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."
- "You're crazy."
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: