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Saturday, October 23, 2010

Do You Still Love Me Dallas Roof

It was a dark and stormy night and we were getting our third real test on the roof. Did Jon Wright do what he said he would? Put on a good roof?
So far no one has called in a warranty today. We're putting a roof on every couple of days right now and they are really complicated jobs.
The big church roof on Saint Stephens Presbyterian Church on West Grauwyler, Irving, was really tough. We did other roofs in Dallas last week.
Next week we go to Arlington to do a roof that came from this blog, The Roof forum. The article on valleys, plus his contractors inattention, caused this man to flip.
We are doing the son of a previous customer in Ennis, a referral from GAF in Carrollton, and the church has been one of our customers for about 26 years. I've been God's customer my whole life.
Not a dime on advertising.
Some good energy efficient roof systems are coming up in Dallas. Ventilation, Techshield radiant barrier deck, insulation, and a big patio. pictures are promised. Wait until you see what we did at the church.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The Irving Roof that Could...n't but Did: Mount Roof.

We're roofing a rather large church project in Irving and does it ever have some strangeness to it. Since about 1984, really, I've been telling them that we couldn't fix a leak due to construction. Now I have to.
We did continual temporary fixes and slow'er down stuff but now it's Armageddon. The original building, the sanctuary, has a 4"x4" double tongue and groove (an old rock song too) deck/ceiling combination on about a 16/12 pitch. For the amateurs, cats don't crawl that. The barge rafters have angle iron on top and bottom, that causes a small parapet like feature, and the roofing had a solid soldered flashing around the whole perimeter. All this was capped with a porcelain coping like apparatus.
when the offices were built a foyer was built making the facade of the church and the weird terminus flashing/coping internal. The barge rafter continued from it's high peak downward through the new lower roof and into the new air space beneath the flat roof connecting the offices and the sanctuary.
Water followed the coping, for lack of a better term, into the small air cavity under the flat roof and into the foyer.
Pete Midgley, who got his master's degree in ceramics at the university of Dallas while working for me, and Larry Grabman, who was later found hanged by his five year old adoring son (and I'm still mad at him for that but he must have been suffering terribly) repaired the leak every few years for me. No one wanted to listen to my dread. Funny how crossing lives take disparate paths.
Years later a sloped roof was built over the flat roof, no plans drawn, and we had to put a combination of modified bitumen dead flat valleys, low slope applications of two ply felt and four inch exposure three tabs, gobs of step flashing, and blah blah blah. In Spanish that is habla bla bla.
Still leaked.
Now comes D-Day. Three roof tear off on Mount Everest.

First we removes the coping. Tore out the roofing and the deck around the rail road railing holding the rake edge of the barge rafter. We cut the angle iron, cut out some of the deck, and gave the water a place to flow.
Since words cannot adequately describe this situation, photos will be added.
To dream the impossible dream, to roof the impossible roof, to climb the highest church....
Now there's a hole in the eave and the water has no place to go but down the addition, past the old obstruction, and out onto the lowest part of the Judge Roy Scream.

to be continued on this same Bat channel.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Made in America Roofing, Dallas Roof

At Jon Wright Roofing we've gone overboard with made in America products. GAF, Certainteed, Tamko, and Gerard products are good old USA made. In fact, the asphalt shingles are mostly made in Texas. Our metal edging is made in San Antonio by DOT Metals.
Although Master Flow ventilation products are made in North Carolina and much of the Gerard is made in Brea, California, those places are not China and nobody has a gun to their head, at least not their boss.
I toured the Gerard plant back in 1993 and have seen the GAF factory over on Singleton Blvd., Dallas, more times than I can remember. GAF bought the old Elk plant in Ennis.
Those people in Ennis love Elk.
Even our siding is made here in Texas. We've been to the Mastic Siding and Alcoa Siding plants in Gainsville, Texas.
Ken Moritz, who worked for me from 1983 until about 2000 like it so much he moved to Gainesvile.
Gerard makes some of its metal stone coated steel products in Mesquite.
Our nail is now American on request and it is seven times the nail the Chinese make but costs over double. Plus you get less nails because of all the galvanized coating on the nail.
That leaves us with the plastic cap a small nail with a plastic gasket used to hold the roofing felt down. They are made in China by prisoners with guns to their minds. We'll rectify this one way or another. If we go back to tin caps, which are sometimes mismade stamps of bottle caps, (yes Mr. Spell Check, you are wrong. Mismake is a word and mismade is it's past tense) We may achieve 100% American. If we can't then I'd like to at least buy from our friends like Mexico or England. Maybe Czechs or Poles because they love us. But not China. I do like Chines food though.
We do not concern ourselves with the raw materials because those get mixed up in the global market. I'd just like to keep Chavez oil off my roofs if at all possible.
Our auto caulks are made on Mars. The ones we bought at Home Depot, when our wholesaler supplied ones ran out, went bad in a few years. Leaks were everywhere and the grommet was no where to be found. We stock up on them now so our weekend and holiday roofing experiences will be pleasant and fulfilling. And so will our customers.
I'm going to put my foot down on this one.
Once I've completed my checklist I'll update this blog.
I can here Bruce Springsteen singing now.
Jon Wright Dallas Roof

Sunday, October 17, 2010

The Order of Roofing

Not referring to clergy or Masonic groups. Sequence is le sujet du jour. From start to finish.
Determine if you need a roof by calling your insurance carrier or several roofers. Probably the insurance is most likely to tell the truth but their criteria is damage. Age is another as well as quality of installation.
If you determine you need a new roof select one based on your economic needs and abilities. Influences are determined by how long you'll stay in the home, insurance premiums and the class IV discount, energy needs and costs based on high emissivity roofing or radiant barrier deck. HOA's can limit your selection. So might your wife. And don't forget your pride in home ownership.
Select a roofer with insurance, who is certified by GAF, CertainTeed, or Owens Corning. Atlas doesn't count. If you go metal check the roofer's track record and credit. Hammer away at the Google bar like Dick Tracy or someone from Criminal Minds.
If the roofer doesn't do an attic inspection, without some excuse like he'll do it if he gets the job or you are going to redeck, throw his name out of the running. How can you check out a roof system without looking at it from all angles. That means from above, below, and a stroll around the home.
Go over the contract with particular concern for roof accessories, guarantees, payment options, and manufacturer's roof warranty.

