Roofing Mistakes That Haunt You
Roofing issues can be downright scary. Roofs are fundamental to your home’s structure and its ability to keep you and your family dry and safe. Repairs are expensive and new roofs are a big investment you’ll be living with for decades.
In this month’s post, we’ll outline some roofing horror stories we’ve seen over the years. Keep an eye out for the mistakes made in these stories when inspecting your own roof or when hiring a roofing contractor of your own. It may prevent you from having a roofing horror story of your own!
The bad actor roofing contractor
One of the worst things that can happen when purchasing a new roof is working with a roofing contractor who doesn’t have your best interests at heart. Unfortunately, this scary story is one that’s all too true…
Most homeowners don’t have much experience purchasing roofs. Since roofs generally have a life of around 25-30 years, they simply aren’t replaced that often. This leaves many homeowners in the dark when making purchasing decisions. This is particularly true of first-time roof buyers.
Unfortunately, many evil roofing contractors know this and try to take advantage of homeowners that simply don’t know any better. These bad actors will try to sell you on one of their roofing scams to make a quick buck. Some to keep an eye out for include:
- The storm chaser: These roofers travel to areas ravaged by storms knowing there will be lots of work. Once the contract is signed, they’ll do the bare-minimum, leaving you with a low-quality roof. By the time you notice the roof is in shambles, they’ll be nowhere to be found.
- The unprofessional door-to-door salesman: While there are many reputable roofers who market in neighborhoods, there are other less-reputable ones that specifically target areas with senior citizens and older homes. While they offer a “free roof,” what they mean is your insurance will pay for it. They may even damage the roof during an “inspection” to make their money. This may make you susceptible to an insurance fraud charge and higher insurance premiums.
- Overly aggressive salesman: This bad actor will try to get you to sign on the dotted line from the get-go. They may even refuse to leave until you sign. You can also spot this type of roofing contractor by the bid amount. Is it unrealistically low? Chances are that it’s too good to be true.
- Full payment immediately: While most contractors will charge an up-front amount to get your roofing project started, some go beyond and ask for full payment. Many of these contractors will then skip town after you’ve made the payment. If a contractor is asking for anything more than 50%, don’t work with them.
The unmaintained roof
An unmaintained roofs is one of the most dangerous issues in all of roofing. As a homeowner, it is also potentially one of the most horrific as it could lead to catastrophic failure of your home’s ability to fend off water.
Unmaintained roofs are also problematic, causing issues significantly more expensive than simply maintaining the roof in the first place. Unfortunately, once a roof has been neglected for a long time, it will have to be replaced. If it’s not, then it could cause even more damage to the rest of your home.
The home purchased with a bad roof
A common roofing horror story we hear is purchasing a home with an already damaged roof. While this is often picked up during the inspection stage, some homeowners shrug off the information.
When you need a new roof it’s not something that can be put off until you’re in a better financial situation. Many homeowners are often surprised to learn an issue they thought was no big deal is actually an expensive project.
Make sure you have a good grasp of the condition of any home’s roof you’re considering buying prior to closing.
The unfixed leaky roof
The sound of dripping water in your home can be terrifying to hear. While it may be something you don’t want to deal with, don’t ignore it! The problem will not just go away. When leaky roofs go unfixed, the result can be devastating to your home.
Potential problems include:
- Mold and wood-decay fungi: When water enters your home unabated, bad things happen. Moisture enters your living space, walls, and attic, and creates mold that could take a serious renovation to completely eliminate. Worse yet? Your home could be severely impacted due to wood-decay fungi, which grows under similar conditions and eats away at wood until your home’s structure is destroyed.
- Electronics, furniture, and other personal effects destroyed: If water makes its way into your home, naturally other items in your home will be affected. Electronics and furniture are the most common items we see destroyed, but we’ve seen appliances and other high-value items become unusable due to a leak getting out of hand.
- Significant loss of insulation: Leaks don’t only let the outside in. Fundamentally there is a hole that will allow atmosphere to escape. This means the warm, temperature-controlled air in your home will leak outside. This makes your home drafty and less comfortable, and also costs an arm and a leg to keep at the desired temperature .
The inflated bid new roof
It starts off sounding like a great deal. A roofing contractor comes and gives you a low estimate on your roofing project. You feel great about the bid and sign the contract.
Everything starts off fine when they show up and get started on the roof. Before long, the contractor starts bringing up new issues they didn’t see before. They’re expensive and were not included in your initial bid. When you question why the price has increased so much, the contractor threatens to leave.
Before you know it, the final cost of your roof is significantly more than what other contractors have bid. This is called a rollercoaster bid, and it’s one of the most common roofing horror stories homeowners see.
We recommend always receiving the bid in writing. While surprises do pop up when working on a roof, a reputable roofing contractor will let you know of these possibilities up front. You should never be completely surprised by a significant price increase.
Don’t experience a roofing horror story of your own
At Cutting Edge Contracting, we’ve built trust by building quality roofs in the Portland and Vancouver areas for years. We always provide written estimates, and all of our roofs use the best materials and are covered under our 12-year labor warranty. We’d love to deliver a roofing experience you can brag about — one with a happy ending!
Contact us today by calling (360) 524-0858 to receive a free in-home estimate and quote for your roofing project.
Sean Kelly is the COO & President of Cutting Edge Contracting. His background in business, accounting, and the construction industry helped him become the award-winning manager of a nationally-known paint company before joining Cutting Edge.