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DIY Roof Installation vs. Hiring a Professional: Navigating the Risks and Rewards in Florida

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Are you a Florida homeowner considering installing your own roof? While the idea of tackling a DIY roof installation project may seem appealing, it’s essential to weigh the benefits and risks carefully, especially when considering the unique factors and regulations in the Sunshine State. In this blog post, we’ll explore the pros and cons of installing your roof versus hiring a professional roofing company in Gainesville, Florida.

For those wondering if DIY roof replacement is even possible, check out our other article on whether it’s even possible to replace your own roof.

Can I Install My Own Roof in Florida?

The short answer is yes, you can install your own roof in Florida. However, before embarking on this project, it’s crucial to understand the challenges and potential consequences of a DIY approach.

Pros of DIY Roof Installation

  1. Cost Savings: The primary reason homeowners consider installing their own roof is to save money on labor costs. By taking on the project yourself, you can potentially save thousands of dollars.
  2. Sense of Accomplishment: Successfully completing a major home improvement project like a roof installation can provide a great sense of pride and accomplishment.
  3. Flexibility: When you’re in charge of the project, you have the flexibility to work on your own timeline and make decisions about materials and installation methods.

After picture of a re-roof we did at a house in Newberry, FL

Cons of DIY Roof Installation

  1. Safety Risks: Roofing work involves working at heights, handling heavy materials, and navigating steep slopes. Without proper safety equipment and training, you put yourself at risk of serious injury or even death.
  2. Lack of Expertise: Installing a roof requires specialized knowledge and skills. Improper installation can lead to leaks, structural damage, and premature roof failure.
  3. Time-Consuming: A DIY roof installation can take significantly longer than a professional installation, especially if you’re learning as you go. This can be particularly problematic if you’re working around inclement weather.
  4. Warranty Issues: Many roofing material manufacturers void warranties if the products are not installed by a certified professional. By installing your own roof, you may inadvertently nullify your warranty protection.

Florida-Specific Roofing Considerations

In addition to the general pros and cons of DIY roofing, Florida homeowners must also consider state-specific factors and regulations.

  1. Building Codes and Permits: Florida has strict building codes and permit requirements for roofing projects. Failing to adhere to these regulations can result in fines, legal issues, and difficulty selling your home in the future.
  2. Hurricane Resistance: Florida’s climate puts roofs at higher risk of damage from hurricanes and strong winds. Proper installation techniques and materials are essential to ensure your roof can withstand these forces.
  3. Insurance Requirements: Many insurance companies in Florida have specific requirements for roof installations to maintain coverage. Failing to meet these requirements could jeopardize your insurance protection.
  1. Heat and Humidity Considerations: Residents of Gainesville or North Central Florida, need to consider the region’s high heat and humidity when selecting roofing materials and installation techniques. The area’s climate can significantly accelerate wear and tear on roofing materials, making it crucial to choose options that are designed to reflect sunlight and resist moisture to prolong the life of the roof.

The Benefits of Hiring a Professional Roofing Company

Picture of a silver-colored multi-gabled metal roof.

While DIY roof installation may seem like a cost-effective option, the long-term benefits of hiring a professional roofing company often outweigh the initial savings.

  1. Expertise and Quality: Professional roofers have the training, experience, and tools to ensure your roof is installed correctly and in compliance with local building codes and regulations.
  2. Safety: Roofing companies have the necessary safety equipment and insurance to protect their workers and your property during the installation process.
  3. Efficiency: A professional roofing team can complete your installation much faster than a DIY approach, minimizing disruption to your daily life and reducing the risk of weather-related delays.
  4. Knowledge of the Best Materials: By working with an experienced roofer, you don’t just get access to years of skill, but also expertise in the highest-quality roofing materials that can stand up to Florida’s hot and humid climate.
  5. Warranty Protection: When you hire a certified roofing company, your installation is typically covered by both the manufacturer’s warranty and the contractor’s workmanship guarantee, providing added peace of mind.

Making the Right Choice for Your Florida Home

Ultimately, the decision to install your own roof or hire a professional roofing company in Gainesville, Florida, depends on your individual circumstances and priorities. While a DIY approach may offer some initial cost savings, the potential risks and long-term consequences often outweigh these benefits.

To guarantee your home is shielded by a top-notch, code-compliant roof that will last for years, trust your roof installation to a reputable, experienced company. Your roof is the primary shield against the elements, making it an investment that demands wise choices. Ready to secure your home? Call McFall Roofing today for expert assistance with your roof installation.

Gainesville’s Future-Proof Roofs: The Latest Roofing Technology Trends

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If you are looking to replace your roof, you may be interested to hear that recent developments in roofing technology have given homeowners many new options. Durability, sustainability and weather resistance are all factors that you may be considering. Here are some of the new roofing technologies that may be of interest to homeowners in the Gainesville area.

New Roofing Technology for Durability

Self-healing Roofs

Self-healing roof technology uses thermoplastics rather than traditional asphalt shingles. These shingles are able to repair minor scratches to keep your roof looking good and performing well. 

Thermoplastic shingles are made from a polymer that separates as the sun shines on it. Later in the day, when the temperature cools, the polymer seals itself, taking care of any small scuffs or scratches. This process does not affect the durability of the shingles.

Silicone Roof Coating

Silicone coating can be applied to an existing roof. This technology is applied as either a roll or a spray. After an inspection to ensure that the roof is free of wet areas, a silicone coating can be applied. 

Silicone coating can extend the lifespan of a roof by up to ten years. This is an excellent choice for homeowners who are looking for a short-term, cost effective roofing option.

Environmentally Friendly Roofing Systems

Cool Roofing

What is cool roof technology? Cool roofing makes use of light colors and naturally cool materials. This allows the roof to reflects more of the thermal energy that would be absorbed by a traditional roof.

