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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Slate Roofs, the Thousand Year Roof (uncensored or edited)

You never see a lot of slate roofs in Dallas. Those roofs are real old and will last a long time. Old East Dallas near White Rock Lake, Highland Park and University Park, and the new money of the northern communities of Plano and McKinney have a few. Those slate roofs will last for generations.
Ever since I became a roofing contractor in 1979 I've seen many attempts at fake synthetic slate and it always ends up the same way, belly up. Trash on the roof that has to be disposed of in the landfill. Many times people try another synthetically slate and again fall prey to the greed of getting something for next to nothing. These nothings still are expensive. And heavy! Knock your socks off, I mean squeeze them off, because they aren't coming off until the rubble that was your house is removed from your cadaver like Texas Stadium. By then the socks can be taken off your dessicated limbs. Enough of that. I apologize.
Is anyone unhappy with their Mercedes? Rarely. The same is true of slate. The only cost effective imitation of slate has been composition slate look alike such as GAF Slateline or Capstone. But they look like comp knock offs.
When these slate roofs need repair it is usually expensive because it is rarely done. Rarity equals exclusivity or dinero. These guys take T bills, Silver Certificates, Euros, or anything that has value.
The repair usually results from a flashing that wore out or a slate that cracked around the fastener. Most roofers have never even heard of a slate ripper, the tool of the slate craftsman. Did you hear that:slate craftsman. Nobody says that about the composition roofing people.
The other factor can be that the felt (black paper) has turned to dust.
The flashing and nails need to be of either copper or stainless steel or the slate will reject them like an incompatible organ transplant. Again, you can't get out cheap. Everything about this product is costly, but get ready because the cheap stuff has arrived, slate with no warranty from third world dictatorships. Try filing that warranty or taking Kim Jung Il to court. Can you say Secret Service?" This stuff is bad and bad inscrutable roofing warlords are peddling this stuff. It comes over on boats as cover for illegal drug shipments. That's about all it's good for, except for filling the landfills and insurance claims.
But we have been saved from the wasteland again by GAF with Truslate, a product with lifetime warranty backed by Good Housekeeping. This stone weighs a lot less too because the amount of slate required has been reduced by more than half, not by making it thinner, but by eliminating the need for redundant slate lapping really far underneath the two slates above each piece of slate. The selvage reduction comes from a polypropylene 1000 year sheet that is sandwiched between layers. Those inscrutable Chinese love that thousand year stuff.
