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Monday, March 8, 2010

Dallas Home and Garden Show

We did our first home show in years. Keith Lyles from Classic Superoofers, Billy Ellis Aluminum roofing, and some other roofers were there.
The people were nice and the booths on either side of us were real nice.
our biggest drawback was I forgot to tell my men to ask the curious to sign in. They mostly just passed out cards and explained ventilation. Hopefully the Dallas people have great memories because I'm sure the other roofers got them to sign up. Keith was unique because he had worked for almost everyone at the show except for DFW Roofing. I believe they are from Houston. Does that make sense?
We were the only Master Elite at the show but we were showing Gerard stone coated steel tiles and shakes.
Don't read below. It is an SEO experiment. Maybe Google will get mad but I'm a computer moron. I just learned how to turn one on a couple of years ago but I'm one heck of a roofer.

Well for SEO reasons here I go: Dallas Roofer, Dallas Roofing, Dallas Roof Repair, Dallas Roofing Contractor, Dallas Roofing Company, Dallas Metal Roof, Dallas Slate Roof, Dallas Timberline Roof, Dallas County Roof, DFW Roofing, Dallas Hand Nailed Roofing, Roofing in Dallas.. I don't think this is a blog anymore so I'll take this down on Wednesday after I see what happens.
Jon Wright

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Why Metal Roofing

Because I said so. It's permanent, beautiful, energy efficient, and cheap in the long run. All this is true as long as you don't use Metal Works Roofing, put a standing seam roof on a house that was not engineered for one, hire an incompetent contractor, and pick the right style.
Standing seam is growing in popularity but if it not on your house now it might be a disastrous roof to put on. How many homes have you seen that are 30 years old and don't have sags in the roof line or haven't had foundation repairs? If either of these these things happen to your home the standing seam will oil can (take your pick of articles from the page). The stuff must remain absolutely straight. Perfect! Otherwise you become a buffoon for your selection.
Just look at Metal Works. It looks cheap. But as a college buddy told me while breaking the rule of giving a definition, "taste is a matter of taste."
Copper is costly, soft, and changes color.
Aluminum is costly, soft, and changes color.
That leaves us with stone coated steel. Rumor/fact stories tell us that the GI's were tired of the Zeros strafing their shiny corrugated galvanized lean-to-shacks in the southeast Pacific theater. "Look Hirohito, the jungle's shining!" Thus, in order to enhance the roof the soldiers mopped sand to the panels with tar. I bet it was cooler and more waterproof.
Years later, out of nostalgia, some returned to the areas where they had spent time struggling for survival. All the shiny metal huts that weren't blown to smithereens had rusted away. The sand covered ones were still there in all their glory.
A new industry was born. The English stole the idea, just like everything else they have done throughout their history. Can you blame them? I just wish they would steal some good recipes. Then I might go visit the place. But a great problem arose. With mass production techniques the panels stuck together when stacked. Believe it or not it can get warm enough in England to bring asphalt to a sticky state.
With time and technology the latest in coatings and sealants were applied to ever improving alloys until we came to the modern era. The first profiles were decent tile knock offs but with a little imagination we arrived at today beautiful profiles. They look better than the real thing.
First, Decra copied Gerard with the Alpha Tile. So Gerard tried to make a better looking panel. Decra just couldn't keep up. The new Gerard Canyon Shake and Barrel Vault Tile are as better looking than the Decra Shake and Villa Tile as the Decra Shake was than the old Gerard Shake.
More evolution came out with new batten-less systems and composition shingle profiles. These lower end shingle clones miss the point and look even worse than Metal Works. Decra's two shingle products are hard to install, the accessories are complicated, and more prone to leaks. Those leaks are nearly impossible to repair.
When we do a stone coated steel roof we believe in extra waterproofing prior to the installation of the steel. We use the GAF Golden Pledge requirements for weatherproofing with leak barriers along with a synthetic felt. The best among those today appears to be Titanium. Besides, my good friend Chris Hicky,who used to be my GAF rep, is the distributor for the product. Its name suggests great quality but what is in a name. We do this for those freeze thaw situations that occasionally occur around here in North Texas. And we all know it will never snow anywhere near to a foot in depth. NEVER! Why put on a permanent roof with a felt that will turn to dust.
Painted products tend to fade even if they call their paint a coating. The difference is not in content but in the method of application. Paint installed wet is still paint but paint installed as a powder is called a coating. This process is how aluminum roofing products are colored because, as any mechanic who has painted an aluminum head can tell you, it is not paint friendly.
If you get an aluminum roof and accept the class IV discount premium from your insurance, don't be surprised if when the hail flattens your roof that the insurance won't pay for a new one. The class IV discount excludes appearance damage from roofing. When comp roofs have dents or lose their gravel to hail the product has failed and will soon leak. A steel or aluminum roof won't but they'll look bad but since steel roofs need nearly four inch hail to deform them and aluminum need just the thought of hail to crush them, I wouldn't be too worried about steel being damaged by hail. Yet the standing seem steel are like aluminum in that baby hail will dent them, and it really shows. Decra and Gerard need lethal hail to be dented. The aluminum will look bad if a clown gets on your roof and starts cutting the rug. Steel tiles will too. The shake profiles are clown proof. The steel tiles are easy to fix but the aluminum roof is nearly impossible to repair. Besides. it's easy to learn to walk on steel tiles. Just pretend it's a concrete tile. The methods are the same. Step on the nose. Good luck trying to get the newspaper off your aluminum roof, much less a limb, or a foot.
The size of hail it takes to damage steel roofs is so great that you'll be happy to know that it might have saved your life. Stone coated steel roofs can withstand almost any wind except for a direct hit by a tornado, that is, if it were done right.
Fire? Steels the champ. Hands down. Many remember the fires in Southern California where the only homes left standing were the ones with stone steel roofing.
In 1993 we had four homes on Houston School Rd in Lancaster when the tornado hit. The neighbors had whole sheets of plywood sucked off, as well as many missing shingles, but our Gerard roofs sustained no damage. None of our stone over steel roofs has sustained hail or wind damage. We've been roofing in Dallas and Fort Worth since 1979 and putting on steel since 1987. The steel customers don't need me anymore.
Did I mention that I have a stone steel roof on my home?

