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Why most Roof contractors won't warranty repairs.

Posted on 19 August, 2013 at 12:02
In 1982, Bob Moore- the owner of the large roofing company I was working for in Phoenix- asked me to accompany him for a few days as he investigated new customers' problems with their existing roofs. We'd literally get hundreds of calls per week so there was never a shortage of these requests. Out of the many homes we visited during those few days, 3 are memorable to me to this day.
The 1st had a Mission tiled roof with several issues. After setting our ladder near the most obvious place to ascend, Bob pointed out to me a long vertical line of tiles that were either cracked or broken. He told me that when tiles are damaged from wind, hail or other natural occurrences, the damage is always fairly random. With straight line damage like this, it had to have been caused by an unqualified individual walking up there. Since the owner was an elderly widow and I was too old to believe in Santa Claus, the culprit was most likely another "Roofer" who'd inspected her roof previously.
The 2nd roof I remember from this time was a flat, "Santa Fe" style roof we inspected. The owner showed us the 3 leaking areas from below and told us he'd had other roofers out to repair them over the years. Each one stopped the leak, but only for a very short time. Climbing onto the roof over the parapet walls, it was obvious that each of the leaks were at different "Scupper" points. Also obvious to us was that previous repairmen had simply applied one patch over another, numerous times to the point where the scupper openings were about 1/3 of their original size, creating a dam that made it impossible for rainwater to fully drain. So the roof would continue leaking up to a week after the rain ended.
The 3rd memorable roof was a wind damaged, asphalt shingled roof. We could see that other missing shingles had been replaced after previous storms, because of the different shades of shingles in those patched areas. The problem was, the newly damaged or missing shingles were all just above or beside those older patches. Whoever replaced those ones failed to reseal all the ones he'd loosened overlapping the new ones he installed. Later winds caught those old weakened ones and blew them off as well.
The common thread in each of those 3 cases was unqualified repairmen making elementary mistakes, actually worsening the problems of each roof!
When I started my own business many years later, I supplemented my income by working part-time as a salesman and estimator for another large AZ company. It was made clear to me at the outset that "We don't sell repair work!" Even if only minor repairs were justified, they couldn't or wouldn't warranty any work unless an entirely new roof was installed. The reason why is simple.
As one can imagine, roofing is hard, hot and sometimes dangerous work. But fairly minimal skills are needed for new roofing work- the staple of all large companies. Because of these factors and the relatively low pay, employee turnover rates can be quite high and adequate training is usually insufficient. And that's for new roofs. Proper training for repair work is either non-existent or workers are left to learn on the fly. The owners or even supervisors of most large companies can't be there to oversee the actions of their workers on these low profit repair jobs. Even with somewhat experienced repairmen, call backs can be frequent and low-profit can turn to no-profit or losses in a hurry!
I was very fortunate to have had a mentor who not only took time to train me personally, but had the resources to send me to numerous workshops and seminars through the years, sponsored mostly by major suppliers and roof product manufacturers. Over time I was certified by GAF Corp. for low-slope and steep slope, APP torch certified, receive mold certification from IICRC, as well as other certificates and many countless hours learning from other experts and by my own experience. While I have met a few other local experts in the field, more often I've run into many others who attempt repairs but lack the training to do so adequately.
I'm not overly confident to think I'll never have call backs, especially with the most difficult cases. But I Am confident enough in my training and experience to warranty every repair I do - Or let you know honestly if yours is one of the few cases where a repair is just not possible and full replacement is needed.
My estimates are always free and I never use high pressure tactics. If you want an honest assessment and a quality repair job done right and reasonably, please don't hesitate to call or contact me.

Categories: Roof Repair Tips

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