When Henry Kissinger asked Chou En-lai, which is now spelled Zhou Enlai, so close why bother to change it, what he thought of the French Revolution, he responded "It's a little too soon to say."What the hell does that have to do with slate roofs. I'll tell you. The slate roofs of those French Revolutionaries and of Chou, er, uh, Zhou, can see a thousand years. For God's sake man, they're rock.
You might have to take them down and replace the felt unless you use the thousand year stuff. Hitler wanted to stay in biz a thousand years, a pittance for a well established Yen roofer. But he almost got the slate roofs wiped out. Dresden, new slate roofs, Paris, old... back to roofs.
These GAF TruSlate Roofs, if you by it from Jon Wright Roofing, come with a fifty year non-prorated material and labor warranty with a twenty year leak guarantee because, are you ready, we are SlateCrafters.
Remember the other problem with slate:the slate cracks around the nail? Truslate is not nailed. No, it's not majic. The slate is attached with hangers. It is hung. It can shake, vibrate, move with the see saw effect of foundation movement, because it is hung like a repaired slate. Replacement slate tiles are put in with hangers. They will last longer and if hail damages one, you can forget the slate ripper. You lift it out and replace it. It's too cool.
So we do all the extra weatherproofing and ventilation that you need to do to get the Golden Pledge warranty but instead you get the Golden Pledge.
Ventilation slate roofs can be done in the same manner as all other sloped roofs but TruSlate has it's own TruSlate Cobra vent ridge. Just like all slate roofs though you must use copper or stainless steal flashing or separate the metal from the slate with StormGuard or another leak barrier. Due to the longevity of slate roofing the ventilation becomes much more important. If the slate is in good shape in fifty years but the plywood is decayed it is like the dentist saying "the teeth are fine but the gums got to go." A pretty smile is always ruined by bleeding gums.
TruSlate has the equivalent of a class IV rating but it is not the UL 2218 because it is an organic product. The impact rating test for natural products is the FM 4473.
Slate is green. Keeps all the associated industry out of roof replacement. It protects the landfills. Did I tell you it is prestigious, beautiful, and nearly exclusive. It costs only half, yes half, and you, for the first time ever, get something great for little, but you better hurry while supplies last. we're selling slate in Irving to Rockwall, from Denton to Waxahachie. We've got estimates pending in DeSoto, Fort Worth, and small towns in west Texas.
Here it is folks. If you don't like roofers buy a TruSlate Roof and you'll never need a roofing company again.
I guess the cycle of bad imitation slate has been broken. No it hasn't because bad imitation, synthetic slate, and cheap slate will always be available because their is always that dude who will try to sell ice to an Eskimo or swampland down in Tallahassee or somewhere out there. We only work 'round these parts.
Can anyone tell me why Kaddefy became Qaddafi or Gaddafi? It doesn't matter because he'll never buy a slate roof from me because he'll never come to Texas.
Istanbul, Constantinople... no body's business but the Turks... now they have slate roofs.

