Re-Building Green

Re-Building Green
The concept of sustainable building incorporates and integrates a variety of strategies during the design, construction and operation of building projects. The use of green building materials and products represents one important strategy in the process of a green restoration after a home or business has sustained damage.

Green building materials offer specific benefits to the building owner and building occupants:

Reduced maintenance/replacement costs over the life of the building.
Energy conservation.
Improved occupant health and productivity.
Lower costs associated with changing space configurations.
Greater design flexibility. 
Building and construction activities worldwide consume 3 billion tons of raw materials each year or 40 percent of total global use (Roodman and Lenssen, 1995). Using green building materials and products promotes conservation of dwindling nonrenewable resources internationally. In addition, integrating green building materials into building projects can help reduce the environmental impacts associated with the extraction, transport, processing, fabrication, installation, reuse, recycling, and disposal of these building industry source materials.

What is a green building product or material?
Green building materials are composed of renewable, rather than nonrenewable resources.

Overall material/product selection criteria:

Resource efficiency
Indoor air quality
Energy efficiency
Water conservation
Resource Efficiency can be accomplished by utilizing materials that meet the following criteria:
Recycled Content: Products with identifiable recycled content, including postindustrial content with a preference for postconsumer content.
Natural, plentiful or renewable: Materials harvested from sustainably managed sources and preferably have an independent certification (e.g., certified wood) and are certified by an independent third party.
Resource efficient manufacturing process: Products manufactured with resource-efficient processes including reducing energy consumption, minimizing waste (recycled, recyclable and or source reduced product packaging), and reducing greenhouse gases.
Locally available: Building materials, components, and systems found locally or regionally saving energy and resources in transportation to the project site.
Salvaged, refurbished, or remanufactured: Includes saving a material from disposal and renovating, repairing, restoring, or generally improving the appearance, performance, quality, functionality, or value of a product.
Reusable or recyclable: Select materials that can be easily dismantled and reused or recycled at the end of their useful life.
Recycled or recyclable product packaging: Products enclosed in recycled content or recyclable packaging.
Durable: Materials that are longer lasting or are comparable to conventional products with long life expectancies.

Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) is enhanced by utilizing materials that meet the following criteria:
Low or non-toxic: Materials that emit few or no carcinogens, reproductive toxicants, or irritants as demonstrated by the manufacturer through appropriate testing.
Minimal chemical emissions: Products that have minimal emissions of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs).  Products that also maximize resource and energy efficiency while reducing chemical emissions.
Low-VOC assembly: Materials installed with minimal VOC-producing compounds, or no-VOC mechanical attachment methods and minimal hazards.
Moisture resistant: Products and systems that resist moisture or inhibit the growth of biological contaminants in buildings.
Healthfully maintained: Materials, components, and systems that require only simple, non-toxic, or low-VOC methods of cleaning.
Systems or equipment: Products that promote healthy IAQ by identifying indoor air pollutants or enhancing the air quality.

Energy Efficiency can be maximized by utilizing materials and systems that meet the following criteria:
Materials, components, and systems that help reduce energy consumption in buildings and facilities.

Water Conservation can be obtained by utilizing materials and systems that meet the following criteria:
Products and systems that help reduce water consumption in buildings and conserve water in landscaped areas.

Affordability can be considered when building product life-cycle costs are comparable to conventional materials or as a whole, are within a project-defined percentage of the overall budget.

Sinkhole Repair in Florida

Sinkhole Repair in Florida
There are many methods of sinkhole repair.  Here is a list of the commonly used types for sinkhole repair in Florida.
Compaction Grouting
Pressure Grouting 
Chemical Grouting
Epoxy Injection
Steel Piers
Helical Piers
Floor Slab Piers
Pre-Construciton Piers
Injection Piers
Concrete Piers
Carbon Fiber Wall Reinforcement
Every case is different.  Only an expert can decide which method is best for you.  Call Restorsurance today if you have a sinkhole, we can help you navigate your complex insurance claim and repair it right the first time.

What is a Sinkhole?

What is a Sinkhole?

