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Monday, December 26, 2011

Insurance Companies Dumb Down Roofs and Cheat GAF

By systematically paying for lower grade roofs than the homeowners have, insurance companies are saving millions and cheating homeowners and the manufacturers, primarily GAF.

I'm not sure of the statistics but I do know that since the 1980's forward, the middle grade of three architectural shingles, last know as a 40 year, was the mainstay of roofing materials. As hail hit roofs, people replaced their roofs with like kind and quality. when they put the new roof over another roof, especially wood shingles, they tended to install the 40 and 50 year versions of the product.

I'm using 2001 to 2010 language here.For the most part, before the 2011 warranty change, 25 year shingles weighed 250 lbs per sq., 30 year weighed 300, and 40 year weighed 340. Easy to remember 25=250, 30=300, and 40= more than 300. the point is, most homes with laminates that were built before 1985 or roofed after that, had 300 lb. shingles.

Until this year, the insurance companies were paying correctly, for the most part. That has ended. They now say all laminates are the light weight version, the 240 lb. In fact, we have to continually explain to them that the language changed in 2001 so  that a 25 became a 30, a 30 became a 40, and a 40 became a 50. They've used lab reports and shingle gauges and other flimsy wiggledly wham methods, including stalling, to cheat the homeowners.

And the mushroom roofers who pop up after hail storms are more than willing to put on a 30 and bill for a 40. until recently we thought all 40 years were gone but  State Farm, in an exhaustive project, found a material that was classified as a 40 but weighs only 165 lbs. We never even knew it existed.

So GAF, which was huge before it took over the massive Elcor, Elk shingles for those of you from the real world, Tamko, and Owens Corning, who all discontinued their 40 year version, are out of the game and State Farm, the biggie in the insurance biz, is sending it's clients down a path to lesser products.

The insurance companies always talked weight in the past but they keep squirming until they find a way to keep costs down. They say "it's always been that way" or "I've never heard that." Shut up and speak up once you know something other that dumbing down. It really turns my stomach how they don't care about their customer's homes but advertise they are friends and neighbors.

Every week or two they come up with something and claim it has always been that way. I've been here for 32 years selling roofs and was an installer for years before that. They don't know jack. I left off the last half the word.

Do you think it is fair to put a shingle that weighs 71 to 88% less? You might even think it was good for the environment but these new roofs won't last a long.
Jon Alan Wright
Jon Wright Roofing, Siding, and Windows
1915 Peters Rd., Suite 310
Irving, TX 75061
972.251.1818 Office
214.718.3748 Cell
972.554.8090 Fax
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