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.
Direct sun and 80 degrees and above can make shingles more delicate. You can walk on the roof when it's hotter but be careful. Walk gingerly. Don't twist your feet back and forth. In heat, the shingles get soft and damage, scuff, scar more easily. The hotter it gets, the easier it is to damage them.
When roofers roof in hot weather, they should put plywood scraps where they are installing so the new shingles don't get damaged. Move the plywood scraps as you progress on the roof. I used to make a plywood scrap trail from the ladder to the work area and rearrange as necessary. Just takes a minute.
Also if painters or chimney sweeps are on your roof in hot weather, have them put plywood scraps on the shingles by where they are working.
On new construction, you see damaged shingles all the time because the builders always want to get the roof on ASAP so they can begin the interior work. Problem is that the siding and painting and windows and gutters aren't done, so all those trades will be walking on and scuffing the new shingles. It's very common.
How cold is too cold to walk on or work on a roof?
Do it anytime as long as no ice is on the roof.You can walk on frozen shingles, but you can't work with them. Frozen shingles don't cooperate. Too brittle and rigid.
How often should zinc be applied to prevent moss growth?
If you live in a damp climate such as the Pacific Northwest, apply zinc at least once a year; or apply zinc every other or every third time if you perform quarterly gutter and roof maintenance (see next question).
How often should gutter and roof clean-off be performed (gutter and roof maintenance)?
It's a good idea to blow leaves, pine or fir needles, and other debris off the roof and clean out gutters on a quarterly schedule. While you're up on the roof, you also can apply zinc to discourage moss growth (see previous question).
How should downspouts be configured to prevent water from seeping into the foundation?
It's a good idea to divert the water from gutter downspouts out to the yard instead of down into wells right next to your foundation. This will help prevent water from seeping into your foundation.
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.
In 1930, Edmond Fitzgerald built a cedar shake roof on his home that lasted 70 years. (He also built a great lakes ore carrier that did not last through a November gale as well as his roof did.) Good materials and good construction methods are why the roof was durable.
In 2000, Matt Millen of Millen Roofing Co. published a case study of this exceptionally good roof, with topics including Roof Deck, Slopes, and Climate; the Shingles; Underlayment and Interlayments; Fasteners; Flashings; and References.
For details, please click the links and search for the title.
Top 5 Worst Roof Ever - SE Portland (August 31, 2015) - Inspected a new roof in SE Portland that was one of the worst roofing installs Oregon Roof Consulting has ever soon. The roof work was done by a general contractor who required the homeowner to pay in full, up front, for a one-week job that took four months. The worksite was full of debris and the installation was so shoddy that the roof should be torn off and replaced ASAP.
For details, please click the links and search for the title such as “Photo Montage of Roof Inspections & Roof Certifications (July - August 2015)”.
Photo Montage of Roof Inspections & Roof Certifications (July - August 2015) - Photo montage of roof inspections and roof certifications that Oregon Roof Consulting (ORC) performed in July and August 2015 in both Washington and Oregon. Oregon cities included Beaverton, Forest Grove, Gladstone, Gresham, Hillsboro, Milwaukie, North Portland, Northeast Portland, Northwest Portland, Oregon City, Southeast Portland, Sherwood, Southwest Portland, Tigard, Vernonia, and West Linn. Washington cities included Olympia, Ridgefield, and 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 is starting its third year in business! What an amazing ride we've had. We would like to say thanks to all the people who chose Oregon Roof Consulting for their roof consulting needs, from roof inspections, to roof certifications, to testifying against uncruplous roofers, to supervising complete roofing jobs — we've done it all, and we're excited to do even more. Over the last two years, we've traveled to Seattle and Port Townsend in northern Washington, Central Oregon, up and down the Oregon coast from Florence to Rockaway Beach and all over the Portland-Vancouver Metro area. Jobs of all types, shapes, and sizes. You name it, Joe and his trusty Red Ryder Truck have done it — affordably, reliably, thoroughly, and professionally. We've made a lot of homeowners very happy, however there are many roofers that likely will not be sending Christmas cards to us any time soon. Oh well. Do the job correctly and these issues will not arise.
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.
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.