Jon Wright

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Why Power Vents Fail

Most of the time the power vent fails due to either not enough NFA in intake or the thermostat failed. If my power vent quit working I'd first check out the thermostat. This can be done with a tool called an voltmeter. If the machine does not turn on when the temperature reaches the predetermined setting either the power is not getting to the motor, the power supply is cut, or the motor is burned out.
First see if there is electricity at the thermostat. If so, check and see it electricity gets past the thermostat to the motor. If not then the thermostat is broke. If there is electricity at the motor then you need a new motor.
Power vents can fail early if there a slight vacuum resulting from not enough intake. This makes the motor work harder in an already inhospitable environment. The NFA requirements need to be balanced which means if the power vent has 1000cfm you'll need 480 NFA intake. The 1250cfm motor needs 600 NFA and a 1600cfm model needs 768 NFA. You can have more intake but it serves no purpose and may even damage the air flow through a process called the Venturi Effect. Further away vents may cease to take in air making the area of the house under them susceptible to heat, humidity, and mold.
Gable end power vents have the same needs. The GAF PG-2 (power gable) has 1540cfm and needs 740 NFA and the PG3 with 1600cfm has the same needs as the 1600 power vent, 768 NFA.
Sometimes power vents are the best or only way to go. A home with an open cornish cannot be vented from below without cutting holes in the bird block, using Airvent's "The Edge," or cutting holes in the garage ceiling or porch soffits. Recently, in Irving, we put a power vent in the middle of a roof that had two gable end vents. The NFA requirements meant that we needed to add an intake vent on a third gable or shorten the service life of the motor of the power vent.
This week we'll be repairing a roof in Dallas. The home has no overhang. The fascia is the frieze board. I asked him how he vented his attic. He told me that he had two power gable vents on one end of the home, near the garage. Instantly I knew he had problems with replacing the motors and he confirmed this. I advised him next time they go out that he should put the new ones on the far side from the garage and increase the NFA by opening his garage attic access or putting intake holes in the garage ceiling. When he does replace his roof he can use the new GAF FasciaFlow. This only works if there is no overhang. Now he can get rid of the forced air system and use a vent ridge.
The greatest advantage to an active or power venting system using motors is at the end of the day. Passive systems, when properly balanced, work as well as power vents during the heat of the day and use no electricity. But the power vent will remove all the lingering hot air once the sun sets. Wallah, the attic is fresh right after dusk and not hours later.
GAF's solar vent has about 500cfm but their Green Machine is really cool. It is a hybrid so it can use electricity when necessary but will use the sun when it can.
Years ago we had a client in Richardson with passive venting and he had us to install a power vent and hook it up to a bathroom junction box. When he came home every evening he told me he went to the bathroom. He would turn on his light and the power vent would come on for a few minutes until he finished his business. We didn't realize back then that the vent would effect his passive system during the day by short circuiting the "Chimney Effect" he needed to keep air moving properly.
So when people ask me what is the best ventilation system I respond that they all are as long as it's the best for your circumstances. Plus, if you buy a radiant barrier deck you'll still need to vent. Humidity is still in the attic. The bathtub will still fill up if it is being loaded with water faster than it drains so an attic will get hot if all you do is reduce the load in of heat but do not provide for air transfer.
Venting is probably the most misunderstood part of roofing and that is why roofs fail before their time.
Jon Wright
Jon Wright Roofing