Sinkholes are common where the rock below the land surface is limestone, carbonate rock, salt beds, or rocks that can naturally be dissolved by ground water circulating through them. As the rock dissolves, spaces and caverns develop underground. Sinkholes are dramatic because the land usually stays intact for a while until the underground spaces just get too big. If there is not enough support for the land above the spaces then a sudden collapse of the land surface can occur. These collapses can be small or they can be huge and can occur where a house or road is on top.
The most damage from sinkholes tends to occur in Florida, Texas, Alabama, Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Pennsylvania, where certain rock types that are susceptible to dissolution in water occur. In these areas the formation of underground cavities can form and catastrophic sinkholes can happen. These rock types are evaporites (salt, gypsum, and anhydrite) and carbonates (limestone and dolomite). Evaporite rocks underlie about 35 to 40 percent of the United States, though in many areas they are buried at great depths.
Sinkholes can be Human-induced
New sinkholes have been correlated to land-use practices, especially from ground-water pumping and from construction and development practices. Sinkholes can also form when natural water-drainage patterns are changed and new water-diversion systems are developed. Some sinkholes form when the land surface is changed, such as when industrial and runoff-storage ponds are created. The substantial weight of the new material can trigger an underground collapse of supporting material, thus causing a sinkhole.
The overburden sediments that cover buried cavities in the aquifer systems are delicately balanced by ground-water fluid pressure. The water below ground is actually helping to keep the surface soil in place. Ground-water pumping for urban water supply and for irrigation can produce new sinkholes In sinkhole-prone areas. If pumping results in a lowering of ground-water levels, then underground structural failure, and thus, sinkholes, can occur.

