Roof maintenance, awareness part of storm prep


With another hurricane season underway, there are certain things that a resident should be aware of as they prepare and that includes their roof.

According to Mark Tuzzolo, owner and general contractor at Patriot Roofing Services, Inc., there is not much a homeowner can do at times to prevent damage during a storm from taking place, but there are certain steps they can take to limit the amount of damage that may occur in the event of a natural disaster.

That includes having a roof go through a checkup by a roofing company every year or every couple of years.

“It’s all about making sure there are no glaring issues that may exist, which could become a real problem in the event of a storm rolling through,” Tuzzolo said.

Just as homeowners are completing their checklists to make sure they are as prepared as possible in the case of a storm this hurricane season, so does Tuzzolo, by going around and buying tarps from Home Depot to have on hand for when emergencies arise.

“That way at least we can cover up their roof in the event of damage, so that they stay dry at least until their insurance company has a chance to come out and assess the situation,” Tuzzolo said. “From now until mid-November, we stay pretty busy.”

Tuzzolo has been a general contractor since 1985 and began Patriot Roofing 12 years ago.

He has seen a lot of changes take place during his dozen years in the business, but one of the most impactful has occurred in the past couple of years as insurance companies have begun to force people to pay more attention to their roofs than ever before.

“Here is Florida, from an insurance standpoint, roofs are the biggest risk,” Tuzzolo said.

In recent years most insurance companies in Florida will require a homeowner to get a new roof after 15 years or else no longer be insured.

“It’s a good way to make people more aware, because let’s face it, roofs are not as sexy as redesigning your kitchen or bathroom, because you don’t quite see the everyday effects of it,” Tuzzolo said. “But it does protect you from the weather, and that is a big deal.”

Due to Florida being a peninsula and its history with hurricanes, there are certain measures and precautions taken that are unique from other states.

“Some states don’t even require you to pull a permit to put on a roof,” Tuzzolo said. “We have much more stringent codes we have to apply here.”

According to Tuzzolo, houses built in the state before 2005 were required to have nail spacing of 12 inches apart, but it has since been changed to six inches apart, and shingles now require six nails instead of four.

“It makes the structure stronger against hurricane-force winds,” Tuzzolo said.

Patriot Roofing helps protect residential and commercial owners throughout the northeast Florida area, with a coverage area spanning from south of St. Augustine up north to St. Mary’s and west to Macclenny.