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Get the Lead Out of Your Roof, an EPA Story (unfinished)

(This post is not edited yet)Today, April 21, 2010, is a day that will live in infamy, at least for contractors and homeowners of pre-1978 housing. This is the last day of free willy nilly throwing of lead paint around like spent radioactive isotopes. This stuff never dies, never changes, never stops coming off the pants legs of fathers returning from work to adoring little children who happily hug daddy's whatever part is closest to them. Did you know that Wikipedia refers to the painters pant leg as a lead storage device. That is one of the many reasons the EPA fine you $38,500.00 for bad lead removal tactics, double it if you do it knowingly, and add jail time. At least it's a federal crime. "Hello Bernie, eat my lead."
You're going to federal prison because you are the Toxic Avenger. There is no such thing as early release or good behavior discounts there. Do not pass go. Hello white collar Bubba.
If you choose to avoid the hoosegow then you must follow the simple guidelines concerning lead and renovating homes. Child care facilities, schools, and FHA and HUD will be discussed in another forum but I will touch on this as it relates to many homes in a way that will surprise you. You may follow under the stricter guidelines for these facilities and not know it. Your home might be government property, as the "G" men sees it.
If you live in an older home you must find a company that is registered with the EPA as a lead renovator. Any affected surface where work is to be performed needs to be tested for lead. If you are just having a wall painted nothing has to be done but if you are scraping, sanding, cutting, replacing anything or changing your windows like the government wants you to, you must follow the law of lead containment and removal.
Many times here in Dallas we replaced roofs and had to repair the siding just to flash behind the wall. We have found plank decks that were painted, wood shingles with paint, and old metal edging and stacks with old paint on them. A foot of metal edge with a three inch stretch out has 1/4th a foot of painted surface. Add fifty feet of metal edge and a couple of stacks and you are under EPA jurisdiction. Old concrete and clay tile roofs are painted too. Therefore we'll just show the pamphlet to anyone with an old home. Think Swiss Avenue, Casa Lina, Oak Cliff, East Dallas, Irving, or any number of places in the Metroplex. Old homes, old paint, skull and cross bones coming out. The funny thing is the guys putting up the mantel of the pirates to warn of toxicity is the one whose is not a pirate...back to lead and remodeling.
I have to show you the pamphlet. You have to sign a form saying you received the pamphlet. Records have to kept of the procedures, and I must post my registration, the certification of the at least one person who is trained in lead containment and removal, put up warning signs, and place warning barrier tape.
I have to test all affected walls or assume they are contaminated... did you know that lead paint, after drying is only lead and tint, that if you put lead dust down your toilet and you have a septic tank, the poop eating bacteria die, the tank ceases to function, that the lead never stops killing, and the super lead poop goes everywhere. Hazmat! Suits! Spinning headlines! Jail! Bubba!
Lead wipes out the only organ in your body that can filter it out, the kidneys, so everything else kills you too, like AIDS, everything...
These warning tapes can become crime scene tapes if the rules are not followed. That's when the HazMat suits show up again, with their hepa filters attached, looking for E.T. down at the river. The hepa filter came out of research for the bomb of all bombs during the Manhattan Project, so that the designers of weapons of mass destruction would not be killed by their own lethal substances. Now the WMD is lead. Back to the remodel.
Then comes all the blue booties shoe coverings, the disposable full body suit, gloves, masks, googles. the plastic sheathing everywhere, the shutting down of your HVAC, the coverings of duct vents, barrier tape, more plastic sheating... and lots more.
The requirements for work performed on HUD, FEMA, Fannie and Freddie, FHA, and a lot of other acronyms is even greater. One you won't believe is BofA. Yes, now Bank of America is truly an American bank because we own it and when they fund a remodel you must follow the rules of containment and clean up as you would for HUD or go see Bub. Really stiff stuff that I dare not try to regurgitate here. Believe me it will protect the succeeding tenants and keep the jails safe. Those criminals don't want lead poisoned people contaminating their sterile environments.
If this sounds scary, it is not. Most of this needs to be done. I have been re-educated. I believe in it. I was a fool to know and not take it seriously. This may be overkill but that is better than having a generation or three of mentally damaged zombies meandering about waiting for their checks until they suffer a horrible death from flu-like symptoms. That's the best case scenario for lead victims.
The worst part of this is that people with older homes need the most work and are usually the poorest. We need to help them. Okay, don't feel so snub because you're safe. These guys use cheap painters and then die. The painter died long ago. One of the reasons he was cheaper was he doesn't perform warranty work. Dead as a doornail covered in you know what.
You'll foot the bill for taking care of them and their dysfunctional children and hopefully you didn't let him kill you.
Please check that your roofing contractor, siding company, painter, floor guy, window installer, and handyman have lead training and are registered with the EPA.
I tried to be funny, and failed, but this is not a joke. This is as serious a issue as there is facing your family. Now quit letting your kids walk around the house without their shoes and socks on.
I promise more later. That's a threat.
So, if you live in a home built before 1978, this is inconvenient, but if you have a mortgage with any entity that is owned by any government agency or any TARP infested institution of money printing and laundering, you have to protect yourself, your children and the families of those who sand your walls in a very stringent manner.
It looks like painters and other contractors in the Dallas Fort Worth metroplex are going to solve the national debt if they keep on trying to poison you and anyone who comes into contact with you.
Jon Wright