Roof - Picture of soffit and the underside of gutters on a home.

Cool roofing technology, or white roofing, may be of particular interest to property owners in the Gainesville area. Florida’s hot climate can make it a challenge to keep your home cool during the summer months. They’re designed to reduce the energy needed for air conditioning. They can make indoor spaces more comfortable during our increasingly hot summer weather. This exciting technology can even help to decrease outdoor air temperatures, reducing the urban heat island effect. If you go for a cool roof, not only will you see energy savings, you will also be helping to combat climate change!

Green Roofs – and 3D Printing!

Although the initial installation costs are higher than with a traditional roof, green roofing is an energy efficient option that is growing in popularity among environmentally conscious homeowners. Like cool roofs, green roofs absorb much less heat than traditional asphalt shingle roofs, leading to energy savings. 

The long term benefits of a green roof include excellent stormwater management, reduced greenhouse gas emissions, and benefits to local pollinators such as bees and butterflies. The University of Virginia has even developed a method of 3D-printing using seed-impregnated soil to create a roof that is teeming with plants.

Solar Shingles

Solar panels atop residential roofs have been a common sight now for many years. However, their unattractive appearance can sometimes be off-putting. New technology has allowed scientists to develop solar shingles. 

These shingles have photovoltaic cells that behave just like the ones in traditional solar panels, generating electricity from the sun. However, solar shingles look much more like traditional shingles, and they are equally able to protect your home from the elements. Solar roofs can now save energy costs and reduce carbon emissions without looking any different from a traditional roof.

Man carrying bundle of shingles over his shoudler on a roof

New Developments in Roofing Technology

Smart Roofs

Smart thermostats, smart doorbell systems and smart speakers have become part of everyday life in the past few years. It should come as no surprise, then, that some new roofing projects are making use of smart technologies to improve roof safety and durability.

Smart roofs have sensors that can detect leaks, blocked drains, heavy loads of snow and more. Although this type of roof is currently used in commercial buildings where big leaks would be very problematic, it’s likely that homeowners will become more interested in smart roof technology over the coming years.

Robotics and Roofing

In the near future, the use of robotics may be an option to make roof replacements quicker, safer and more efficient. Renovate Robotics is developing a shingler that can install either asphalt or solar shingles. However, the robotic shingle installer – nicknamed Rufus – still needs humans to set up, monitor and reload roofing materials.

Whatever your roofing requirements, some of these new technologies can help. If you’re interested in a new, sustainable, durable roof in the Gainesville area, contact us for a quote.

The Anatomy of Roof Damage in Gainesville: A Visual Guide

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Florida is notorious for its severe weather. Gainesville residents experience unique weather issues when it comes to roof damage compared to other parts of the country. Our proximity to the ocean, our abundance of trees, and our punishingly strong sunlight take a toll on any roof–especially asphalt shingle roofs. We’re highlighting the most common types of roof damage we see with our clients in Gainesville. We also show detailed roof damage pictures and explain the anatomy of the damage. Read on to learn more!

Types of Roof Damage

There are numerous types of roof damage. However, these are the most common ones we see with our customers:

  1. Tree punctures
  2. Roof staining
  3. Peeling or cracked shingles
  4. Rusted exposed fasteners

If you experience any of these types of damage or other roof emergencies, it’s crucial that you call a roofing professional right away.

1. Tree Punctures

Gainesville is known as a tree city because of its dense tree canopy. These trees are beautiful but they also wreak havoc on roofs. Anytime we get severe thunderstorms or hurricanes, limbs, and trees fall on homes. Sometimes these trees will come down through a roof system–cracking trusses. Less severe cases happen when a single limb breaks off of a tree and falls at an angle so that it pierces through the roof decking.

Examples of roof damage in Gainesville, FL

 

In the roof damage pictures above, you can see multiple examples of tree punctures and the resulting damage. If punctures are severe, they can lead to collapsed ceilings and rainwater intrusion into the livable portion of the home. Cracked trusses require structural engineer inspections and replacement.

2. Roof Staining

If you were to drive around Gainesville looking at houses, you would see a prevalence of roof staining. Roof staining is caused by sun and algal growth. Staining on asphalt shingles usually appears as “streaks” and metal roofs can take on a brown/green color that forms in patches.

An image of roof damage. A house with roof stains in Gainesville, FL.

 

These stains are not only an eye sore but they also intensify the roof damage. The algae cause the shingles to heat up more due to greater sunlight absorption. This may cause the singles to separate from the decking and lead to leaks, decreased home energy efficiency, and more. Newer shingles contain anti-microbial properties to prevent algae growth but most older roofs do not.

What NOT to Do if You Have Roof Staining

If you have an asphalt shingle roof, it’s important that you don’t try to get rid of the algae stains by using a high-powered pressure washer. Your roof has shingle granules that provide waterproofing. Using a pressure washer will remove these granules–undermining the integrity and durability of your roof. You should get a roof inspection from a professional or if you decide to handle it yourself, use a low-pressure garden hose and a gentle cleaning solution to remove the algae.

3. Peeling or Cracked Shingles

Another common type of roof damage we see is peeling or cracked shingles. These are often caused by sun damage, hail damage, strong winds, overhanging tree limbs, and improper attic ventilation leading to higher roof surface temperatures.

An image of roof damage. A shingle pealing away.

Once shingles begin cracking or peeling, it’s a sign that it’s time for a roof repair or replacement. One way to mitigate peeling or cracking is to keep overhanging limbs trimmed and away from the roof. This is a practice you can do during early spring and fall.

