Safeguard Your Home and Roof Against Summer Storms

Hot and sunny days are usually what come to mind when we think of Florida’s summer weather. But that’s only part of the picture. Summer also brings heavy rainfall and severe storms. Intense wind, rain, and thunderstorms have the potential to destroy your home. This summer, be sure to protect your home from damage with these suggestions.

Raging summer storms often come with heavy winds. A windstorm can easily turn your tree branches into flying missiles, threatening the safety of your home. Take preventative action by regularly maintaining the trees on your property. If you’re noticing any loosely attached branches, rot, disease, or a cluster of seeds/coconuts, take the time to trim them or hire a professional to do so.

During a storm, you’ll want to ensure that you have a solid roof over your head. Regular inspections, especially after severe weather, will help keep you dry. A quick inspection can even be preformed with your feet planted safely on the ground. Keep an eye out for signs of wear and tear such as broken shingles or tiles. Having a small problem repaired right away will save you from a costly fix down the line. And remember that after a storm, necessary supplies like tarps are scarce. It’s always a good idea to purchase tarps to have on hand in case of storm damage.

Make sure to clear dead leaves and debris from your gutters to direct rainwaters off of your roof and away from your home’s foundation. If rain finds a way into your home it can cause severe damage to furniture, appliances, belongings, and the structure of your home.

Broken windows and doors mean endless amounts of rain and debris entering your home. Not to mention, they can cost a pretty penny to replace. Protect your windows and doors by purchasing commercial storm shutters. You can also cut your own covers from exterior grade or marine plywood at least five-eighths of an inch thick.

Prepare for inevitable power surges and power outages. Power surges can potentially disable your electronic devices and appliances. Installing surge protectors can help prevent this but your best option is to unplug these devices in the event of severe weather. Power outages can take hours and sometimes days to remedy. Be sure to have an emergency kit containing battery operated lights and non-perishable food. Consider purchasing a generator as a source of electricity during an outage and remember, when using fuel-burning devices, such as generators or gas grills, keep them outdoors as they can produce carbon monoxide.

Getting your home ready for a storm takes time and effort. Don’t wait until it’s too late. This summer, put in the effort to keep your family safe and secure.

How Florida’s Weather Can Affect Your Roof

When you stop to think about it, we really do ask a lot of our roofs, don’t we? Consider this: a roof has to sit outside in all kinds of weather 24 hours a day, seven days a week. And after years of doing that, we expect it to not just protect us, our families, and our belongings from the elements- we expect it to look spectacular as well.

That’s an awful lot to ask.

Florida roofs have an especially harsh climate to deal with. True, we don’t get the massive snowfalls or the freeze/thaw cycles northern roofs are subject to. But with our blazing sun, frequent tropical downpours, hurricane winds, extreme humidity, occasional wintry blasts, bugs, birds, and salt air, roofs down here get a workout not seen anywhere else in the country.

And, of course, any single one of those can damage a roof, necessitating expensive repairs.

The main reason people flock to Florida is, of course, our beautiful sun. But that same sun can wreak havoc on any roof. Ultraviolet radiation- the culprit behind every sunburn- can also deteriorate asphalt- or plastic-based products over time. And not even concrete tile is immune to the ravages of the sun: over the years, exposure to UV can cause the color of concrete tile to fade. Of course, UV radiation is even more damaging to shingle roofs, especially older ones. Years of sun exposure can cause shingles to become thin and brittle, leaving them susceptible to other weather elements.

Testing has shown that when the Florida sun is almost directly overhead in the summer, the surface of a roof can reach close to 200 degrees. Making matters worse, a sudden downpour can rapidly cool that roof to room temperature in a matter of seconds. And this cycle can repeat itself dozens of times each month- sometimes even two or three times in a single day.

As you can imagine, this is very stressful to every component of your roof. Constant extreme humidity is another problem for Florida roofs. We’re surrounded by water and blessed with many lakes and swamps, but the ever-present moisture that results can compromise even the best-applied seams and seals.