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Roofers are the best for Solar Energy.

As the world turns (planet spins out of control) we are all faced with two personal dilemmas. The first is how do we keep the lights on and how do we keep the lights on for our progeny. Having completed the first part of my obligation to the species, having children, I now worry about what will happen to them and my grand children.
Every new discovery of oil seems to place either in lands controlled by psychos or the shear finding makes them so. Therefore I conclude that oil is a psychotic and is bad. Being a believer in natural cures, I have found the cure: enlightenment.
When I was a young man putting on roofs I noticed that there seemed to be an abundance of light on the roof. Photons, Texas green tea, I was a solar collector and stored the sun's energy in my skin, hair, and blood. I wasn't an efficient battery and couldn't be connected to grid, at least not for very long even though my ladder seemed to wanting this.
We roofers can be solar collectors. We know the territory where the sun shines better than anyone else. We know where it is strong and weak, where it is prone to leak, where the most sun is, how to get heavy stuff up and down from there without damaging it or killing somebody, and how to mount stuff up there without causing leaks. Well, most of us do anyway. These are already are skills and they ate 100% useful where the sun shines the most on your home.
Eureka! I've found the cure for the greatest problème du jour: how to continue with our current lifestyle without destroying our pocketbooks or the future of the planet.
It's me! and Ryan too of course. I can save the world and be famous. By providing continual daylight renewable energy through the process of capturing photos we might even stop global warming. We'll absorb the light and make it back into light again.
Our machines will be like plant life, feeding off the sun rather than burning dead plants like mammals do. By bringing that great nuclear power facility to earth we no longer need to pump CO2 into the atmosphere, pollute the water supply, and cause cancer.
Now we can get back to the problems of the 1970's:overpopulation, starvation and disease. We'll solve these problems in our vinyl siding division.
Better a little pain than species annihilation.
For the last year and a half we've been studying alternative energy, joined the Solar Energy Institute of America, and have been bent over our calculators figuring out how to become the new PAX TECTUM, a thousand year Reich of Light. the instigators of world peace. No more world wars over resources.
Of course the evil roofers will try to damage your solar machine or make them leak. One lady at the gym (yes ladies go there) told me her daughter's roofer told her he couldn't guarantee that they wouldn't leak. Isn't he special. Now the panels lay behind her shed. We could make them into a patio cover, carport, or a slip and slide.
Wouldn't the world be a special place if just a few of us put them on. With the tax credits and cash rebates available you could go to the party and claim to be the greenest one in the room, causing the socialites to be green with envy. Go ahead, brag about your new utility company, how your meter runs backward like an Australian toilet, or how you personally have stopped leaving a cloud of death on your grandchildren's door, like the Passover or the acid rain.
There's also wind energy and you might not need a roofer to put it up but the new improved roofer can hook you up and calculate your wattage needs.
The Nuclear Roofer, the EverReady Roofer, the Roofer of the Future, Super Roofer, has arrived and he's here to help. The photovoltaic and photolytic roofing company will make your roof make you rich and popular. Plus you'll feel good about yourself. Do you think you'd really regret investing in something as purely good as God's free gift to man:

1:3 - And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.
1:4 - And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.
Without this fiat lux we are without form and void. Solar energy from your roof is a gift that keeps on giving and when it is gone it must mean it's judgment day.
Jon Wright

Thursday, April 15, 2010


The sales technicians at Jon Wright Roofing are required to take the GAF CARE training courses in order to stay sharp and informed. Last week two of our employees and myself took the Vinyl Siding Institute certification class and test. In a week several of us will be taking the "Lead Abatement Certification" that requires a certified lead abatement specialist to be on all properties built before 1978 if windows, siding, or painting is done, and anytime six square feet of painted material is changed. In my figuring, a 1.5"x1.5" piece of metal edge has 0.25 square feet per foot. Therefore 24 feet of metal edge or several painted roof flashing meets that criteria.
The rule states that lead testing must be done prior to the start of work. A certified lead abatement person must be on the job at the start and end and certain rules must be followed for tarping, employee protection, homeowner protection and disposal. I'll update this blog after our training. The fines are $32,500.00 per day for those not in compliance with the new EPA Renovator, Remodeler and Painter (RRP) Rule that takes effect in April 2010. That would put me out of business in just a short time. I don't want to consider going out of business after 31 years just for a few square feet of painted whatever.
Besides, every week we have an in-house training and question session.
The installers get safety raining as well as installation training. We are working to having every one of our installers certified.
Last week we went to the Don Young Window factory for training. Last month several of us went to the GAF Master Elite Conference in San Antonio. Next week, we hope to have Kevin Nelson, the territory manager for Mastic, formerly Alcoa, come to further our knowledge of siding and making siding waterproof.
My technicians are all working to become Slate Crafter Certified, low slope and several other GAF levels of training. When we install the Golden Pledge System, GAF will perform a forty point inspection.
You might wonder how we ever have the time to do all this. It's easy, we don't have much time wasted on call-backs or other complaints. That's why we are GAF Master Elite, have an A+ rating at the BBB, and an A rating at Angie's List. As Texas doesn't feel it's necessary to license roofers, foundation companies, or many other trades, we recommend you join Angie's list for your own protection. Here are some of the reasons to join.
We get trained, have joined many trade organizations, and try our best to be the most professional and educated renovator company in America.
Jon Wright