4. Rusted Exposed Fasteners

There are generally 2 types of metal roofing:

  1. Standing Seam Metal
  2. Exposed Fastener

Exposed Fastener metal roofs are more affordable than Standing Seam Metal but their fasteners (exposed screws) are prone to rusting about every 10 years. We see this frequently in Gainesville and often recommend that you replace these fasteners about once a decade. There isn’t much property owners can do to prevent rusting. We live in a wet climate here in North Florida. The rain takes a toll on these roofs.

An exposed fastener metal roof.

Lastly, metal roofs aren’t always the best option for everyone. Depending on your property’s location and exposure, an asphalt shingle roof might be a better option. A professional roofing company will be able to advise you on the best choice for your home or business.

Roof Damage Repair in Gainesville, FL

At McFall Residential Roofing, we specialize in roof damage repair here in Gainesville, FL, and the surrounding area. The benefit of working with a local roofing contractor like McFall is that you get the knowledge and expertise you need to make the best decisions for your home. We follow industry best practices and use high-quality roofing materials to give our customers beautiful roofs that last.

Protect your home today. When it comes to roof damage repair, McFall is your local industry expert!

 

 

Local Materials, Local Solutions: Sustainable Roofing Options in Gainesville

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Did you know that roofs installed by McFall Roofing are 30% more efficient than typical roofs on average? Not only does installing energy-efficient roofing decrease your energy costs but it also helps the environment. We take this a step further by sourcing our materials from local suppliers. Read on to learn more about your sustainable roofing options in Gainesville!

Sustainable Roofing Options

Sustainability is crucial in our modern world. In roofing, the most effective way to promote sustainability is to focus on the following:

  • Local sourcing
  • Energy Star-certified materials
  • Energy-efficient roofing products

Local Sourcing

Sustainable roofing involves the local sourcing of materials. When you acquire materials from local sources, you decrease your carbon footprint. For example, when you source your materials from further away, you’re contributing to higher fuel consumption because those materials must be transported over longer distances.

By working with a roofing contractor in your community, you’re also reducing fossil fuel consumption by minimizing crew driving distances. Some national brand roofing contractors have to travel from far away – sometimes even from other states – to perform their services. Local is always better!

Energy Star-Certified Materials

When searching for sustainable roofing options, it’s also important to look for roofers that use Energy Star-certified materials. Any products that are Energy Star-certified will come with the government-backed Energy Star label.

Energy Star is an unbiased public-private partnership administered by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Private industry partners with the EPA to protect the climate, air quality, and public health. This began in 1992 and is said to have reduced energy costs nationally by more than $500B.

Energy-Efficient Roofing Products

McFall uses the following types of energy-efficient roofing materials:

  • Tech shield radiant barrier plywood
  • Highly-reflective metal roofing panels
  • Blown-in cellulose or fiberglass insulation

These materials keep your home or business cooler during the summer months by insulating and preventing the absorption of heat energy from the sun. Increased energy efficiency means less electricity usage from cooling systems.

Tech Shield Radiant Barrier Plywood

Another sustainable roofing material is radiant barrier sheathing. Radiant barrier sheathing provides both superior moisture resistance and radiant heat blocking. This material is installed just like regular plywood or Oriented Strand Board (OSB) but it’s much more robust at driving a home’s energy efficiency.

An image of a

Highly Reflective Metal Roofing Panels

Light or metallic-colored metal roofing is efficacious as a sustainable roofing system. Metal roofing is best utilized in bright locations which receive full sun throughout the day. The metal also acts as an effective insulator and keeps your house cooler during hot Florida summers.

Blown-in Cellulose or Fiberglass Insulation

Blown-in cellulose, or Blown-in Insulation, as it’s more colloquially known, is a paper-based insulation that is blown into an attic space to act as an insulator. It’s delivered by an insulation blower machine and is used to fill in the cavities between the ceiling and the attic of a home.


Fiberglass Insulation is the most recognizable type of insulation used in roofing or construction. It resembles cotton candy and is frequently referred to as Batt Insulation. Fiberglass insulation comes with or without a vapor barrier depending on its application.

Sustainable Roofing Options in Gainesville

At McFall Residential Roofing, we specialize in sustainable roofing installation. The benefit of working with a local roofing contractor like McFall is that you get the knowledge and expertise you need to make the best decisions for your home while minimizing your carbon footprint. We follow industry best practices and use high-quality roofing materials to give our customers beautiful roofs that last.

When it comes to knowing the ins and outs of the parts of your roof, McFall is your local industry expert here in Gainesville, FL!

 

What’s the Best Roof Material for Florida?

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If you’re a homeowner in Florida, you understand the importance of a strong and durable roof that can withstand harsh weather conditions. But with options ranging from asphalt to clay tile, how do you know which roof material is the best choice for the Sunshine State?

While there may be many options available, considering factors such as durability, energy efficiency, and cost-effectiveness will help you determine the best roof material for Florida’s unique climate. In this article, we will explore the top types of roofing material to help you make an informed choice for your home.

Preparing Your Roof for the Florida Climate

Florida is known for its high humidity, intense heat, and frequent hurricanes. These weather conditions can take a toll on your roof and cause significant damage if not properly protected. Therefore, choosing the right roof material is crucial for the longevity and safety of your home.

Humidity

With high humidity, especially in the summer months, the air in Florida normally contains higher levels of water, creating ideal conditions for mold and mildew which weaken the structural integrity of buildings over time. 

