The following article off roof systems apples to Florida only. Other areas of the county may have different rules and regulations.
Roofing System: Your roofing is more than shingles, tiles, or metal – it is a system that brings it all together. The key to a roof systems’ effectiveness is complete protection, which can be negatively affected by even a few missing, torn, or worn out shingles. Moisture protection is a factor from all angles in a roof system. This requires consideration of factors such as avoiding condensation and proper flashing.
Roofing Materials: There are many different types of roofing materials available. In Florida they must meet a certain minimum standard. The most common roofing materials are fiberglass / asphalt singles, metal, tile (clay or concrete), and built up (modified bitumen or cap sheet. Other types include wood, slate, copper, EPDM, PVC, SPF and TPO. When choosing a material for your roof, cost can become a factor, but this involves more than looking at up front costs. More expensive materials may yield immediate savings in lower utility bills and possible lower insurance rates, intermediate savings in better protection from storms, and long-term savings in the longevity before your next roof replacement.
Contractor Qualifications: All roofing contractors are not alike. Hiring the right contractor will make a big difference in the quality of your roof and the experience of roofing your house. Florida requires that all roofing contractors be licensed under chapter 489, Florida Statutes. They may also need a local occupational license. In addition to licensure, Florida law requires compliance with workers’ compensation insurance coverage. This is especially important since roofing is dangerous work. If your contractor does not have proper insurance, you may be held responsible for any injury or damage.
- Re-roofing estimates and work can be heavily impacted by the quality of previous roofing work, including repairs.
- If roof damage is extensive, you may be required to bring your entire roof (not just the damaged portions) up to current building standards. This should be verified with your local building department.
- Failure to hire a contractor properly licensed and qualified may invalidate your homeowners insurance coverage for roofing or other damage related to the performance of your roof. It may also subject you to criminal charges.
- Failure of your contractor to obtain a permit and comply with workers’ compensation and safety requirements may stop work and cost you more money to complete the work.
- Your contractor should always obtain the permit. It is never a good idea for the homeowner to do so. It is your responsibility to make sure that all the material suppliers an subcontractors (if any) are paid. If you pay your contractor and they do not pay others, you may legally be required to pay twice (Florida Constriction Lie Law, part 1, Chapter 713, Florida Statutes).
Posted by Bill Siegel. Florida Home Inspection Team Inc. 305-490-2513 Miami home inspector