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Roofing 101

We believe in and live by Quick and Painless Home Improvements.  We will concentrate on completing the project as quickly as possible, while at the same time being as unobtrusive as possible. In the past, over 50% of the work we did was for repeat clients or referrals.  During the past few years, this number has risen to almost 70%.  The only way we will complete a project is to educate the decision makers on all of the options necessary for a successful remodeling (re-roofing) project.  Most companies concentrate on low price – we will only recommend roofing systems in the form of good, better and best.  My first question when working with you would be how long you plan on owning the building?


Tear off existing shingles Yes or No?

Depending on the roofing system used, I always suggest for a complete tear off.  Sometimes this is not an option because of cost, so I offer both options.


Why are my existing shingles deteriorating?  They were supposed to last 25 years!

If you have shingles that lasted 23 years, the shingle manufacture owes you nothing. Today’s asphalt shingles just are not made like that anymore. We can offer the best warranties on shingles in the industry. Even with the best insulation & ventilation, I can’t expect the shingles to last the duration of their marked life span. To boil this down to basics, shingles are made with much less oil/asphalt than they were 23 years ago. Shingles are made of the sludge that is left over from the gasoline industry. The oil industry has refined the process to use as much of this sludge as possible. Leaving only a percent of what the shingle industry was  given years ago and now they charge though the nose for their waste to be sold to the shingle companies. The shingle companies keep adding more fillers of sand and saw dust. Years ago you could buy a 20-25 year shingle that would last 20-25 years. Today you can buy 30-40 year or Lifetime shingles. The problem today is this industry is a farce.  The products are not going to last longer.  They just have better attorney’s working for them. It is all in the warranty (the fine print on the bottom). You buy, for example, a 30 year product that has a pro-rated warranty.  Meaning if it were to fail at 15 years, they would pay for 50% of the shingle price and 50% of the installation.  However, they will pay nothing for the tear off, disposal or any of the accessories needed to complete the job. So, if they admit they goofed up, they still only pay a very small percentage of the real cost to replace the roof. Even worse, if you are not the purchaser of the roof, you get nothing. They can get away with this because the average home changes hands every 7 years, leaving them with very little liability.

Now, I can offer you much better warranties than this, but it is still the same product. We have been seeing an epidemic of shingles failing. We are seeing shingles failing everywhere in the 5-15 year range. This is very frustrating to me. We do a great job installing a beautiful waterproof roof and 10-12 years later it fails because of the quality of shingles.  It is not fair that the homeowner needs to buy a new roof.  I believe metal roofing is the only way to get out of this cycle.

When we say metal, you may think of a standing seam metal roof.  This is great in a climate that receives little snow; however, in Wisconsin, the snow would collect on the roof, then slide off when the weight gets heavy enough to let loose.  This is a huge liability; imagine all that snow sliding off to the ground and potentially hitting someone.  However, we are talking about our Gerard Metal Roofing System which is stone coated galvanized steel.  The snow will adhere to this system, which eliminates the risk of snow sliding off and hitting someone.


Options of Roofing Materials:

Option A (Good at Best)

Like I had discussed, we can install a normal shingle roof with the best warranties in the industry.


Option B (Better)

A complete tear off and clean up. New plywood, ice and water shield and complete Granite Ridge roofing system applied directly to the deck.  The warranty would be a lifetime for the building, and 50 years if it ever sold. (100% coverage as many times as the property sells). What this says to me this is a product that is made to last.  What it consists of is a galvanized steel shingle, coated with a granular coating to make it look like shingles, which holds the snow to it. What they are really giving a warranty for is the coating and granular coating.  The metal in agricultural settings lasts for 50 plus years. This metal is all over in Baraboo on homes well over 100 years old.  This is a system that will be very effective, but it is expensive with a complete tear off.

Lifetime warranty.

Reduced cooling costs.

Hail resistant. Warranty for 2 ½  inch hail stones.

120 mile per hour wind warranty.

Reduced insurance costs.



Option C. (Best)

This is what I believe is the best option for a re-roofing project.  Gerard Canyon Shake.  We will build a roof system over the existing roof.  There will be no exposure to leaking during the tear off process.  There are also no chances of leaks in the future because the existing roof acts as the underlayment (insurance if you will). This also allows for a secondary ventilation system in-between the old and new roofs.   Any heat loss that occurs with the existing roof is exhausted out, almost completely eliminating the ice dam potential.  A complete insulation and ventilation inspection would be needed to say there is no ice dam potential, but with this product greatly reduces the chance.  This air chamber will also eliminate any heat transfer from the sun in the summer because it will not heat up like normal shingles do, thus reducing any cooling costs over the years and saving you lots of money.

Lifetime warranty.

Reduced cooling costs.

Hail resistant. Warranty for 2 ½ inch hail stones.

120 mile per hour wind warranty.

Reduced insurance costs.


Disposal of shingles, if removed

We recycle everything we possibly can.  If we remove your shingles, we will recycle them.  We were the first company in the Madison area to recycle shingles.  We even provided the first shingles to be put through the test grinders.  We are as green as it gets!


We are recommending a roof system that has a lifetime warranty.  Thank you for taking the time to educate yourself on roofing options available to you.  If you have additional questions, please email us at: and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can. 





Scott Frey – Owner

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