Monday, January 4th, 2021 by Michael Fortenberry
If you know anything about me, you know that I can’t stand “ninja’s.” You know, the guys that run their “company” out of the back of a pick-up truck. Now, most of the time, they are pretty hard to spot. But when a storm hits, lookout. They’ll show up when you least expect them, you’ll never see them coming or going, and by the time they’re done, you’ll have been robbed blind.
So why do I take such offense? Well, simply stated, roofing is complicated, and if you don’t know what you are doing, you are creating a huge liability for homeowners. And that bothers me. If a homeowner is giving you their hard-earned money, they deserve to get what they paid for. They deserve peace of mind. Just take a look at this image for an idea of just how complicated roofing can be:
Everything from the pitch angle to the age of your roof will determine what you can and can’t do. Unfortunately, many “roofers” think that roofing is as easy as laying down the asphalt shingles and nailing them down all willy nilly. Nothing could be further from the truth. Roofing is an EXACT science. Shingles have to be spaced out correctly and at precise intervals. The nails used have to be of an exact length and have to be spaced out correctly, and you have to use the right amount.
The incorrect spacing of shingles and cutting back on the number of nails used (or God forbid, using staples) is one of the most often used forms of cutting corners to pad profits. After all, once the shingles are up, how are you going to know if they used the manufacturer’s guideline of 6 nails or if they cut corners and only use 4? And here is the kicker every manufacturer has a different set of standards.
But don’t just take my word for it.
There was a report published by Clemson University, in association with the National Roofing Contractors Association, and in this report, there were some startling revelations. And I quote:
Maintaining a watertight roofing system is critical to preventing damage in high wind and heavy rain events. The most common roofing material for houses in many areas of the country is the “three-tab” asphalt shingle. Even though winds were well below expected design speeds, shingle damage was widespread and frequently severe, resulting in interior water damage.
Field investigations concluded that damage was caused by inadequate workmanship, standards, and design. Some shingles were not installed properly, according to the manufacturers’ recommendations. For example, often, shingles were attached with too few and/or improperly positioned nails.
And here is another excerpt from a report from the American Society of Home Inspectors:
Common mistakes found:
Ventilation – there’s the issue of ventilation. Research has shown that improperly vented attics or air space inhibits air movement and usually increases moisture content. Under these conditions, heat builds up and shortens the shingle life. Moisture builds up, causing sheathing movement and/or deterioration, resulting in shingle failure.
Misaligned shingles – The mistake I see most often is shingles out of alignment, a sure sign of amateur workmanship. Looking at a 3-tab shingle roof, the cutouts (also known as slots or keyways) should be straight up and down, and the butted joints should be horizontally lined up. Excessive variance on either is a red flag to check carefully for other signs of poor workmanship.
Nailing – Most shingle manufacturers prefer nails to staples. A minimum of four nails or staples per shingle is the usual requirement. Proper nail placement is critical in shingle performance. Incorrect nailing or lack of nails can result in shingle blow off and/or shingles slipping out of place. On vertical (steep) applications or in high wind areas, shingle manufacturers recommend additional nails (six). The use of small quarter-size dabs of roof cement is necessary to seal down shingles. Shingles will not self-seal on vertical surfaces,
So what does all of this have to do with you, the homeowner? Simply, you’re on the hook.
If we get hit with a storm here in West Texas (which happens more often than you think), insurance companies are going to be facing millions if not billions of dollars in claims. That means they are going to send inspectors and claims adjusters, and you can bet your bottom dollar they are going to investigate your roof thoroughly. And this is where the problems start.
You see, your insurance company can legally deny your claim if it is discovered that your roof was installed incorrectly. And that is a huge liability. You could be facing thousands, if not tens of thousands of dollars, in damages that your insurance company doesn’t have to pay for.
I hate to say it, but over 80% of all asphalt roofs are installed incorrectly. Don’t you think you owe it to yourself to have your roof inspected by an expert? It costs you nothing. And that’s a pretty good price to pay for peace of mind.
Give Fortenberry Roofing a call today. We would love to give you the peace of mind you so richly deserve.
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