Best Roof Types for Florida Homes
There are five types of roofing materials that are the most common in Florida homes. These are clay, slate, concrete, metal and wood. If you are looking for a home or already own one, it is important to make sure that the roof is sturdy.
Homes in Florida need steady roofs that can withstand a lot from the elements, especially high winds from tropical storms. Here are the best roofing materials for your Florida home:
Clay tiles are very durable and last a long time, making them one of the best options for homes. They also don’t rot when they get wet, which is great for homes near the coast, or even homes that are further away from the ocean because it still rains frequently.
Clay roofs can last up to 100 years, so they don’t require much maintenance or replacements. They will also not burn in the event of a fire which means your home will be more protected.
However, clay tiles are susceptible to cracking and loosening, so you will have to check on them regularly and replace individual tiles here and there.
- Because they are made out of clay, these tiles are also fairly heavy, meaning that you will need to make sure your home is structurally sound and can hold up the weight of a heavier roof.
- They are also on the more expensive side in comparison to classic shingles, which can be a drawback as well.
Slate is another alternative to clay, both are very similar materials. Slate is made from rock, so it is incredibly durable against rain and winds, making it perfect for Florida homes.
Slate similarly lasts a long time, and can go a very long time without needing to be replaced. They are also not flammable, making them a great safety option. Slate is also one of the most attractive roofing materials, because it comes in many different colors.
Slate has some drawbacks too.
- Similar to clay, slate can crack easily when it is stepped on (if you need to go on the roof at all this is a risk).
- It comes in many different colors, so it can be tricky to replace pieces with the same shade, making repairs difficult.
- It is very heavy – because it is literally rocks on the roof – so your home will need to have a very strong structure.
Concrete is a very durable material that can be a great option for your roof. Concrete is typically reinforced with fibers throughout it, so it is less likely to crack and will allow your home to withstand the elements.
Concrete is also not flammable, so you don’t have to worry about your home going up in flames. In addition, concrete is strong enough to hold up during floods and will decrease the chances of water damage.
While it is not as strong as slate or clay, it can still last up to 50 years, meaning that you will likely only need to replace your roof once.
However, concrete can have drawbacks.
- Concrete can crack and separate.
- The materials under the concrete may need to be replaced sooner than the tiles, which means you might have to do maintenance sooner than you thought.
- Also a heavy material, concrete will require the structure of your home to be stronger than normal.
Metal roofing is a popular option for homes in tropical storm areas, because they are very durable and can withstand a lot of rain and wind. They also hold up well from the salty air from the ocean.
In addition to being super durable, metal roofs help regulate the temperature of your home by reflecting the hot sun away, rather than absorbing it. They can withstand winds up to 160 mph, which makes them a great option for coastal Florida homes.
There are some cons to metal roofing as well.
- They are pretty pricey, especially for more attractive designs.
- They last around fifty years, which means that you’ll likely have to replace them once.
- Metal roofing isn’t as quiet as other types, so it doesn’t absorb the sound of rain and other elements as well.
Wood is very popular for coastal homes. It creates a beachy, natural aesthetic that many people love. Wood shingles also hold up very well against salt water corrosion, making them one of the most commonly used materials for ocean-front homes.
Wooden shingles are also very breathable for homes, allowing air to flow easily. They are also one of the most eco-friendly roofing materials. They are relatively cheap compared to the other options as well.
However, wood shingles have a couple major drawbacks.
- They need to be sealed regularly to prevent rotting and leaks.
- Maintenance can be costly and time consuming.
- Wood is very flammable and makes your home more susceptible to fires.
- They can blow off easily in winds and also fade, so replacing pieces and making repairs will be obvious – the new wood will inevitably be a different color than the older pieces.
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For most people, a home is one of the largest purchases they will ever make in their lifetime. When choosing a place to live and invest in, prospective homebuyers must get the place inspected before putting in an offer. An otherwise “perfect” dream home could be hiding something potentially dangerous that is expensive to fix.
Home inspection reports typically cover the home’s major systems, such as the heating and cooling system, electrical system, and condition of the roof and foundation. What’s covered in the report will vary from one state to the next. For hopeful home buyers, it’s important to know what’s not included in the report, too. That way, your biggest purchase ever won’t come with a nasty and expensive repair surprise after closing.
What won’t a home inspector look for?