That moisture can also lead to the runaway growth of moss, algae, and mildew. Besides being unsightly, such growths can trap moisture where it can cause rot and deterioration.

Wind is, of course, another major concern- especially winds that accompany the tropical storms and hurricanes for which Florida is infamous. A wind that blows strong enough can get up underneath tile, shingles, or other roofing components that were manufactured and/or installed to substandard specifications. And once those roof components are compromised, there’s nothing to slow down the possible destruction of the entire roofing system except blind luck.

Also, most roofs are designed to prevent the intrusion of rain that’s falling vertically, or nearly so. Wind-driven rain can approach a roof not just from the top, but also from the sides as well, and even from below in certain cases. And as you might imagine, water intruding into your home or business can cause many problems.

Salt air is still another problem for Florida homes and businesses, many of which are near the state’s abundant coastline. That salt can be corrosive to certain metal flashings and other roof elements, leading to premature leaks and other roof component failures. And even buildings far from shore are susceptible to salt air corrosion when a hurricane or tropical storm passes through, carrying salt-laden sea spray sometimes miles inland.

With our years of roofing excellence in Florida, Gulf Western Roofing is uniquely qualified to check the condition or your roof, and make sure it continues to provide the protection and beauty you demand of it. Don’t trust just any roofer, trust the professionals at Gulf Western Roofing.

Tile Roofs

Tile roofs are a Florida favorite for their incredibly durable construction and aesthetically appealing design. And with Florida’s unique climate, tile is sought after for its natural resistance to sun damage along with its superior protection against rot.

Characteristics

Tile gives an appealing air of quality to almost any structure. While many homeowners associate tile roofs with a Spanish and Mediterranean style, tiles are actually available in a multitude of shapes, styles, and colors that allow homeowners to match the appearance of any home. To best fit a home, homeowners can choose clay, concrete or slate tiles in a variety of profiles and colors.

Pros vs. Cons

Although it is true that tile roofs are initially a lot more costly to install than shingle or metal roofs, they also last much longer. With proper care and maintenance, tile roofs have the potential to last up to 80 years. When you compare that longevity to the 10-15 year durability of some asphalt shingles, it’s easy to see how tile can pay off in the long run.

Traditionally, tile roofs are very heavy. Most tiles are made from clay, concrete or sand, but improvements in the manufacturing process have led to new lightweight versions of the tile which can be used on most structures without additional reinforcement. However, it is still recommended that homeowners meet with a structural engineer to ensure that their roof can handle the extra weight of tile.

Excellence Since 1999

If you are considering tile for your roof, take the time to hire a true tile professional. Gulf Western Roofing has been installing tile roofs across the state of Florida for almost two decades! Quality. Professionalism. Expertise. These are the values you’ll find with every Gulf Western Roofing installation.  

Maintaining Your Metal Roof

Metal roofs are a popular choice among homeowners due to their low maintenance and long life span. However, low maintenance does not mean they require no upkeep. Gulf Western Roofing and Sheet Metal is giving you some helpful maintenance tips to ensure that your metal roof provides you with the protection you demand of it.

  1. Hire an experienced roofing contractor.

Before we provide any further tips, we want to share how incredibly dangerous roof maintenance is, meaning that doing it yourself is not recommended. An experienced roofer will have the necessary experience and safety gear to complete the job correctly without disaster.

  1. Have your roof inspected.

Calling a roofing technician to inspect your roof regularly will help spot leaks and other signs of deterioration before they become costly. Not to mention, it is always best to have your roof inspected before and after a storm. An inspection beforehand will allow you to have potential problems solved before they become a greater threat. An inspection after the storm can address any areas where the weather has weakened the roof’s protective measures.

