What Roof Type Do I Have?

The type of roof that you have for your home can influence many other factors and costs, such as aesthetics, insurance premiums, repair costs, ease of maintenance, and more. Here are the different types of roofs that you might have for your Florida house, sorted by material and shape. We will also look at how you may be able to reduce your homeowners insurance costs by leveraging certain roof qualities.

Roof material

The rooftop material can vary greatly. Each type of roof material has different characteristics. Here are the various advantages and disadvantages of each type of roof. 

Concrete roof

A roof made from concrete is both modern and durable, and roofs made from concrete may be found all over Florida. They typically provide a very good value in terms of pricing, protection, and attractiveness. 

Durability-wise, concrete is quite resistant to the elements. Fire and heavy rains may not easily damage concrete roofs. As a bonus that is crucial in Florida, concrete roofs can sustain strong hurricanes fairly well, as it is durable, heavy, and do not absorb water. 

It is important to note that concrete roofs tend to be coated in protective material, either plastic or enamel. This outside layer may suffer from chipping or natural degradation over the years. 

Metal 

Florida Metal roofing is often used for its low maintenance and high durability. It is easy to maintain a metal roof compared to more traditional forms of roofing and can be very durable depending on the exact type of metal. 

Florida is known for some of the wildest weather circumstances in the world. From hurricanes to lightning storms, Florida’s subtropical climate encounters plenty of extreme weather. A metal roof can withstand winds up to 160mph. Its durability to elements might be able to help your building survive better through extreme weather conditions. 

Another benefit to a metal roof is that the material is resistant to bugs, which means that you might not run into insect infestations and damages that wood roofs might experience. 

In terms of warmth, metal roofs can also provide your home additional insulation by reflecting sunlight, which might be desirable in colder weather. 

One disadvantage of metal roofing is the potentially expensive costs associated with metal. A roof designer company might charge you extra for the material. Another weakness is that metal can still sustain physical damage from dents caused by debris from whatever cause. If there is hail, for example, the entire roof may need to be replaced. 

Wood shakes

This kind of wooden roofing is used frequently for its attractive, natural appearance. Wood shakes can bring out the rustic, charming look that only this kind of roof can provide for homes. 

The aesthetic comes with a certain cost, though, since wood shakes have their distinct disadvantages. They require additional maintenance due to their vulnerability to bugs and poor weather conditions. 

On the bright side, a roof made from wood shakes can last forty years if it is properly maintained during the period. Of course, this comes with the likelihood of relatively high costs, making wood shakes more expensive than shingled roofing. 

Unfortunately, wood shakes are also lacking in fire resistance. The elements can bring great wear and damage to a roof made of wood shakes, and the roof will certainly suffer when it is hurricane season. That is why wood shakes may be more often found in inland communities and areas. 

If you are worried about repair costs, wood shakes might not be the choice for you. They also tend to be individually underwritten in terms of insurance policy costs and expectations, so you may wish to be wary of maintaining wood roofs in a state like Florida. 

Slate 

Slate roofs can be highly customizable and look wonderful, earning them a place in many Florida homeowners’ hearts who prefer this more niche choice of material. Another main advantage of slate roofing is its environmentally friendly quality. 

They can be very heavy, though, so not all homes can withstand the extra weight put on by a slate roof. While they rate highly in terms of fire resistance, they may also crack, similar to clay tiles. 

Repairs for damaged slate roofs can be a costly problem since, due to the slate’s high customizability, finding the matching roof color as the original could feel like a wild goose chase. 

Shingled roof

The shingled roof is one of the most popular styles in America due to its affordability and ease of maintenance. Shingles tend to fit well with all sorts of architectural styles, which means they have a quintessential aesthetic appeal. 

The downside of shingle roofing is that the tiles may not be able to withstand the brutal force of storms. They can get carried away by hurricanes or damaged by hot climates, making shingle roof damage a potentially frequent insurance claim. 

However, the asphalt, fiberglass, and other materials used to make shingles are relatively easy and inexpensive to source. This means that you may be able to file for repairs with relative ease.  

Clay tiles 

Clay roofs give off a warm, earthy look and are a very popular choice in South Florida and other coastal areas. They are extremely durable, meaning that clay tiles will never rot. They’re resistant to bugs, salt (from ocean water), and in general resilient against the elements. In addition to their long lifespan of up to fifty years, all of the good qualities of clay tiles make them the ideal choice for many homeowners.

Downsides to clay tiles include being vulnerable to cracks, such as ones caused by trees crashing down on them or brushing against them in howling winds. They can also be on the expensive end of roofing options. 