Part II, the roof process.
Order materials. Schedule a date. Take the Rembrandt, Matisse, and Van Gogh paintings down. Move the cars.
The roofers check the weather.
Tear off or remove the roof in almost all cases.
Install appropriate dry sheet or sheets as per the IRC and the manufacturer's specifications for this Dallas Roofing Project.
Install perimeter metal and integrate with the felt, which is dome differently on the rakes as compared to the eaves.
Replace flashings not matter what USAA and Allstate say. They are very negligent here and would prefer you had an inferior roof than paying you for what they owe you.
Install roofing.
Install ventilation system based on a balanced intake/exhaust 300 Rule minimum.
Clean the roof, ground and attic.
Inspect the attic and furnace and hot water flues.
Check the roof for exposed or high nails.
Recheck roof.
Pick up check.
Pay roofers.
Pay supplier.
Pay yourself.
Dallas Roof
Dallas Roofer
Dallas Roofing Contractor
Dallas Metal Roof
Dallas Slate Roof
Irving Roof
Garland Roof
Fort Worth Roof
Arlington Roof
Roof Repair Dallas
Roof Richardson
Plano Roof

Murder by Roof Floosie

Flues carry away deadly carbon monoxide (CO) so you don't die. Yet the amount of CO in the spent gas from your furnace, hot water heater and other gas appliances is usually no more than enough to give the wife a head ache, if that wasn't enough. Yet there are worse dangers lurking in your closet that CO. Much much worse.

Fire! the greatest hazzard, comes from flames shooting up the pipe. Just try to grab the pipe. Once I was trying to scale a rather steep widowmaker and I gently grabbed a flue and before I felt it I heard it. Pssst, like a cat, OMG.
On the ceiling there needs to be a ring that centers the double walled pipe away from the sheetrock and lumber framing. I've seen these look like they were burned and imagined that they were close to ignition. Blast off.
Sometimes the coo-coo roofers cut off the double walled pipe at the roof line and install a single part flashing that incorporates the base and cap as one and is made of galvanized steel. This is in violation of most statutes dealing with voluntary manslaughter. Only luck can save you now.
This steel is doomed because the major by-products of spent gas is heat and water, something that quickly turns steel into rust. Of the sixteen types of know iron oxide we are dealing with ferrous oxide. Didn't Bozo notice that everything was once composed of aluminum, a somewhat more resistant metal to the forces of extreme heat and continual water vapor attack. Don't believe me? Next time it is freezing go outside and look up at those two silly metal pipes sticking out of your roof and tell me you don't hear "I think I can, I think I can. (for those who have done done their duty to the species that is a reference to Thomas the Tank Engine, a steam locomotive analogy.)
The cheap roofer put a $10.00 flashing on there instead of a new $50.00 flashing kit composed of a double walled pipe extension, a base flashing, a rain collar, and a type B gas cap. It looks like Thomas' a little instead of the Coolie type that is peaked. Rather than inform you of the problem he has caused marital problems and has lowered your children test scores.
Have I ever beaten a dead horse more than the damage done to plywood decks, compressed insulation, and all the ills of a humid attic? Well try as you may to vent out this mad cloud of water vapor, old man Winter is keeping the squirrels warm in your attic.
The base flashing also centers the frying hot double walled pipe, unless roofer boy replace it with a low cost single wall pipe, so that it doesn't lean over and touch the plywood and as the Cars sang, "burning down the house."
We'll take a pause here while you run outside and look at your killer. Run back in, get the kids and call 911. hurry.

We're back. Sorry for the alarm but did you know that few flue pipes have any strapping holding them in place? When we go on roofs we often find them loose. Some cities, like Plano, require a postmortem on the roof so they don't have to perform one on you.
The NRCA says that a roof cannot be replaced without the flues being disturbed. This disturbs me too. The National Roofing Contractors Association, founded in 1886, before I was even born, knows its stuff. Think of members like cops and non-members as criminals. The cops have the advantage of organizing and sharing and disseminating the knowledge acquired over the decades. The robbers get in pick ups and steal insurance money, ruin homes, marriages, and make little children sick.
Call somebody to give you an attic inspection today. Well, it's Sunday so do it tomorrow but if you call today I'll probably answer. During the Cowboy game I might not. Yeah, I'm going to watch it. Habit I guess.

Jon Wright Roof Dallas
Roof Irving
Roof Fort Worth
Metal Roof Dallas

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Why Tear Off the Old Roof?