Jon Wright
Jon Wright

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

When a Roofer Knocks on Your Door

When that storm trooper knocks and needs an answer now, the answer should be "NO!" There is no urgency and there is a tomorrow. Otherwise, don't open the door. The roofing companies in Dallas and Fort Worth will keep on knocking no matter what you do when there is a hail storm.

So what if prices are going up? The insurance companies have adjusters who do just that: adjust numbers. They almost never get it right the first time and they will change the numbers when a proven professional contacts them with the proper documentation. That's why its called a "settlement". That's why adjusters are constantly adjusting numbers.

So what if they are going to get real busy? You have up to two years to get the work done, in most cases, and there are always extensions available from the insurance company. Besides it might hail again and you can only change your roof so many times before your decking is frayed.

So what if you might have a leak or your skylight is broken? Your insurance company will cover the full cost of temporary repairs but they won't cover damage from faulty workmanship.

Do your homework. Select the proper roof system for your home irregardless of what you have on there now. Just because you have a 20 year three tab doesn't mean that you need to worry about buying another cheap roof because that will cost you a lot of money, of course, unless you plan to dump the property on some innocent soul in the near future. As I reiterate through "The Roof Forum", a roof can save you money on premiums, energy consumption, HVAC repairs, health, sanity and resale. The proper ventilation; the wind considerations for nailing patterns, felt options, starter, and weight; class IV UL 2218 impact resistance rating for premium discounts; warranty length and enhancements can add up to beaucoup money.

