By Rod Davis, BBB serving Southeast Florida and the Caribbean
In Florida our roofs take a pounding. Rain, wind, and heat combine to make selecting the best roofing option and the best company an important decision for every homeowner and business owner. I spent some time with Louis Toledo, the CEO of T & S Roofing, to get some answers that will help you make a good decision about your roof.
Rod Davis: Louis, what are the different types of roofing options available to Florida homeowners (e.g. tile, shingle, metal)?
Louis Toledo: Tile, shingle, and metal on sloped roofs, and asphaltic, thermoplastic, and coatings on flat roofs.
RD: What are the benefits of each type of roofing available in Florida and how do they compare for cost, longevity, and maintenance?
LT: On sloped roofs, shingles are the most affordable. The cost of a metal roof is slightly higher than a tile roof and there is much debate on which is better. Although they both have pros and cons, we recommend selecting the style that best matches the architecture of the home.
RD: If I have a certain style roof, does it impact the type of roof you recommend (e.g. a roof with several dormers or peaks)?
LT: The type of roof that best matches depends on the architectural features of the home. A good rule of thumb is if the windows have a square border, then metal or a flat tile will be the best fit. If there are arches or round borders around the windows, then a round tile will match best. Also, if the house has columns on the front entry, squared columns best match with metal or flat tile, and round columns best match round tiles.
RD: If I am thinking about getting a new roof, are there other upkeep items I should consider at the same time?
LT: Most roofing contractors will complete the project with a “rough finish.” This means you will need a painter to follow for touch ups or a complete paint job on wall areas and chimneys. Also, a handyman will be needed to hang any wires or accessories that were removed in order to perform the roof work.
RD: What is the biggest mistake that you see Florida homeowners make when putting on a new roof?
LT: The biggest and most costly mistake that we see homeowners make is not confirming who is the qualifier of the company. The qualifier is the individual who is licensed with the State of Florida, and it is required by law for the qualifier to be an owner of the company. The qualifier is also the person whose name will be on the roofing permit. It is illegal for an unlicensed roofing company to pay for a qualifier to obtain the permit on behalf of the company, and it is a practice that we see too often. Many times this results in the homeowner having no recourse if the roofing company fails to meet its obligations with the owner.
RD: Are there any roofing products or solutions that are better for keeping a home cool during our Florida summers?
LT: Attic insulation is the best option if the home has an attic. If there is no attic or there’s only a small crawl space, roofing insulation can be installed for an extra cost at the time the roof is being installed. Attic insulation and roofing insulation not only keep the home cool in the summer, but also warm in the winter, and it reduces noise coming from outside of the home.
RD: Any final suggestion to help consumers make a smart decision when picking a product and a roofer?
LT: Consider a company’s years in business, reviews online from real customers, and most importantly, follow your intuition. Trust and confidence should be the greatest measure when selecting the company. Always get at least three quotes and be wary of quotes below 10% of the average price.
BBB always recommends that you look at your neighbors experience by visiting www.BBB.org/Self to find a quality roofer. BBB makes it easy to get three quotes from BBB Accredited Businesses so you get the best value for your hard earned dollars.