Customers sometimes ask, “why is your quote higher than another contractor”? The answer is simple — they’re not using the same quality materials or they’re shorting you on underlayments all together.
I’ve gone to houses only to see that the roof would fail the inspection of any city inspector if they actually checked to see how the roof was applied and what the underlayments are that were used.
For example, you may have purchased a roof with a 30 year warranty. You thought it was the whole roof right? Wrong. The warranty is probably on the shingles — the actual shingles, not including any accessories.
Roofs are made up of several elements, or more accurately, good quality roofs are made with several elements. Even those elements vary in quality and you can’t tell just from looking at them after they were put on.
As an example, one of the common places I find contractors take a few shortcuts is with the ridge cap shingle. There are plenty of cheap products out there that have granules that are the same as multiple good quality manufacturers, and will look perfectly fine on the day of install. The problem is the way they are manufactured may not be the best.
Let’s say that you buy a 30 year architectural roof. The shingles look great on the day of install. But 10 or 15 years later, you see that the cap shingles are losing some of the ceramic granules that protect the matting of the shingle. That’s a problem because when that matting fails, water will get in and regardless of how pretty the rest of the house may look, your roof has failed. (see photo)
So why do contractors do this? It’s because of cost. It’s much cheaper to simply buy a bundle of 3-tab shingles and cut them into three pieces than it is to purchase a higher quality shingle made for ridge caps. Ridge cap shingles like Seal-A-Ridge by GAF have a fiberglass matting under an asphalt protective layer which in turn is protected by ceramic granules. The fiberglass will not curl or push those granules out.
So the key here to be careful. Ask the tough question. When the product is delivered to your house, look for the labels on the bundles to make sure that you are getting exactly what you thought you were getting.