Welcome to our blog. This page is important because many people in the roofing business have absolutely no business being in the roofing business. The huge amount of negative customer reviews on the Internet is mind boggling. You need to stay away from these folks (aka Cowboy Roofers*) and know how to get the best roofing job for the best price possible. This blog will help you do that with fun, informative, and educational factoids about all aspects of roofs and roofing.
*Cowboy Roofers are the folks you should avoid hiring because they put their interests above yours and are marginally to moderately skilled at best. Cowboy roofers give a bad name to the roofing trade and worse yet they give a bad name to the large number of quality-oriented roofing contractors out there. Check out our Hall of Shame for examples of what happens when cowboy roofers get on your roof.
If you have a question that you would like SuperRoofer Joe Sardotz to answer in his blog or FAQs, please complete the Ask SuperRoofer form. Visit Joe's Contact page if you would like Joe to provide roof consulting and inspection services for you.
Oregon Roof Consulting (ORC) had a busy September - October 2015, with Joe traveling far and wide to help property owners get a fair shake on their roofing. Here is a summary of each job, with links to more details and picture galleries. What do the Red Ryder Truck's golden hammers mean?
For details, please click the links and search for the title.
Summary of Roof Inspections & Roof Certifications (October 2015) - Summary of roof inspections, roof certifications, and new roof installation monitoring that Oregon Roof Consulting (ORC) performed in October 2015 in both Washington and Oregon. Oregon cities included Ashland, Clackamas, Damascas, Gladstone, Happy Valley, Lake Oswego, N Portland, NE Portland, NW Portland, Oregon City, SE Portland, Tigard, and West Linn. Washington cities included Vancouver.
Photo Montage of Roof Inspections & Roof Certifications (September 2015) - Photo montage of roof inspections, roof certifications, new roof specifications, and new roof installation monitoring that Oregon Roof Consulting (ORC) performed in September 2015 in both Washington and Oregon. Oregon cities included Beavercreek, Beaverton, Cedar Hills, Gresham, Happy Valley, N Portland, NE Portland, Newberg, NW Portland, Sellwood, St. Helens, SW Portland, and West Linn. Washington cities included Vancouver.
Oregon Roof Consulting (ORC) had a busy May - June 2015, with roof consulting work that took Joe and Old Red up and down the West Coast from Northern Washington to Central California and Nevada. Here is a summary of each job, with links to more details and picture galleries. What do the Red Ryder Truck's golden hammers mean?
For details, please click the links and search for the title.
Photo Montage of Roof Inspections & Roof Certifications (May - June 2015) - Photo montage of roof inspections and roof certifications that Oregon Roof Consulting (ORC) performed in May and June 2015 in both Washington and Oregon. Oregon cities included Aloha, Milwaukie, Mt. Scott area of Portland, Newberg, North Portland, Northeast Portland, Oregon City, Portland, Salem, Sandy, Sherwood, Southwest Portland, Tigard, Tualatin, and West Linn. Washington cities included Ridgefield and Vancouver.
Oregon Roof Consulting (ORC) was hired by a West Coast-based architectural and consulting firm to inspect the roofs of 19 multi-family properties in four states (Washington, Oregon, California, and Nevada). These properties were being sold to an investment group, and part of the due diligence was roof inspections and summary reports along with photo documentation. ORC was given a specific roof inspection schedule and deadline in late June 2015, and we pulled it off without a hitch!
Our West Coast roof inspection locations, in order, were: Seattle, Olympia, and Vancouver in Washington plus Portland, Oregon in the Northwest group. The California and Nevada job locations were: Napa, Alameda, Pleasanton, San Francisco (3 properties), Richmond, Berkeley, Fremont, Oakland (2 properties), Fresno, and Sacramento (2 properties) in California, and Reno, Nevada. ➲ More photos and information.
When roofers are informed that their workmanship has issues, they have reacted in a variety of ways — from polite and agreeable, to profane and confrontational, to everything in between.
It is the contractor's obligation, responsibility, and requirement by law to install roof coverings to product manufacturers' and/or the Oregon Residential Specialty Code specifications. Just because a permit usually is not required doesn't give contractors the right to cut corners and perform shoddy workmanship. Do it right. Gee! What a concept!
Contractors are not used to scrutiny and they don't like it. They are too used to a blank check and a permanent get out of jail free card. It's amazing how willing roofers and their supporters are to justify, condone, and be satisfied with poor installation. Here are a few comments that I've heard from roofers, along with my translation:
"I've been in business xxxx years and have never had a complaint." Translation: I've never been caught.
"You can't put every nail in properly." Translation: We are in too much of a hurry.
"You're picking my roof apart." Translation: Quality is not our highest priority.
"It's not possible to do a perfect job." Translation: Our installers were never properly trained.
"You forensic guys are all the same. You're just here for a paycheck." Translation: I wish you were dead.
"Once the shingles are sealed by the sun it'll be OK." Translation: I sure hope we don't get a windstorm.
