Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Great Shingle Roof, Wrong House in North Miami

When it comes to shingle roofing in the Miami, Fl. area I stick to a very basic philosophy: white is right and proper ventilation is a must. Browse Roofer Mike blog posts and you will see photos of white shingle roofs with turbine ventilators or ridge vents and there is a whole article addressing the subject on It is simply too hot in South Florida for a shingle roof to last without incorporating Cool Roof concepts like reflectivity and ventilation into the design.

3-tab Shingle Roof in Miami, Fl.
White 3-tab shingle roof with gable vents
A potential client emailed me with a request for an estimate using a new designer shingle with a “limited lifetime” warranty. He sent me a link to the manufacturer’s site and there were aerial photos of big, beautiful homes with these shingles that are supposed to emulate a barrel tile roof. Hmm, well – they looked good and on these steeper roofs I get what they’re going for. The colors available were generally quite dark and my client’s selection was a dark terra cotta.
When I went to the house for the estimate I was not surprised to find a typical “old Miami” type duplex with an “up-n-over” 2.5:12 gable roof. I practically begged the customer to reconsider his selection and went into my energy efficiency pitch but he explained that his Mom picked them out and liked the Latin flavor of these hyper-expensive shingles. “Oh well”, I thought to myself, “at least it has gable vents”.

GAF Monaco Shingle Roof in Miami, Fl.
Designer shingles on a roof in Miami, Fl.
We put the roof on that Mom wanted and as much as I hate the cliché “it is what it is”, it was appropriate here. They could have just put some white 3-tabs up there and spent a little putting a fan on one of those gable vents. They would have been cooler and had an extra grand.
What’s that? You can lead a horse to water . . . 

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Miami Homeowners - New roof? Yes. Insurance? Maybe . . .

Homeowners Insurance in Miami
The roofing business in Miami seems to be recovering. Right now we are replacing a tile roof with a standing seam metal roof and replacing two other tile roofs; one is also in Miami Springs and the other in Biscayne Park. These three projects have one thing in common, and it has nothing to do with the roofs: None of the three owners carries homeowners insurance on their property. These people are by no means poor. One is a doctor, another a successful businessman and the third is comfortably retired. All of them have chosen to be self-insured.

In July 1, 2007 Florida passed a law allowing homeowners who own their homes outright and don't have mortgages to eliminate their homeowner’s policies. This included coverage to replace contents of their homes in the event they sustain damage or are destroyed by hurricane or fire.

Hurricane resistant metal roof
The legislature’s stated intent is to give homeowners flexibility in the face of ever-increasing premiums. Banks require homeowner’s coverage as a condition of a mortgage so only residents who own their homes outright can forego coverage.
I have deep suspicions here. The insurance companies can’t be happy with this trend so, considering their influence in Tallahassee, how did this law pass?  Could there have been yet another class action suit brewing over this? The industry may have read the tea leaves and decided to sit out a fight they could not win. After all, it seems only fair that homeowners should have this right.
Homeowners Insurance in Miami
Hurricane Andrew 1992 - Still stirring things up
Over the years I have heard homeowners express their anger over the rising cost of homeowners insurance and have made this half-joking suggestion: “Drop them. Drop ‘em! If your house is paid off, to heck with the insurance companies. Put a good roof on and shutter your windows, install smoke alarms and fireproof as much as possible. Then put your would-be premium payments into an account. Before you know it, you’ll have yourself covered and the rest is gravy.”
Not so surprisingly, many homeowners are doing just that.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Metal Roof Repair in Miami-Dade

We are known primarily as a residential roofing company in the Miami, Fl area but occasionally we will do some commercial repair work. This standing seam metal roof over a warehouse recently added four floodlights. The electrical contractor cut access holes in the metal roof's panels and attached the posts to the building's steel frame, then left it to us.

We had to add metal to a couple of them before installing the zipper-boots sealed to the deck with some Vulkem and self-tapping screws. Conduit ran up the side of each post so there were gaps which we filled with expanding poly-foam. Came back the next day, trimmed the excess foam and applied 2 coats of GAF Topcoat roof coating with some re-enforcing fabric. Piece of cake.