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.
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 late Summer through early Winter 2014. 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.)
For details, please click the links and search for the title such as “SE Portland, Oregon - Flat Roof Mangled Metal (July 9, 2014)”.
SE Portland, Oregon - Flat Roof Mangled Metal (July 9, 2014) - New flat roof in SE Portland. The roofers removed the perimeter metal, mangled it all up, and then put it back on. The owner was furious. A few other items on the roof also needed rework. Another cowboy job. Thanks to ORC's help, the owner had $6,000 deducted from the bill.
SW Portland - Another Terrible Nailing Job (October 2014) - Brand new 4000 sq ft roof in SW Portland, Oregon. Most nails were over driven. Roofer was very professional, sent three employees to lift all 2700 shingles, and place a new nail next to each bad nail. No lawyers. Owners were very happy with ORC's services, for which they were charged only $200.
Florence - Another Terrible Nailing Job (October 2014) - Brand-new roof at a veterinary clinic and animal hospital in Florence, Oregon. Not only was this a terrible install, the roofer tried to charge the owner for $10,000 for work that wasn't done. Lawyers are involved.
Wilsonville - Another Terrible Nailing Job (November 2014) - Brand new home in a 2500 home development in Wilsonville. The owner was very leery of the builder (for good reasons). Just about all nails were badly over driven. The builder agreed to do significant repairs including renailing the entire roof, adding a metal valley, extra vents, a 50 year material warranty, a 25 year labor warranty which is transferable, and more. No arguing. No lawyers. This is a huge housing development that has recently begun. Most roofs are likely as bad. I will be going back to look at more. Could be one heck of a can of worms. Stay tuned.
Beaverton - One of the Worst Roof Installs Ever (October 2014) - New CertainTeed Presidential roof in Beaverton. Roofer had no business installing a roof. The nailing was not remotely close to manufacturers specifications, and that was just for starters. The install wass incompetent, fraudulent, and border-line criminal. The owner retained a lawyer. The owner and roofer agreed that the owner will pay $2K (the cost of the tearoff and drop box) for a $19K roof. Roof will be torn off and re-done by a COMPETENT roofer. The homeowner was very grateful and pleased with ORC's efforts. My fee was $210.
Roof Inspection NE Portland (November 2014) - Commercial building with new, recently installed flat roof. Many basic rules were not followed, including layout and poor adhesion. The roofers also set fire to wiring at one of the exhaust fans. The perimeter metal was not replaced and the edges were left open to the weather. Improper pipe jacks were used and poorly installed.
Another Terrible Roof Install in Canby (November 2014) - Unqualified, unlicensed crew attempted to install a roof with numerous problems and terrible results. The new owner is calling the seller on this install. Lawyers are involved and ORC will be an expert at an arbitration hearing in February 2015.
Roof Inspection Clackamas (December 2014) - A woman was snookered by an unscrupulous roofer. This "roofer" broke the law and knowingly had employees do the install when he's 'exempt,' meaning he's not allowed to have employees. He's a ripoff thief. The Construction Contractors Board (CCB) has been notified. The resulting roof was terrible with numerous problems.
Cornelius, Oregon, Roof Inspection (July 12, 2014) - ORC inspected a home in Cornelius, Oregon. Homeowner had received many opinions on the roof and wanted an independent inspection from someone who wasn't selling anything. ORC told homeowner only very minor items needed attention and she could expect many years out of this roof. She was most happy with the report.
Port Townsend, Washington, Food Co-op Roof Inspection (August 13, 2014) - The Board of the Port Townsend Food Co-op wanted an independent third-party roof assessment done by a company that's not selling anything. ORC was hired, provided photo and text documentation, and found that the roof was in overall good condition, though a few items required attention. The Board was very pleased.
Roof Inspection SE Portland (December 2014) - ORC evaluated this roof for a regular client, a general contractor based in Vancouver, Washington. The pitched roof was in very good condition with no issues; however, the garage roof was shot and needed to be torn off and reroofed.
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 was hired to inspect 45 buildings at the Willow Pointe Homeowners Association in Longview, Washington in March 2014. We discovered many roofs were failing prematurely with heavy surface granule loss, probably due to the use of inferior materials. The builder is out of business and the homeowners are having difficulty obtaining the paperwork regarding the roofing materials used. The hope is to file a claim with the shingle manufacturer but in order to do that certain documents must be provided. More images and details at Roofing Gallery "Willow Pointe Homeowners Association (Longview, Washington, March 2014)".
Oregon Roof Consulting (ORC) had a busy December 2013 - February 2014, typically known as the "slow season." We conducted several roof inspections including the unique metal roof on Cuthbert Amphitheater in Eugene, Oregon, with calls for follow-on and new work coming in almost daily by March 2014. 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.)