Sunday, April 11, 2010

OSHA and Roofers

Remember those fiasco days when all the roofers were panicking about OSHA safety harnesses for residential roofers? We followed the rules and our roofers were ridiculed. The other companies roofers either didn't have the "fall equipment" or had it on their backs but didn't attach it to their anchors. The insurance companies were accommodating enough to allow us to charge more for the additional added cost of doing business. Our roofers put a surcharge on their labor.
Later the insurance demanded proof that we were using the equipment and when we went out to photograph them we found that they had copied the roofers who laughed at them but they still wanted the extra pay. All of those expensive devices, about $400.00 per man, disappeared.
Flash forward to 2010. Even though the fall gear requirement is gone, few roofers follow basic OSHA standards. Roofers can't drink from the same cup and all cups must be labeled with each persons name, no electrical tape on extension cords, knowledge of where the closest hospital is (911 will do as an answer), no painted or repaired ladders, and a first aid kit on the premises are a few of the top items needed.
Regular and documented safety training classes must be kept up.
This is the law. Do any of the roofing certification programs require it? No. Do any of the insurance companies that have preferred contractors require it? No! Do any of the trade associations ask about it? No.
Am I just wasting my time? Hardly. We haven't had a major accident in over ten years, and that was me. You know the pilot doesn't put on his seat belt when he's a passenger. Now I have a healthy respect and fear of the ladder.
So when choosing a contractor, ask if he has a safety program for his installers.

Jon Wright

Roofing and Trade Organizations

Every serious industry has trade organizations. The entities are grouped by raw material producers, manufacturers, distributors, and retail. The retail contractor has local, state, and national groups to join.
These groups offer training gathered through collective and historical means. The training leads to certifications and even awards. Roofers that haven't done this are not serious about their business and are purely sales organizations that happen to be selling roofs.
Starting at the top, the National Roofing Contractors of America or NRCA, was founded in 1886. It offers training through its NRCA University and seminars held at conventions. Their newsletters are very in depth. Further down the pike are the the state, regional, and local chapters that many feel that is a better path.
The manufacturers rally around groups set up around their primary ingredients. Asphaltic manufacturers naturally rally around ARMA, the Asphalt Roofing Manufacturer's Association.
Steel has the Metal Roofing Alliance, the MRA, and wood has the Cedar Shake and ShingleBureau.
Over the last decade the manufacturers have set up their own certifications for the best and brightest to help them become even more so. The requirements vary but GAF, the company that knighted us as Master Elites, would only invite us if we had been in business for over six years, carried insurance, had a good local reputation, and could pass an exam. To keep that certification we must keep a scorecard with our customers. GAF handles this through spying and snooping. On top of this we must keep up a continual training.
Besides these numerous organizations there are a plethora of generic, specific, and general magazines in print and online. The Roofing Contractor, RSI, Professional Roofing by the NRCA, Roofing Contractor, Metal Roofing Magazine, Metal Roofing, and more.
Siding and window magazines exist also as do literature for every trade under the stars.
Professionals either seek out these groups or are sought out by them. If we did not pay attention to what is going on in our industry we could find ourselves out of a job.
One huge example is the new lead abatement regulations on remodeling of homes built before 1978. What this means for remodelers is life and death for their business.
When I read about this in Qualified Remodeler magazine I was spooked. $37,000.00 a day fines from the EPA if a certified lead abatement person is not on the job at specific times, removal and disposal regulations are not followed, chemical testing is not done, and the hoops are not jumped through properly. Lives are at stake here. Not just the physical and metal health of our customers and their children but my own financial one as well. Ecohome magazine also did a spread on this new ruling.
Alexis De Tocqueville was right when he said that democracies are slow to act but then overreact. (There goes my liberal arts education again.)
None of the roofing magazines ever mentioned this new ruling because for the most part it doesn't pertain to roofers but if one found himself removing six square feet or more of wood or metal edge he could be subject to massive fines.
The window and remodeling magazines have been discussing this but not the roofers.
That's why you join, study, and expand your knowledge if your going to be considered a professional. Otherwise you just sell widgets that come in bundles. You might not be doing it right but you also might get fined. If you don't have the foresight and moral fortitude to care about the children living under your handiwork, you might have it when it comes to your own wallet.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Residential and Commercial Roofing.Differences

