Shingles are important, but so is the ice-water shield protection that goes underneath them.
This shield protects vulnerable areas on your roof where the shingles cannot. It’s a great product, but like most materials, there are quality shields, and then ones that should be avoided.
This alone isn’t news, but the frustrating part is that many roofers will exploit these differences for their financial gain, at the same time not providing customers with the necessary information needed to make an educated decision.
In this blog, we’re going to break down in 4 easy steps why this happens, and how you can protect yourself to ensure that you are receiving fair and ethical treatment from contractors while also safeguarding your roof for the long-term.
1. (HUGE) Difference in Cost
There is a lot of discrepancy in the prices of various shields. Home Depot sells four different kinds of shields that all pass code.
The cheapest brand costs 22 cents per square foot, while the most expensive is 64 cents per square foot. It’s incumbent upon you as a customer to decide which price fits your budget, but remember to take into account the quality.
Also keep in mind that your roofer may be getting paid to install a certain brand. They know insurance will be paying for your damage, so they may try to upcharge you or sell you a brand that you don’t need so they can net a higher profit.
2. Contractor May Not Know or Care About Performance
Some roofers can be clueless to all the products on the market, and others may only be interested in installing the most expensive products. Either way, don’t assume roofers always know what they’re talking about.
The specific performance of ice-water shields is important, and it’s best to know that any premium brand is your best bet for long-lasting protection.
Do note though that the cheaper the shield also means that the more slippery and hard to walk on the shield will be.
A contractor should know this and be mindful of everyone’s safety. Unfortunately, many contractors will often skip safety and instead focus on their potential profits.
3. Contractor Might Be Downgrading Product Without Your Knowledge
A good example of this is when a new contractor comes in to do a job after a different roofer previously installed an ice-water shield that was of high quality.
The new roofer may rob you by installing cheap products, yet still charging you for premium products. And because the new shingles are under code, there isn’t much you can do once the new shield has been installed.
This is why it is important to discuss with your roofer which product he is installing, and how much he is charging you for the product. Their answer will tell you everything you need to know about the quality of your shield.
Which leads to point #4…
4. Have a Conversation with Your Contractor About Your Warranty
This part covers a few of Dmitry’s points in the video, but communication is everything. A lack in communication can result in hurt feelings, and a subpar roof.
It’s not only important to know which brand of ice-water shield is being installed for quality purposes, but you also need to know that if a roofer installs a particular brand, it may NOT fall under the coverage of your warranty.
And if you aren’t covered, you will be paying out-of-pocket for the repairs. Save yourself the headache and have a conversation during the sit-down with the salesman or contractor.
Some contractors don’t like to deal with warranties. They’ll tell you things like
I’m your warranty
I’ll fix things if they break.
Don’t believe them.
They may mean well when they tell you this, but bear in mind that they’re under no legal obligation to make good on a handshake agreement. That’s not the type of person you want to get into business with.
Lastly, it never hurts to ask a contractor why they install certain brands. Any respectable contractor will be able to give you an honest answer for why they install a particular product.
If they give you a weak answer, or try to convince you that all brands are the same, RUN!
Thank you for reading up on the ins-and-outs of ice-water shields.
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