As the big bad wolf said to Lille Red Riding Hood: the better to see you. Yes, to see the deck is to know the deck. Rotten or weak spots cannot always be telepathically known and even though attic inspections tell of lots of thing, nothing is better than seeing. Seeing is believing. Show me.
Take plank decks. They always have knot holes and cracks and it is my belief they should always be replaced but they feel firm under foot. The darn things crack later and it is considered a warranty issue unless properly addressed. The most proper way is to demolish it and install a new fangled radiant barrier OSB deck from Techshield with edge support ( H clip).
Most roofers don't know how to do a butt-up or nested roof job. That is where you trim the edges so it looks like one roof and then use the old roof as a pattern for the application of the new roof. This leaves a tell-tale short course on the bottom. The only roof that should ever be overlaid is a three tab and you need to use the same size shingle.
We use to use the $15.00 per square for tear off to upgrade to a 25 year Timberline. These days the tear off is $30.00, usually, and so is the upgrade to the better warranty 30 year shingle, which is the same shingle.
Most insurance companies won't take a home with two roofs and most mortgage companies won't finance a home with an overlay. If the insurance takes the policy there is usually a penalty.
Reroofs are more easily hail damaged and more costly to replace so there are disincentives to do it.
In a practical world it is best to remove all roofing but there are exceptions. If a house has five roofs on it and you pull all off then I bet the windows and doors, which have been adjusted, will not work properly. Prudence dictates that if you pull off all five you put back a very heavy roof like CertainTeed Tri-laminate Presidential. even this won't stop the house from taking a deep breath and stretching Code which limits homes to two roofs. In the past a wood roof was treated like a deck so two roofs could be installed over a wood roof. Not anymore. Do that and the Dallas building official will hunt you down like a dog. Municipal building officials are law enforcement officers and can have you arrested or do it themselves. Most building officials first names is Mister.
Do yourself a favor and spring for the tear off. It doesn't cost that much and it protects your investment. Plus the roof usually looks better.
Jon Wright Roof Dallas

Roofing in Dallas in the Fall.

The best part about fall is that it is not summer. Summer is a "beat down," as the kids say. We can do a better job this time of year but everything, and I mean everything, has a ying and a yang.
More expensive cars are nicer but more expensive. They last longer but are more costly to repair. In roofing it is always the case too even with the seasons. The day is shorter but our work day is longer. We don't chance scuffing the hot shingles but they also don't seal down as well ( another reason to hand nail: cooler temperature). The fiberglass shingles also won't lay down or settle as quickly so the roofer needs to set them in the sun for a while in order to relax them. But all of these issues are paled in consideration to the hombre nailing the shingles. I did it for years and I can tell you that in the fall the roofer is much more relaxed.
In the summer I used to think"there's a stack to cut in and it's going to slow me down. Hurry faster to make up for the lost time. It's getting hot. Oh no..." Once I told a helper to get busy because it was going to be really hot in 30 minutes. He moved a little slow for a minute then caught on fire. Not from the heat but from the realization that I was right. Our hands were moving like Steven Segal's, fast and deliberate. By the time we finished our chimney repair it was a blast furnace. In zombie like fashion we picked up the roof trash and went for our favorite beverages.
I asked him why he started to get after it so without a second warning and good ole Danny Dunn said "the temperature rose a few degrees in just a minute and I can do the math. A few degrees times 30 minutes could be 60 to ninety degree."
Exactamundo my friends. I have a joke I made up in Spanish: No hay cuatro estaciones aqui in tejas. Hay dos. The listener usually responds with "qual son?" I tell him "invierno y infierno." And they say "de la verdad."
The rhyming answer to we don't have four seasons in Texas, only two, is "winter and hell.' Not funny in English but in Spanish it is a riot.
Steep roofs? Better to do in the fall because they are very easy to scuff and if you remember my earlier forum (a roof blog by any other name is still a roof blog) scuffed shingles have been catastrophically destroyed. The exposure of the asphalt by grinding and shoving the granules to the side with a foot fall reveals organic material that our closest star eats for lunch. Asphalt is a sitting duck for photons and other subatomic cosmic rays. The pebbles protect the asphalt that stops the water. The good part is you get to choose the color of the pebbles from a predetermined selection. You can't get an exact color like paint and those who want one are unrealistic narcissists. It's like nuclear war and hand grenades: close is all you need. Both those weapons destroy roofing products.
Sometimes a roofer can't get off a steep roof to stop from damaging the shingles. I've read the shoe manufactures name from the imprint on the roof. I've seen the patterns from the bottoms of shoes smashed in the roof just like a bobcat's paw print in a dry riverbed.
If you are considering having your roof done this time of year think twice about letting the roofers use nail guns. The roofers call them "pistolas." That also means a woman's hips in Spanish. No joke. A bad translation would be to not let the roofers use woman hips to install the shingle nails. Bad idea also.
But because we'll have wind anytime, you need to be over diligent. Please read my previous rants about hand nailing by using the convenient search bar at the top of the page.
The next time I write about roofs in the fall I think it might be better to use the word autumn, considering what Google might think about "roof fall" as opposed to "roof autumn."
Have a glorious day and go Rangers.
For some reason I'm just not all worked up about the Dallas Cowboys.
Amici arrivaderci.
Jon Wright roof Dallas
Jon Wright roof Irving
this next week Jon Wright roof Arlington.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Driving in Dallas Fort Worth

