Roof replacement is a big decision and having the right information is the key to making a sound roofing investment.
With over 5 decades of roofing experience we have found “roof replacement” is where more expensive mistakes are made by the average homeowners than any other aspect of their roofing investment.
First many roofs are replaced before they need to be. This typically happens when homeowners request free estimate from roofing contractors whose main income source comes from doing roof replacements. These roofing companies will say “yep, your roof needs to be replaced” without hesitations, when a roof repair may have provided more years of cost-effective service life.
However, the time comes when it is no longer cost effective to maintain your roof and replacement is required.
The most expensive mistakes happen when the following two scenarios occur:
Why do some roofs last longer than others?
We’ve found it doesn’t matter whether its concrete tile, metal roofing, flat roof or asphalt shingles; the name brand of the materials, the heat from the sun’s rays or if the contractor met all the established criteria; a large percentage of roofs fail many years sooner than others do and almost all of them fail long before the manufacture’s warranties expires. When early roof failures occur, millions of dollars are wasted! Early roof failures happening even though homeowners are doing everything they are told to do. Things like, getting three or more estimates, making sure the roofing contractor has an established business, that they are licensed, insured, pulling a building permit and the work is inspected. They also use high quality products with long term warranties. There is nothing wrong with doing these things. In fact, they are all important to do. But people have been doing this over 40 years and still some roofs still last twice as long as others.
However, if roofs have lasted over 26 years in Florida’s hot sun then it proves they can. If they can, they should: and if they don’t there must be identifiable reasons why.
Let’s look at cars to help identify the problem.
Whether roofs or cars, the basics look the same and both solve a problem. Cars get us from point “A” to point “B” and roof keep the weathers out. But how it is assembled and the extra added components make all the difference in value, comfort and useful service life.
Think of the cheapest cars on the market today. These cars have all met the government’s requirements in the manufacturing process and are approved to be used on our highways. Yet, hardly anyone would say these cars are the best, safest, and the most comfortable vehicles on the market. That’s because it easy to see the difference between a cheap car and one that is designed for safety, comfort and longevity.
Roofs are far less hands-on so the difference is harder to see. However, people can see the difference between a good roof and a bad roof if they are experienced or accurately informed.
You should be aware that the building code sets the minimum requirements, it is really no different than meeting the government’s requirement to manufacture the cheapest car.
When roofers write “all work will be done per local building codes” on their bid, it could mean “we are doing this work as cheaply as possible without getting in trouble by the building department”.
This is where the expensive mistakes happen!
if a roof lasts 25 years instead of 15 years then it has provided 70% more useful service life. If the price is not at least 70% greater ( it never is) than the larger investment is the most cost effective.
How can a homeowner know what they are buying?
A large majority of roofing companies use the building code as their standard. So anyone doing more than the minimum required will point out extra things they are providing that will make your investment amount more. As a rule of thumb “if they are not mentioning it, they are not doing anything more then the minimum required”. Contact us to see four things we’ve found that can double a roof’s useful service life.