Spotting a Hail Damaged Roof

Spotting a Hail Damaged Roof
What does hail damage look like on asphalt shingle roofs? Areas of lost mineral granules will be apparent, with more severe granule loss on roof slopes facing the direction from which the hailstones fell (or blew) during the storm. Inspecting an asphalt shingle roof shortly after a hail storm, if the roof has been damaged, should show that the areas of mineral granule loss have exposed “fresh” looking shingle substrate – the asphalt impregnated shingle substrate will not yet have been weathered by sun exposure.
Hail damage to roofs versus shingle wear
Hail-damaged roof shingles we’ve seen or which have been sent along to us as in photo form, show more of a “scouring” effect in which larger, more irregularly-shaped areas of shingle surface have lost granules (and thus have produced a shingle nearer the end of its product life than before the storm.
Worn or weathered asphalt roof shingles which are losing their mineral granules in the course of normal aging, if inspected early in the wear cycle, already show small areas of granule loss, beginning with bald areas on the shingles which may be just the diameter of a few mineral granules. As the sun and weather wear will accelerate in these “bald” spots or micro-spots, when the inspector sees a larger bald spot it will be also weathered, having developed over time as opposed to having developed suddenly during a storm.
Confounding this distinction between hail damage and shingle wear as a source of granule loss, is the wear on an older asphalt shingle roof when exposed to a hailstorm. If the roof were worn (and its mineral granules less securely attached to the shingle surface), we posit that roof will lose more granules more quickly in the hail storm than a newer surface.
Inspect your roof as soon as possible after any storm
Inspect your roof regularly, annually would be great, so that you can find and fix damage before it becomes a more costly leak. If you inspect the roof regularly you then can have information to compare with the condition of the roof after a severe storm – you can document when damage occurred and can establish that damage was or was not present before a particular storm.
Inspect your roof promptly after a storm: Any storm or wind alone can damage a roof, so the sooner you inspect the roof after a storm the better you can avoid leak damage inside the home, and if an insurance claim for roof damage is warranted, the better will be the data you can provide in support of your claim.
Inspect your roof gutters: before and after a storm. If the gutters were clean and after the storm they are loaded with mineral granules you have strong evidence of roof wear and damage due to the hail storm.
Hail damage versus asphalt shingle blister wear
Asphalt shingle blistering or rash blisters or other visual anomalies on a roof surface versus visual evidence of asphalt shingle hail damage can be tricky to distinguish. Some owners and some roof inspectors who have not seen various types of roof damage may have difficulty distinguishing between blistering, thermal splitting, age cracking, general product wear and granule loss, and other markings on asphalt roof shingles due to specifically hail, ice, or other storm damage.
Shingle rash blisters on asphalt shingles result from the manufacturing process, (and may be cosmetic or possibly a more serious defect) which are sometimes mistaken for hail damage.
Hailstones can be quite large, even golf-ball sized in some cases. Hail might produce a “dent” or a damage point in an asphalt shingle roof surface, resulting in granule loss and reduced remaining roof life. But I’m highly doubtful that hail ever produces raised “blisters” on the shingles such as shown in our description of shingle rash blistering.
Hail damage can dislodge the protective mineral granules of an asphalt shingle, producing areas of exposed asphalt shingle substrate. If inspecting an asphalt shingle (or mineral-granule-covered roof roofing) roof shortly after a hailstorm the exposed shingle substrate should be expected to show freshly-exposed asphalt coated or asphalt impregnated shingle base material. If the same area is examined much later the exposed shingle areas of granule loss may have weathered or even cracked and this distinction (hail versus wear or other sources of granule loss) will be more difficult to distinguish
Asphalt shingle blisters, are raised bumps or protrusions in shingle surface, either closed blisters or open ones showing a small black pit or crater when the protective mineral granules have been lost from the peak of the blister.
Variations in shingle damage or wear according to roof slope pitch and weather or sun exposure
Storm damage is likely to affect different roof slopes differently as their weather exposure varies.
In the photo taken on a jobsite we see cracks in some of the shingles. We would be surprised to learn that the impact of ice pellets on a roof would produce cracking and we pose that the cracks were a preexisting condition on an older shingle roof. (I have seen cracking appear suddenly on asphalt shingles in response to cold weather, in the form of thermal splitting however, a failure for which we have a very different explanation and a different cracking pattern than shown in the photo here–DF.)
Look at the uniformity of roof defects over the field of a given slope to help understand the probable cause. Blistering of asphalt shingles caused by the product itself might appear uniform over all of the roof on all slopes independent of weather exposure.
In other cases, if only a few bundles of shingles were defective, say from improper manufacture or storage, asphalt shingle blistering may appear in shingles in a specific pattern on a roof following the application pattern of the shingles themselves as they were nailed to the roof. Since roof shingles from a single bundle are usually applied over a single area of a roof, this pattern and cause may be self-evident on close inspection of the whole roof.
Whose opinion on roof wear do you trust?
Sources of conflicts of interest
While many roof inspectors and home inspectors are expected to be un-biased neutral professionals, we cannot assume that this is always the case. The building owner should consider possible sources of conflicting interests on the part of the person performing the inspection. These conflicting interests can occur in both expected and less obvious ways:
Who is the roof inspector working for? Some roof inspectors working for the insurance company may be understandably motivated to focus on shingle wear rather than storm damage. If the insurance company inspector can give specifics of what s/he saw on the roof and what those clues mean (such as evidence of other signs of roof wear: cracks, blisters, tears) that opinion should be considered seriously.
Will the roof inspector gain financially by the inspection outcome? if the roof inspector is asked to advise on whether or not the roof needs immediate replacement, and if s/he works for a roofing company, the “safe” as well as “profitable” opinion to offer is that replacement is needed.
Experienced roofing contractors who conclude that the roof does not need immediate replacement but who have seen many roofs in a given geographic area in many conditions, who give specific details of what s/he saw and what those clues mean, and who conclude that the damage is due to hail (or another cause), have offered an opinion that should be taken seriously.
In sum, ask the roof inspector for specific details that support his or her conclusions about the condition of the roof and about what caused its damage or wear. An inspector who offers only the “bottom line conclusion” with no supporting evidence, does not deserve the confidence of the building owner.