Everybody knows we roof persons drive all over the place. We try to set up our schedule so as not to go from Garland to Benbrook at 5:00 pm on Friday or go east on 820 from North Richland Hills to Irving just about anytime that is busy.
This morning it struck me. As I escaped from State Highway 183 on an sooner than normal exit ramp to avoid what the brake lights were warning me about, I imagined a traffic club. I need to get to the office early to orchestrate my business and this requires behaving like an employee, keeping a continuous schedule. No resetting appointments, no morphing the schedule, just getting there like a mailman in a snow storm. But those darn lights screamed " An hour here. Do you have enough gas?"
My intuition was right. As I sailed up the service road I saw cars driving across the medium, in the dark, to escape the morass of nervous cattle trying to pass on the Camino Real. The cowboys weren't there to keep them in line but the great mass moved like a school of fish, the majority towing the company line mindlessly. Isn't that what most drivers do? Kind of an "Andromeda Strain" blank stare into the flashing red lights. Zombie Motorists, calmly going where fate will let them go. Occasionally the Thorazine wears off and one of these sheep goes into a hysterical road rage. He has the right to scream as his biological clock is uselessly wasted but not the privilege to take it out on others with Andriettesque driving maneuvers. Remember these are drugged sheep, many just consuming their starch, sugar, and caffeine.
These are the lucky ones. They anticipate a pause in the high speed daily chase and bring their breakfast. Sometimes they are afforded a slow down or stop but if not they consume scalding hot liquids while scooting their little sheep amongst dinosaurs.
This is where "the Driving Club" comes in handy. I'm not suggesting we form a gang and beat up those who try to mimic Italian racers or WWF (or whatever it is now) showoffs. I'm suggesting using our communicators to relay to other members of the Federation when Klingons or Feringi attempt to incorporate a planet into their respective empires before Kirk has a chance to be seduced by their beauty queen.
I could have sent out a warning at Star Date 6:55 am that west bound 183 was experiencing a time-space distortion and all pods should take evasive maneuvers immediately. That way all members who set a special secret warning tone on the communicator that says a member has sent coordinates relating to dangerous enemy fleets could reset their courses.
This way we could all stop listening to the useless traffic updates that tell us of an upcoming nebulous cloud that has already captured us in its mysterious powers. Your sensors didn't pick it up until it was too late and still can't read exactly what it is or how large it is.
The members of "Driving Club" are nowhere to be found. They have gone around the traffic jam.
For all others, resistance is futile.
My e mail is
Jon Wright Roof Dallas

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Explanation of Different Grades of Dallas Roof

What kind of roofing people in Dallas put on their homes and why:
20 year three tab roof: for people who are leaving the country or going to prison.
25 year three tab roof: for people selling their home.
30 year architectural roofing: for people with pride of ownership.
40 year architectural roofing: for people with pride of ownership who lice in high wind areas.
50 year/lifetime products: crazy not to go to the class IV.
50 year/lifetime class IV: for smart people who love their home and want to save money on insurance.
Lifetime designer roofing: for people who love their home a lot or are forced to buy this because of their HOA.
Class IV designer lifetime roofing: for people who love their home, want to save money on insurance, and who want to protect their investment in class IV.
Enhanced warranties: for people who love their home and don't want to go through the problem of a bad or failing roof before its time.
30 year class IV threetab: for people who want to save money on insurance but have a lower sloped roof that doesn't present the roof visibly to the street and doesn't work as well with thicker shingles.
30 lb felt: for roofers who don't know what they're doing.
Starter shingles: for roofers who want to protect their customers from ladder goons and high wind.
Roof Ventilation: for people who love their kids and don't want them to be sick, who love their home, who hate hot homes with high utility bills and breaking down air conditioners.
Heavy designer ridge: for homeowners with a little exhibitionism in their love of their home.
Metal valleys: for the roofer who wants his customers to have a good roof and is not cheap.
Hand nail roof: for the contractor committed to excellence.
Air gun nailed roof: for the rookie installer and the contractor who doesn't care about quality.
Staple gun roof: jerk off.
Deck protection: for low slope roofs and enhanced warranty situations.
Synthetic felt: for the homeowner and contractor concerned with excellence and enhanced warranties.
Magnet: for the contractor and roofer who don't want children to need tetanus shots.
Turbines: for the old roofer who not only has no e mail but doesn't use a computer.
Radiant barrier or energy efficient decking: for the homeowner who is not moving anytime soon had wants a comfortable home with low utility bills and a long lasting air conditioner.
Yard sign: for the roofer who bought his permit.

Jon Wright Roof Dallas Roof

Old Dallas Roof Story

Back in 1985 I was using a lot of college students for roofing. I ran the crew with some old timers who had worked for me several years. The foreman, Numan, was from Jordan and working on his citizenship. He learned from watching and could lift many times his size. I think he had ant blood in him.
I told the guys to tear off the multiple layers in the back and "dry in" the roof" with the felt paper and start roofing. When I got back from running a few appointments the roof was torn off but thousands of nails with pieces of roofing stubbornly clinging to the shanks we everywhere. The sun was at about 30 degrees and everyone was proud of how much they had done. I was panicking.
"Listen guys, the sun is going to start moving downward very fast and we have a lot of deck prepping to do."
Everyone saw how I was frantically chipping away at the nails and all got into the groove. But that sun was falling fast and we weren't going to make it. I had the crew get the back of the roof completely cleaned up and papered in. I drove my truck up onto a couple of bundles to elevate the headlights and we finished the front in the dark.
The homeowner/client (this house was on Harvard St, Irving, 75062) told me not to worry because there was no chance of rain. Ha! That's when it rains the worst.
for two weeks the weathermen of Dallas had predicted rain everyday and now these devilish oracles of venom were telling me to drop my drawers.
Off to the casa we all went more tired that Cooter Brown, who ever that was and even Mr. Spell Check doesn't know, and into a deep tired sleep.
Kaboom! Crash, swoosh, howling wind, the thrash of rain against the window, the devils howling from gusts of wind, shaking trees...crap (I was younger and profane when excited back then)...And the rocket's red glare, the bombs bursting in air! I called Numan and his wife said he was gone to the job.
He looked like a gargoyle up there with lightening flashing all around. Just a few seconds out of the truck and my clothes were at maximum saturation. We would have made the news.
When it slowed down to a hard rain I saw that Numan was prostrate, holding down loose felt on the ridge. He had let me down and was determined not to let the water go down into the house too.
The chirping of birds filled the freshly scrubbed air with the sounds of a brave new world. We were alive to survive another day. Yeah team...and our flag was still there..O'er the land of the free and the home of the lucky. (we had no insurance back then)
We pulled off the felt and put down new because that's what you are supposed to do. Just because you don't understand you do not a license to break the rules and commit roofacide. The moisture is in your ears too if you put seal that water in the felt between the deck and the shingles. Worse if you don't know how to roof and use 30 lb. to compensate.
One of those college kids, who looked like Christopher Reeve and now is a doctor, called me and asked if we predicted the future. I told him "no, but if you ever need a good rain dancer, we were his team."
Today, in modern times, we live by a few simple rules. Use the Internet because you can to see where the rain is hiding. Also, no tearing off is permitted after noon in the summer because the rain can fall from a blue sky. The clouds form later. Then the attorneys group in to gaggles and start weird mating dances. This is bad, real bad.
Best to be prudent, never get in a hurry, and hurry. Don't rush the job, the delivery, the crew, but once you pull that first shingle off, get it. Git'r dun.
Jon Wright Dallas Roofing