Moisture can also penetrate through cracks and gaps in the roofing or building materials, leading to water damage and rot. This can accelerate the deterioration of materials such as wood, causing them to warp, decay, or become brittle. It is important to keep this in mind when selecting your building material and installing your roof

Heat and UV Exposure

When a roof is exposed to heat, the materials expand—when it cools down, they contract. This constant expansion and contraction can cause the roof materials to weaken and eventually lead to cracks, leaks, or other forms of damage. Additionally, UV light from the sun can break down the chemical bonds in roofing materials over time. This can cause the materials to become brittle, fade in color, and lose their structural integrity. As a result, the roof becomes more susceptible to damage from weather elements such as rain, wind, and hail.

Heat and UV light can accelerate the aging process of roofing materials. The constant exposure to high temperatures and intense sunlight can cause the materials to degrade faster than they would under normal conditions, reducing their overall lifespan. 

Hurricanes

High wind speeds and heavy rain pose a threat to your roof. Powerful winds can create intense uplift forces, exerting pressure on the roof and potentially causing it to lift or be torn off. Additionally, the heavy rainfall that often accompanies hurricanes and tropical storms can lead to water infiltration through any vulnerabilities in the roof, such as damaged shingles or gaps, which can result in leaks and structural damage. Even if you don’t live near the coast, it’s a good idea to be prepared for strong winds and nearby sources of debris every hurricane season. 

The Best Roofing Materials for Florida

With an almost endless supply of options, it can be hard to know which type of roofing material is best. We’ll cover some of our top options for coping with the Florida climate. 

Asphalt Shingles

 

Image of a steep asphalt shingle roof

With a relatively low cost and 25-year lifespan, traditional asphalt shingles are the most popular roofing material in Florida. They come in various colors, styles, and textures, allowing you to choose a look that matches your home’s aesthetic. That said, the best color shingle for Florida may just be light colors as this reflects the most heat and saves you money on the electric bill.   

There are also some great reasons to go with asphalt shingle roofs: 

  • Easy installation: Asphalt shingles are lightweight and easy to install, which can save on costs during the installation process.
  • Durability: High-quality asphalt shingles can provide good durability and withstand various weather conditions, including wind, rain, and sub-zero temperatures.
  • Low maintenance: Asphalt shingles require minimal maintenance and can last for about 20 to 30 years with proper care.

The downside is that asphalt shingles generally have a shorter lifespan compared to some other roofing materials like metal or slate. Additionally, extreme temperatures can cause asphalt to warp or crack over time, and these shingles are more susceptible to the growth of algae or moss, which can affect their appearance and longevity if not properly addressed. 

Metal

 

Residential home with a metal roof

Metal roofs are another popular choice for homes in Florida due to their advantages in the state’s climate. They’re highly resistant to extreme weather conditions such as the ones we endure during hurricane season. They can withstand much higher windspeeds than asphalt shingles and are less likely to be damaged compared to other roofing materials.

In terms of durability, metal roofing has a longer lifespan—up to 50 years or more with proper maintenance, making it a cost-effective choice in the long run. They also require little maintenance and absorb less heat in the summer which is a great investment for Florida homes. 

One possible drawback is that metal roofing can produce more noise during heavy rainstorms compared to other roofing materials, so proper insulation and underlayment are required. They’re also more expensive than asphalt shingles during installation. 

Concrete Tile

 

Concrete tile roof

Among the most durable choices for a roof, concrete tiles can withstand the harshest weather conditions. They’re also resistant to fire and pests, such as termites, which can be a common issue here in Florida. These roofs provide good insulation, helping to keep homes cooler in the hot Florida climate and save on the AC bill. 

Concrete is heavy, so this style of roof typically requires additional structural support during installation. This can increase the overall cost of the roof. Additionally, without proper maintenance, concrete tiles can crack or break which will require additional roof repairs or even replacement. 

Clay Tile

 

Close up of a spanish tile roof

Clay tile roofs are known for their long lifespan, often lasting 50 to 100 years or more. They are resistant to harsh weather conditions, including high winds, hurricanes, and extreme heat. They’re non-combustible, providing an added layer of protection against fires. This is particularly important in areas prone to wildfires or lightning strikes.

Like concrete, clay tile roofs naturally insulate homes, boosting energy efficiency and keeping the interior of the building cooler. Where they differ is the sheer range of styles and colors available. For most houses, clay tiles offer a classic and timeless look, boosting curb appeal and adding a touch of elegance to your home’s architecture. 

Finally, clay tiles are low maintenance with great resistance to rot, insect damage, and decay, reducing the need for frequent repairs or replacements.

This durability and longevity come at a cost; clay tiles are perhaps the most expensive material available. They’re also heavy, so they’ll need the same structural support as a concrete roof. While the longevity of the roof makes up for it, it’s still a large upfront cost to the homeowner.

Hiring the Right Roofing Contractor

To get the most out of your new roof, you’ll want to hire a roofing company with years of experience, local knowledge, and strong, local reviews. Be sure to verify that your contractor is experienced with the material you’d like to use to ensure the best results. 

To speak to a roofing professional about the perfect roof for your Florida home, contact the team here at McFall today! 

Fall Roof Maintenance Tips: Keeping Your Roof in Top Shape

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Fall is here, and the holidays are rapidly approaching. Before you settle in for feasts and festivities, you’ll want to make sure your roof is prepared for the cooler Florida season. Basic maintenance in the fall will protect the health of your roof and keep you and your family dry and comfortable.

The Ultimate Fall Roof Maintenance Checklist

Unsure where to start to prepare your roof for this fall season? No need to worry—we’ve created a fall roof maintenance checklist for you. It’ll walk you through each step of what roof maintenance you’ll need to do.

Consider a Roof Repair or Replacement

As we near the end of hurricane season, now is the perfect time to do repairs on your roof or replace it completely. Whether you just need a repair or a replacement will depend on the needs of your home, but taking care of your roof’s needs now will help keep your roof healthy and sturdy from now until the next hurricane season. Also, with less rain, it may be easier for a roof contractor to complete repairs or a replacement in a quicker time frame—making fall the perfect time to consider these options.

