go to your local Clerk of Courts site

Sarasota County – Criminal Cases by Individuals Name


Sarasota County – Civil Case by Individual’s Name


Sarasota County – Civil Cases By Company Name


Manatee County – Clerk of Courts


Charlotte County – Clerk of Courts


Step 3:  Call customer references

A mix of recent customers as well as customers from a few years ago is good.  Make sure to ask for references for your type of job.  If you have a tile roof, talk to a tile customer, likewise, if you have shingle or metal.


Step 4:  Call credit references

Calling recent credit references will be the best source for recent trends in payment history and could alert you to trouble.  Lawsuits may not have shown up in the Clerk of Courts, but poor payment history could be a warning sign.


What you need to ask:

  • What credit terms does the contractor have with the suppler?   Contractors with good credit have open accounts
  • If Cash only, has the contractor had payment issues?
  • How long has the supplier done business with the contractor?  If it’s a new relationship, ask the contractor for more established accounts.  Contractor’s who have trouble paying their bills often jump from supplier to supplier. Request credit references that they’ve done business with for several years – base it on the time the contractor has been in business.  If the contractor has been in business for 25 years, but only gives you credit references for new accounts in the last few years, beware and ask more questions.  Remember, you could get stuck paying for materials or labor even if you paid the contractor in full.

Don’t ever be afraid or embarrassed about asking a contractor to provide you with the information you need to make a wise decision and to protect your home and your financial future.

For more information email: or call 941-474-2113