More Dallas Roof stories later.

Monday, October 11, 2010

JJon Wright's Minimum Roof Recommendations

What do I think should be the minimum roof and roof deck standards here in Dallas Fort Worth? Well, since it will never snow twelve inches (again) here my recommendations may be a little strong but here is what I believe:
Never shingle beneath a 3/12 pitch whereas a 2/12 is currently permitted.
Two ply of whatever felt you are using, even synthetic felt, from a 3/12 to a 4/12. Currently you need to install two ply felt on any slope beneath a 4/12 down to a 2/12 pitch.
No dimensional shingles shall be permitted beneath a 4/12 pitch.
On all composition roofs beneath a 4/12 a leak barrier should be used on all penetrations, roof to walls, and overhangs two feet past the warm wall.

Here's my minimum decking requirements concerning plywood and OSB. If tongue and groove two by's are used the requirements change.
Minimum thickness should be 5/8" decking with edge support. That's "H" clips to the rookies. Rafters should not exceed two foot on center spacing.

Here's the ventilation standard: the 300 Rule with 50% exhaust and 60% intake. Yeah I know but as intake gets dirty a little extra won't hurt.

I would like to see hand nailing required but it's okay because a few of us in the Dallas Roof community have this as part of our arsenal of quality. We also now offer the Maze nail, the last American roofing nail manufacturer. These nails have seven times as much zinc coating making the steel base safe from corrosion. Those made by Chinese people with guns to their head are cheap. Wouldn't you really rather pay a little more for a shirt made by free people rather than nine year old girls chained to looms with no bathroom breaks and scars on their backs from the whipping. Caves fuel too since those behemoth tankers don't have to sail the seas, even though they have motors and no sails.

Starter shingles should be used to keep me from feeling guilty every time I lean my ladder against a roof and the shingles crack. Painters hate starter shingles. So do cheap roofers who can't even spell quallitty.

The current 20 year three tab should be banned also. I mean the grass will grow through them. A few years ago they killed grass but they have gotten so thin now that gobs more can be shipped on a semi. A truckload is more, but actually less because a lot is paper wrappers, self seal adhesive, non stick together cellophane strips, pallets, pallet wrapping, and granules. The cut out part is the asphalt.
Dallas roof by Jon Wright

Rated 5.0 out of 5.0 9 reviews

My nickname in high school was JJ, short for Jaguar Jon. I drove a 15 year old Jaguar that I rebuilt and still have.

Dallas Roof Suppliers, part 75

Back in 1992 we had the mother of all hailstorms. Shingles were scarce. The motels were full. Trying to get product was insane.
I didn't realize it at first because we were buying most of our product from Dallas Fort Worth Roofing Supply. I had even named my second son after one of the owners. What a dufus I was. We let our relationships with other suppliers wither. We had a large credit line with them and they were really big in the Dallas roof market.
We started placing ten orders every day but nothing was going out. I went down there after several phone promises of delivery had gone incomplete. I warned that if they didn't ship me something that I would never buy from them again and they didn't ship me. I was a laughing stock and Latham Roofing was knocking on my customer's doors and getting delivery the next day. Cancellation after cancellation led me to pull down the yard signs. We had waited months and were doing less business than ever. Then Spec and Pan Am Distributing came to my rescue.
I learned a lesson and held to my promise until Chuck Arista, the charismatic rep for Elk since time began and then for GAF after the hostile takeover referred to as a merger, went to work there and badgered me continually. He gets some but not as much as he would if were another roofing store.
Now we spread it around but most goes to Southern Shingles because of the attentiveness of their rep, Spencer for Hire. Plus the managers try to stock all the weird stuff we order, and I mean weird. They tell me I'm the only one that sells this stuff but if entire factories are devoted to the manufacture of these widgets then we are not alone in the wilderness.
Dallas roof stuff seams to be behind the rest of the world because when I talk about these products my competitors faces glaze over and the suppliers shrug their collective shoulders. but we persevere to find the right product for every situation.
Jon Wright Roof Dallas
Rated 5.0 out of 5.0 9 reviews

Stains on Roofs in Dallas: Fungi and Slime Mold

Here in Dallas it is hot, humid, polluted, and pollinated. Unbearable at times but everyone in the world is determined to move here and I never left my Zip Code. Actually I did. I'm an easterner, from Mesquite. We move to Dallas in 1968 and I found myself in Irving going to the University of Dallas. I went to Roma, Italia, for one semester but outside that I've lived here since it was a prairie. I remember when Lewisville was a long way away.

