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Go Green This Fall

Some good news has come out of the roofing industry lately. Some of it has surrounded new products in development, such as roofing material embedded with solar cells and smog-scrubbing tiles. While they sound promising, the opportunity for energy-conscious individuals to be environmentally friendly already exists. If you’re not already acquainted with the methods of going green with your roof, there’s never been a better time to get started.

Green Roof Central

As a MasterElite Roofing Contractor, we’re backed the resources of North America’s largest roofing manufacturer. The GAF website contains a page dedicated to helping consumers green their homes and buildings. In some cases, the savings from these products may include both energy savings and tax credits.

Cool Shingles are one terrific option. These shingles from Timberline reflect some of the heat from the sun, reducing heat in the attic and the rest of the home. According to national figures, homeowners can save up to 15 percent of total cooling costs. The benefits may be greater in warmer climates with more days of sunshine, the kind of weather we experience here in Florida.

Another green measure you can take at home is recycling asphalt shingles. While you can’t set them out in a typical recycling bin or bag with your paper and plastics, you can find a recycler in Florida. One restriction on recycling asphalt shingles is if they contain asbestos. You can find out much more about state regulations and recycling opportunities for asphalt at the link below.

Recycle Asphalt Shingles

Garden roofing is a popular option worth exploring for commercial properties. The available garden roofing systems, such as GardenScapes, can be installed quickly and easily, reducing any interruption to day-to-day business on the property. Specialists can help you select the right vegetation for your climate, personal tastes and landscaping needs.

Keep in mind, there’s no requirement to be comprehensive in your efforts to go green this fall. Starting with small but beneficial projects can be a wise decision. Once you’ve found a little success saving energy and enhancing your surroundings, you’ll want to find more ways to do the same.

The End of Summer

The end of the summer is quickly approaching. Autumn officially begins on September 23, even if temperatures along the Gulf Coast won’t make it feel like fall right away. But that’s probably a big reason you live here. If you wanted mid-September highs in the 60s, you could move to Boston right now. But that’s not going to happen.

One big benefit of this “extended” warmth is the opportunity to start home improvement projects here while homeowners in other regions of the country are ending theirs. Many of your Gulf Coast neighbors are beginning to repair, replace and beautify parts of their property. You can, too!

That doesn’t mean you want to rush out and hire the first contractor who drives by. You want a professional contractor that comes equipped to handle the project and delivers on a promise to provide the materials and workmanship for which you’re paying. Wait, you’ve heard this before?

Sure, how to avoid to scam artists is a topic that gets mentioned a lot after tropical storms and hurricanes. But it’s always a good time to remind our Tampa Bay neighbors about the need to be vigilant when hiring anyone to handle home improvement projects. Education is a key part of the process.

Get acquainted with the particular project you want completed. When roofing is the focus, use reliable resources to become better informed about your options. For example, as a GAF MasterElite Roofing Contractor, we share the resources of GAF, North America’s largest roofing manufacturer. The company has a feature on its website that allows you to see how different options would look on a home.

Virtual Home Remodeler

This feature allows you to see several categories of home products, from stone options to brick and siding. Among the roofing options, you can view a variety of Slate choices, such as Bristol Gray and Sheffield Black. You can even upload an image of your own home to use, then print and save a project thanks to the site.

You can also educate yourself about the work involved. The more you know about the process, the less likely you are to be susceptible to a sales pitch from a less-than-scrupulous person. Of course, it’s always wise to ask for references, get a written agreement, and avoid paying a large amount of the bill up front.

State Seeks Roof Resolution

When a company makes a mistake, correcting it quickly is a vital part of protecting that company’s integrity and reputation. If that mistake is ignored or repeated, and ultimately affects multiple customers, an intervention becomes necessary. Sometimes that intervention comes directly from customers sharing poor reviews. Sometimes it takes a bigger effort.

In Ohio, the state’s Attorney General is suing a roofing company over unresolved complaints. Those complaints were filed with both the Attorney General’s Office and the Better Business Bureau. The six complaints allege failure to deliver, shoddy or incomplete work, and refunds promised but never received.

This type of suit doesn’t happen overnight. The Ohio Attorney General’s Office apparently contacted the roofing company several times in the past year, hoping to prompt the company to resolve these issues. Without a suitable response from the company, a suit was the necessary next step to help affected customers and protect future customers.

Customers along the Gulf Coast can benefit from the guidelines being shared with Ohio residents by their Attorney General’s Office. Researching a company is a sensible first step. Asking for references and written estimates explaining the cost of the work are other recommendations. Other safe practices include avoiding large payments before work begins, and withholding final payments until the work has been completed to a customer’s satisfaction.

It’s important to note that the suit in Ohio doesn’t stop the company from offering and providing home improvement services. In fact, it’s likely the company has current customers who no nothing about the suit by the state’s Attorney General. But it is ultimately a customer’s responsibility to know who he or she is doing business with.

