What's Your Roofing I.Q.?
Choosing the right roofing membrane involves more than just selecting the strongest, most reliable product. Many other factors should be considered, like the reputation and track history of the manufacturer, the repair costs and energy savings associated with the membrane and the value of the warranty that covers the product. It is important that you take all of these factors into consideration when identifying the "real cost" of your roof. We have provided some of the pertinent questions and answers here that we think will help you make an intelligent roofing decision.
To compensate for historical deficiencies, many manufacturers continually alter their product formulas. Look for proof that the product you choose has already stood up to the tests you plan to give it. If you want your roof to last 20 years, withstanding exposure to harsh chemicals and intense sunshine, ask the manufacturer for examples of similar success stories. Be aware: many products that start out performing like champions, lose their original physical properties with age. Ask to see actual roofs installed in your geographic area, within your industry.
Figuring the cost of your roof requires looking far beyond the sticker price. The real value of a roof is calculated by factoring the system's proven longevity, the energy savings it can bring if it is a reflective roof system, typical maintenance and repair costs, and also, if necessary, the cost of disposing the roof when it's old. According to the Department of Energy, in most regions of the U.S., reflective roof systems can save between $.07 and $.20 per square foot, per year - in some cases even over $.20 per square foot. Be sure to ask the manufacturer for life cycle cost data.
Don't overestimate the value of a warranty. In many cases it's a piece of paper used as a marketing tool. Warranties protect the manufacturer and with some, the proof of failure lies with the owner. A warranty for 15 or 20 years makes you feel safe the day you buy it, but first verify that the roof system will last that long. Will the manufacturer last that long? Take time to understand the warranty, especially its exclusions. Many warranties are pro-rated and exclude common conditions like ponding water, hail, oil or grease. Definitions for wind speed can be vague. Request references to measure customer satisfaction with warranty claims. Big company or small company, nothing is more important than their integrity and proven commitment to service and product performance.
The best roof system in the world put in the wrong hands will fail. The quality of the finished product depends on the experience of the installer. Check to see if the product manufacturer provides installation training for the contractor. Ask the contractor for a complete project reference list to verify customers have been satisfied with the installation of the system you select.
Because some systems' original physical properties change with age, they can become next to impossible to modify or repair. It's common to make alterations after installation, such as changing the heating, ventilation and cooling system, or adding rooftop equipment, exhaust fans or skylights. Making sure repairs are possible and warrantable will lessen possible frustrations. Request proof from existing roofs.
Don't make the mistake of assuming all roofing systems perform the same, or overestimate the value of a warranty. In the end, your choice will only be as good as your information. Ask the right questions. Taking time to understand your requirements and the capabilities of the roofing system will make a big difference in your satisfaction. Call Seaman Corporation today for more information, or to have your specific questions answered by a roofing professional. We're confident that whatever your question - the answer will come up FiberTite®.