For a lot of homeowners, the home inspection ritual is one of the most stressful parts of the home buying process, and it’s often misunderstood. A home inspection report won’t tell you EVERYTHING that’s wrong (or right) with the house. In general, a home inspection report will give you an overall idea of the home’s relative condition for certain systems. A lot of buyers think that the home inspection is operated under a pass or fail grading system, but that’s not true. A home inspector won’t tell you whether or not to buy the home, either.
Every house and every buyer are unique, and everyone has different resources and repair capabilities for a home. A leaking roof could be a deal-breaker for one buyer, while the next may have the resources to fix the roof as soon as they take possession of the property. A home inspection report goes over the general condition of the house, from the roof to the foundation, at a very specific point in time. A report can give a rough estimate on the rest of a system or appliances lifespan. But it’s not able to tell a homebuyer if a plumbing issue will occur. Or if a family of squirrels will make your new attic their home shortly after you move in.
Below are the areas that aren’t typically covered in your standard home inspection report. For prospective buyers, it’s a good idea to get a certified specialist into the home if they are concerned that the structure may have these issues:
- Lead paint
- Toxic mold
- Problems with swimming pools
Your standard home inspection report goes over visible things. Things like asbestos, lead paint, and radon gas aren’t something that an inspector can see. Also in some older homes, attics have been sealed shut. It’s not possible for a home inspector to access those areas, either.
Buying a house is one of the most significant lifetime purchases someone can make. A home inspection can help protect that investment and keep new homeowners from purchasing a property that has far too many problems than they are capable of handling. But as with any purchase in life, caveat emptor.
Whether you’re a current homeowner and you’re taking a look at your electrical systems, or you’re interested in buying a home, it’s a good idea to know about non-insurable electrical panels – and what they could mean for your home.
In this article, we’ll discuss the basics of non-insurable electrical panels, a few of the top brands that made them, and what you should do if you find one in your home.
Why Are Some Electrical Panels Non-Insurable?
Certain types of electrical panels are non-insurable because insurance companies have experienced a large number of claims related to electrical fires in homes that have these boxes.
In most cases, this is due to faulty manufacturing. Federal Pacific panels, for example, are a well-known type of non-insurable circuit panel. Though they may function for years, they eventually start to fail, and their breakers may no longer trip properly – causing a fire hazard. The circuit could be overloaded, and the breaker would never trigger. This could lead to a serious electrical fire.
Many homeowners are unaware they have one of these panels until they have a four-point inspection – and then their insurance company demands they replace it.
Common Non-Insurable Electrical Panels
Wondering what types and brands of electrical panels are often non-insurable? Here is a quick list of some of the most common manufacturers and panels.
- Federal Pacific – As mentioned above, Federal Pacific sold millions of breakers from the 1950s to the 1980s. It was found that 25% of all panels were defective and may not properly trip, causing a serious fire hazard. They were also prone to overheating
- Zinsco – Zinsco panels were used up until the mid-1970s. There are not many left, but they can still be found in some older homes. They are simply not able to keep up with the high electrical demands of today’s homes – and in some cases, this may cause wires to melt, exposing homeowners to a higher fire risk.
- Sylvania – These panels were primarily used in the 1960s and 1970s, and they were rebranded Zinsco panels. The only real change was the Sylvania logo, which was added to the panel. They have the same electrical issues as Zinsco panels
- Challenger – Challenger panels built and installed in the 1980s and 1990s were found to have an issue where they were overheating under normal conditions at the metal “bus bar.” This led to expansion and contraction of the bus bar, and electrical arcing between the bus bar. Over time, these components could melt down, causing a shock or fire hazard.
Get Your Home Checked For These Outdated, Dangerous Panels!
If you think you have one of these panels in your home, you should replace it right away. It’s simply not worth the risk. Not sure if your panel is dangerous? Contact a home inspector or electrician, and you can ensure that you take action if your panel is dangerous and non-insurable.
Jacksonville is growing in popularity thanks to a revitalized arts and culture scene coupled with idyllic Florida weather and an ever increasing job market. The choice to move to Jacksonville may be easy, but settling on a specific neighborhood can prove less so. For all types of lifestyles, here are 3 of the best places to live in Jacksonville.
Arlington provides some of the most beautiful natural attractions in the Jacksonville area in the form of the Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve, and the Jacksonville Arboretum and Gardens. The cost of living in Arlington is lower than the rest of Jacksonville, and significantly lower than the rest of Florida, so it’s perfect for young families who want to put down roots or professionals looking to commute to the downtown area. The median home price in Arlington is just $82,000.