Don't Let Cowboys Ride YOUR Roof!
The term "Cowboy" can be used to describe reckless "professionals" whom you should avoid hiring because they put their interests above yours and are marginally skilled at best. Cowboy roofers give a negative image to the roofing trade and they give a bad name to the large number of quality-oriented contractors out there. (No offense to the hard-working cowboys who ride horses on the open range as they tend herds of cattle.)
Oregon Roof Consulting (ORC) had a busy March - April 2015. Here is a summary of each job, with links to more details and picture galleries. (Dates are approximate, reflecting when we updated the website for projects completed.) What do the Red Ryder Truck's golden hammers mean?
For details, please click the links and search for the title such as “Photo Montage of Roof Inspections (March - April 2015)”.
Photo Montage of Roof Inspections & Roof Certifications (March - April 2015) - Photo montage of roof inspections and roof certifications that Oregon Roof Consulting (ORC) performed in March and April 2015 in both Washington and Oregon. Oregon cities included Aloha, Beaverton, Damascus, Forest Grove, Gresham, Hillsboro, Lake Oswego, Milwaukie, North Portland, Northwest Portland, Scapoose, Southeast Portland, St. Helens, Tigard, and Vernonia. Washington cities included Brush Prairie, Federal Way, Longview, and Vancouver.
Updated 4/2015: See "Willow Pointe Homeowners Association (Longview, Washington, March 2014, April 2014, April 2015)"
Updated 4/30/15: See "Apartment Complex New Roof Inspection Federal Way, WA (April 30, 2015)"
Oregon Roof Consulting (ORC) had a busy January - February 2015. Here is a summary of each job, with links to more details and picture galleries. (Dates are approximate, reflecting when we updated the website for projects completed.) What do the Red Ryder Truck's golden hammers mean?
New Roof Inspection in SE Portland (Jan 20, 2015) - Poorly installed brand new roof. Negatives included very bad nailing and none of the protrusions were sealed, along with other issues. Homeowner withholding final payment until issues are resolved.
Roof Inspection in West Linn, Oregon (Jan 13, 2015) - New 8000 sq. ft. Presidential TL roof owned by a custom home builder and remodeler required inspection by an independent party. ORC found many issues, and the builder is concerned about similar issues with other new-home roofs. ORC will inspect them too.
For details, please click the links and search for the title such as “Photo Montage of Roof Inspections (January - February 2015)”.
Photo Montage of Roof Inspections & Roof Certifications (January - February 2015) - Photo montage of roof inspections and roof certifications that Oregon Roof Consulting (ORC) performed in January and February 2015 in both Washington and Oregon. Oregon cities included Canby, Colton, King City, Lake Oswego, Milwaukie, NE Portland, NW Portland, SE Portland, SW Portland, Tigard, Tualatin, Warren, and West Linn. Washington cities included Vancouver and La Center.
Oregon Roof Consulting (ORC) had a busy early Spring 2014. Revenue receipts in April were 4X last year! We conducted several roof inspections. Here is a summary of each job, with links to more details and picture galleries. (Dates are approximate, reflecting when we updated the website for projects completed.)
The homeowner was concerned because the tarps had come loose, with significant water intrusion inside resulting in significant ceiling damage. I informed the homeowner that the roofing likely was installed incorrectly as the nailing highly likely not to manufacturers specifications, which is an all too common occurrence.
Here is not how to install shingles and roof components. The nails were placed improperly and/or were in the factory sealant. Even worse, all vents and pipe fixtures are buried, meaning all will leak every time it rains.
The HOA is deciding now whether to repair, restore, and maintain these tile roofs, or replace the roofs using materials that are both attractive and easier to maintain, such as triple-layer asphalt shingles.
More images at Roofing Gallery ("Vista Ridge HOA in Lake Oswego (April 2014)")
This is a flat roof Oregon Roof Consulting recently inspected in the Oak Hills Community in Beaverton, Oregon. This is one of the first planned communities in our region. This home and three others nearby were built by Robert Rummer (Joe Eichler), who created homes in Oregon and California in the 1950s and 1960s.
More images at Roofing Gallery ("Robert Rummer / Joe Eichler Homes in NW Beaverton (April 2014)")
At ORC the small jobs are just as important as the big jobs. This 1940s home by the Oregon Zoo in Portland has a 42 year-old aluminum shingle roof. The owner needed an independent inspection for the insurance company.
Oregon Roof Consulting (ORC) was hired to find a reliable and customer service-oriented roofing company for a large, ongoing HOA repair/partial reroof project in Beaverton's Avalon Park. We contacted a top long-time local distributor for referrals and also surfed the Internet.
We contacted several long established roofers and provided them with all the necessary information about the project, including photos to show them the scope of work prior to their visiting the property.