About all residential and commercial roofing companies have in common is that both work on top and keep water out. It stops there.
Residential roofers want to ventilate while flat roofers don't want any air to escape the building. This can be measured and regulated through the LEEDs program. Escaping air on a flat roof equals a leak. Flat roofs don't have attics to ventilate.
Slope roofing is usually on a wood deck while low slope roofs are primarily placed on metal decks with one of several surface leveling and insulating subroofs. The radical difference in design means that two very distinct concepts are used. The sloped roofs shed water while the flat ones seal it out.
Occasionally the pitched roof on a home will be attached to a flat or near flat section that requires knowledge of flat systems. This is why many flat roofs on homes leak. The wrong type of roofer and roofing system was chosen.
Just because both are called roofers doesn't mean they do the same job.
When a built up roofer gets on a white composition roof to fix a leak, he smears black tar, known as pookie, all over the place. That is what he knows to do. He has no aesthetic section in his brain. He might sprinkle granules on it. That's what commercial roofers do.
When the composition roofer gets on a flat roof, he'll put more and more tar on a leak area, right over the gravel. The asphalt, having no membranes to hold it together, will crack and peel off.
When selecting a roofer, hire an appropriate one, one with the skills that match your needs. You wouldn't hire a dentist to deliver your baby, a defense attorney for your corporate charter, or a welder to fix your motherboard.
We Master Elite are residential roofing experts that emphasize longer lasting leak resistant roofs that perform better than other company's roofs because they really have no idea how to ventilate. They think random holes are appropriate ventilation systems and that air nailing is as good or better than hand nailing. We can deliver the guarantees to back up our service and have our guarantees backed up by the manufacturer.
We also make your HVAC contractor look like a hero because his equipment will last longer with one of our roofs on the home rather than the other guy's. Just yesterday I was talking to an old friend who has been in the business since at least 1989 and he didn't know what "The 300 Rule" is. He never heard of it. Our customers know more about ventilation and its relationship to your entire health and financial structures than other roofing company salesmen. We are pretty weak when it comes to the Wind Uplift Ratings like I-60 or I-90 ratings of commercial roofs. In the commercial roofing industry there are a lot of bad roofers that do not know what they need to know and wind uplift ratings is one of their most important technical issues.
Roofing is a science and it has many branches. A good roofing contractor will know a little about different roof types out of his field of expertise so he'll know how to "tie into" them when they are attached to his roof or so he'll know when to contact someone else when he shouldn't be doing the work.
I asked my primary supplier if he knew a commercial roofer who didn't do residential roofs and he said they all do. He said it was too easy to set up a small division to roof homes. Even my supplier, like my friend, like most roofers, don't know what they need to know to make a good roof system. My supplier flatters me by saying he knows we must do a better job because of the sheer number of roof accessories we buy from him that our competitors don't buy but he is also subliminally judging our quality based on dollars of product purchased per order. He has begun to realize his attic is not vented right. He wants me to evaluate it for him. Yet he still sees that most roofers don't do what we do so he has this opinion that the other roofers are okay and we're good. The reality is that we are very good and the others are horrible.
Jon Wright

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Why Buy an Enhanced Roof Warranty