Roof shape

The shape of your roof can play a big part in what kind of roof your home has. It may affect how your insurance company decides your homeowners policy rates because different shapes can withstand harsh weather conditions and airflow more easily. 

There are six common types of roof shapes:

  • Gable
  • Hip
  • Flat
  • Shed
  • Gambrel
  • Mansard

How does roof shape affect your insurance policy? 

Some of the most common roof shapes in Florida are the Gable and Hip roofs if you live in a high wind zone. This is partly because a Hip roof can remain more stable against strong winds due to its lower inline roof slopes and fewer sharp corners. 

Florida has certain building codes, including one that says that a building should be built to withstand winds of at least 120mph. Newer construction standards these days have gone all the way up to around 175mph. If you live in a newer building, chances are you do not have to worry so much about severe wind damage. However, different roof shapes will probably affect your insurance policy cost. 

A flat roof, in particular, is one of the more egregious types of roof shape. A flat roof builds up water in case of heavy rain or storm and suffers during the hurricane season. Thus, flat roofs will likely be more expensive to insure than other kinds of roofs. 

Roof repairs and damage

On average, roof repairs can cost homeowners around $884. However, this cost can rise drastically depending on the type of roof repairs and damages, going over $2,000. An entire roof replacement cost can go into the tens of thousands of dollars and can also be a time-consuming process. 

How does roof failure and damage happen?

As we have mentioned above, the durability of your roof can depend on the roof material, as well as its overall shape. 

Not every building’s roof is created equal. Even if you have a very strong and durable roof material and shape, there are plenty of other factors that could still affect how well your roof stands the test of time and the elements. 

For example, if your roof overhang is large, it might increase the chances of your roof being blown off during strong wind conditions. 

A roof-to-wall connection, also known as the roof deck, can also be a contributing factor to how well-attached and stable your roof is. Some common roof deck attachment materials from weakest to strongest are: toenails, clips, single wraps, and double wraps. 

Toenails are the weakest way to attach a roof to a wall, thus potentially requiring more repairs or replacements, but they will likely be the cheapest. Meanwhile, double wraps are one of the strongest methods, but they may be rarer and more expensive than the other options. 

How long does a roof last?

Florida has bouts of extreme weather that shorten the average roof lifespan. Even if roof material is advertised as lasting for many decades, an insurance company providing coverage for a roof in Florida will typically not recognize this type of warranty. Many homeowners might end up having to follow special mandatory roof replacement schedules and maintenance updates. 

Even clay and concrete roofs that typically can last for fifty years might not be able to withstand the extreme weather conditions of Florida for that long. Heat, humidity, rain, storms, and hurricanes can drastically reduce a roof’s lifespan. 

Here is an example of a general Florida roof insurance schedule.

  • Wood: decided on an individual basis 
  • Flat roofs: under 10 years 
  • Shingle: up to 20 years
  • Clay and concrete: up to 40 years
  • Metal: from 15 to 40 years 

Getting the best roof insurance coverage 

When obtaining homeowners insurance coverage, the insurance company will typically send an agent to come and check your home out to assess its status and any pre-existing conditions to the building. 

When it comes to the roof, many factors might influence your overall homeowners insurance premium. For example, the older your roof is, the more it might negatively affect your premium. 

Obtaining roof financing and roof loans

Sometimes, you might want to consider a roof loan for replacement and repair of your roof in cases where you do not have adequate insurance coverage. There are several ways that you might wish to finance your roof replacement and repairs, and a loan could be the option. This may be harder to achieve if you have bad credit since certain personal loan lenders might make that a disqualification factor or bump up certain fees and expectations. 

How is a roof inspected for insurance? 

When undergoing an inspection by your homeowners insurance company, your licensed insurance agent will ask for plenty of information about your roof. Take note of your roof’s type, age, as well as any other information that might be relevant to the structural integrity and status of your roof. 

Depending on how old your home is as well, you may be required by your insurance company to get a four-point inspection, which is more comprehensive. It can help provide you and your insurance carrier with a deeper understanding of your rooftop situation. If there are any particular issues to the roof that may arise or pre-existing damages and conditions, you may be able to find out from this inspection. 

As you can see, the insurance policy for a wood roof is typically individually underwritten so that the coverage makes sense for the type of roof material you have. 

A homeowners policy may have its premium adjusted considerably due to the type of roof you have, so being aware of the advantages and disadvantages of each roof type can help you score the best possible coverage. 

It is important to note that each insurance policy and company may have different terms of usage or ways of providing coverage for roofs. 

Our team of expert insurance agents at Worth Insurance is always here to help you get a quote for the insurance that you need. We can help ensure that your roof is adequately covered and that your homeowners insurance is affordable and suits your individualized needs. 

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