The Roofing Resource Blog

Number 1 Reason Why Roofing Systems Fail

Fri, Mar 7, 2014 @ 04:03 PM | Perry

Where Most People Go Wrong and How To Get It Right: Number 1 Reason Why Roofing Systems Fail 

The intense physical labor involved in roofing makes the installation process and quality control measures that a company uses or doesn't use easy to overlook. Mainly because when you watch a roofing crew in action, the labor aspect of a  project stands out the most, and for good reason. Roofing, whether flat, steep slope, or metal is hard work. But there is more to a roofing project than just hard work, labor is only a small part of the overall success of the job.  Installing a long lasting roofing system and keeping the home or building dry isn’t the result of hard work and sweat, it’s the result of a tested and proven installation process and the quality control measures to ensure the process was followed.

When decision makers interview potential roofing contractors and take bids on a project, they often make the mistake of concentrating on the cost of labor and products being proposed. 

If roofing projects were just about hard labor then cost should be the deciding factor of who gets the job because let’s face it; one man's labor isn't worth any more than the next fellow. 

But in many cases the additional cost aren't going towards labor, in fact the guys doing hard labor usually make the least amount of money. The additional cost are often there to support processes and systems that create a consistent, desired outcome. Such as a successful roofing project or another happy customer 

Research shows that roofing systems don’t fail because the crew didn't work hard enough, roofing systems fail because the crew didn't know enough. And if they did know better, no one checked to see what kind of job they did. In other words poor installation means the absence of a proven installation process or Lack of quality control to ensure that the installation processes were being followed.

The #1 cause of roof system failure? Poor Workmanship

Roofing Contractor




 Why have an Install Process?

Because processes and systems work. They are trainable, repeatable, measurable, and provide reliable and  constant results.


We aren’t saying that cost shouldn’t drive decisions and to always pay the premium to have work done, that would involve the assumption that paying more means you get more and we all have had instances in our past where we know this wasn’t the case. 

  What we are saying however, is to take a close look at the processes and quality control measures implemented by you prospective roofing contractors and then consider the pricing. You may be surprised by the value you find when you dig a little deeper.  

Hint:  When interviewing potential roofing contractors try to leave any pre-conceptions you may have behind and give each candidate a fair shot to demonstrate the value they’re offering you. Always picking the one in the middle, going with the lowest, or paying a premium for everything you do will work some of the time but not all the time. 

Don’t Get Stuck In The Product Game

Getting hung up on roofing products is easy to do. Most roofing contractors focus heavily on the products they install mainly because they prefer them or are better at installing one over another. But roofing contractors also focus on products during a sales call to divert attention away from the roofing company itself. Answering questions about products is easier than answering questions about internal processes, employee training programs, job-site supervision, and quality assurance and safety programs, especially if these programs are non-existent. 

Roofing products are important, don’t get us wrong, they’re just not as important as the way they are installed.  

So next time you’re in the market for a roofing contractor, try to get beyond the simple questions like “do you have insurance”, “how much will it cost”, and “what products do you use”. Treat the bidding process as if it were an interview and don't be afraid to ask hard questions, legitimate roofing companies won’t be afraid to answer them.

Keep in mind you don’t need to pressure, belittle, or interrogate the roofers you have asked to quote your project. In most cases they will be doing free estimates and deserve your respect, whether or not they deserve your money is for you to decide at the end of the interview. Good Luck!

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Topics: Choosing a Roofing Contractor