Roof Inspection Damage Risks

Roof Inspection Damage Risks
Walking on some roofs causes damage:
These are the very “footprints of damage” which occur on fragile, old, worn roof shingles.
A little story: A “failed” roof was not leaking until the fellow who was asked to inspect it walked across this fragile surface. From a ladder at the roof edge one could clearly see the virtual footprints of broken shingle edges where the “inspector” had walked. In this case the “inspector” was a roofing contractor who came back down to the ground and told the home owner that she needed a new roof right away.
She was upset because her ASHI-certified home inspector had said that the thought she could use the roof for another two to five years. Our opinion was that she did need a new roof very soon but that had not been the case until “bigfoot” had stomped all over it.
Worn out fragile roofs: The roof should not be walked-on. I would stay off of worn, brittle, or cupped-shingle roofs, particularly in cold weather (shingles are more likely to break).
If we absolutely have to walk on such a roof, we would tiptoe carefully, avoiding stepping on the raised or cupped shingle sections, or if doing repairs, we would prop a ladder up off of the roof surface and work from that scaffold as is sometimes done with slate or other fragile roof surface repairs.
Guidelines for Direct Walking-On Inspection of Various Roof Surfaces & Roof Conditions
Some home inspectors reduce their workload and speed the the job by asserting that they do not walk on any roof surface under any condition, citing reasons of safety or fear of damaging the roof surface. But expert inspectors generally agree that there are many roof areas, conditions, and important roof defects, even total roof failure (such as thermal splitting), that are simply not visible except direct access to the roof edge (by ladder or other means) or by walking on the roof.
Do not try to walk on any roof which is: too high, steep, wet, slippery, fragile, for safe access, and do not walk on any roof which is installed over an incomplete, damaged, or rotted surface, as you might, like my helper on one roofing job, fall right through the roof surface!
The determination of the safety and reasonableness of inspection method of any roof (or any other building component) is the sole responsibility of the building inspector, with the exception that the building owner also has the right to ask that the inspector omit or not access any building component or system. The inspector is required in all cases to describe how an inspection was performed or if it was not performed, to explain why and to explain the implications of this to his or her client.
Cement asbestos roof shingles: these shingles are as fragile as slate; it’s best to stay off of this surface. Though we’ve walked carefully on a few such roofs it’s easy to damage them.
Cupped roof shingles: stay off in cold weather; inspect the shingles from the roof edge, from upper building windows, or if the roof must be walked-on, step carefully in the cupped portions on tiptoe, avoiding stepping on the raised curled portions of the shingles as otherwise you’ll break off large corners and may lead to an immediate need for re-roofing. If the shingles are also brittle, even in warm weather, do not walk on the roof.
Cracked roof shingles: vary in fragility, depending on shingle age and reason for cracking. Some “cracked” roof surfaces such as roofs damaged by thermal splitting, are not likely to be further damaged by careful direct inspection by walking their surfaces.
Curled roof shingles: as with cupped shingles, stay off in cold weather; inspect the shingles from the roof edge, from upper building windows, or if the roof must be walked-on, step carefully on the flat portions of the shingle, on tiptoe, avoiding stepping on the raised curled edges of the shingles as otherwise you’ll break off the edges. If the shingles are also brittle, even in warm weather, do not walk on the roof.
Fishmouthed roof shingles: are fragile and may be damaged if you step on the raised portion of shingle. If the fishmouthing is on a fairly new roof and the shingles are not otherwise brittle it may be possible to walk on such a surface.
Low-slope or single membrane roofs: can often be safely walked-on but beware of fragile, worn roll roofing which may be damaged by careless foot traffic, and beware of raised blisters, ridges, wrinkles which can also be damaged by careless walking.
Metal roof surfaces: can be walked-on provided (1) the roof is not too steep and (2) the metal roofing was installed over closely-spaced nailers or sheathing. Beware that some metal roofs may be installed directly over rafters and widely spaced horizontal nailers, and may be fragile or subject to denting. Do not step on raised seams or other flashing areas that may be damaged; beware, metal roofs are very slippery when wet. The metal roof in the right-hand photo above was high, steep, and slippery. We would not consider walking on such a surface.
Slate roofs: are fragile and are likely to be damaged by foot traffic; it’s best to stay off of slate roof surfaces during a building inspection.
Wood shingle roofs: are fragile and will be damaged by any foot traffic. We’ve walked on new, good-condition wood shingle roofs but they are easily damaged by foot traffic which can cause splits in the shingles. In addition wood shingles are often slippery and dangerous to walk on and absolutely slippery when wet.
Wet, Icy, Steep, Snow-Covered roofs: are unsafe to walk on in most circumstances.