This climate is really tough on roofs and roof color steadfastness. Ever noticed those dark streaks on the north side of composition or fiberglass roofs? That is airborne fungus and if it gets too bad it will eat your roof. Remember that composition roofs are primarily organic material, cracked from oil. Those long chain carbon molecules make for good fodder for everything from fungus to creepy slim molds. Have you ever seen the stuff? Nasty. Besides these monsters are decomposers. That sounds bad when it comes to your $10,000.00 roof.
Beneath the lead and metal pipes, chimney, and dormer louvers the staining is not present and the roof looks a lot newer. That's because their antimicrobial nature kills the rascals. That's why we take zinc lozenges: to kill the airborne fungi and other enemies of the corpus that lodge themselves in the soft pink tissues of your throat. Sometimes we Dallas roof folk eat roof flashings when we're felling puny. Perks you right up and gets rid of stains too.
Now days the manufacturers of roofing products put zinc and copper right into some of their products as a stain guard. Works too. Back about 1990 my GAF rep Mike Ratcliffe told me you could string a piano wire on either side of the ridge and the roof wouldn't stain.
When roofs leak the water sometimes travels under the shingles for a ways and causes the roofing and felt to become one, glued together by slime, a colony of amoebae like critters. Later, when there is a slow leak that doesn't show up in the home, there is a lot of structural damage.
"Why it never leaked before so how did I know it was destroying my structure?" By looking up at the sags in the plywood that the roofing and felt are nailed to might have given you a clue that your insurance company was going to cancel your policy right before your house burned down.
Older roofs that have been defaced by the critters that took down the aliens in "War of the Worlds" can be made sparkling again with a topical application of bleach and water. The beach does not necessarily bleach the roof clean but kills the pesky pests. Wash it down twice and wait a day or two and the roof looks marvelous darling.
Proper venting also cuts down on the molds growing in your attic cause your home to get old timer's smell. Heat humidity, and organic material in attics that don't have bottom to top vent cycling systems will allow muck to grow and sicken your kids and make your doctor and electric provider richer than they already are.
If you buy that turbine plug from Home Depot, the one you shouldn't ever use, and plug them to retain heat in the winter you need to be shot. Once the heat has escaped the confines of your insulation just give it up. Go on down the road. I said forget about it. This added chore just makes everything rot. If you did it in Houston the deck would be ravaged in two or three years.
If you can't wait the two days for the murdered fungi to drift away after the bleach has been applied then you can go to Harbor Freight Tools and buy a cheap water pressure cleaner and blast them off. Be careful because roofing is not designed to withstand 2000 PSI of water pressure. I meant it when I said buy a cheap machine. The big ones will blow a hole through your brick before you can say "oh sheeeeeeeeeeeet." Got down inside the ditch! Keith Lyles of Classic Superoofer taught me that when he managed my Fort Worth location from 1994 through 1998.
So that's the story on roof stains.
Dallas Roofing by Jon Wright
Rated 5.0 out of 5.0 9 reviews

Dallas Roofing Stories Part 12: A Bunch of Malarkey

Can you believe there is a roofing manufacturer named Malarkey? They do live up to their reputation though. Also notice the root of the name: mal or mala. Mala means bad in Spanish and mal is a prefix attached to arkey.
I'm starting to sound like a bitter old man but I've only been around the sun 53 times, 32 of those times as a Dallas Fort Worth based roofing contractor. The previous six rotations were as a roof installer and student.
My brain may be sun bleached but I know when someone treats their customers fair or not. And my hair no longer turns blond in the sun but I still have it. You can't bleach out color from something with no pigment.
We put on a few Malarkey roofs because people wanted them and the only other class IV roofing product available in Dallas Fort Worth at the time was Atlas, a company that has been turning down claims on roofs since before I became a roofing contractor. We'll discuss their lack of quality control on another roof blog, er, forum.
Both of these products blister. That is where little warts form on the face of the shingle, lifting the granules from the asphalt that they were embedded in. These granules protect the asphalt from the searing hot North Texas sun. The inferno that inferns us.
So we sold a roof a second time to a nice lady in north Dallas, near Carrollton. The first time we put it over the wood shingles. After a big hail storm we redecked it with a full pop radiant barrier deck mounted on 1x2 furring strips with continual eave venting. We balanced the ventilation with ridge vents. At this point in time we were light years ahead of everyone in the field of roof ventilation and now some other Dallas roofing companies have seen the light as well, just not with the same precision and exactness of detail.
This lovely lady had squirrels chewing up her abode and she called me for assistance. I found the blisters. The home had the dreaded "Roof Herpes." So we called Malarkey and they said they would handle it. Luckily, we thought, the roof was under five years old, the cut off date were all non extended and enhanced warranties become worthless prorated material only pieces of paper, like the roof in this case.
No one came out. Calls were taken but with less frequency. Then no one would talk to us and the shouting began. They responded.
The president of sales said he would be in Dallas in a few months and he'd look at it. This didn't happen. Then they said they'd send out their local rep to meet us if we'd take out two shingles for them to test. This is standard operating procedure for all roofing manufacturers but usually the company picks up the product.
We waited for hours at the home a finally made a call to everyone involved. We left the shingles on the side of the house where they killed the grass. Now we had dead grass, mad roofing contractors, an upset homeowner, hiding roofing manufacturers and reps, and a bad roof. To boot the home was for sale.
Since then I've heard the same story from other roofers in Dallas and from the Dallas roofing suppliers. This reminds me of Alexis de Tocqueville line about history being like an art collection: a lot of copies and few originals.
These guys are hiding up in Washington State and have developed a bad reputation amongst the good roofing contractors in the Dallas Fort Worth area. Since that time GAF and Certainteed have developed lines of class IV roofing that get the homeowner discounts from some insurance companies. The discount was mandatory but recently the Great State of Texas (I'm an indigini) has let the insurers do what they want, as if they has never happened. I know that State Farm, Allstate, and USAA still offer the discounts, which vary from county to county, but Farmers doesn't. Since they no longer do the synchronized rate swim I can no longer refer to the entity of All-State-Farmers for the big three: Allstate Insurance, State Farm Insurance, and Farmers Insurance. Now Farmers has a program that rewards homeowners with a discount for new roofs and better materials. Still the sun revolves around the sun, so the discount wanes, while the class IV discount remains static as long as you have the policy. In Dallas a class IV roof earns a 27% discount and Tarrant County is blessed with 30%. Their museums and Zoo are better too. Darn.
Oops, my ADD kicked in and I fell off the story line. Anyway, I believe all men except for accountants are ADD.
Now to the conclusion of today's story.
The lady didn't want to sue; she just wanted to sell her house.
I forgot that Malarkey said we didn't ventilate the attic properly. I asked how did they know? Are they mind readers? Guess what: they were liars. Yes, I said it. A strong word used for special occasions when people lie to you, without shame or concern. Kind of like Bill Sharp. That's what he does. Ask any of the suppliers in Dallas and Fort Worth. That is Sharp Exteriors.
The lady didn't want to sue either. Malarkey won. They successfully avoided all responsibility. The home did pass inspection and the roof won't leak for a long time but it won't last 50 years. It might make twenty and hail will probably get it since it will become fragile.
I have this same story for Atlas Roofing products although I did see an old Atlas roof in Irving without blisters. Something must be wrong with it.
As long as I'm a roofing contractor in Dallas I'll continue to tell the truth about how different manufacturers treat their ultimate consumers, the people who raise families under their roofs. If you ask me for a roofing product from a manufacturer that is naturally evil, I'll tell you. I probably won't get the job but at least I'll feel good about myself. We never tell people what they want to hear. The truth will set you free.
Jon Wright Roofing Dallas