That doesn’t mean a company shouldn’t be held accountable when it fails to deliver goods or services as promised, and a lawsuit is not always necessary. As a pro-active customer, you can help keep home improvement companies honest by reporting fraud and bad business practices to the Better Business Bureau. You can also help fellow customers by rewarding the good companies with your praise.


Hurricane Irene Provides Role Reversal

Residents along Florida’s Gulf Coast are no doubt feeling a role reversal in the days following Hurricane Irene’s path of destruction from North Carolina to New England. The images on TV of mountain towns in upstate New York cut off by flood waters and water rescues in New Jersey are certainly different than we’re used to seeing when tropical weather usually ravages our state and states to the west. For many residents in the areas affected by Irene, the hurricane of that size will be a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Hearing from family and friends is an important part of the recovery process for residents whose homes have sustained damage and people who have temporarily cut off by flood waters. According to news reports, some groups of people in the Northeast may be stranded for days due to flooded roads and washed out bridges. Resources, like food and clean water, may be sharply limited, too. Widespread power outages have prompted utility crews from outside the region, including crews from Florida, to provide assistance in outage areas.

If you’ve experienced the wrath of one of nature’s most formidable forces, you likely remember living in survival mode for days or even weeks. But in an area like New England, hurricanes are a rare occurrence and residents are less likely to be prepared for either the initial impact or the aftermath. In fact, landlocked Vermont is battling its worst flooding in 70 years.

Another unexpected event connected to disasters like this one is the arrival of scam artists and unlicensed contractors looking to make fast money from home repair jobs. Hopefully, you never fell prey to one of these unethical individuals. But any experience you’ve had with them can be valuable to a friend or family member who may encounter someone similar during the cleanup and recovery period up north.

One of the best bits of advice you can give to a friend or family member affected by Irene is to recommend asking for several bids for any significant needs, such as roof repair. Also, tell them that checking the license of a contractor, getting the agreement in writing and avoiding those door-to-door sales calls are more than suggestions—they’re mandatory steps. Now your experience is paying off!

Irene’s Not-So-Gentle Reminder

As Hurricane Irene pushes closer to the United States, residents along the East Coast are stocking up on supplies as they prepare for power outages that can accompany damaging winds. Of course, it’s been awhile since we’ve seen any tropical action affecting the mainland U.S. Nearly three years have passed since Hurricane Ike made landfall in Texas as a strong category 2 hurricane—with a storm surge more than 12 feet. It was part of an active 2008 Atlantic hurricane season. The season included the formation of Tropical Storm Cristobal off the Florida coast, but that storm paled in comparison to Ike and left Florida largely unaffected.

The large gap in time between these types of storms is a blessing and a burden. A quiet hurricane season can mean no casualty and minimal property damage. On the flip side, the passage of time also leads us to forget what always accompanies damaging storms: the people looking to make a quick buck by promising fast repairs and not delivering on that promise. These so-called “storm chasers” pop up everywhere, and some may even travel from state to state following a disaster.

While a homeowner’s eagerness to save a few bucks may prompt him or her to hire one of these less-than-desirable contractors, it’s important to remember that you never need to make a decision on-the-spot when someone knocks on your door and offers to provide a service. Like any licensed, reputable contractor, we will always advise you to do your research first before contracting the services of anyone. Ask for testimonials. Check with the Better Business Bureau. Check out company information online, if available.

As we watch the track of Hurricane Irene, we’re breathing a sigh of relief that it’s bypassing Florida. At the same time, we realize that there is the potential for damage to homes and properties along the East Coast. This is an ideal time to advise your friends and family in the potential affected areas to be cautious regarding any type of contractor who approaches them with pre-hurricane services or quickly appears following storm damage.

Update the Way You Insulate

Newcomers and long-time residents along Florida’s Gulf Coast recognize the tremendous beauty of the Bay Area. Many homeowners further enhance the look of the area with improvements to their own properties, adding curb appeal to a home and more personality to neighborhoods like Seminole Heights and Carrollwood in Tampa and Driftwood and Bahama Shores in St. Petersburg. Yet homeowners focused on visual improvements to a home may neglect one critical area that largely remains unseen.

It’s not an attractive part of the home, but attic insulation provides an important function as it controls energy loss in your home, year round. It can mean the difference between feeling cool and comfortable during a Florida summer and feeling miserable—or paying higher-than-necessary utility bills due to an air conditioner or furnace consuming more energy. One factor is the age of your insulation. Attic insulation that’s ten years old or older is likely no longer functioning at 100% and should be replaced immediately. If you’ve purchased a home in the Bay Area in the last few years and don’t know the age of your home’s attic insulation, don’t assume the insulation is sufficient.

Even homes with new construction are not necessarily adequately insulated. One variable is the type of insulation used in your attic. While most homeowners are acquainted with rolls of insulation, they may not be aware of the added benefits of blown-in insulation, such as the kind offered by Owens Corning. According to www.energystar.gov, 15.5 inches of Owens Corning AttiCat Expanding Blown-In PINK FIBERGLAS Insulation can save a homeowner up to 20% on heating and cooling costs.