Roofs wear out. Usually prematurely, if not damaged by hail first. They can fail sooner than expected if the roof is not properly ventilated or leak if not properly installed. The setbacks can be tremendous. Damage to the ceilings, insulation, roof deck, electrical system, furniture, computers, and so on. Usually it leaks on your wife's side of the bed and you now need either a marriage counselor or a Realtor and divorce attorney, besides water remediation services and a new bed. She might not want the bed but she's not letting you keep it. It is exhibit "A."
The Golden Pledge, which is a System Plus Warranty with a 20 year leak guarantee, can pay for itself within the first ten years, sometimes many times over. The System Plus transforms the normal warranty by removing the small print. The warranty becomes transferable, adds labor to the coverage, and removes the pro ration for twenty to fifty years, depending on what product you have. The lifetime GAF products are covered for 50 years under this policy. I call it that because it's just like an extended insurance policy. All other products carry a 100% coverage for 20 years.
The twenty year leak protection plan under the Golden Pledge is more than paper. It is all the accessories GAF has to offer to make a full and complete roof system designed to withstand every type of rain even Mother Nature can throw at the roof except for storms with names like Katrina or Genghis Khan. Nobody warrants those mama jammas, not even da gubbamint. First, all the valleys and eaves are covered with leak barrier, the ridge must be heavy duty, the roof vented according to strict intake/exhaust ratios that protect the system, and the entire roof surface must have a superior felt. And you have to start right by using a superior started that protects against blow off and idiots with a ladders leaned against the roof edge.
Besides saving money on air conditioning, which could easily be at least $500.00 a year or more, saving at least one roof leak repair and resulting interior damage costing around a total minimum of $1000.00 and a roof color mismatch, repeated exterior painting ( see my blog on ventilation ) which cost usually around $2000.00 from my experience, and added HVAC servicing due to longer running times on the machinery setting you back another $500.00 minimum per year, there is one hugely great tremendous expense looming: replacing the roof for the new owners when you sell your home after the bed wetting incident.
That new roof alone in fifteen years could cost $25,000.00 or more. A $5000.00 roof in 2003 cost about $8000.00 in 2009. I doubt we'll see that type of inflation again soon but roofs will certainly have a slow steady rise in cost over the years as asphalt becomes more scare in the market. This cost alone might end that marriage that survived the mildewed box springs and hot summer days with a broken air conditioning system. Now the ex brides hate turns to anger, not a good thing. Aristotle says that the difference between hate and anger is that a man that hates you will avoid you while an angry man will throw himself at you with disregard for his own well being. Now put that on a wet wife. RUN!!! You can now guess what I studied in college.
And while you're trying to sell your in this difficult market you know the next series of roof leaks are on there way. You start to look in all the closets and under that wet bed for more water.
Think about it. Today when you buy a home you pay good money for a thorough inspection for the entire structure. If the roof shows any wear there is a good chance that mortgage won't loan the money because when you walk away from the house after the divorce it will need to roof it to sell it and the insurance company will decline coverage because older roofs are more easily hail damaged.
Roof contractors who are not authorized to offer this extended roof policy argue that hail will damage the roof before the policy expires. I say bring it on. The insurance is required to put the roof like it is and that would be with a brand new 20 year leak coverage. But if the insurance says their is no hail damage (imagine that), if there are marks, cracking, fading, or granule loss, then someone is buying you a new roof. And it's not you. You are covered against such things.
That new roof, after 15 years of marital bliss, plus the other costs of about $7500.00 in cooling costs, and $3000.00 in repairs, adds up to $35,500.00 plus a roof permit. And that fee, which didn't exist in the near past, will have gone up too.
Here in the Dallas Fort Worth roofing market many roofs are hail damaged but many are not. Just ask your local Realtor or real estate company if roofing is more often than not one of the headaches they encounter in the emotional negotiations of selling a home.
The warranty costs less than a buck and change per day. I bet the divorce attorney charges more than that. My second marriage lasted less than three years but my attorney cost over $250,00.00, but I got to keep the roof and the kid. My people told me not to discuss that sad event but here was my chance.
Now I'm not saying that a bad roof will ruin a strong marriage but it might keep your kids from going to the college of their choice. Just what does two years of college cost right now.