Dallas Roofing Stories-Patio Cover Nightmare

Before story time begins I'd like to announce that the Maze nails are here. Seven times the zinc. My supplier rep, the famous Mr. Spencer, says a fifty pound box weighs twice as much as the ordinary nails from China. I'm so glad because these nails that cost twice as much would be fewer in number per pound than those made by people with guns to their heads because of all the zinc. Anyway, I feel good about using American made products. Yeah America. Yeah!
Here's todays story: We had done a redeck roof in Colleyville a few years ago and later we sided the house with Mastic's (formerly Alcoa) best soffit, the Probead. It really looks like bead board.
The rep for Mastic, Kevin, was my manager until he got that job. He's still a good friend and has a beautiful family.
Back to the story. This customer was really picky, him being a jet airliner pilot. I guess I'm glad he's picky. I can't imagine someone in his position being less than a hawk.
Everything was fine until we did his patio cover, a real nice product we purchased at Metals USA, formerly called Texas Aluminum Industries or TAI. I guess they got bigger. Get it? Texas to USA.
We purchased the product, a foam filled panel that can be used to make a room as well as a patio cover. from their location in Dallas and took it to Colleyville. After we put it up the customer noticed small dents in the panels. My foreman swore they didn't dent the panels. He reiterated that he never had a problem like this. He was sincere and I didn't believe him. Sure, right.
The panels are locked together and a caulk is used to seal them together. Taking them down ruined about $4000.00 worth of material. Se la vie.
Happily and without complaint I took it on the chin and sent my men to get more panels with the instructions to really inspect the material before it went on their truck. My foreman was adamant that he didn't dent them and I didn't care. I just wanted to buy some more and get it right.
All hell broke out. My foreman called me and said "Jon, you won't believe this. Listen." I heard a man screaming like a little girl. Mr. Buss, the jerk. Yelling and yelling.
I saw the light. We couldn't find any straight panels. All of them were dented. I was incensed. Bush was insane.
Now I asked for replacement panels. The manager was going to sell me greatly discounted panels but Buss was howling. Who was the boss here?
I had to purchase more product from them because of the way the system is engineered. We had erected a frame designed to hold up this product. I was trapped. I was screwed and they knew it. I called corporate and went up the ladder until the last no was given.
We tore down the patio cover and had to tie it back into the roof when we rebuilt it.
They'll lose more money than I. They could have split the difference with me but they chose to make an enemy out of me. This is too bad because the two guys out front are so nice and helpful and Metals USA also owns Gerard, manufacturers of a fine stone coated steel roof product. My rep from them is a great guy.
Anyway, that's my story and I'm sticking to it.
The homeowner loves his patio cover. It's very nice. You might say it is twice as nice as it has to be.
Jon Wright Roofing in Dallas
I can't afford to do business with Metals USA.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Dallas Roofing Supply Companies