Whether you’re unsure about the efficiency of your insulation or already planning to replace it, Arry’s Roofing can help. We’ve worked with many of your Gulf Coast neighbors and we’d love to with you. Learn more about our services by clicking on the link below.

Replace Your Inadequate Attic Insulation

Roof Safety Starts on the Ground

Imagine tying two flat ladders together to create a makeshift extension ladder. Or placing a ladder in the bucket of a backhoe for extra reach. Or placing a flat ladder against a flagpole when nothing else was available. These scenarios may seem absurd but they’ve all happened in real life. You may have driven by them, or perhaps you’re the one who’s made those choices.

As an experienced roofing contractor, Arry’s Roofing always encourages our Bay Area customers to use a licensed professional for roof repair and maintenance jobs. Yet we realize that some homeowners, in an effort to pinch pennies, may attempt to handle the work themselves. What many of them don’t know is that seemingly simple tasks—such as cleaning the gutters or removing moist leaves that can lead to shingle rot—can lead to personal injuries and property damage. Working on (or near) the roof requires carefully planning the work and ensuring one’s safety from the ground up. If you absolutely must do any roof maintenance on your own, take note of some helpful hints that could save you time and money by sparing you the agony of an accident.

According to ladder safety guidelines published by the Department of Environmental Health and Safety at Stanford University, inspecting a ladder prior to each use will reveal any cracks, splits or corrosion. A fiberglass ladder is preferable for most uses, and is less sensitive to heat and moisture than a wood ladder. While strong and lightweight, aluminum ladders cannot be used near electricity or exposed electrical equipment. It’s also essential to keep all ladders away from mud, materials or debris—or any place they could get accidentally struck.

Once the ladder is properly positioned against your home—extending three feet beyond the roof—ensure your shoes are clean and dry and begin climbing. Refrain from standing or working on the three top rungs, and always keep three points of body contact with the ladder, such as two feet and one hand or two feet and your chest. The Belt Buckle Rule, which involves keeping your belt buckle between the ladder’s side rails to stay centered, is another safe practice to remember.

Ultimately, keeping that ladder in storage and letting the licensed and insured team take care of your roof maintenance is the safest practice. But you’ve still got a job to do: regularly inspecting your roof—even from ground level—will give you top-of-mind awareness of your home’s best protection. Then, if a problem does develop, you’ll be on top of it right away and able to call in the Bay Area’s most trusted roofing professionals to take care of the business we do best.

The Contractor On Your Right

Two contractors appear before you, one on your left and one on your right. The one on the right speaks comprehensively about providing the right solution for your home needs. The one on the left emphasizes his low rate. Because price matters, you pick the contractor that will cost you less money. Simple, right? But before you open your checkbook, here are just a few things to keep in mind when hiring a roofing contractor.

First, not all roofers are made equal. It takes more than a ladder and knowledge of building codes to provide quality roofing service. Superior roofing companies pass strict certification requirements, such as the ones necessary to become a GAF Master Elite Roofing Contractor. Superior roofing companies also develop new ways to become more productive and enhance the industry in which they operate.

Second, a “one-size-fit-all” approach to material rarely works. A roofer who knows his shingles but cannot explain the advantages of upgrading to metal or tile roofing systems may not be right for you. Knowing how to select an appropriate roofing system for each home is an essential part of a superior roofer’s job.

Third, beware cost cutting due to cheap materials. Some homeowners in the Bay Area are unaware that the contractor they hired has used recalled shingles. Unfortunately, these shingles may crack, curl, become warped or deteriorate prematurely. The results may include leaking and lead to other damage to the home.

Finally, the need for proper ventilation is crucial. A home’s energy bills can be directly impacted by the proper installation of a ventilation system to control heat in the summer and moisture in the winter. The effects can be felt immediately after installation, and not only can it lower cooling and heating costs, it also sustains a longer life of the roofing materials.

Now take another look at the contractors on your left and right. One places a ladder against your roof, while the other places a value on enhancing and protecting your home. The sensible choice is the one whose work you can live with long after he’s left the building.

Welcome to Arry’s!

Welcome to the new Arry’s blog. We’re very excited to debut our new website, which is easier to read, better-designed, and full of great information. Our blog will enable us to update our customers and friends about new roofing products and services, how to prolong the life of your roof, and how to know when your roof needs a repair.

We’ve been part of the Tampa – St. Petersburg area for more than 25 years. When we started Arry’s Roofing, we wanted to become the most trusted roofing contractor in our entire metropolitan area. We knew it wouldn’t be easy — not everyone has had a great experience with contractors. But we knew that we needed to prove ourselves with delivering the highest quality products together with the most skillful and dedicated installers, every day. Thankfully through the years, our customers have seen our work as well as our commitment to quality, and they’ve recommended us to their friends and relatives. We’re proud of the quality operation we’ve built. And we’re proud that we’ve been able to give back to the community in many ways.

We always will strive to be the best — to earn your trust and your business. You can count on it!