Clean Up Fallen Leaves

As the weather begins to cool here in Gainesville, you’ll begin to notice more leaves falling from your trees. If you have trees close to your roof, these leaves and other debris, such as sticks and acorns, will start to accumulate on your roof. While this may seem harmless at first, the leaves can actually cause damage to your asphalt shingles. This is because as they decompose, they trap moisture on your shingles which can eventually lead to a leak in your roof. Periodically cleaning up fallen leaves and debris on your roof protects your shingles from water damage throughout the autumn season.

Take Care of Your Gutters

Not only can fallen leaves and debris damage your roof, but they can also clog up your gutters. Similarly to how leaves can trap excess moisture, if your gutters are clogged and full of standing water, this can increase your risk of a roof leak developing. You’ll want to make sure your gutters are cleaned out and taken care of to avoid preventable repairs. Purchasing and installing gutter guards can make this process easier by stopping leaves and debris from getting into your gutters.

Trim Nearby Trees

If you don’t want to spend the beautiful, autumn days cleaning your gutters and roof, you can prevent leaves from falling on your roof in the first place by trimming nearby trees. Regularly trimming your trees is a good safety precaution, especially in Florida. Remember that while hurricane season is soon coming to a close, it doesn’t officially end until November 30th. Keeping your trees trimmed not only prevents extra leaves and debris but also helps you avoid more serious damage caused by a fallen branch.

Check Your Roof’s Ventilation System

Florida winters can go from cool to warm within a day’s time. As the temperature fluctuates, you’ll want to make sure that your house stays comfortable and energy efficient. One way to ensure your house is able to regulate temperature is checking on your roof’s ventilation system. Ventilation helps your home maintain a consistent temperature and provides your home with good air quality and circulation. Ensuring your roof’s ventilation is working properly will keep your home comfortable throughout this fall.

When in Doubt, Schedule a Roof Inspection with McFall Roofing!

Many of the items on this fall roof maintenance checklist can be crossed off by simply scheduling a roof inspection with your local roofing company like McFall Roofing. A professional roofer will be able to tell you what repairs are needed, if you should consider a roof replacement, and how to make your roof more energy efficient. At McFall Roofing, all our contractors are licensed and insured and will walk you through what roof care you’ll need during an inspection. To protect your roof this fall, schedule a roof inspection with McFall Roofing today!

DIY Roof Repair: Can I Fix My Own Roof?

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Spending your money on roof repairs is never fun. Fixing small issues yourself can save money, but it’s important to be aware of the pros and cons of DIY roof repair. While we may be a little biased as a roofing company here in Gainesville, FL, we’d still like to offer you some professional advice on what to be aware of before you start your next project. 

Things to Consider Before a DIY Roof Repair

Before you jump on that ladder to patch that roof leak, there are a few things you should keep in mind for any DIY roof repair.

Working at Heights Can Be Dangerous

Roofing carries an inherent risk as you’ll need to perform tasks or transport heavy materials and equipment to levels exceeding shoulder height. Roof repair companies in Gainesville and around the country receive training and supervision when working at height and often have access to specialized equipment to transport materials to the top of a building. 

Falls become significantly more dangerous when working above 10 feet, so be sure to take care and consider hiring a roofer if your home has an especially high, slick, or steep roof. 

Construction Experience is a Must

In our humid climate, improperly fitted shingles, underlay, or flashing can result in mold, water damage, water stains, and decay. While you may repair the site of a leak, you may not realize that you’ve only moved the problem to somewhere harder to notice. 

You don’t need to be a construction worker to repair your own home, but supervised experience in building, repair, or remodeling activities is preferred before carrying out a roof repair. It’s great to know you’re handling tools and materials safely and are aware of potential mistakes. 

You’ll Need More than a Hammer

Roofing is a specialized industry where professionals have access to a range of tools that make their job possible (or significantly easier). You may not have the same resources at your disposal including:

  • Air compressor and nail gun
  • Extension ladder
  • Ladder stabilizer
  • Heavy duty lift (or power ladder)  
  • Shingle cutter 
  • Roofing shovel 
  • Flashing folding tool

While you may not need all of these tools for simple repairs (more on that below), consider the cost of buying what’s needed or spending extra time to make due without before you start your project.  

You May Void Your Warranty

When you buy a new roof installation, you get two warranties: a materials warranty and a workmanship warranty. DIY repairs have the potential to void both of them. 

Materials warranties cover the physical materials themselves such as underlay, roof shingles, tiles, etc. These warranties can be void under certain circumstances, chief among them being poor workmanship. Even if you’re making a small repair, if you don’t carry it out to a good standard, you may end up liable for the costs if the materials themselves fail near your repair. 

Craftsmanship or Labor warranties offered by your roofing company guarantee their work for 1, 2, 5 years, or even longer (we offer 10 year warranties on installations here at McFall). Hiring a different contractor or making your own repairs would void this warranty, leaving you responsible for any further repair costs. 

Check Local Regulations

Replacing your roof? Adding a dormer window? Adding a satellite dish? You’ll need to check for local regulations before you get started and always make any repairs according to your local building code. 

For example, here in Florida, houses in areas often impacted by hurricanes are required to use High-Velocity Hurricane Zone (HVHZ) roofing materials. Across the state, roof replacements or large scale jobs with structural changes will usually require roofing permits. Even small DIY roofing jobs may be prohibited by your HOA, so always check before you start any work. 

Which Repairs Can You Do Yourself? 

After considering all of the above, it might make sense to tackle small roof repairs on your own. As mentioned previously, even a small repair has the potential to void a labor warranty, so it’s best to speak to your roofing installer before carrying out any work if your roof is still under warranty. 