Cuthbert Amphitheater in Eugene, Oregon, next to Autzen Stadium on the University of Oregon campus. The City of Eugene, which owns this outdoor concert venue seating 5,500, could not find anyone local to do this rare and technical roofing job, so they had to cast a wider net for the required skills. Oregon Roof Consulting was hired by Englert Inc. in Perth Amboy, New Jersey, to inspect the new 9,100 sq ft metal roof to be certain it was installed to their specifications.
More images at Roofing Gallery "Cuthbert Amphitheater, (Eugene, Oregon, February 2014)"
Oregon Roof Consulting inspected this apartment complex in Hillsboro, Oregon. ORC found a number of issues and made recommendations for their remediation.
More images at Roofing Gallery "Apartment Complex (Hillsboro, Oregon, February 2014)"
Commercial/retail building in Orchards Washington. Oregon Roof Consulting was hired to inspect and provide photos of problem areas and advise on necessary repairs and maintenance.
More images at Roofing Gallery "
Commercial Building (Orchards, Washington, January 2014)"
Home in Eastmoreland next to Portland, Oregon's Reed College needed an inspection on a tile roof prior to sale. Oregon Roof Consulting provided a detailed written summary along with photos and a description of work necessary.
More images at Roofing Gallery "Home in Eastmoreland Next to Reed College (Portland, Oregon, January 2014)"
71 unit Home Owners Association (HOA) complex in NW Portland, Oregon. Oregon Roof Consulting was hired by a property management company to evaluate the composition shingle roof and assist with finding a vendor to perform the miscellaneous repairs required.
More images at Roofing Gallery "71 Unit HOA Complex (NW Portland, Oregon, December 2013)"
Project Management Commissioned 4/30/13: Oregon Roof Consulting (ORC) has been commissioned by a busy professional to manage this residential roofing project from beginning to end.
ORC will be responsible for:
having quality-oriented roofing contractors bid the job;
writing the specifications for the job;
assist in deciding who does the roof;
monitoring the job on a daily basis;
photo documenting all aspects of the work;
emailing each day's photos to the owners to show the progress;
inspecting the completed job.
Managing your roof job is just one of the many services offered by Oregon Roof Consulting. I can save you time, money, and headaches and will make certain you get what you pay for. Guaranteed!
Bid Update: 5/15/13
The difference in bid prices was amazing considering that all five vendors were presented with the same list of products and specifications. Prices were requested for five different shingles: the difference in price for the same thing was up to $21,000! If the roofing companies were left to bid it their way, one would expect pricing to be all over the place. However, considering all were bidding the same job the same way, the pricing should have been closer. Bid monitoring is just one reason to have a qualified third-party owner advocate assist in the process, literally saving the property owner tens of thousands of dollars for the same job!
Successful Job Completion: 7/23/13
After the old shakes were removed, 1/2" plywood was installed. The plywood was gapped 1/8" everywhere, staggered properly, and all end joints are on rafters. Where necessary the original spaced sheathing was either raised or lowered so all horizontal plywood joints are over solid wood. The roof is Certainteed lifetime 'Landmark TL' in black. Included components are but not limited to:
Lead pipe jacks sanded, primed and painted.
9" continuous ridge vent.
Replace two 2X4 skylites with double E glass units.
Use two different color metal flashings (Black / White) depending on location.
Use 6" 'stem' or 'flapper' vents for all utility vents. Metal (never) plastic.
Ice & Water shield in all valleys and at all protrusions.
5-ply lifetime 'Mountain Ridge'.
Oversized 'D' metal at rake edges with bleeder strip.
6 double 'D' ring anchors evenly spaced around roof.
Chimney counter flashing sanded, primed and painted, then screwed to chimney flashing with 1/4" hex head sheet metal screws.
Shingles 6-nailed instead of the typical 4 nails.
Both chimneys pressure washed and sealed prior to the roof install.
Unfortunately, many roofing companies avoid jobs managed by a third-party owner advocate like Oregon Roof Consulting (ORC). They simply are not accustomed to being scrutinized and monitored by a fully-qualified third party, and this is very uncomfortable for them.
I’ve found that for each company that is willing to cooperate with us, two more want no part of it. Contrary to being a bad thing, this reluctance by “the other two” weeds out potential issues and likelihood of conflict before, during, and after the roofing project.
If a company is confident in its abilities, there probably is nothing to be concerned about. A confident, competent company – especially one that is willing to be managed by an owner advocate – makes perfect sense to ORC. I see it as a win for all involved. The legitimate roofer gets a nice job, ORC saves another homeowner, and – most important – the owners paying for all of this are assured of value and quality with a roof they won’t have to worry about in their lifetime.