A picturesque neighborhood marked by large oak trees covered in Spanish moss, the Mandarin Area is more elevated in terms of price than most of Jacksonville. Mandarin feels removed from the hustle and bustle of Jacksonville, providing a truly residential experience for those who can afford to live there. The median home value here is just over $286,000, so it may be an ideal area for established families looking for a great school district, or for empty nesters who want to finally move into their dream home, and who have the means to afford it.
A trendy neighborhood located just north of downtown Jacksonville, Springfield is a diverse area with plenty of art and cuisine to satisfy a young crowd. The median home price in this area is just under $83,000, and only about 12% of residents are families with children, so Springfield is likely the perfect place for young singles or couples without kids to buy a home at a relatively low cost with lots of potential for growth in the coming years, as Jacksonville culture continues to draw in new residents. What’s more, the median household income in Springfield is just shy of $28,000, so those just getting out on their own should be able to afford living in this up and coming area.
No two Jacksonville neighborhoods are exactly alike, so choosing the right one will take some effort to understand its character. Whether buyers are families, retirees, or young professionals just starting out, one of these 3 neighborhoods is sure to suit their lifestyles.
Older homes and vintage dwellings fascinate many first-time homebuyers. Classic crown moldings, trim, and high-quality woodwork and craftsmanship are hard to find in newer construction. Older homes tend to offer residents a sturdier construction and aesthetically-pleasing facades that you’d be hard-pressed to find in a McMansion. But behind the charming exterior of an older home can hide a range of issues that can quickly have many homebuyers staring wistfully at the local rental listings. So, what issues can you expect when buying an older home?
1. NO INSULATION
Before the 1970s, energy was cheap. Most homes constructed before this era weren’t made with any insulation. Any insulating materials you do find behind the walls are typically balled up newspaper, or strips of cloth that won’t do much to keep your heat or cold air from escaping. When buying an older home, be prepared for higher energy bills, or set aside some room in the budget to have insulation installed.
2. OUTDATED WIRING AND ELECTRICAL ISSUES
Mid-century homes required very basic electrical systems. If you go back even further, many homes were not even constructed initially with any electrical wiring or outlets. In a lot of older homes, the wiring is a patchwork of outdated systems and materials. You may find old knob and tube wiring, ungrounded outlets, or wires insulated with cloth. AT the time, these materials were considered durable and long-lasting. But homes age like anything else, and what was once state-of-the-art electrical work fifty years ago is now a fire hazard. Buyers may need to consider having extensive electrical work completed so their older home can service modern-day appliances without catching fire.
3. OLD PIPES
Many older homes were constructed with cast iron drains and pipes. At the time of construction, these materials were considered indestructible. But again, things age and decay. And if your pipes or drains were not appropriately sloped, rust and other damage may be extensive. Buying an older home? Have a licensed plumber video-scope the lines to check for damage.
4. ASBESTOS IN OLDER HOMES
Asbestos was used as a fire retardant in the early and middle part of the last century. Unfortunately, asbestos is “friable” material. When the material breaks down, the microscopic asbestos fibers can become inhaled and lodged in the lungs and eventually cause cancer. When older homes were constructed, asbestos materials were used in a wide range of things, including ceiling and floor tiles, and pipe and wiring insulation.
Asbestos is not used in modern-day home construction because of its cancerous properties. It’s impossible to know by looking at a home if it was made with asbestos. Homeowners would be wise to have the materials tested by a lab. When asbestos is intact, it is not harmful. Asbestos siding, ceiling materials, or tiles that are in good condition can be left alone. But when homeowners want to tear out suspected asbestos materials for a remodeling job, this is risky.
5. LEAD PAINT
The older your home, the more likely it has lead-based paint. The federal government didn’t ban lead-based paint from housing until 1978, so if your home was built before then there’s a good chance it contains lead based paint. Peeling, or chipping lead-based paint is a hazard and needs immediate attention. If you think your home might contain lead paint, or just want peace of mind that it doesn’t, consider having a lead paint inspection.
Before buying any home, regardless of its age, it’s important to have a licensed and experienced home inspector go through the property and create a detailed inspection report. This gives potential homeowners a heads up on what types of issues an older home may have before they purchase the property.
Guest blog by Grant Waller of PacWest Home Inspections in Beaverton, Oregon