The websites of all the contacted roofers proclaimed they are “One of the best in the region” with "excellent customer service." Uh-huh. Reminds me of a lyric line in that Dire Straits song 'Industrial Disease', "Two men say they're Jesus, one of them must be wrong". Keep in mind these are the “Top tier’ companies — supposedly.
Best Roofer #1 in the Region: Roofer was excellent with the initial contact, but it was all downhill after that. The estimator went out twice, and after 15 days and two polite emails requesting bid status, neither the property manager nor ORC has heard from them. No email. No message. Nothing. We would have been better off calling the three gentlemen pictured above. 11/19/13 & still have heard nothing.
The other Best Roofer #1 in the Region: Roofer sent an email after two emails requesting bid status12 days after initial contact advising that their insurance will not allow them to do the work — after 12 days!
The other Best Roofer #1 in the Region: Roofer said “The shingles are too far gone and I am not interested in repairing them (No other roofer said this) but I would be interested in appearing before the Board and explaining my reasons". Keep in mind these shingles are only 16 years old! This roofer was not interested in doing $8,000.00 worth of repairs and helping these people out but he was more than willing to make a pitch for a quarter million $ roofing contract. Kind of disingenuous if you ask me. Elitist.
The other Best Roofer #1 in the Region: Roofer did pretty much what the first Best Roofer #1 in the Region did though this one (did) provide a price for one of the homes that needs attention.........after 13 days......... but not the other 11 homes that were on the detailed list initially sent to them. This roofer was sent three emails requesting bid status. Never received bid after requesting one and waiting 2 1/2 more weeks. Amazing.
None of these #1 Best Roofers in the region were ultimately hired...............................................amazing.....................
If these ‘Professional Roofers’ don’t want to do the work or can’t do the work or are too busy then they should just say so instead of stringing people along who want roof work done before the weather patterns change for the worse. ORC has contacted three more supposedly "best roofers in the region" for a bid. We’ll see how it goes.
This roof in Lake Oswego had to be redone. The specifications for the install were clear and the contractor knew it would be inspected. The ball was really dropped here. (Click images below for larger views in new window. Scroll down to read the rest of the story.)
Removal of damaged plywood overhang due to use of too-long nails
Replacement of damaged overhang plywood
New roof (second install)
New roof (again)
What was wrong? Lots!
The contract specified 30lb felt, 15 lb was used.
Edge flashing used was not as specified.
Vents and pipes were not laid in sealant.
At least 85% of nails were either set too deep, blown through (indication of air gun malfunction), at an extreme angle, and/or improperly placed. This does not occur if a roof is hand nailed.
All manufacturers are very specific about fastening, and even though a little 'wiggle room' is allowed, this was not even remotely close. Way too much wiggling! Also, the roofers used nails that were too long at the exposed overhangs, which damaged the plywood such that the owner demanded it be done again. Two days after the job was completed, the new roof was torn off and done again. The difference between the two installs was like night & day.
This incident created a lot of unnecessary stress for all parties, cost the roofer a lot of money, and was an embarassment for the company and the roofers themselves. Just a bad situation all the way around.
Do it right: First time, every time!
The moral of this story is: "Do it right the first time! Do it to manufacturer specifications. Do what the contract says."
Don't let this happen to you. I hate to think of how many badly done new roofs are out there and how many property owners have no clue about it. Have Oregon Roof Consulting inspect your new roof!
I have a folder with seventy-three bids from various roofing companies, which I have collected since about 1983. Some bids were offered, some were asked for. Most are specific and clear about how the roofing work will be performed.
Unfortunately, many are quite vague. A few basically say "We will do your roof for this price," with virtually no explanation of the components to be used or mention of any labor warranty. What astounds me is how many of these so-called 'Roofers' actually get roofing jobs!
Labor warranties range from one year to the life of the roof. But that's just the start of what you need to know about roofing bids.
Avoid the Cowboys! Do your homework. Or let me do it for you. Hire me to sort out the wheat from the chaff.
Oregon Property Owners:Contact Joe Sardotz before you roof and let him steer you clear of cowboy roofers. If you've already hired a roofer, let Joe help guide the project and inspect the work at every step.
This photo shows Certainteed ‘Mountain Ridge’ roof ridge shingles. Malarkey calls theirs ‘EZ Ridge’. These ridge products are 5-ply in thickness and are designed to pair with 50-year (lifetime) shingles such as Certainteed ‘Presidential’ or Malarkey ‘Legacy’ to name a few.
Many roofing companies will sneak in a product that is a good quality 1-ply high-profile ridge product, but it will not last 50 years. Use the 1-ply on a 30-year roof (not a 50-year roof).
Why do they put a 30-year ridge on a 50-year roof? BECAUSE IT IS CHEAPER!
Residential and commercial roofing project consulting in Oregon; Portland Metro, Oregon; Bend, Oregon; Seattle, Washington; Washington State; and the Pacific Northwest area. Offering professional roof consulting, inspections, project monitoring, and certifications for property owners and homeowners.
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