In my adult life, the only person whoever made me
cry was a roofer. My husband and I have plenty of experience
with roofs. We lived in southwest Miami-Dade County,
Florida for more than 30 years and suffered significant
structure and roof damage from hurricane Andrew (1992).
By the time hurricanes Ivan (2004) and Katrina (2005)
blew in, our 1992 post-Andrew roof needed replacing.
By 2005, an aerial view of Miami showed a sea of blue
tarps used to mitigate damage to dwellings while insurance,
roofers and roofing materials were being lined up.
We did our “due-diligence” and checked out
each roofer for licenses, insurance, and Better Business
Bureau ratings. We selected a roofer who “stood
behind his work” and had great references. We
were unaware that he was picking up so much work in
South Florida the he was subcontracting out most of
his work. We had no idea that this was happening.
The subcontractor, who was not licensed or supervised,
apparently knew little about re-roofing a house and
we were the ones suffering the consequences. In an attempt
to insert flashing between the 2nd floor wall and the
garage roof, he cut along the wall at the roof line.
I am sure he just thought he could pull the stucco away
from the wall and slide the flashing inside. The reality
was quite different and resulted in cracked stucco and
a gash several feet long in the wall. This man left
the job site without letting us know what had happened.
Then it rained as it does most afternoon and evenings
in south Florida.
We didn’t learn what had happened until I requested
a roof inspection by the county roof inspectors. The
inspector nearly fell through the roof at one point
as he walked across the new shingles, where rotten wood
beneath had never been replaced. The roof failed inspection
and we faced many thousands of dollars in repairs to
the structure. We had to hire another contractor to
tear off our “new” roof and replace all
of the rotten wood, remove mold inside the walls and
re-stucco the second floor wall.
It was at this point that the roofer who had assured
us that he “stood behind his work” became
the one who said it was not his problem. He actually
tried to blame my husband and myself as though we forced
him, against his will, to destroy our home. After years
of back and forth in the courts, the board of professional
regulation ruled that he had done nothing wrong. He
then filed for bankruptcy and our chance of recovering
any of our money used to return our home to sellable
We left the liquid sunshine and blistering heat of Miami
3 years ago to retire here in Chesapeake, VA. We purchased
our home just 18 months ago and had the standard inspection
done before closing. Our home inspector wrote in his
report concerning our roof that “…may need
replacement within the [next] ten years.” We learned
that the more précised definition of “within
10 years” was 18 months.
I went about getting estimates as I had in the past
when I learned that in Chesapeake the contractor does
not pull a permit to re-roof a home and there are no
inspections. Homeowners must basically conduct their
own oversight. I am in my 60’s and not able to
walk a roof, even if I knew what I was looking for.
My third estimate brought Charles “Chuck”
Clark of Clark Roofing and Siding, Inc. to our home.
He started by telling me that while he would not be
the cheapest: it was unlikely he would be the most expensive.
That was when he told me what made his company and workmanship
different from others I met.
Clark is participant in CertainTeed’s credential
programs and is a CertainTeed 5 star Contractor. That
means that CertainTeed stands behind HIS work and this
transferable workmanship coverage is good for 24 years
rather than the five years offered by most contractors.
Just as he said, he was not the most expensive nor the
cheapest. But how do you put a price on peace of mind?
He demonstrated his professionalism by going through
a tough certification program. I now have a roof that
safeguards my home. I am not concerned that he might
go out of business tomorrow or move to another state.
The company that supplies my shingles is the one that
warranties his work. They would not do that if they
did not trust his workmanship in the first place and
I think they know more than I when it comes to roofs.
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