Shingle Replacements

If you’re seeing a localized cracked or damaged shingle (perhaps after a storm) and are confident there’s no further water damage, you may be able to replace this yourself. It’s a case of finding a matching replacement, removing the damaged shingle, and nailing a new one in place. 

This how-to guide on replacing asphalt shingles is a good place to start, but it’s always best to get help from someone with experience in fixing roofs. 

Resealing the Flashing

Anywhere your roofing material meets features like chimneys and dormers, you’ll find flashing. It’s thin metal material used to direct water away from any gaps where the roof meets other objects. If you notice the flashing has any gaps where water could enter, you may be able to reseal the flashing with roofing cement. 

When to Hire a Professional Roofer 

If you’re confident in your abilities, have the right tools, and have a roof which is no longer under warranty, then you might be well placed to save costs and fix your roof yourself. 

However, it’s better to hire a pro if any of these apply to you: 

  • Your roof is still under warranty 
  • You’re unclear on local regulations or building codes
  • You’re uncomfortable with heights 
  • You have any health conditions which would make you more vulnerable to falls or more serious injury from falling 
  • You don’t have experience with construction or home repair
  • You don’t want to invest in roofing tools or equipment 
  • The scale of the project is too large to complete yourself in good time 

Not sure if you’re ready for a DIY project? You can always request an estimate from us to see what the cost of your roof repair would be first. 

How to Tell if Your Roof Needs Repair or Replacement

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If you’re a homeowner, it is inevitable that at some point, you’ll need to either repair or replace your roof. But you may not be sure what the signs are to tell if your roof needs to be replaced. Additionally, you need to know how to tell if it’s going to be a quick, easy repair or a long, expensive replacement. Today, we’ll answer all your questions about the difference between a roof replacement and repair and share some signs your roof is in need of some work. 

What’s the Difference between a Roof Repair and a Roof Replacement?

Before we begin on some of the signs that a roof repair or replacement may be in your future, we first need to explain the difference between the two. A roof repair is a cheaper, quicker fix to any damage your roof may have sustained through wear and tear. It simply is fixing the part of the roof that needs repair rather than getting a whole new roof. While this is an economical option, it may not apply in all situations depending on the roof’s damage and age. 

 

Replacement, on the other hand, may take longer and cost more, but it often has the benefit of saving you money in the long run, improving your roof’s energy efficiency, and keeping your roof sturdy throughout Florida’s hurricane season. Often, you’ll want a replacement when there is a large amount of damage to your roof or it’s at the end of its lifespan.

 

Signs It’s Time for a Repair or Replacement 

There are several signs you will begin to notice if your roof needs a replacement or repair. Here are some ways to tell if your roof needs to be worked on. 

Outside Signs of Roof Damage 

If it’s time to repair or replace your roof, you may be able to see signs when looking at your roof outside. One of the most obvious signs is if you can visibly see missing shingles. Shingles protect your roof from the elements like rain, so you’ll want to patch any exposed spots you see. Similarly, if you see your shingles curling or cracking, they may need to be replaced, even if they’re still attached to the roof. Curling or cracking means the shingles have been exposed to too much heat and are losing structural integrity.

 

A lesser-known sign is if you see moss growth on your roof. Moss thrives in damp environments, so seeing moss on your roof may indicate you have too much moisture in your roof. This can cause structural damage to the wood frame. Moss can also cause too much extra weight on your roof. Over time, slowly this will cause the roof to sag in. This is called roof sag and should be inspected immediately if you can see a noticeable sag to your roof. Depending on the severity of the sag, it could be an emergency situation.

Internal Signs of Roof Damage 

Just as you may see signs outside your home, you may see some signs on your ceiling. You may be able to tell visually if your roof is in need of repair or replacement. Leaks and water stains are going to be one of the most common signs that something is wrong with your roof. Too much moisture can wreak havoc on your roof and its structure. When an excess of moisture begins to build up, the water can either leak through your ceiling or cause water stains. 

 

If you have an attic, you’ll want to periodically check for any mildew growth. This is another sign that your roof isn’t ventilating properly and has moisture stuck inside. Catching this in the early stages will be vital in only needing a repair rather than a replacement. While checking your attic, if you can see light or feel drafts from outside, this is a sure sign that there is a hole in your roof in need of repair.

Age of Roof 

Florida has extreme weather that your roof has to be able to withstand. From the summer heat to powerful hurricanes, these conditions cause Florida roofs to have a shortened lifespan. For this reason, it is recommended that you replace your roof every 15 to 20 years in Gainesville. If your roof is older than 15 or 20 years, it may not be worth it to try to do a repair. Additionally, insurance may not even cover damages until you get a replacement. 

Roof Inspection

Sometimes, you may not be able to see any signs that your roof needs a replacement or repair. Damage may be hidden from your view that leaves you unaware of what is happening. This is why you should regularly have roofing professionals do an inspection of your roof. Especially before hurricane season comes around. A professional roofer will be able to see any damages that could threaten the integrity of your roof and offer the best solution. We here at McFall Roofing even offer free inspections for everyone to ensure your roof is structurally sound and healthy. 

 

Trust All Your Roof Repairs and Replacements to McFall Roofing

DIY roof repair is a taxing job. McFall Roofing is dedicated to providing Gainesville residents with energy-efficient, quality roofs. Whether you just need some shingles replaced or you need a whole new roof, we’ve got you covered. Rest assured knowing your roof is in good hands, and call us today!

Common Mistakes People Make When Choosing a Roofing Company

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Choosing a reliable roofing company is crucial when it comes to maintaining the integrity and longevity of your roof. A roof is one of the most vital components of any structure, protecting it from the elements and ensuring the safety of its occupants.