  1. Trim your tree branches.

Tree limbs that overhang your home can cause structural damage to your roof as well as the exterior of your home. Tree limbs also tend to drop moist leaves, twigs, etc. onto your roof, which can cause the metal to corrode and leak. Gulf Western Roofing recommends having a regular tree trimming routine or service to avoid the damages caused by overhanging branches.

  1. Clean your gutters.

Leaves and debris have a tendency to build up in your gutters and downspouts. When not cleaned out, this debris prevents water from flowing freely and can cause damages to your metal roof. Cleaning your gutters regularly will help prevent build up.

  1. Have your metal roof periodically cleaned.

Again, working on a metal roof can be dangerous and the risks involved are not worth the end result. Working with a professional roofing service to have your metal roof cleaned will ensure that the roof is cleaned correctly without stripping the coating or causing other damages to the roof. Depending on the conditions around your home, metal roofing cleaning can be done every 3-5 years.

Maintaining your roof can be a dangerous and daunting task. To avoid the risks and the hassle, we recommend calling a local professional to maintain your roof. Gulf Western Roofing offers a Roof Assurance Maintenance Program with bi-annual inspections at a reasonable cost. We are locally owned and operated, doing business in Florida since 1999. In over 18 years of business we have learned that roof maintenance is a smart investment in prolonging the life of your roof.

Go Green This Spring!

It’s time to go green in Spring 2017!

This year, reduce cooling costs and protect surfaces from moisture, mold, and mildew with the combination of Energy Protect™ and CrystalShield™.

Apply Energy Protect to your walls, ceilings, or attic to serve as an insulating, mold resistant coating. Customers using Energy Protect report saving between 20%-40% on their heating and cooling energy costs. Energy Protect does more than insulate in a clear thin film, it is also mold, moisture, and UV resistant. Use on walls (interior or exterior), ceilings, ductwork, skylights, attics and more. The coating can be used over nearly any building surface type, including wood, brick, painted walls, drywall, concrete, and stucco.

CrystalShield™ cool roof coating is not just a reflective roof coating; it is an actual thermal barrier. Like other true insulators, it reduces heat conduction directly. Thus, it works both in the summer and the winter to lower energy costs. Another big cost saving benefit is that you have a cleaner roof. CrystalShield is naturally hydrophobic which means it acts as a mold-free roof coating to ensure no matter what type of roof you have, it’s a cleaner roof for up to 10-years or more. No more roof cleaner to hire every 1-2 years, which can mean roof or landscaping damage.

Together, these coatings act as an invisible thermal barrier for your home while providing the following benefits:

  • Energy savings
  • Increased energy efficiency
  • Prolonged roof life
  • Clear finish that maintains the look of your home and roof
  • Mold and moisture resistant
  • Protection from harmful UV rays
  • Easy application
  • Cost effective with long-term savings

As an added advantage, these coatings are non-toxic, water-based green products. Unlike most coatings, these environmentally friendly coatings have low VOC’s which means your family, pets, and landscaping are all protected from harmful toxins.

Gulf Western Roofing is fully trained in the application of these products. The simple process includes cleaning your roof and/or home and protecting it with the thermal coating.

Contact us today for a free estimate!

Recognizing Hail Damage

During a hailstorm, your roof is vulnerable to damage and future repairs. Just how much damage depends on multiple factors including wind, size and density of the hail, and the type of roof covering.

The direction and speed of the wind can vary greatly during a hailstorm. Changes in the wind conditions can affect the severity of hail impacts. Wind damage alone can compromise a roof over time. If you have wind damage, you may spot areas of missing shingles but it is important to keep in mind that not all damage is visible from the ground.

The size of the hailstones have a large effect on the amount of damage. In a strong storm, hailstones can be greater than 1” in diameter which can cause severe damage. However, even hail that is less than 1” in diameter can be damaging when combined with strong winds. Hail damage is often easier to spot when it has been caused by hail that is 1-2” in diameter.

