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The first thing in Roofing 101 in Florida is to hire the right roofing company.

Roof 101 pictureOnly choose a reputable licensed roof contractor to replace the roof. They will have the necessary licenses, general liability and workers compensation on employees required by Florida law. Roofing is a very risky business and home-owners need to protect themselves against accidents that may occur on the job, their home and from unscrupulous contractors.

All reputable roof contractors will acquire the roof permit and never ask a homeowner to do so. They will gladly provide proof of insurance, licenses and testimonials if need be. Homeowners should protect themselves from the fly-by-night roof contractor. Observe the individual who provides the roof estimate, notice their manners, dress, language or the quality of their vehicle (junky, has magnetic signs, looks unprofessional). All of these can provide a homeowner clues as to the reputation of the contractor. Don’t ignore your first instincts, if you have reservations then don’t use their services. However if they are courteous, polite, dress well and yes even smell well, have vehicle that is decent with lettering describing who they are, have referrals and if they are informative and obliging then by all means consider their roof proposal. Once a roof contractor is chosen the following roofing 101 is to be expected in state of Florida.

Roofing in Florida is unique due to its exposure to hurricanes each year. Building codes are more stringent requiring additional inspections not required by other states.

  1. Typical inspections are;
  2. Wood decking nailed to code.
  3. Dry-in of underlayment.
  4. Final roof inspection.

If either of these fail to meet local or state building codes by the inspector they will need to be corrected to get a completed roof according to building departments. Compliance is mandatory.

Typical roof replacement procedure is;

  1. Strip one side of the house roof (so not to expose whole house roof to weather) of all roofing material down to roof wood decking.
  2. Install 8d (2”) nails every 6 inches to code on every truss or rafter.
  3. Apply an underlayment of 15#, 30# felt or self-adhered (peel-n-stick).
  4. Then move to another roof section or side and repeat the process.
  5. Once having removed existing roof materials the shingles, tile or metal can then be applied over roof underlayment according to manufacture specifications.

When the roof has been replaced and the final inspections have been made satisfactory the homeowner should receive from the roof contractor warranty information, contractors final affidavit and an invoice for final payment.

If satisfied the homeowner can pay the roof contractors final invoice with confidence knowing they protected themselves by ensuring licenses, insurance, employees were covered, a permit was issued for the roof and they have a beautiful roof to enjoy for many years to come.

Michael Smith
Licensed roof contractor

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