At McFall Roofing, we understand the significance of selecting a trustworthy and competent roofing company. With our years of experience serving Gainesville, FL, and the surrounding areas, we have witnessed firsthand the consequences of poor company choices. That’s why, today, we’re shedding some light on the most common mistakes people make when selecting a roofing company.

The purpose of this blog is to raise awareness about the potential pitfalls homeowners and property owners encounter when choosing a roofing company. By highlighting these common mistakes, we aim to empower you with the knowledge necessary to make an informed decision when it comes to selecting a roofing professional.

Throughout this blog, we will explore the most prevalent mistakes people make when selecting a roofing company. From overlooking proper licensing and insurance to neglecting to ask for references or conducting thorough research, we will address these issues and offer advice to help you avoid them. So, let’s dive in and uncover the most common mistakes to avoid when choosing a roofing company in Gainesville, FL.

Consequences of Not Conducting Thorough Research

Before hiring a roofing company, it is important to invest time and effort into conducting thorough research. The importance of this step cannot be overstated as it forms the foundation of a successful roofing project. Research allows you to gather information about various companies to compare their qualifications and, ultimately, make an informed decision. By neglecting this step, homeowners often find themselves facing a myriad of problems down the line.
Check the Credentials
One of the most common mistakes people make when selecting a roofing company is failing to check their credentials, licenses, and certifications. It is essential to ensure that the company you choose holds the appropriate licenses and certifications required by the state and local authorities. These credentials are indicative of a company’s compliance with industry standards and regulations. Here at McFall Roofing, we hold three active state licenses for general contracting (License CGC026008 and CBC 1257446) and roofing (License CCC056862).

By overlooking this aspect, individuals put themselves at risk of hiring uncertified companies which can lead to poor workmanship and potential legal complications.

Read Online Reviews and Getting References

Another critical aspect of research is reading online reviews and seeking references from previous clients. Online platforms, such as  review websites and social media, provide valuable insights into the experiences of others who have worked with the company you are considering. Paying attention to these reviews can help you gauge reputation, reliability, and overall customer satisfaction.

By neglecting to read online reviews and obtain references, homeowners risk hiring a roofing company without a clear understanding of their track record and customer satisfaction level. This oversight can lead to unpleasant surprises, such as poor communication, missed deadlines, or unsatisfactory results.

In conclusion, conducting thorough research before hiring a roofing company is crucial. By avoiding the common mistake of neglecting research, you will increase the chances of selecting a reliable roofing company that can deliver exceptional results for your roofing project.

Choosing Based Solely on Price

One of the most prevalent mistakes people make when choosing a roofing company is basing their decision solely on the lowest price. While budget considerations are important, it is crucial to remember that the lowest price does not always equate to the best value or quality of work. Opting for the cheapest company without considering other factors can lead to a range of issues and regrets down the line.

Choosing a company solely based on price may also result in hiring someone with inadequate experience or who cuts corners by using low-quality materials. Inexperienced companies may lack the necessary skills and knowledge to handle complex roofing projects, potentially leading to subpar workmanship, improper installations, and frequent repairs in the future. Similarly, roofing companies that use low-quality materials to reduce costs may compromise the durability and longevity of your roof — increasing the risk of leaks, structural damage, and premature deterioration.

The Importance of Obtaining Detailed Quotes

Instead of solely focusing on the lowest price, it is more beneficial to obtain detailed quotes from multiple roofing companies and compare them based on various factors such as quality, reputation, and value. A detailed quote should include a breakdown of the project scope, materials, labor costs, and any additional expenses. By evaluating these quotes holistically, you can make a more informed decision that takes into account the company’s experience, expertise, and the overall value they provide.

Ultimately, choosing a roofing company based solely on price is a mistake that can have significant repercussions. By obtaining detailed quotes and considering factors beyond the price tag, you can make a more informed decision that prioritizes quality, reputation, and long-term value. Remember, investing in a reliable, experienced company that uses quality materials is an investment in the longevity and performance of your roof.

Lack of Communication

Another common mistake people make when choosing a roofing company is not establishing clear communication channels from the beginning. Effective communication is the cornerstone of a successful roofing project. Failing to prioritize communication can lead to misunderstandings, delays, and frustration for both the homeowner and the roofers. It is crucial to set expectations early and establish open lines of communication to ensure a smooth and efficient process.

Issues that Can Arise from Miscommunication

When communication is lacking or ineffective, several issues can arise throughout the roofing project. Miscommunication can result in incorrect project specifications, delays in completion, and even costly rework. Without regular updates and clear lines of communication, homeowners may feel left in the dark — unsure of the project’s progress or any unexpected challenges that arise. This can lead to anxiety, dissatisfaction, and strained relationships between the homeowner and the roofer.

By prioritizing clear communication, homeowners can set a solid foundation for a successful roofing project. Effective communication ensures that everyone is on the same page, reduces misunderstandings, and fosters a positive working relationship. Remember, open lines of communication are key to a smooth, stress-free experience and results that meet or exceed your expectations.

Select a Trusted Roofing Company

Lack of research, only considering the price, and poor communication can make a roofing project expensive, frustrating, and long. By avoiding these mistakes and entrusting your roofing project to a reputable and experienced roofing company like McFall Roofing Services, you can have peace of mind that your roof is in good hands. McFall Roofing Services will ensure your roofing project is successful from start to finish!

If you are searching for a reliable roofing company that will avoid all of the above concerns and exceed expectations, McFall roofing company would be happy to help! Head over to our contact form and feel free to provide your information, or give us a call today at 352-415-9098 for a free consultation!