Certain building materials will absorb hail impacts differently. For example, hail damage to aluminum siding, gutters, or asphalt shingles will appear as a dent or a ding, whereas hail damage to vinyl siding or wood shakes will cause the materials to crack. It should also be noted that older roofs, or roofs that are not carefully maintained, are more susceptible to greater damages.

Unfortunately, hail damage can be hard to spot. There are other types of damage to shingles that can be mistaken for hail damage. Collateral damage such as dents on the metal caps, siding, and AC units can help identify hail damage and determine the size of the hailstones.

The most common hail damage is not obvious to the untrained eye but will shorten the life of your roof. If a recent hail storm hit your area and you are concerned about the condition of your roof, it is always best to call a professional roofing contractor. After any severe storm there will be fly-by-night roofers that will do the work quickly before fleeing town. Always be sure to hire a local and licensed professional with the proper certifications and proof of insurance.

The experts at Gulf Western Roofing are trained to recognize hail damage and we’ll be able to tell you whether or not the damage was severe enough to compromise your roof. At Gulf Western Roofing, we’re in this for the life of your roof. We’ve been around for over 18 years and we’ll be around for 18+ more!

The History of Gulf Western Roofing

Joseph K. Lamb, Jr., the CEO and Founder of Gulf Western Roofing, grew up with contracting in his blood. His father was the president of a very large building contractor on Florida’s booming east coast, and almost from the start, Joe Lamb was groomed to one day head up his own construction operation.

Joe was born in Washington DC.  As shown in the photo above, his uncle, Richard Lamb, and his father, Joseph Lamb Sr., entered the roofing business installing shingles, gutters, and flat deck hot asphalt applications on residential jobs in 1962. At the age of 8, Joe’s family moved to Davie, Florida, when his uncle and father purchased R&J Roofing. At the young age of 13, Joe started gaining experience in the roofing industry. Working under his father and uncle, Joe pressure-cleaned and repaired tile roofs, set tile, carried hot asphalt, did dry-ins and metals, and even helped haul pea rock in the dump trucks.

Joe attended Tulane University before transferring to the University of Florida to study Construction Management. He became a licensed roofing contractor in the 1980’s, then went on to acquire his building contractors license in the 1990’s. 

And so his learning wasn’t all from books, Joe also worked in both the office and the field. He spent time as everything from a laborer to a job foreman; from an estimator to an accountant; and from a salesman to a manager. Joe credits this all-around, hands-on experience with giving him a somewhat unique perspective on the industry, and the people who work inside it.

Joseph Lamb Sr. and Richard Lamb ran R&J Roofing until 1982, at which time Joseph Lamb Sr. formed R&J Roofing of Palm Beach, Inc.,  and moved the operation to Boca Raton. During this time, Joe was assigned as a project manager for the largest asphalt shingle project in the United States, The Bluffs in Jupiter, FL, a project by Burg and Divosta. R&J Roofing of Palm Beach started growing rapidly, eventually becoming R&J Roofing of Florida in 1993 and expanding to Naples, FL.

It was during visits to the Naples office and the surrounding area that Joe began thinking of striking out on his own. Captivated by the beauty and laid-back lifestyle of Southwest Florida, and looking for both a change and a new course for his young family, Joe made the decision to break from his father’s company and relocate to Naples, where he could start a new company entirely of his own.

 In 1999, Gulf Western Roofing was formed. The company began with a single client, a one-room office, and a lone computer, all inside a very small office in a Naples industrial park. Over time, word spread that there was a new contractor in town who had a different approach, and a better one. New clients were acquired, and that meant that new employees had to be hired, as Joe could no longer stretch himself thin enough to do all the management, accounting, and janitorial work on his own. One employee became two, two became four, and four became too many for the small office. Gulf Western Roofing now resides just off Bonita Beach Rd. and we have even added a second location in Orlando, Florida.