If you don't want to replace your roof when you sell your home in ten years, have an uncomfortable and energy INefficient home for your time incarcerated there, repair or replace your HVAC any sooner than necessary, have sick asthmatic kids, replace your insulation, have radon gas in your home, have carbon monoxide poisoning, paint your house more often, replace your roof deck, have roofing blowing off, and whatever else I have forgotten, like divorce, don't select a roofer on your front porch. Ask friends and coworkers. Look at manufacturer sites. Study. Familiarize yourself with the products and the companies. Options, options, options... People in a hurry can't do this and the ones hurrying you don't want you to do this. Sleep on it for a couple of weeks or months.

If you want to decide so that the other homeless roofers will stop knocking on your door (as if a yard sign will be like garlic to Dracula) you are mistaken. When you sign up with Nosferatu his minions will continue to pester you. Dracula may be in your home right now. And if you don't want to go through this again, buy a stone coated steel roof and be done with it.

By the way, Harbor Freight Tools sells tarps real cheap. They might be better than the cheap roof you have thrown on your home in a haste. Just be careful. There are plenty of good roofers out there. The guy knocking on your door is probably not one of them. He probably has no ideas of what I'm talking about, the blood sucker. Just remember to take a deep breath, wait a few moments, and them put up that no soliciting sign and hope the night demons can read English and have respect for our laws. The roofing companies in Dallas and Fort Worth will keep on knocking no matter what you do when there is a hail storm. So why not get a permanent steel roof... or a gun?

Jon Alan Wright
Jon Wright Roofing, Siding, and Windows
1915 Peters Rd., Suite 310
Irving, TX 75061
972.251.1818 Office
214.718.3748 Cell
972.554.8090 Fax
GAF MasterElite Certified

Monday, March 1, 2010

Choosing a Home Improvement Contractor

When improving your home you want to make sure to cover all the bases. Imitate large corporations, not the corrupt part, by setting forth minimum standards. Insurance, Better Business Bureau rating, years in business, and local references, old and new. You might want to check for certifications from manufacturers and trade organizations. If the company uses a salesman, check for his own customer references with the company too.
After narrowing down your field you can give a quick look at the prospective websites for clues as to the overall integrity. If their Google comments seem fake then an ethical key is missing. If they trade on the cross, they are probably crooks. In today world there are too many religions to be picky. Anyway a good Christian won't usually tell you he's a Christian unless he's asked.
Try putting the salesman's name in the Google Search Bar with the trade he's in next to it. For example, you would put my name, Jon Wright, with roofing, or, for that matter, killer. It doesn't hurt to snoop. Call supply houses at random and ask about the companies. All they usually know is that the business in question pays their bills or not.
Compare apples to apples. Don't be afraid to ask questions. If the company is difficult to reach now, it won't get any better later. That's an understatement.
Make sure your name is placed on the general liability insurance as a rider, just like your kid is on your auto insurance.Don't give large deposits until the materials arrive and work has begun. Don't pay the final bill until you've looked the job over. Make sure all aspects of the contract were covered. Check the clean up around, under, and in the job.
Or you could just let the manufacturer pick for you by using their preferred contractor. The problem with trade organizations is that many just take money and do not report on their members. The BBB, Angie's List, and a few others do keep record though.
Lastly, use your gut. If it feels wrong it probably is.
I'd use a combination of the Dallas Better Business Bureau for Dallas roofing companies, the GAF website for Master Elite Roofers, the Metal Roofing Alliance, and the National Roofing Contractors Association, NRCA, as my starting points for roofing companies. For siding their is the Vinyl Siding Institute, VSI, and the Better Business Bureau.
There are so many roofing contractors in Dallas and Fort Worth that it is the only way to narrow down the scope. Roofing in Dallas goes crazy with all the out of town roofers, who also keep a listing so as to seem local, that if you are not careful you'll choose a carpetbagger.

Jon Wright