A Roof Shingle’s Wind Damage Resistance

A Roof Shingle’s Wind Damage Resistance
Roof Installation Workmanship: Fasteners/Nailing Problems, Wind Damage appeared to have led wind blow-off of these Atlas shingles, though an investigation of whether or not the shingles had self-sealed was also needed.
Weather: Wind damage can happen to any asphalt shingle roof in severe weather conditions. However if shingles are not properly nailed, shingles are far more likely to blow off of the roof in even a modest windstorm.
Proper roof shingle nailing: Roofing product manufacturers are careful to specify where shingle nails should be placed in each shingle and the number of nails required. These specifications may vary by shingle type and building location, with more nails specified for high-wind areas such as asphalt shingle roofs applied in coastal areas.
Components of roof shingle wind damage resistance: Asphalt shingle wind resistance combines several factors including the effectiveness of the glue strips on the shingle backs which adhere the shingle courses against wind-uplift, roof pitch, roof orientation with respect to prevailing winds, and importantly, proper shingle nailing patterns.
Not only must nails be properly placed and spaced, improper nailing itself, such as driving a nail through the shingle, leaving a nail sticking up to cut a shingle above, or using a roofing stapler improperly leaving cocked staples or shingle-cutting staples will all encourage shingles to fly away with the wind.
If an new roof has the bad luck to encounter a severe wind storm shortly after asphalt shingles have been installed, it is possible that the shingles will blow off of the roof because their self-sealing tabs have simply not had time (or warm enough weather or enough sun) to adhere.

How to Get the Best Roofing Job

How to Get the Best Roofing Job
The best assurance that your new roof will not leak and that it will have a long life is to select a quality shingle product and to be certain that the shingles are installed absolutely correctly – good workmanship is what makes a roof shed water.
Shingle quality: we would not hesitate to buy a quality shingle product from any of the current roofing shingle manufacturers, including GAF, but Shingle installation standards we would want to be sure that my installer applied them according to the best practices in the industry since otherwise any warranty will be voided anyway. The principal sources of asphalt shingle roofing installation standards are the National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA’s Roofing and Waterproofing Manual), and the Asphalt Roofing Manufacturer’s Association (ARMA). There are also ASTM standards for roofing products.
Roofing contractor reputation and experience: Before hiring ANY roofing contractor we would check with the local better business bureau and would ask for references from local customers of the contractor.
Supervision during the roof shingle installation: we would want to be darn sure that the people actually doing the work are trained or at least supervised, continually, every day all day on the job, by a trained, experienced, roofing contractor. Too many roofing companies have a salesman or prime contractor who sells the job but send un-trained workers to put on the roof with minimal or no actual supervision.
Maintain your roof: with your roofing contractor, discuss regular roof inspections, the condition of your under-roof or attic ventilation, and what special problem spots may be on your roof, and what to do about them

The Perils of Roof Damage

The Perils of Roof Damage
A damaged roof can seriously affect your entire home. Water entering through roof leaks can damage your ceiling, walls, structural supports and even your house’s foundation. Mold and mildew that grow in trapped moisture can cause breathing problems and lead to an unhealthy environment throughout your home.
Being able to spot the early signs of roof damage can stop problems from becoming bigger – and more costly. The professional roofing experts at Restorsurance have the knowledge and experience to identify potential roof damage issues and make sure they are repaired properly before they cause a problem.
Roof damage can have a variety of causes:

Wind – Prevailing winds or severe gusts can cause roofing materials to lift, curl or come off. Water can enter your home under the roofing material or through the exposed area left by a missing section.
Corrosion – The flashing that keeps water from roof valleys, and projections, like your chimney or vents, can deteriorate and let water into your home.
Weather – The extremes of hot, cold, wet and dry weather, especially here in Florida, can cause roofing material to buckle, split or blister. Moisture enters through the openings that develop in the roofing materials
Wear and Tear – falling objects, from trees or blown by the wind, bird and animal traffic can cause premature wear to roofing materials. Left unchecked, damaging leaks can develop.

Restorsurance offers a variety of shingle and roofing products. We pride ourselves on the quality workmanship.

It’s important to have your roof regularly inspected for signs of damage. If the problems are not properly identified or fixed, the damage could become more extensive and difficult to repair.