Throughout the years, Gulf Western Roofing has developed a sense of community by participating in many local charities including the Blessings in a Backpack program, Meals on Wheels, The Children’s Network of SWFL, and multiple charitable golf tournaments. They have also provided no-cost roofs for a local veteran in Southwest Florida, and a children’s ranch in Central Florida. In 2009 and 2010, Joe was also the business manager for Knox Academy, a private special education school in Bonita Springs.  

Aside from its community involvement, Gulf Western Roofing sets itself apart from its competitors by taking great pride in the roofs they install. They have maintained a high level of quality and integrity in their work for over 17 years, and have a well-known willingness to stand behind every single one of their roofs. At the same time, the company has also developed unmatched financial strength and stability.

In 2008, Gulf Western Roofing proved its financial strength by keeping its doors open during the deep recession, and even avoided undergoing massive layoffs and cutbacks. Anyone who is involved with, or even pays attention to Florida’s construction industry, has been witness to a bumpy ride over the past decade. From the heady construction boom of the early part of the century to the global financial recession, things have been anything but settled. Because of this, the roofing industry saw many once-major players stumble and fall by the wayside, but Gulf Western Roofing withstood the storm. In fact, many of the company’s current managers have weathered the boom and the recession right alongside Joe, celebrating over ten years with the company.

In founding Gulf Western Roofing, Joe has made it both his mission and the company’s to become the most respected roofing contractor in the area. By any measure, Gulf Western Roofing has been very successful in meeting that goal. 

A Great Warranty for a Great Roof System

Selecting the right manufacturer is a big decision when choosing a shingle roof. When helping homeowners make this decision, Rodney Porr reminds them, “good roofs aren’t cheap and cheap roofs aren’t good.” Rodney, who has 30+ years of experience in the roofing industry and currently works as a Central Florida estimator for Gulf Western Roofing, says he prefers to look out for the best interest of the homeowner. He finds that customers continuously select the GAF Weather Stopper® System Plus Ltd. Warranty shingle due to the peace of mind they have knowing that they are backed by the manufacturer, a certified installer, and the Good Housekeeping seal.

So what exactly is it that makes GAF the manufacturer of choice for so many Florida homeowners?

For starters, GAF is American made and owned. In fact, they are North America’s oldest and largest roofing manufacturer. Their Timberline HD shingles are manufactured in Tampa, Florida, making them specifically engineered for the Florida climate.

But what makes the GAF System Plus warranty so desirable and trusted?

Typically, other manufacturers offer a 10-year shingle-only warranty for manufacturing defects. GAF’s System Plus Warranty, on the other hand, covers the entire roof system for 50 years.

To add to the desire, the 50-year warranty is transferable for 15 years at no charge to you. Which means, we would highly suggest having the GAF Weather Stopper System installed even if you’re not planning to stay in the home for the life of the warranty. Having such a trusted roof warranty in place can only add to the value of your home and create a great selling point for you. In this case, spending a few extra hundred could end up earning you a few extra thousand.

Not to mention, every single component of the GAF’s Weather Stopper System has earned the prestigious Good Housekeeping Seal. Products earn the Good Housekeeping Seal after passing a strict review and evaluation by scientists, engineers, and technicians at the Good Housekeeping Institute. For over 100 years, The Good Housekeeping Institute has sifted through the confusing clutter of claims for you to find out which products perform as promised.

Moreover, GAF’s Weather Stopper System is only available for installation through a GAF certified installer. As a GAF Certified Installer, Gulf Western Roofing has pledged to ensure that each customer receives the best and safest choice in roofing. We are authorized to provide you with the peace of mind that comes with the Weather Stopper System Plus Warranty.

To recap, GAF’s System Plus Warranty, available through a GAF certified installer, covers 100% of material defects on architectural shingles for 50 years and 100% of installation labor costs for the lifetime of the roof. System Plus typically has the contractor providing 100% workmanship coverage for 2 years and also covers misapplication of certain flashings for that same 2 year period. Tear-off costs are also covered if the original issue was a material defect.