Snowbirds: Protect Your Roof While You’re Away

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As the warmer months approach, many “snowbirds” begin preparing to leave their winter homes in Florida and head back up north. Whether you’re a snowbird or simply planning an extended vacation, it’s important to protect your home while you’re away. One of the most critical components to consider is your roof. Neglecting your roof’s maintenance before leaving can result in costly damage and repairs. In this blog post, we will discuss the importance of protecting your roof while you’re away and offer tips on how to do so effectively.

Preparing For Your Departure 

Preparing your roof before leaving your home for an extended period is an important step in ensuring that your property remains protected. One of the first things you should do is inspect the roof for any signs of damage or wear. This includes checking for missing or broken shingles, cracks, or leaks. It’s also important to clear any debris, such as leaves or branches, that may have accumulated on the roof or in the gutters. This will help prevent clogs and ensure that water is properly directed away from your home.

In addition to inspecting and cleaning your roof, hiring a professional roofer is another important step to take before leaving. A professional roofer can perform a thorough inspection and make any necessary repairs to prevent damage while you’re away. They can also schedule regular maintenance to ensure that your roof remains in top condition. Hiring a professional can give you peace of mind knowing that your home is in good hands while you’re away.

Protecting Your Roof from the Elements: A Guide to Weatherproofing

As a homeowner, protecting your roof from the elements is significant to ensure your home’s structural integrity and your family’s safety. Weatherproofing your roof can help safeguard your property against severe weather conditions such as hurricanes, storms, and high winds. One way to protect your roof is by installing hurricane straps or clips. These metal connectors fasten the roof trusses to the walls, providing additional support and resistance to wind uplift. They can significantly reduce the risk of roof failure during extreme weather events. 

Another way to weatherproof your roof is by trimming nearby trees. Overgrown branches can damage your roof during high winds causing costly repairs. Regular tree maintenance and trimming can prevent branches from falling on your roof and damaging it. By taking these steps to weatherproof your roof, you can protect your home and keep your family safe during extreme weather conditions.

In addition to installing hurricane straps or clips and trimming nearby trees, another effective method to waterproof your roof is by applying a high-quality roofing sealant or coating. These sealants create a protective barrier on the surface of your roof, enhancing its resistance to water, UV rays, and other environmental factors. By sealing any existing cracks or gaps, you can prevent water from seeping into your home and causing potential water damage or leaks. Moreover, a reflective roof coating can also help regulate the temperature inside your home by reducing heat absorption, thereby lowering energy costs and promoting energy efficiency. By incorporating a roofing sealant or coating into your weatherproofing efforts, you can further fortify your roof and extend its lifespan.

Monitoring Your Roof While You’re Away: Ensure It’s Still There When You Return  

Monitoring your roof while you’re away is critical to ensure that any potential damage is caught and addressed before it becomes a bigger problem. One way to keep an eye on your roof is by installing a roof camera. This device allows you to remotely monitor your roof and view footage of any potential damage. The benefits of a roof camera include the ability to quickly detect any leaks, cracks, or other issues that may arise, and to provide evidence of any damage caused by severe weather conditions or other external factors.

If a roof camera isn’t for you, enlisting a trusted neighbor or property manager can also help monitor your property. Having someone check on your home periodically can alert you to any problems and allow for prompt repair. Additionally, having a trustworthy person to keep an eye on your home can also act as a deterrent to potential burglars. When choosing someone to check on your property, make sure they are reliable, have experience with property management, and are able to communicate with you while you’re away. By taking these steps, you can rest easy knowing that your home is being monitored and protected even while you’re away.

Checking Your Roof After an Extended Vacation 

After an extended period of absence, it is important to inspect your roof for any signs of damage or wear. Walk around your property and look for any missing or damaged shingles, cracks, or other issues that may have occurred while you were away. It’s important to address these issues as soon as possible to prevent further damage or leaks. If you notice any problems, be sure to schedule maintenance and repairs with a professional roofer to ensure that your roof is in good condition. 

In addition to professional maintenance, there are also simple steps you can take to keep your roof in good condition. Regular maintenance and inspections are key to keeping your roof in optimal condition, but there are additional steps you can take to ensure its longevity. One important aspect is to keep your roof clean and free of debris. Leaves, branches, and other debris can accumulate on your roof, causing moisture buildup and potential damage. Regularly remove any debris and clear your gutters to ensure proper water drainage. Additionally, trimming trees that are too close to your roof can prevent branches from scraping against it during strong winds, reducing the risk of shingle damage. Lastly, maintaining proper ventilation in your attic helps regulate temperature and prevents moisture buildup, which can lead to mold growth and structural damage. 

By implementing these simple measures, you can contribute to the overall health and durability of your roof, minimizing the need for costly repairs in the future.

Snowbirds, Keep Your Roof Safe and Sound   

In conclusion, protecting your roof while you’re away is critical to ensuring its longevity and avoiding costly repairs. By covering your roof, protecting it from the elements, monitoring it while you’re away, and inspecting it upon your return, you can give yourself peace of mind and avoid any unpleasant surprises. Remember to install a roof camera or enlist a trusted neighbor or property manager to keep an eye on your property. Additionally, schedule regular maintenance and inspections to keep your roof in top condition. 

It is essential to choose a reputable and experienced roofing company like McFall Roofers to ensure the highest level of protection for your roof. With our expertise and dedication to quality service, we can provide you with comprehensive inspections, maintenance, and repairs that will keep your roof in excellent condition. By entrusting your roof to professionals, you can have peace of mind knowing that it is in capable hands, allowing you to focus on other aspects of your life while you’re away. 

Don’t hesitate to contact McFall Roofers today to schedule an inspection or call us at 352-415-9098 and receive a free consultation! We want to help you maintain the longevity of your roof!

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