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The Roofing Industries Dirty Secrets

Updated: Mar 17

Just like a magician that reveals their industries trade secrets, I will not be the favorite roofing professional at our next industry trade show. However, in my experience, the only way to create real sustainable change is to start by shining a big bright spotlight on the problems.

Secret #1: The ugly truth about roofing materials, incentives, and quality products.

I've personally met with every major roofing brand manufacturer. Unfortunately, not all roofing products are created equal. When sitting down with these reps, they were very well versed on how much money they could offer me if I were to exclusively use their products, however when it came down to the product itself, not many of them were able to speak as to why their shingle was any better than the competition.

The dirty secret is this: Platinum, Master Elite, Emerald, ext... Each manufacturer has an "elite" contractor certification. What does it mean? It means the contractor has signed an exclusive deal with the manufacturer to only use their product. Now, every manufacturor has different levels of contractor certification. However, the highest level means exactly that, the contractor has agreed to only use one product in exchange for massive rebates, incentives, trips, swag ext...

This is why we independently test our shingles. Family Roofing & Solar is certified to use any brand and we can offer great warranties with all of them. However, we only recommend three based on our independent testing and real-world case studies:

  • GAF

  • CertainTeed

  • Malarkey

Secret #2: Insurance & Supplementing

Insurance is a multi billion dollar for-profit industry. It's important to know that. They are not non-profits or charities. They have shareholders, stocks, CEO's, and their goal is to make a lot of money. What this means is, if they can get away with paying less money than they need to, it is likely they will try to do that. What this often means is, the original claim you get from them is likely to not cover all the expenses and or materials that are needed to do the job correctly. This means contractors need to go through a back and forth process called supplementing in order to get the insurance company to pay for the these things. This often involves pulling code documents, submitting photo reports, and most annoyingly of all, using an antiquated insurance program called Xactimate to submit all of it for approval.

The dirty secret is this: Roofers will pit the insurance company and the client against each other in order to maximize their profit. Its greed at its worst, on both sides of the isle, and often the client is stuck in the middle. Roofers will submit supplements for items that they know are historically approved by insurance, whether they plan on doing them or not. Here's a good example: Remove and replace gutters. Roofers will add this supplement item every time, but they almost never remove and replace the gutters. They just cut the drip edge around it. However, the roofer will delay the build by weeks, sometimes months, in order to get insurance to pay for line items like this. Another one is contractor overhead and profit. A very grey area that insurance is supposed to pay for, but will do their best to find loop holes around it. This can end up causing massive delays. During the re-roof, decking is sometimes found to be deteriorated. Sometimes insurance will pay for it, sometimes they won't. This is a decently expensive aspect so, unfortunately, sometimes the roofer will stop the job, mid-build, and submit a supplement for decking. This can leave you without a roof for two to three weeks while the two fight it out.

This is why we came up with the Integrity Roofing System. Every Roof, Every Time. Regardless of insurance payouts. We don't run into delays with supplementing because our promise is the Integrity Roof every time. We move forward with the build, submit the supplement and hope for the best. If insurance doesn't approve our supplement, we go out of our own pocket to cover the cost. Say goodbye to delays, fights with insurance, dishonest supplementing, and surprise bills when insurance doesn't approve an aspect of your roof that you need.

Secret #3: Roofing Crews

The crew that shows up for the large Fort Collins roofing contractor on Monday, shows up for the local Windsor roofing contractor on Tuesday, then they arrive at the job for the big Greeley roofing contractor on Wednesday. You get my point. The large roofing businesses have 10 to 15 different crews that they utilize. The problem is the project manager will show up on the day of the build, having no idea what crew is going to meet them there. The crew has never worked with project manager. There is often a language barrier. Often times the crew installs the roof the way they've always done it. Sometimes this is the correct way, often times its just the fast way. The crew doesn't know the expectations that were set during the sales process because they don't know the salesman. You can see how this quickly escalates to a big mass of confusion and dropped balls.

The dirty secret is this: The larger the company, the less control of the crews they actually have. This problem gets even worse with the national companies or multi-state roofing businesses. I can tell you first hand, the typical roofing crew does not install to code by default. That's just the brutal truth.

This is why we have one crew. We know who is going to show up every time, they know us, they know our expectations. Our crew knows that we are going to fix the ventilation system every time. Our crew knows that we require six nails per shingle to maximize the wind efficiency. Our crew knows that we install ice & water on the rakes, eaves and valleys, every roof, every time. Our project manager knows our crew leader and they both know there is no communication barrier. It's the only way things should be done. Being a smaller company, we're not doing 8 roofs a week. We have the ability to space out our builds out to ensure we don't have to bring on a different crew that would require on the job training. After all, the fancy websites, truck wraps, promises and guarantees don't mean a thing if the crew doesn't execute on them.

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