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Composite Roofing Shingle Ratings / Questions


Calamity Kris
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Well, we have had to file a claim with our insurance company because of hail and wind damage to our roof. Come spring, it will need to be replaced. I am working with my insurance company now to secure a contractor to do the work. When I looked into ratings on the type and manufacturer of the shingles, I find lots of dead ends. Some of the websites won't show you any results unless you agree to sign a contract with their installers. Other websites contain old information or no real tangible ratings ("25 of our customers think this is the best shingle". Who are your customers and what makes the shingles so great? Some of the ratings were stupid too. "The shingles that were installed didn't match the blue in the color sample...." So you're going to rate their performance lower because the color isn't what you expected????) Even Consumer Reports no longer does performance evaluations on shingles.

 

I understand that your location and the type of weather your roof is subjected to will greatly effect how long your shingles last. Shingles might be rated to last 50 years at the beach in Southern California but might only last half that time here in the harsh weather of the Midwest. That only makes sense. Who installed them and how carefully they were installed also makes a difference. I get all of that.

 

Why can't I find ratings comparing shingle A to B to C etc. and how long they lasted in weather similar to mine? What caused the failures would also be helpful. Was the shingle manufactured incorrectly or installed incorrectly?

 

If I must spend $10K+ to have a new roof, fascia and gutters put on the house, I most certainly want to get as much value out of it as I can.

 

I won't even get started on some of the shady characters I've encountered so far............ :o:blink::o:blink::o:blink:

 

Please, experience with composite only. We won't/can't think about installing anything else right now.

 

Thanks,

CK

Edited by Calamity Kris
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Be sure of two things.

 

1. Do not let the contractor have shingles dropped off in your driveway to sit. Not even over night. Theft of palletized shingles out of driveways is getting pretty common these days. In the DFW metroplex there were a lot of thefts this summer. If the shingles have to be left them have them put into your garage or behind a fence.

 

2. Make sure the contractor actually pays the lumber yard for the shingles. Couple of contractors picked up the shingles on credit. The home owner paid the contractor for the shingles but the contractor never paid the lumber yard. Lumber yard is now filing leans against the home owners property for non-paymernt of the shingles. Seems the contractor took the money and skipped town.

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Be sure of two things.

 

1. Do not let the contractor have shingles dropped off in your driveway to sit. Not even over night. Theft of palletized shingles out of driveways is getting pretty common these days. In the DFW metroplex there were a lot of thefts this summer. If the shingles have to be left them have them put into your garage or behind a fence.

 

2. Make sure the contractor actually pays the lumber yard for the shingles. Couple of contractors picked up the shingles on credit. The home owner paid the contractor for the shingles but the contractor never paid the lumber yard. Lumber yard is now filing leans against the home owners property for non-paymernt of the shingles. Seems the contractor took the money and skipped town.

Not a licensed contractor?

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Driveway sealing and roofing seem to attract the dregs of the homeowner scams.

 

Walk carefully and my advice would be to talk to material suppliers and neighbors for recommendations about roofing companies.

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We have extreme winds and hail here in SE Wyoming. Most roofers use Malarkey 30 or 50 yr. shingles. They are dimensional shingles with a class 4 impact rating against hail damage. They need to be installed properly by a reliable roofing company. Recently, I've been told by insurance adjusters the manufacturer has a couple plants and the better shingles come out of Oklahoma, don't get shingles from the Washington state factory. I take care of many buildings in SE Wyoming and have had much experience with hail damage. There are some folks that are not satisfied with Malarkey, most are very happy, I'd be willing to bet the unhappy customers used the cheapest contractor they could find and have a roof with shingles that were not installed properly.

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I had my roof replaced 2 years ago. The contractor was recommended by my agent. I upgraded to architectural shingles for not a lot of money. His crew tore off and installed 28 square in 13 hours and cleaned up. The company is in Foristell Mo. If you are interested in him giving you an estimate send me a PM and I will provide you with his number.

His original estimate was within $40 of the adjuster's.

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Another thing to look into when you're getting your house roof replaced is the roof ventilation ratio & having the correct ratio of upper roof to lower roof venting.

 

This can make a difference in heating & cooling & having a "hot room" when the rest of the house feels fine.

 

Many homes are built to the minimum spec, when like many things, there really is a "good, better, best" available that is never offered when buying a new home.

 

Many blueprints (with a city seal) came in where where I worked that the house venting totals were added together even though the roof areas were not even connected to each other.

 

Just because your roof has "lots of vents" or "real big vents" may not mean it's o.k.

 

Good luck with your project.

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Roofing? Another thing to watch out for are the employees the roofing companies uses. Roofing is usually peopled with tattooed biker thugs and other unsavory types. I advise you don't speak to, or become friendly with any of them, and don't allow any of them inside your home...be sure the roofer understands this. Insist the roofer rent a porta-potty for use by his workers and that an accountable supervisor is onsite 100% of the time that work is being performed.

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Thank you all for the great advice. I had a wonderful chat with a fine pard yesterday evening and received some more sage advice.

 

I also made a few calls yesterday and learned some interesting lessons. I called some contractor supply houses and asked them about the brands of shingles they carried. They don't have a stake in this transaction so they have nothing to loose by being honest with me. I asked questions about quality, price points etc. My last question was, if you had to put a roof on YOUR house today, what would you use and why? The response was almost unanimously brands A or B. Only one supply house carried brand C and would recommend them over A and B. Almost all of them wouldn't recommend brand Z, which is the brand the contractor wanted to use on our house.........

 

I chatted with my insurance company yesterday so I'm waiting on a determination from them for a move forward position. Are they going to recommend another contractor or am I on my own? We'll see what they say.

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Kris

My recommendation is an Architectural Laminate shingle with HD at the end of its name. These have held up very well here in North Texas with our hail storms. I've been using this type shingle on all the shingle roofs we've been replacing at the University where I'm Director of Construction. The quality of the actual crew doing the installation is also very important.

Scout

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