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!
Joe's 25 Point "WOW Factor" Will Transform the Typical Mediocre Roof Installation into a High Performer
Almost four decades of roofing experience have enabled me to develop a 25-point checklist for installing pitched roofs and an 11-point checklist for installing flat roof systems. When implemented, these checklists produce a significant upgrade in a roof's waterproofing abilities as well as its overall appearance, far exceeding the quality and integrity of at least 98% of other "typically" installed roofs. Guaranteed.
How is this Accomplished?
By upgrading certain components, but mostly by adjusting installation techniques and taking just a little extra time. These installation methods greatly contributed to my success as a roofing contractor. The added cost to a project is just 3% - 5% (plus or minus), depending on the configuration of the project, and the added time is insignificant when compared to the end result. This extra care benefits the property owner, contractor, builder, remodeler and anyone else involved.
I have sent photos and text descriptions of jobs that I have done using my methods to executives of national shingle manufacturers, presidents of major materials distributors, architects, planners, and others in the building trades. Their response has always been "WOW!" -- which is why I call my system "Joe's WOW Factor." No gimmick. No sales pressure. The method speaks for itself.
When I have mentioned some of my methods to various roofers in the past, the typical back-of-the-hand response is something like:
"You can't make no money doing all that stuff, it's way overkill." **Note improper grammar**
"The homeowner will never know about or be able to see this stuff."
Coming from these so-called 'roofers,' intended negative comments like the above turn into compliments (like Mom always told me, "Consider the source. If someone insists on making a fool of themselves just get the heck out of the way"). I may be "crazy" but at least my roofs don't leak or blow off.
The roofing trade is a solidly regulated industry. Manufacturers have specific guidelines for the installation of their products, and failure to follow these specifications can void at least part of the material warranty. Countless boards, associations, and panels also have rules and guidelines. Unfortunately, way too many roofers ignore most of these guidelines or simply are not aware of them. A very high percentage of roofers simply have not been trained properly and have a lot of very bad habits, which are a few of the reasons why the roofing trade has a deservedly tarnished reputation.
Shingle manufacturers such as Cerainteed have installer designations such as "Master Shingler." A small percentage of all roofers hold Master Shingler or similar designations. But even with the ones that do, there is no guarantee that these guidelines are being strictly adhered to.
What Happens to Roofs Without "Joe's WOW Factor"?
Some of my Joe's WOW Factor roofing techniques are visible; however, many are not -- at first! But as the roof ages, even a little, the differences between a mediocre roof and a great roof become all too apparent. Here are just a few examples of what happens when roofers cut corners or don't adhere to roofing installation guidelines (see my Hall of Shame page and other blog entries for more examples):
Peeling paint on improperly prepared gas 'B' vent components, lead pipe jacks, and other items painted by the contractor create an expensive and unnecessary callback / service call to the roofer and a headache for the property owner;
At least 85% of all roofs are (not) fastened to manufacturers specifications thereby likely voiding the wind blowoff portion of the material warranty. Every shingle wrapper by any manufacturer has a diagram showing proper nailing. They are very specific and are there for a reason;
Components, valleys, and flashings not adequately sealed; Many times they are not sealed at all;
Inferior components used and critical corners cut most of the time;
Sheathing improperly fastened, spaced, and staggered;
Property owner discovers gutter and/or siding damage after a roof installation because the roofing company didn't bother to protect the gutters and/or siding. This is a frequent occurance;
Property owner discovers big black gouges and divots on their brand new roofs caused by roofers damaging the shingles as they walk atop them on a hot day without taking simple precautions that are easily implemented but rarely are;
Property owner's new roof install job is so bad that it is necessary to tear it off and start over. See 'Blog'.
** These are just a few commonplace installation issues. I have 18 more that deal with layout; fastening; flashing techniques; quality of components; chimney & skylite details; wall protection, sheathing; and many more that will surprise you. Guaranteed..
Ensuring that Your New Roof has "Joe's WOW Factor"
I have read the Master Shingler course from cover to cover. I also know like the back of my hammer the installation guidelines set forth by material manufacturers and other industry governing bodies. While the Master Shingler rules and even the material manufacturer and governing body guidelines include some Joe's WOW Factor points, many of these important installation details are nowhere to be found. If I am involved with your project, I will:
Define all the necessary specifications, in writing, for the entire job. Specifications will include my Joe's WOW Factor checklist items, as well as all relevant manufacturer and industry guidelines.
Inspect the finished job to make certain all these guidelines have indeed been implemented correctly, per the contract, before you pay the final bill.
It took me nearly four decades to figure all this out, so I cannot share the specifics of Joe's WOW Factor roofing techniques here. However, rest assured that:
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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