In this episode, Daniel explains why following codes and ordinances is such a big deal when it comes to roofing. You may not even know that a roofer is supposed to follow these codes and city ordinances, and that may be because so many contractors don’t. Find out why you should do your research.

Podcast Transcription: RoofLifeB031-212

Shayla: You are listening to the Roof Life of Oregon podcast and I’m talking with Daniel today. Daniel, what can happen if a roofing contractor doesn’t follow codes for the area of Portland that the homeowner is living in? What can happen to the roof?

Daniel: You can have some serious problems, if they don’t follow codes. I know a lot of people think that regulations need to be toned back, some need to be enhanced. But for the most part, when a city says, “Hey, we need you to put this on this way,” it’s because of a good reason.

There’s a specific area in the Portland area that comes out of the gorge. They get winds like crazy. I mean, you go out there half the time and you have to tie up your ladders because it will blow over. It’s constantly windy. They made codes in their area that says, hey, when you put this roof on, you need to use nails, not staples. You need to use six of them. So you have a roofing contractor that’s used to working in other areas. He puts a bid together, he goes out, and he puts a roof on out this specific area and doesn’t know the codes to this area, you may have a huge problem.

We just had to replace a roof that a roofer put on ten years ago because of that. This area says, again, no staples, you must nails. You must use six. This roofer used four staples in every shingle. Again this roof is ten years old, and the wind just started tearing shingles off the roof. You need to follow the codes. Know where you’re working. If you’re at a specific street in Portland, from Division heading toward the river, their codes are different from Division heading away from the river. And that’s because of those wind requirements.

Know the codes of the area. Make sure the roof is put on correctly. This homeowner, unfortunately, has no warranty to go back on the other roofer, and now he had to pay for another roof to go back on the correct way.

Shayla: And he doesn’t have a warranty because the contractor didn’t follow the codes. Is that correct?

Daniel: Correct. Well, there’s two different reasons he doesn’t have that warranty. One is the roofer that put it on only gave him a three-year warranty. It’s ten years old. So the roofer just basically washes his hands and heads out of it. The state of Oregon will hold the roofer liable for ten years. He just passed that mark. And even if he’s inside that mark, the state of Oregon will actually only help him for the first year. After that first year, he has to hire a lawyer, bring the lawyer into it, and then has to get it done within that ten-year period. After that, the roofer can wash his hands of it. That’s why a lot of warranties are written that way: three-year, five-year, maybe ten-year, because they know the state of Oregon will keep the liable. Once you’re past that ten-year, there’s nothing that this homeowner can do about the roof.

Shayla: How does a homeowner go about, because, you know, the homeowner may not know anything about the codes in their area, the contractor they’re hiring, how do they go about figuring which contractors really follow the codes and know what they’re doing in their area?

Daniel: That’s a tough one. That really is a tough one. The best you can do is really ask. “Hey, do you know the codes in our area?” Did the roofer stutter when he says yes, or uhhhh. Ask him. What are the codes in our area? What are required to do here? Do you work in our area? He should be able to answer those questions, or in the area, pick the code that’s the highest code and do them all that way. That’s how we do it. We’ve decided you know what, we’re going to take the heaviest restricted code and do them all that way. So no matter what area we go in, we’re putting it on as if it’s in this really hard hit wind-weather area. So even if you’re in southeast Portland, you’re in Hillsboro, it doesn’t matter where you are, you’re getting the code that’s highest one. Six nails per shingle. Nails not staples. Put on the correct way. That takes some of that out of there. Ask the roofer: how are you putting this roof on?

Shayla: So if you’re in the Portland area, the easiest thing to do is just to work with Roof Life of Oregon. You know that your roof will be in the best hands and everything is up to code. If not, like Daniel said, ask your questions and do your research and the team at Roof Life is always there to answer those questions for you. Thanks, Daniel.

Daniel: Thank you.

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