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3 Ways "Cheap" Roofing Costs You More in the Long Run

Every roofing system is built using several different parts, sealants, and waterproofing components. Each one of these components is just as important as the visible layer of roofing that your eyes see.

First of all...

What is a roof system?

Before we talk about the cons of cheap work, let's talk about the components that create a roof system. A typical roof system in Tucson, Arizona is made up of the following components and materials:

  • Decking: Wooden substrate that is fastened over your home's framing trusses

  • Underlayment: Feld used over the decking, aka Vapor Barrier

  • Drip Edge: Metal flashing designed to protect the edges of your roof (this component is not used on homes with parapet walls)

  • Ice and Water Shield: Thick waterproofing membrane designed for extra protection in your roof's valley areas and pitch transitions. (Typically used on Steep Slope Roofing)

  • Roof Vents: Two ventilation systems include passive or active. Active means air is pulled from outside, then pushed back out. Passive means the attic relies on natural wind to push the air through.

  • Pipe Boot: Metal / rubber boot with a flange that covers round penetrations

  • Roof Flashing: Metal that protects joints and transitions, guiding water away. Scupper Roof Flashing is a major component of a flat roof with parapet walls.

  • Roofing Material (Top): Visible layer of roofing. Usually Apshalt Shingles, Built-Up Roof, Roof Coating, Metal Roof, Tile Roof, etc.

  • Ridge Capping: When two slopes meet, they form the ridge. Roof trim goes here.

Together all of these components form a roof system. Many people don't know this; but in order to get the most out of your manufacturer's warranty: many of these components must be produced by the same manufacturer.

Manufacturers do this so that they can also maintain control of their quality and standards. There are only a handful of trusted Roofing Manufacturers that make great products; however there are dozens and dozens of companies that create their own version of roof system components accessories. Mixing / matching products on a re-roof maybe cheaper, but it's also surely the quickest way to disqualify your new roof system from a lot of warranty coverage (if not all of it).

On the other hand... Achieving a Quality Roof System is, really, quite simple... The manufacturer makes the product and sets the rules. It's up to your contractor to purchase the right products and follow every rule set forth by that roof material manufacturer.

3 Costly Issues With A Cheap Roof System

  1. Roof Life Is Drastically Affected

You should be able to get atleast 20 Years out of your new roof. Sometimes longer with proper roof care and maintenance. If the right roof components aren't put on your home, they will degrade at a much higher rate than the manufacturer's product. Many roofers prefer to use "off-brand" products from their local distributors. Not to say these products aren't quality; but they're likely not approved by the manufacturer of your roof's main waterproofing component: Roofing Material (top).

2. Inexperience May Lead to Re-Do's

Most of the time, the person selling you the roof, isn't the person installing the roof. Many contractors hire subcontractors to perform the work. Subcontractors are rarely certified by the manufacturers. The odds of you getting an inexperienced contractor are really high in Tucson, Arizona. This may lead to needing to re-do work, (too early) repairs and modifications, and other nussances to any homeowner. Before choosing a contractor, make sure you ask the right questions and if something doesn't seem right, it's because it's usually not.

3. You May Not Have Material Warranty Coverage

The biggest selling point to any new roofing system lies in the strength of the warranty that backs it. If not installed by the right roofing contractor, you may be left with only their workmanship warranty... And in the State of Arizona only holds a contractor liable for work under a 2 year period.

As mentioned earlier: if you're expecting that lengthy manufacturer warranty on your new roof system, the following must align:

  • Contractor Must Be Factory Certified / Trained (ask for proof)

  • Contractor Must Install All Products Per Manufacturer Specification (always)

  • Contractor Must Register Invoices / Proof of Install For Warranty Activation

But do remember that material manufacturers make the products, and also make the rules. It pays to hire an experienced roofing contractor that understands and abides by manufacturer specification. Ask yourself this question: how would you feel if your brand new car came with zero years of warranty coverage?

Choose A Contractor With YOUR Best Interests In Mind

This starts with how much the contractor seeks education. A great contractor is always learning directly from manufacturers. The investment lies in attending the live trainings, seminars, and more importantly, getting the whole INSTALL TEAM out to the plants for some actual hands-on training.

ABRC is certified by many major manufacturers. Qualifying us to over our clients with Enchanced Warranty coverage on many of our installs. This enhanced warranty guarantees they’ll cover labor, materials, dump fees, non-prorated for 50 years if there is a defect in the materials. If even one of their components has a problem or goes bad, they’ll pay to replace the roof. It’s also transferable to the next homeowner, depending on the manufacturer, for 12 to 15 years. When getting a cheap roof system, you won’t qualify for this enhanced warranty.

In summary, a cheap roof system only leaves you with your contractor’s labor warranty to fall back on. If you don’t hire a reputable contractor that honors their workmanship warranty, then any repairs or even a replacement (re-do) will come out of your wallet. 


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