There are many factors when selecting the type and color of a replacement roof for structures within a HOA. It is important to realize that weight, warranty, and cost are not necessarily effective measures of a roofing product. The three primary issues for the HOA’s board of directors to consider when selecting a new roof: The roofing materials’ resistance to the elements, the manufacturer’s warranty, and the selection of the roofing contractor.
Roofing materials are measured in “squares.” A square represents 100 square feet of roof area. Cost will vary depending on the material and the complexity of the roof’s configuration. The more valleys and peaks increase complexity and more roofing material may have to be used. The steeper the pitch/angle of a roof, the greater the repair or replacement cost can be because of the extra safety considerations and labor costs involved. Obviously roofing materials can vary in price, but the labor costs to install different materials can vary drastically. Installing heavier shingles may take longer and therefore increase labor costs.
Some roofing manufacturers subject their roofing materials to testing standards. Rating standards exist to measure a roofing product’s resistance to impact, wind, and fire; but rating standards are not mandatory for manufactures. However, when roofing materials are rated, the information it provides is very useful in determining the appropriate material.
UL 2218 is a testing standard designed by Underwriters’ Laboratories (UL) to evaluate a roofing material’s potential resistance to the impact of hail.
Roofing products that have been rated have a testing label indicating a specific impact-resistance. Depending on how the material performed during UL 2218 testing, the product may receive a Class 1, 2, 3 or 4 impact- resistance rating. Roofing with a Class 4 rating is expected to provide the greatest impact resistance.
Windy conditions put a constant stress on your roof. The wind may lift the edges of roofing material, allowing water to penetrate. High winds can cause tearing in asphalt composition shingles. Extreme winds can even cause many roofing materials to blow off.
Products perform best when installed per the manufacturer’s instructions.
If you select an asphalt product for your roof, the Asphalt Roofing Manufacturer Association (ARMA) prefers the use of nails to staples for securing shingles. In hurricane prone areas, many manufacturers and local building codes can call for six nails per shingle instead of the usual four.
Depending on how a material performs during fire-resistance testing, the product may receive a Class A, B or C fire rating, or possibly no rating. Products tested may be labeled with a specific fire-resistance rating.
Fire ratings are:
Class A: Effective against severe fire exposure
Class B: Effective against moderate fire exposure
Class C: Effective against light fire exposure
Non-rated: The roofing material either was not tested or failed one of the tests.
Most roofing materials come with some type of warranty. Different manufacturers carry different warranties for similar products. Save the wrapper from one of your shingle bundles to verify the exact product placed on your roof and the associated warranty. This warranty information should be placed in the HOA’s records for future reference.
Here are some examples of warranties:
Pro-rated: The manufacturer pays claims based on the age of the roof. The older your roof, the less the manufacturer will pay to replace an older roof with a newer one.
Wind: Applies specifically to damage caused by wind.
Hail: Applies specifically to damage caused by hail. Hail warranties are not common.
Materials and defects: The manufacturer’s warranty is typically limited to product defects that result from the manufacturing process.
William Douglas has a standardized roofing bid form that has contractors detail many of the items mentioned in this article. This detailed roofing bid form clearly stating the quality and quantity of materials used; work specifications, which include approximate starting and completion dates.
Some Common Types of Roofs
Asphalt Composition Shingles
Asphalt composition shingles are the most frequently used residential roofing material. They come in an array of colors, weights, and architectural styles. Shingles that have been treated to prevent algae are also available.
Typical material defects warranty:
20 to 40 years (three-tab)
30 years to “Lifetime” (laminated)
UL fire ratings: A, C
Average weight per square:
210 to 300 lbs. (three-tab)
300 to 400 lbs. (laminated)
Metal roofing products come in many styles: galvanized steel, galvalume, aluminized steel, aluminum, stainless steel, copper to name just a few of the more popular. This type of roofing can come prefabricated or can be custom fit onsite. Metal roofs can be the most durable of all roofing materials, but the additional expense is always a factor.
Typical material defects warranty: Varies
UL fire ratings: A, B or C
Average weight per square: 40 to 250 lbs.
Single-ply and Membrane Roofs
Membrane roofing is increasing in prevalence with the use of flat roofs. Membranes are generally made from either of three common
Materials: rubber, plastic, or asphalt. Built-up and single-ply sheet-applied membrane systems are fabricated on the roof and become one-piece roofing systems.
Typical material defects warranty: 5 to 20 years
UL fire ratings: A, B or C
Average weight per square: 28 to 200 lbs.
Built-up roofs are used with flat or nearly flat roofs. They generally do not shed water, which can increase the chance for leaks. A built-up roof is generally made of up to four-ply, or layers, of roofing felt paper and asphalt. A layer of gravel can be placed on a built-up roof to add protection from the elements and to deflect heat.
Typical material defects warranty: 0 to 20 years
UL fire ratings: A, B or C
Average weight per square: 180 to 650 lbs.
William Douglas Management, providing excellent management services to HOAs and condominium associations since 1980.
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