By Jason Domecq, R3NG, LLC
As a licensed roofing contractor serving the HOA industry, one of the most common questions I receive when meeting with different community association boards is “What do you recommend we do about our roof situation?” For any property, the roof is one of the most important systems. An informed roofing selection, along with proper installation, will protect your investment, add immediate value, and most importantly, shelter residents from the elements.
If you’re planning to maintain or replace your roofing system, here’s are a few things to consider:
A contractor who is licensed, insured, supported by a major manufacturer and highly respected in the industry are just a few key aspects to consider when selecting a contractor. These qualifications can be validated by:
- A verifiable and diversified reference list
- Evidence of current licensing within the county the work is to be performed
- Evidence of the appropriate type of contractor’s insurance
- Documentation stating support from a major manufacturer
- The contractor’s history of availability after completion to support the community and any issues that may arise
Choosing the right contractor is like choosing a great pair of shoes: there are a lot of contractors to choose from, but it’s crucial that you identify one that’s a good fit. Consider a contractor the community trusts and is comfortable with. Nancy Sinatra said these boots are made for walking. You don’t want the boots running all over you!
Think of the future when considering the type of shingle to be installed. Which direction is the board taking the community and how does the community want to look in 10-15 years? Is there a potential to paint next year, or in five years? The type of shingle selected will define the look, feel, and contribute in the future property value. When determining the type of shingle there are, primarily, three different types:
- 3-tab – An older, linear type of shingle that is slowly starting to disappear from use
- Dimensional – One of the more popular shingles that provides adequate coverage, while delivering a great updated look, to nearly all kinds of roofs. This type of shingle comes in a variety of colors and most manufacturers offer an impact-resistant option.
- Designer – A stylish way to alter a community’s look while also upgrading the community’s value. These shingles provide superior coverage and provide a similar look to the high-end custom materials at a fraction of the cost.
A few accessory items to consider when replacing the roof system are:
- Underlayment Felt – This is a crucial layer of protection between the shingles and the roof decking
- Ice & Water Leak Barrier – This creates a seal around the perimeter and in areas that are susceptible to water penetrating the unit (i.e eaves, rakes, valleys and chimneys).
- Ventilation – Proper ventilation throughout the attic will allow for continued airflow and will work in conjunction with the unit’s HVAC system help to keep you house cool in the summer and warm in the winter.
Once a contractor and materials have been selected, it’s important to know that the roof system is being installed correctly. Best practices by contractors include:
- Documenting the installation while it’s in production
- If a permit has been pulled, ensuring the contractor is following the permit guidelines
- Manufacturer inspections of how the contractor installed the product
Most states require a licensed contractor to provide a minimum 2-year warranty for a roof replacement. When reviewing warranty options, consider a contractor that is supported by a manufacturer. GAF, for example, stands behind a select few contractors, supporting the availability of a 25-year workmanship warranty. These select contractors are licensed and insured, have a proven track record of superior installations, enjoy respectable relationships within the industry, and will stand behind their work. It’s important to know that you can count on both the contractor and manufacturer to be there for the community after the project is complete.
The climate your community resides within plays a huge factor on how much and how often your roof may need a little TLC. For example, a climate that experiences hot and dry summers followed by cold and wet winters needs to have the sealant used on the roof inspected on a yearly basis. This will ensure there isn’t water penetrating the building. Preventive inspections mean less maintenance, and will significantly minimalize the costs associated with larger repairs caused by water penetrating the roof.
There are clearly many things to consider when you need a new roofing solution. With my decade of industry experience with R3NG, I believe the most important is your community’s needs both today and 10-15 years from now. Once your goals are set, remember these key points:
- The contractor you select will support the community over the next few years. Examine a company’s work history and culture. Will they offer a cohesive relationship with the community? The completion of the roof installation should not be the last time you see the contractor.
- Protecting residents and the community’s investment against the elements should always be of primary concern. Choose the type of shingle that will ensure the community’s future growth, integrate seamlessly with future projects and increase the community’s overall property value.
- Consider a warranty that covers an extended period for both workmanship and manufacturer’s defects. This will allow you to rest easy knowing that you have prolonged coverage, ensures the contractor and manufacturer are committed to your HOA, and provides your community peace of mind knowing they are supported by both the contractor and manufacturer.
- Lay out a maintenance plan to protect your investment. Annual inspections of the roof system and its critical areas are essential for its prolonged life.
R3NG, LLC is an affiliate of Community Preservation and Management, LLC (CP&M) a licensed and Insured, locally-owned-and-operated Colorado General Contractor with more than a decade of experience serving our residential and commercial customers.