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When should I consider getting a roof inspection?


• If a home inspection shows a few minor problems with the roof

and

• If a home inspection estimates a roof life of less than 10 years

and/or

• If your home inspector doesn’t get onto the roof during the inspection

and/or

• If you just want a roof inspection because the roof protects the house and belongings inside

or

• If the roof is brand new (sometimes sellers will get a new roof in anticipation of selling the house but won’t research for a good roofer. They could have a new roof that is missing important components such as flashing or underlayment or is not installed to code!)


There isn’t any need for an additional inspection if the inspector already recommends replacement. There probably isn’t any need for a roof inspection if the roof is brand new and it has a written transferrable workmanship warranty (make sure you read the warranty).



Why wouldn’t I just go with what a home inspection says?


Home inspectors typically have very limited construction knowledge and limited time for each inspection. Extensive training and time would be crucial to find every issue with every component of a house.



Do home inspections ever actually miss anything major?


Yes! It is very common for buyers to receive a home inspection stating that the roof has at least two years of life left when it’s in desperate need of replacement. The inspection may mention relatively minor issues such as some nails backing out or bad rain collars (the rubber part of the flashing around the vent pipes) but miss major granule loss or overlook major damage from large amounts of moss having been removed.



What if I find out the house needs a new roof and can’t find a roofer who can replace it before the sale?


If you go with a local lender such as Umpqua Bank or a credit union they are much more likely to offer what is called an escrow hold-back. Basically, with an escrow hold-back the seller signs a contract to have the roof done with the contractor and provides the contractor the down payment. Money will be kept as part of escrow in order to pay the contractor the final payment for the finished roof after you already have the loan to buy the house.



How can I verify that the contractor a seller has chosen will do a good job and is properly licensed and insured?


• Look up the contractor’s CCB number (our CCB number is 226020) at https://www.ccb.state.or.us/search for a history of compliance and complaints

• Look up the contractor at bbb.org

• Read online reviews

• Be skeptical if they offer things which may be too good to be true such as 30 year shingles or 50 year shingles (very high end shingles such as triple laminates may last 30 years)

Flat Rate Roofers LLC recently filed an assumed business name (ABN) a.k.a. doing business as name (DBA): Divergent Roofing. You may be wondering, "why?" "Why divergent" or "why a new name at all?" Those are both great questions and this post should help clear them up.



Divergent Roofing Logo


First let's answer, "Why a new name?" Flat Rate Roofers started with the idea of providing a roofing installation service that went way above the status quo. A big part of that included doing a thorough inspection before doing a re-roof so the price you are quoted is the price you pay in the end. The thought was, the fact that almost nothing could raise the price once a contract was signed, would resonate with people. Little did we know, people are so used to contractors finding every excuse possible to get them to sign a change order to raise the price, that even when a homeowner had the concept clearly explained, they wouldn't believe it or maybe they would just forget. We will still work hard to avoid change orders which raise the price. The name however, wasn't resonating with people as well as hoped, so it has been scrapped while the company is still young enough for that not to be a huge deal. Another big reason for changing the name is people commonly referred to it as "Flat Rate Roofing" instead of "Flat Rate Roofers".


Now, "Why Divergent?" Divergent is a synonym to different. We want to be different. Not different for the sake of being different but different for the sake of being better. There are many great business practices that have been adopted by almost every industry. Construction, however, is a relatively noncompetitive and highly regulated market, increasing the time it takes for substantial improvements to be seen by home owners. Our view is, why wait for competition to demand it? Let's do what we can to make good changes for our customers. Why not? Are we successfully getting closer to our goal of beating the status quo? You decide!




Shingles, or whatever roofing materials you choose to use to cover your roof, are your first defense against the elements but there is an unsung hero working in the shadows. Roofing materials consist of far more than just shingles, tile, or metal panels. One of the most

Shingles being installed by Flat Rate Roofers over hybrid underlayment
Roofing in progress in Medford, OR

important things other than your shingles is the underlayment. Underlayment serves multiple purposes and I am going to do my best to explain some of them to you in this article.


It can take a while to install a roof - especially with a small crew and/or a large job. Also, in wet states like Oregon, a job that would otherwise be quick can be interrupted or slowed down by rain. Building materials are usually made to withstand some rain for a short period of time. This is to make building in states like Oregon possible. Imagine having your house framed and then having an unexpected rain storm and needing to completely re-frame the building. That would be expensive and time consuming. Covering an entire building in tarps for unexpected rainstorms before it is ready would be impractical at best. Once the house is built, however, there are many things that can get damaged by water easily. Things like drywall and your belongings. When a house is complete, there is also less airflow because it's no longer wide open. This lack of airflow could also cause mold and dry rot if something gets wet.


When you are getting your roof replaced, as long as there is sufficient attic ventilation, a little sprinkle of rain shouldn't hurt your roof deck. Even so, a good roofer will do his or her best to get the underlayment installed before even a sprinkle occurs. Underlayment serves multiple purposes. There are also many different types of underlayment for different budgets and different purposes. I'm going to give you some information on underlayment in general. I'll probably go into more detail in another post.



The first purpose of underlayment is to protect the roof from rain while it is being installed. underlayment generally goes down very quickly compared to the shingles. This makes it so a roof can be torn off and the underlayment can be rapidly installed before a rainstorm. In fact, it is common to install shingles while it is raining on underlayment that was installed just before the bad weather. This is especially common in the Portland area where it rains even more than here in the Medford area. Both the underlayment and the shingles water resistant and can handle moisture. Installing while it's raining isn't ideal because it can take a while for it to dry out between the underlayment and the shingles but it is sometimes necessary in rainy climates. Properly installed underlayment can protect the roof for several months if absolutely necessary. Even so, it's best to get the roofing installed over the underlayment within a few weeks


because the underlayment will get sun damaged in the summer and some types can get damaged after a few good rains. Waiting a few months is generally a bad idea and is probably never necessary.


Another purpose is traction on the roof during installation. Different types provide better traction in various conditions. Roofers may decide to change types depending on the weather or the pitch of the roof.


Properly installed underlayment also has another very important purpose as a second layer of defense for your roof. Wind can drive rain under your shingles. If there wasn't underlayment it would soak into your roof deck and you could get mold and/or rot. As your roof gets old, some of the shingles may loose their seal and get wind damaged. this second layer of protection will help minimize leaks while you wait for the repair or replacement. Ice, leaves, and moss can also re-direct water underneath your shingles.


This is why we don't take underlayment lightly and we will probably make an article in the future telling you what, why, and how we install underlayment.