Dallas Roofing Contractors have many roofing wholesalers or roofing suppliers to choose from. The service on different ones varies but you find out what they're made of when they make a mistake and cost a contractor money or customer relations. So here's a few of my snafu stories of wholesalers getting it wrong and what they did about it.
Back in 1981 I sold a built up roof in Richardson on a i/12 pitch. My experience level wasn't too great but I already had developed the skill of reading and I used it a lot. I followed the rules and used type IV asphalt, a type that has a different softening point than the ordinary type III asphalt that we use one most built up roofs.
These BUR roofs consist of several layers of roofing felts mopped together to form something like one giant shingle on a roof. There are different types of papers and toppings used. Now we use either SBS cap sheets or coatings instead of the gravel we used back then for protection from ultra violet degradation. Asphalt is organic and the sun destroys it. (That's why scuffed shingles deteriorate, because it is not just cosmetic. It is catastrophic damage.)
The roof started to migrate when the sun came out. The gravel started moving down hill and pushed the strip in felts off the gravel guard.
There was some field felt slippage as evidenced by the two or three places where the gravel had parted but not much. This was repairable with some back nailing and surface repairs but the migrating gravel was not repairable.
I called the Trumbell Asphalt rep, Steve Krystosik, a million times and he wouldn't return my calls. Finally Owens Corning, the mother of Trumbell Asphalt, sent to large men out to do Krystoskc's job. They refused my claim and left me out to dry. I spent over $6000.00 in 1981 dollars plus a couple of days work to make good on the job.
I find it hard to believe I can sell Owens Corning or Trumbell products and believe in them. Rephrased, I can't afford to sell their products.
Steve's a great guy and now he's doing nothing for Tamko Roofing products now. He has taken care of business there. When we got a bad batch of shingles from them once he made good on everything. They sent out more bad shingles the second time but eventually got it right and reimbursed me my expenses.
Tamko is good but they are behind the times on design, color, class IV products, and a contractor program with enhanced warranties.
Spec shipped the wrong color once and they made good on it eventually but then their gambling and drug addicted salesman (I found this out later) messed up some orders and never told anyone. Spec said I owed money and I kept asking for receipts. All I got was paperwork with weights on it. I do not buy roofing by the pound.
I faxed over an order with the color Ash Brown and he said he thought it was Aut Brown, short for Autumn Brown. What a weasel. I didn't get paid. Spec didn't get paid. I lost money.
I can't afford to buy from Spec although they are real nice people.
Once Spec shorted me a bunch of Celotex Presidential Roofing which is now made by Certainteed. I asked and asked to no avail. Then when I got 33 squares of 20 year shingles instead of the 33 bundles I ordered and was invoiced for, I told them that they had over shipped a job and wouldn't tell them where it was until I got my credit.
All they could imagine is a rogue driver over shipping jobs everywhere. In order to stop the bleeding they consented.
Still, not good business. Plus Steve stole the money I was paying them and they wouldn't listen to me. Since then they have lost millions in business.
More Dallas Roofing Stories later. I've got to go pick up my son from school now.

Jon Wright Roofing - Roofing Dallas- Roof Repair - Metal Roofer

Roofing and Recycling in Dallas Fort Worth

Years ago in Colorado, a roofer went into the wood shingle and shake recycle. He charged roofers to dump their nearly clean cedar shingles and shakes in his yard but he charged less than the landfill. Word spread fast. He then used small chippers to grid it up for landscaping. He sold it to convenience stores, Home Depot, Lowes, landscapers and anyone who'd buy it.
Once he saturated the market he fled leaving a mountain of trash. I never heard if he was ever caught but the local authorities had to clean it up.
We've received calls about recycling our asphalt roofs but nothing has come here yet. We'd really like to do that. Some cities have rubber and polyisocyanurate recycle centers.
Country rods, pot hole repairs, retaining blocks, and other products could be made from the millions of tons of roofing thrown away into landfills annually. Just one thirty square Timberline with accessories is 10,000 lbs. of debris. Do the math if a hail storm wipes out a city.
We already, like most roofers in Dallas and Tarrant Counties, recycle aluminum and copper roofing products but we go a step further.
At a loss we cull the metal edging, flashings, stacks, lead flashings, and any other metal we can find and every once and a while sell it.
My industry needs to get with it and start a bandwagon.

Jon Wright Roofing

Friday, October 1, 2010

Too many calls. Too many bad roofs out there. What a nightmare the last few weeks have been. Ten inches of rain on the 8th in a few hours changes everything.
The calls are slowing down now and we've made some friends but we also made some enemies. We tried to handle everyone and we shouldn't have. We have found out we can turn off Angies List when this happens and a few other resources we have when a natural disaster hits.
Alex called a potential customer and told him I'd be there in about an hour. All he said was fine. I didn't have time to stop for lunch so I stopped at a convenience store to grad some poison. When I came out a bum was digging in my truck and talking to himself. He had my phone and wouldn't give it back. A struggle ensued, more like a slow dance, and I slowly began to get it back until he jerked it away and disassemble the battery.
Boy was I freaked. He saw my rage and threw it down and ran but these Blackberry devices take some time to start back up. I was already a late and now I was really late. My phone had over a dozen missed calls.
When I got to the appointment no one was there. The problem was obvious. No maintenance and no paint. An old wood louver on the side poorly designed, falling out, and a hurricane.
I resumed my frantic catch up mode knowing this guy would be mad and wouldn't do business with me.
Correctomundo. He gave me an "F" on Angies to go along with all my "A's." We didn't do business with him so our average is not effected but he's on top. Funny how when you swallow too big a bite it can cause pain, even death.
We've changed things up and are preparing for the next tsunami.
For anyone else who fell through the cracks, er, I mean gaping holes, I apologize.
We really got more calls in a week than we had in three or four months. I had just let some of my staff go at this time because there wasn't enough to do.
Feast or famine? I don't think so. Normally people wait for hail storms to replace their roof and many look to get out cheap because they are not spending their own money but nobody spends their own money better than they do.
Now people are buying better roofs, better guarantees, better ventilation and better Energy Star decking and shingles. With their own money people seek value but when Allstate or State Farm pays for the roof most go cheap. Those don't tend to be our customers. Long and short term saving is what we offer, not a bottom line so cheap a good roof can't be put on and continue in business.
We are competitive but with better systems. We are the extended warranty energy saving beautiful roof store.