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Good Roofing Materials – Lousy Installation

Posted April 25, 2008 by Patrick Morin


Here is another low bid re-roof project where the homeowner got the short end of the stick. Of course, they thought they were getting a smoking hot deal. This 1st picture is of a roof on the weather side dormer on the front of a home valued at over $900,000. It was recently completed in the Alameda District of Portland, Oregon. The weather side of a home in Portland means it faces southwest. All of our serious wet weather comes from that direction. This is not a wall to cut corners on!

We had reroofed a neighbor to this home and also got a chance to make a presentation on this project. We ended up not getting the chance to serve them. They chose to use another well-known roofing company in Portland, known for being one of the cheapest Roofing Contractors in town. The contractor decided that it would be too much effort to flash this front dormer sidewall.

Instead, they decided to shove the high-end shingles (Camelot by GAF/ELK…top quality) under the siding trim board without any flashings! (GAF/ELK, the manufacturer, would “pass a brick” if they saw this type and kind of installation.)

This low cost contractor claimed it wasn’t possible to flash it. That’s simply not true. This wall should be taken apart by removing the trim boards and if needed replace the Masonite stucco panels. The roofer’s excuse was that the original builder didn’t do it. (I’ve talked plenty about the shortcomings of builders.) The long- term problem with this improper install is that when the caulking fails (and it WILL fail, usually within 6 years), it will feed water right into the house. At first, it will be a small leak and go undetected as it causes all types of dry rot issues. Then the leak will get bigger. The homeowner will finally respond when a different contractor tells him it’s the roof and it’s going to cost thousands to fix. Combine that with your time, stress and inconvenience and it just wasn’t worth taking the low bid. This happens all the time in Portland.


This other picture shows what happens to a side-wall that touches the roof. The siding soaks up the water and starts to rot. More than likely the roofing contractor did not replace the step flashing and thought that if he runs the roofing tight to the wall and then caulks it, it should be fine. That is just crazy talk! Never accept substandard work, period.


Here’s a picture of yet another roof installed by the same “reputable” well known roofing contractor. His guys decided to shoot nails through the edge metal. It not only looks stupid, but calls into question the skill and technical knowledge of the company. Sure, the company looks good and smells great, and the salesman can talk a blue streak but for cryin’ out loud look at their finished work! That’s why they’re cheap folks.

We really care about your roof and your budget. That’s why at Roof Life of Oregon we do it right the first time and charge accordingly. We back it up with a lifetime transferable workmanship warranty. It’s just the right way to do it!

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