When it’s time for your next roof, give the honest and reputable professionals at Gulf Western Roofing a call. We’ve stood behind our work for 18 years and we’ll continue to do so for 18+ more!

Animals in the Attic

Rats, squirrels, and birds, oh my! Are you housing unwanted guests like these on your roof or in your attic. Critters are becoming notorious for making huge messes when they break into homes through the roof. These animals can cause expensive damages to your roof as well as your insulation and/or electrical wires.

Soffits are a common entry point for these animals because they can be easily chewed through or torn open to gain access to the attic. Animals can also tear off shingles and continuously chew or scratch until they get through. Other entry points that animals tend to use are gutter lines, vents, fans, and chimneys.

It is important to keep gutters and chimneys well maintained in order to keep the animals out. Signs of animal intruders include chew marks, damaged electrical wires, unexplained scratching noises, animal droppings, and nests or nesting materials.

Dealing with these critters sooner rather than later can protect your roof from serious damage. Their point of entry can leave your roof and attic exposed to the elements, and even other animals or bugs.

If you’ve recently recognized any signs of animal intrusion, give the professionals at Gulf Western Roofing a call to repair the damages that they have left behind. We will be sure to seal all of the entryways to prevent these unwanted houseguests from reappearing.

Importance of Attic Ventilation

To ventilate or not to ventilate? That certainly is the question amongst researchers.

Attic ventilation is a heavily debated topic. In the last several decades, building codes have demanded increased attic insulation yet there are still skeptics who say the benefits are overrated. The lack of agreement lies mostly in the fact that climates vary immensely, making it hard to find a solution that fits all areas.

What we do know is that in Florida’s extreme climate, the heat trapped in an unventilated attic may lead to temperatures above 150 degrees Fahrenheit. This heat could:

  • Radiate into your living area, which will reduce energy efficiency and make the living situation very uncomfortable.
  • Prematurely age your roof and cause damages to your sheathing and other roofing materials.
  • Cause a build up of moisture, which would lead to rot, mildew, and mold.

In addition to protecting your roof and increasing energy efficiency, proper ventilation will eliminate mold and mildew, saving you from major health problems down the road.

So what are your options?

roof-turbines

Turbine Vents- A turbine vent will spin with the breeze. As soon as it starts to spin, it vacuums air out of your attic. The faster it spins, the more air it exhausts.

ridgevents

Ridge Vents– A ridge vent runs the entire length of the roof peak, blending into the roofline for a more attractive appearance while allowing heat and condensation to escape.

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Static Roof Vents– Static roof vents are roof vents that are stationary. Because there are no moving parts, a static vent undergoes less wear and tear and can last the life of a roof.

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Intake Vents- Intake vents provide continuous intake airflow at the roof’s edge and provide proper intake ventilation for homes with little or no overhang.

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Standard Power Vents– Power-assisted roof vents work even in still air and ensure vigorous ventilation. It should be noted however that these do run off electricity, so the energy savings may not outweigh the energy costs.

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Solar Power Vents- Solar-powered roof vents have zero operating costs. Some are eligible for tax incentives and utility rebates. However, some complain that solar-powered roof vents may not work properly when it’s cloudy, and that these types of vents don’t pull enough air.

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Gable Vents- Gable vents are usually installed on the exterior wall of your attic in order to create proper air circulation during extreme climate conditions.

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Soffit Vents- Soffit vents are intake vents installed in the eaves to draw in cool air from the outside. Soffit vents are never installed without other types of vents installed at a higher location to draw air and moisture out of the attic.

Whichever ventilation method you chose it is important to have balance between the intake and exhaust in order to create a consistent flow of cool, dry air through your attic. To help ensure the air flows smoothly and efficiently, the amount of intake should always match or exceed the amount of exhaust.

A properly installed ventilation system from Gulf Western Roofing can extend the life of your roof. Save energy, save money, protect your house, and protect the health of your family today with proper rooftop ventilation.