Welcome to our blog. This page is important because many people in the roofing business have absolutely no business being in the roofing business. The huge amount of negative customer reviews on the Internet is mind boggling. You need to stay away from these folks (aka Cowboy Roofers*) and know how to get the best roofing job for the best price possible. This blog will help you do that with fun, informative, and educational factoids about all aspects of roofs and roofing.
*Cowboy Roofers are the folks you should avoid hiring because they put their interests above yours and are marginally to moderately skilled at best. Cowboy roofers give a bad name to the roofing trade and worse yet they give a bad name to the large number of quality-oriented roofing contractors out there. Check out our Hall of Shame for examples of what happens when cowboy roofers get on your roof.
If you have a question that you would like SuperRoofer Joe Sardotz to answer in his blog or FAQs, please complete the Ask SuperRoofer form. Visit Joe's Contact page if you would like Joe to provide roof consulting and inspection services for you.
We all know that there is no shortage of dishonest and incompetent roofers. It has recently come to our attention that there are also some wimpy roofers amongst us as well. These 'professional roofers' refuse to install or replace a roof if the roofing materials can't be stocked by the distributor and/or if the dumpster or dump truck can't be set in the driveway next to the house. The thought of packing the materials up a ladder, or dropping the debris on the ground and then handling it a second time to pack it to the dumpster at the curb, terrifies them. Why, back in the day GROTM (Great Roofer On The Mountain) stocked many a roof via a ladder and didn't think twice about packing tons of tearoff debris to a dumpster. These snowflakes are not good representatives of the industry.
With the recent changes in cannibis cultivation laws in Oregon and Washington, it's become more common to see magnificent horticultural masterpieces such as this, which we spotted when we were out inspecting a residential roof.
Before hiring a contractor, ask if their insurance covers shoddy and not-to-code work. They may not even know. Insurance companies - not famous for looking out for the 'little guy' - likely do not cover poor workmanship unless you can prove actual physical damage to your home such as dry rot, mold, water damage, etc. was caused by their client's ineptitude.
Oregon Roof Consulting recently received an official notice from the State of Washington that was sent to all licensed roofers in Washington regarding widespread improper underlayment installation on low slope roofs. This is a nice start. Now, along with Oregon they need to send similar notices regarding proper fastening, proper installation of vents/pipe jacks and other protrusion fixtures, chimney & skylite flashing, proper perimeter and valley flashing installation, etc.
ORC is the only 'independent' in our entire region that does roof certifications. We have done hundreds of them.Oregon Roof Consulting does roof certifications for realtors, home owners, home buyers, banks, FHA, lenders, etc. A certification for 2 years, 3 years, or 3-5 years is a staple of nearly all home sale transactions. Some roofers provide certifications; most don't. If a roofer is on your property for an hour they would rather use that hour trying to sell you a $20,000 roof instead of a certification. ORC has heard from many homeowners that roofing contractors have told them their roof is "shot". Then we get up on the roof, look at it with an unbiased eye, and inform the owners their roof still has 8 or 10 or even 12+ years left. This happens all the time. That's the advantage of having an 'independent' look at the roof. We aren't selling anything, therefore we can afford to be honest.
Example: An established local roofer who provides certifications generally charges $300 up front (non-refundable, of course). If repairs are required, they will certify the roof after the repairs are done and only if they do the repairs. The roofer will also offer a warranty for the length of the certification — for between $1,000 & $4,000. Another roofer wants $200 up front non-refundable and the cost of their certification is 1/3 - 1/5 of the cost of a new roof, which translates into thousands of dollars. When we do a certification it is straight-forward and you do not have to jump through any hoops or take out a second mortgage to pay for it. Certifications provided by ORC (view a sample roof certification from Oregon Roof Consulting ) cost a minimum of $250. Most are at or near this price, depending on the ease of access to the roof and the size of the roof. For long distance jobs driving time is charged (see my fees page). To date, none of ORC's roof certifications have been rejected. A few have been questioned but none rejected. Occasionally a home inspection report will differ from my summary. Home inspectors look at 30-40-50 things. I look at one thing. Most home inspectors have never worked on a roof. Let's just say that we look at a roof from entirely different perspectives.
All shingle manufacturers have regional representatives, and these reps have a variety of duties. They travel a lot. Oregon Roof Consulting (ORC) has personally met five of the six local reps. The sixth one has been phone contact only. I have known a few of these reps for many years. They are all certainly professional and very good at what they do. They represent their employers well.
Recently, a rep who I haven't spoken to in about five years called. We were having a nice conversation when he took an abrupt left turn and proceeded to lecture me about not being as "unbiased" as I claim on my website. What set him off was that he had been told that I had the audacity to tell a client that my personal preferred shingle was not the one he promotes. Now, all shingles are good quality. They must be in order for manufacturers to be competitive and remain in business. In my opinion the install is just as important as the shingle, if not more so. You can have the best shingle obtainable but if it's installed incorrectly then issues will arise.
All shingle manufacturers offer rebates and incentives to contractors who sell their products. They reward contractors who support them and who demonstrate 'distinctness'. At times reps tout roofers who predominantly use their products. You scratch my back, I'll scratch yours. Wink wink, nod nod. This is a long-standing and perfectly fine arrangement. In this regard the reps can be considered 'biased'.
Now, the last time I checked we still had free speech (for the most part) in this country and I am entitled to my opinion, which I occasionally offer to clients for their consideration. How they use my opinion is beyond my control or concern. With 39 years experience as a grunt, installer, contractor, estimator, project manager, and now consultant I feel confident offering people an opinion based on my career experiences, personal anecdotes, and observations.
I explained to this rep that I am indeed biased in some regard, meaning I believe plywood is better than waferboard; tearoff is better than overlay; hand-nailing is more efficient than air guns. Don't put anything rubber or plastic on a roof unless there is no other option. I am completely unbiased in that my reports and advice are not influenced by any outside source. My findings are never automatic and pre-conceived just to please someone. Sometimes people don't like my findings. I stick my neck out for nobody.
In closing, I told the rep that if someone doesn't like how I operate my business or if they object to my website content, they should seek entertainment elsewhere. It's kind of like TV. If you don't like what's on then change the channel.
Residential and commercial roofing project consulting in Oregon; Portland Metro, Oregon; Bend, Oregon; Seattle, Washington; Washington State; and the Pacific Northwest area. Offering professional roof consulting, inspections, project monitoring, and certifications for property owners and homeowners.
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